Friday, March 15, 2013

Money and Financial Planning for Retirement

Since the beginning of this blog, a number of posts have been written about money and financial planning for retirement.   In fact, these posts have been among the most popular that I have researched and written.  The posts, linked below, include topics such as how to construct an annuity ladder, how to access your social security information, how much money you need to retire, choosing an executor of your will, and ways to earn money after retirement.

In addition, the article links below will help you access information on long-term care insurance, budgeting, financial facts about baby boomers, scams that are directed against senior citizens, and more.

Index of Financial Articles on the Baby Boomer Retirement Blog

2014 Social Security Raise Expected to be Tiny

Age Deadlines for Retirement Planning

Alternatives to Long Term Care Insurance

Amazon Savings Tips - How to Save Money Shopping Online

Are You Too Young for Retirement Planning?

Average Retirement Age in the US for Boomers

Awesome Work-From-Home Jobs

Be Careful at Black Friday Sales

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Best Companies Offering Jobs for Seniors

Beware Coronavirus Scams: Fraud is Increasing

Beware of Advance Pension Loans

Beware of Collectible Gold Coin Investments

Budgeting for Your Golden Years

Camper and RV Travel Jobs - How to Survive Financially on the Road

Casinos Encourage Gambling Addiction in Senior Citizens

Charitable Deductions and U.S. Estate Taxes

Choose a Financial Planner or Advisor with Experience 

Choosing an Executor of Your Will 

College Scholarship Tips for Grandchildren

Common Problems with Inherited Homes

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for Older Americans

Credit Scores and Retirement 

Crimes Against the Elderly

Crimes Against Senior Citizens 

Handling Your Money and Bills in Retirement - How to Find Help

Hidden Costs in Assisted Living Facilities

Housing Costs Put Retirement at Risk

How Much Retirement Income will You Have? 

How to Access Your Social Security Information Online 

How to Avoid Poverty for Single Women Retirees

How to Build an Annuity Ladder

How to Choose a Good Investment Adviser

How to Downsize Without Moving and Earn Money Too!

How to Draw Down Retirement Assets

How to Choose a Financial Advisor 

How to Find Jobs Late in Life 

How to Fix Your Retirement Savings Shortfall

How to Increase Your Retirement Income

How to Manage Your Retirement Funds Yourself

How to Pass On Your Digital Assets When You Die

How to Prepare Financially for Retirement 

How to Publish Your Autobiography for Free 

How to Report a Scam or Fraud

If Grandkids Call for Money - Grandparent Scam 

Important Medicare Tips for Boomers

Important Dates for Baby Boomers in 2014 

Investigate Exchange Rates Before Moving Overseas 

Is it Time to Retire?  

Jobs for Workers Over 50

Keeping Track of New IRA Rules

Keep the Holidays Affordable 

Living on Social Security in the US 

Low Investment Costs on Retirement Funds can Save You Money 

Make Your Money Last the Rest of Your Life

Maximize Your Social Security Benefits for an Easier Retirement 


Senior Discounts - Use Them Wherever You Go

Seniors Embrace Technology and Smartphones

Seniors - Save Money on Almost Everything!

Sexism After Retirement 

Share Your Experience and Make Money on InfoBarrel

Shocking Financial Facts about Retirement

Shop Online Safely and Conveniently

Short on Retirement Savings 

Should You Retire with a Mortgage? 

Should You Rollover Your 401(k) Into an IRA?

Should You Use a Robot Money Management Advisor? 

Simplifying Your Life for Retirement 

Social Security and Remarriage 

Social Security Benefit Changes (2016)

Social Security Changes in 2013

SSI - Supplemental Security Income - Do You Qualify? 

Start an Online Business for Retirement Income

Stop Scammers, Stop Fraud and Report It - Learn How! 

Ten Ways to Make Money After Retirement

The Fifteen Most Popular Retirement Stories of 2013

The Free Cancer Screening SCAM - Do Not Fall For It!

The Retirement Income Red Zone

Top Retirement Posts of 2018 

Top Retirement Posts of 2019 - Health, Dementia and Money on the Minds of Retirees

Monday, March 11, 2013

Great Places for Boomers to Retire Overseas

One of the most requested topics on this blog has been for articles about good places to retire overseas.  As a result, over the past decade I have researched a number of possible locations and written articles about ones that may interest my readers.  You'll find links to all of these articles below.

Every year thousands of Baby Boomers make the decision to retire overseas.  There are many issues they consider in making this decision.  One reason that is frequently mentioned is the low cost of living in a number of other countries.  Americans are often attracted by the idea that they can live in luxury, or at least in comfort, in an exotic location.  This is especially true if they are worried that they can just barely survive on their retirement income in the United States.

