Countdown: Five Years to Retirement

Category: Retirement Planning

July 10, 2018 — Think of your retirement as if it were a rocket poised for liftoff at Cape Canaveral. You, flight safety, are going through an elaborate countdown, ticking off countless items from exhaustive checklists. Only when everything is lined up properly is permission granted for your retirement launch!

In this piece we’ll go through a five year countdown to retirement, an excellent idea developed in a NY Times feature last week by retirement expert Peter Finch. Without first looking at what he proposed, we took our own crack at this countdown idea… and look forward to comparing notes (a link to his article is at bottom).

Five, four, three, two, one – retirement blastoff!
Although we have tried to concentrate each year on one major task, that doesn’t mean you should not be thinking about other planning aspects. This is a suggested timetable – you don’t have to be rigid about which planning area gets emphasized each year – but these are the important areas to consider. What is important is to tackle all the key planning bases with the remaining time you have before “blastoff”. Think where you live now is the best place for you to retire, and don’t need to bother? Going through this planning process helps guarantee that as a mindful decision, rather than planning by just letting things happen.

Five years out – Finances rule
Your most important task this year is prepare a financial balance sheet that shows what your expected income will be compared to your retirement expenses. By taking a serious (more…)

Posted by Admin on July 9th, 2018

Take Our Newest Poll – What Factors Affect Where You Will Retire?

Category: Retirement Planning

July 9, 2018 — We think one of the most interesting questions about retirement is where people decide to retire – and why. In this short poll we list a number of potential reasons why someone might prefer one area to another, and ask you to rank them in order of how important they are to you. Plus we added a question on how important the political atmosphere of an area is to your retirement decision, just to see what might come back. We will use the anonymous data from the survey as the basis of an article published in the next few weeks – should be interesting!

TAKE THE POLL!

PS – If you have suggestions about this poll or other questions to add, please use the Comments section below.

Posted by Admin on July 8th, 2018

How Will You Celebrate Your First Day of Retirement

Category: Retirement Planning

June 28, 2018 — LakeSinclair (LS) posted this challenging comment on the Topretirements Forum last week: “I’m eight days away from retirement after being a college administrator for 40 years. Any thoughts on a particularly profound way to spend my first day?”

What a great question, thanks LS. It is worthy of a lot of thought. Part of the answer has to do with how far you have come in your pre-retirement planning. If you did a good job of that, then Day 1 can be even more celebratory. You know where you are going to retire, how you are going to stay busy, and you are confident you are on a path to a financially secure retirement. If your planning is not so far along, or maybe not even started yet, then perhaps (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 26th, 2018

Fewer and Fewer Workers to Support Baby Boomer Social Security

Category: Baby Boomer Retirement Issues

June 26, 2018 — One of the pillars of Social Security funding is that each working generation pays the retirement benefits of those whose working years are over. A key assumption is that there will be plenty of working age people paying into the system to pay those benefits. Unfortunately, the ratio of working age adults to those on Social Security is going in the wrong direction. Back in 1980 there were 19 U.S. adults age 65 and over for every 100 Americans of working age. Thirty years later, that old-age dependency ratio had hardly changed; it was 21 retiree-aged Americans per 100 workers in 2010.

Declining birth rates since 1970 and the retirements of millions of baby boomer have changed that equilibrium – fast. The retirement segment to working population ratio was 25 to 100 last (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 26th, 2018

Politics And The Villages: Politico Article Highlights the Risks of Retiring Where Your Politics Are in the Minority

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

June 20, 2018 — The Nation’s Capital is buzzing about a new article from Politico Magazine on The Villages and its politics. The article provides an extensive and interesting discussion of politics in this giant active adult community in Central Florida. Its title, “Generation Pickleball: Welcome to Florida’s Political Tomorrowland,” foreshadows what its authors believe is coming for Florida’s electorate.

For four of five recent years The Villages has been the fastest growing metro in the country. And, in Politico’s political focussed article, it …”is Trump country, a reliably Republican, vocally patriotic, almost entirely white enclave that gave the president nearly 70 percent of the vote.” The area represents the future of the Republican party, and is considered to be the key to Gov. Rick Scott’s bid to unseat Democratic Senator, Bill Nelson, in the 2018 election.

