Innovations at Cambridge Village

Innovations at Cambridge Village

This couple enjoys a glass of wine in the Cambridge Village Courtyard.

Cambridge Village, A New Kind of Retirement

At a time when many seniors are as fit and well as some in their 30s, one retirement community is staying a step ahead of the game.

The design and functionality of retirement apartment complexes have changed almost as much as the senior population in recent years. Retirement facilities are now typically as vibrant, socially active, and wellness-centered as the average active adult.

But, Cambridge Village has taken things a step further by making their facilities both indiscernible at first glance from a fine resort hotel and spa, and simultaneously as comfortable, friendly, and social as a full-service college campus apartment complex. With locations in Apex, Wilmington, and a future location in Raleigh – Brier Creek, senior living innovation was well primed in these areas. The economy and health and wellness industries are booming in both cities, attracting young families and retirees from across the country and around the world. Then, of course, in Wilmington there’s the beach, which tends to be pretty popular among, well, everyone.

As we all know, where there are young grandchildren, grandparents are likely to follow. So, a high population of young, growing families tends to attract more seniors to an area by default.

Why Cambridge Village

Cambridge Village is intended to offer a low-maintenance, wellness-focused, resort-style living experience to seniors busy living some of the best years of their lives. And, this feeling is immediately conveyed when one enters the lobby at Cambridge’s Wilmington location. There’s a feeling of ease, and a sense of well-being that feels deliciously contagious. And, given that Cambridge Village in Wilmington is less than five minutes from Wrightsville Beach and a stone’s throw from Mayfaire Town Center, it’s in the mix with everything that tourists and residents flock to. Cambridge residents can take morning walks to nearby cafes and shops, or an evening bike ride to their favorite Wrightsville Beach restaurant.

What’s to Love

Community activities are integral to everyday life at Cambridge Village. Many residents have children and grandchildren in the area, and have moved to Cambridge to be close to them while maintaining autonomy and independence. Others simply chose Cambridge Village for the location, or to stay close to the town and an area they know and love. But, all residents chose Cambridge partially from a desire to surround themselves with people they can relate to, and to develop a sense of community.  

Cambridge Village has a resort hotel quality that adds a touch of luxury.

“Our residents come from all over,” said Katie Manning, Chief Marketing Strategist at Cambridge Village. “We have snowbirds who came down for warmer weather, people who moved to Wilmington to retire, and lifelong Wilmingtonians.”

And, with such diverse backgrounds comes the perfect environment for community building. Residents meet up for lunch at the Village Restaurant with Chef Charlie Blake, or for shuffleboard at the pub. They play pool, walk at Wrightsville Beach on Friday mornings, organize dances, put together wine & cheese neighborhood socials, play Mahjong and poker, and watch movies in the theater. And, many hop on weekly group bike rides and shuttle trips around town.

The Center for Optimal Living

Not only is the Center for Optimal Living impressive in its own right, but the structure implemented therein also helps residents to “achieve optimal wellness in body, mind, and spirit.”  The optimal living center at Cambridge Village is state-of-the-art.

Dozens of machines line the windows in a bright sunlit fitness room. There’s an extensive weight room and a yoga and fitness room across the hall that’s super-spacious and beautifully designed. And, the grand finale is an indoor five-lane lap pool with glass lining one wall and an industrial but elegant ceiling that adds specific interest and inspiration. But, behind all the fancy fitness rooms and equipment is a physician-led concierge approach to living a healthy lifestyle. Trainers, instructors, and a physician all come together to design the optimal plan for each resident.

Cambridge Village Fitness Facility is Second to None in the 50+ Category.And, because nothing is optimal without a smoothie bar nearby, Cambridge Village hasn’t forgotten. The Village Smoothie Bar is just beyond the pool.

Cambridge Village resident, Ed Drew, is not alone when he says that the Center for Optimal Living is what sold him.

“We’d already visited several places. But, when we got to Cambridge, and I saw that wellness center downstairs, and that beautiful, magnificent pool, that did it…I said, ‘I love this place! Then I said, ‘Okay, now, let’s look at the rest of it’,” Drew said with a chuckle. “So we did. And, we totally fell in love with it.”

Center for Optimal Living memberships are available to the general public for those over the age of 45, and will soon be available to all adults, with a maximum of 350 total memberships available.

 

Medspa at Cambridge

If the Center for Optimal Living is going a step beyond, then the Medspa at Cambridge is a giant leap. Walking into this full-service Medspa is instantly as sensual and relaxing an experience as it is in any spa. From massage therapy, facials and mani/pedis, to botox, laser treatments, and more, residents can treat themselves, and take care of themselves, as often as they need or would like to. The Medspa also includes a full service hair salon frequented by residents as well as the general public. Families, children, and friends are beyond welcome at the Village. Cambridge Village is designed to accommodate and nurture such connections. “We love to see our residents spending time with their families, enjoying a nice dinner or holiday meal in the Village Restaurant, and enjoying our relaxing outdoor space by the fire pits,” said Manning.

