Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Margaritaville Retirement Communities

Baby Boomers are putting a new twist on retirement.  One of their musical icons, Jimmy Buffett, is opening a creative type of retirement community, which will be named after his hit song, Margaritaville.  The new retirement communities will be designed to create the laid-back, casual lifestyle which many Baby Boomers desire.  These active adult communities are being built in conjunction with developer Minto Communities.  The first one will be opened in Daytona Beach, Florida, with the sales office opening in fall 2017 and will be named Latitude Margaritaville.  The second one will be built in Hilton Head, South Carolina and is scheduled to have its sales office opened in 2018.  If these are successful, more are likely to follow.

Features at Latitude Margaritaville

Many of the features in this $1 billion neighborhood will be similar to what Baby Boomers have come to expect in similar active adult communities in Florida and other retirement hotspots.  There will be approximately 7,000 homes.  Community amenities will include a spa, lap pools, fitness facilities, retail shops, a band shell for live outdoor entertainment, and a free shuttle to Margaritaville's own private beachfront club.

Residents will be allowed to drive their personal golf carts throughout the community.  This will be a convenient way for them to access some of the Margaritaville themed restaurants, including Cheeseburger in Paradise and the Five O'Clock Somewhere Bar ... the perfect places to look for that "lost shaker of salt."

The idea is to create a fun place to retire.  The developers hint that Jimmy Buffett himself may show up for an occasional concert.

Margaritaville Theme

The idea behind the community is based on Jimmy Buffett's song lyrics.  In case you are not familiar with the song, some of the lines which inspire the community are:

Nibblin' on sponge cake,
Watchin' the sun bake;
All of those tourists covered with oil.
Strummin' my six string on my front porch swing.

I blew out my flip flop,
Stepped on a pop top;
Cut my heel, had to cruise on back home.
But there's booze in the blender,
And soon it will render
That frozen concoction that helps me hang on.

Wasted away again in Margaritaville
Searchin' for my lost shaker of salt.
Some people claim that there's a woman to blame,
But I know, it's my own damn fault.

Home Choices in Latitude Margaritaville

If the song lyrics are not enough to inspire you to want to live there, residents can choose from two and three bedroom house plans which are priced from the low $200,000s to the mid-$300,000s.  All of the styles include dens and garages.  The community promotes their houses by describing them as "your new home in Paradise."

Buyers may want to ask if each home comes with a bottle of tequila and a free blender!  If not, be sure to bring your own along.  You'll fit in just fine.

For more information about Latitude Margaritaville, check out their website and watch a video at:

https://www.latitudemargaritaville.com/

If you are interested in learning more about other places to retire in the United States or overseas, financial planning, common medical issues, Social Security, Medicare and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Watch for my book, Retirement Awareness: 10 Steps to a Comfortable Retirement, which will be published by Griffin Publishing in the fall of 2017.

You are reading from the blog:  http://www.baby-boomer-retirement.com

Photo credit:  Margaritaville Twitter page.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Whether you are age 30, 60, or 90, there will be  times during your life when you will be affected by some type of emergency.  It could be an injury, a health setback, an unexpected expense or a natural disaster.  While it is impossible to be prepared for every eventuality, it is important for everyone to plan for the most likely emergencies which could affect us.  Below are a few common types of events which might happen to a retiree, and how to protect yourself.

In addition to the list below, you may want to add to this list emergencies which could be common in your specific family or community ... such as early coronary events in your family, or neighborhood flooding during times of heavy rain.

Financial Disasters

According to Investopedia, in 2016 people in their 60s had a median savings account of about $172,000.  This means that half of all retirees had less than that ... many of them much less.  If you are living off Social Security, plus additional income based on dividends or interest on your savings, you do not want to spend the principal in order to purchase a new car, buy a hot water heater, replace a roof, or pay the deductible for surgery or other medical treatments.  The obvious solution is for everyone to save as much as possible prior to retirement and designate a portion of that savings as an emergency fund which you do not depend on to cover your essential living expenses.

