Retirement Planning Advice – Finding The Best Places To Retire

There are basically some things to consider when you are about to retire, one of which is the best place to retire. Check the place and make sure that all of the amenities that you need in order to sustain a comfortable life are present.

Also another primary thing to check is the security of the place; you can ask some locals who eventually stayed in the place for a long time to give you information about the security of the place.

Visit the location more than once. You will never get to hold of the atmosphere if you only visit once, most likely you have to visit the place at least 3 or more times before deciding to move in.

Also check the cities, provinces and metropolitan areas to decide on where to live. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to live there by just pinpointing on the map where to lure.

Learn more of the area by researching, browsing the web, reading comments and suggestions from blogs, travel and leisure guides and other useful resources that will make you up to date and informed of the place.

United States Census map of Overland Park, Kansas

Image via Wikipedia

If your reason for moving to another place for retirement is to pursue a hobby, then it is a good thing to consider but it should not be the only thing to consider because you are going to live there in the place and your not there for just a 3 day vacation. Be careful in selecting the place to move in because if you move in, you might lose some of the things that you have at least enjoyed in your old neighborhood, or the old place where you live is a proximal place for your relatives for gatherings and special events.

These are only few of the things you should consider when you want to move in another place to retire. It takes real time and consideration for this decision before finalizing it. Here are some places that are considered like Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania and Kansas.

Best States to Retire for Military Retirement

Here is some information from one of the states, Kansas. It is one of the best places to retire based on a ‘2010 survey of the best places to retire, one the most common places in Kansas is the city of Overland Park. Many people state that this city is filled with all the amenities that retiring people need and it also filled with park for recreation and relaxation. Kansas is one of the states that are situated at the middle of the country and it was first inhabited by Native Americans, on of which is the Kansa tribe where they got the state’s name and also it was stated that it was named after the Kansas River. Other ideal retirement locations, especially if you are military retiree, include: Austin/Round Rock, Bryan/College Station, Waco, San Angelo, Oklahoma City, Wichita Kansas, Harrisburg/Carlisle, Pittsburgh, Madison, Syracuse, Dayton, New Orleans/Metairie/Kenner and Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater

So the place to retire is very important because this is where you will celebrate you golden ages and where you will build more memories with you and your family so decide wisely.

Can I Afford to Retire Now?

Hello-

This is a question plaguing most baby boomers today.  For those on the cusp of retiring, statistics show they plan on working longer.  For those who have decided to retire, the decision may carry long-term consequences.

If you have a 401K plan, the maximum annual contribution you can make in 2009 is $16,500.  However, if you are over the age of 50 you can contribute a total of $22,000.

If you have an IRA, you can contribute up to $5,000, and for individuals 50 years or older, another $1000 can be added.

The problem with retiring now is that since the market downturn, many people lost a hefty sum of money from their 401K.  So the question is:  How much do you currently have available in your 401K and can you live on the pension and retirement funds during this recession?

The only way to determine this is to go over your financial accounts to assess how much is available and how much you will need to live comfortably.  If you find that you cannot afford retirement now, you may need to postpone it for two to three years.  Since we know that this recession may last well past 2009, it would be a prudent step in your favor to wait.

In addition, if you decide to retire at 62 years of age you can delay receipt of the Social Security benefits until you reach age 66.  Why is this important?  The full benefit at age 66 is approximately $1900.  However, if you decide to collect earlier you can lose $500 per month.

Also consider that if you postpone collecting Social Security, there is an 8% credit for each year you do not receive a check up to the age of 70.  The benefit at age 70 would be approximately $2500.  Therefore, the difference between collecting benefits at age 66 and 70 is $1000 a month.

Yes, there is a lot to consider before taking that last step to retirement.  For one woman who retired at age 57, the loss of pension income was significant.  Moreover, her 401K is far less than what it would have been if she had worked an additional three to four years.

