Download PDF Ready or Not Here I Come! How To Choose Your Best Retirement Community

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Once you determine what will give you peace of mind in retirement, Here's where you write your objectives down, listing the most Perhaps you did but for many that's not reality. Security Benefits Calculator will show you when it's best to claim. Community: Share your fears about Social Security.
Table of contents

For now, don't focus on budget. Focus on ideas, and be as specific as you can. For example, instead of "travel," list "trips to the lake" or " walking tours of foreign countries. Try to limit the list to your top five goals. Keep a scrapbook or start a journal depicting how you envision your retirement.

Your list should rule out unnecessary expenses. Make sure all your financial needs are met as you brainstorm. The more descriptive you are, the more tangible your retirement will be. This will help keep you focused on a realistic set of goals, which will make each of them more attainable. If your goals are still general or vague, that's OK, too. You can simply start by outlining how you envision enjoying your retirement. You know how much you bring home each month, how much you have in the bank and how much you have in your retirement account.

But what about those other nontraditional assets that could help fund your retirement? Maybe you collect antiques or restore cars. Perhaps you're an accomplished pianist or have a half-written novel you want to finish. Many hobbies and skills can be turned into real income in your retirement years — trading antiques or teaching piano lessons, for example. Take the time to list all of your hobbies and skills. Don't worry if your list is small, but do list all of your passions and untraditional "assets.

Discover great deals and saving through AARP membership. To get the most out of your retirement — and life in general — you want to be as healthy as possible. And while few of us enjoy doctors' visits, a little preventive medical attention can go a long way. Schedule your checkups and preventive exams now , from an annual physical to teeth cleaning. At each appointment, work with your provider on a plan to improve or maintain your health. Commit or recommit to eating healthy, exercising and getting enough sleep.

Healthy living doesn't have to be a chore. Many healthy foods are delicious and satisfying, and exercise can be fun walk on the beach, anyone? Commit to staying mentally sharp with brain games, puzzles and books. Staying in close contact with family and friends will help you maintain your health both physically and mentally and may aid in fighting off any blues that may arise once you are retired.

Wouldn't it be nice if you saved and invested enough to enjoy financial freedom during retirement? Perhaps you did but for many that's not reality.

Start planning now for your ideal retirement

Most of us will need the Social Security benefit we'll receive — both to pay for basic essentials and to support our retirement dreams. The age at which you choose to start collecting Social Security will have a direct impact on how much you'll get in monthly benefits. The longer you wait to claim Social Security, the greater the benefit for you and your family. A widow or widower whose spouse claimed Social Security at full retirement age or older gets percent of the benefits.

A widow or widower whose spouse claimed benefits early gets 71 percent to 99 percent, depending on when the spouse began claiming.

55+ Senior Living Community

If you wait to claim, you'll also be eligible for delayed retirement credits, which give you an increase in benefits each year until you reach age Whether you are married, single, widowed or divorced, it usually pays to wait to claim. You need to build and maintain your network even in retirement. Use networking opportunities to showcase your talents.

It's OK to brag about yourself to those who might help you fulfill your retirement dreams. Include a networking strategy in your retirement plan. It may involve spending an hour a day on Twitter or LinkedIn "conversing" with people who share your skills and interests, or starting a morning meetup group at a local coffee shop to discuss ideas with other soon-to-be retirees. Such strategies will build relationships that in turn can grow your network.

Also, be prepared to have clear, direct answers to such questions as "How can you use your talents and experience to contribute part time to an organization or cause? This is the classic cost-benefit equation: Unless you are financially set for life, you will have to either stretch limited money and give up some retirement dreams or stay in the workforce in some capacity to help pay for those dreams.

As you write down your retirement goals, take into consideration how much work is necessary. In the previous step, you were encouraged to look at your interests. But you should consider your lifestyle and preferences, too. Either way, to ensure you successfully reach your goals, you'll have to decide how much time you want or need to spend at a job. Don't wait until after retirement to make the decision. Weigh right now the pros and cons of working — including how many hours per week.

