You’ve saved up for retirement, what about your quality of life?

Radio show addresses quality of life issues for baby boomers, seniors Story Tools Email this story | Print By MICHELLE SHELDONE michelle.sheldone@scripps.com November 26, 2006 Baby boomers and senior citizens throughout South Florida can tune in to an AM radio talk show designed to help improve their quality of life.
Jupiter resident Ron Kauffman, on WBZT 1230’s “Senior Lifestyles,” brings in guest experts to address issues of health, wealth and lifestyle issues.
“The idea is to impact their lives in such a way they can actually measure (it by) a reduction in doctor’s visits.
The Clear Channel program, which earned Kauffman a Southeastern Area Agencies on Aging 2006 Positive Images of Aging Award, is part of his Senior Lifestyles Intelligent Talk Radio nonprofit organization and also is scheduled next week to begin airing in the Carolinas.
Through the nonprofit, Kauffman is seeking grants and contributions for in-person fitness and nutrition programs he’d like to launch with partners like Jewish Family Services of Broward County, who would provide the venues and the audience and he would provide the experts.
The program has addressed serious topics like Alzheimer’s, health insurance and retirement finances — but two of the most popular segments were about life coaching and how to purchase wines.

TUNING IN

• “Senior Lifestyles” talk show airs from 3:05 to 4 p.m., on WBZT 1230 AM.

• A daily 12-minute Boomer and Senior LifeStyles Update airs on
this same station during the 7 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday drive
time.

• The program reaches Miami-Dade County through Stuart and is
scheduled next week also to air on AM-1160 WJFJ from Asheville, N.C.,
to Spartanburg, S.C.

• For more information, visit www.seniorlifestyles.org

Radio show addresses quality of life issues for baby boomers
TCPalm,?FL?- 5 hours ago
addressed serious topics like Alzheimer’s, health insurance and retirement finances — but two of the most popular segments were about life coaching and how
Radio talk show paying attention to senior citizens Sun-Sentinel.com
all 3 news articles

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Best Places to Retire in Asia

Best Places to Retire in Asia

Have you included Asia in your list of best places to retire.

Many countries standard of living is greatly improving along with rapidly expanding economies which leads to many opportunities for the right person with good ideas.

Read more about the best places to retire in Asia.

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Generation X’s retirement challenges

Generation X’s retirement challenges
If you have children or grandchildren born in “Generation X” — loosely defined as those people born between 1965 and 1980 — you know they still have a long time to go before retirement.

But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be thinking about retirement — and saving for it.
Unfortunately, many members of the Gen-X cohort are doing a poor job of retirement planning.
About half of all workers born between 1965 and 1972 are “at risk” of having too little money to maintain their standard of living during retirement, according to the National Retirement Risk Index created by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.
(This study didn’t include the younger Gen-Xers because their financial histories are not considered long enough to yield meaningful interpretations of future behavior.)
The Retirement Risk Index uses a variety of variables to come up with its projections, but they pretty much boil down to one conclusion: Older Gen-Xers aren’t saving enough to pay for the type of retirement they’d like to have.
If you think your child or grandchild — let’s call her “Jen” — might be in the low-savings group, what changes can you encourage her to make to reach a different — and more favorable — destination?
Gen-Xers have got one really good asset on their side: time.
Even the first wave of Generation X members have got roughly 25 years until reaching the “typical” retirement age of 65.
That means Jen still has time to make some moves that can help her make good progress toward her retirement goals — if she doesn’t wait too long.
· Take advantage of retirement savings opportunities.
Her money will have an opportunity to grow on a tax-deferred basis, and her contributions are typically made with pre-tax dollars, which means the more she puts in, the lower her adjustable gross income.
Ideally, Jen should contribute as much as she can afford, increase her contributions whenever she gets a raise, and spread her money among the range of investments available in her plan.
Also, if Jen can afford it, she should contribute to a Roth or traditional IRA every year.
Both offer tax advantages and can be funded with money going into virtually any investment — stocks, bonds, government securities, etc.
We all have different visions of the ideal retirement.
While Jen might want to work until 65 and then open a small business, her friend might want to retire early and travel the world.
Consequently, the amount Jen will need to save — and even the investment philosophy she follows — should be based on her individual retirement goals.
It’s not always so easy to create and maintain long-term investment strategies.
Which investments are right for Jen’s individual needs?
When should she make changes to her portfolio?
A financial professional can help Jen answer these and many other questions that will arise over the years.
For people in Jen’s age group, retirement may seem like a distant vision.
But it’s moving closer every day — and she’ll want to be ready when it finally arrives.
Encourage her to take the steps necessary to prepare herself.

