Top 10 Affordable Places To Retire in 2018-2019

Top 10 Affordable Places To Retire in 2018-2019

The road to retirement is an exciting and highly anticipated journey. You’ve worked hard your entire life for this moment and it’s only suitable that you find the perfect oasis to spend your senior years. Of course, you’ll want to get the most bang for your buck. Here are ten of the most affordable retirement locations on the market:

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Lauderdale offers a scenic view of the Atlantic ocean along with a senior friendly community. Florida is also a state with no income tax making your retirement dollars stretch further than other locations.

Portland, Maine

This quaint east coast town offers an eclectic mix of urban life while sitting only a short drive from all things scenic. Additionally, Maine has a lower than average sales tax and does not issue state tax on social security.

Wenatchee, Washington

This central Washington town is often overlooked by Pacific Northwestern folks. Nesteled in between the Columbia river and the Cascade mountain range retirees will enjoy lots of outdoor activity. Additionally, Washington State has no state income tax and does not tax pensions or social security.

Chattanooga, Tennessee

This mountain town offers plenty of hiking, fishing, and other outdoor activities. Nestled in the Smoky Mountain Range the town offers stunning views you can enjoy on the daily. Chattanooga also boasts a cost of living average almost 13 percent below the national average.

Cusco, Peru

With a fabulous climate suitable for anyone this South American community lands a spot on one of the most affordable retirement locations. Couples report extremely low cost of living and good private healthcare. Additionally, the stunning views and travel options can’t be beat.

Corpus Christi, Texas

This Gulf Coast town offers the best of both worlds: a thriving urban life and a seaside escape. Texas is another state with no income tax and relatively low cost of living. It is also the state with the seventh lowest expenditure on healthcare. A healthy, family-oriented community it’s a great spot to retire.

Chiang Rai, Thailand

This intimate town has a population of under 100,000 people and is extremely welcoming when it comes to foreign settlements. The town offers gorgeous views of some of the country’s most spectacular scenery and couples report living off a budget of under $750 a month.

Cheyanne, Wyoming

This state capital sits right in the heart of the mountains and offers plenty of outdoor activity year-round. Senior discounts to some of nature’s most beloved sites are commonplace and there is no state tax on pensions or social security.

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids is well known for its art scene with several major museums in the vicinity. Cost of living is well below the national average and the area boasts several large healthcare communities focused on senior care.

Greenville, South Carolina

This quaint southern town is growing rapidly. The community has made a number of improvements increasing quality of life for residents. Additionally, retired residents can enjoy monthly expenditures of under $1000 per month thanks to the low cost of living.


Best Investments You Can Make for Your Grandchildren

Best Investments You Can Make for Your Grandchildren

If you’re like many grandparents out there, you’re looking for ways to help your grandchildren with their future financial needs.

Gifting investments rather than toys or money is an excellent way to help secure your family’s future.

But one key point to remember is to make sure your own retirement needs are met first.

You don’t want to become a financial burden later because you chose to invest in your children’s or grandchildren’s future rather than your own.

If your finances are secure, and you have the ability to invest on behalf of your grandchildren, you may be wondering what the best options are for long-term stability and growth.

This list breaks down the most popular options so you can decide what is right for you:

597 College Savings Plans – These plans grow tax-free, and qualified withdrawals (tuition, books, room, etc.) are not subject to state or federal taxation. And in some states deposits are tax-deductible. They can affect the student’s financial aid in the future, however, so be aware of that as you research.

Stocks – Stocks are a great option as by the time your grandchild is old enough to sell them, they could be worth tons. The downside is they will have to pay capital gains tax when they do sell. And while holding stock long-term reduces the risks, there are never guarantees that a stock you buy today will be worth anything in the future.

Bonds – Long-term bonds, like federal bonds which take 30 years to mature, can be a great option as well. 30 years of interest amounts to a nice chunk of change. But, like stocks, they are subject to gift tax.

Index Funds – Broad-based index funds can provide steady growth over changing markets. This way you can be relatively sure of long-term growth with minimal risk.

Ultimately, the best thing you can do for your grandchild is the same thing you should do for yourself. Build a diversified portfolio to minimize risk and maximize returns.

Then, teach them how to manage it.



Value Stocks to Add to Your Retirement Account

Value Stocks to Add to Your Retirement Account

Market pundits regularly tout the importance of stock ownership in a long-term investment portfolio. But, like ice cream, stocks come in several flavors. Some stocks are inherently very risky, others provide little to no dividends. These risky types of stocks might not be the best choice for retirement portfolios. Value stocks, a stock category known for relative safety, can be particularly useful in a retirement portfolio. As a general rule, they can be bought at relatively low prices and often pay substantial dividends. Hence they are believed to represent superb pricing in the current marketplace, providing the opportunity for future growth coupled with current income.

Value Investing

Stock investing can be sliced and diced several ways. One of the most common and useful ways is to contrast growth stock investing with value investing.

Growth Investing:

Growth stocks are those that represent ownership in fast-growing companies. Investors in growth are looking to capitalize on the rapid expansion of these firms. In many cases, growth stocks are bought at a high price with the view that “they are going higher”. In some, but not all cases, they do. Additionally, since growing companies like to put their profits back into further growth, they tend to pay small or no dividends.

Value Stock Investing:

Investors in value equities take a different perspective. They do not want to overpay for their stock. They look at the fundamental value of companies and decide whether the current price reflects that value or not. If the current price appears too low relative to the intrinsic value of the firm, they consider buying. Commonly these kind of stocks are well-known, currently out-of-favor, and still maintain a good cash-flow.

