The Costs of Poor Credit

Guest post by Jane Brown

When you’re young, poor credit seems like the least of your worries. All around you, people give bad financial advice like deferring your student loans for as long as possible, or saving short term money paying minimum balances. Bad advice isn’t detrimental to you long term, if you learn from your mistakes, but don’t take the chance when it comes to credit. Credit is difficult and costly to rebuild. Here’s the “scared straight” version of poor credit.

Plain and simple, this stuff is bad for you.

Car Loans

Let’s say that you’ve been saving for two years to get a new car. If you’re a skilled negotiator, you’ve talked the dealer down well below sticker price. There is just one small problem. Your poor credit will drive the cost of that car to double the sticker price when you finance the vehicle. You could pay in cash, and get a better deal, but your poor credit would remain a problem for you without a loan to bolster your profile. According to Lexington Law, a credit score of less than 560 is generally considered to be a bad credit score and someone with this score could pay considerably more than someone with excellent credit. One way to get out of this situation is to eat the costs short term and refinance your loan to a lower rate when you’ve developed an excellent payment history.
Simply put, poor credit excludes you from the best possible deals in auto financing. You are limited to lenders who will work with poor credit buyers, and you may need another person to accept responsibility for your loan as a cosigner.

Home Loans

When you get married, you’re going to want a home. The good news for home owners is that property values have already bottomed out and are slowly increasing month over month. The bad news for you is that interest rates are getting higher, and values aren’t dropping lower. That makes purchasing a home a very risky investment for someone who has just transitioned from a paycheck to paycheck lifestyle.

Some of the same concepts apply to home financing as in auto, such as cosigners and limited lenders to work with, but you may find yourself easily excluded from a home loan entirely. Especially if you are not a first time home buyer.

Interest Rates

Higher interest rates apply to loans, credit cards, and business loans too. Your poor credit will increase the amount you pay across the board. Forget department store credit cards promising substantial savings on your purchases, forget cash back rewards and 0% balance transfer cards. If you require any kind of financing for your business, expect to put something up for collateral in order to complete the transaction if you can’t find a cosigner.

Employment Troubles

Some banks and other positions that deal with customer financials will run a credit check on you. They are looking for specific items, like bankruptcies or evictions, but they will flag all delinquencies. Whatever your resume qualifications, your debt may set you behind a candidate with a better payment history. Some states do give you the right to consent to background checks, and you always have the option to decline and politely excuse yourself from the opportunity. Still, poor credit is an obstacle you don’t need in an already competitive job market.

Long Term Effects

Poor credit isn’t just hitting you in the short term. If you ignore poor credit, you’re paying for the rest of your life. Every loan you get will be well above market value. That’s if you can get a loan at all. It’s easy to dismiss the importance of credit when you’re not budgeting for it. Pay above your minimum balance, make your payments early and manage your money. It’s not easy to bounce back from poor credit. All the more reason to avoid it in the first place.

Other articles by this author:

Staying in Your Home as You Age

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Christmas Is Coming – and that means lots of lovely house sitting opportunities.

Guest post by Sharon Sutherland of TrustedHousesitters.com

Here at TrustedHouseSitters.com Headquarters everyone keeps getting tempted to zip off and house sit for the holidays – if only we had the time!

So far this year we’ve featured house sits in over 70 countries – from rural retreats to city pads! Right now our registered sitters are busy planning to seek winter sun all over the world, from South Africa to Australia. Other house sitters are looking forward to a white Christmas, perhaps in the Nordics or the Canadian mountains.

City dwellers in New York, London & Paris, who have dogs, cats and even bearded lizards, are happy to have a trusted house sitter stay for free in exchange for taking care of their homes and pets.

Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams. 

We are also featured now on Trust Pilot, an independent review site, this week. Jane, a new sitter, reviewed TrustedHousesitters.com to share her experiences of joining and becoming a sitter:

“As early retirees we registered only a few months ago and have now just completed our 3rd House/Pet sit….We are now booked for part of every month of 2015 right through to October!

“This is way beyond our expectations. …just wish we had retired earlier still!”

