It’s Lovely, But What’s in it for my Dog?

It’s Lovely, But What’s in it for my Dog?

Dog parks are a top amenity on the ideal lifestyle list for many dog families.

A quick scroll through your Instagram or Facebook feed will prove that 21st century dogs are officially in the limelight, right where they belong. Many who are looking to relocate consider an area or community as much for the sake of their dog(s) as they do for themselves. Dog-friendly hiking or walking trails – check. Dog-friendly beaches – check. Leash-free dog parks? More and more checks guaranteed. As people become aware of the benefits of having a pet, they’re also coming to the realization that, in essence, “pets are people too”. Roaming outdoors, getting plenty of exercise and staying social are all as important to a dog’s health as they are to our own.

Master-planned communities across the country are heeding the healthier living calls of canines and their humans by creating spaces for dogs and their owners to mingle with other dogs…and their owners.

Here are a few communities that have gone above and beyond for their canine residents:

Keowee Key, a lake community just outside of Clemson, SC in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is full of parks. But, its latest addition may be one of the busiest. Residents are thrilled to have a place where they can plan doggie dates or schedule daily or weekly visits to so that dogs can play off-leash both on and off the “agility equipment” with new and old canine companions. Owners can also sign up for dog training sessions held at the park.

At Lakewood Ranch, the three acres of fenced-in, leash-free space at the Paw Park is every dog’s preferred stomping ground. Also a resident favorite, the Paw Park is a popular spot for neighbors to mingle. A doggie drinking fountain, a separate small dog and puppy area, benches and a bag dispenser are on site.

The folks at Hampton Lake in Blufton, SC are convinced that pet companionship can be vital to health and well being at all ages. So, they went all out for resident canines and their families. Sand pits, earth mounds, and grass fields allow dogs to do more than just stretch their legs. And, the six ft. fire hydrant and handheld shower is a hit with dog owners not so fond of mud-covered paws. The picnic shelter with tables and benches is a great space for neighbors to become friends and for good friends to spend time together.

The Villages at Citrus Hills on The Nature’s Coast in Florida has decided to integrate two and four-legged exercise spaces. At Rockwood Park, you can play basketball, bocce ball, run with your dog(s) on the fitness trail, or let them run free at the Rockwood dog park. Aside from the standard dog park amenities, bone-shaped sand traps and water-play features like the spraying fire hydrant keep dogs digging and diving, providing the ultimate in doggie aerobics.

At St. James Plantation near Southport, NC dogs are everywhere – hanging their heads out of golf carts, running with their owners, and paddling alongside swimmers in the surf. But running leash-free, socializing and relaxing at one of St. James two dog parks – Woodlands Park and St. James Drive Park – are dog and owner favorites. If access to a restroom is essential, then Woodlands Park is your best bet.

Master-planned communities are integrating parks and ample spaces for dogs to roam because a dog’s life is the good life. And, given the benefits of having them in our lives, communities and their residents want to do whatever they can to make a dog’s life even better.

There’s More to Las Vegas …It’s Henderson, NV

There’s More to Las Vegas …It’s Henderson, NV

Henderson, Nevada is everything Las Vegas is not. Henderson has no strip, very few neon lights, little street noise, and a has a heavy concentration of outdoor adventurers.

Las Vegas is the neon sign that spells out everything not many of us get to see or do more than once or twice in a lifetime…unless of course, we’re in Las Vegas. While having access to this full-time may be appealing to some, most who love a few days and nights perusing the strip probably also appreciate a bit of distance from it.

Enter Henderson. Henderson, NV, a suburb of Las Vegas, is everything Las Vegas is not. No strip, very few neon lights, little street noise, and a heavy focus on outdoor adventure. With a more family-focused population of 300,000, Henderson ranked #2 on Forbes’ 2017 Top Ten Safest U.S. Cities list, while Las Vegas, needless to say, did not rank. And, while one may not have the same experiences in Henderson, there’s no lack of excitement or adventure in this Las Vegas Valley town.