Life comes together at Cambridge Village and it all meets seniors where they are. Just when folks are ready to say no to cooking and maintaining and yes to visiting and enjoying and exploring, Cambridge Village staff steps in to make that happen.   

Innovations at Cambridge Village include resort-style room design.

In addition to lavish 1-2 bedroom apartments (some complete with a sunroom), residency at Cambridge Village includes an extensive list of amenities.

Here’s a quick list:

  • Library, chapel, media room, and game rooms
  • MedSpa & Salon
  • Cafe and Pub/Lounge
  • Fitness Center Membership
  • Professional Directed Optimal Living Program
  • Sauna
  • Cable TV/Phone/Internet
  • Housekeeping and linen services
  • Emergency response system
  • Washer and dryer in all apartments
  • Fire sprinkler and smoke detection
  • Luxurious wall-to-wall carpeting
  • All maintenance and repairs
  • Resident mailboxes
  • Resident manager on site
  • Guest suites available
  • Individually controlled heat and air conditioning
  • Scheduled transportation by courtesy shuttle to appointments
  • Wireless internet access throughout

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Life on the Ranch | Sarasota, FL

Life on the Ranch | Sarasota, FL

Life on the Ranch, Lakewood Ranch FL

Life on the Ranch

Lakewood Ranch, the second best-selling planned community in the nation, turns 25 this year. How did they get here and where are they headed?

Travis Allen Hall, born and raised at Lakewood Ranch (LWR) in Sarasota, FL, experiences most palm-tree-lined, 78-degree days as though he’s looking through a colorful kaleidoscope of moments pulled from those sprinkled across a 25-year timeline. Hall’s family was one of the first 25 families to move into Lakewood Ranch.

“There were literally cows just beyond our backyard,” Hall says. “There were only three other houses when we first got here.”

Hall says that during his daily drives along Lakewood Ranch’s bustling Main Street, that years of memories are readily accessible—playing basketball with friends on courts that projected laughter and sound for miles, of riding bikes and playing outside until dark with no sign of people or even houses, and of his first days on the tennis courts shortly after they were laid.

“We’re all still here for a reason,” Hall says. “My parents have retired here, and my brother and I certainly aren’t going anywhere. It’s where we’ve made our best memories.”

25 years later, Hall’s mother and father live in the same Summerfield house he grew up in, in what would become Lakewood Ranch’s first neighborhood. Hall’s brother, Colby, lives with his family in Greenbrook, also a neighborhood in Lakewood Ranch.

Lakewood Ranch Nature TrailsBut, memories aren’t the only reason they’re all still here.

“My parents believed in the founders’ vision,” Hall says. “To be honest, my mom was not too happy when we first got here. She literally looked at my dad, and was like, ‘Where in the world have you brought us?’ It truly felt like we were in the middle of nowhere. All you could see was land and cows. But, deep down she believed what they (the founders) were telling them. She and my Dad knew that we were becoming part of something big. And, they were right. Lakewood Ranch is what they all promised it would be, and then some.”

Grand visions of a four-house neighborhood becoming a veritable resort town and the impetus for growth and development of an entire region somehow didn’t seem unlikely to the Halls. But, the speed with which it came did surprise them.

“People have always flocked to Sarasota,” Hall says. And, while the development of surrounding rural areas was the inevitable next step in this region in the mid-90s, no other community that cropped up during that time took off as quickly nor grew to the extent that Lakewood Ranch has.

Lakewood Ranch offers many pools in the community By the time Hall was ready for high school, just a few years after they moved in, Lakewood Ranch High School had just opened to 9th graders only. Subsequent grades were added the following year. Hall was enrolled in the first freshman class and graduated from the first graduating class at Lakewood Ranch High School. In the summers, he and friends fished for blue gill and bass in nearby ponds and lakes, spent mornings and evenings on one of a dozen tennis courts and basketball courts, and days in one of many pools.

By the time he graduated high school, groceries, and shops had popped up along Main Street. Clydesdale-led parades barreled along the intimate streets lined with Floridian architecture that now wind through Lakewood Ranch Town Center. And, by his 20s, entertainment, shopping, schools, and a bustling business district characterized Lakewood Ranch as a veritable town.

“My parents had us volunteering for everything in the beginning—every event, every community project,” he says. “We’ve always been invested in this place.”

Lakewood Ranch Golf Courses, FLAnd, the return on that investment has been far greater than they dreamed. Lakewood Ranch now has a tennis center complete with 20 har-tru clay courts, six world-class golf courses (plus one under construction), homes ranging from $180k to $10 million, schools for pre-school to college, and 1,500+ businesses, including bio-tech companies, health care facilities, and the area’s top-ranked hospital.

