Category Archives: Retirement Guides

Best Cities for Dog Lovers

Best Cities for Dog Lovers

For us, die-hard dog people, no dogs allowed sign is the bane of our existence. Fortunately, many cities across the country have rolled out the welcome mat for our fur kids providing amenities like sidewalk water stations, with some restaurants even offering a menu for their four-legged clientele. You’ve got to love a place where green grass is plentiful, off-leash parks are the norm, and there’s a poop back dispenser everywhere you go. According to the United States Humane Society, pet dogs make up about 44% of households compared to 35% of those with cats. That said, finding a dog-friendly town is a top priority, so let’s find out which destinations get the paws up from Fido and his people.

Finding Your Heart in San Francisco

San Francisco encompasses all things diverse, and cultural. It’s a youthful, and vibrant city designed to cater to all walks of life. The city by the bay became a part of the World Health Organization’s network of age-friendly cities, and continues to gain in popularity amongst those 55 and better for its amenities, and services. San Francisco has irresistible energy and beauty whether you’re watching the fog roll in over the Golden Gate Bridge, or people-watching at a sidewalk cafe.

Chicago skyline panorama aerial view with skyscrapers over lake Michigan with cloudy sky at dusk

The Midwest’s Best Kept Secret: Illinois

The Windy City of Chicago, and metropolitan capital of Springfield, is just a glimpse into what the Midwest destination of Illinois offers 55+ retirees. The Land of Lincoln is rich in farmland, historic attractions, and Americana. While Illinois may not be the first state that springs to mind when deciding on where to retire, low cost of living and tax friendliness makes it an attractive option especially for those on a fixed income. It may not be sunny California, but if you’re looking for four seasons, and cultural heritage, you’ve come to the right place.

Happy elderly couple in love near new house. retirement concept.

Planning for Retirement in your 50s

Retirement seems miles away when you are in your 30s and 40s. However, it comes upon you faster than you think. Most people do not plan for retirement. They will also tell you that they regret not doing so. So, if you haven’t started planning for retirement yet, here are a few things you can do when planning for retirement in your 50s.

Retirement Projections

Using a retirement calculator, you can project how much you will have once retired, depending on your savings and investments at the current period. There are a few online retirement calculators that provide you a broad overview. Keep in mind; most of these calculators are not 100% accurate. If you need accurate figures, you should seek the assistance of a competent retirement planner.

Retiring in a Tropical Place

Retirement with a Tropical Twist

With summer’s end on the horizon, and cooler weather evoking thoughts of waving palms, and warm sand, escaping to the tropics becomes the ultimate daydream. If you’ve ever taken an island holiday, I’m willing to bet you’ve contemplated boycotting your return flight, and becoming a permanent beach dweller. Spending your retirement years lounging in a hammock, in an exotic paradise can be more than just a vacation, what if you could make it home? So let’s pack our flip flops to discover four island destinations perfect for snowbirds, and retirees.

Caye Caulker, Belize

Surrounded by aquamarine waters west of the Belize Barrier Reef, this five-mile-long island is rich in wildlife, water recreation, and shoes are discouraged! Empty nesters and retirees will find shopping, dining, and an affordable lifestyle. Healthy living is a given considering you’ll make any excuse to soak in the outdoors. According to International Living, real estate is budget-friendly with home prices as low as $50K.

Choosing a Landlord Over a Lender

Owning a home has been the gold standard when it comes to defining stability, and financial success, however for baby boomers, and retirees, renting has become the growing trend for practicality, and affordability. By 2030, one out of every five Americans will be 65 or older according to the Federal Administration on Aging, and this means making some decisions on how to retire, and where. From being closer to family, or having a vacation home, to shopping around for a retirement destination, renting provides options not available to home buyers such as a short term lease agreement. If you’re desiring the amenities many 55+, and active adult living communities provide but want to forego a mortgage check, some of the best active retirement communities provide options to rent or are exclusively rental based. Renting isn’t just for fresh-faced millennials anymore, with the demand for homes being driven by the baby boomer generation.

Greater Flexibility
Buying a home means you’re probably sticking around for a while. A sudden job change, or choosing to move closer to the grandkids isn’t as easy when you’re faced with selling your home or going through the buying process. If you’re trying to decide whether to rent or buy, ask yourself where you’d like to be in a couple of years? Snowbirds in particular may find renting a great option because they can entertain their love of traveling while having the flexibility to change destinations. Snowbird vacation rentals such as Anasazi Village on Stonecreek Golf Course offer resort-style condos for retirement in Arizona with options for winter and monthly rentals. If your ultimate goal is to buy a home, but you’re not quite sure where to plant your retirement roots, renting is a great way to “try before you buy.”

Head Back to Class-Post Retirement?

Have a penchant for academia, or thought you missed your chance to make the honor roll? If you’re finding you have time on your hands, and love learning, what if I said you could make heading back to the class part of daily life? Thanks to university-based retirement communities, the grandkids won’t be the only ones shopping the back-to-school sales! College life as a baby boomer or retiree gives you the opportunity to learn what you want rather than what’s on the prerequisite list, and there’s no pressure to pull an all-night study session unless of course, you want to. Missed out on frat parties? I won’t tell you.

Time and time again research has proven the cognitive, and physical benefits of learning later in life, and these university communities are providing the chance for active adults to stimulate their minds and have fun doing it. Most college retirement communities are located in proximity to the universities themselves providing transportation to and from, and residents have access to amenities such as libraries, fitness centers while mingling with the younger crowd.

Change What You Thought About a Manufactured Home Lifestyle

As a baby boomer or retiree, now is time to explore and live it up without sacrificing the pride, and comfort of owning your own home. If the dream of buying a house seems out of reach, have you considered a manufactured home lifestyle? 55+, and active lifestyle communities exclusive to manufactured homes, are making senior living more affordable giving folks the opportunity to get in on the real estate action. Today’s “mobile” homes are a far cry from the trailer on wheels from yesteryear with the look and quality of a traditional home for years of memories to come.

According to the Census Bureau, the average cost of a new manufactured home in 2015 was $68,000. The price tag is variable depending on the size of the home, and whether or not you own or lease the land. Many active adult communities operate on a land lease whereby you own your home but rent the lot you’re on. You’ll often find these retirement communities offer the feel of a neighborhood with amenities that put the fab in prefabricated like clubhouses, swimming pools, and fitness centers.