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In each new issue of Top Active Adult Communities, we bring you new and established active adult communities from across the country. Not all of these developments are age-restricted - some of them attract singles and families - but many of them offer the amenities and lifestyle sought by retirees and empty-nesters.

 

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Villas at Terrace Heights

408 South 41st Street, Yakima, Washington 98901

(509) 945-1411

Age Restriction: 55+

66 single family homes

Priced from $205,900

Web Site

Pretty, gated community

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Bay Creek Resort and Club

3335 Stone Road, Cape Charles, Virginia  23310 

(757) 331-8742

Single family homes, town homes and condos

Priced from high-$200,000s

Age Restricted:  All ages

Web Site

Award-winning, marina, 2 golf courses, private beach, shopping

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Cypress Lakes

10000 U.S. Hwy 98 N, Lakeland, Florida 33809

(800) 888-3789

Manufactured homes

Priced from $59,900

Age Restriction:   55+

Web Site

Award winning community with a golf course, restaurant, ceramics studio

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Mesa Royale

1825 North Stapley Drive, Mesa, Arizona  85203

(855) 451-4686

Apartments

Priced from $756 per month

Age Restriction :  55+

Web Site

Putting green, beauty salon, movie room, pet-friendly

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Ocean Pines / Magnolia Grove

3196 Moonshadow Lane, Garden City Beach, South Carolina  29576

(843) 651-2520

Manufactured and mobile homes

Priced from $114,950

Age Restriction:  55+

Web Site

Sister communities near the Grand Strand

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Five Steps to Feel More Confident About Your Retirement

It's natural to have mixed emotions about retirement - it's a huge life change that people spend most of their working life preparing for. While the thought of retirement is exciting, the options and advice available can sometimes seem overwhelming and complex. There are several simple things you can do if you're feeling unprepared for your retirement years. Check out the following steps to help you get ready for this milestone.

1. Determine your vision. One of the most enjoyable parts about planning for retirement is deciding how you'll spend your time. Though you could just be looking forward to relaxing, you may also decide to move to a different area of the country, travel, volunteer or spend more time with family and friends. Your plans can always change, but creating a list of activities you may want to pursue is a valuable and fun part of the planning process.

2. Start with the basics. Developing a written plan is the first important step, but before you get caught up in the numbers, determine what you will absolutely need to cover expenses that are truly essential. Include basics like groceries, mortgage payments, healthcare costs and other financial obligations. You may want to make a list of areas where you could cut back and reduce your expenses if you hit a financial roadblock in the future.

3. Make your plans concrete. Many people get hung up on this step, as it can come with a tough reality check. To begin, calculate how much money you'll need to cover your essentials over the course of a 30 year retirement, and then add discretionary expenses that accompany activities and lifestyle goals - such as travel and hobbies. Be honest with yourself and try to account for cost-of-living increases and rising healthcare costs in your projections. This will give you a rough estimate of how much "income" you'll need in retirement to replace your paycheck and achieve your desired lifestyle. Then consider all the sources you can draw this income from - such as a 401(k), annuities or cash savings. Also consider breaking this amount down into smaller goals that you can more easily prioritize, manage and track.

4. Protect your plan and your legacy. Ensure the beneficiary information on your accounts is up-to-date and that you have the right insurance and protection plans in place to safeguard your income and assets now - and for the long-term. Also begin thinking about the legacy you want to leave - to your family or to organizations that are important to you. Involve your loved ones in these conversations and clearly communicate your intentions and expectations.

5. Track your progress. As with all goals, it's important to set milestones, check-in and reflect as you go. Keep in mind that a little time and organization goes a long way. Set aside one day each month to sit down with your finances, and also consider meeting with a legal and financial professional annually. Even if your goals still seem far away or if you've experienced a setback, you won't regret spending the extra time to review your progress. This also provides a good opportunity to make adjustments if your situation or plans for the future have changed.

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Retirement planning can be a complicated, emotional and overwhelming process. Consider seeking objective advice from a professional financial advisor who can guide you through it and ensure you're aware of all your options. It's important to keep in mind that the surest way to feel confident about what's to come is to do everything you can to prepare for it.

~Scott Serfass, CFP, CRPC, CDFA, ChFC, CLU is a Financial Advisor with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Charlotte, NC. His team specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies. To contact him, Ameriprise Advisors. Article Source: Ezines.

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