Choosing a Community | Wesley Towers Retirement Community

The sooner you get comfortable with this decision, the more secure you will be in your retirement planning. Share your fears about Social Security. Start by tracking your income and expenses for a couple of months. Next, figure out how much money you'll need in retirement to support your chosen lifestyle. You'll also need to do a financial checkup of your investments. Make sure you are diversifying your money into multiple investments, investing in things you understand and going with those investments that won't cost you a ton in fees.

If you are carrying debt, make sure your budget includes monthly payments to knock it down. Once you have a budget you know you can stick to, start putting it into action. Your retirement may be right around the corner or years away. Regardless, saving more now will always make you better prepared. That doesn't mean all of your extra cash has to go into savings, but now is the time to find new way to cut your expenses.

Start by listing your bills and then figure out ways to trim them. Maybe you don't need cable channels or to eat out three nights a week. The city has benefited from an influx of artists and professionals as well as retirees. Residents can easily get by with one car, thanks to a compact layout and network of cycling and pedestrian paths.

New York City, 80 miles away, is also an easy day trip. Buyers interested in new construction may be frustrated, but some apartment units are currently being built. The Granite State levies no sales tax. A devastating hurricane and the Great Depression were major setbacks for Young, who died in , but the foundation was laid for the place he called Hollywood.

Between and , the population grew from 23, to more than , Mid-century beach bungalows and ocean-view condos from that era continue to attract new buyers. In November, Herb Schloss, 76, bought a 2,square-foot condo overlooking a golf course and relocated from New Jersey, in part to be closer to his significant other, Roberta, and his daughter. The top income tax rate in the Garden State is a whopping 8.

Retirees looking for culture will find it in spades, whether at events in ArtsPark at Young Circle or along the 2. Many of the spots are accessible via water taxi or the Hollywood Trolley. While there is plenty to do in Hollywood, its location between Fort Lauderdale and Miami is a boon for retirees looking to explore the area—or get away. Port Everglades is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world, and the Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports are nearby. Life at the beach comes with the risk of hurricanes—and at the very least, higher-than-average premiums for homeowners insurance.

This small city in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains melds Southern warmth with a thriving downtown—and tops it off with a serious foodie scene. A vast network of walking and cycling paths makes it easy to work off those calories. Sugar Land traces its early history to—you guessed it—sugar. It was a 19th-century sugar plantation that evolved into a company town for employees of the Imperial Sugar refinery and was incorporated as a city only in Sugar Land offers a relatively low cost of living with a high quality of life.

The healthy business base—major employers include Minute Maid and First Data—translates to some of the lowest property taxes in a state where such taxes can run high. The opening of Sugar Land Town Square in the mids gave the city a much-needed downtown hub.

The Appeal of 55+ Communities

A new performing arts venue, the Smart Financial Centre, will open early next year. Carol Cooper, 74, arrived two years ago following the sudden death of her husband and loss of her grandson, who was killed in Afghanistan. She has since joined a book club, started volunteering at a senior center, and even taken up line dancing. The prolonged slump in oil prices is starting to affect some pockets of the area economy. Of course, for new buyers that could mean more bargaining power in the housing market.

A host of improvements have turned Chattanooga into a destination for people of all ages. Highlights range from a mile Riverwalk to gigabit-per-second Internet for all residents and businesses. Retirees have a new perk coming down the pike: When famous authors plan their North American book tours, the schedule often reads like this: Like most of our top retirement destinations, Iowa City punches above its weight in arts, entertainment, and sports offerings.

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Unlike some others, it has a relatively hefty state income tax, but low property taxes and breaks on Social Security and pension income help offset it, making this one of the tax-friendliest places in the Midwest. Before the move, friends back in Milwaukee questioned whether the couple would be starved for culture. Then they came to visit the Farkases in their high-rise downtown condo, from which they walk everywhere.

Massive flooding of the Iowa River in did devastating damage throughout the city, but the rebuilding has brought some major upgrades, including the new Hancher Auditorium a world-class performance venue with seating for 1, people. The floods also helped uncover more of the Devonian Fossil Gorge, where visitors can get a close look at a million-year-old seafloor and fossils of tropical sea life.

Des Moines and its airport is about two hours away. Rapid City defies most of the stereotypes about the heartland. The city is the gateway to the Black Hills and six national parks and monuments, including Mount Rushmore.

Its culture is as interesting as its topography. Life-size bronze statues of every past U.