Mature Life Features

Cecil Scaglione, Editor

Posts Tagged ‘retire

Shop for your Retirement

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By Cecil Scaglione

Mature Life Features

Instead of saving for your retirement,  go shopping — for an income plan, that is.

Saving has such an onerous connotation to many of us. We think  it requires discipline and deprives us of the immediate use of all the money we work so hard for. The notion of buying your retirement might ease the pain of the process,  suggests the Financial Planning Association.

You’re going to shop a  401(k), individual retirement account, tax-deferred fixed annuity or some other plan that best for you. The money you put into that investment will be used for delayed purchases of groceries, vacations, medical treatment, family cars, insurance, clothing — everything you shop for and buy now. “Think of it as buying something on the lay-away plan,” said FPA member and San Diego certified financial planner Andrew Castiglione.

Act like your taking a trip to the Retirement Planning Mall. When you head to the megastores looking for a television set or refrigerator or winter jacket, you have an idea of what you want or need. Your study the colors and qualities of several models on your shopping trip, narrow down your choices, and finally make your purchase. Shop the same way for your retirement.

Do you want one with plenty of travel time or lots of hobbies? Are visits to your grandchildren high on the list of desired features? Are you thinking of moving or working part time? What medical-treatment options do you have in mind? It’s just like buying a TV set, in a way. You may not be able to afford the latest 60-inch flat-screen entertainment center and have to settle for a 32-inch model.

So you may not be able to afford a dream retirement, but you can avoid facing a nightmare if you shop as early as possible. Like, right now if you haven’t done it yet.

A retirement lifestyle that reflects your working-life standard of living will cost about 75 percent of the income you earn during your career, according to the FPA. Social Security and your company pension plan will cover part of that, but that’s not likely to cover it all. To get the best bang for your buck, buy your retirement plan as early as possible.

 

Mature Life Features, Copyright 2003

Written by Cecil Scaglione

April 7, 2012 at 12:02 am

Posted in Finance

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Slip-Sliding into Park City

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By Cecil Scaglione 

 Mature Life Features

PARK CITY, Utah —- It’s simple to assess whether or not you’ve achieved Success here. It’s the title of a trail at the world-renowned Deer Valley Resort that lets you know when you’ve graduated from beginner to intermediate skier.

I arrived as a senior hoping to stand up all the way down a hill and left as an intermediate skier after enjoying Success several times. The 20-or-so-minute run also is embraced by clusters of multi-million-dollar condominiums designed to accommodate those considered to have mastered financial success.

Such moneyed manifestations should not deter you from considering this mining town-cum-ghost town-cum ski resort in the Wasatch Mountains as a focus for fun and, perhaps, a site to settle down.

That’s what a sizeable – some estimates reach as high as 500 – ex-Delta Air Lines crew members decided who have re-located here, according to ex-captain Rich Dolan. During a break in his day as a volunteer Mountain Host at Park City Mountain Resort, where you can grab a lift that begins right in the heart of town, he explained that he retired here in 1991 after visiting for a dozen years. His remuneration for volunteering a day a week to assist anyone who looks dismayed or dumbfounded is a season’s ski pass, which runs around $1,500.

During the no-snow season, he resorts to tooling around on his motorcycle. “The weather here is great,” he said. “There are no bugs — no flies — because of the altitude. You don’t need air conditioning. And it’s not as cold as Colorado or Montana or British Columbia. It’s a dry cold. You can’t make a snowball here,” he said. It’s been reported that you can clear your yard of snow with a leaf blower, all 500 inches – more than 40 feet – that falls each year.

Should skiing and snowboarding become boring, you can slip off for fly fishing in the nearby Green River to catch your lunch. Yep, they don waders and slosh into the frigid waters at any time of year to snag tasty trout for their plates and palates.

You can do a triple play here in one day: ski in the morning, golf in the afternoon, and then go fly fishing. That’s usually about March. While this kind of life and living draws folks here, the accessibility of both the bright lights of  Salt Lake City and its airport just 30 minutes away are also attractions. 

