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Expensive Cities to Live In (or avoid) When Retiring

Investopedia can always be depended on for some light reading and interesting factoids.

One article that arrived to my inbox… Top 10 Most Expensive Cities in the U.S. By Lisa Goetz ( June 13, 2017)

Luckily none of the ‘most expensive’ cities are in my state of Colorado.

No real surprise that New York and Honolulu made the list, along with several California cities.

Check out the Investopedia.com  website for the complete list.

If you live in one of these cities and are planning for retirement, be prepared for some higher bills than other cities.

If you are planning to relocate after retiring, check out the ‘vital stats’ on any city, town you are considering.

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

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Social Security and Divorce

In the U.S. nearly 50% of first marriages end in divorce and a higher percentage of second marriages fail.

These are glum statistics, but perhaps the thing that people forget is that even in divorce the social security benefits for ex-spouses can live on – depending on circumstances.

Yes, even if you are divorced, you may be able to claim social security  benefits based on your ex-spouse record .

If the marriage was a long term (official) relationship that marriage still counts as far as social security is concerned even after divorce.

Visit the excellent government website:  Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/divspouse.html

Some information from that website:

“If you are divorced, but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you can receive benefits on your ex-spouse’s record (even if they have remarried) if:

  • You are unmarried;
  • You are age 62 or older;
  • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits and
  • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work.”

Keep in mind that even if your marriage ended in divorce over a decade ago, you might still be eligible.

If you are approaching retirement, have been divorced, have not remarried (or your second marriage ended), visit the social security website or your social security office to find out more about your rights to claim.

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

 Please read my full Disclaimer and How I Can Help You

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Retirement Planners…Sample Some

I have written many articles about retirement and retirement planning. In most cases when people start to think about retirement, they begin to get serious about their estate planning needs as well.

There are many retirement planners on the market and on the internet. For those who want to get an idea of whether they are on track to reach their retirement goals, these retirement planners are helpful. Our friends at Squared Away have tested three free retirement planners that are available on the internet.

Although no one retirement planner is fool- proof, using such tools is better than just hoping that your goals are being met.

Here are the three picks from our friends at Squared Away (Why not try all three and compare them?)

Be forewarned, no one calculator from the internet will be ‘tailored’ to your exact circumstances.

The three picks from Squared Away are:

NewRetirement – newretirement.com

E$Planner Basic – esplanner.com

Target Your Retirement – available through the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Calculators use various assumptions to provide analyses. They all require (and rely on) estimates and financial data that you provide. If those estimates are inaccurate the results of the calculator may be also. Remember the old adage – garbage in, garbage out.

Also, many changing economic factors (interest rates; house valuations; medical costs, etc) make retirement calculations less than an exact science. However, retirement calculators are a good place to start, if you are willing to take the time to answer some detailed questions.

In the words of Squared Away: “A calculator is no substitute for a precise and detailed estimate by a financial planner. But it’s important to start somewhere.”

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

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Millionaire Retirees

In case you missed it, Investopedia had a recent article titled:

“This Is How Retirees Live on $1 Million” By Greg DePersio (Investopedia, May 30, 2017).

You may be able to still access the article quickly via this link:

http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/102715/how-retirees-live-1-million-dollars.asp#ixzz4j9ZOSSlO

If not, go to Investopedia.com and search for the article.

At first, when I read the title, I anticipated more of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” – but the reality is far different for ‘millionaires” today.

The article points out for those retirees fortunate enough to have saved wisely, that million in assets SHOULD last for as long as needed – providing it is invested wisely and managed carefully.

Clearly, having a million “ain’t” what it used to be!

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

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Older Workers and Job Changes

One of my previous articles made the point that younger workers will change jobs- often as many as ten job changes during their career. (see article titled: Employee Retention and Small Business – March 2017)

These job changes are not only expected, but data show that the changes that younger workers make are either lateral moves or jobs with higher pay; with better benefits or offer more ‘family’ time.

For older workers the pattern is different. Job changes that happen later in life, often are moves into a ‘lesser’ job.  According to a recent * Squared Away research article: Older Workers’ Job Changes a Step Down (March 30, 2017)  “…older workers who switch jobs often take a hit on their earnings and benefits.”

However, on the positive side, these later career job changes are often into less stressful and demanding positions.  And they are positions where an older worker can continue a meaningful career; continue to build social security benefits and delay taking their social security benefits for a longer period.

For more interesting data on late life career changes:   access the Abstract:

Occupational Transitions at Older Ages: What Moves are People Making?By Amanda Sonnega, Brooke Helppie McFall and Robert J. Willis #WP 2016-352

on the Michigan Retirement Research Canter , University of Michigan website (www.mrrc.isr.umich.edu)

 

* Squared Away is published by The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

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Best and Worst Retirement States

For those of you following my posts, you know I often write about retirement issues. (See my website archived articles under Retirement Planning and Retirement Savings)

So when Wallet Hub published their “best and worst” list, I sat up and took notice.

The article: 2017’s Best and Worst States to Retire by Richie Bernardo-Senior Writer (Jan. 23, 2017) not only lists the states, but also explains the methodology used to rank the states.

For example the states were ranked by Affordability, Quality of Life and Healthcare. Within Quality of Life were parameters like weather and air quality, under Healthcare were other parameters like – number of General Practitioners (M.D.) per capita.

Thus Wallet Hub derived a list of retirement- friendly (and not-so-friendly)states. Among the top ten “friendlies” I was glad to see Colorado ranked number 5!

Here is a partial listing:   top of the list for best states to retire is Florida- ranked #1, followed by Wyoming #2, South Dakota came in #3, Iowa was #4  and Colorado #5.

