Each year, over a million people migrate from colder regions of the United States and Canada to sunny locations in Florida, Arizona, and other Sunbelt states. To these snowbirds, seasonal migration offers the best of both worlds – an opportunity to maintain ties to family, friends, and familiar places, while also enjoying a change of scenery and an escape from cold, wintry weather. While there are many advantages to being a snowbird, there are also challenges and additional expenses to consider before you start packing.
[Editor's note: A lengthier version of this article is available here.]
One of the nicest rites of passage when someone wraps up their working career and transitions to retirement is the retirement party. If you have been given the opportunity to help plan a retirement party, here are some suggestions to create a send-off that the retiree will appreciate and remember.
Is your bucket list just a vague, ever-changing set of ideas in your head, or do you actually have yours written down?
As you look forward to all the things you might do to make your retirement fun and memorable, actually writing a list of things you want to do during the remainder of your life will result in a much higher probability that you will achieve some or all of your dreams than if they remain just swimming around in your head. Plus, you’ll have a lot more to look forward to and you’ll view your retirement in a much more positive light.
For this article, I am going to focus on your travel bucket list – your list of places you want to visit and location-specific things you want to do. Then, I’ll share a few ways you can make your travel dreams easier to achieve.
Have you considered what may happen if your spouse passes away before you?
One of the greatest fears that most of us harbor is the fear of dying alone or spending your final years lonely, bored, and confined in a retirement home.
With proper planning, it doesn’t have to be this way.
As with adult life in general, most information you read about planning for and living during your retirement is heavily couple-centric. Single retirees have a few unique concerns that often aren’t comprehended or addressed by websites, books, senior living communities, and other information sources.
If you’re married (or otherwise partnered), don’t click away!
Consider that, unless you and your spouse pass away at the same time, one of you will experience being single at some point. Later in this article, I will suggest several things you can consider now that will make life easier for the surviving spouse when that time comes.
You’ve probably heard this question many times during job interviews throughout your career – especially from interviewers who weren’t very skillful at conducting job interviews.
One of the biggest problems with this question is that you have no way of knowing what opportunities may be available in five or ten years. At the rate technology is advancing, opportunities will exist in ten years that you have no way of envisioning today.
Still, it was better to have a career plan and remain adaptable and open to new possibilities than to have no plan at all and drift aimlessly through your work years.
You had a career plan. Now, you need a retirement plan!
The question of where you see yourself in five or ten years becomes more relevant when you’re considering how you’re going to live your life after you retire.
People have a lot of misperceptions about retirement. I’ve heard a lot of them over the years, and I’ve become especially aware of them since I started reading and researching extensively in order to produce content for this web site.
Where do these misperceptions come from? Generally, misperceptions thrive wherever there is a lack of knowledge or awareness. And many people rarely think about their retirement during their working years.
The average 50-year-old in the United States has saved $43,797 for retirement. 36% of Americans have saved nothing for retirement at all.
Whenever I think about this sobering statistic, it leaves me sad and perplexed. Why are we, as a nation, so underprepared? I am convinced that this situation exists because these misperceptions exist.
Financial preparedness aside, I have observed that many people either view their retirement with dread or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, with an overly simplistic and rosy outlook.
Let’s take a look at twelve retirement myths, and then consider the reality that undermines each of them.
Years ago, knowing when to retire was easy. Back then, you probably would have taken it for granted that you would retire when you turned 65. Or, if you worked for the same employer your entire career (which was much more common in decades past) you would retire when you had worked enough years to qualify for a full pension.
Today it’s different. The decision of when to retire is no longer clear-cut.
It’s much less likely that you’ll stay at the same employer long enough to qualify for a meaningful pension. Many companies don’t even offer pensions any more, offering only tax-sheltered savings plans (such as a 401(K)) instead. And the window in which you can begin to collect Social Security has widened to age 62 to 70.
In fact, the average age at which American workers retire is now 62. Americans also retire an average of three years earlier than they had planned. This may be come about due to health issues or needing to care for a loved one with health issues, being laid off and unable to find a new job, or being offered an attractive early retirement package.
You may find yourself facing the decision of whether or not to retire sooner than you expect. How can you decide if it’s the right time to retire?
It’s a complicated decision, and there are many factors to consider. This article will help you navigate some of these issues and answer some of the many questions you are facing.
[Editor's Note: An updated version of this article appears here.]
Do you ever daydream about where you’d most like to live after you retire?
When you visit beautiful places on vacation, do you ever think, “Wow… It sure would be great to retire here!”?
Do you ever think that surely there must be some place out there that’s just right for you?
It’s fun to think about where you want to retire! After all, once you no longer have your job tying you to a particular area, there’s no reason not to move to a place that’s more to your liking if you want to. Perhaps you want to move someplace warmer, someplace where the cost of living is lower or someplace closer to the water.
But once you start to think more seriously about where you want to live, it becomes more complicated and perplexing than fun. There are so many factors to consider: cost of living, weather, taxes, how close you want to be to your friends and family, whether an area has the amenities you desire… It can get overwhelming fast!
With so many factors to consider, which ones are truly important?
If you’re like many people, you probably don’t think much about what your life will be like after you retire.
Maybe you don’t like to think about getting old.
Forming a clearer picture of how you would like to live your life after you reach the point where you no longer need to work will help you make better plans, both financially and otherwise. It will also give you more to look forward to.
The questions in this slideshow will help you sort these things out.
How many things are you putting off until you retire?
Sure, your life is busy. There never seems to be enough time to do the things you really want to do. It’s easy to think, “When I’m retired, I’ll have all the time I want for <insert activity here>.”
To an extent, you’re right. You will have a lot more time to do the things you want after you retire. And it’s good to use these things as incentives to help you look forward to retirement and to better plan for it.
But why postpone happiness until sometime in the future? There’s no lifetime quota on happiness and enjoyment – you can have as much as you want. If you put things off for too long, you may never get to do them, or you may no longer have as much physical or mental capacity to do them.
I’m going to suggest seven things that people often postpone, thinking that they will be able to devote time and attention to them once they retire. And I’m going to present a case for why it’s in your best interests to start doing them now, rather than wait.