Better Than Golf

Kathleen M. Rehl  |  Mar 28, 2019

FOR ME AND MANY other older baby boomers, the traditional retirement model doesn’t work. We’re healthier and living longer than prior generations. Most of us don’t want to sit in a rocking chair, gaze at the sunset, play golf continuously, eat boring lunches at the senior center or live like we’re on vacation every single day.
Instead, we want to remain relevant, with meaning and purpose in our lives, and we want to continue to learn and grow.

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Cancel the Movers

Dennis Friedman  |  Feb 12, 2019

I’VE BEEN RETIRED for a decade. During that time, I have often wondered what it would be like to live somewhere else. Europe, with its rich history, seems like an exciting option. If not Europe, why not move to another part of the country, like Old Town Alexandria in Virginia? Rachel has a son and sister living in the area. We’d be close to Washington, D.C., and other interesting new places.
As I ponder that question,

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Still Learning

Richard Quinn  |  Jan 23, 2019

FOR THE BETTER PART of 40 years, I spent a great deal of time helping thousands of workers prepare for retirement. We ran seminars for workers and spouses on topics like retirement income, insurance, lifestyle, relocation and more. I think it’s fair to say that, if someone took advantage of the programs offered, they would have been well prepared financially and emotionally for retirement.
Sadly, relatively few workers utilized all that was available to them—this despite the support and urging of the unions that represented them.

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The Gift of Life

Jiab Wasserman  |  Jan 16, 2019

GLOBAL LIFE expectancy for almost every nation will rise during the next two decades, with Spain overtaking Japan as the country with the longest life expectancy. Meanwhile, on the list of 195 countries, the U.S. will fall 20 places, from 43rd to 64th. The average U.S. lifespan as of birth is still projected to increase slightly, from 78.7 years to 79.8, but at a slower rate than the rest of the world.
That isn’t great news for the U.S.—but it isn’t necessarily bad news for you,

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Half Wrong

John Yeigh  |  Jan 15, 2019

I WAS SINGLE-TRACK mountain biking with two friends. We had stopped for a rest—which was when I discovered how completely wrong I’d been with most of my financial decisions.
We had all recently retired from the same company and were debating when to claim Social Security. One buddy stated that he planned to start at age 70, so he would receive the maximum monthly payment possible. He defended his position by arguing that he was in good health,

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Subtraction Mode

Dennis Friedman  |  Jan 10, 2019

I’VE LATELY HAD THIS desire to spend money—not on big-ticket items like a car, boat or expensive watch, but on just about everything else.
When I go to the grocery store, I don’t look at prices anymore. If I want something, I just buy it. When eating out, I don’t look at the prices on the menu. I just order. I have a cable, internet and landline package that costs me $136 a month,

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Saving Ourselves

Richard Quinn  |  Dec 17, 2018

FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT said on Aug. 14, 1935, that the new Social Security program would provide “some measure of protection to the average citizen… against poverty-ridden old age.”
Nancy Altman, president of Social Security Works and chair of the Strengthen Social Security coalition, opined this year that “after a lifetime of work Americans should have enough guaranteed Social Security to maintain their standard of living.”
Make no mistake: There’s a vast gap between Roosevelt’s notion of protecting against poverty and Altman’s goal of guaranteeing one’s standard of living.

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Required Irritation

Richard Quinn  |  Nov 27, 2018

IT’S THAT TIME OF the year. We seasoned citizens must take our required minimum distributions (RMDs) from our retirement accounts, like it or not, needed or not. Uncle Sam forces us to take these taxable withdrawals, so he can get his share.
It’s a fairly simple process to figure out how much needs to be withdrawn. Determine the total value of your qualified retirement accounts, such as your 401(k) and traditional IRA, as of the previous Dec.

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Taking Care

Phil Dawson  |  Oct 29, 2018

MY PARENTS WERE married in 1947 and produced six children over the ensuing 17 years. Dad remained with us, in diminishing health, until 2008. Since then, my siblings and I have been looking after our Mom and her day-to-day needs.
Despite the seemingly endless chaos involved, we have done remarkably well. Here are just six of the things we’ve learned:
1. Your expiration date is unknown.    
When observing longevity in our family over several generations,

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Won in Translation

Jiab Wasserman  |  Oct 18, 2018

RETIREMENT IN AMERICA can be like plodding through a long, dark tunnel, with seemingly no light at the other end. I found, however, that if one looks sideways, there’s an escape hatch: retiring abroad.
For my husband and me, our search led us to Spain, having heard it had a low cost of living, excellent health care and a good climate. We visited a few times and fell in love, particularly with the city of Granada.

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Reality Check

Richard Quinn  |  Oct 17, 2018

CAN YOU LIVE ON Social Security alone? The answer is a big fat “it depends.”
I was recently taken to task by a reader, who stated he and his wife live just fine on their combined $30,000 in Social Security benefits. I also know of a retiree who says he’s quite happy living in a trailer out west on $1,300 a month. How does that square with the conventional wisdom that, once retired, you need 80% of preretirement income,

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Under Construction

Richard Quinn  |  Oct 3, 2018

TO MY WAY OF THINKING, it is inexcusable that we’ve reached the point where there’s even the possibility that Social Security may not be able to pay full benefits 16 years from now. Americans are scared by the prospect. Some have even given up hope that the program will continue to exist.
Back in 2000, Social Security’s Trustees urged action: “In view of the size of the financial shortfall in the [Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance] program over the next 75 years,

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Running in Place

Richard Quinn  |  Sep 13, 2018

THE FEDERAL government today released an inflation measure that’s closely watched—for no good reason.
At issue is CPI-W, the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. In July, it stood at 246.155. August’s level, which was released this morning, was 246.336. July and August’s levels are two of the three months used to calculate the annual cost-of-living increase for Social Security retirement benefits. The CPI-W for September will be the final factor in determining 2019’s benefits increase.

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Friendly Reminder

Dennis Friedman  |  Aug 28, 2018

SHORTLY AFTER I retired, my father was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. I would spend the next three years helping my mother take care of him. After my father passed away, my mother was emotionally devastated and her health started to decline. It has been nine years since I retired, and most of that time has been spent taking care of my parents.
It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It takes compassion,

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Mind Games

Dennis Friedman  |  Jul 25, 2018

I FEEL LIKE THERE is a death cloud hovering over me. I have been retired for nine years. I have lost my father and two of my best friends to cancer. I have seen aunts, uncles and cousins pass away. I have watched my mother struggle every day to do simple activities. When I talk to my friends, it usually ends in a discussion about our aches and pains or latest doctor’s appointments.
I’m not looking for sympathy or pity. 

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