For the lazy or less adventurous who still hunger for fish, the Deer Valley seafood buffet is lauded long and loud by both neighbors and newcomers. Deer Valley has been described by some as a cluster of fine restaurants with ski slopes attached to them.

But you don’t have to ski to the dining lounge. You can drive up. Or you can hike or bike up in summer when the ski lodges surrounding this community are open to an array of non-snow-season activities that include rock-climbing, and horseback and scenic lift rides.

Deer Valley limits the number of its daily ski-lift tickets in winter to 6,500 – the number of seats in its restaurants – so no one will have to pass up a comfortable lunch or dinner.  It and neighboring Alta do not permit snowboarding on their slopes.

For the more sedate, a stroll through the community is a hike through history. There are the mines that flourished after federal troops were sent here in the 1850s to quell any possibility of a rumored secession. As many as 350 mines were producing silver, copper, lead, zinc, and a little gold. All this activity dwindled to dust in the late 1800s and the community was little more than a ghost town when it sprang back to life in the 1950s as winter sports began growing in popularity.

A mine elevator still takes skiers to a summit and many of the mines now produce “liquid gold” – water that has filled several tunnels and is piped into Park City faucets.

Mature Life Features, Copyright 2009

Written by Cecil Scaglione

November 5, 2011 at 12:05 am

Go Ahead, Live Abroad

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By Igor Lobanov

Mature Life Features

 

  The 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York City’s the World Trade Towers and on the Pentagon a decade ago heightened Americans’ concerns about their safety, both at home and abroad. More than 3 million Americans live in foreign countries, according to some estimates.

  If you’re still mulling such a move as part of your retirement dream, there are plenty of information available in books and online. For example, you can type “The Grown-Up’s Guide to Retiring Abroad” into your search engine. Author Rosanne Knorr who, with her American husband, has spent several summers in France’s Loire Valley and winters in Florida, outlines factors to be considered if you’ve longed to live in a foreign land.

  Americans who choose to live outside the United States have a variety of reasons for choosing a particular country. First there’s the environment or ambience.

  Knorr points out that, unlike vacationers who stay at a resort or condominium complex where daily needs are easily met, you need to consider how close markets and shops are and what your social life will be like when you live long-term among the local populace. Will you want to spend time only with fellow foreigners who may be there for only a short time? Or will you make an effort to blend into the rhythm and routine of the community. If you choose a resort area, you’ll have to put up with crowds of visitors during the season and possibly empty streets and shuttered shops the rest of the year.

  Then there’s the climate. The warm and cozy days of summer may turn cold and miserable when winter arrives. Don’t take others’ assessments. Get information on the weather in all seasons and, if possible, visit at various times of the year. For example, you may decide the south of France, which is known for its warm weather, is unbearably hot in the summer.

  Local culture and way of living also are important. In Spain, for example, restaurants customarily don’t begin serving dinners until 10 p.m. or so. The Spanish love dining late. You may not. Many restaurants in Spain do start to serve earlier, but chances are your fellow diners will be mostly tourists.

  Language also plats a role. Can you order from a menu that’s all in Greek? Or Japanese? Other considerations include a country’s cost of living, its transportation network, and its legal code. The latter could be vital in its application to how your estate will be distributed if you die over there. Finally, there’s health care. A key reason that many American expatriates decide to return home is the availability of superior medical care here.

  It’s important to do your own research into areas or countries that interest you. Sources include guide books, travel magazines and videos, websites, tourist offices for the nations involved and books, such as Knorr’s, that discuss moving to or living in a foreign locale. For up-to-date information on safety and security in areas you’re considering, go to the State Department’s Citizen’s Emergency Center at www.travel.state.gov/travel-warnings.html. Local newspapers, which you or a friend can pick up during a visit, often contain classified ads for homes or apartments to rent. Call the country’s embassy or consulate for rules governing an extended stay.

Mature Life Features, Copyright 2003

Written by Cecil Scaglione

September 18, 2011 at 12:05 am