Of course whilst it’s fun being a sitter – traveling all over, staying for free, meeting wonderful people… if you have pets of your own then maybe you need a sitter so you can travel more, without the worry of pet care.

It’s been lovely to read about our pet owner experiences – with some of our members finally feeling able to visit family overseas without the worry, or the cost, involved in finding someone who can take care of their pets.

Until Christmas Eve, TrustedHousesitters.com is offering followers of RetireEarlyLifestyle an exclusive 25% discount on membership. To join and find out more, click here and use the Code: RetireEarly25 When you take out an annual membership, you can also enjoy the benefit of free access to our 24/7 vet line too – another new benefit we’ve launched for our homeowners.

Join us and travel more!

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Water: The Key to a Happy and Healthy Retirement

This post was written on behalf of Andrew Atkinson. Andrew is a director of mobility products specialists MobilitySmart and has written many articles on providing health and mobility tips.

Are you dehydrated?

If you are, then your mind and body aren’t working to the best of their ability. Whether you’re exercising, spending your time volunteering or filling your days with your favorite hobbies, you’re missing out on feeling your best.

How to Tell if  You’re Dehydrated

Can you tell if you’re dehydrated? Most people believe that they’d know, but it’s a fact that a majority of people aren’t able to recognize the signs of dehydration.

In some cases, people are just too distracted to notice that they’re feeling a little thirsty. If you’re concentrating on another task, forgetting to drink is surprisingly easy to do. However, a much bigger phenomenon is also at play.

Reduce your cost of living. Pay less for medical care. Find better weather. Create a healthier way of life.

The human body learns to block signals that it’s been experiencing for a while, even if those signals are the body’s own warning signs. You can test this theory by pressing a finger onto your arm, waiting a while and removing it. You felt your finger as you pressed it onto your skin, and you no doubt felt it for a little while afterwards, but eventually your body becomes numb to the sensation and you no longer notice the pressure. If you’ve been dehydrated for a little while then you learn to dull the symptoms. You might become completely accustomed to the level of thirst, the headaches and the dry mouth that you’re experiencing. As you read about them you may suddenly notice that you’re feeling thirsty, but this won’t always be the case.

Did you know that human beings are losing touch with their body’s signals? You should be able to tell the difference between hunger and thirst, but it’s often impossible to distinguish between the two. If you’re feeling a desire to eat, drinking instead might be more beneficial. Current obesity levels might in part be attributed to people not recognizing that they’re thirsty rather than hungry.

How Much Should You Be Drinking?

As a rough guide, women should be consuming 2.7 liters of water per day. Men should be consuming more – a total of 3.5 liters. If you’re currently drinking nowhere near this amount then it’s highly likely that you’re dehydrated, even if you feel entirely comfortable.

Your body is used to what you’re drinking. It’s able to adapt, but not entirely. Whilst you might not feel constantly thirsty, your organs aren’t functioning as well as they should be. Long-term dehydration can lead to a wide range of problems including memory loss, concentration issues, organ damage and the slowing of your metabolism.

Start drinking more and after a week you should notice that you’re no longer able to survive on what you used to drink. Your body now recognizes when you’re dehydrated, because it’s experienced the feeling of being properly hydrated. You’ll probably feel much MORE thirsty, but be aware that this is a good thing.

As you start to drink more water, you’ll find that you need to use the toilet much more. This, again, is because your body isn’t used to being hydrated. After a short while, your body will adapt to being hydrated and you’ll be able to stop visiting the restroom as much.

Why is Water So Important?

Your blood is 83% water. Your muscles and your brain are 75% water. Hydration is vital to your health, and if weight loss is a priority then you’ll also be pleased to know that it’s easier to lose weight when you’re well hydrated.

How Should You Drink Your Water?

Fresh water at body temperature is the best possible drink, but feel free to adapt what you’re drinking if you prefer your water to be heated or to be cooled in the fridge. Try not to add too many other ingredients – water is better than squash, juice, tea, coffee or soda – but squeezing a slice of lemon or lime into your water can help to improve the taste without removing any of the benefits.

