May 29, 2020 — Due to an unfortunate error on our part, a significant number of our most active subscribers were accidentally deleted from the rolls of our “Best Places to Retire” enewsletter subscribers. While we were able to add many of you back, there are probably several thousand that were not included. We miss you!
Please come back!
The system we use to mail our various enewsletters, Mail Chimp, is generally pretty good (although we were very unhappy that they made it so easy to delete all of you). To protect people like you from unscrupulous mailers there is an extra layer of protection that makes it very difficult to sign up again for our newsletter once you have been deleted. But there are a couple of good ways you can get back on the subscriber rolls. The easiest is to post a simple Comment at the end of this article that says “Please Subscribe me to this newsletter”, and we can sign you up again (it has to be that long or the Comment won’t “take”). No one will be able to see your email address except for us). Or, send an email using the “Contact Us” form that contains the message “Subscribe”. Either way it will take a week, but you will be back on the list! Thanks to everyone for their patience.
PS – there is duplicate control so you don’t have to worry you are signing up for 2 copies.
Posted by Admin on May 29th, 2020
Active adult communities
May 27, 2020 — Any time active communities come up in a discussion HOAs and their fees are always a big focus. For many retirees, avoiding those fees or finding the lowest ones can become an obsession. So, is there a central depository of the fees at the thousands of active adult and 55+ communities around the country? Alas, the simple answer is no.
But that flat response does not mean that you cannot discover what you need to know before making an important purchase like buying a home. Ongoing HOA fees and assessments are key to your decision. First, let’s talk a little bit about what kind of charges you might expect if you move into a community with a Home Owners Association (HOA) or Community Association (CA).
Posted by Admin on May 26th, 2020
By Flo Williamson – Frequent contributor and Site Monitor at Topretirements
May 27, 2020 — Who knows when this Covid-19 pandemic will end, and what life will look like in the future? Besides the tragic loss of life, lost jobs, and lost income, there is a sense of loss and questioning for many retirees or those close to it, as to what the future holds during the time we have left.
Reassessing our priorities has become unavoidable– what we thought we wanted our retirement to Look like, has become for many, what we need our retirement to be. For those of us wishing to relocate and possibly downsize that option has become more difficult. Besides the obvious difficulties in visiting, buying, and selling, I for one, am questioning my initial relocation choice.
Posted by Admin on May 25th, 2020
Best Retirement Towns and States
May 15, 2020 — Since the reaction to our first “10 Great Places to Retire You Never Heard of” was so positive, here are 10 more to consider. This exercise has been fun and a great way to prove the point that there are so many interesting places to retire that never get the consideration they deserve. One of these just might be the perfect place for you to retire!
To try to spread things around, this time we have looked for best retirement towns that are geographically diverse and add towns from states not represented in the first 10. Most are fairly affordable, while some of the towns in prime locations reflect the cost of living in a very desirable community. Most of these “undiscovered” towns have fairly small populations.
Posted by Admin on May 20th, 2020
Health and Wellness Issues
May 20, 2020 — No two ways about it, the corona virus has been brutal. So many lives lost, livelihoods ruined, plans destroyed. Pain and suffering, deprivation, happiness taken away, etc. But, looking on the bright side, someday it will be behind us, thanks to a cure, a vaccine, or herd immunity.
Once the day comes that we can do anything we want without fear, we would love to know about the first thing you plan on doing. It can be something big, something tiny, no matter what. Please share your thoughts about what you would like to do so we can all have a hopeful target, a north star to guide us to a better day. Please share your thoughts, no matter what, in the Comments section below. Thanks, and stay safe and hopeful!
Posted by Admin on May 19th, 2020
Active adult communities
May 12, 2020 — Not everyone wants to retire in the Sunbelt. One reason is that people who already live in the northeast, midwest, or northwest are reluctant to retire far from where they live now, and would prefer to stay close to the familiar, including their relatives and friends. To help those folks looking for an active community in the northeast or northwest, we went exploring in the Topretirements visitor files for the last six months to find the communities that seem most popular on this site.
The results are a combination of big surprises and pretty much what we expected. No big surprise, Delaware ran away with in this “most popular” sweepstakes with 6 communities in the top 20. Virginia netted 3 places, and Pennsylvania 3. The biggest surprises were a community on a lake in Canada and a Lutheran community near Fort Wayne, Indiana; the popularity for which are not clear. Almost all of these most popular, non-Sunbelt active communities were in the northeast, plus one in Idaho and another in Oregon. It was a bit of surprise not to see a better showing from communities in New Jersey, which has many large developments to choose from.
Posted by Admin on May 11th, 2020
May 4, 2020 — When the coronavirus pandemic first arrived on our shores one of the first thing many people added to their list of worries was its potential effect on the viability of Social Security. Those of a negative mindset were drawn to two main concerns about its funding: shortfalls caused by the vast number of newly unemployed not making FICA payments, and new distributions made to people forced to take their Social Security retirement early at 62. The effect, they hypothesized, might be that the Social Security Trust Fund would become exhausted earlier than expected, and promised payments to retirees would have to be either trimmed or subsidized by the federal budget.
Posted by Admin on May 4th, 2020
Active adult communities
April 29, 2020 — The names used by retiree-oriented developments to describe their properties cause so much confusion. In the old days life was simpler – we had old folks homes, retirement homes, and nursing homes. We understood those terms meant, often describing warehouses for the elderly and infirm. Today those concepts have evolved and expanded – now we have communities that are 55+, active adult, retirement, independent living, assisted living, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities. Overseas there are retirement villages. Fortunately today’s choices offer a much richer retirement than in days of old!
Since there is so much confusion and misunderstanding about the two categories most new retirees are interested in, 55+ and active adult communities, we will concentrate on those here.
Posted by Admin on April 28th, 2020
Financial and taxes in retirement
Note: July 2020 – This deadline has been extended. April 24, 2020 – Are you kicking yourself because you took some or all this year’s Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from your IRA or 401(k) earlier this year? Now that the Cares Act has eliminated RMDs for 2020, you have reason to be upset, especially because all of your distribution is taxable income. Fortunately, there might be some relief.
Act before July 15
The CARES Act just passed as part of the coronavirus relief package has a provision that eliminates all required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2020. Unfortunately, if you took RMD in January of this year, you probably can’t reverse that decision without jumping through a lot of hoops. But, if you took one on or after February 1 and May 15, 2020, you can still roll it back, if you act by July 15. The rollback option isn’t available if the plan was inherited. Issued on April 9, IRS Notice 2020-23 provides limited relief by allowing an extension of the 60-day rollover period. You cannot rollback any taxes you had withheld, although you can probably get a refund or adjustment when you pay your 2020 taxes. There is only one IRA rollback every 365 days.
Posted by Admin on April 23rd, 2020
April 21, 2019 — Deciding when to take Social Security retirement benefits is always a complex question. Now the devastating impact of Coronavirus is making it even harder. Here are some thoughts that might help on a question that always has many possible answers.
The New York Times reports in “Taking Social Security During the Pandemic” that workers in the past decade have shown a steady trend of postponing when they take Social Security, as a way to increase their potential lifetime retirement benefits. Whereas most workers still take Social Security the first chance they get at age 62, to get higher benefits more and more have been waiting to their Full Retirement Age (66-67), or even to age 70. With the arrival of the coronavirus pandemic experts are wondering if that trend will stop, or even reverse itself.
Posted by Admin on April 20th, 2020