Monday, June 18, 2007

The rich are bullish on real estate
The rich are bullish on real estate
Monday June 18, 12:58 pm ET
By Les Christie, staff writer

The very rich are different from you and me: they don't seem to be too worried about the current housing slump. At least that's what a new study released Monday found.
More than half of affluent homeowners expect their property value to appreciate at least somewhat during the next year, according to the Coldwell Banker Previews International Luxury Survey. A tenth of them expect significant gains.

The study polled 301 homeowners with million-dollar homes (two million dollars in California) and more than a million dollars in investable assets.

"These are very successful people and they still think that real estate is a good investment," said Jim Gillespie, Coldwell Banker's chief executive.

The results run counter to most industry watchers' predictions for a continued slump in the overall market. Some forecasts see home prices dropping about 8 percent for the two-year period through the end of 2008.

Part of wealthy home owners' optimism, according to Gillespie, is that the luxury market has held up nationwide during the recent slump.

It may also confirm a basic contrarian investing impulse found among many of the wealthy: the best time to buy is when others are selling. 40 percent polled say they may buy a second home this year.

Looking ahead, 36 percent of the affluent expect the price of their homes to increase significantly over the next five years and 58 percent expect at least some gain, according to the survey.

Women are even more optimistic, with 61 percent expecting some price increase during the next 12 months compared with 50 percent for men.

The wealthy also appear to want more space; 61 percent of those moving this year plan to buy a bigger house.

Gillespie pointed out, with some amazement, that almost half want to make the move because of the way their space is designed. "They're living in multi-million-dollar homes and they don't like their floor plans?" he asked.

Their new spaces are likely to include many features that were once very rare in American homes.

"What constitutes a luxury amenity is evolving," said Gillespie. "High-end kitchens and entertainment rooms now are givens."

The survey found that 72 percent of the rich already have designer kitchens, 63 percent maintain formal landscaped gardens and 34 percent have wine cellars. Some 72 percent of their houses boast rooms devoted to entertainment. 30 percent of those report having rooms with theater-type seating.

The number one next must-have amenity, according to the study, is heated floors. 23 percent of wealthy homeowners already have them, and another 21 percent are considering their addition.

Other desirable add-ons include tennis courts (19 percent), kitchens in the master suites (16 percent) and putting greens or small golf courses on the property (16 percent).

Many of the arriviste amenities - boat docks, gyms, indoor pools - have to do with sports activities and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Retiring in style

The survey also questioned the wealthy about they want to spend their retirement. Chief among them were travel with 87 percent of females and 84 percent of males wanting to indulge in foreign travel and 77 percent and 71 percent planning on domestic trips.

Spending time with families was big for both sexes (64 percent men and 63 percent women) and the majority hoped to remain physically active pursuing sports (65 percent of men and 76 percent of women).

A significant proportion can't seem to picture themselves out of harness: 19 percent of men and 16 percent of women plan to start a new business after they retire.

Some 54 percent of men and 67 percent of women said their main activity in retirement is to just enjoy life.

With the luxurious homes they already own, that shouldn't prove too difficult

Friday, June 15, 2007

Top 20 paying jobs for over 50

Ok, you are retiring .. so what are you reading this for?
Well, because you are too young to retire folks!

Top 20 paying jobs for over 50

1) Nonprofit Executive
Median Pay: $63,500

2) Patient Representative
Median Pay: $41,800

3) Celebrant/Religious Leader
Median Pay: $48,300

4) Financial Adviser
Median Pay: $66,800

5) Public School Teacher
Median Pay: $47,500

6) Appraiser (Residential Real Estate)
Median Pay: $42,000

7) College Professor
Median Pay: $40,200

8) Day Care Center Teacher
Median Pay: $26,400

9) IRA Specialist
Median Pay: $38,700

10) Labor Relations Manager
Median Pay: $100,700

11) Leasing Consultant
Median Pay: $27,100

12) Lobbyist
Median Pay: $93,100

13) Medical Records Coding Technician
Median Pay: $38,800

14) Pension Administrator
Median Pay: $48,100

15) Religious Educator
Median Pay: $51,700

16) Department Retail Sales Manager
Median Pay: $32,900

17) Retail Sales Staff
Median Pay: $25,400

18) Staff Nurse (RN)
Median Pay: $59,800

19) Tax Accountant II
Median Pay: $59,500

20) Tutor
Median Pay: $25,100

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Working Longer: Boomers Staying On

Working Longer: Boomers Staying On
Tuesday June 12, 9:29 am ET
By Stephen Ohlemacher, Associated Press Writer
Baby Boomers Expect to Work Longer, Studies Say -- Good Thing Since Many Can't Afford to Quit

WASHINGTON (AP) -- As the baby boomers begin to ease into their 60s, most expect to delay retirement longer than their parents or grandparents.
That's good, because many can't afford to stop working anytime soon.

Two new reports portray aging boomers as better educated, with higher incomes and longer life expectancies than the generations that preceded them. They also have fewer children and are less likely to be married, leaving them with fewer options if they need help in their old age.

"That one child they had will be very valuable," said William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

Frey is releasing a report Tuesday that says higher rates of divorce and separation could result in greater financial hardship for aging baby boomers. In 1980, about two-thirds of Americans age 55 to 64 lived in married-couple households. That percentage fell to less than 58 percent in 2005.

Americans had been retiring at ever-younger ages since the growth of private pensions and Social Security began more than 50 years ago. However, the retirement trend appears to be reversing.

In 1950, nearly half of men 65 and older were still in the labor force, according to the Census Bureau. That percentage bottomed out in the 1980s at less than 16 percent. It has since edged up to about 19 percent, and experts believe it will increase even more as the oldest baby boomers reach 65.

Women work in much larger numbers earlier in life, but among those 65 and older, their participation in the labor force has remained steady at about 10 percent since 1950.

There are about 78 million baby boomers, those born from 1946 to 1964. The oldest will turn 62 next year, the age at which they become eligible for Social Security benefits.

Some will continue working by choice -- a government survey shows that most U.S. workers nearing retirement age want to gradually reduce their workload rather than abruptly stop.

Others will have to stay on the job as fewer companies offer health insurance to retirees and an alarming number of private pensions fail.

William Zinke had plenty of resources to retire when he reached his early 60s. He didn't want to stop working but did want to get away from the hectic pace of New York, where he ran a human resources firm. So Zinke moved his firm to Boulder, Colo., where the pace is more relaxed. Seventeen years later, at age 80, he continues to put in full work days.

"I've had a very good life," Zinke said. "I'm proud of what I've accomplished, but I'm not done."

Zinke said he is fortunate to own his business and to be able to set his work schedule. He has formed a nonprofit organization, the Center for Productive Longevity, that is working to encourage other employers to help older workers with flexible schedules and other accommodations.

"We need to change the way we think about retirement," Zinke said.

There are more than 37 million Americans 65 and older, a number that is expected to nearly double by 2030, according to the Census Bureau.

"I think there will be significant accommodations and incentives to get people to stay and work longer, and not lose that human capital," said Richard Suzman of the National Institute on Aging, a government research agency.

The agency is releasing a compilation of data Tuesday from the national Health and Retirement Study, an ongoing survey of older people by researchers at the University of Michigan.

The data paint a picture of aging baby boomers facing longer, more active lives, coupled with rising costs for health care and other services.

"People are living longer, and the extra years of life, which I think have been one of the crowning achievements of the last century, have to be financed somehow," Suzman said.