‘Generation X’ faces its own retirement challenges (The Payson Roundup)

If you have children or grandchildren born in “Generation X” — loosely defined as those people born between 1965 and 1980 — you know they still have a long time to go before retirement. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be thinking about retirement — and saving for it.

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Malaysia: Cheapest Tropical Country For Retirement

Malaysia: Cheapest Tropical Country For Retirement

One of the most promising and cheapest places to retire not just in Southeast Asia but in the whole world is the tropical paradise of the land of Malays, Malaysia.
Apart from Thailand, Japan, China and South Korea, Malaysia is a favorite tourist destination in Asia and now it is regarded as an excellent place for retirement because of its low cost of living.
Nowadays, the country is being considered as an alternative retirement haven, rivaling other best and cheap places to retire like Canada, France, England, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, India, and Taiwan.
Many might think of a metropolis full of light and skyscrapers when talking about Malaysia, especially its capital Kuala Lumpur, but this country offers a simple life and a relaxing experience for retirees who want to enjoy their life away from the urban world.
Malaysia is a very conducive tropical country for expatriates who love warm, sunny and rainy seasons as well.
This cradle of Malay race offers not just the typical grandeur and extravagance of what its cities and those highly recommended localities evidently show, but natural wonders and the very warm atmosphere.
Malaysians are very hospitable and friendly, too, that is why a lot of British, American, Australians, Canadians and even other Asians prefer to live here.
Based from the accounts of numerous tourists, frequent visitors and immigrants, this booming country in the southeast portion of the biggest continent in the world has the best beaches and breathtaking coastal islands.
This is typical of Asia you might say as Malaysia’s own tourism catchphrase “Malaysia, Truly Asia.”
But compared to other tropical countries in Asia, Malaysia is downright less expensive; thus, it is adjudged as one of the cheap places to retire.
Unlike the luxurious and very expensive cost of living in London, Tokyo, Singapore, Paris, New York, Illinois, as well as those in Northern Ireland, Sydney (as part of their tourism package), Malaysia has remain frugal and in many ways economical in its tourism and other economic endeavors.
Just try to weigh and consider the given actual cost of 2-bedroom rental apartments begins at around $225 per month and 3-bedroom houses start at $35,000.
While compared to the known mega cities and metropolis, the prices and expenses range from $500 even up to $750 per month or could even higher depending on the seasons and other possible demands or occasions in the place.
But of course, comparable housing in expatriate communities or the luxurious homes that date from British colonial period are priced higher.
However, again, compared to those in Singapore, London, and the romantic Paris, it is not just considerably cheaper but surprisingly, cheaper.
Malaysia offers more than a treat for birthdays, holidays, honeymoons, and of course for a different kind of retirement.
If you are looking for cheap places to retire, inexpensive getaway destinations and superb adventure, Malaysia is waiting for you.
Malaysia, as the cheapest tropical country to spend one’s retirement, has a very peculiar yet very inviting tropical climate that blends well with its “cheap” package for tourism.
Not only that, Malaysia takes pride of rich culture and arts than explicitly show its wide diversity of its people.
Malaysia is a melting pot of foreign and indigenous people, so anyone can easily find affinity with Malaysians.
Aside from being one of the cheap places to retire, this could influence other retirees to settle here for good.
More cheap places to retire

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Social Security Traps to avoid


