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Category: Retirement Trends

Get the latest information on Retirement Trends from the experts at Ubiquity Retirement & Savings. Get important news that can affect your retirement, along with tips and advice from our team of retirement experts. Call Ubiquity today for a Free Consultation at 855.466.5825.

As you are planning your retirement, it is fun to think about moving somewhere new, maybe even a beach destination.

However, it is essential to consider a variety of factors that will help you identify the best fit for you and your new phase of life. The factors workers most frequently say are important to their decision-making are affordable cost of living (71%), proximity to family and friends (54%), good weather (49%), low crime rates (49%), access to health care (43%), and recreational activities (41%).

If you think you have found the location for you, you may want to vacation there during different times of the year or spend a month or more there at a time, just to make sure you get the full perspective of a resident versus a vacationer.

Some experts also recommend that you open a bank account, have a medical appointment, or conduct other kinds of personal business in your selected location to make sure you experience the aspects of the culture and understand what will be available to you once you move there.

Several organizations routinely analyze data to identify the best places to live in retirement. Their research can help you evaluate the things that are most important to you when deciding whether you want to relocate retirement.

Best places to retire in the U.S.A.

Forbes’ annual Best Places to Retire list takes into consideration things like access to medical care, crime rates, air quality, unemployment, cost of living, and factors that can make for a fulfilling retirement, such as opportunities for volunteering and exercise. According to Forbes’ analysis, and its admitted preference for college towns, here are the 25 best places to retire in 2017 (listed alphabetically).

  • Athens, Georgia
  • Bella Vista, Arkansas
  • Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • Boise, Idaho
  • Brevard, North Carolina
  • Clemson, South Carolina
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Fargo North Dakota
  • Grand Prairie, Texas
  • Green Valley, Arizona
  • Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Iowa City, Iowa
  • Jefferson City, Missouri
  • Lawrence, Kansas
  • Lewiston, Maine
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Maryville, Tennessee
  • Ocean Pines, Maryland
  • Peoria, Arizona
  • Port Charlotte, Florida
  • San Marcos, Texas
  • Savannah, Georgia
  • Summerville, South Carolina
  • The Villages, Florida
  • Wenatchee, Washington

Best cities to retire

If big cities are more your style, you might want to look at the Milken Institute’s Best Cities For Successful Aging report.

This study considers nine factors that make the “best” city for retirees: general livability, healthcare, wellness, financial security, education, transportation and convenience, employment opportunities, living arrangements and community engagement.

It has also found that cities with colleges rank higher on quality-of-life factors that affect older adults, including economic strength and recreation. Here are Milken’s top 10 big cities for aging successfully.3

  1. Provo-Orem, Utah
  2. Madison, Wisconsin
  3. Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  4. Salt Lake City, Utah
  5. Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa
  6. Austin-Round Rock, Texas
  7. Omaha-Council Bluffs, Nebraska-Iowa
  8. Jackson, Mississippi
  9. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts-New Hampshire
  10. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California

If you are more comfortable in a smaller setting, those have been ranked too. The top 10 best small cities tend to have moderate living costs, quality healthcare, educational facilities, and a community feel.3

  1. Iowa City, Iowa
  2. Manhattan, Kansas
  3. Ames, Iowa
  4. Columbia, Missouri
  5. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  6. Ann Arbor, Michigan
  7. Ithaca, New York
  8. Lawrence, Kansas
  9. Logan, Utah-Idaho
  10. Fairbanks, Alaska

How livable is your hometown?

Ever wondered about how your hometown ranks on the list of great places to live? AARP’s Livability Index will tell you. Follow this link and type in your address or town name to find out how livable your community is.

Best warm places to retire

Even with all the conveniences that cities have to offer, many people dream of living by the beach or in a warmer climate. AARP researchers found ten great places to retire – all of which boast at least 250 days of sunshine each year. Other factors considered include cost of living, the range of activities for retirees, and a low crime rate.4

  1. Asheville, North Carolina
  2. Grand Junction, Colorado
  3. Sarasota, Florida
  4. San Diego, California
  5. Las Cruces, New Mexico
  6. San Luis Obispo, California
  7. St. George, Utah
  8. Santa Fe, New Mexico
  9. Bend, Oregon
  10. Fort Worth, Texas

Best places in the world to retire

If you are thinking more globally, International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index measures factors that are important to those who are considering a move to another country, including ease of buying property, ease of attaining a visa, cost of living, entertainment, healthcare, climate, and governance. Here are the top 10 international locations for retirees in 2018.

