Retirement News with Professor Craig

Retirement News with Professor Craig

The Retirement News blog is dedicated to the financial and physical health and well-being of older Americans. 
Whether you're already in or nearing retirement, you will find important, topical information in the blog to help you make informed decisions on your road to retiring more freely.
As a 25-year veteran in the financial services industry and a certified trainer and teacher, Professor Craig's #1 goal is to help you thrive in retirement with financial peace of mind. 

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8 budget-friendly retirement activities
Healthy Living, Retirement Tips

8 budget-friendly retirement activities

Retirement often means a dramatic lifestyle change. You’ll have more time to explore new hobbies and activities, but without the steady paycheck you’re accustomed to. Don’t let a fixed income limit your opportunities for fun. There are plenty of inexpensive activities that can extend your entertainment budget during retirement.

1. Check out the local library.  Haven’t been to the library in a while? You might be pleasantly surprised. From free classes and presentations to film screenings, there are activities for individuals of all ages. If you’re looking to expand your tech skills, many libraries have on-site computer labs and offer classes from basic to advanced. Plus, if you enjoy reading, why spend money on books when you can search your library’s online catalog and reserve books of interest? Your library card may even give you free access to digital versions of popular magazines as well as downloadable audiobooks and ebooks through the RBdigital app. Ask your library if they offer this service, which is great for traveling! Download digital content before you get on a plane and you won’t need wi-fi to enjoy it.

2. Visit a local Toastmasters club. Toastmasters International presents members with the opportunity to share knowledge, learn from others and make friends, while building your public speaking and communication skills. Joining is easy and affordable, and there are meetings across the country, held at colleges, restaurants, corporations and more. Find a club near you to gain new friends and new skills.

3. Start a blog. Think about the life experiences and exciting stories you have to tell. There’s an audience out there for everything. As long as you have access to a computer, documenting and sharing your adventures is free thanks to platforms like Google Blogger. Over time, your blog may even generate enough traffic to attract advertisers and generate revenue.

4. Explore your roots. What’s more interesting than uncovering your family’s history? The internet, as well as the local library, are great places to start, but there are also government websites that let you access archived information for free. Genealogy can keep you busy for hours and it doesn't have to cost a penny.

5. Join a book club. If you already love to read, why not add a social element? Book clubs are a great way to meet interesting people and read books across a variety of genres. Most are free to join as long as you don't miund bringing a snack to share with the group. Look for postings at your library or find a local book club on

6. Volunteer. Volunteering costs nothing but your time, and the payback can be very fulfilling. Whether you’re teaching English as a second language or organizing a Relay for Life event, there are numerous opportunities for all interests and skillsets. Depending on where you volunteer — like a museum or a concert hall — you may be able to enjoy free attendance at events, all while helping out a worthy cause. Search for volunteer opportunities in your area.

7. Invest in a gym membership. There are a variety of fitness classes geared toward individuals 50+ — and many gyms also offer discounted memberships. De-stress and get in shape while meeting and socializing with a different crowd — or join with a friend who’ll be your “workout buddy” to help you both stay motivated. Check out nearby gyms, YMCAs or community centers to find the right fit.

8. Enroll in a class. Whether you want to learn a new language or build on an existing skill, there’s a wealth of educational tools available — and many won’t break your budget. According to U.S. News & World Report, more than 80% of community college courses are specifically designed for students ages 50 and older. Once you’re part of a college community, you’ll also be able to take part in the social scene, attending lectures, performances and other on-campus events, all frequently at low or no cost. You may even be able to use your student I.D. for discounts elsewhere in your community.

Stay active — on a budget  

Ready to start enjoying retirement without breaking the bank? There are plenty of affordable activities to choose from. If cash flow is a concern, there are options available to you based on your needs. If you’re a homeowner age 62 or older, to learn how you may be able to supplement your income through a reverse mortgage, call RMF at 888-277-1567 and speak with an experienced reverse mortgage specialist.


If you have equity in your home and believe you meet the eligibility requirements, a HECM may be the option that could help you retire smart.

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A More Flexible Home Equity Loan

If you’re 62 or older, there is a home equity line of credit option that offers greater financial flexibility than a traditional Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). It’s called a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) line of credit. 
If you have an existing mortgage or home equity loan you could refinance them with a HECM line of credit and get enhanced benefits, including a flexible payment feature and a line of credit that GROWS when left untouched.
As with any mortgage, you must meet your loan obligations, keeping current with property taxes, insurance, and keeping your home in good condition.

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