Social Security Traps to avoid

Scary Scenarios and Your Retirement Barbara Whelehan discusses the dire picture that has been painted about boomers’ retirement — and how most folks just don’t want to hear about it.
* Even though Medicare starts at age 65 (assuming you’re eligible), full Social Security benefits start later for those people born after 1938.
* If you choose to wait to take benefits until after age 65, don’t forget to apply for Medicare about three months before you turn age 65.
* Not everyone is eligible for Social Security benefits.
You can earn four credits a year, so basically you have to have your own earnings history for 10 years, although it doesn’t have to be consecutive years.
* If your income is more than $25,000 single (or $32,000 married filing jointly) and you’re receiving Social Security benefits, you’ll pay income tax on 50 percent of your Social Security benefits.
However, if your income is more than $34,000 (single) or $44,000 (married filing jointly), you may have to pay income tax on 85 percent of your benefit.
See IRS Publication 915 for more on how to calculate the tax on your benefits.
* If you take Social Security early at age 62, you’ll not only limit your own benefit, but those of your spouse, too (assuming both of you are eligible using one spouse’s earnings history).
* If you are working, are younger than full retirement age, are earning more than $12,480 (2006), and are taking Social Security benefits, you’ll actually lose $1 for every $2 you earn above $12,480.
In the year when you reach your full retirement age, you’ll lose $1 for every $3 you earn above $33,240 (2006).
At full retirement age, you can work and not lose any of your benefits (although if you keep working to age 70, you’ll get even higher benefits).
* If you are divorced and receiving benefits based on your ex-spouse’s earnings history, your benefits stop if you remarry.
* If you go to prison, your benefits stop (although your dependents can collect their benefits).
* You can continue to collect Social Security benefits even if you retire abroad unless you live in Cuba or North Korea.
Social Security was never intended to cover all of your retirement needs.

But it can play an important role in your retirement income, and it’s to your benefit to understand the rules.

Social Security Tips and Traps (ThirdAge)

No matter what age you are now, you probably think about Social Security benefits as they relate to your retirement planning. If you are younger, you may choose to run retirement projections with reduced or no benefits.

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Social Security Tips

Social Security Tips
No matter what age you are now, you probably think about Social Security benefits as they relate to your retirement planning.
If you are younger, you may choose to run retirement projections with reduced or no benefits.
For those of you who are middle-aged to retirement-aged, Social Security will probably be a piece of your retirement picture.
Lots of questions arise about Social Security as individuals go through many of life’s changes including divorce, phasing into retirement, or dealing with the death of a spouse.
Use these tips and to educate yourself about your options.
* When you get your annual estimate of Social Security benefits, check to make sure your earnings history is accurate.
Everyone age 25 and older should be receiving an annual statement.
If you suspect something is wrong, contact your local Social Security office to correct any inaccuracies.
* If both spouses work, each is entitled to a benefit based on his or her own earnings history.
However, the spouse with lower benefits is entitled to the greater of 50 percent of his or her spouse’s benefit or his or her own benefit.
* If you did an analysis showing that taking lower benefits at age 62 broke even with waiting to take higher benefits at age 65, that break-even age would be approximately 78.
So, if you think you’ll live past age 78, you may want to wait until full retirement age to start taking benefits.
Of course, no one knows just how long they’ll live, so look at your family health history and your own health situation to make a realistic guess.
* You can choose direct deposits at your bank for your Social Security benefits and never have to worry about a check getting lost in the mail.
* If your spouse has a pension from his or her former employer that will pay over his or her life only, delay taking Social Security so you’ll get the maximum benefit for your own lifetime.
* If you are divorced and your ex-spouse has remarried, both you and the new spouse can collect benefits based on the ex-spouse’s earnings history provided you were married at least 10 years and you apply for benefits after age 62.
* If you are still working late in life, delay taking benefits until age 70.
Social Security will pay a premium above the full benefit if you wait until age 70 to take benefits.

Social Security Tips and Traps (ThirdAge)

No matter what age you are now, you probably think about Social Security benefits as they relate to your retirement planning. If you are younger, you may choose to run retirement projections with reduced or no benefits.

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New Congress could mean good news for your retirement plans

