#retirement #RetirementHomes #RetirementDestinations #WhereToLive
If you had a million bucks socked away for retirement, where would you live?
Presuming you stay in the U.S., the places where $1 million would last longest in retirement are: McAllen, Texas, 42.3 years; Harlingen, Texas, 39.5 years; Richmond, Ind., 39.3 years; Kalamazoo, Mich., 38.1 years; Cleveland, Ohio, 37.4 years; Martinsville, Va., 37.1 years; Knoxville, Tenn., 36.7 years; Ashland, Ohio, 36.6 years; Jonesboro, Ark., 36.6 years; and Norman, Okla., 36.5 years.
On the other hand, the places where $1 million would be spent the fastest in retirement are: New York, N.Y., 12.5 years; Honolulu, Hawaii, 14.8 years; San Francisco, Calif, 15.9 years; Seattle, Wash., 18.7 years; Boston, Mass., 18.7 years; Orange, Calif, 18.8 years; Hilo, Hawaii, 18.9 years; Stamford, Conn., 19.3 years; Washington, Va., 19.4 years; and Kodiak, Alaska, 19.7 years.
These figures were compiled by SmartAsset.com and were part of an article by Ron Hutibise of the Sun Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. It was also published May 14, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
A couple of things are obvious. First, $1 million isn’t what one would call a lot of money today. It may have been a fortune a few decades ago, but no longer.
Second, the most expensive places might be the more desirable places to live than the least expensive places.
As the article pointed out, Fort Lauderdale came in last among Florida cities – even worse than Miami. Your cool million would be gone in 25.2 years in Fort Lauderdale, the article says.
Something else is at play here. Many people at or near retirement don’t have anywhere close to $1 million saved. It’s hard to imagine how they will survive – never mind enjoy – retirement without a decent financial cushion.
So what might the lesson be? If you are young, start saving, even if you have to give up something, or things, you enjoy. Though it may be hard to imagine what life will be like in coming decades, or whether you’ll even live that long, you still should plan for all eventualities as best you can.
If you are middle aged, or nearing retirement, and you don’t have what you think you will need to enjoy your golden years, your choices are limited. You can keep working, presuming your employer is in no rush to get rid of you. The worker shortage many employers are experiencing now, thanks to an economy that has pretty much recovered from the recession, may be a saving grace for you. That’s presuming your health is good, your job is bearable etc.
Still, that could change. You have to work under the presumption that you could be let go any day. You almost never get a warning of when that day will come. You have to keep your eyes and ears on what is happening around you, so you can spot things that might forecast your departure.
Finally, no matter what your age, there are a number of vehicles out there that will allow you to pick up extra money – potentially a lot of extra money – by dedicating a few part-time hours a week. To learn about one of the best such vehicles, message me.
If you plan well, you can retire at the appropriate time. If you plan really well, you can retire whenever you want, wherever you want.
It all depends on your diligence, how much of a priority you devote to a good retirement and the sacrifices you are willing to make. It does you no good to have enjoyed life while you are young, only to barely survive in your elder years.
Whatever you do, don’t presume the promises made throughout your life will be kept. Your retirement security is entirely in your hands.


A Florida lifeguard, and several of his colleagues were either fired or left their jobs with a private lifeguard company because that lifeguard opted to leave his post to save a life.
The problem here is that the drowning swimmer ventured into unprotected waters, and the lifeguard company only had liability to guard the protected areas. Therefore, the lifeguard who saved the swimmer was violating the company’s liability policy and put the company at great financial and legal risk. The city of Hallandale, Fla., is rethinking how it is providing lifeguard services.
Jay Bookman, a columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, discussed this story in a July 2012 column. He said the lifeguard made a choice: would he worry more about the company’s bottom line, or the life of a drowning swimmer? And Bookman asked: could he live with himself if he had stayed at his post and let the drowning swimmer die?
It’s not just a case of public services, vs. private profit. It’s also a case of who we are as people. The lifeguard’s colleagues who lost or left their jobs were asked point blank by the lifeguard company what they would have done in that situation. When they said they would save the swimmer, they were, essentially, dismissed.
As more public services are outsourced to the private sector – and there will be more such outsourcing in the future as government spending is reduced – we have to look at the INTENT of those who serve these companies. For most dedicated lifeguards, their intent, and their instinct, is to save lives first. That’s how they are trained. They should NEVER be penalized for doing that!
But in the liability morass, and as public institutions make beneficial, money-saving adjustments in how they perform public services, it’s difficult to fault Hallandale for finding a private company to handle its lifeguard services. South Florida has year-round activity on the water, so there is likely a very high price to protect those who use the water year-round.
The public sector has established many zero-tolerance policies that take decision-making out of a human’s hands. These policies go like this: if this happens, that’s the consequence. Period. No mitigating circumstances. No gray areas. A human checks his judgment at the door. No creative solutions allowed!
When the profit motive becomes part of “public” service, services are provided differently. Usually, private companies provide more efficient service. But sometimes, efficiency is not what’s called for. Doing something efficiently may not always equate to doing it RIGHT.
Government’s overriding concern is process and procedure, and making sure everyone is treated fairly – at least that’s the theory. Private companies’ overriding concern is maximizing profit, and minimizing expenses. Both concerns can mix well in some endeavors, but certainly not in every endeavor. That swimmer, perhaps, should not have been swimming where he was swimming. Do we let him die for a bad decision? People, particularly young people, make ill-advised decisions all the time, utilizing real resources to bail them out. Do we stop doing that, and make personal responsibility paramount?
These are fair questions as we watch the inevitable trend of outsourcing public services. Adjudication should consider who did the right thing. Adjudication should require human reasoning, instinct, intuition and, most of all, INTENT! Those who deliberately intend to do wrong without mitigating circumstances should be punished. But mitigating factors play a big part in defining right and wrong. And, people can do bad things unintentionally. In those cases, different consequences may be in order, depending on the extent of the damage, and whether or not the person should have been paying attention. The lifeguard’s attention was correctly focused on the troubled swimmer.
Think of your own life, your decisions and the consequences of those decisions. Do you feel good about what you did, regardless of what may have happened to you because of it? Did you make a small mistake, and are paying too dearly for it? The lifeguard may have lost his job, but, as Bookman points out, he probably would have been haunted for life had he not saved that swimmer.
For the sensible person, the gut reaction is usually the right one. When it’s not, the sensible person takes heed, and sees why it isn’t. The sensible person, most of the time, will do the right thing.
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