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Making Sense New England - June 2010 Retiring & Budgeting. With the days of company pensions uncertain, it’s especially important to plan for retirement. Faye Doria, a financial planner in Dover, NH, explains, “People are really going to have to pay for their own retirement, so they’ll have to save as they go along.” A retired Wolfeboro, NH, couple talk about their strategy and give tips for saving, spending and living well in retirement.

Keeping Neighborhoods Stable. When empty and abandoned foreclosed homes dot neighborhoods, as is the case in one Rochester, NH, neighborhood, it impacts homeowners, communities and taxpayers. A federal initiative called The Neighborhood Stabilization Program recently sent nearly $60 million to the northern New England states to help turn foreclosed properties back into thriving communities. Ea Ksander, a community development specialist, explains the program is designed to “arrest the decline of neighborhoods.”

Back to Basics Living. The recession has many looking for ways to trim expenses. But a handful of hardy idealists have made a commitment to living simply. Meet Helen Whybrow and Peter Forbes, a Waitsfield, VT, couple who have turned their farm into a self-sustaining educational center, and Richard Czaplinski, an Adamant, VT, man who mills his own lumber, produces all his own food and lives “off the grid.”

Deferring Foreclosure. “Foreclosure” is the last word a homeowner wants to hear. Recently passed laws in Maine and Vermont can help homeowners save their homes because they mandate mediation before foreclosure. Chet Randall, a lawyer who works with poor and middle class clients, helped create Maine’s foreclosure mediation system. “The mediation is designed so that there is somebody present… who can talk to the homeowner about realistic options,” Randall says. Under the foreclosure mediation program, many clients can not only save their homes, but also save a lot of time and distress.

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