Both Travis and his brother still spend portions of their days “investing” in Lakewood Ranch. Colby Hall is the Sports Director for the Lakewood Ranch YMCA, and Travis has been a Lakewood Ranch YMCA tennis coach since he graduated from high school.

His parents are settled into retirement, living their best life in the most popular planned community in Florida.

“Yeah, they wouldn’t be anywhere else,” Hall says.

When asked if he would ever consider leaving, Hall easily responds, “No, we’re not going anywhere. This is our home.”

The VISION

Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota, FLSo, what of this vision? How do you create a vibrant, business-friendly community that attracts retirees as quickly and seamlessly as it attracts young people and families? Yes, it was rooted in palm tree-lined streets, expansive parks, and tight-knit neighborhoods. But, it takes a slightly more expansive vision and innovative thought process to drive this kind of growth—to create whole towns from scratch with such distinct and varied neighborhoods in 25 years. How did Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, LWR’s parent company, seamlessly surpass their goal of creating a self-sustaining, independent community/city now recognized as the second largest and fastest-growing planned community in the country? Multi-generational living is definitely one of the secrets.

There are age-targeted neighborhoods within Lakewood Ranch, including Del Webb and soon-to-open Cresswind. And, the allure for residents of each, says Leslie Rothschild, realtor and Live Sarasota co-owner, is that while they have easy access to a larger, multi-generational community, they also have the luxury of being surrounded by neighbors who desire similar lifestyles. Rothschild and her husband chose Del Webb for what she calls its “cult-like” following.

“Once you know what it’s like to live in a Del Webb community, you can’t live anywhere else. Seriously, it’s heaven,” she says.

At Lakewood Ranch, Rothschild says, there is a place, a home, an activity, and an overall feeling of well-being for every age and stage, and that’s what makes it so special.

Lakewood Ranch YogaPeople thrive here from every walk of life. Families grow together in a multi-generational environment which creates a vibrancy and security that has become foundational here. Twenty-somethings can buy their first condo or home here, empty nesters settle into the home and lifestyle they want, and seniors can stay close to those they love and receive support from.

Rex Jensen, president and CEO of Schroeder Manatee Ranch, the developer of Lakewood Ranch, says that this drives a more innovative approach to development.

“This is a community with multiple dimensions and a good share of that springs from these multiple generations and their contribution to our lifestyle,” Jensen says.

Another key component of LWR’s success is that Jensen and his team have always incorporated preserving LWR’s roots into their mission. Once a ranch, always a ranch, and while developed, preservation has been integral to the LWR’s design. In fact, 40 percent of the land is set aside for nature and recreation.

Lakewood Ranch Community CenterRothschild says that there is as much if not more undeveloped land on LWR’s 50 square miles as developed land. Aside from miles of bike paths, natural trails, and endless parks, the Ranch is still just that.
“This is still very much a working ranch,” she notes. “And, we actually have cows out there!”

“This is what’s so attractive about this place,” Rothschild says. “It’s a part of the land. Its history is still right here. Preservation is inherent in a place like that, because residents are reminded every day.”

And, then, there’s business. With thriving businesses comes growth and an overall sense of security. And, the fact that LWR is home to 1500+ successful companies is a clear sign that LWR has it all figured out. But how? One of LWR’s favorite business models is to “create it and they will come,” trusting that the right person or company will appear. The Premier Sports Campus and the Sarasota Polo Club are both great examples of this. LWR engineered, designed, and built both, then subsequently sold each. This method has been key to LWR job growth and economy building.

And, as Rothschild says, “There’s really no reason to have to leave Lakewood Ranch. Everything you love to do, all of the people you want to be with, whatever you need, it’s all right here,” she says. “And, that’s a good feeling.”

RETIRED AT THE RANCH

Patricia (Pat) Collins, born and raised in the Canadian Rockies near Alberta, Canada, and her husband Mark, born in Britain, have been watching Lakewood Ranch since its Grand Opening in 1995. They moved to Atlanta, GA, in the early 90s for work. And, while Pat says she’s tickled to be where she is now, that she left her home in Canada kicking and screaming. “I truly loved where we lived,” she says.

While she learned to love or at least like wherever she was, luckily for her, either good fate or a happy accident brought her to the blissful state she lives in now.

“My husband was in Sarasota on business. He runs marathons … well, he did back then,” she says. “And, after running across the Ringling Bridge in Sarasota, he said he just knew that this was where we’d end up someday. He started looking around a bit and discovered Lakewood Ranch.”

They continued to visit the Ranch through the years and were fortunate enough to watch it grow into the vision that the founders laid out in the early days.

And, 20 years later, give or take, when it was time to retire, Lakewood Ranch decidedly became their destination.