If you’re struggling to remember how much to drink then you can buy a 750ml flask or sports bottle and use it for all of your drinks. Aim to have filled it, and to have consumed the contents, an absolute minimum of 3 times per day. If you’re using a glass then it can be easy to pour drinks of different volumes or to forget how many times you’ve filled up your glass, but it’s easier to keep track of what you’ve put in your flask and you can take it out and about.

It’s not easy to get into the habit of drinking as much water as you should, but by setting yourself some reminders and keeping track of how much you’re consuming you’ll soon find that you’re more hydrated, more alert and healthier. Drink enough water and your years of retirement can be enjoyed at their best.

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Staying in Your Home as You Age

Guest post by Jane Brown

As you age, living at home can be challenging, especially if you live alone. Health issues can add to the challenge because you might need help taking care of yourself, and certain health issues can increase your risk of falls. Assisted living facilities can remove many of the challenges people face as they age, but they are not appropriate for everyone.

For example, if you are generally self-reliant, but need a little help with a few activities of daily living; assisted living might be a case of too much too soon. Assisted living facilities also present other problems, such as an increased risk of community-acquired infections, and a loss of independence.

Luckily there are alternatives to assisted living, specifically home health care and private duty care.

Home Healthcare

Some home health care services provide short-term medical care in the home for people who are recovering from an illness, accident, or surgery. The primary goal of home healthcare is to help people heal and regain their independence. These services often have multiple professionals working for them to provide a wide range of care including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and skilled nursing. Dynamic Nursing also offers Personal Attendant Care, which includes personal hygiene, home management, diet, and medications.

Home healthcare professionals only provide medical assistance; they do not assist with activities of daily living, unless they are part of a physical or occupational therapy program.

Home healthcare is often covered by Medicare, provided you meet certain eligibility requirements such as doctor certification proving that you are homebound. The home healthcare agency must also be Medicare-certified. Under Medicare, you can qualify for home healthcare even if you have a live-in care giver, so long as you meet the eligibility requirements.

Private Duty Care

Private duty care services like Visiting Angels and Pathways Health provide assistance with activities of daily living such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, and dressing. They may also provide transportation to medical appointments and provide some basic medical care, such as dispensing daily medications.

Private duty care is not covered by Medicaid, but could be covered under a separate long-term care insurance policy.

Finding and Choosing a Service

When it comes to in-home care, there are several options to choose from – from service agencies to independent contractors.

If you hire an independent contractor, you or your representative will be responsible for paying her directly, and you will also have to supervise her work, and handle all payroll taxes and Social Security withholding.

If you hire a company, you would pay the company and they would handle all of the administrative tasks, including supervising the caregiver’s work. Some companies also provide both home healthcare and private duty care, which is important if you need both services.

You can find individuals and caregiver companies through organizations like the Private Duty Homecare Association and the National Association for Home Care and Hospice.

Before you settle on any particular services, you should ask several questions including:

• How long has the agency or individual been in business as a caregiver?

• Do they meet all the certification requirements for your state?

• What kind of background checks does the agency perform on caregivers; or, would the individual caregiver be willing to submit to a background check?

• What kind of training does the agency require for its caregivers; or, what kind of training does the individual caregiver have?

• Can the agency or caregiver create a customized care plan?

• How closely does the agency supervise the quality of care?

• What are the payment options?

You should also check with local agencies to see if there have been any complaints about the agency, or individual, and get referrals from current or previous clients. Additionally, the caregiver should be a good communicator – they should understand your health issues, be able to communicate their care process to you, and be able to communicate with your doctor and healthcare team if you need additional care.

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Reducing Fall Risk with Age – What It Is and What to Do About It

Guest post by Thomas C. Davies MD, CCFP, MSHA, and FACHE
Dr. Davies is a Family Doctor with over 30 years practice experience in the US and Canada. For the past 10 years he has provided inpatient hospital medical care to patients aged 65 or older.

If you have a question for Dr. Davies, or a topic you would like to see covered, please write to us at TheGuide@RetireEarlyLifestyle.com.