Other people decide to retire abroad because they want to try something different or live in an romantic, tropical location.  They want to experience new experiences during those first few years after they stop working, while they are still healthy and active.

You will find articles here about the best places to retire abroad, including in Panama, Costa Rica, Thailand, Ecuador and other countries.  There is also an article about some of the U.S. territories where Americans would like to retire.

No matter why Americans choose to retire overseas, there are also some general considerations people need to think about when they make that decision, including the risks and how to access travel warnings, and readers will find helpful articles below on those topics, too.  I ALWAYS recommend that people should talk to a Realtor, tax accountant and lawyer in the country where they are moving, so they learn as much as possible about the laws, taxes, healthcare situation, and rules they must follow if they want to work or buy property.

According to a friend of mine who lives in Switzerland, " I would suggest to go to talk to the local consulate, because Realtors in Spain or Italy are not really qualified to give you the necessary information you know and they would lie to sell you the property. In Italy I would go to talk with a "Commercialista" and a "Notary" those are the best placed to know exactly how much you have to pay on your property, income taxes and so on."


 If you are interested in retiring abroad, check out the article links below.

Index of Articles about Great Places for Boomers to Retire Overseas

American Retirement Opportunities in Borneo Malaysia

Americans Retiring in Panama

Americans Retiring in Vietnam

Avoid International Problems When Retiring Overseas

Best Places to Retire Outside the US 

Best Places to Retire Overseas from Live and Invest Overseas

Cheapest Countries for Retirement 

Costa Rica Has Become a Top Retirement Destination

Five Places to Retire Overseas - What to Consider 

Risks of Retiring in Mexico and Other Countries

Step Program for Overseas Travelers

The Risks of Living Abroad

When Grandkids Live Far Away

Why Retire in Puerto Rico, The US Virgin Islands or Guam


You may also be interested in checking out these other index articles or use the tabs at the top of the page:

Gifts, Travel and Family Relationships

Great Places to Retire in the United States

Health and Medical Topics for Baby Boomers

Money and Financial Planning for Retirement

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Photo of Panama courtesy of

As always, you can contact the author of this blog by leaving a comment at the end of any post. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Great Places to Retire in the United States

A significant percentage of Baby Boomers will retire in the United States, either in their current area or somewhere new.  Before making a final decision, they want to know more about the available choices ... and there are thousands!  Below you will find links to dozens of articles that have been written on this blog about a wide selection of retirement options in the United States.

These articles include information about the best cities to retire, cheap places to retire, sunny places to retire, wonderful age-restricted retirement communities, top builders of retirement communities, niche retirement communities, and more.  The articles have featured neighborhoods in virtually every region of the United States and more articles in this category are added frequently.

Index of Articles about Great Places to Retire in the United States

Advantages and Disadvantages of Over 55 Retirement Communities

Affordable California Coastal Retirement Communities

Affordable Retirement Cities with Pleasant Climates  

Age in Place - Retire Where You Live Now

Age in Place Villages Provide Resources in Your Neighborhood

Are You a Retirement Planner, Procrastinator or Crasher?

Baby Boomers Moving Downtown and Uptown

Benefits of Senior Roommates

Best Cold Climate Areas for Retirement 

Best Places to Retire in Pennsylvania

Best Places to Retire in the United States on $100 a Day

Best Places to Retire on $40,000 a Year

Best Retirement Communities in the U.S. per MSN Money

Best Senior Housing Choices for Aging Boomers 

Best States for Retirement, per Moneywise

California Active Adult Retirement Communities 

Camper and RV Travel Job - How to Survive Financially on the Road 

Cheap But Risky Timber Pines Florida Retirement Homes

Cheap Places to Retire

Choosing a Continuing Care Retirement Community

Colonial Heritage near Historic Williamsburg, Virginia

Cresswind at Lake Lanier Active Adult Community 

Delaware Retirement Ideas 

Downsizing Tips for Seniors - How to Handle the Change 

Finding Niche Retirement Communities

Garden Park at Daybreak - Fabulous Senior Living in Utah

Garden Spot Village Community for Seniors in PA

Gavilan for Retirees in Rancho Mission Viejo, California

Get Paid to Retire in These Locations 

Golf Cart Friendly Retirement Communities  

Golf Carts vs Golf Cars for Retirees 

Granny Flats vs. Nursing Homes: Could Seniors be Safer Near Their Families?

Great Places to Retire in the Northern US

Green Valley Arizona Retirement Communities

Heritage Todd Creek in Thornton, Colorado

Holiday Touch Retirement Living Communities

Home Sharing Arrangements with Senior Roommates 

Housing Options When Your Spouse is Ill

How Seniors Can Downsize Successfully 

How to Overcome Resistance to Assisted Living 

How to Qualify to Move into a Retirement Community

Kolter Planned Communities for Retirees

Laguna Woods Village Active Adult Community 

Laguna Woods Village Statistics and Amenities

Leesburg, Florida Affordable Retirement Communities

Lennar, Pulte and Centerline Multigenerational Homes

Lake Ashton Florida Active Adult Community 

Life Plan or Continuing Care Communities - What Levels of Care do They Offer?