Before you decide to retire, make sure that you have enough money saved to see you through this recession and beyond.  If not, you may find that retirement is not at all what you had envisaged.  In fact, you may have to find another job after retirement just to supplement your pension.

These are difficult times.  Weigh all the factors; think it through carefully and soberly before you sign on the dotted line.

-Adam

Retirment planning tips: 5 Ways to Survive a Recession

Hello-

At first no one wanted to say the “R” word, now it seems every one is trying to say it as much as possible.  It’s disheartening to read about layoff after layoff but you want to be hopeful for the future.  You want to hope that President Elect Obama can lead the country to a brighter future.

Until that happens, here are 5 tips to help you survive the recession that Obama has inherited:

1.  Pay down your debts and look at your investments.  Cut up all credit cards and save one for emergencies only.  Put away enough money to last for a minimum of 18 months.  Open a money market account or a CD.  If you have stocks, don’t sell; ride the tide.  Continue contributing to your 401K plan.  If you are currently contributing to a Variable A Annuity, change it to the Fixed Fund Program which yields 8.25%.

2.  Sit down with your family and revisit the household budget.  Make cuts where necessary, especially in the miscellaneous category.  Refrain from buying unnecessary items such ordering take-out food, magazines, lottery scratches, and other incidental items that add up.  If you tend to dine out once a week, reduce that to once a month.  Bring your own lunch to work.  Use public transportation when you can and/or carpool to work with a friend or neighbor.  Try to complete all outside errands and grocery shopping in one day.

3.  If you have items at home that are gathering dust in the attic or garage, consider selling them on eBay.  Do you have any clothing that is new or slightly used?  If so, you may want to take them to a consignment shop wherein you can sell them for a commission.

4.  Do you love to write?  Can you spare a few hours a day online?  If so, you can earn money writing for blogs and websites.  Webmasters do not have the time to create articles for their websites or blogs, and having a good writer on hand to fulfill that need not only helps them but can also supplement your income substantially.

5.  Look into applying for a second job.  Ask your boss if there is additional work requiring overtime.  If you have teens at home, perhaps they can apply for part-time work after school or on weekends, or assist neighbors by babysitting or dog-walking.

We will all have to buckle down on expenditures during this difficult time.  More importantly, do not panic.  Just do the best you can for you and your family and we will eventually see light at the end of this long, dark tunnel.

We can get through this just like they did back in the Great Depression days.  The financial habits they learned – frugality and thrift – are making a comeback and can make it easier for us to survive this financial crisis we find ourselves in.

-Adam

Healthy Eating For Baby Boomers

Are you a baby boomer? Baby boomers are people who were born after World War II, between 1946 and 1964. Today this generation holds many cultural, political, social and academic positions. In the US, baby boomers dominate the highest median household incomes. These are people who are busy with their various endeavors. That is why the issue of healthy eating is an important aspect in their lifestyle.

At this age, between 42 and 64, many health issues start to appear. Consulting a nutritionist may prove to be beneficial. A solid program of healthy food combination must be drawn up for baby boomers so they can continue tackling their demanding lifestyle.

Boost energy with foods such as pasta, rice, oatmeal, coffee, lentils, water, bananas, sardines, chocolate, steak, almond and yogurt. The thing here is, watch what you eat and everything in moderation. Excess has no place in your diet.

It is recommended too that you eat five small meals a day rather than three full meals. Reason for this is to boost metabolism because your body will get used to digesting your food most parts of the day. Starving yourself wouldn’t do any good because your body can sense it and will stop processing your food as well.

Meditate, calm your nerves and tap your inner strength. This will give you the feeling of well being. It will also help you focus on healthy eating more. When you’re relaxed you don’t have to compensate for any bad mood. Remember those times when you got so depressed that you binge on that rich chocolate cake? You can’t afford to get lost in your fluctuating emotions now. There are health risks.

The right attitude towards your diet combined with moderate exercise can keep your health in check and increase the quality of your life. Do what’s best for you.