After five years in, she says, she’s still pinching herself.

Lakewood Ranch Community Actives“I can’t say enough about how much fun it is here,” she says. Most Fridays and nearly every Sunday, the majority of their Leopard Creek neighborhood in Country Club East, also known as “Party Creek,” head into Friday concerts on Main Street and up to the polo fields for Sunday polo matches and a little tailgating. Pat says they have found their people. “This is what we worked so hard for, to sit back and enjoy all the stuff we dreamed of doing while we were at work.”

They’re involved with groups that go kayaking, biking, running, and of course, partying. “We’re kind of known for finding any excuse to throw a party around here,” she says with a laugh.
And, what’s not to celebrate?

“We always say we’ll never miss the shoveling, scraping, or shivering.
In Florida, even when it’s cold, it’s not cold.”

Overall, she said, you have to work pretty hard to have a bad day at Lakewood Ranch.

Much to Love

Lakewood Ranch, a Family CommunityCharlene and Bob Schmitt have seen it all at Lakewood Ranch. Not only were they one of the first 50 families, but their daughter, Kirsten Schmitt, was the first to be born in Lakewood Ranch.

“And, not too long ago, our son-in-law bought her engagement ring right here at Vanessa’s Fine Jewelry on Lakewood Ranch Main Street,” Charlene points out, with a noted fondness in her voice.

“We have everything we could possibly need or want here,” she says. Aside from all the amenities that made raising children so much more carefree and enjoyable- fitness centers, pools, the YMCS, the Lakewood Ranch Hospital, the movie theatre, and town center—now, in retirement, the Schmitt’s are as active and involved as ever.

Among Charlene’s favorite activities are polo matches.

Lakewood Ranch Polo Fields“We love tailgating with friends next to the polo fields. I’ll never get tired of the sound of clomping hooves and the ground thundering,” Charlene says. “We also happen to have good friends who are referees, which is always fun.”

Don and Faye Downing, also among the first 50 families at Lakewood Ranch, say that they, too, are in it for the long haul.

“You really can’t find another place like this,” says Don.

Retirement has been good to them, and he says golf has been the key for him. He works with the First Tee program in the Sarasota area, and plays at least twice a week.

“Golf days are definitely my favorite days,” he says.

“We are pretty lucky to have such beautiful courses right here in our backyard.”

COMING SOON

Lakewood Ranch WatersideLWR’s newest village, Waterside in Sarasota County, will feature over 5,000 homes in 12 walkable neighborhoods connected via water taxis and trails to a vibrant, lakefront town center—Waterside Place. Waterside is being built around seven lakes, with more than 20 miles of shoreline, acres of nature preserves, and an 8-acre waterfront park, which will be home to concerts, festivals, and farmers markets. Waterside Place, the village center, with an estimated completion date of 2020, will include apartments, restaurants, retail shops, professional offices, and the Players Centre for Performing Arts, all within walking distance of every residence.

“Yeah, there’s always something new coming up at Lakewood Ranch. It’s pretty amazing to watch how quickly it grows and adapts, even after all these years,” Hall says.

“Everybody’s pretty excited about Waterside,” he adds. “My sister-in-law is actually planning to move there next year.”

And, so it goes. Families and retirees flock to Lakewood Ranch for a more ideal way of life. And, generations and family trees later, they’re still there.

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Lakewood Ranch | Best Places to Live in Florida

Lakewood Ranch | Best Places to Live in Florida

At Lakewood Ranch, it's all about the good life. Health, family, and fun are the focus. And, there's an activity to fit every lifestyle. The community hosts 54 holes of golf, a country club with two clubhouses, and tennis and athletic centers. Additionally, it's home to the Sarasota Polo Club and seven world-class polo fields. Lake Ranch polo tournaments attract players from around the world. Still, the list continues with a 75-acre premier sports campus, A-rated schools, and a hospital and preventative medical clinic. Read More...


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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.

Schell Brothers Banner

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.

Lakewood Is Here! WaterWays, GA Newest Neighborhood

Lakewood Is Here! WaterWays, GA Newest Neighborhood

WaterWays TownshipWaterways township lakewood

Lakewood at WaterWays Township

An intimate village within the WaterWays community, Lakewood offers stately wooded and waterfront homesites and a unique lifestyle centered around water and nature. Here, low country cottage-style homes exude southern character, and neighbors gather on front porches on Tuesday evenings. Rows of treelined streets give the neighborhood a timeless feel that harkens back to a simpler era, and a 3-block park provides a charming route for all its residents to access the banks of our Bill Dance Signature Lake. Our waterfront pavilion on these banks is the perfect place to relax, or even to launch a canoe or kayak. It’s a haven for those passionate about living.

Homesites are now available from the 50s and Homes will be available from the Low-300s.

LEARN MORE!

Lakewood at Waterways Map

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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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