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Don’t Forget These 5 Things When Choosing a Place to Retire

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

September 15, 2021 – Members in a recent Topretirements poll gave us their number 1 considerations for choosing a place to retire. Atop the list by a large margin was climate, followed by affordability, being near friends and family, and good medical.  Much further down the list were taxes and political environment.

These are all important things to think about when choosing a place to retire. But there are other, less obvious considerations that are even more critical. Here are 5 overlooked considerations that we think deserve special attention.

  1. Do you really know the area where you about to relocate?

“Rose”, who retired to Myrtle Beach (SC), listed a perfect example of this situation in our recent poll: “Never retire where you like to visit. There are so many tourists and so much traffic it is unbearable. There is very little here that I was looking for, such as classes and like minded people.” 

Posted by Admin on September 14th, 2021

Warm Weather and Climate Top Reasons for Choosing a Place to Retire

Category: Retirement Planning

September 9, 2021 — Thanks to the 300+ folks who responded to last week’s instant poll, which asked what your #1 reason for choosing a place to retire would be. Although we realize most people have multiple factors affecting their choice, the poll tried to identify the single most important. By a large margin that turned out to be: “warm weather or other climate”. The results are shown below, and beneath that we have included some of the more interesting comments that were made on the topic. (Note: You can still take the instant poll and comment on it as well).

It was no big surprise that “affordable” came in second, followed by “lifestyle”, “near friends and family”, and then “near good medical”. “Low taxes” might be included in what people think of as affordable, but we were happy that that factor alone wasn’t what most people base their retirement location decisions on. We think retirement should be fun, so going for good weather and lifestyle is OK in our book.

Comments from Members:
We loved the comments made to this article. Rose’s was one of our favorites, in which she lamented retiring to the loved vacationing in(Myrtle Beach). When she retired there she realized it had a lot of traffic and a shortage of like minded people. Several people were interested in looking for a nice college town with cultural opportunities, while others mentioned that good medical care was up there as an important consideration (and many college towns do have medical schools with hospitals). Sue was looking to avoid extremes – particularly political and climate ones. Weather and climate was echoed by several as the thing to look for. Ellen started her list with low taxes and affordability, then good medical. Tim thinks he is a “climate change refugee”, considering moving from the Pacific Northwest to get away from the smoke and fires.

Bottom line: There are many great reasons for choosing a place to retire, and just about everyone has a different point of view. The point is, knowing what you are looking for will greatly increase your chances of finding it! If you have more thoughts about this topic, please share them in the Comments section below. Plus, if you have other ideas for our instant poll, please share that too!

For further reading and a list of previous surveys:

Posted by Admin on September 8th, 2021

Social Security Fund Runs Out of Money One Year Earlier

Category: Financial and taxes in retirement

September 8, 2021 — The latest Trustees report for Social Security shows that the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 recession are affecting the future of this popular program, but no one is certain exactly how that will play out. One thing the report does lay out is that the Trust Fund will become exhausted in 2033, one year earlier than projected last year.

Given the unprecedented level of uncertainty, the Trustees say there is no consensus on what the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the long-term experience might be, if any.

Based on best estimates, the 2021 reports show:

• The Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund, which pays retirement and survivors benefits, will be able to pay scheduled benefits on a timely basis until 2033, one year earlier than reported last year. At that time, the fund’s reserves will become depleted and continuing tax income will be sufficient to pay 76 percent of scheduled benefits.

• The Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund, which pays disability benefits, will be able to pay scheduled benefits until 2057, 8 years earlier than in last year’s report. At that time, the fund’s reserves will become depleted and continuing tax income will be sufficient to pay 91 percent of scheduled benefits.

So many conflicting currents

The Covid pandemic caused millions of people to lose their jobs, meaning they did not pay into the Social Security system. Many people became disabled, which increased payouts by the Disability Trust Fund. On the other hand, over 650,000 people have died from the virus, so those people will not be around to collect their Social Security (although any survivors will). Immigration numbers are down, which means fewer people are paying into the system. Fertility rates declined in this period of uncertainty, which will have long term effects on the size of the workforce supporting retirees. How all of these factors play out, no one is sure.

