September 13, 2017– The Galápagos Islands are at the top of many people’s bucket list destinations. This article will give you a taste of what that experience is like, based on your Editor’s recent trip, plus some tips and advice if you decide to go.
Where and what
The Galápagos are a volcanic archipelago of small islands in the Pacific Ocean about 600 miles west of Ecuador, which is near the top of south South America. They are most famous because of the role they played in Charles Darwin’s theories of evolution explained in his groundbreaking “Origin of the Species“. He visited the Islands in the early 1800’s, at a time when its only (more…)
Posted by Admin on September 12th, 2017
September 2, 2017 — Results from the Employee Benefits Research Institute’s Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) paint a disturbing picture for many American workers. The percentage of pre-retirees who are very confident in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement continues to be low. On the other hand, people who are already retired report a much higher level of confidence that their finances will provide a comfortable retirement.
It is hard to say why the two groups – pre-retirees and the retired – report different levels of confidence. It could be that folks who are already retired know their situation and do not have the anxiety about the future that (more…)
Posted by Admin on September 1st, 2017
Editor’s note. This is another in our continuing series of articles exploring actual people’s retirement stories. Thanks so much to Gary and Pat for sharing theirs. See bottom of article for more baby boomer retirement articles.
September 1, 2017 — When it comes to planning out a retirement and then living it to the fullest, this pair of former educators in the Michigan school system could teach the course. Gary grew up on a farm on Lake Michigan, and Pat grew up nearby. Both learned the value of hard work, and both loved living near the lake and exploring it winter and summer in their childhood and working days.
The pair have always been enthusiastic runners, bikers, and tennis players. They met as competitive cross country ski racers, crisscrossing (more…)
Posted by Admin on August 31st, 2017
Financial and taxes in retirement
August 28, 2017 — From June to mid-August 15, nearly 107,000 payments for more than $100 million were attempted by people trying to use the latest financial scam. Unfortunately for those who tried, all of the payments were nullified. In this “too good to be true” flim flam people are being told there are secret accounts at the Federal Reserve that ordinary people can tap into to pay bills, if they learn how. All you need to do is add your Social Security number to (more…)
Posted by Admin on August 28th, 2017
August 26, 2017 — As men hit middle age and then go into retirement there is one persistent health risk that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Isolation, new studies show, can cause all kinds of serious health and psychological problems. The harm caused by isolation is happening to men in ever greater numbers, and usually gets worse after they retire. Women suffer from isolation too, but not in nearly with the same frequency, and then usually just in the later stages of life. A story at the Boston Globe (see link at bottom) sparked this article and a whole lot of comments. We are happy to see that ur version on the topic is getting a lot useful discussion too.
If you are a man reading this article, here’s an exercise that might be painful as well as instructive. Write down the names of how many close friends you have. Once you’ve done that, write down how many times you have had a close interaction with any (more…)
Posted by Admin on August 26th, 2017
August 23, 2017 — There is one very clear conclusion from our latest Member survey, “Selling Your Home and Retirement Planning” – our Members overwhelmingly plan on moving to a different home when they retire. And, they plan on moving on in much greater numbers than does the general population. Some 90% of our recent survey takers said they definitely will sell their home, are thinking about it, or have already sold. That contrasts with just 6% that say they will definitely or probably stay in their current home.
Topretirements’ Members itch to move is starkly different from a recent AARP survey, where 90% of people over 65 said they want to remain in their own homes and community as long as possible. For comparison, a Del Webb survey some years back found that about one third of baby boomers plan on moving in retirement.
The Topretirements.com survey from last week asked 10 questions about moving, downsizing, and what kind of home you intend to buy for (more…)
Posted by Admin on August 23rd, 2017
Home and Garden
The Mystery of Decluttering…Recipes @LucyBurdette
August 16, 2017
By LUCY BURDETTE… Over the past 4 to 6 weeks, I’ve been involved in what one might call “productive procrastination.” This means using the inspiration about cleaning stuff out of my house that I found here to actually clean stuff out of my house. This most often happens when I am stalled on my writing. (Why is it that cleaning is so appealing when a person is hammering out a first draft of her new novel?)
We’ve made multiple trips to the clothing donation box, more trips to (more…)
Posted by Admin on August 16th, 2017
Financial and taxes in retirement
August 15, 2017 — If you are receiving Social Security or you plan on relying on it for your retirement, this news is important. If no action is taken, your benefits will take a big haircut in just 17 years.
Every year the Social Security Trustees prepare an annual report. The one for 2016 was just published, and once again it predicts trouble ahead for the nation’s system of Federal Old Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds (OASDI), otherwise known as Social Security. Every year the Trustees warn Congress that something must be done, and every year Congress kicks it down the road. Fixing the system will be painful, but in our opinion, something must be done. The longer it takes to correct the system, the worse the problem gets.
Income still higher than expenditures – for now
Total expenditures in 2016 were $922 billion, while total income was $957 billion: the surplus for the year was $35 billion. Asset reserves held in special issue U.S. Treasury securities continued to grow. Social Security’s total income is projected to exceed its total cost through 2021, as it has for every year since 1982.
Interest income not enough to cover program cost deficit
The Trustees project that interest income, which was $88 billion in 2016, is shrinking every year. Up to this point it has helped cover the deficit of expenses over contributions paid in. As interest income declines, however, the total surpluses will turn to (more…)
Posted by Admin on August 15th, 2017
August 14, 2017 — Whenever baby boomers get together there is always one guaranteed topic of conversation – what are your retirement plans? Here is your chance to share your plans (and actions!) and compare them with what others in the Topretirements.com community are thinking about. Our latest survey is an update on one in 2013 that brought in a phenomenal response. The new survey is “Selling Your Home, Retirement Preparation, and Where You Will Move“.
Please take this quick survey now. We promise to summarize the responses in detail in a coming Blog and newsletter article, along with a comparison to how our Members answered back in 2013.
TAKE THE SURVEY NOW!
Posted by Admin on August 14th, 2017
Best Retirement Towns and States
August 8, 2017 — Would this checklist for a great place to retire work for you?
– All public buildings have world class modern architecture – Triple check!
– Plenty of parks and open spaces – double check!
– Community-minded town with extremely active library, senior center, recreation – triple check!
– Public art is all around – check!
– Home prices must be below national median – check!
– Walkable, interesting downtown – check!
We are talking about the fascinating town of Columbus, Indiana – just south of Indianapolis with a population of 45,000. On our recent two day visit your Topretirments editor was blown away by what a great place to live and retire this is. Yet when we mention it to people of no little sophistication, they say, Columbus….Indiana …. never heard of it. This is your opportunity to learn more.
It all started
Columbus is known for being the home of Cummins, Inc., the Fortune 500 corporation started in 1919 that designs, manufactures, and (more…)
Posted by Admin on August 8th, 2017