  1. Costa Rica
  2. Mexico
  3. Panama
  4. Ecuador
  5. Malaysia
  6. Columbia
  7. Portugal
  8. Nicaragua
  9. Spain
  10. Peru

Learn more

Despite some locations showing up on multiple lists (Lawrence, Kansas, and Iowa City, Iowa), researchers have identified places all over the U.S. and the world as great places for fulfilling the needs and desires of retirees. Wherever you decide to live, you will need retirement income to support your lifestyle.

If you’re a small business owner and need a 401k plan for yourself and your company, only Ubiquity offers flat-fee plans plus free expert advice. We’ll fully customize your 401k to meet the specific needs of your small business.

Check out our cost-effective, plan solutions

Resources for best places to retire

  1. Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies: Wishful Thinking or Within Reach? Three Generations Prepare for “Retirement,” December 2017
  2. Forbes: 25 Best Places to Retire in 2017
  3. Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging: Best Cities for Successful Aging
  4. AARP: 10 Great Sunny Places to Retire
  5. International Living: The World’s Best Places to Retire in 2018

Participating in your first retirement savings plan can seem overwhelming and may stir up a whirlwind of questions. Remember: even though getting started can be difficult, you are taking an important step in investing for your future.

As you navigate your company’s retirement benefits, talking with your Human Resources (HR) person, department, or whoever is managing your company’s plan, is your best place to start.

For some insight on how your HR department can help you get your savings plan in gear, we sat down with our own HR people here at Ubiquity Retirement + Savings.

Q: Does being overwhelmed prevent individuals from enrolling in retirement plans? Are there any other reasons why people don’t enroll?

A: It’s not necessarily that employees feel overwhelmed with choices, but rather, depending on their age, they feel overwhelmed with their financial situation and obligations. Employees just now entering the workforce have always heard they need to save for retirement. But because that date is so far in the future, many don’t feel it’s the proper savings vehicle, especially when they may have student loans to pay off, for example.

It’s hard to conceptualize an event that is 30 to 40 years in the future. For people in the middle of their careers, it’s almost a no-brainer that you must establish retirement savings. Depending on your financial situation, saving any amount from your paycheck can be difficult. Still, most people who are GenX and Y know they need to open a 401k sooner than later. Probably the biggest reason for not enrolling is the lack of extra funds. If someone is living paycheck to paycheck, there isn’t much to save.

Q: What’s the best way for employees to learn their options for retirement savings vehicles at their company?

A: The best way would be to ask their HR department, or if they are at a small business, to approach the owner or person responsible for payroll and benefits. At companies with dedicated HR departments, it’s important to continually remind employees of this benefit. Having a “benefits fair” is a great way to educate and publicize the options available to employees. If an employee learns there isn’t a retirement plan available, I would encourage them to educate their HR department or company owner on how these plans benefit the company. Retirement plans attract and retain talent, and the associated tax savings almost entirely cover any additional costs.

Q: If an employee is new to a company, how should they approach HR to inquire about retirement benefits?

A: A good HR practice is always to have information on benefits available to employees and to go over this at orientation or in new hire meeting. A lot of established companies have defined new hire orientations and a section on benefits is part of that.

However, even at a smaller firm, you still have an onboarding meeting where you have to complete administrative paperwork. If an employee doesn’t notice any information on retirement when completing this new hire paperwork, that would be the time to ask.

Q: If an employee is not currently enrolled in a retirement savings plan, how can they get started?

A: First, look at your paycheck and current financial obligations to determine what percentage of your income you can save. Then, speak to your plan sponsor and find out when you can start contributing. It’s important to remember that it’s not a direct calculation where if you decide to save $200 per paycheck your net check is automatically $200 less. With the tax benefit, you are getting taxed less, so your net paycheck might only be $150 less.

