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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Meet our November 2011 CSA Spotlight - Bruce Nemovitz, CSA

Bruce Nemovitz, CSA is a Senior Real Estate Specialist, as well as a Certified Senior Advisor. He has sold residential homes in the four county Milwaukee-Metro areas for 33 years. Bruce focused his real estate practice on the senior market 17 years ago when a marketing director at a senior community asked him to speak about the challenges that seniors (75-90) must face when moving from their long time home into a senior apartment or community. The rest is history. Bruce speaks throughout the 4 county Milwaukee-Metro area at senior communities. His talks focus on educating seniors to the services available for older adults when faced with downsizing and moving. Bruce works with his wife Jeanne, who is also a licensed realtor, at Realty Executives Integrity. Together, they have formed a team of professionals that provide all of the services necessary to a successful move. Since the ‘great recession in 2008’, Bruce’s business has also focused on the children of seniors (mostly baby boomers) who are helping their parents through the process of transitioning their parents to a senior apartment or community.

Bruce has recently received the 2010 “Realtor of the Year” award from the 3,800 membership of the GMAR (Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors). He has been listed in Milwaukee Magazine’s 5-Star Agents list for three years in a row. As such, he’s one of only a handful of realtors who are continually included in the top 7% in client satisfaction in the Milwaukee Metro area. He is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau and was a finalist for Concordia College’s Ethical Business Leadership Award. Bruce has published a book called “Moving in the Right Direction: A Senior’s Guide to Moving and Downsizing. (

Here is what Bruce has to say about being a Certified Senior Advisor:
“I have been a Certified Senior Advisor for several years, and I have used the knowledge and expertise given to me through my CSA education to better relate to my senior clients and their families. The CSA designation has proved to be a great asset when a client is assessing my credentials before choosing me as their agent and advisor. Seniors and their children present many complex issues when it is time to move from their long time home, and the CSA information available is critical to achieving a successful outcome for older adults and their children”.

Contact Bruce today:
phone: 262-242-6177

Visit Bruce’s website where you can view various senior-related articles and resources on moving and downsizing. Here’s just a few for you to download:

I Can't Sell My House

Optimism and Real Estate: Medicine We Can All Use

Retirement Can Be Re-Inspirement!

Don't Sell Mom and Dad's Home

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Retirement Plan 2012 Inflation Adjustments - Part 2

Although most seniors are no longer setting aside money for retirement, those who work with seniors are. And, each year the amount that we can set aside is adjusted for inflation. The IRS recently announced the 2012 inflation adjustments. Here are some of the highlights that might affect Certified Senior Advisors:

Contribution limits are the same as for 2011 ($5,000 plus $1,000 catch-up amount if over age 50).

Deductible amount for Traditional IRA if an active participant in an employer-sponsored plan:

Contribution limitations for Roth IRA if an active participant in an employer-sponsored plan:

Employer-sponsored plans

The contribution limit for employees participating in 401(k), 403(b), etc. is increased to $17,000 (from $16,500 in 2011). Employees over age 50 may contribute an additional $5.500 in 2012 (unchanged from 2011).

Information provided by Frank Vidin, CFP, CSA, financial and non-profit consultant and CSA faculty member.

Click here for a printable PDF copy of this document!


1. IR-2011-103, Oct 20, 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dark Chocolate, My New BF

As if chocolate lovers needed research studies to justify the consumption of the dark, delicious stuff…

Still, there is additional good news about chocolate. It comes in the form of a Harvard study that was recently announced in Atlanta at the American Heart Association’s science session on cardiovascular disease. This study found that one square of chocolate a day can help lower blood pressure in people with hypertension, as well as increase insulin sensitivity which aids in lowering the risk of diabetes.
And the news gets better. The Harvard researchers also found evidence that dark chocolate affects cholesterol. A small decrease in LDL (bad) and a significant increase in HDL (good) cholesterol were noted. Further, the researchers sited “rather strong evidence” that dark chocolate improves several important cardiovascular risk factors and “likely reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

So, aside from the promising medical implication that chocolate is beneficial to our hearts, I must admit that it always did my heart good to read the message inside the Dove chocolate foil. I take it personally when I read, “Your smile lights up the room” or “You’re exactly where you should be.” This chocolate is not only delicious, but the people who make it seem to know things about us. That, too, is comforting in these impersonal times; just another reason to indulge in it.

So far, my best relationship has been with chocolate, and the Harvard study simply confirms what I already knew.