Henderson is right in the middle of everything that the West is so famous for, with all the luxuries of city life and a progressive western culture that’s intoxicating.

Access to outdoor adventure and nearly a dozen National Parks and Conservation Areas is one of the most popular reasons to land in Henderson, either for a week or for a lifetime. There are seven National Parks within a days drive, all of which make for the perfect weekend trip — the uber-famous Grand Canyon National Park, for example. Bryce Canyon and Arches National Park are both just under three hours away, and if necessary, could each be packed into a day trip.

Henderson, NV does boast some of the most gorgeous golf courses in the region.

Adventure

Hike through Red Rock National Conservation Area or nearby Spring Mountain Recreation Area, hang out with lions (at The Lion Habitat Ranch), and everything in between. Cycling and hiking trails, educational attractions, and amusement parks are plentiful. The Adventuredome Theme Park is a huge family favorite, with Cowabunga Bay Waterpark a close second. The Ethel M. Chocolate Factory & Botanical Cactus Garden is an unusual but effective combo. There won’t be much moaning at the mention of this educational day trip. A trip to the Hoover Dam is also a favorite.

Golf is (Really) Good Here

Henderson proper hosts eight golf courses, with 60+ courses in the greater Las Vegas Valley alone. Chimera, Wildhorse, Reflection Bay, and DragonRidge all are thought to be exceptional courses. But, there are a couple of standouts.

In 2017, Golf Magazine named Cascata, six miles from Henderson in Boulder City, the sixth best course in the state of Nevada. Shadow Creek, in North Las Vegas, was named first.

By Bike is the Best Way

Henderson is seriously bike-friendly, both in town and through the dessert.

The River Mountains Loop Trail is a shining example of this. Even The New York Times agrees that the River Mountains Loop is the best way to see the backcountry here, calling it a “challenging” and “more rugged kind of fun.” The loop winds cyclists through the Mojave Desert, into Henderson, and beyond to Lake Mead and historic Hoover Dam.

The Amargosa Trail is an urban trail that runs through the foothills of the McCullough Range and into many of Henderson’s most popular parks, including Paseo Verde Park.

A Night on the Town

Peruse restaurants in Henderson’s Anthem Neighborhood to find meals on par with those served at Circo at Bellagio. One of Anthem’s newest additions, Craft Kitchen, has integrated a Bellagio-inspired bakery that is said to turn meals into masterpieces.

The District at Green Valley is another restaurant- filled plaza with a variety of cuisines to please every palate. Me Gusta Tacos, a sustainable Mexican eatery, is a local favorite.

Henderson may not be Vegas, but there’s no shortage of casinos and nightlife in this resort town.

First Come, First Served

First Come, First Served

Brunswick Forest Hammock Lake Kayaking

 

First Come, First Served | Brunswick Forest | Leland, NC

Brunswick Forest will host preview tours for new releases in three community neighborhoods on two Spring 2019 weekends—April 11-14 and May 30-June 2. Activities will include a Friday evening progressive dinner party in several model homes and a Saturday night mix-and-mingle event in the clubhouse restaurant with live music. Reservations are limited to the first 50 couples.

BrunswickForest.com

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Brunswick Forest - A North Carolina Coastal Retirement Community

Brunswick Forest - A North Carolina Coastal Retirement Community

Brunswick Forest, the Coastal South's fastest growing community, is located on North Carolina's Cape Fear coast, just minutes from historic Wilmington. This 4,500-acre retreat features a wide array of neighborhoods and lifestyles, 18 holes of golf at Cape Fear National, a Clubhouse, River Club, Fitness & Wellness Center, parks and more than 100 miles of walking, biking and nature trails linking residences and amenities. Read More...


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Financial Planning for Retirement Success

Financial Planning for Retirement Success

Saving is key.

Six Financial Planning Considerations for a Successful Retirement

How much money will you need to retire? Do you have a financial plan to help you meet the needs of retirement? Do you have enough assets to last a retirement of 20 to 30 years? Do you have a Retirement Income Spend-Down Plan? How will you manage rising health care costs and long-term care?