The article makes many points. Depending on your politics, you might agree with some (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 19th, 2018

Suicide Rates on Rise – You Can Help

Category: Health Issues

By Roberta Isleib, P.H.D. (aka Lucy Burdette)

June 16, 2018 — Putting my psychologist hat for a moment…we are hearing an awful lot about suicide these days, including the tragic deaths of celebrities Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. For folks who haven’t felt seriously depressed or desperate, it may be hard to fathom thinking about killing yourself–and not considering the emotional destruction such an act leaves behind. But when folks feel that hopeless, suicide may seem like the only option. So what can we do to help?

Pay attention for signs of depression and suicide, including talk about feeling hopeless, changes in appetite or sleep habits, withdrawal and loss of interest in school, work, hobbies, friends, giving things away, preoccupation with death and dying…Even a sudden surge in energy and mood could mean that a very depressed person has concluded that suicide is the right solution.

If you see those signs, don’t hesitate to reach out. I taught this to my peer counselors at Yale: Don’t be afraid to ask directly: Are you feeling suicidal or thinking about harming yourself? If the answer is yes or maybe, get help! Call a family doctor for a referral or the suicide prevention hotline 800-273-8255

For further reading:
This New York Times article is very helpful
NIH Suicide Statistics

Comment: Retirement can be a stressful time. People who have a big piece of their identity wrapped up in their job may feel a big sense of loss. Men, who tend not to have strong personal relationships, may feel lonely and struggle. If someone you know looks like he or she needs need, reach out and tell him that you are there for him. That alone can help. If that someone in need is you – talk to someone!

Posted by Admin on June 15th, 2018

The 10 Cheapest States to Retire

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

June 11, 2018 — Some of the more reliable “10 Best Places to Retire” Lists come from Kiplingers. They recently came out with their “10 Cheapest States to Retire” version, and we think it is a pretty good effort. To come up with their ratings they looked at cost of living, taxes on retirees, average health care costs for retirees, and fiscal health of the state. As is often noted, sometimes you get what you pay for, although in the case of most of these states, you do tend to get more for your retirement dollars.

Although they didn’t numerically rank their “cheapest 10”, one ranking that is clear was cost of living compared to the rest of the U.S. Note that these rankings are on a statewide basis: different areas of different states can have dramatically different living costs. In big (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 11th, 2018

Should You Hire a Financial Advisor, or Do-it-Yourself?

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

— “Beware those free dinners”—

May 9, 2018 — One of several recent Member article suggestions was this one: “Is it better to hire a financial advisor or handle that financial planning yourself? And if you hire one, how should you go about it?” Thank you Lewis, that is a topic we know a lot of retired people struggle with.

We should preface this article by saying that we are not financial experts. This piece summarizes recent interviews with four baby boomers who have wrestled with this topic themselves, plus some of our own experiences with financial advisors. At the end you will find links to some other great resources about how to/whether to hire a financial (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 8th, 2018

Rising Home Prices Offer a Silver Lining for Some Retired Baby Boomers

Category: Retirement Real Estate

June 5, 2018 — Almost half of baby boomers, unfortunately, have not saved enough money for retirement. That means they face a cut in the quality of their lifestyle. But for many fortunate folks who own a valuable home, particularly in a hot real estate market, a potential rescue is at hand. For example, retirees in coastal California in places like San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego have the option to sell their home, buy or rent a home better suited to a retirement lifestyle elsewhere, and pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process. People with valuable homes who live in New York and its close-in suburbs, as well as other affluent markets, can catch a similar lifeboat. This article will explore where some of the refugees from America’s hottest real estate markets are moving.

According to a recent report on the Trulia Blog, coastal California Metros are the perfect example of real estate good luck. In San Francisco, San Jose, Los Angeles, and San Diego homes on the market averaged $720,000 in March 2017, almost triple the $250,000 reported nationally. New York registered high median listing prices too, nearly $440,000. While these high real estate prices are not (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 5th, 2018

VanLiving in Retirement

Category: Adventurous retirement

June 3, 2018 — A lot of Americans, including retired baby boomers, are thinking… small. As one example, our last visit to the barbershop was spent listening to the young guy in the next chair talk about the tiny home he is building. Everyone in the shop was fascinated with the unique touches and hi-tech stuff he was putting into it. In mid-May we reported on the boat that John is building for his retirement home, Next Chapter…Afloat. Yet another aspect of the think small movement, and the topic of this article, is the notion of discarding the notion of the RV, and replacing it with a customized luxury van – Vanlife, or Vanliving!

If the mobile lifestyle appeals to you, your thinking up to this point was probably limited to RVs (see our “Living the Mobile Lifestyle” series by Betty Fitterman). Now, enter the customized van, another option with many (more…)

Posted by Admin on June 2nd, 2018