Laraine Jablon

Laraine Jablon, BA, MA, is a freelance writer specializing in social, health, and spiritual concerns of seniors. She resides in Nesconset, New York, and welcomes your thoughts.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Living to Give: What it Takes to Be a Cancer Caregiver

Register now for our November educational webinar, Living to Give: What it Takes to be a Cancer Caregiver. This event is being held, Thursday November 17, 2011 at 12:00 PM Mountain Standard Time (other times shown below.)

Being a cancer caregiver is one of the most exhausting, yet critical, roles a person can play. In this seminar, Aldrich will explain what it takes to be an effective cancer caregiver. She’ll cover everything from how to handle day-to-day issues such as warding off germs and getting your patient to eat to the rollercoaster of emotions you will experience. Aldrich will also discuss these important items:

• Your Caregiver Toolbox
• Paperwork Organization
• Defining Your Resources (ahead of time.)
• ‘Asking for Help’
• Special Needs of Cancer Patients

Register Now!

Date: Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Time: 2:00 PM (EST)
1:00 PM (CST)
12:00 PM (MST)
11:00 AM (PST)

Cost: Free for CSAs; $49 Public

Register Now!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tax Planning for 2012

Although many of us don’t start thinking about next year’s taxes until after we pay this year’s, for many taxpayers — both seniors and those of us who work with seniors —it is often helpful to look ahead. This is especially true if we have income that we aren’t sure whether to take this year or defer into next year.

In late October, the IRS released 2012 inflation-adjusted tax numbers, taking into account the 3.6% inflation rate between October 1, 2010 and September 30, 2011.

In addition to the income tax changes noted below, 2012 will see the first inflation adjustment to the exclusion amount for estate, gift, and generation skipping transfer taxes, which will increase from $5,000,000 to $5,120,000.

Some of the 2012 income tax adjustments include:

Standard Deduction
Married filing joint.....................$11,900
Head of Household........................$8,700
Unmarried or Married filing Separately...$5,950

Additional Standard Deduction for Aged and/or Blind
Married (per person).....................$1,150

Personal Exemption
All taxpayers (for each dependent).......$3,800

2012 Tax Bracket Breakpoints

Information provided by Frank Vidin, CFP, CSA, financial and non-profit consultant and CSA faculty member.

1. Rev. Proc. 2011-52 (October 20, 2011).
2. The tax bracket breakpoint is the point where the next dollar of taxable income will be taxed at a higher bracket.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Courting in Cyberspace

Love is the prize.

It is the trophy that is dangled before the eyes of those who go to internet sites in search of a mate or a date. One thing is clear: internet dating websites are flourishing. In fact, it has been documented that one 1 out of 5 couples meets on a website, and many seniors are finding these sites exhilarating, alluring, and promising.

College was an excellent place to meet people. Many of us met our husbands and wives on campus; it was like one huge, ongoing, fabulous mixer offering a grand pool of potential dates. Students had everything in common—studies, classes, meals, sports, activities...

But time passed and life got complicated. Spouses died or departed; some never found anyone to love. Currently, the search for a relationship on a website can be an appealing option for boomers and their parents who are looking for an emotional connection, or simple daily communication. Many still work 9-5 jobs which leave little time or energy for meeting eligible people in the course of their day—assuming that single people live in their immediate neighborhoods and are in the same establishments at the same times on the same days.

Make no mistake, on-line dating can be like the Wild, Wild West: there is no telling what you will find out there in cyberspace. But the millions of notes flying through the airwaves offer the possibility of finding a date, friend, lover, mate, or all of the above. You just never know.

This blog is posted by Laraine Jablon, a hopeful romantic.

Laraine Jablon, BA, MA, is a freelance writer specializing in social and health concerns of seniors. She resides in Nesconset, New York, and welcomes your thoughts.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Library, a Safe Harbor

Comfort. This is my memory of the library.

As a small girl, the library held all the questions and answers; all the mysteries of the universe. It housed history and hope, and it was all there for the asking. When immersed in the stacks, I was surrounded by thousands of dear old bound friends--I loved the feel of them, the smell of them, starting them, finishing them.

The library was my world. It was the place where I was introduced to everything interesting, remarkable, and exhilarating. I learned about countries I would visit in the future, sports I played as a child and would later compete in, activities I would take part in, fields of study I would enter. Most importantly, it began my love affair with the written word.

As young children, my two best friends and I rode our bikes to the Bryant Library, named after William Cullen Bryant, the famous poet and journalist. Dating back to 1878, this was the oldest library in Nassau County. Located in the old Village of Roslyn, Long Island, it overlooked the Roslyn Duck Pond. We preferred its old Reading Room, along with the letter Bryant wrote explaining that he laid the foundation for this Reading Room because “the people have no places to meet in the evening, save the bar rooms.”