In addition, you may want to discuss with your financial planner or investment advisor whether your money is invested conservatively enough to be protected, in the event of a drop in the stock market or other major financial reversal.

Falls

According to the National Council on Aging, about one in four people over the age of 65 falls each year.  Falls are the most common cause of fatal injuries and are a common cause of hospital admissions.  Keeping your body strong and getting regular exercise is the first line of defense in preventing falls.  Everyone should make sure their homes are well-lit and contain no loose rugs or other items which could cause you to trip. 

You may also want to purchase a medical alert device, especially if you live alone.  You wear them like a pendant or bracelet and use them to quickly contact an agent who can call an ambulance, neighbor or relative for you, in the event of a fall. 

You should also talk to your doctor if your blood pressure medicine or other medications make you feel light-headed or dizzy.  They may be able to change your prescription.

House Fires

According to FEMA, older Americans are much more likely to die in a house fire than younger adults. If you have trouble hearing, take sleeping medications, or have difficulty getting out of bed by yourself, you have an especially elevated risk of dying in a house fire.  Make sure your home is equipped with plenty of very loud smoke and fire detectors, as well as a carbon monoxide detector.  Change the batteries frequently, at least every six months.

Install nightlights in your home and plug them into outlets near the floor, so they can guide you to an exit. The air is clearer near the floor, so crawl out if you have trouble finding your way.  Be sure some of your nightlights have a battery backup, in case the electricity goes out.  Sleep with your bedroom door closed so you do not succumb to smoke inhalation if a fire starts in another room.  Check to see if you can get outside to safety from a bedroom window if the fire is burning between you and an outside door.

Natural Disasters

If you live independently, you need to be prepared to handle any natural disaster which could affect you.  Depending on where you live, that could include hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, blizzards, earthquakes or wildfires.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says on their website that "being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety, and losses that accompany disasters." 

Because you may move a little slower as you age, it would be wise to prepare a "get away" bag that contains some emergency cash, a change of clothes, a two-week supply of your medications, copies of your insurance documents, a list of important phone numbers and any other important items you will want to have ready if you ever have to hop in the car and leave quickly. Put paperwork and medications in waterproof plastic bags. If you have a back-up pair of glasses or an extra hearing aid, put those items in your bag, too. You may also want to include a flashlight, battery operated radio, small first-aid kit, photo id, and copies of items such as your birth certificate, Social Security card, Medicare card, etc.

Make sure the bag is not too heavy for you to lift by yourself.  If it is, get someone to help you put it in your car, where you can easily reach it and transport it to an emergency shelter, if you are evacuated.

Homeland Security has an online booklet called 30 Tips for Emergency Preparedness.  Print it out, read it, and keep a copy in your bag.  In a true emergency, you may have trouble remembering what you should do.

Make sure your bag is large enough for you to toss in any last minute items you may want to grab as you run out the door ... a tablet computer, phone charger, new medication, wallet, pet food, or similar items you may want to add, if you have time.  Some people have two bags ... one conveniently stored in their home and one they keep in their auto at all times.

In the event the disaster cuts you off from roads and outside help for a few days (for example, if the roads are flooded), you may also want to keep emergency supplies of food and water in your home.  A battery operated cell phone charger could also help you stay in touch with the outside world.  If you have a pet, make sure you have provisions for them, as well.

More Emergency Considerations

Depending on your health condition or other problems, you may also have to prepare for emergencies which are unique to you and your family.  We all have a tendency to tell ourselves that "someday" we will put together emergency supplies, save more money, or think about what to do in the event of a disaster.  Do not wait.  Do it now and you can relax knowing that, while you cannot possibly prepare for every eventuality, you will have done everything you can to protect yourself, your spouse, other family members, and your pets in an emergency.

If you are interested in learning more about how to prepare for common problems as you age, financial planning, where to retire, Social Security, Medicare and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Watch for my book, Retirement Awareness: 10 Steps to a Comfortable Retirement, which will be published by Griffin Publishing in the fall of 2017.

You are reading from the blog:  http://www.baby-boomer-retirement.com

Photo credit:  morguefile.com 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

How to Live Longer - Add Years to Your Life!