Bottom line for lawmakers – do something!

The Trustees report finishes with this stern warning: “Lawmakers have many policy options that would reduce or eliminate the long-term financing shortfalls in Social Security and Medicare. Lawmakers should address these financial challenges as soon as possible. Taking action sooner rather than later will permit consideration of a broader range of solutions and provide more time to phase in changes so that the public has adequate time to prepare.” We couldn’t agree more – quit fighting silly political battles and do something about the ticking time bomb that is going to blow up Social Security!

For further reading:
Summary of the Trustees Report

Comments? If you were in charge, what would you do to save Social Security?

Posted by Admin on September 7th, 2021

10 Great Walkable Towns in the Southeast

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

September 1, 2021 — Easy walking to town, parks, and shopping always emerges as a top consideration for choosing a retirement destination when we survey our members. Here are 10 small cities and towns in the southeast where walking is easy and a joy. Since almost every small town is by nature walkable, we have concentrated on larger places of at least 20,000 people.


These are towns where you can live downtown or close to it, and walk to everything that is important to you, day or night. In fact, in most of these towns the walking (and biking) is so good that you could even survive without a car.

Posted by Admin on September 1st, 2021

What Is Your #1 Priority for a Place to Retire?

Category: Retirement Planning

August 30, 2021 — We’re curious – if you had to pick one, most important reason why you would pick a place to retire (or already did), what would that be? We realize most people probably have several overlapping criteria that go into their decision, but if you had to pick one – what would that be? You can answer the question right here and then see what everyone else is saying right away. If you select “Other”, please let us know what that is in the Comments section below. Thanks for participating – can’t wait to see the results.

For results of the more elaborate survey we did on this topic in 2018, click on this link: “Think taxes are the most important reason to choose a place to retire: better think again“.

Comments? Please feel free to elaborate on your reasons (pro or con) in the Comments section below.

See final results and article summarizing them.

Posted by Admin on August 29th, 2021

Are You a Grandcarent and Need Help?

Category: Family and Retirement

August 24, 2021 — The assumption has always been that you would bring up your children and they would go on to raise their own families. Empty nesting and retirement would follow for you, bringing relaxation and less stress. But for the 2.3 million baby boomers who are raising an estimated 2.7 million children, the days of child care are not over yet. These “Grandcarents” are often in need of “Grandfamily” Housing, and the economic and other pressures are usually enormous. This article will discuss some sources of help if this is the situation for you or someone you know.

The ways that older adults become responsible for young children vary. Often it can be pinned on a drug epidemic like crack or opiods. Adult children get hooked, have children of their own, and the grandparents or uncles and aunts have to step in to avoid foster care and neglect. In other cases there might be psychological problems, the inability to hold a job, or incarceration. The pandemic has contributed to the problem too. Whatever the cause, assuming responsibility for young children when you are in your 60s and 70s is a forbidding challenge. We even know some people in their 80s who are raising their great-grandchildren.

Posted by Admin on August 24th, 2021

10 Most Fun Places to Retire

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

August 23, 2021 — A successful retirement should be fun! After all, what was the point of all of those years of hard work and saving. Even more so, it is hard to be a grumpy old man (or woman) if you live in a place where fun is all around you! So here are 10 places to retire where fun is easy to find. We will concentrate here on small cities and towns, since just about every big city has plenty of opportunities for having a good time.

We found a few comparable lists on this topic, but most of them concentrated on larger cities. For criteria those sources cited nightlife, parties, and recreation. We asked some friends what would make a fun place to retire for them. Jay said fun means being able to do something different every day, or a place with good opportunities for food and theater. Ray thought fun could be just around the corner about anywhere, if you have the right attitude. Bobbie added plenty of good restaurants and regular arts walks to the list. To those we could add: festivals, culture, recreational opportunities, shows, arts, museums, civic gatherings and festivals, and ease of getting around. Being near a lake, the ocean, or mountains might mean fun for others.