Dr Tom DaviesI’m strong on my feet and walk a grassy path to the roadway daily without thinking about it. Having passed age 60 I felt as strong as ever as if the effects of aging would be in the distant future. This day my foot hooked the curb so fast I had no memory of being slung to the asphalt. A bad fall happens that quickly.

I remembered not to get up too quickly which might cause additional injury so I crawled to the curb, sat up and checked myself over. My wrists; hands, knees and face had equally absorbed the impact. There were lots of abrasions but no fractures or broken teeth. As a medical doctor I know falls can be life altering so I began asking myself the tough questions. What are my risks and what should I do about it?

Facts about falling

One out of 3 people over 65 have a significant fall each year. The odds of avoiding this problem are not in our favor. Falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries and non-fatal for the elderly population. An active lifestyle helps maintain mobility but ironically exposes us to falls like mine.

After a serious fall some people limit their activity which adds to the long term risk. An honest assessment of oneself and making an individual fall prevention plan should help avoid injury. I decided on the spot to make myself a personal fall risk plan.

Do not let Fear make your decisions for you. Risk has a price and so does security.

My fall risk plan

These days I consciously consider my footing and terrain. Uneven ground requires more concentration. I have an eye out for broken pavement, cracked sidewalks, chuckholes, and loose rocks – anything that might challenge my balance or traction. Each morning I choose footwear that should be appropriate for the coming day’s activities.

Speaking of footwear I no longer economize. Ankle support is helpful. The synthetic soles on today’s shoes can be super slippery on wet concrete or tile. Oil resistance is not enough; I test footwear I plan to wear on different surfaces wet and dry.

Other balance challenges

It’s a little humbling to realize our sense of balance declines with time. Potentially risky activities such as climbing ladders, walking on rooftops, even riding bicycles challenge our ability to balance. It’s worth heeding advice from your friends and spouse; they often see dangers we don’t.

With age we’re more prone to serious injury from a fall because of declining bone structure and strength. Many of us are deficient in Vitamin D and Calcium causing progressive bone weakness. A Dexa scan for bone density is an objective way to determine the risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis. National guidelines suggest this test for females over 65.

Some age related changes are subtle. Declining balance is a huge problem even when our strength is good. Often this is insidious related to a decline in the brains balance center or blood supply. If balance seems different on looking upwards or during certain activities then some simple tests under professional supervision are advisable.

Blood pressure may drop with changes in posture. Known as “orthostatic hypotension” this may relate to medications or arterial changes. You may discover this at home but if there is any suspicion it is worth a trip to the doctor. It is treatable and could result in avoiding a fall.

What you can do

Our place is free of scatter matts, floor clutter or unstable furniture. I turn a light on when getting up at night and sit on the bedside for a few seconds to allow my cardiovascular system to adjust. Quality of life is enhanced by managing the risks of aging. I don’t worry about falling but build these precautions into daily activities. It’s like insurance for all those future activities I plan to attend on foot.

Useful Links and Data on Falling

Injury Prevention & Control: Home and Recreational Safety

Morning Fall Prevention Exercises:

About 50% of injuries over age 65:

US Preventive Services Taskforce

DEXA Scan for Bone Density

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I Don’t See Well Anymore

Guest post by Laverne H. Bardy whose humorous, often irreverent, slant on life in general, and aging in particular, draws a large readership. She has been syndicated with Senior Wire News Service since 2004 and you can find her columns on the Huffington Post. Her book, How The (Bleep) Did I Get This Old? was released in January, 2012, and is a compilation of the best of her columns.

LaverneDriving down a road my husband often asks me to keep my eyes open for things like highway signs, street names and house numbers. I invariably turn and stare at him.

“How long have you known me?” I ask incredulously. “Do you honestly believe I can see those things? Sure, I can make out objects like mountains and sky scrapers, and elephants, but street signs and house numbers? Are you serious? If you’re counting on my ability to get us to our destination, we could very well end up in China.”

I was sitting in an airline terminal waiting for a plane. Around four seats down from me, seated against the wall, I spotted a woman. One of her shoelaces was untied and dragging on the floor. I know that today kids intentionally leave their laces untied and can actually walk around that way, without falling on their faces. But adults don’t have that ability, and since this woman was definitely beyond teenage years, I signaled to get her attention. When she looked up I said, “Excuse me, I thought you’d like to know that your shoelace is untied?”