Q: Why are company match programs especially important when choosing an employer?

A: Two words: FREE MONEY! That match is so important because it’s literally free money that is going into your savings vehicle. At a minimum, you should always contribute as much as your company will match, otherwise you are leaving cash on the table.

Download your Definitive Guide to Small Business 401k Plans

As a busy career woman and Millennial who is hyper-conscious about saving and being a socially responsible investor, I search out simple automated apps so I can practice the “set it and forget it” method of saving.

Blooom is my go-to robo 401k advisor. You can sign up in less than five minutes. It visually shows you if your 401(k) is healthy in the form of a flower. The only time I have spent on my 401k was setting up my Blooom account. They take care of all the maintenance, such as rebalancing my account and making sure I follow the golden long-term investment rule: Always diversify your portfolio.

Stash is my preferred long-term investing app With Stash you don’t have to have all the money upfront to buy shares, it only takes a minimum of $5 to start, and then you own a percentage of an exchange-traded fund (ETF).

Bonus! It has an auto-Stash feature, which I use to pull funds every pay period to invest in my designated ETFs. This app took the fear out Wall Street for me, as the app is intuitive and educational.

Before discovering Stash I was anti-Wall Street and investing because I found it to be expensive and scary, and I thought you had to have an economics degree to comprehend it. Stash allows me to invest in the companies and ETFs I believe in and want to support like their “Do the Right Thing” ETF which include socially responsible businesses. Being able to choose what company I invest in means I can put my money where my values lie, which is super important to me.

Digit.co is my “because life happens” savings app. Digit.co analyzes your bank account and spending patterns. The software analyzes your daily checking account balance and learns your spending habits. Powered by this information, the software knows when and how much to move from your checking account to your Digit account. The amounts vary depending on your checking balance and spending habits for that day/week/month. I notice they tend to pull smaller amounts between $5 and 10.

Simple is my bank. After more than a decade with Bank of America, I took a risk on banking with a start-up, online-only bank. Simple, has single-handedly changed my spending behavior and saving psychology, it offers two savings features—Goals and Safe-to-Spend. Goals allow me to save for anything from my upcoming trip to Maui to my student loan payment, by auto-transferring money each day to the Goals. My money is still in my checking account (Simple does not make you open a traditional savings account), but when I look at my account, I just see a Safe-to-Spend balance, which excludes funds in my Goals. I no longer have to sit down and figure out how much I need to save because Simple does it for me.

My conclusion? Because of recent financial technological (FinTech) advances, investing and saving has become much simpler, if not easier. I can be a savvy saver who takes into account my immediate goals, my potential emergency needs, and my future needs. While we, Millennials, have the odds stacked against us in many ways, the ew technology that helps us get ahead in the savings race, is not one of them.

 

Millennials make up the largest labor force in the U.S. and are expected to work longer due to college debt, rising rent costs and uncertain retirement benefits such as Social Security.

The Millennial generation, which spans 18 years, hasn’t been dealt the best hand, having come of age during the post-9/11 and Grand Recession era. However, that doesn’t mean that they should abandon hopes for the the future, or consider a “work till I’m dead” approach. Financial education and smarter decision making will help this generation overcome obstacles, while also potentially being the savviest generation on record.

1. Your teens

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your teens is not seizing the opportunity to learn about money and establish a foundation for the rest of your life.

Some of us are lucky in that our states require us to complete personal finance courses to graduate high school, so we’re forced to pay attention to the importance of learning about savings.

However, regardless of whether financial education is required or not, you should make it a priority at this point in your life.

A lot of people complain that personal finance is boring, but if you listen to the experiences of the people you know — parents, grandparents, relatives, family friends, etc. — you will learn a life lesson and probably hear some great stories in the process. At this stage in your life, it is all about the basics. You don’t have to start investing now!

Lastly, consider getting your feet wet in the job market with a part-time job you enjoy so you can start understanding the value of money and learning how to budget for yourself.

2. Early 20s

In your early 20s, you may be in college or just entering your first full-time job. Either way, both these paths bring a new kind of freedom. However, while it’s easy to embrace and experiment with that independence, you can’t forget that earning extra income will give you cash to spend now and to save for later.