Posted by Admin on August 23rd, 2021

The 12 Largest Active Adult Communities in the East – They’re Big!

Category: Active adult communities

August 17, 2021 — There are active adult communities everywhere, and most have all kinds of great activities and amenities. And then there are the really large active communities, those with almost 10,000, or even over 130,000 residents. As for the popularity of really large communities, The Villages, the grandaddy of all, just showed up (again) as the fastest growing Metro in the U.S. So obviously, they are doing something right for a certain segment of the population.

These super communities offer a truly amazing variety of amenities and lifestyle options. Many have hundreds of clubs and a dizzying number of choices for non-stop activities every day. The problem there is not finding something to do on a given day, rather it is narrowing down the choices.

Exact figures are hard to come by, but we estimate that there are at least 10 active communities in the eastern U.S. with more than 10,000 residents. If you know of some that we have overlooked, please let us know about them! Because of their size they feature a range of recreational and social options that smaller communities generally cannot provide. Here are some of what they typically offer:

– Wide choice of sports suitable for all ages of retirees (multiple golf courses and tennis courts, swimming pools, softball, pickleball, bocci, etc.)
– Active social program with planned events on a daily schedule
– Wide array of clubs to match many different interests. Sometimes there are hundreds of different clubs
– Planned activities to enjoy such as crafts, woodworking, arts, singing, theater, etc.
– Classes and opportunities for life-long learning on campus
– Clubhouses, community centers, ballrooms, and performance venues that bring people and talent together
– Many of these communities have restaurants, stores, medical facilities, etc. on the premises
– Golf carts are usually permitted on internal roads – many people rely on them for their daily transportation needs
– Not all of the communities we list here are exclusively for adults 55+. Some are open to residents of all ages and even have schools for the children that live there. But some have distinct 55+ neighborhoods within them.

Posted by Admin on August 17th, 2021

Home Prices Continue on a Tear – But for How Long?

Category: Retirement Real Estate

August 13, 2021 — The median sales price of single-family existing homes rose in 99% of metro areas in the second quarter of 2021 compared to one year ago. And those increases were not small – there were double-digit price gains in 94% of markets measured by the NAR. Continued low levels of housing inventory, combined with record-low mortgage rates, have caused an increase in median sales prices for existing single-family homes in all but one of 183 measured markets during the second quarter of 2021. That is according to the National Association of Realtors®’ latest quarterly report.

The median sales price of single-family existing homes rose 22.9% to $357,900, an increase of $66,800 from one year ago. All regions saw double-digit year-over-year price growth, which was led by the Northeast (21.8%), followed by the South (21.0%), West (20.9%), and Midwest (17.1%). Three of the hottest markets in the country showed price gains of more than 40% year over year: Austin (TX), Boise (ID), and Naples/Marco (FL).

“Home price gains and the accompanying housing wealth accumulation have been spectacular over the past year, but are unlikely to be repeated in 2022,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.

Posted by Admin on August 13th, 2021

The Best States and Towns for Retirement 2021: Tennessee and Texas Advance

Category: Best Retirement Towns and States

August 10, 2021 – It is a question a lot of people nearing retirement age have – what is the best state and town for retirement? While it is a great question, the answer is not that simple – it depends on what you are looking for. Do you mean the best retirement state for taxes, the state with the best climate, the one that offers the lifestyle you want to live, or the place with the lowest cost of living, etc. Until you know what you are looking for, it is a hard to get at the right answer. (Note: This is an update to our 2018 article on “The Best 10 States for Retirement“, which generated almost 100 interesting comments).

One good way to determine the best state for retirement is is to look at which states retirees are moving to. analyzed US Census Bureau data to explore which states have the highest retirement age net migration – the number of people age 60 and over moving into a state minus the number moving out. In effect, it is a measure of how people voted with their moving vans. Here is what SmartAsset came up with when examining data from 2019: (T indicates a state with no income tax)

Posted by Admin on August 9th, 2021