Age 55 Perks and Benefits

Top 5 “Best Places For Boomers to Retire” Lists

We are not going to create our own list of the top places to which boomers retire; we are just going to give you links and descriptions to find the list(s) that you may view as most helpful. We have done the searching for you

BP-best-placesSearch engines seem to love “Top 10” and “Best of” articles. There are so many lists of “best places to retire” out on the internet these days, how can you know which are trustworthy, or what basis they use for selecting “the best”? Here, we are doing something different: We are not going to create our own list of the top places to which boomers retire; we are just going to give you links and descriptions to find the list(s) that you may view as most helpful. We have done the searching for you, and read through many of the sites claiming to know the best places to spend your golden years. Here are five of the most current and well thought out of all we reviewed.

1)    Best Places to Retire – US News (http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/best-places-to-retire): This “best places” site is actually a collection of lists. Do you want to know the 10 sunniest places in the US? Or perhaps the 10 Best Places for Wealthy Retirees? You can find a wealth of information no matter what specifics you are using to narrow down your search.

2)    The 25 Best Places to Retire in 2013 – Forbes (http://www.forbes.com/pictures/mjf45glmi/time-for-a-move): We really like this site for a couple of reasons. First, it is absolutely current. Second, Forbes did their homework. They crunched data on more than 400 cities from every state in the nation. They used a formula including costs of living, tax structures, crime rates, availability of doctors, and recreational activities (good biking and walking trails, high levels of community volunteering). They also took into account the Milken Institute’s “Best Cities for Successful Aging” report, which even looks at such details as local investments in public and senior transportation. If you are someone who likes a lot of information and wants to know just where it comes from, this is a great “best of” list for you, in a convenient slideshow format.

3)    10 Surprisingly Best States for Retirement – Bankrate.com (http://www.bankrate.com/finance/retirement/best-states-for-retirement.aspx#slide=1): This list – also a collection of slides – is for those who may want something different from the obvious Sunbelt retirement areas. Bankrate does not assume that when boomers retire, they all want warm climates and typical retirement communities. This list is 10 of the “unexpectedly best” states for retirement, arrived at by crunching a variety of data on cost of living, access to health care, inspiring landscapes, climate, cost of living, and post-retirement employment opportunities.

4)    10 Most Relaxing Cities to Enjoy Your Golden Years – Huffington Post Lifestyle (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/02/best-places-to-retire-10-cities_n_2957794.html: The title says it all: Huffington Post has collected a list of relaxing retirement destinations. They combed through some of the nation’s best small towns and cities to find those in which retirees can kick back and enjoy a stress-free retirement. If you are most interested in peace and quiet in your golden years, with lots of opportunity for cultural activities or outdoor recreation, check out this list.

5)    10 Great Places to Retire for the City Life – AARP (http://www.aarp.org/home-garden/livable-communities/info-02-2012/10-Great-Cities-to-Retire-AARP.html): Perhaps relaxation is not what you are looking for, and you are more interested in spending your retirement years experiencing nightlife, culture, and a lively social scene. One of AARP’s many lists of “best places to retire,” this one is for those who sincerely appreciate urban city living, and seek energy, excitement, and character-rich neighborhoods. Here they list cities with senior-friendly neighborhoods, and discuss the top restaurants, nightlife, and cultural attractions that may appeal to energetic retirees.

More 55+ Places for Boomer Retirement

 

Happy hunting!

Originally posted 2013-05-27 16:04:33.

My First Visit to A Senior Center

I wanted to visit a senior center to see what they were about. My neighbor’s 75 year old mother Janet is an active participant in the ballroom dancing program at West Cobb Senior Center so I decided that would be a good center to visit. Janet is a traveler, takes cruises, collects antique dolls and is a dealer also, is a ballroom dancer and her home has many unique antiques which she has collected. She is an interesting person so this Senior Center must be OK. They have a ballroom dance practice from 1 to 4pm so I plan to be there a 1pm.

I wanted to visit a senior center to see what they were about.  My neighbor’s 75 year old mother Janet is an active participant in the ballroom dancing program at West Cobb Senior Center so I decided that would be a good center to visit.   Janet is a traveler, takes cruises, collects antique dolls and is a dealer also, is a ballroom dancer and her home has many unique antiques which she has collected.  She is an interesting person so this Senior Center must be OK.  They have a ballroom dance practice from 1 to 4pm so I plan to be there at 1pm.