Whether you’re in college or working after high school, don’t wait to start saving for retirement until you have access to a 401k plan. Consider using a saving app, or even going to your local bank to set up a savings account. Not only are you saving money early, but you’re building a financial reputation with your bank, which will come handy if you seek a loan in the future.

3. Mid- to late-20s

By now, you’re probably either a full-time member of the workforce or actively pursuing your career. This is when you want to look for jobs that value their employees enough to offer the right benefits that will help you save for retirement and other necessities.

It’s okay if your first job does not offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan – you are still investing in your career by gaining useful experience. However, you want to make sure your next company offers some kind of employer-sponsored savings plan.

Even if it seems like a flashback to a classroom, go to your company’s open enrollment meetings, which are filled with useful information.

After you start contributing to a retirement plan and building the foundation for a nest egg that will grow over time, you will start to learn about yourself and your investment style. Are you risky, conservative or somewhere in between?

4. Early 30s

As your salary and responsibilities grow, so will some of your expenses, but it’s important to increase your savings contributions with those raises and promotions. This is the right time to identify bad financial habits you may have developed and correct them before it’s too late.

If you miss out on savings opportunities now, it will cost you a lot more down the road. Everyone has retirement dreams, but they won’t become a reality without implementing a healthy savings strategy!

FinTech, or financial technology, is receiving loads of attention, but there is still a great deal of confusion over what it is and what it means—especially as it applies to retirement. Let’s try to clarify this.

We’ve all been incredibly frustrated by the fallout from the financial crisis, regardless of which generation we hail from. Retirement plans and every single financial, legacy-laden organization out there still include a ton of nest egg-sucking fees hiding in their fine print. FinTech cuts against this, ushering in the age of transparency. The traditional financial institution, from banks to retirement, is being crowd-transformed – by the people – for the people.

This includes a financial humanization overhaul. A vast portion of people—women and minorities for example—will now be included in this conversation from which they’ve previously been excluded.

Questions to ask

In this respect, advisers and employers have to ask themselves what financial providers are they working with and what do they stand for? Are they part of the financial literacy revolution? Do they offer fee transparency? Or are they part of the legacy problem? Remember—employers hoping to attract and retain talent these days, must align with what candidates and employees are looking for. 401k and health benefits remain at the top of that list.

FinTech heralds a financial revolution that is for everyonenot just the country’s top earners. It’s cloud-based, consumer-friendly and offers education in a consumable manner. It makes an employer’s life easier, with low-cost tools that enable them to offer better products and greater resources to an audience that is starving for entrée to a financially secure future. Basically, it’s like taking all aspects of the financial realm and making them as simple and frictionless as ordering a cab from Uber.

Like Uber, FinTech offers simplicity, transparency, mobility, and portability. It embraces flat-fee, paper-free, transparent, simple, humanistic service. In other words, especially as it pertains to retirement, FinTech is here and it’s here to stay.

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When it comes to global retirement security, the U.S. is ranked 17th out of 150 countries, according to Natixis Global Asset Management’s 2017 Global Retirement Index Report. The index considers health, material comforts, the environment and, of course, retirement access and savings when determining rankings. 

As a global superpower, this ranking is abysmal. Many issues contribute to this looming retirement crisis in America, among them a lack of education and the widening gap in income equality, as well as the U.S. having one of the most cripplingly expensive health care systems on the globe.

While U.S. partisan politics are part of the reason we have failed to move up in the rankings, we can certainly copy some other countries’ success strategies. International governments recognize the critical importance of taking care of their people from cradle to grave, not just while they are contributing to the success of their GDP.

The top five countries in the Natixis report are:

1) Norway

2) Switzerland

3) Iceland

4) Sweden

5) New Zealand

These countries are ranked highest because they see retirement as a basic human right that should be available to everyone.

Access, incentives and automatic features are proven

Politics aside, U.S. employers realize that health care and retirement savings are the top two most sought-after benefits in the workplace. New businesses are launching daily that are focused on empowering employees in what has become a self-directed savings environment. By including incentives such as an employer match and auto-enrolment, we have a chance to make a dent in progressive retirement planning and rise in the ranks as a global leader.