Do not let Fear make your decisions for you. Risk has a price and so does security.

She looked down at her feet, then back at me. “I’m not wearing shoelaces,” she answered.

I leaned forward, squinted hard, and discovered that what I had thought was a shoelace was the cord draping from her laptop computer to the wall socket in back of her.

“I’m really sorry,” I said. “I don’t see well anymore.”

Looking out of our living room window my husband called to me and said, “Hurry. Fast. You’ve got to see this beautiful Cardinal perched on the tree branch. He’s magnificent.”

I rushed over to the window, looked out, squinched my eyes and said with disdain, “I’m having difficulty seeing the tree, and you want me to focus on a branch and then hone in on something the size of a kosher pickle? I don’t see it. You know I can’t see that far, so stop showing off.”

I suppose it’s nearing that time when I should consider having my cataracts removed but I’m chicken. Besides, I’ve kind of gotten used to viewing the world through Vaseline covered corneas; I mean it’s not as though I’m really missing anything. I’ve been around over seven decades, and I’ve probably already seen everything worth seeing, right?

I’ve noticed that I don’t hear well anymore, either – without my glasses. I never knew this before but I can read lips. I really can. I didn’t go to special school to study lip reading but there’s no doubt that I have an innate ability to do so. I discovered this phenomenon the other evening while visiting friends. I had accidentally left my glasses in the car and when we all sat around talking, I was unable to understand anyone. I mean, I knew that they were talking because I could hear vocal sounds emanating from their throats but I only understood a fraction of what they were saying. As soon as I put on my glasses, I was able to understand every word.

I have to admit, I’m quite impressed with myself.

Other posts by this author

Giddy Yup

Stop Telling Me I’m Old

Growing Up Dangerously

Watching Real Beauty

Hell, Not on the Map, but I Was There

Cellulite: A Rite of Passage

Camping: Not for Sissies

Don’t Count Me Out

Aging, Not All Fun and Games

Challenging My Legacy

Behind Closed Doors

Battle of the Bulge

How the Home Shopping Network Turned Me into a Zebra

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Becoming a Proud Golden Girl

Guest post by Bonnie Moore

Bonnie Moore 2014It’s called the Golden Girls Lifestyle and it is shared housing for mature adults! This movement has received extensive national media coverage and has been embraced as a major addition to the aging-in-place conversation for the baby boomer population.

People across the country are looking for answers because housing cost are too high for retirees. People are lonely when kids grow up and the spouse is no longer around. Many struggle financially. Shared housing seems to be a great answer.

“FIND THE RIGHT PERSON” is at the top of the list when you decide on this adventure. But, who is right for you? How do you know? Start with, “Who am I, and what is important to me?” When you know these answers, you know who you are looking for!

Deal Breakers

Start by considering common issues. Deal-breakers are different for everyone, and you may have some issues that aren’t on this list:

Does she/he smoke? Is it OK with you if the person is an outside smoker?

Will she/he bring a pet? Sometimes pets don’t like to move, and they let you know. Bringing in a new pet is a “two-fer!”

Are there cultural or lifestyle differences that will become too difficult? I encourage diversity, but sometimes you can live next door to someone but not in the same house. For instance, are there significant differences in religious practices, eating habits, hobbies, political interests, working hours, and a bunch of other things that are important for a comfortable living situation? You have to decide what works for you, and then talk about it.

Not sure you can retire? Get answers here

Other considerations

Age Differences. Look for a roommate that is within ten years of your age, and don’t go beyond twenty years on either side. With too much of a difference, you will notice the age nuances and it will frustrate you!

Cleanliness factors. Most women are accustomed to housework and will keep a place in good shape. Some women, however, really need things to be back in their places immediately, every spot wiped off the counter, and the floor swept daily. If this is you, find someone like you. If this is not you, same advice.

Can you get along with her personality? Are you fairly assertive and outgoing? Are you quiet and bookish? How would you assess the personality of a potential roommate? Can you sense an “angry” factor beneath the surface? How would you assess the “honesty factor”?