According to Wallet Hub research – At the bottom of the list – states that ranked the lowest: Rhode Island ranked #51; Alaska was #50; District of Columbia #49; followed by Connecticut #48 and Hawaii ranked a surprising #47.

For the entire listing – go to the Wallet Hub website.  You will also find interesting data on states with the best life expectancy and lowest property crime rates.

You might not be prepared to make the decision about when to retire, but when you do – you may want to consider where you will be spending your golden years.

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

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Retiring With Debt

Recently, I came across a gem of an article from one of my many on line sources. The article is titled – Estate Planning, Taking Debt into Retirement by Mike Mahoney.

The article appeared in the on-line version of Columbus CEO magazine*.  The succinct article explores the rationale of some baby boomers choosing to continue or acquire new debt into their retirement years.

Mr. Mahoney’s well-written article is  worth the short time it takes to read it. He poses the question: What are some reasons for older Americans to take on debt during retirement?

According to the article: “They may be borrowing to pay for a child’s education, to manage the expense of divorce or the loss of a spouse, or to make ends meet after a late-career job loss.”

I look forward to more articles from the ColumbusCEO and Mr. Mahoney.

* The Columbus CEO magazine explores financial, business related and local trends relevant to the business community in the Ohio region and beyond.

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

Please read my full Disclaimer and “How I Can Help You”

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Tips For Caregivers and Elder Leave

Our friends at Wiser Women (Womens’ Institute for a Secure Retirement) have offered up another basket of interesting articles.

By the way, Wiser Women is celebrating its 20th Anniversary!  As their website proclaimed: “Together we have helped women across the country access the information, tools and resources they need to achieve greater financial independence, security and dignity in retirement.”

One of the many articles from the website that may interest my readers:  The Real Life Golden Girls Scenario: Over 65 and Working (via Market Watch). According to some statistics – Over 15% of women 65 plus were working in 2015…” – a dramatic increase from prior generations’”

Another article: 7 Money Tips for Caregivers (via WiserPiggy) offers advice to help families who are caring for a loved one.

There is also an article about innovative “elder care leave” programs as part of the more traditional “family leave” programs. According to the article: Deloitte is one of the companies to incorporate elder leave (family leave for those taking care of an aging loved one) as part of its family leave programs.

Will this trend catch on and offer relief to the “sandwich generation”?

You can subscribe to the Wiser Women newsletter. It is free.

Keep in mind that the articles are not only for women! (www.wiserwomen.org)

 

Working to Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

 Please read my full disclaimer and How I Can Help You

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Mixing Up The Generations

Recently, an interesting headline caught my eye about the “Senior” class of Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona campus. No, I am not writing about those students who are ready to graduate.

There is a movement to build apartments for SENIORS (yes, the older generation) on the campus of the university.

“Arizona State University is looking to put a new twist on senior living in Arizona by opening a retirement community on a college campus.”*

*New kind of senior living: ASU wants retirement community on Tempe campus By Mike Sackley | April 13, 2016 @ 5:15 am KTAR news

Yep, it would be a campus for and of retirees! The proposed ‘senior’ development would consist of 230 units for independent living retirees and 60 units for those retirees requiring assisted living.

The upside: proximity to vibrant young community; promised benefits: ability to audit classes; dining, health club and game room on premises; student i.d. for library use;  concierge services;  possibly even a doctor on call. It will remain to be seen whether all or most of these benefits are achieved by the developers.  Things are currently in the planning stages for the project.

The downside – proximity to community of ‘youth’ with possibly different ideology/values from your own; costs/fees (although these have not been established; the costs of all of the above could be outside the reach of many retirees…time will tell.)

The concept: Although intergenerational developments are not unique, the concept of having such a development as part of a college campus definitely is unique.

Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

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We Can’t Get No Satisfaction

That refrain seems to be playing for retirees in America today. According to our friends at Squared Away blog* more retirees are less satisfied than previously, when comparing surveys from the late 1990’s to recent surveys. A few of the reasons for this ‘unhappiness scale’ proposed in the article** are Health, Age, and Money.

Age is a surprising factor since, according to the article, older retirees are happier than the youngest retirees. One reason proposed is that younger retirees had been forced out of the workplace due to ill health (but there are other reasons noted in the full article).

It is no surprise that healthier retirees are happier retirees. I propose that one reason that retirees feel that health might be an issue is the rising costs of maintaining that health and the concern that savings might not keep pace with future healthcare costs.  (This opinion is my own and not part of the article).  Health is linked with happiness and good health means that one can play golf, travel, volunteer, etc.  All that activity leads to a more satisfying retirement. But of course enjoying these activities takes MONEY.

No surprise is that Money is a contributing factor to a happier retirement. Those who have planned early for their retirement years and were able to solidify their retirement income are happier than those who did not.  Compare that with those retirees who retired prematurely due to loss of employment and job stress.

Those retirees who had to retire ‘prematurely’ ( before they planned to) may not be in a good economic position to deal with their extended years of retirement. There is a big difference between leaving a job that you love when you are 68 and being forced out of work at 63.  Those five years can be critical in the development of a financial plan for one’s retirement.

But, as the article suggests – the news is not all bad – since those retirees expressing that they are “moderately satisfied” in their retirement years have increased. And being ‘moderately satisfied’ is better than being totally unhappy!

Whatever life throws at you before or during retirement, a well-constructed Estate Plan can respond to your constantly changing world.

* Squared Away is the blog of the Center for Retirement Research. Surveys based in part on the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)

** To read more about Retirement and Satisfaction read the entire Squared Away article of June 14, 2016 article titled: More Retirees Get Less Satisfaction

 Working To Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World

 Please read my full Disclaimer and ‘How I Can Help You’

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