The Role of Dividends

Ample cash-flow coupled with low price often gives these perceived bargains stocks a generous dividend. Retirement stocks with high dividends are particularly desired by conservative investors because the dividend stream can be added back into the initial investment. Over time this can provide superior long-term returns. Value issues with dividend-yields of 2-5 percent are not uncommon.

Value Stocks to Add to Your Portfolio Now
Motley Fool periodically provides short articles outlining current stock considerations for a retirement portfolio. Recently they cited eBay, Cirrus Logic, and Duke Energy as names for potential additions to a value retirement portfolio. These are but three of many others for your consideration.

Click here to learn more about diversifying your portfolio!


How to Start Saving for Retirement

How to Start Saving for Retirement

Saving for retirement is essential if you want to enjoy financial independence later in life. However, while this may have been a goal of yours for at least the last several years. You may have not yet made this a goal that you are actively working towards. If you are ready to begin seriously saving money to prepare for your non-working years. These steps can help you to get the ball rolling.

Determine Your Goals

You could simply start socking money away into a retirement account, but this will not ensure that you have enough money available in your retirement accounts to stop working and to live comfortably when you reach your desired retirement age. Create a budget that you plan to live by in retirement. Determine if your goals are to eliminate credit card debt and pay off your mortgage before retiring. Think about if you want to travel or pursue expensive hobbies in retirement. Explore the cost of living in different places where you may wish to retire. When you understand your goals, you can determine a target dollar amount to shoot for by a specific retirement date.

Update Your Budget

With your retirement date and your financial goals in mind, you can use a retirement calculator to determine how much money you need to contribute monthly in order to achieve your goals. Remember that your rate of return can vary, so you may need to revisit your monthly contribution amount periodically to stay on track. With a monthly retirement contribution amount in mind, you can update your budget to account for this extra expense. Because retirement is an inevitable aspect of your future, you must consider funding a retirement account a priority. It is not reasonable to expect to work indefinitely.

Automate Your Efforts

One of the best steps that you can take to ensure that you reach your goals is to automate your contributions. For example, if you decide that part of your contributions will be made with employer contributions through a work retirement account, set this up through your employer. You may also need to make additional contributions to an individual retirement account. You can also automate a transfer of funds to occur regularly into this account. When contributions are automated, you can make slow, steady progress toward your goal without having to worry about physically making the effort yourself.

Saving for retirement can seem like a monumental task until you actually get started. You can see that each of these steps is actually rather easy to do. After you walk through these steps, you simply have to monitor your progress by reviewing your efforts every six to nine months.


Must Have Low Risk Retirement Stocks

Must Have Low Risk Retirement Stocks

Most everyone would want to have a sizeable stock portfolio in the years just before and then on into retirement. But what kind of stocks should this portfolio contain? Ask most retirees and they will say they want their retirement nest-egg to be invested safely, even the stocks in their nest-egg. So what kinds of stocks, then, fit the bill for safety in retirement portfolios.

What Kind Of Stocks Are Safe Retirement Stocks

The following bullet points summarize the characteristics that most investors would say are associated with safe and solid stocks for retirement portfolios:

  • Established Stable, large-capitalization, long-established companies are preferred retirement. Not only that, some of these companies are in very boring, non-sexy businesses. Think utilities, oil stocks, drug stocks and real-estate issues. They’ve been around for a long time and have become large because they are successful. That’s one attribute historically sought after in retirement portfolios.
  • Profitable Successful companies have a long history of having profits and positive cash flows. Companies that can churn out both of these metrics over many market cycles are highly sought after and become the mainstays of many a retirement portfolio.
  • Dividend-Paying Profitable companies often do another thing that retirees demand: They pay dividends. Sometimes generous dividends, sometimes growing dividends, and often both. Dividends represent a tangible, here-and-now benefit that can be spent by retirees, or in many cases reinvested for further gains.

Not Overpriced Finally, the ideal retirement stock should be purchased when it is not overpriced. Because the characteristics of solid blue chips are widely sought after by investors, they rarely come at a bargain. Finding these types of issues on the bargain table can add greatly to their ultimate goal of being worthwhile retirement instruments.

Four Classic Retirement Stocks

Where does one find such stocks. One great source to tap into is the list of Dividend Champions, updated monthly by renowned investor David Fish. Here are four of these Dividend Champions:

  • Chevron (CVX) Chevron is a large, profitable oil and gas company, engaged in the exploration, production and sale of petroleum products across the globe. Modern society runs on energy and Chevron delivers this need. For over 31 years it has increased its dividend and is now paying out at a rate of 3.6%
  • AT&T (T) AT&T is the big elephant-on-the-table in the telecommunications arena. This large, US-based firm has increased its dividend for 34 years straight and is now yielding 5.3%
  • Con Ed (ED) Utilities are known as stable companies that pay generous dividends. Consolidated Edison, serving the greater New York City are, is the granddaddy of them all. Having raised its dividends for the past 44 years, Con Ed now has a dividend yield of 3.6%
  • Realty Income (O) Real-Estate Investment Trusts (REITS) are stock-like vehicles that enable investors to participate in the real-estate market and receive the outsized dividends common to this niche. Realty Income pays high dividends, currently yielding 4.0%, and pays them out on a monthly basis. Of late, this issue is near its 52-week low, so may be in the buy range for many savvy retirement investors. Whether you focus on Dividend Champions or look elsewhere, be sure to keep in mind the classic qualities of safe stocks for retirees when looking to grow your retirement portfolio.