These are loaded questions; many factors are involved and a “cookie cutter plan” will not meet the needs of everyone. Baby Boomers were most impacted by the “Great Recession” 10 years ago. Given the economic rebound since and inevitable recessions in the economic cycle, we wanted to take a look at strategies for a secure retirement by examining the five common planning issues people may encounter.

According to a recent Schwab survey, only 25 percent of Americans have a written strategy for retirement.

So, when ideal-LIVING reached out to us at Lawrence S. Tundidor, AIF®, AAMS®, AWMA® of Tundidor & Weiss Investment Group, we were grateful for to be given the opportunity to offer our insight in order to help future retirees find ways to avoid these common issues. Here are six key points that will make all the difference.

one. Take control of your money

two. Not having a proper retirement income spend-down plan

three. Having an antiquated investment portfolio

four. Underestimating risks: longevity, investment, inflation

five. Lacking protection for your family and estate

six. Working with a financial advisor who puts your best interests first

 

  1. Take control of your money

Upon changing employment/retirement, some keep their money in the original employer sponsor plan. It is important to take into account one’s personal situation and consider the various options, which include: keeping your assets in the original plan; withdrawing your assets (taxes are generally due upon withdrawal and any applicable tax penalties that may apply); or choosing to rollover your assets to an employer-sponsored retirement plan that accepts rollovers or to another eligible vehicle such as a traditional IRA. It is imperative to take control of your money when you make the decision to retire from your company. Considering your options will give you the freedom to work toward maximizing your investments.

Pension Maximization Possibilities

Examine pension survivorship benefits. If you are one of the lucky ones to retire with a pension, at the time of retirement, you must elect how you will disperse the benefit. To protect your spouse, you can typically opt for a lower monthly amount to ensure your spouse is covered until “end of plan.” This may or may not be the best option. Some clients choose to opt for the single life benefit and instead have an Insurance policy to protect their spouse or beneficiaries. In some cases, not only can it protect loved ones, but some insurance policies allow for the death benefit to also be used for long-term care. This can ensure that the benefit will be used during one’s life, death, or both. This is an irrevocable decision, so consult with a financial advisor before finalizing your election.

The majority of pension benefits do not have a “COLA” (Cost of Living Adjustment) increase with age, therefore, consider what the money will be worth in 20 years. Assuming above a three percent inflation rate, a $4,000 a month pension would only be worth about $2,000 a month in 20 years. For those with a lump sum option, consider the option to invest and generate an income stream that has the ability to offset inflation pressures over time.

 

  1. Not having a proper retirement income spend-down plan

Where do you draw your money from when you need it? From an IRA? Sell stocks? 401Ks? Real estate? Brokerage accounts?

You have worked very hard for your money and decisions on when and where to use your money can have ill-intentioned consequences.

Plan where your money will come from instead of putting it all into one pot. In retirement, you should consider having long-term, mid- term, and short-term investments to help protect you from market fluctuations while maximizing your income potential. More conservative investments go in short-term, moderate investments for mid-term, and more aggressive in long-term. Picking and choosing investments to liquidate on a monthly basis can be stressful, and most advisors show you how and where to save but not how to create an income stream from your investment assets.

When drawing income directly from a 401k, the plan provider will typically sell shares or “units” to send you a monthly amount you requested. The issue with this strategy is that you are indiscriminately selling shares in an up or down market regardless of price. In a down market, you are selling shares at a lower price and therefore cannot allow time for those shares to recover essentially burning the candle on both ends. Consider investments that provide a dividend or yield that allow you to draw income without selling shares.

Having an income spend-down plan can help minimize taxes. For example, if you are taking all of your income from your IRA, this could potentially put you in a higher tax bracket. The goal is to determine how much money to draw from each of your investment assets to maximize your returns and minimize your tax consequences.