Livable Communities for Retirement 

Living in an RV after Retirement 

Margaritaville Retirement Communities

Meritage Homes Adult Communities in Arizona

Minto Homes - Florida Retirement Communities

Money Magazine Best Places to Retire

Multigenerational Families Living Together Again

Niche Retirement Community for Rock and Roll Musicians 

Over 55 Retirement Communities by Del Webb

Over 55 Retirement Communities by Four Seasons 

Popular Retirement Communities in the United States 

Popular Places to Retire 

Recreation in Retirement Communities

Retire in a University or College Town - Affordable and Fun! 

Retirement Communities in Maine

Retirement Housing for Aging Alone - Are You Prepared for the Future? 

Retirement Living in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley 

Retire to Friendly Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Retire to Robson Ranch near Dallas, TX 

Senior Living Communities for Baby Boomers 

Senior Living in a Med Cottage or Granny Pod

Should You Move or Age in Place When You Retire?

Soleil Laurel Canyon Active Adult Community in Georgia

Sonata Senior Living in Florida 

Starting Over in New Retirement Destinations

Sun City Texas is a Premier Retirement Destination

Sun City Shadow Hills in Indio, California

Tellico Village Retirement Community 


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Advantages and Disadvantages of Over 55 Retirement Communities

My husband and I moved to Laguna Woods Village, a popular over 55 retirement community in California, eight years ago and never regretted the decision.  We enjoy the lifestyle, the activities, and the other people we have met since we moved here.  We feel safe, and expect to live in this community, or a similar one, until we are ready for the nursing home!

However, not all of our friends have made the same decision.  In fact, when I mention to them how much we enjoy living in our community, they are often adamant that they would never consider moving to a retirement community.  On several occasions I have asked them to tell me why they feel so strongly about not moving into an age restricted community, since there are several of them in the area.  You will see their reasons further on in this article.

If you are trying to decide whether an over-55 retirement community for active adults would be the right lifestyle for you, here are some of the reasons people decide that they either want to live in one, or do not want to live in one.

The Advantages of Retirement Communities

Access to a wide variety of affordable activities is the number one advantage mentioned by people who like to live in retirement communities.  Depending on where you live, you may have easy access to golf, tennis, swimming, art studios, woodworking shops, garden plots, live theater, clubs and social activities.

Security is the second most common reason many people give for wanting to live in an age-restricted community.  The majority of retirement communities are gated and many also have private security that is a visible presence in the neighborhood.  In addition, with so many residents home during the day, someone is almost certain to be aware if thieves try to break into a home.

Other reasons given for living in a retirement community include:

They are usually near medical facilities;
Most residents are quiet, without loud teens or social events in the neighborhood;
There are opportunities to meet other people in your age group;
The housing is typically designed to provide easy access for the elderly and handicapped.

The Disadvantages of Retirement Communities

The number one reason people have given me for not wanting to live in a retirement community is that they are happy living in their current home or neighborhood where they have lived for a number of years.  If you have close ties to your neighbors and your community, you may see no reason to move to a new community where you would have to form new relationships.

Another reason people have mentioned is the fact that they have adult children or grandchildren who are living with them, and they know these family members would not be welcome in an age-restricted retirement community.  

Even when they do not have young people living with them, some people like living in a community where there are mixed ages.  They enjoy seeing children in their neighborhood, as well as young couples who are just starting out.

Another group of people, especially those in their 50's and early 60's, have expressed the opinion that they believe the residents of retirement communities are "old" and they do not want to live with all those old people.  Often these people view themselves as too young to live with other people in their 60's, 70's or older.

A final reason I have heard is that the Homeowners Association fees in many retirement communities are a little high.  All that easy access to golf, luxurious clubhouses and "free" amenities does not come cheap.  If people do not play golf, or they do not think they will use the other services, they sometimes feel that paying a large association fee is not worth it.

Where Should You Live After Retirement?

There is no answer that is right for everyone.  Whatever you decide is perfectly valid.  If you are happy where you currently live, or if you live in a household with an extended family, you may not want to move to a retirement community.  

On the other hand, if you want to try some new experiences and live somewhere with enhanced security, then an over-55 community may be the right choice for you.

Look over the reasons that others have used to make their decision, and you will know which choice is right for you.

If you are looking for more ideas about where to retire, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of this page to find links to hundreds of additional articles.

