Ok, you retired folks

advice on all things leading up to retirement. Best places to live, taxes, health care, etc.

Basically things you learned that might help us young peoples who might be retiring in the future.

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There are no secrets of course, but, first, do not be in debt. 2, have good insurance, better than basic Medicare. Have enough money saved or income enough to not be pressed to pay your bills etc. Use a budget sufficient for many years and stay on that budget. Most people retire close to where they lived for many years.

If you have a lot of money, you’re well off no matter what you do.

I retired at age 60 and that was 27 years ago, I quit smoking in 1980 and stopped drinking alcohol about the same time.I have no serious medical problems.

Good Luck.


Close (but not too close) to your kids if you have any. Be sure that it is someplace where you can pickup live coverage of Arkansas major sports. Reasonably close to a fairly large city so that you have dependable and timely access to medical care (and an airport, assuming that the prices will eventually go down). Check the summer and winter weather extremes and frequency. Don’t forget to check the murder and violent crime statistics, though this can be misleading as Baton Rouge has a very high incidence but it is in the northern part of the city where I do not live. Taxes are gonna get you anywhere, but they are definitely worse on the west coast and in the north central and northeast. Taxes can be deceiving as areas with low income taxes usually compensate elsewhere as in property taxes, etc. Best of luck!!!

I’d move to NWA if my kids and grands were not here in Chattanooga. TN has no state income tax which draws retired people. Be sure to max your 401 K contributions. You won’t be sorry. Find a good health care insurance professional to take care beyond Medicare and you’ll need a prescription insurance plan. Same folks can help. It’s really an easy transition. At least for us.

Largely true, but not completely. According to the Tax Foundation, Michigan and both Dakotas are all in the bottom 10 state-local tax burdens, which includes sales, property, income, excise and license taxes, plus a few other ways the state gets in your pocket. Alaska is the lowest, but that’s because of North Shore oil almost completely.

Arkansas, BTW, is in the middle with 10.2% at #26; every one of the states that borders Arkansas is lower. But there’s often not that much difference. The difference between Oklahoma and Arkansas amounts to $600 a year on income of $50,000.

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Move away from people. That’s what I did.

Obviously, one daughter here. Other daughter visits often.

Nothing else important.

Try to plan for NOT using your 401k. That was best advice I was given. Think on that. Obviously you can. But we rely on two good social security checks, a teacher retirement check and some side income.

The fly shop money is for me to play with. I take stuff off the wall. Lol. Jean Ann has a flea market booth that does well for her play money.

The big key is to not have auto payments and make sure you have a real low mortgage. Our mortgage is basically taxes and insurance.


It’s amazing how far your money will go when you have no payments for a car nor for housing.


Get out of debt. Stay out of debt. Don’t finance anything beyond 90 days. Best if your in box is greater than your outbox.

Don’t look back…someone may be gaining on you.

I concur with what has been said. Everyone has different likes and wishes. Try to learn what you really want.

You will need $ for sure. A good supplemental Medicare plan is important and drugs. I never really left a job saying I retire. I just transitioned from working for someone to bring my own boss. Sure, I get paid by others, but on my own terms and times. The $ is still good but is used mostly for fun. The SS, 401K, other investments and pension is used to live.

A big advantage of continuing to have a business is you can expense a lot of things. Government s always want more so that helps. Also, you can have “bad” years and take large amounts out of 401k and reinvest to save that tax. I also a nice double tax exempt bond fund that sends a nice check each month that is not taxed.

I think the key is to find whatever you enjoy. Do not “quit” . That is a big killer. It is different for each of us.

Live where you are happy. There are many great places. I want nothing to do with “retirement communities”. Others love them. To each their own. I had rather be on my tractor or horse than a golf course. Few would make that choice.

Did not mean to get this deep into it. Oh well. Oh yes, I am 74 and could not tell you when I retired, but I think I did. I like that.

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Lots of good advice. I knew when the company I worked for hired a certain CEO that he was there to raid the company and get rid of everyone, so I got ready for early retirement.

I got the house paid off way early. We have no debt.

A lot of my co-workers started Social Security either early or at 65-66, and didn’t touch their IRA or 401k. I did the opposite, and waited until 70 to start SS. That made a big difference in the monthly income from SS.

I got tired/frustrated/worried about trying to manage my accounts, so I found a fee only financial advisor to do that for me. He structured things so that a lot of the assets were in dividend paying EFT’s, etc., and we draw money every month. I sleep a lot easier now that I have someone I trust doing all the worrying and researching. I’ve been drawing from my IRA for over 10 years, and by making more dividends than we draw, my IRA is more than when I retired.

Medicare had been great. I have a supplement G. My wife will soon be able to drop her private insurance and pick up Medicare, which will be a nice savings there.

So, no debt. Save like crazy. Maximize SS. Make smart spending decisions and if you realize you need some help managing things, then a fee only advisor might be a big benefit. I do wish I had paid off the house earlier and saved and invested more while I was younger.