 

  1. Having an antiquated investment portfolio

A recent Vanguard study projected investors’ portfolio returns over the next 10 years to be between three and five percent annually versus nine to 11 percent they have enjoyed over the last decade. Many pre-retirees/retirees have invested with a 60/40 stock/bond ratio and think their portfolio is diversified and able to generate enough income. In the past, bonds have yielded five to seven percent, but now most estimates put projections for bond returns at an average of two percent. It is important to examine having some portion of your investments in alternative assets or alternative strategies to work to minimize volatility and potentially increase return. As few as two percent of the U.S. population has a truly diversified portfolio with alternatives. Diversification may allow you to hedge against inflation and interest rates.

 

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  1. Underestimating risk

There are three major types of risk that people fail to analyze: investment risk, longevity risk, and inflation risk.

Investment risk (tied to sequence of returns) is the possibility that your investments could lose value because of movements in financial markets. A recession historically comes once or twice every decade. If you had retired during that time and were forced to sell investments to fund your retirement expenses, then you would have lost a great deal of the upside when the market recovered. For example, Disney stock had dipped down to $20 in 2008; you may not have been able to wait for it to recover and then sell when the price was much higher. Now that it has been 10 years since the last recession and many have enjoyed great returns since then, it would be wise to re-evaluate their investments to make sure they are in line with their time horizon. Many individuals who visit the Ideal-LIVING Shows today were still working and still had many years to retirement in 2008; but now that they are closer to retirement, it is important that they evaluate their current situation.

People today are living longer, and this forces us to evaluate longevity risks. According to the Wall Street Journal, there is a 50 percent chance that a Baby Boomer today will live to age 90. If you don’t plan accordingly, your income could run out before you do. Most people think if they draw 4 percent out per year, they will have enough income to last. Some have recently argued that number should be about 2.5 to three percent per year. In the first three years of retirement, the average retiree tends to spend approximately 20 percent more and this overdraw can also contribute to insufficient sums for the later years if not planned for correctly.

Don’t forget inflation. At above a three percent inflation rate, the value of a dollar in 20 years is about half of what it is worth today. A 2018 Bankrate survey concluded that some Americans are still risk averse and have left a large amount of money sitting in cash. If the bank gives you a yield at a rate under inflation, you are actually earning a negative return during that time. Be aware of how inflation affects your bottom line and focus on inflation adjusted income in retirement.

 

  1. Lacking protection for you. Your family, and your estate

According to Fidelity, a 65-year-old couple retiring this year will need an average of $275,000 to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses. And that doesn’t include the costs associated with long-term nursing home care.

Often times, retirees might have a last will and testament, but not a comprehensive estate plan. Adequate protections should be evaluated for health ,as well as leaving a legacy. The US Census indicates that one in five Americans may become disabled for a period of time. Do you have a plan in the event a disability occurs years before retirement due to an accident or poor health? Do you have a plan to deal with the rising cost of long-term care (LTC) insurance? According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, around 70 percent of adults over the age of 65 will need long-term care insurance at some point in their lives, and it is usually at the tail end of a financial plan when assets tend to be at their lowest point after 20 to 30 years of withdrawals. Consider ways to mitigate those long-term care costs. Traditional long-term care can be a good option for some as they can lock in a specific benefit and have the ability to grow it to offset inflation. The downside is that if you don’t use the benefit, you typically lose it, and as you get older, the premiums are not fixed and can go up over time. A Hybrid Life Insurance policy with a long-term care rider allows one to have a life insurance benefit while still working or in retirement, with the ability to use some or all of their death benefit for the purposes of long-term care in their later years. This option can give clients the ability to pay for a benefit that they know will be used in one way or another, potentially eliminating the feeling of “use it or lose it” that some may have with traditional policies. Also, Hybrid policies can be structured with “fixed” premiums or a lump-sum and therefore, reduce the risk of rising premiums that some may experience traditionally. The downside is that underwriting requirements are typically more stringent since you are underwriting a death benefit and living benefit together. Many individuals have older cash value policies without a LTC benefit that may consider

re-evaluating those policies to create a new benefit. The third option is asset-based; using either retirement accounts or cash to generate an annuity stream during retirement that can continue to pay for long-term care costs later in life. This option can also be useful to individuals who are not able to pass the medical examination requirements of traditional or hybrid policies, as well as those in risk classes such as smokers and those with Diabetes where the price may be prohibitive.