Millennials and boomers are constantly being compared to in the media as generations with conflicting goals, challenges, and lifestyles – including their retirement savings habits. We were intrigued by the results of this T. Rowe Price study, which found the two generations’ are saving about the same while their budgeting habits differ. The study compared their retirement plan contributions, budgeting practices, and auto-enrollment preferences.

After checking out the study, we compiled the most compelling statistics for you into an infographic.

ubiquity-millennial-boomer-infographic

Okay, I’ll admit it, I like to collect things. At some point in my childhood I started collecting watches, and while most of them are in need of a new battery, I do enjoy looking at my watch collection. I have fond memories of either the person who gave a watch to me or from the experience I was having when I purchased it. Having one collection isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

However, throughout my life, I started to accumulate more collections. Suddenly, anytime I acquired an object that was related to another I thought of it as a collection. Soon collections started taking up more boxes and more space and I saw myself on a future episode of Hoarders. The madness had to end!

So I tossed most of it all away and decided that I was only going to collect one thing in the future: Money.

It’s the perfect collection, really. It doesn’t take up space (unless you are hiding it under the mattress). It provides actual long-term security, and it even multiplies without any intervention on your part. I get much more satisfaction looking at my increasing bank balance than I ever did dusting off any of my past collections. More importantly, it gives me confidence that when I retire years from now, I will have enough saved to not worry.

We live in a very materialistic, instant gratification society, so it’s a challenge to not buy something as soon as we want it. But I believe that peace of mind about my future is worth far more than anything I can buy today. Sure I have my splurges, but they are always done after I have hoarded away some money. Anything extra, it gets saved too! I want to ensure that I am planning for a realistic retirement and that it’s not just some ambiguous event that will happen in the future. It’s real, and I need to be prepared.

I challenge everyone to think long and hard about whether your actions today will give you the confidence to retire in your golden years. A good reality check is to see how many of these scenarios you are preparing for or already are prepared for. Yes there are some that are out of our control, but it’s still a good idea to hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Right off the bat, I am already planning for the idea that when I retire, Social Security will be a thing of the past.

How confident are you in your retirement plans?

It’s time to wake up! There’s a looming retirement crisis in America, and it’s going to take more than our government to fix these broken eggs. Let’s put it this way. We’re going to get scary, then we’re going to discuss what the heck we’re going to do about the mess.

Did you know?

  • 46% of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for their retirement
  • 29% have less than $1,000 saved
  • $6.6 TRILLION SHORT, American workers are falling drastically short of what they need to retire
  • 20% of all bankruptcies happen to those age 55 and older
  • 74% of us believe that we are going to need to work until we’re dead

Now if those statistics aren’t startling, you obviously don’t fall into any of those categories. However, if that startled the stuffing out of you, it’s time to really start considering how we’re going to get out of this mess.

Broken Eggs: The Looming Retirement Crisis in America is a hard-hitting and feature-length documentary film covering everything from the Pension crisis to Social Security insolvency, and more. It’s a multi-generation film, covering the stories of real people who are struggling with saving, are retired and aren’t making it, along with the policy makers and shakers in Washington D.C.

The thing is, we need to promote this conversation and get people really thinking about the issues. We all owe it to ourselves, our future selves, and everyone we share this country with to get involved.

That means you, your friends and family, me, everyone.

 

In this week’s Andrew Answers, we hear from Bob, an entrepreneur looking to do right by his employees. Bob wants to open a small business 401k. Bob needs help getting started.

Get a short rundown on what to do before the year-end as you’re opening that shiny new retirement plan. I touch on timing, plan features, and what to look out for.

If you are a small business owner who wants to start a 401k plan by 2014, or an employee of a small business in need of the option to save for retirement at work, this episode is for you!

Oh, and I’ve got a mustache. Here’s why.

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© 2018 Ubiquity Retirement + Savings / Privacy Policy
1160 Battery Street, Suite 350, San Francisco, CA 94111 / Support: 855.401.4357