Learn more about the best foods to eat

Learn more about superfoods

-Stephanie

5 Things to Look for in a Best Place to Retire

Choosing the best retirement community is one of the most important decisions you will make. There are some very relevant things you need to consider before you choose your new residence.

Here are five important things to look for when shopping around for a retirement community:

1. Environment

When asking yourself what environment you would prefer to live in, you need to determine the impact of climate, access to transport and resources, local culture and the type of home and immediate surroundings. You should also inquire about the number of security personnel that are on patrol 24 hours a day.

2. Cost

Aside from the buy in cost of your retirement home you will also be charged for the community amenities. You need to be clear about what the ongoing fees are as well as any specific charges for additional services or programs. Make sure you understand what services the base price includes, and if fixed costs are set to increase annually, then the contract should state the percentage at which the increases will be calculated.

3. Amenities

The best retirement community will give residents access to a range of facilities like a swimming pool, spa, tennis court, golf course, and games room as well as to different services.

4. Housing

Would you prefer to live in a stand alone house or a small apartment? Different retirement villages offer different types of retirement homes and you need to be clear on what sort of housing you would prefer. If you haven’t lived in an apartment before, choosing to do so in retirement could be a mistake as you will hear sounds through walls and ceilings that you are unused to.

5. Services

Even if you’re in good health, consider choosing a retirement community that has an on call medical and nursing support as well as health care services such as bathing assistance and medication reminders.
Does the facility maintain the grounds around your accommodation or do you have to do it? If they maintain the lawns and gardens will they allow you to do as much maintenance personally as you wish?

If you ask the right questions, you will be able to obtain the necessary information to choose a retirement community you can enjoy for many years to come and avoid the many possible pitfalls innocent retirees can stumble into.

Check out these other sites for more info:

Calculate your retirement income needs

Hello-

While you can calculate your retirement on your own, the best way to obtain an accurate forecast is to seek the services of a financial planner.

A financial planner can be objective about your finances.  He or she can advise you as to the approximate amount of your pension based on the contributions you have made over the years.

Moreover, they will probably advise you to begin contributing the maximum amount of pension contributions the closer you get to retirement age.  This is significant because it can boost your pension earnings more than you know.

In order to receive the best advice, you have to do a little calculating of your own.  The planner may ask when you plan to retire, whether you plan to move to another state, travel, pursue higher education, and what type of lifestyle you hope to maintain.

You also have to take into account your healthcare expenses.  For example, a city worker may have a healthcare plan such as Blue Cross/Blue Shield and GHI (Group Health Incorporated).  This type of insurance is worth approximately $12,000 a year and is a necessary component that can alleviate expenses resulting from ill health.

If you would like to calculate how much you will need for retirement, there are many online calculators you can use.  One is located at: How much you need to retire calculator

You simply enter your current annual income, 70% post-retirement income, expected annual pension, expected annual Social Security payment, current age, age at which you will retire, and life expectancy.  Note these are approximate figures.  The figure of 70% is the amount of your income that one would need to retire comfortably.

Once the calculations are made, you can then proceed to increase your pension contribution, if applicable, and/or begin a savings program outlined by your financial planner that will yield a high rate of interest and allow you to retire knowing there will always be money available to you.

If you are years away from retirement, calculating your pension income now will give you a clear and concise measure of what to expect.  Here is an example of an individual who did not plan well for retirement.  A man retired at age 57.  He contributed less than 10% to his pension and the result is that he now receives under $1000 a month.  Although he did consult a financial planner, the pressure of the job was such that he had to retire early for health reasons.  He is currently working full-time in another position.

Thanks,

Adam

The Best Places to Buy a Home to Retire

Hello-

With the sub-prime mortgage affecting homeowners and home sales, it may or may not be a good time to buy a home.  However, when the housing market begins to level off, you may wish to consider the following cities that are cited as the best places to buy a home to retire:

* Wichita, Kansas.  With a median home price of $157,000, this city has been listed as one of the most affordable cities to buy a home.