Even thought there are many senior centers close by to me,  I take the hour long trip from Johns Creek Georgia over through Roswell to Marietta down Whitlock Ave then out a long stretch of Dallas Hwy.  Right when my MapQuest says, there it is as I turn left in to the entrance of Cobb County Parks and Recreation campus.   The sign says West Cobb Senior Center as I turn in to a nearly full park lot facing a attractive lodge type building.   Nicely dress people are zooming in the lot and hurrying in to the building.  Must be the dancers.   I enter to an attractive large lobby with stack stone fireplace and people zooming by me to sign in.  The place is abuzz with activity.

A lady at the open administrative office spots me looking over the information table and introduces herself as Cristina, the Program Specialist.  I let Cristina know I am here to check out the center and meet Janet at the 1pm dance program.  I am early so Cristina gives me lots of information about the senior center activities.

There are about 18 people sitting around a large conference table in a room across the lobby from where we are talking and Cristina tells me that is a meeting of the Great Ideas Book Club.  Later I take a walk down the right wing of the building and see two more similar conference rooms with equal amounts of people sitting around the conference table.   These I find out later are the Woodcarvers Club and the Shutterbugs Club.   Another two rooms I spot gamers,  playing Mah Jongg and Scrabble.  Lots of mental stimulation going on today.

Christina tells me the West Cobb Senior Center is an active adult multi-purpose center open to anyone 55 or better.  You do not have to live in the country to use the center.  They have people ages 55 to 92 using the center.  It is well used, I must say.   Besides the activity in the center it is located in the Parks and Recreation area with walking trails and ball fields nearby.   In addition to dancing, the center has  two yoga classes that are fully attended and exercise programs to keep participate active physically.

At the end of the end of the right wing, Cristina tells me to visit the Billiards room which I do and see 5 tables in a nicely decorated room.  A group of 5 men are playing pool at one of the tables.

Christina hands me “The Leaflet” which lists all the programs and activities of the center is offering for the month and  I am astounded at the quality and the number.   Wellness seminars, trips, health screenings and tons of classes.  I see they have a trip to Atlanta’s historic Fox Theater planned.  These were equal or better than those offered in the Del Webb Active Adult Communities I have visited.   I am impressed.

It’s now 1pm so I head down the left wing of the building to a grand ballroom where I hope to see Janet.  There are nicely dressed dancers signing in and greeting each other with hugs.  It is a nice large comfortable room.   A man who must be the greeter comes over and introduces  himself and welcomes me.  He’s thinking I’m a dancer, but I tell him I was looking for Janet.  He says Janet usually gets there at a later time.  The sound equipment is now set up and the first few dancers are on the dance floor twirling to the music.  I watch for a few minutes and head back to say goodbye to Cristina.

On the drive back I am thinking it sure would be nice to have the West Cobb Senior Center close by to me.   My impression is way better than I had in mind before making this visit to a senior center.   I can see where Senior Centers could be and are an asset to anyone who uses them, encouraging us to be active both mentally and physically.  I am sure not all Senior Centers are alike and offer as much as this one did.  But still is shows me what is possible and changes my uninformed image of a Senior Center. I will check out the new Johns Creek Senior Center that is being built near me for sure and some other seniors center in Georgia.

Robert Fowler
SeniorCenterDirectory.com

Originally posted 2017-02-07 09:23:00.

Baby Boomers Come Full Circle

What do Robin in NYC, Ann in St. Louis and Robert in Atlanta have in common? More than you might expect. since all three are boomers at a certain stage of life. Connecting on Facebook you can see commonality.

Robin recently retired buying a second home in Miami Beach. Ann downsized and moved to a senior living community. Robert is moving from his 3 level suburban home to a Del Webb active adult community. A more suitable residence in retirement is certainly a common theme these days with older boomers.

We have been downsizing. Robert posted on Facebook his baby pictures (above) from 67 years ago that he was disposing of. This brought a plethora of comments. Family members not wanting their relatives photos discarded. Robin like my wife Mary Ann is the keeper of one of her parents photos that were inherited. What to do with those? Scan and upload to the cloud? And how about your own photos from a long life? Well we don’t have children, so those big prints of my baby pictures that my mother thought were so good, are now in the recycle. Each person’s decision about what to do with family photographs and other keepsakes will be different, but we are all faced with the dilemma. Meanwhile shredding even business records brings back a flood of memories. Observations are made… look how cheap things were… how skinny we were.

