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Top Retirement Myths of the Week – And More

Category: Retirement Planning

February 8, 2012 — Some weeks much good retirement advice comes in that we can’t possibly write about all of it. Since we didn’t want you to miss any of it, we’ve put together capsule summaries and links to all the great stuff. Here goes:

5 Myths About Retirement Homes. This story from Time Magazine’s Moneyland is essential reading for any baby boomer who is willing to be objective about his or her impending retirement. The 5 points have some bite to them, but they all make terrific sense. Case in point, point #5, “Retirement Centers are filled with the sick and dying”. Click on the title to find out what the real truth is.

Do You Have a Case of Retirement Schizophrenia? This short piece from CBS MoneyWatch explores some of the great contradictions that boomers have about their retirement. Those include their expectations about being happy in retirement, outliving their money, and taking care of a very ill spouse (hint: things will be very rosy… unless they’re not!).

What Do Boomers Want in Retirement? Mason-Dixon Polling and Research conducted a survey for the non-profit organization Consumer Federation of the Southeast in November to determine baby boomers consider most desirable in a retirement destination. As reported in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, the results contrasted what boomers find desirable – and what they consider most important in making their decision. On the predictable side; good healthcare, housing costs, appealing climate, low local taxes, educational opportunities, the art and cultural scene, and ample recreational opportunities are all desirable qualities. But when it comes to deciding where to live, it is climate, health care, and housing costs that are the real drivers.

When Should I Retire – And a Whole Lot More Answers. This series from the American Society of Actuaries presents an amazing list or practical reports and advice on different aspects of retirement planning. Some of the reports include “Women and retirement”, “When to claim social security”, “When retirement comes too soon”, “Securing health insurance”, and a whole lot more.

Retirement in America is Endangered. Bob Powell has written an excellent piece on the areas of American retirement that desperately need some well-thought out fixes. Notably those include social security, worker contribution rates, retirement tax breaks, and the problem of outliving one’s assets. This thoughtful article includes many references that will increase your understanding of the issues we all face in retirement.

Comments? Please share your comments on the issues brought up by these resources. What are your top retirement myths, problems, and planning issues? Please share your thoughts with your fellow members in the Comments section below.

Posted by John Brady on February 7th, 2012


  1. In “What Do Boomers Want in Retirement?” I was struck by the absence of social support in the survey. Women in particular are interested in proximity to family and friends (or at least the potential to make new friends) when choosing a place for retirement. It’s a driver for many people, but it wasn’t a choice in the survey.

    Jan Cullinane
    The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life (Rodale)
    The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement (John Wiley & Sons, August 2012)

    by Jan Cullinane — February 8, 2012

  2. Would love to see more information on rentals for retirees. Not all of us want to buy a home.

    by Trish — February 9, 2012

  3. John, Great piece! One myth item left out “All Retirement Communities are Golf Communities”. Not so true anymore. Someone out there is breaking the “retirement community” mold. Lake Weir Living is all about toys (RVs, boats, motorcycles, ATV) and with no homeowner association fees or ruling restrictions. Lake Weir Living is for the Dylan Generation! The baby boomer who’s not ready to ride around on a golf cart from club house to doctor to the grocery story. Lake Weir Living is for the boomer who, like Dylan sings, is “Forever Young!”

    by Neil S. Schuster — February 10, 2012

  4. Jan, I totally agree … at least for women … in a geberal way (i.e., perhaps not ALL women). My wife needs/desires socialization, wheras I can take it or leave it (usually prefering the latter). However, yes, I think that it is a very valuable consideration in any survey.
    Trish, totally agree with you too. Not sure we want to be bogged down by ownership again … of ANYTHING. More on rentals would be nice.
    Neil, please stop the blatant sales pitch! Trying to be “forever young” is a myth … knee/hip relplacements, gout, blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc., etc. all come with age … not to even mention (MUCH) slower mental awareness and physical response times … the trauma/ER units must love 60+ bikers who also feel put-upon to wear helmets). Yes, we can MENTALLY remain young (e.g., open to new ideas and vetures); however, expecting to climb Mt. Everest is out for most of us once we get past say 60 … if ever. Also, I’ll be dang if I want to be where Harley’s are rumbling at all hours (etc.). I had my motorcycle years (Hondas and Triumphs); now, I’d rather ride bikes that are human powered, take walks/hikes, etc.

    by Mad Monk — February 10, 2012

  5. Jan and Mad Monk: Agree with both of you. We would love to move to a senior complex with lots of activities and get out from under all the maintenance on the house. 😕 They are supposed to be available on here but if they are, they are very difficult to find. A separate section on this site for fulltime rentals – not vacation rentals would be fabulous.:lol:

    by Joanne — February 10, 2012

  6. Joanne: We get this question or ones like it often and have posted various solutions in our Forum (under Frequently Asked Questions). Agreed, it is not easy to find rental communities. Part of the issue is there are so many types of rentals, many of them very small and just about impossible to find. Types include vacation rentals, short term and long term rentals, rentals in active adult communities, rentals in towns or cities that are not in any kind of recognizable development, rentals in CCRCs, and independent living facilities.

    That said, there are hundreds of communities listed on this site that offer rentals. You can use the “Advanced Search” link at the top of the page Scroll down the page to “Search 55+ Communities” and select “Rental, Independent Living, and Continuing Care Retirement Communities” under Type of community. You can also make other selections, such as choosing State, amenities, etc. You should get a list that you can go through. You can also try competitive sites like or search in google with terms like “55+ rentals” and see what you get. Craigslist can be a very good source for rentals. We have also posted elsewhere about good strategies for finding rentals – almost every community has them if you know where to look. Good luck, and thanks for the suggestion. We will continue to look for ways to make this information more accessible.

    by John Brady — February 10, 2012

  7. Joanne, you’ll find that virtually all active adult communities and master-planned communities have some type of rental component. Some communities limit rentals – say, a minimum rental of three months or more, some have no restrictions. My advice would be to find a place you like and see what the covenants are re rentals (I’m saying covenants because you said you’d like a “senior complex with lots of activities” so you’re talking about a place that will have covenants governing it.)

    Jan Cullinane, The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life (Rodale)

    by Jan Cullinane — February 11, 2012

  8. Jan, John Brady, Mad Monk Happy New Year. One year closer to our dream of retiring to FLA. Just turned 60 and our last child is graduating high school.
    Four years of college are planned and hopefully, if we stay healthy, we’ll sell our home in MA and head on down south. We’d like to rent a home first, so we can take our time searching for a maintenance free mobile/prefab home. Would prefer a 55 community, however if our daughters ever need a roof over their head we are inclined to look at non-restricted age. Our oldest is currently in the navy and is newly relocated at navy a.f.b. in Jacksonville.
    Thank you for your continuous information/input on this blog. It continues to inspire our dream.

    by Judy — February 11, 2012

  9. Moving into a retirement home is never easy because there are some factors to be considered. but considering also the benefits that you will get from a retirement home, it is better indeed to stay in a place where you will be provided by care and attention regardless the price..

    by Tiffanil — February 12, 2012

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