Playing Games in Retirement

When we are young we love to play games don’t we.  Any kind of games from ones we have made up to more formal ones.

Then as we get older and more serious we stop playing games in lieu of more serious stuff.

But in retirement, I have found that myself and other retirees love to play games!  I started playing bocce ball at our senior center and had a great time, playing as much as three days a week.  It was just fun!

Then I started race walking and enjoy the competition of racing again.  I never thought I would be in a race again!  It is exhilarating.

Card games and table games are extremely popular with retirees, so it doesn’t have to be all about sports.  Rather than watching the Wheel of Forturne or Jeopardy on TV, more and more retirees are playing games themselves. There is so much to choose from.

Playing games keeps your mind active, makes you more creative, is great for social life and can add to your physical fitness.

Where can you find games to play with others?  I would recommend getting started where I did and that is to find your local senior center and go visit. Ask for their activity schedule and just go and take part.  Don’t worry, someone is there to show you how to play and they would love to have you join.  It is free also.

Moving to a senior community or especially an active adult community is a wonderful opportunity to play games.  They have the facilities like a club house and the ball fields on which to play games like softball, pickleball, bocce, tennis, horse shoes and more. Plus the residents are looking for new friends to play these games with and would love to have you join them.

There are other organizations that I discovered that provide great venues for getting involved in senior games. I attended The National Senior Games in Minnesota last year and saw people over age 50 compete in everything from track and field, basketball, pickleball, archery, and many more.  They have a state senior game in every state and local meets too.  Find your state senior games here.

The USA Track and Field has a Master division for athletes over age 30 up to over 100!  I just returned from the USATF Masters Indoor Championship in Albuquerque NM and saw a 98 year old man set a national record for his age group.

USATF’s Masters programs offer a variety of competition and fitness opportunities in track & field, long distance running, and race walking. Competitions generally take place in 5-year age divisions. Age divisions begin at age 30 for track & field and race walking, and at age 40 for long distance running.

So if you want to have fun again playing games, do a little exploring of these resources and you will be very glad you did!

Top 5 Retirement Searches

Having a web site and a company named “Retirement Media”, naturally I am interested in what retirement related information is searched for on the Internet. Well, according to our friends at Google, here is the answer.

Retirement Calculator – is one of the most searched for retirement terms. People must be looking for an online financial calculator that will help then plan their path to a secure retirement.  The Vanguard Retirement Nest Egg Calculator seems to be one of the best.

Retirement Age – Since there is no mandatory retirement age, I bet people are searching for the age which they can get their full social security benefits. The best way to learn your full retirement age (also called normal retirement age) for full social security benefits is to visit the Social Security Retirement Planner. You may be able to start receiving your social security benefits at a reduced amount as early as age 62, but most experts suggest waiting until your full retirement age if you can because your benefits will be more.

Retirement Plan – could mean just about anything, but I bet most people are looking for a financial plan so that they can at some point reduce or stop working and have enough income to support their retirement. Financial advisers and brokerage firms can help with that but getting a financial education yourself is the best way. That takes a lot of effort and last a lifetime. For some non financial retirement planning tips see Planning for a Successful Retirement.

Retirement Home – Us boomers are looking for a home for our retirement. Maybe a one level ranch style with no steps with low maintenance. Universal design and a great floor plan sounds good to me. Oh friendly neighbors too. See these retirement homes for sale or for rent.

Retirement Community – is a general term that includes Active Adult Communities, Senior Apartments and even Assisted Living.

These terms make perfect sense to me, with ten thousand people a day reaching retirement age people need the information for their retirement.


Retirement Income With Retirement Housing

I usually focus on retirement and senior living communities as places to live, but they also offer an excellent source for part of your retirement income.

The opportunity is to invest in companies and REITs that own, lease  and operate senior housing, assisted living ,healthcare and medical buildings.

Senior housing normally serves those age 62 and older and is starting to be in demand as us baby boomers age. Within 10 years the demand is going to be huge and will out strip supply.  Increasing interests from investors is making senior housing and healthcare facilities a hot market already.

There are several macroeconomic trends that are changing the healthcare industry today. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act is expected to add between 25 and 35 million new insured individuals. The U.S. population is aging, with the number of elderly Americans growing at significant rates. As a result of these trends, the healthcare sector is projected to grow significantly faster than the rest of the U.S. economy.

Healthcare facilities, medical office building and even hospitals are already having increasing demands.  With the downturn the last few years new construction has lagged making the existing properties more valuable.

The reasons to invest in these market segments are twofold.  The demographics are clear that demand for these type properties will be in high demand starting now. Plus these companies are paying 3% to 5% out in dividends and have good price appreciation in their stocks. This looks attractive compared to almost nothing paid in interest these days.

The older Baby Boomers are starting to shift from growth investing to search for income. In a period of low interest rates, REITs are ideal for that purpose.  But beware of valuations.

Some of the companies that invest in senior housing and healthcare includes:

HealthCare REIT (HCN)  – is a self-administered real estate investment trust that invests in health care facilities, primarily nursing homes, assisted living facilities and retirement centers. Currently pays 4.1% dividends.

HCP, Inc.  (HCP) is an independent hybrid real estate investment trust. The fund invests in real estate markets of the United States. It primarily invests in properties serving the healthcare industry including sectors of healthcare such as senior housing, life science, medical office, hospital and skilled nursing.  4.8% dividends.

Ventas, Inc. (NYSE: VTR), an S&P 500 company, is a leading real estate investment trust (REIT), with a highly diversified portfolio of more than 1,500 seniors housing and healthcare properties in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. 4.2% dividends.retirement income

OMEGA HEALTHCARE INVESTORS (OHI) is a self-administered real estate investment trust which invests in income- producing health care facilities, principally long-term care facilities, with the objective of profitable growth and further diversification of the investment portfolio. Investments are located primarily in the United States. Pay about 5% dividends.

These are not recommendations but examples of companies that serve this market.

There are many other companies that serve senior housing and healthcare.  I found to be an excellent source of information about these companies.

You will need to do your own due diligence before considering these types investments.  These companies have been so hot this year that making sure you are not overpaying is going to be a challenge.  If you can get a fair price, these companies can return an excellent and often gowning dividend as well as capital appreciation.