* Omaha, Nebraska.  With home sales averaging $226,000, this city has a low unemployment rate.

* Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  This city offers homes for $226,000 as well, and is located east of Philadelphia.  Rich in history and cultural diversity, this may be an excellent choice.  Moreover, it’s about four hours from New York City.

* Madison, Wisconsin.  With a price range of $266,000, Madison has a beautiful landscape and is a friendly city.  With its many museums, among them the Frank Lloyd Wright Museum, this is one place you can truly call home.

* San Antonio, Texas.  This city has home sales averaging $172,000.  It is filled with historic sites such as the Alamo, and the people here are warm and friendly as well.

* Indianapolis, Indiana.  Median home prices average $166,000.  Home to the well-known pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, Indianapolis is also home to the Indy 500, the National Football League’s Colts, and has a diverse culture as well.

* Pittsburgh, Pa.  The home prices here average $149,000.  It is most affordable for retirees.  Home to the Pittsburgh Steelers, it is known for its friendly people and holds its values and traditions close to the heart.  This is a great city for families.

* Dallas, Texas.  At a median price of $205,000, Dallas has the most jobs and housing of all the cities listed.

* Tulsa, Oklahoma.  For $158,000, you can buy a fantastic home in Tulsa.  It has a booming economy due to the energy industry, and is a beautiful place to live with its parks, historic sites, and gardens.  Touted as a great place to raise a family, Tulsa is very affordable in today’s housing market.

If you are considering buying a home that is in foreclosure, take some time and research this method.  Buying a home in foreclosure can create more problems than necessary.  As stated earlier, it may be a good idea to give the housing market time to settle down.  In the meanwhile, you can research the aforementioned cities in depth to determine if they are right for you and your family.

Thanks for reading!

-Adam

For more info:

Best Places Retire

Best Places to Retire

Best Country to Retire

Mexico – one of the best countries to live

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What makes Mexico one of the best countries to live and retire?

First, let’s learn more about Mexico:

Its extensive coastlines include the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Mexico has nice and warm people, unique food, art and archeology, pyramids, museums, Haciendas, 6,000 miles of shoreline, superb architecture and 21 century cities, weather from snow mountains in the Sierras, to rainy jungles in the Southeast and desert in the Northwest, lots of golf courses throughout the country, excellent fishing, world top destinations like Acapulco, Cancun, Cozumel, Los Cabos, and Patzcuaro. Mexico is ranked 7th major destination for foreigner visitors, according to WTO.

Sounds good so far.

What about the sights of Mexico?

Here’s a short video showing some of the scenery around Mexico:

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What about working in Mexico?

Working may require a work visa, which is difficult to get if you just want to freelance for a short time.

Many important headquarters are located throughout the main cities of Mexico. Mexican top corporations like Televisa, Bimbo, Cemex, Telmex, Vitro, are often willing to hire professionals who speak English as their native language as most of the business scene is developed with North American corporations.

An excellent way to get to know and understand more of the country is to do some voluntary work. There are several organizations such as Travel to Teach that arrange work for international volunteers in Mexico and other countries in the region.

Native English speakers can pick up work, as English teachers. The upside is that English speakers with no knowledge of Spanish are sought after, because they will force their students to practice English. The downside is that salaries are somewhat low.

What about money in Mexico?

The currency of Mexico is the peso (MXN). The symbol for pesos is the same as for US dollars, which can be slightly confusing. Prices in dollars (in tourist areas) are labeled “US$” or sport an S with a double stroke. As of May 2008 the exchange rate hovers around $10.20 MXN to $1.00 USD.

US dollars are widely accepted in the far north and in tourist locales elsewhere. Euros are generally not accepted by merchants, and even banks headquartered in Europe may refuse to accept euros for exchange.