The arrival of a newly configured Congress next year all but ensures that any plan to change Social Security to provide personal investment accounts has been abandoned.
And, with more and more companies opting out of defined benefit or traditional pension plans, the onus for retirement planning falls squarely on the shoulders of workers.
But the new Congress will have the opportunity to provide workers with a number of tax-advantaged programs that will encourage them to pump up their savings and investing efforts.
When the new Congress goes to work in January, it will be presented with a number of proposals to boost savings.
Whether or not its members have the moxie to act could determine the path to retirement security for many households.
For instance, not all workers have the opportunity to contribute to an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
So, legislation has been proposed to allow workers to have payroll deductions steered directly into individual retirement accounts.
The sponsor of the legislation says it will be of prime benefit to women and small-business owners.
If people have money deducted from their paychecks, it will be easier to begin the process of building a nest egg.
After all, once you cash your check, there is less likelihood that you will make the effort to fund a retirement account.
Another perennial proposal is to allow investors to defer taxes on dividends and capital gains that are reinvested in mutual funds.
Again, give people a tax incentive to save, and they will take it.
How about incentives to save for your child’s education?
We’ve already heard that Congress will address the higher costs of higher education.
One proposal is to create something called a 401 Kids Family Savings Account.
Money set aside at the birth of a child would be allowed to grow tax-free and could be used for qualified expenses such as financing college, buying a home or saving for retirement.
The idea behind all of these proposals is simple: Give Americans an incentive to save, and they will.
We learned that in the 1980s, when Congress put restrictions on who can make tax-deductible contributions to IRAs.
It didn’t take very long for folks to figure out that these accounts didn’t make much sense if they were no longer tax-friendly.
After all, why put your money in a vehicle with high fees and penalties if you need to withdraw before reaching the arbitrary age of retirement?
That really was the incentive for people to switch over to employer-sponsored plans such as 401(k)s, which offer tax incentives.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the ball is in your court when it comes to funding retirement.

Change in Congress could mean savings boosters
North County Times,?CA?- Nov 11, 2006
And, with more and more companies opting out of defined benefit or traditional pension plans, the onus for retirement planning falls squarely on the shoulders

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Retire overseas to Cuba – a very cheap place to retire

Retire overseas to Cuba – a very cheap place to retire
Retiring in a country far away the busy urban life has increasingly become a very common and exciting trend among retirees.

Various destinations across the globe from North America to the South, and from Europe to Asia have been included in the list of the best countries for retirement.
The cost of living, however in those countries have gone higher and higher as years passed by and so retirees now prefer the cheap places to retire, which are mostly newly discovered and underdeveloped tourist destinations.
If you have lived and toiled all your life amidst the skyscrapers in a highly industrial city, you must be yearning to breathe in fresh air by now, to feel the warmth of white sand stretching along the turquoise waters that glitter under the sun, and to behold the soothing sight of palm trees gently swaying with the cool see breeze.
You must be dreaming of the Caribbean Islands.
These have been long known as best tourist destinations, but what about as cheap places to retire?
The Caribbean Islands’ breathtaking beaches and fascinating scenery welcome a large number of foreigners to go there for a vacation and convince many who are deeply captivated by islands’ beauty to settle there for good.
However, since the Caribbean Islands have been discovered as perfect haven for expatriates who long for a laid-back and stress-free life, development soared tremendously, making them tropical versions of major US cities.
Hotels, lands and resorts have become over-priced and certainly, they are not too inviting for those who are looking for cheap places to retire.
But there are still some islands that have not lost their pristine beauty and natural charm; among them is Cuba, located 145 km or 90 mi south of Florida Straits of the United States.
This largest Caribbean island-state is considered as one of the cheap places to retire as it is stripped of the extravagance, luxury and artificiality brought about by excessive development.
Low cost of living must be one of your requirements in looking for cheap places to retire; Cuba surely passes this requirement.
Cuba may be one of the cheap places to retire but it’s definitely not inferior in terms of amenities you would need in your retirement.
For your recreation, your choices range from snorkeling to deep-see fishing, scuba diving, cockfighting, gardening and farming.
You can feel young and rejuvenated in the city’s famous bars, hotels and restaurants that offer best forms of entertainment.
Havana City, the capital of Cuba takes pride of the best transportation systems in the Caribbean.
Cuba’s sub islands likewise take pride of the best ports.
Also, one of the reasons why Cuba is one of the cheap places to retire is their type of government, which is one-party Communism.
All aspects of the state’s national life are being administered by the Communist government.
It also oversees major industries in Cuba, including the commodities or products each industry must produce.
It favors production of collective goods rather than consumer goods, which gives assurance that all basic needs are met.
If you are brining along with you grandchildren or planning to adopt, bringing them to school is never a problem in Cuba.

Few Americans were able to visit Cuba because the U.S. government has restricted US citizens from going there, but for Europeans, Asians and other Latin American expatriates, this country can be considered as one of the best and the cheapest places to retire.

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A good retirement in the works?

Will you have a good retirement?