No one knows how long they will live.  There are no guarantees that anything you do will absolutely assure you will live to be 100 years old. However, research indicates your genetics account for only about 25 percent of your longevity.  The rest is up to you.  There are definite actions you can take which make it much more likely you will add years to your life.

In an article called "50 Great Ways to Live Longer" published in the March, 2017 issue of the AARP Bulletin, scientific and government studies helped them compile a list of proven tips for increasing the length of your life.  Not all of the AARP suggestions are listed in this post.  When I read the list, some of their tips seemed to correlate to a longer life, but may not have been the cause of it.  For example, there is a correlation between living in California, New York or Vermont and having a longer life, especially if you have a low income.  Conversely, if you live in Nevada, Indiana or Oklahoma, your life expectancy could be much lower.  However, that does not mean your state of residence is actually the cause of why some people live longer than others.  Individuals can live either a long life or short life in any state, depending on their personal lifestyle.

While there are no guarantees in life, it is still worthwhile to follow the suggestions listed below.  They are based on scientific research and could make a tremendous difference in the length of your life, as well as how much you enjoy living those extra years.

Tips for a Longer Life

1.  Take Extra Vitamin D - The amount should be based on a blood test, but Vitamin D deficiency can contribute to a variety of health problems which you can easily avoid.

2.  Avoid painkillers - Only take the minimum amount or eliminate them completely.  This includes both prescription and over-the-counter painkillers.

3.  Get at least six hours of sleep a night - It will cut your risk of heart disease and strokes.  Try to get seven or eight hours of sleep, if possible.  It will make your health and life better in a number of ways.  It may even make it easier to maintain a healthy weight.

4.  Have frequent sex - It has been shown to not only increase the length of your life, but your enjoyment, as well. 

5.  Get married - Married people, especially men, have a lower risk of heart disease.  Of course, if you are in an abusive or miserable marriage, this suggestion may not work for you.

6.  Eat a healthy diet - Research shows the right diet for longevity includes fully ripened fruit, coffee, green tea, vegetables, whole grains, whole milk, olive oil, fish, nuts, spices and plenty of water.  You should also reduce your consumption of added sugar and alcohol.  While you're at it, take care to prevent food poisoning when preparing your meals.  Keep your work surfaces clean, separate meat and vegetables, wash your hands and refrigerate ingredients which could spoil.

7. Find a purpose in life - You may find your purpose in volunteer activities, helping your family, attending religious services or becoming involved in anything else which is meaningful to you.  Having a purpose can add years to your life; it can also make you look forward to getting up each day.

8.  Lead a generally healthy life - We have all heard most of it before. Stop smoking, lose weight, exercise daily (including walking and climbing stairs, if you can), read books, get a flu shot and find a woman doctor (statistically, they have better outcomes).  In addition, monitor your own health and see your doctor if any aspect of your health changes, such as unexpected weight-loss, unusual fatigue, bleeding, or changes to the skin.

9.  Fill your life with friends and love - Socialize frequently with friends, get a pet, spend time with the grandkids, and forgive your family for past hurts.

10.  Practice safety - There is no point to eating right if you die from an accident.  Accept the fact that auto accidents are higher for people over the age of 70 and are exceptionally high for those over 85.  Among the safety steps you should take are:  drive less as you age, avoid distractions while you are behind the wheel, be careful walking across a street (even in crosswalks), make sure your home has fire and radon detectors, and remove anything in your house, such as rugs, which could contribute to a fall. Do not store items on high shelves where you would be tempted to stand on a chair or stool to reach them.

If you follow the steps above, you are much more likely to live a long life.  In addition, your quality of life is likely to be better.  That alone makes these suggestions worthwhile.

Are you interested in more information about common medical issues as you age, where to retire, financial planning, Social Security, Medicare or more?  Use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional articles.

Watch for my book, "Retirement Awareness: 10 Steps to a Comfortable Retirement," which is scheduled to be published by Griffin Publishing in the fall of 2017.

You are reading from the blog:  http://www.baby-boomer-retirement.com

Photo credit:  morguefile.com