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Consumer Newsletter – June 2015

Noelle Hipke of HipKey TV

Assessing, Finding Ideal Retirement Spot

By Elyse Umlauf-Garneau

There’s no shortage of strategies and tools for finding and assessing that ideal retirement spot.

The newest one comes from AARP.

And it’s a cinch to use.

Plug in the zip code of your prospective retirement venues and the AARP Livability Index ( gives you a snapshot of the town or city based on seven categories -- housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement, and opportunity. 

AARP considered 60 factors in those categories when ranking communities, and it gives them scores ranging from 0 to 100. You also can create side-by-side comparisons of three zip codes at a time. In addition to using the tool, see AARP’s “Most Livable Places at 50+”( )for a number of extra features, including the best cities for date night for the 50+ set and the best cities for staying healthy.

Another feature ranks the top 30 livable places around the country. You can quickly find the top 10 small, medium, and large cities.

San Francisco, Boston and Seattle top the list of big cities, and La Crosse, Wis., Fitchburg, Wis. And Bismarck, N.D., land among the list of best small cities – those with populations of 25,000 to 100,000.

PBS Eyes Caregiving Realities

Can you stand another film about the stark realities of aging and caregiving? If yes, tune into PBS and watch “Caring for Mom & Dad,” which airs in May.

It illustrates the joys and challenges of caregiving, along with the emotional, health, and financial toll that the caregiving role can take.

Supplemental videos at the PBS site provide insight about things like dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, ways relationships change when a child becomes a parent’s caregiver, the day-to-day grind of caregiving, and how technology can ease the unique challenges of rural caregiving.


Find caregiver resources at:


Rosier financial news

There’s plenty of dark financial news to go around. But the 16th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey ( offers some rosier news.

The survey looks at the retirement prospects for a broad range of ages -- 20-somethings to those in their sixties.

It found that American workers are recovering from the effects of the recent recession. But the results are mixed and how well people are faring sometimes depends on their age. 

For example, most workers (77 percent) say that they are financially recovering or were not affected by the Great Recession.

But workers in their forties and fifties (18 and 16 percent, respectively) are most likely to have not yet begun to recover. Those in their sixties and older (14 percent) are most likely to say they will never recover.

Other key findings:
Outliving savings and investments remains the most frequently cited retirement fear among workers of all ages (44 percent). That’s followed by angst about “declining health that requires long -term care.”

·         One-third of workers of all ages expect their standard of living to decrease when they retire. Workers age 40 and older are more likely to expect their standard of living to decrease compared to those under age 40.

·         About half (51 percent) of workers plan to work after they retire, including 39 percent who plan to work part-time and 12 percent who expect to do full-time work. Expectations of working in retirement are generally similar across age ranges. 

·         76 percent of workers are saving for retirement.

·         The total household savings in retirement accounts is $63,000 (estimated median)    among workers of all ages. Things change – retirement savings tick up -- as people age.

For instance, workers in their twenties have saved $16,000 (estimated median), whereas those in their fifties have saved $117,000. Workers in their sixties and older have saved $172,000 (estimated median) and 39 percent of that group have saved $250,000 or more.

As it does every year, the Transamerica study offers up advice to workers, employers, and policymakers regarding retirement saving.

Among the suggestions to workers:

·         Save for retirement and don’t take loans and early withdrawals from retirement accounts.

·         Calculate retirement savings needs, develop a retirement strategy, and write it down. Be sure to factor in living expenses, health care needs, government benefits, and long-term care.

·         Envision future retirement and have a backup plan in case retirement comes early and unexpectedly.

·         Tap the saver’s credit and make catch-up contributions, if you’re eligible.

Ready to Sell?

If you’ve been thinking about selling your house and you’ve been sitting it out waiting for just the right time to put it on the market, now may be your moment.

According to National Association of REALTORS® statistics, the median length of time that homes stayed on the market was 73 days – a 12 percent decrease from last month and from last April.

Homes in some markets, like Dallas-Fort Worth, Santa Rosa, Calif., Denver, Boston and San Diego are moving especially quickly.

See: 19126 home/?sf9010698=1


Real Estate Matters: News & Issues for the Mature Market

Realty ONE Group

19126 Magnolia St. #101

Huntington Beach, CA 92646

NOELLE HIPKE ~SRES, SFR, ePro 714-290-4500


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