By the way, it turns out all three of us have been or are bloggers. We like to tell stories from our lives, some from a long time ago, others from what is happening in our lives currently. These stories bring others to comment about how they remember too or this is what they are now doing also.

I know a lot of my friends are enjoying traveling quiet a bit. We are too. It is fun and interesting to hear about trips my friends are taking.

Ann says it seems we boomers have come full circle. I offer that we come into this world with nothing and we will leave with nothing. But I think Ann is talking about more than just that. We baby boomers seem to be connecting more these days.

Remember when we were growing up, in those new schools being build for us, going off to college, being drafted, etc. We were all going through something new together. Then life happened and we went our different ways. But now having the time and inclination to connect again, we see that we do have a lot in common, memories but new experiences too. Rick Bava brought a lot of this together in his new book “In Search of The Baby Boomer Generation” which you will both enjoy and it will enlighten you on trends in our boomer lives today as well.

Anyway, thanks to Robin and Ann for a lively chat on Facebook and inspiring this post.

Robert Fowler

Originally posted 2015-07-26 16:31:44.

A Story OF Love From The Heart Of A Boomer

Sixty-two years ago I was born as a change of life baby on December 23,1948 to my parents who did not expect me to happen.  My mother was in her 40’s and my father in his 50’s.  Most of my childhood life was spent with older people.  Today I find myself as one of those people sitting here on Christmas eve. thinking about you and thinking about me.  Yes, I said you, the Boomer Generation of people.

There is snow on the ground.  Outside my door it is very quiet as though for just a few moments the world is still and at peace.  Some are with families.  Some are sitting with that special husband or wife.  Some are playing with their grandchildren.  Some are traveling to other places to visit friends. Some are sitting alone. Others are preparing meals to share with their love ones tomorrow.  Some may be watching television, reading a book, playing a game on the computer, waiting for a telephone call, wrapping a present, or ending a day of work.  There are some like police officers, fireman, health care workers, security people, truck drivers and etc. that may be working tonight and might be working tomorrow.

There are boomers that might be in nursing homes, hospitals, and even some in far away lands helping to keep our country safe.  Others might be volunteering their time in homeless shelters and even some boomers might be homeless.  Some boomers may have had children others may not.    Some may be blessed with riches and fame.  Then there are some who have very little and their pockets might me empty.  Some may have high educations and others little or no education.  Some may be sitting around a warm fireplace while others may be wishing for a warm fire.

In all of this there is somethings that we share in common.  We have a story.  We have a heart that can be prepared to forgive.  We have gained much wisdom.  We have experienced a lot.  We have made some kind of a mark on the world as it is today.  We can believe.  Some may be able to sing while others may only be able to smile.  Some like me might have a desire to write and share what I am feeling in my heart.

Tonight I think of you.  Tonight I think of me.  Tonight I want to reach out and give each one of you a hug.  Tonight if I was powerful enough, I would give you peace, love, joy, comfort, health, wealth, and a world filled with peace but I am not that powerful.  I do have the ability to write.  I do have the ability to feel.  I do have the ability to show compassion.  I do have the ability to care for others.  I do have the ability through this writing to let you know how special I believe that each and everyone one of you are.  No matter where you are, no matter what you are doing, no matter how you are feeling let it be known that tonight someone has thought of YOU.    We are one.  We are the people of the world.

Originally posted 2010-12-25 15:04:48.

Fixed Income Investing

Regardless of the trend of recent decades toward greater sophistication in retirement savings, the certificate of deposit, or CD, is still king. The obvious advantage of the CD over traditional savings accounts is that they typically yield significantly higher interest; with the primary drawback being the commitment that one incurs to maintain the deposit for a specified period, usually from six months to five years.

This blog article below was written back in 2018 when my bond ladder was working great. It still is. It was true that a CD or bond ladder purchased back then would have been an excellent investment because interest rates have gone down substantially raising the value of existing CDs and Bonds.

As a bond and CD ladder investor you are still benefiting from those previous purchases that are still in your inventory, but now what do you do with new funds from expiring bonds or CDs? That is the big question.