Interviewing a potential roommate is a lot like a job interview. She will tell you what you want to hear. It is your job to listen below the surface and hear danger signals. Trust your intuition. Selecting a GOOD roommate takes patience, but it can be done. You also learn a great deal about yourself and you learn to develop assertiveness!

Once you identify the factors that are important to you, start advertising and talking to your friends. Print up a flyer and pass it out at your church or community groups, developing a listing on some of the major roommate sites, including Golden Girls Network, and keep talking about it! Don’t be afraid to interview a number of people before making a decision.

Most of all, start developing your written house agreements and a written lease. Even if you decide to rent on a month-to-month basis, you need it in writing. Don’t take anything for granted…get those details down in writing. Be positive and forthright, and decide what is important to you.

About the Author:

Six years ago, Bonnie Moore divorced and was living in a large five-bedroom home that had just been remodeled. She didn’t want to leave her dream home, but she couldn’t afford to stay, so she started looking for roommates and found friends!

People started asking her what it was like to live with a bunch of women, and she went into business helping others achieve financial security and companionship as mature adults. She developed a registry called Golden Girls Network where mature adults can register either as a homeowner or as a housemate and can search other people who have registered and connect for the purpose of becoming roommates.

She also wrote a book called How to Start a Golden Girls Home and teaches a conference call workshop using this book.

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The Global Expatriate’s Guide To Investing—Why You Can’t Afford Not To Read It

Guest post by Andrew Hallam, author of The Global Expatriate’s Guide to Investing

If you have a financial advisor, odds are high that he or she has a dirty little secret. Most of your investment costs are hidden. And the more you pay in investment fees, the less you make. In fact, investment fees are a bigger drain on many people’s wealth than income taxes. Getting them under control can mean one of two things:

1. Retiring a heck of a lot sooner
Or
2. Enjoying a lot more money in retirement

I wrote The Global Expatriate’s Guide To Investing to increase your odds of both.

Let me introduce myself. I was financially free at 38. I wrote a bestselling book in 2011 at the age of 41. It’s called Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School. Now my wife and I enjoy an early retirement lifestyle. We’re currently in Lake Chapala, Mexico. That doesn’t mean, however, that we lay around in hammocks drinking margaritas. I enjoy writing, including a finance column for The Globe and Mail.

So let’s get back to that dirty little secret. You probably pay too much money in investment fees. The more you pay, the more your financial advisor earns. Most advisors are keen to boost their salaries and commissions. Their salesmanship, however, gets deducted from your bottom line.

Open up to new possibilities abroad

If you asked Warren Buffett how to invest, he would tell you to invest in low cost index funds. These are cheap products. They put more money in your pockets. But they line your advisor’s pockets with less. Economic Nobel Prize winners William F. Sharpe, Paul Samuelson, Daniel Kahneman, Merton Miller and Robert Merton all agree. Harvard’s endowment fund manager, Jack Meyer, says “The investment business is a giant scam. It deletes billions of dollars every year in transaction costs and fees…You should simply hold index funds.” Yale University’s endowment fund manager, David Swensen, says the U.S. government should stop the mutual fund industry’s exploitation of individual investors.

In the eyes of most financial advisors, these financial wizards are total party poopers. My book shows you how to hire the right kind of financial advisor. This person would build you a portfolio of low cost index funds. It also shows how to build such portfolios on your own.

Let’s assume you’re 40 years old. You invest $10,000 into a low cost index fund. If the markets average 8 percent, your money would grow to roughly $81,573 after 30 years. Investors paying 2 percent more in annual fees would likely earn just $48,268. Those north of 50 may wonder why this matters to them. It does. And it matters a lot. Most 50 year olds, for example, hope to live happy healthy lives into their 80s. If you’re living off your investments, you won’t be spending it all at once. You’ll be selling part of your money each year, while the remainder (you hope!) continues to grow. This is how you can combat the rising costs of living.