Here’s a summary of this article that says no.
The baby boomers will soon be on the cusp of an existential realization — in most cases, their retirement savings are not going to be up to the task of providing them comfort in old age, and social security and medicare may not supplement their funds enough.
Of this approaching tsunami, Dr. Michael Berry, writing in his daily e-Letter Morning Notes unequivocally states: “I think that Congress doesn’t realize the true extent of the necessary forthcoming changes.
Pension benefits will continue to be stripped away — don’t count on them.
Assume that you will get nothing from your government except tougher retirement legislation.
Start by assuming more personal responsibility for your retirement.
An appropriate allocation of your current portfolio is a realistic way for you to address the gray world that is coming.
Please consider, as part of your planning, the legacy you must provide for you family and loved ones.
Retirement planning does not end with your security.
Teaching your children and grandchildren, who will be faced with a tougher retirement in the 2030 to 2070 timeframe, how to care for themselves is also critically important.”

BABY BOOMERS’ RETIREMENT FUNDS FALTER
Free Market News Network,? FL? – Nov 9, 2006
Please consider, as part of your planning, the legacy you must provide for you family and loved ones. Retirement planning does not end with your security.

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Retirement planning in your 30s and 40s

Retirement planning in your 30s and 40s

Even though it may seem as if it’s a long way off, the time to retire can be upon you before you know it.
And the better prepared you are for it financially, the more likely you are to enjoy it.
This is the time when other life events — getting married, buying a home, having children, etc. — can compete for more of your income, even as your income is, it is hoped, rising.
It’s all too easy to allow these other priorities to crowd out your retirement savings — but don’t let that happen!
Some people think the home they own will be their main source of retirement savings.
But there are significant risks in relying on your home equity as your long-term retirement income plan: The home may not appreciate, it may be costly to sell, and you will still need to consider alternative living arrangements and costs.
Also, some people with children are tempted to stop saving for their retirement in favor of putting money away for their children’s college educations, which are also important.
What you need to consider is that, while there are financial alternatives, such as loans, scholarships, etc, to help pay education costs, there are no such programs available to pay for your retirement.
Frequently, saving for retirement gets put on hold when a two-income household suddenly becomes a one-income household, such as happens often upon the birth of children.
People who do this, even if only for a few years, need to continue to accumulate retirement savings in their name.
One way is to open and contribute to a Spousal IRA.
As long as a married individual has a spouse who is working and earning an income, the individual in this situation should consider opening and contributing to a Spousal IRA, into which his or her income-earning spouse can contribute up to $4,000 per year ($5,000 if 50 or older).
Spousal IRAs enable non-earning individuals to continue to accumulate retirement savings in their own retirement accounts, which provides additional individual retirement security in the event of divorce.
Also, as your income grows, more of it will be included in higher tax brackets.
It enables plan participants to set up future increases in their contributions to coincide with expected pay increases and, when set up, they’re automatically processed.
If you find that the increase in savings wasn’t leaving you enough net pay to get by on, then just log on to the plan’s Web site or call the service center to reduce the increase a bit.
Since retirement is still a long time away, your retirement savings should still be invested mostly in stock funds.
But now that your balance is larger, diversification becomes more important.
Chances are you will experience a stock market downturn.
If the stock market falls 10 percent, a $100,000 portfolio invested 100 percent in stocks will fall in value by $10,000.
On the other hand, if your portfolio was invested 75 percent in stocks, it would only fall $7,500, which would be easier to recover from.
Take the time to review your account and its performance at lease quarterly.
Also review the year-to-date performance of the funds in which you are invested and compare these to their peer-group index performance; that information is provided by most plans.
You also should be rebalancing your account at least annually; this ensures that funds that have grown to a larger proportion of your account are not allowed to become too large a portion, which would increase the risk of your account.
What you should do is rebalance your account funds back to the investment allocation percentages for each of your funds.
So, if your account was allocated 80 percent to stock funds and 20 percent to cash and bond funds, and due to investment performance, it has grown to different proportions, then, by resetting your account each year, you will maintain the allocation percentages you had originally selected.
Many large employer plans also feature an “auto-rebalancing” feature, which you can set either on the plan’s Web site or by calling the plan’s service center.
This automatic rebalancing feature will typically rebalance your account either quarterly or annually, and is typically offered at no cost.

‘Road To Retirement’ Runs Through 30s, 40s (CBS News)

When you’re raising a family, you can be too busy paying all your bills to save for retirement. But, in part two of his series on retirement planning, Ray Martin explains why it’s important for people in their 30s and 40s to do just that.

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