Do you buy a fixed income investment paying almost nothing but you feel is safe, or do you buy stocks which are at a all time high? No easy choices. They call in TINA, there is no other alternative for investors other than stocks. The problem is if stocks are going up because of that and not earnings, then will they collapse at some point in time. Stocks are more risky than bonds as far as return of capital.

Lately bond investors have been buying the perceived less risky type of stocks, like Utilities (XLU) and Real Estate (IYR), because they pay a good dividend and to a lessor degree some commodities (DBC) as a hedge against inflation.

At this point in time there is no easy safe answer of where to put your money. The markets are so distorted fundamental analysis no longer works. -Robert Fowler

The Certificate of Deposit (CD) is Still King (2018)

Retirement Savings – Safety

With interest rates now rising, it may be the time to invest in a certificate of deposit ladder or US Treasury Bills.

In saving money, safety has always had an opportunity cost; that is, lower rates of return than for instruments incurring greater risk. In retirement, we don’t want to loose our savings, that is for sure.  So, how can we offer ourselves the greatest opportunity while we are obsessed more with the return OF our money than the return ON it? Continue reading “Fixed Income Investing”

Originally posted 2020-09-06 10:05:37.

Boomers At Retirement Age

Working Boomers asks are you living or staying…at retirement age. Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass…. Life is about dancing in the rain!

When I was young, just like some of you, I did not give much thought to retirement.  Being a divorcee and raising two children was my main priority at the time.  I was fortunate to always have a job.  Again, I did what my parents taught me which was: work hard and that is what matters.  Like them though the jobs only allowed for the basic needs of housing, food, clothing, transportation,medical needs and an and occasional vacation.  Saving for retirement did not fit into the plan.  I can remember thinking, just as they did, social security will be enough and that time is a long way off.

That time is now here.  My parents and most of my family have passed on.  The children are raising their families.  Friends have passed.  Social security and Medicare are not stable.  Twenty-five cent candy bars now cost $1.50 or more.  With that said, there is no need to say more because I know that boomers every where know about the economy and etc.  The point that I would like to make is the difference in living and staying.

Many years ago at a conference, I was listening to a speaker who explained the difference in living and staying.  At the time the speech was very humorous but made a lot of sense.   I will never forget what he said.  I still apply it to my life today.  He asked the audience this question.  Have you ever known a person, we will call him George that you see every few years only?  You ask the person when you meet, “where are you living now?”  George replies, ” Well, I had some rough times so I am staying with my Mom over on the East side.”  Then five or ten years pass and you meet George.  Again you ask, “where are you living now?’  George replies, ” I married Martha. I have a good job. I have money in the bank.  We are staying up town in the big house.  Times are good!”  Several years later George pops into your life and once again you ask, “Where are you living now?”  George replies, ” Martha left me. I lost my job. My family is gone. I am staying with a guy I met yesterday over on Fifty Second Street.”  Years go by.  One day you meet George again and ask, “How are you?  Where are you living now?”  George replies, ” Man, I finally learned after all this years about the word living.”  My family is gone, Mom passed away.  My health is good. I live in a small house on Maryland Avenue.  I have some great friends.  We play cards a few times a week and help the homeless.  My daughter, that I left years ago, lives in Virginia.  I am going to become a grandparent.  I have been invited to visit them next month.  I planted vegetables in my small garden.  My tomatoes are huge.  On Fridays, I volunteer at the Senior center.   Life is good!  Today I live, I don’t stay.  I finally learned how to live.  Life is not about what I have, who I am with or how much money is in the bank.  Life is not about staying with a friend or in the the big house.  Life is about living and accepting what is good just for today. I learned that life changes on the outside but it is up to me to change on the inside in order to live.  Thank you for asking and caring for all these years.  You know, I never asked you before but, where are you living?”

So I will ask you as  I have asked myself, “Where are you living at retirement age?”  We boomers are in the last stage of our lives.  Let’s live.  Are you living or staying?  No matter where we are, single, married, rich or poor, we still have the choice to live today.  George learned in time.  Have you?

A facebook friend just posted a quote/photo that I feel would sum this story up.

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass…. Life is about dancing in the rain!/John Kelly

More posts about Boomers Retirement Affordable Retirement Communities

Originally posted 2012-04-08 20:49:14.