Max out your social security by not taking it until 70. That gives you the largest SS payment per month possible AND it will also give it to your spouse if she outlives you which most do. (When you die she dumps her SS and takes over yours as a Spousal Benefit.) The spouse can start hers earlier, if you want, and you can take half of hers until you reach 70 without effecting your future totals. We got great advice from Carelinks, a non-profit in NLR, on social security and medicare. https://www.carelink.org/

When you reach the Medicare age, get very familiar with the medicare.gov site. You register, put in all of your drugs, location, what kind of plans you are interested in, and it will show everything available in your area. (Ignore all of the private helpers on TV and in the huge volume of mailouts to you when you get close to that age. They are all stearing you to high price plans and away from low price plans.)

Watch out for drug costs. Get them all through 90 day mail order that you can. It will save thousands of dollars per year. We have several drugs we take every day that would cost hundreds of dollars per month at our local Kroger Pharmacy that are free, with our Medicare Advantage Plan when ordered through the mail order pharmacy. (Put in all of your nearby pharmacies plus mail order on your profile at medicare.gov and it is astounding how much the same drug differs in price between those options. Local pharmacies regularly take turns jacking up popular drugs assuming people will think it is just that drug going up everywhere and will keep on going to where its convenient to go. It changes regularly so anytime a drug jumps in price where you buy check it out and you may find it much cheaper somewhere else. Medicare.gov will show the exact price for each of your drugs every location you put on your profile. Use it regularly.

We have been very happy with Medicare Advantage plans (be sure all of your Doctors take any plan you consider) which take the standard medicare government charge and then provide lots more than standard Medicare does. In central AR, we have used Wellcare and Blue Cross plans which both give free dental, vision, hearing, fitness memberships, etc. plus free “incidentals” (band aids, tooth brushes, over the counter medicines, etc.) and they pay you money to get you to do checkups, wellness visits, colonoscopies, etc. which they pay for.

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Lot’s of great advice here, financial planning is obviously very important.

Have a hobby or something you enjoy doing. It’s a big adjustment to stop working and if you don’t have something to keep you busy it can be a problem. Be prepared for changes to your plan, something always changes.

I retired 5 years ago at 61 and less than 2 years into my retirement everything changed. Didn’t really affect me financially but plan wise everything else changed. Life throws you curves.


From a docs perspective, I am seeing solid advice about Medicare and insurance here in these posts. Another thing Jim alludes to is to not quit…I’ve witnessed this with patients for 25 years, the ones that stay physically active stay independent and healthy longer with better outcomes, which is supported by common sense and medical science.

Covid care and all the stress of the last few years has me ready to slow down and I’m simply waiting to see where my kids settle down to. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the oldest relocates to NW Arkansas bc I’ve planted the seed in my wife’s head to find a mountain or lake house somewhere up that way, but not in a crowded community. Like Jim, my “release” is outside on my tractor or in the woods messing around, so we’ll figure out a good fit somewhere.

I’ll probably staff one of the teaching clinics a few days a week(not taking call) and mentor the young upcoming docs to stay busy and for spending money. I’m probably 7 years away from stopping full time bc one of the twins wants to go to med school and I don’t want him to accumulate all that student debt…he’s still in college.

It does me good to think bout these things. Step one, maybe I need to find us a small lake house up that way in the interim to test drive something in the interim?


Alot of good advice within these responses, as we have followed many of these same recommendations. I retired fairly young at 58 but now own a consulting business working on average 1-2 days/week. These days there appears to be a distinct lack of ‘institutional knowledge’ in the workforce for just about any industry or business - older men and women can capitalize on this to greatly augment a fixed income. I do also believe that it’s only a matter of time before the stock market loses about 40% of value in a ‘correction’ and that our retirement accounts are going to be subjected to some form of wealth tax.
Personally, I’m most concerned about potential shortages of food and fresh water - so owning access to a lake and couple of acres to grow vegetables is very important to our plan for the future.

All of the above, plus get a long term care policy at least by age 60.The longer you wait, the more expensive.

Do this do that. Mercy

Just marry somebody that’s rich…Be her hero!!

All good advice on this thread…

Yep 339, if I ever marry again, it will be for money and not necessarily for love. If you have the money, you can always find the love!

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Yes, all great advice……when my wife and I were working a couple of studies came out that seemed to show the earlier that you could retire the longer you lived. I remember one of study from a major corporation just looked the age of retirement and when the retiree received the last retirement check. The information showed that the employees that retired after 65 only received the last check on average of 2 years after retirement. The employees who retired earlier received checks substantially longer. So when we were financially able we retired early. I see several of posters did the same. We never regretted the decision.

We followed the advice that has been previously posted about debt, where to live and staying active….I love to fish and we were fortunate to find a place at Lake Ouachita…There is nothing more relaxing and calming to us than watching the sun come up over Lake Ouachita from our bass boat. Hopefully we catch a fish or two.

We also were fortunate to take several alumni trips. There is nothing like traveling with other Razorback fans….

We are life long Razorback fans and have been season holders since 1977 and we look forward to coming to Fayetteville next football season.

Good luck and have a great retirement when you choose to do it.


Good financial advice… you will need a social outlet (something you love to do) for a healthy retirement. Golf/writing is mine, for others: travel, cards (several friends that play poker weekly) fishing, hunting, etc. You are a good writer… maybe books about sports or fiction… something to look forward to on a regular basis. Something that takes you completely away from the retirement routine… working for decades and stopping cold leaves a big hole for many folks.

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