Best place to convert USD to pesos is the supermarket. At Pemex gas stations, attendants seem to be private enterprise minded. They will give you 500 pesos of gas and charge you $50 (which is 10.00 mexican to 1.00 dollar). And will readily convert 500 pesos to dollars by multiplying by .105 rather than dividing by 10.5 and thus supplement their hourly wage. Attendants carry a wad of cash and make their own change. While many Pemex stations accept credit cards, especially in locations that have heavy tourist traffic, some do not; travelers who intend to pay by credit card should ask the attendant if the card is accepted before pumping begins.

What about the water in Mexico?

Mexico is so notorious for traveler’s diarrhea that it is often called “Montezuma’s Revenge” (Venganza de Moctezuma). The reason for this is not so much the spicy food but the contamination of the water supply in some of the poorer zones in Mexico. In most of the small towns that are less industrialized, only the poorest Mexicans will drink tap water. The best policy is to only drink bottled or purified water, both of which are readily available. Just like in the USA, in most major Mexican cities the water is purified at the cities’ water company. In most restaurants in these poor zones, the only water served comes from large jugs of purified water. If you get sick visit your local clinic as soon as possible. There is medicine available that will counter the bacteria.

There is so much more to learn about living and retiring in Mexico.  You can read some first hand accounts here

These are just some of the reasons why Mexico is one of the best countries to live and retire to.

Thanks for reading.

Have a great day!

-Adam

Source.

America’s best places to live for 2008

Hello-

Money Magazine just came out with their annual best places to live in America issue this month.

Here’s the top 10:

America's best places to live 2008

I was looking at how they picked the winners.  You can read their selection process here.

Last year they looked at small towns.  This year, the towns had populations between 50,000 and 300,000.

So if you’re looking to live and retire in a bigger town then this year’s picks will serve you well.

Being from Texas, I was proud to see that 13 of the top 100 places to live were in Texas.  Yeehaw!

That just goes to show that Texas is a great place to live, even if we have to deal with the Dallas Cowboys struggles.  :o)

Check out Money Magazine’s best places to live section and use their free tool to help you find your best place.  Click here

They also offer tips on what to look for when selecting a place for you to live and retire.

Namely, you want to look at home prices, good schools, job growth, weather, crime, activities and leisure options, cost of living, transportation and medical care.

In the end though, it all comes down to what you like and what makes you happy.  You can just use guides like this to add or take away from your list of places to move and then go from there.

Good luck in your search for finding your best place.

Have a great day!

-Adam

Guides on how to retire in Mexico

Hello-

If you’re looking for some place cheap to retire, look no further than south of the border – MEXICO.

It is said that anyone can retire in luxury in Mexico and that you can live better than you do now.

Who wouldn’t want that?

The cost of living is so much lower in Mexico than it is here in the US.

With the rising cost of everything these days, lower prices would be a welcome relief.

But, moving and retiring to Mexico is not that easy.

Well, it is if you know what you’re doing and where to go.  You can learn the hard way about retiring to Mexico or you can learn the easy way by learning from people who have done it already.

There are 3 guides on how to retire in Mexico:

The first one has an unusual title: Mexico, the trick is living here.  It is written by a woman named Julia who has compiled a comprehensive volume about all you need to know about living and retiring in Mexico.  The guide has several testimonials about how the guide has helped them.  Read more…

guide to retire in mexico

The second guide is called “50 Things You Must Know Before You Travel To Mexico”

The title really tells it all.  This short 102 page book has over 50 practical tips that will help you get the most out of a Mexican retirement.  Read more…

guide how to retire in mexico

The third guide to retiring to Mexico is called “Retire In Luxury”

This one talks about improving your standard of living by moving to Mexico.  This guide promises to teach you about how to retire now, on less, and get more out of life.  Read more…

guide to mexican retirement

Check out any of the guides if you are interested in learning more about living in Mexico and what to look out for and be aware of.  You don’t want to be caught in a Mexican jail because you weren’t aware of some little tip that’s included in one of these guides.

Check em out.

Thanks for reading.

-Adam