I wrote The Global Expatriate’s Guide To Investing for an expatriate audience. But if you’re residing in your home country, you’ll still find it useful. It’s the only book in the world that shows exactly how to invest, regardless of where you live, and regardless of nationality. It’s also the only book showing you how to build low cost portfolios of index funds using three different cutting edge strategies. One of them, you’ll find, has been remarkably stable. It has averaged slightly more than 9 percent a year since 1971. Its worst year was 1981. It dropped just 4.1 percent. During the crash of 2008, it lost less than 1 percent.

Yeah, I’m gushing about this book. But I know you’ll find it helpful.

Best of all, it gets that dirty little secret out.

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Questions on Retirement Facilities Overseas

I was looking at the QA section of your website. I didn’t look at every link. But, at some point do you discuss the inevitable outcome that eventually you won’t be able to travel any more at a certain age. Do you have any plans? Will you return to America permanently? Or will you choose one place overseas? Do you have concerns about having to stay in a retirement facility overseas?

Was there any country you’d label as your “favorite?”
Thanks,
Marsha

Hi Marsha,

Thanks for taking the time to write. You have a great question!

Billy and I still debate returning to the States full time. Once we turn 65 we will have medicare, but the expenses of long term care are just off the charts. Other countries who serve the expat population are aware of this and are building long term facilities to fill the need. You can read about a couple of them here:

Continuous Care options
Alicia’s Convalescent Complex
Care Facilities in Mexico

Also, it should be noted that general care — whether it’s medical or just care around the home like gardeners and maids, someone to do the shopping and cooking, is far more affordable overseas than it is in the States. So if it gets to the point where one must have assistance in one’s own home, this would be more affordable than in the States as well.

As I say, other countries see the writing on the wall and are offering services to Expats now for these purposes. These facilities and array of services will only grow to cover the increasing needs of the population. Chances are, we will take advantage of these when the time comes.

In terms of do we have any concerns about staying in a facility overseas – no more than having to stay or receive them in the States. There are always areas where one must watch so we aren’t taken advantage of – whether it be cleanliness, good service, or money fraud – but one would need to watch that anywhere they stay. We take the attitude of staying open to having the best options present themselves when the time is needed.

Not sure you can retire? Get answers here

As far as having a favorite country — we do not. Each country has their pros and cons, depending on what one is looking for. Sometimes stunning natural beauty is accompanied by less infrastructure, sometimes an easy-to-get-to-place has more traffic. Weather-wise, we prefer a springtime climate – not too hot, not too cold, not too humid. It’s always a give and take.

I hope this answers your question and do feel free to write again any time.

Wishing you the best,
Akaisha

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Age Requirements for 55+ Active Adult Communities

Hi Billy and Akaisha,

Thank you so much for creating your website Retire Early Lifestyle. It has been such an inspiration to me.

Your travels and adventures encourage me so much in my mission to retire early.

I especially like the way you have structured your travels…with a home base in an active adult community with easy access to an airport and travel adventures overseas.

I would love to do something similar but every active adult community that interests me seems to be 55+. As I am only 47 I don’t know if I would be able to join a community that I like.

Since you two retired early I was wondering how you dealt with this issue.

If you have time to write back that would be wonderful!!! (I wouldn’t want to take away from your travel time though.)

Thanks again so much for your website. I read it every day (and after some of my work days, I really need the pick me up.)

Sincerely,
Pamela

Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.

Hi Pamela,

Thank you for taking the time to write and for all your kind words regarding our website. We are most pleased that you find inspiration and useful information on RetireEarlyLifestyle.com

Regarding Active Adult Communities — we were grandfathered in to a community when we were in our forties, so that is how we were able to be where we are. However, some communities follow an Equal Housing Opportunity rule which doesn’t allow the community to discriminate residents by age and allows for a certain percentage of residents to be under 55. You might try looking for communities which follow this rule first, then see if there are any housing opportunities there.

Our particular resort park was one of these communities, and there were several younger people living in there. You could probably do some research online, but from what I understand, each community is different.

It’s a great way to live, with lots of amenities. You can check it out here: ‘Worry-Free’ Housing.

The best of luck, and don’t give up on your dream!

Best regards,
Akaisha

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