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Retirement 101: The ins and outs of retiring in Maine

So you’re ready to retire and Maine is where you want to be. From the north woods to the Western Mountains to the coastal beaches, Maine is a playground for children of all ages.

It is the perfect place to slow the pace, breathe in some me time, and enjoy that unique part of life not driven by the 9 to 5.

Whether you’re moving to Maine or already here, retirement is a time of change. And there are some things you should know to make the transition to your Maine golden years smooth, simple, and worry free.

After all, retirement is about putting, and the work behind you and focusing on all the things you’ve put off because of work.


Know what you want. The lifestyle you want in your retirement years should be the guiding force in your decision-making process when selecting a new location. The environment, community, and amenities you want access to should be at the forefront of any decision regarding real estate, said Sandy Johnson, real estate broker with Town & Shore Associates LLC.

Johnson’s clients consist primarily of baby boomers getting their second lease on life in Portland, a sought after location by retirees for its walkability, food scene, entertainment options, and proximity to outdoor activities. “Retirement is a new era for people,” Johnson said. “Most people are ready for a different lifestyle.” So find the location that supports that lifestyle and “certainly before you make a decision about a place spend some time there,” she said.

Know what you need. Retirement is about change and you will see that change in your schedule, your living environment, and also in your body. Staying healthy is the best way to get the most out of your retirement years, so know what you need in terms of medical care and make sure you have a primary care physician and specialists within reach, said Deborah McLean, founder of the Maine Senior Guide, a one stop shop of resources for seniors in Maine.

And to minimize the costs of medical care, start developing healthy lifestyle habits now. “There is nothing worse than working all your life and then being denied the enjoyment of retirement because of health problems,” McLean said. “If I was 50 and looking down the gun of retirement, I’d definitely think about how to get better at being healthy.”

Know what you have. Careful financial planning is key to getting what you want and what you need and making it last. It is not cheap to retire in Maine, McLean said. You hear it in the back and forth banter at the general stores – “the only two things you can count on is death and taxes.”

So count on taxes and budget accordingly. Social security is exempt from taxation in Maine but other forms of retirement income are not and may be taxed up to 7.95%. Sales tax is 5.5% and property taxes, which vary greatly between communities, are higher than the national average. Know your taxes, know your retirement income, and work with a financial adviser to develop a plan that involves being retired for a long time, McLean said.


Your Retirement Team

Great health, great location, and financial stability are key components to thriving in your golden years. To achieve all of the above you will want the expert guidance and assistance of a team of professionals to help you get the most out of your retirement. Keep the following experts on your speed dial.

– A financial planner to help make sure your money lasts as long as you do
– A real estate broker to help guide you to the perfect property in the perfect location
– A lawyer to help you put your affairs in order
– A primary care doctor and team of specialists catered to your health care needs


Resources:

The Boomer Institute
An employment matchmaking service for recent retirees and business and non-profits looking to fill the talent gap

Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging
The umbrella organization for Maine’s Area Agencies on Aging, which provides advocacy and informational resources for aging adults, including legal resources and information about Medicare.

Maine Senior Guide
A one-stop shop for information about health and wellness, estate planning, retirement communities, and social services for aging adults in Maine.

Your Second Act
An annual conference for 50 to 65 year olds on the lifestyle, wellness, and work opportunities to look forward to after retirement. The conference will be held again on Oct. 20, 2018. *Website has not been updated

Maine Council on Aging
An advocacy organization that supports housing, transportation, and community care initiatives that encourage aging-in-community. The council collects research on aging and resources for older adults on its website and organizes the annual Maine Summit on Aging.

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