As far as a strategy for estate planning is concerned, all pre-tax retirement plans and traditional IRAs require a minimum annual distribution after reaching the age of 70 and a half. Most take that distribution and simply put it into a savings account. Other options can be to take the cash and invest post-tax, to contribute to long-term care protection, or to leave a legacy. What type of legacy would you like to leave? You could gift money to your children/grandchildren, set up an endowment for charity, or protect the assets in a trust. There are countless options and strategies to create the legacy you choose.

 

  1. Working with a financial advisor who puts your best interests first.

Post-retirement living is very different, so take the time to explore your options well in advance of your retirement age. We encourage you to sit down with an unbiased, independent financial advisor that puts your best interests first and helps you compose a written personalized and holistic financial strategy with the goals of protecting your retirement investments and securing the next chapter of your financial future. To learn more about the topics above, please attend Lawrence’s seminars held at the King of Prussia, PA, and Parsippany, NJ, Ideal-LIVING Real Estates Shows in January and February. In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to contact Lawrence at LawrenceT@VoyaFA.com.

Investment adviser representative and registered representative of, and securities and investment advisory services offered through Voya Financial Advisors, Inc. (member SPIC). Neither Voya Financial Advisors nor its representatives offer tax or legal advice. Please consult with your tax and legal advisors regarding your individual situation. Tundidor & Weiss is not a subsidiary of nor controlled by Voya Financial Advisors. 37310919_IAR_102D

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The Foolproof Way to Stay Social

The Foolproof Way to Stay Social

Social Interaction is Good For Your Health

Consistent social interaction is yet another requirement to ensure good health and a long, vibrant life. But for some, this is easier said than done.

Berkeley, Mayo Clinic, and the National Institute on Aging (among others) all cite evidence that suggests that social interaction improves physical health, increases cognitive functioning, and promotes a longer, more active life. Then, there are the multitude of studies that cite a direct correlation between happiness and social interaction. But, none of these studies tell us how to create or recreate social circles or form meaningful interpersonal relationships, especially after relocating or simply shifting gears during mid-life and into our senior years.

Starting Over

Americans typically spend the majority of their adult lives with their nose to the grindstone and spending free time with family. Friends often consist of colleagues and parents of children’s friends, with a few old friends and neighbors sprinkled in. Because there’s little time for forming (or keeping) the deep bonds with friends that came so easily in years past, social lives become family and children focused. So, by the time the nest empties, many simply feel that they don’t have the energy for it. This sense of defeat, combined with the loss empty-nesters often feel, can be a bit disillusioning. Yes, for some, jumping back into the social scene is like riding a bike, and they’re back in the game in no time. But for others, socializing and putting themselves out there is like pulling teeth.

West Villages Florida | Move Closer Together

Active Adult Communities. The Easy Way Out

This is essentially why active adult communities exist – to make staying active and social easy. Introvert or not, a healthy dose of connection does every body good. And, no matter your personality, finding where you fit into social scenes without the accessibility of organized activities, sports, clubs, and gatherings can be a challenge. This is exactly why active adult communities go above and beyond standard amenities like sports complexes, fitness clubs, and golf courses (all of which can be excellent social outlets). They develop workshops, help to form social clubs and organize events, activities, and outings in order to serve the varied needs and personalities of residents. Whether you’re a nature-lover, bird-watcher, moon-howler, pickleball player, golf fanatic, wine connoisseur, ballroom dancer, quilter, diehard volunteer, lifelong learner, or avid reader, there are people, groups, and activities designed for you. And, if you can’t make yourself go, don’t worry. That’s what having a tight-knit community full of people who have been (or are) in your shoes is all about. Neighbors will eventually get you there.

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