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Housing and Retirement: What's Ahead?


Tags: aging in place, home values

The "Great Recession" is changing our view of home ownership and the types of neighborhood we want to live in retirement, according to new research from the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

If they are right, it has broad implications for the role of housing in retirement planning.

Two key predictions from the report, Housing in America, for the decade ahead:

* Home appreciation will slow considerably, to about 1 percent to 2 percent annually; and,

* The current U.S. homeownership rate, now at 67 percent (a decline from the record high of 69 percent at the height of the housing boom) will fall further, to about 62 percent.

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New to Medicare? It's Smart to Compare Medicare Insurance Plans


Tags: Medicare, Retiree health insurance

Most of the time we buy health insurance through our employer, often life and disability insurance as well.

So, what happens as you approach 65 and no longer have an employer to purchase through and don't have retiree health benefits and need to select a Medicare health plan?

You are on your own.

Your benefits office may have some guidance for you, the Internet can serve up an often dizzying choice of plans and your mailbox will probably start filling up with "turning 65" offers. And health care can be one of your biggest expenses in retirement, so selecting the right plan is important.

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Switching Medicare Advantage Plans?

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Tags: Medicare Advantage

Not pleased with your Medicare Advantage plan? Meant to switch before the end of the year, but never got around to it? You have one more chance to change your Medicare Advantage plan for 2010.

If you didn't get it switched during the November through December annual election period, you have one more opportunity to switch plans during what is called the open enrollment period from January 1 - March 31. Here's a link to a tip sheet from Medicare on enrollment periods and what you can do.

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Know Reverse Mortgage Rules Before You Sign


Tags: aging in place

As the housing market doldrums continue, it's likely that older homeowners will turn more frequently to a reverse mortgage to help cover some of their expenses.

A reverse mortgage might be just the right thing to do. Or it might not. Like any financial transaction it all depends on your individual circumstances.

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Tips to a Healthier Lifestyle in 2010

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Tags: health living, long term care insurance

As we age our metabolism slows. But, maybe those few extra pounds aren't just metabolism. Maybe it's too much time sitting...and snacking..and not enough moving.

Adding just 30 minutes of daily physical activity should top your list of New Year's resolutions for a healthier 2010, says Peter Brubaker, professor of health and exercise science at Wake Forest University. Regular daily exercise is the most important step toward a healthier lifestyle, Brubaker says.


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Why It's Smart to Compare Long Term Care Insurance Costs

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Tags: long-term care insurance

If you worry about the cost of long term care, but are concerned about the cost of long-term care insurance, maybe you're looking at the wrong insurance company.

Costs can vary by as much as 60% from one insurance company to the next for the same level of coverage, according to a recent study by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI). That's why experts recommend you get quotes from 2-3 insurance companies before you make a decision.


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