If  you do decide you want to live in a retirement community, here are a few articles that may interest you:

Over 55 Retirement Communities by Del Webb
Over 55 Retirement Communities by Four Seasons
Sun City Texas is a Premier Retirement Destination
Tellico Village Retirement Community
Laguna Woods Village Active Adult Community

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Phone of clubhouse in Laguna Woods Village taken by author.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tests to Predict Your Longevity

How healthy are you?  Is there a way to predict your longevity?  In recent years, scientists have discovered some interesting clues that will help us understand how long we might expect to live.

The best thing about these longevity tests is that we can use these tests to improve our health.  In other words, if you discover that you do not do well on one of these tests, you can work to improve your score and your overall physical well-being, at the same time.

Walking Speed and Longevity

According to a January 4, 2011 article on entitled "Walking Speed Predicts Life Expectancy of Older Adults," the walking speed of people over the age of 65 is a reliable marker for their general health and longevity.

This means that the faster your natural gate when you are walking, the more likely you are to be alive in the next five or ten years.  This was based on the analysis of data at the University of Pittsburgh's Division of Geriatric Medicine.

The researchers determined that people with an average life expectancy walked at about 0.8 meters per second.  If they walked at a rate of 1.0 meter per second, their life expectancy was longer than average.  Those who walked at a slower than average pace tended to have a shorter life expectancy.

Of course, this test will not be accurate if the only time you walk fast is when you are taking the test.  Instead, if you notice that you normally tend to walk slowly, you may want to put some effort into gradually increasing your speed.  This will improve the aerobic workout you get when you are walking around in the normal course of your day and, consequently, your general health.

Ability to Rise Unaided from the Floor Predicts Longevity

As reported in the article "Simple Test Predicts Longevity" at, another test that appears to estimate our longevity is our ability to sit on the floor and then stand up again using as little support as possible.  How long it took to stand up was not measured.  However, the amount of outside support needed was scored.  When people needed to brace themselves with a hand, a knee or both, they lost points.  If they looked wobbly, they also lost points.

About half of the study participants between the ages of 76 and 80 scored 0 to 3 on a 10 point scale.  In contrast, about 70 percent of those under the age of 60 received high scores of 8, 9 and 10.  This means that they only needed a modest amount of support, such as briefly placing a hand on the floor or on their knee.

Those who scored 3 or below had a 6.5 times higher death rate over the next six years than those who scored 8 or higher. People who scored between 3.5 and 5.5 were about 3.8 times more likely to die than those with the highest scores.  Those who scored between 6 and 7.4 were 1.8 times as likely to die than those who had scored higher.

The bottom line was that a one point improvement in the subject's sitting-to-rising score correlated to a  21 percent decrease in their mortality or death risk.  The lesson to be learned from this test is that people who have stronger legs and core muscles tend to live longer.  These are muscles that can be strengthened with weight training, either in a gym or by using hand weights and performing common exercises in a class or at home.  Again, putting some effort into improving your core and leg strength can also translate to a longer lifespan.

Why Do These Longevity Tests Work?

These tests give doctors important clues to your overall health and fitness.   Our fitness level is closely associated with our survival rate.  In related studies, it has been shown that having body flexibility, muscle strength, coordination and a high strength to body weight ratio are also important indicators of our fitness.  For example, people who are flexible enough to touch their toes and perform similar stretches also tend to have more flexible arteries.  This is one indicator of a healthy cardiovascular system.  Doing yoga stretches can help improve our health in this area.

Having good balance is also an important indicator of our health.  In addition, it has been shown that improving the balance of older people helps to protect them from falls and related injuries.  Since illnesses related to falls are one of the leading causes of death in senior citizens, having good balance can improve our longevity.

The retirement community where I live offers special balance classes.  In addition, many of the yoga and aerobic classes in our community are also designed to help the participants improve their balance, flexibility and core muscle strength.  This shows how important it is to continue to get exercise on a regular basis no matter how old we are.  In fact, some residents of our community who are over 100 years old continue to go to the gym every day.  This should be a lesson to the rest of us!

Researchers who performed the longevity studies stressed that these tests were not a fail-proof system of  determining your personal life expectancy.  Just as people with high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels may live longer than expected, or people who seem to be in perfect health may die suddenly and unexpectedly, these tests are not a guarantee that you will either die soon or live a long time.  However, they are thought-provoking and helpful in motivating us to improve our fitness levels.

If you are interested in improving your health and fitness so that you score better on these tests, take up activities such as walking, yoga, swimming and weight training.

If you are looking for more health and retirement information, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

You may also be interested in reading:

Sexually Transmitted Diseases after Age 50
Aging and Tips to Prevent Hip Injuries
Alzheimers Symptoms, Risk Factors and Treatment Options
Exercises that Help Fibromyalgia

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Photo courtesy of