Dave is a very practical writer. And as he points out, there is a lot to consider, so choosing the place that’s right for you can be overwhelming. The Quest for Retirement Utopia covers all the possibilities and help you cut through all of the daunting and often conflicting information.
The book will help you clarify what factors are most important and suggest some considerations that you may not have thought of. It will suggest new possibilities for where and how you might retire. It will help you evaluate each place realistically and dissuade you from making a poor choice. And it will provide you with the resources you need to properly evaluate the places you are thinking about retiring so that you can make the most informed choice.
Here’s the link to buy The Quest for Retirement Utopia on Amazon: https://amzn.to/37jK6ra. It is available in paperback and Kindle.
January 7, 2020 — We are conducting a quick poll here on this Blog and in our Best Places Newsletter. The question is:
Did you make a New Year’s Resolution this year?
Please answer Yes or No in the Comments section below. And if you care to comment on how you did on last year’s, or if you love or hate the whole idea, feel free to share. We will be adding a tally in this article as the votes come in.
January 4, 2020 — Who wouldn’t want to wake up to a loon calling in the distance. Or the sound from the gentle lap of waves on the shore. Having the grandchildren up to enjoy some fishing or a boat ride. Not to mention the pleasure of an early morning dip in velvety lake water.
The good news is that the country is filled with lakes and ponds of every size and description. Some are edged by major cities (Chicago or Madison WI), while others have bucolic towns on their shores. Still other lakes have nothing around them except the occasional camp or cottage. By choosing just 20 lake towns in this report, it means that we have omitted dozens if not hundreds of other great candidates. We have tried to focus on lakes where it is possible to live on or near the lake, and where there is some kind of nearby town for entertainment and the necessities of life. Some of these lake towns were suggested by members.
December 29, 2019 — What makes for a happy retirement… and what are the factors that drive the not so good ones? We would love to find out more about that dynamic. Plus, get a base level reading on just how happy the Topretirements Membership is. So please help us all out by taking a few minutes to complete this quick survey on Retirement Happiness. We promise a full report in the next few weeks, it should be very interesting.
BULLETIN: SOFTWARE GLITCH MIGHT HAVE UNSUBSCRIBED ALL SUBSCRIBERS!
We are sorry to burden you with this, but it appears the company that sends out our newsletter might have accidentally UNSUBSCRIBED ALL of our Best Places Newsletter subscribers! If you would like to continue getting our free newsletter, please go to this signup form and resubscribe. Thanks so much!
December 28 , 2019 — Social Security is the single most important source of retirement income for most people. So it is crucial that you understand how the rules apply to your situation. Here are three important things you need to understand about how Social Security works.
1. Know when to claim
The earliest you can claim is age 62. Your Full Retirement Age (FRA) is somewhere between 66 and 67, depending on your birth year (if born before 1954 it is 66 and increases one month per year after that up to 67). Your benefit maxes out at age 70; there is no advantage in waiting past that. if you file at age 62 you will only get 75% of what you would get if you wait to your FRA. If you claim between your FRA and 70 your benefit will increase by 8% a year. You can file for your benefits online or in person.
December 25, 2019 — It is always interesting to see what articles at Topretirements generate the most readership and comments. Out of 94 Blog articles written in 2019, these are the 10 most popular. Subjects range everywhere from 401(k) changes to the 7 Deadly Sins of Retirement. Let us know your favorites, along with any ideas for future topics you might us to tackle. To drill down on your areas of interest, you can always explore the Blog Categories on the right hand side of the page.
December 22, 2019 – The SECURE Act has been passed by the Senate and House and signed by the President. The bipartisan bill, Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement, has several key provisions that impact many of those who are currently retired as well as people planning for retirement.
Good news. The bill allows for people over 70 and one half who are still working to continue to contribute to regular IRAs – there is no longer an age restriction for making such contributions. Perhaps the most important provision is the one affecting people who will not have reached age 70 and 1/2 by December 31, 2019. The new law raises the age for taking Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) from 70 and 1/2 to 72. These two provisions allow people who have not yet reached the age of 70 and 1/2 to achieve higher IRA and 401(k) balances for retirement if they are currently working and/or have enough non-IRA investment assets to defer taking IRA minimum distributions for an additional two years. This can provide for a higher likelihood of not outliving retirement savings. Unfortunately, if you were already 70 and 1/2 before 2020, you still have to take the RMDs required under the previous law.
December 17, 2019 — If you are shopping around for the best state to retire in, the good news is that there are a number of states that would really like you to choose them. These states know that the homes retirees buy and the money they spend locally represents an important and clean industry. So they have taken steps to make themselves attractive to retiring boomers.
States like North Carolina, Nevada, Florida, and Texas don’t have a problem attracting retirees. They have a good reputation and many attractive places to retire. Others, such as West Virginia and Mississippi, have a harder time bringing in retirees without incentives. In this list we will concentrate on states that have taken specific steps to increase the number of people retiring in those states. .
December 12, 2019 – Two different companies, The National Association of Realtors® (NAR), and Realtor.com, have each identified markets expected to outperform in the coming years. The lists are quite different, with Realtor.com’s concentrating more on smaller markets.
Both sources believe that affordability and strong local economies are key to markets with strong prospects for the future. Note that very few of these cities are on the coasts, although the overwhelming majority are in warm weather climes.
In alphabetical order, here are the top 10 the NAR expects to outperform over the next three to five years.:
However, don’t stop with just the NAR report. Realtor.com jumped into the topic with its own list. Here are the “hottest” real estate markets they predict for 2020, along with median home prices. Note: many of these are smaller markets. The only overlap we see in the top 10 are Charleston and Colorado Springs.
December 11, 2019 — You can always expect a lively debate on this subject: should you wait to claim Social Security, or take it as early as age 62? No matter your opinion, it is indisputable that claiming later than your Full Retirement Age (66 or later) provides an attractive 8% increase per year yield (plus COLA). Now a new study suggests that the 8% per year reward for waiting is too high, and the penalty for claiming early is too severe. Note: Shoutout to Maimi for bringing this study to our attention!
The study, “Are Social Security’s Actuarial Adjustments Still Correct“, comes from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. When Social Security started to allow beneficiaries to claim early or delay to age 70 it used actuarial adjustments designed to keep lifetime benefits constant for an individual with average life expectancy. In other words, no matter when you take your Social Security benefits, the odds are that you will receive the same amount of money.