We loved the rich history of our library, and held “study dates” there after school two or three days a week. For us, the library was inexorably linked to freedom and fun. We curled up in the big, old, armchairs in front of the fireplace in the Reading Room in late afternoons and evenings. We did our homework, played word games, whispered, and secretly snacked on pretzels, muffling our crunching so that the librarians wouldn’t shush us.

Years later, we drove our folks’ cars to the library. When we got our driver’s licenses, our moms couldn’t refuse us these noble excursions. It was cool to study there and prep each other for the English Regents and the SAT’s. It was all free and it still is: the library continues to offer books, along with a tremendous diversity of services, including free internet access, courses, classes, audiobooks, CD’s, DVD’s, etcetera. A visit to the library still holds the promise of exciting new and old ideas; it is still a place to curl up on a rainy Saturday afternoon.

The future of the library is of great concern to many of us baby boomers who grew up with it. To be sure, information retrieval can take many forms; diversity and choices add another dimension to our lives. But one thing is clear: a book cannot be replaced by text and images on a screen any more than a mere photograph of a Picasso can substitute for the experience of standing before the real thing in a museum. Many of us still want to savor the genuine article.

May libraries continue to inspire children and adults.

Blog posting provided by Laraine Jablon

Laraine Jablon, BA, MA, is a freelance writer specializing in social, health, and spiritual concerns of seniors. She resides in Nesconset, New York, and welcomes your thoughts.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Accompanying Letter as Part of a Will

You might be surprised how many people die each year without a Will. There are numerous reasons for this major oversight including; those who cannot or will not think about death, those who believe talking about and creating a Will may cause problems with their partner or family members, and those who don’t want to spend money on lawyers.

Having a proper Will goes a long way to prevent family arguments. The guesswork is eliminated and the family is clear on the deceased’s intention. Furthermore, a Will may actually save money because without one, the provincial/state authorities are in control and that could mean unnecessary delays and extra costs.

Just as a Will brings a feeling of peace and comfort, so does an accompanying letter listing items usually not included in the Will. Here are several suggestions you should encourage your clients to include in their accompanying letter:

1. People to be notified at the time of death. Certain people and institutions need to be notified at time of death including the client’s lawyer, executor, trustee and accountant along with Federal pension authorities. Relatives and special friends will want to know as soon as possible so providing the names, addresses and telephone numbers will make it easier for the person assuming this responsibility.

At the time of my father Jack’s death, my mother and family did not know who Jack was close to when working. As a result, an ex-workmate called after the funeral saying he would have appreciated attending. This oversight, which could have been prevented with a listing of people to be notified, caused much anguish for both the family and ex-workmate.

2. Listing advanced funeral arrangements. Be sure your client communicates his/her funeral arrangements and last wishes (i.e. body burial, type of casket, cremation, and hymn requests).

3. Location of personal papers. List the exact location of personal documents including birth and marriage certificates, diplomas, military papers, etc.

4. List of bank accounts and bank locations. List all bank accounts by name of institution, branch address and type of account. Also give the location of cancelled checks and bank statements with the number and location of the safety deposit box and key.

5. Listing of credit cards. List by issuer and card number.

6. Location of deed and mortgage papers. Indicate where the documents are located, the date for renewal and the holding institution.

7. Listing of insurance policies. List life, auto, home, veterans’, medical and other insurance policies together with the agent(s) name and location of these documents.

8. Listing of vehicles including registration and other papers. Provide the location of all keys and operating instructions.

9. Income and property taxes paid and owing. Provide the location of income tax returns for the past three years. Record of property tax amounts and due dates.

10. Investments including mutual funds, stocks and bonds. List all stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit and other investments. Indicate the location of the investments and the name and address of the financial advisor(s). If owning any gold or silver coins or bars, provide the location and details.

11. Listing and location of valuables. List all jewelry and other valuables including the names of those to whom the articles are to be given.

12. Trusts, loans, money owed to you. List any trusts and provide the name and address of the trustee. Record all loans and other accounts payable.

13. Special survivor benefits. List all possible sources of benefits not named in the Will – government pension, veteran’s pension, employee pension, fraternal associations, etc.

With a current Will and accompanying letter of assets, document location and burial wishes, your client will feel more at ease that their final plans will be fulfilled. Encourage your client to let one or two family members know where his/her Will and accompanying letter are stored and the name and address of their lawyer. Better yet, suggest your client give a copy of the accompanying letter to his/her spouse, a trusted friend and/or family member so when your client does pass away, they can begin the process of notifying family and friends and fulfilling your client’s wishes.

Richard (Rick) Atkinson, Founder and President of RA Retirement Advisors, is an expert in pre-retirement planning. He is author of the best-selling book, Don’t Just Retire – Live It, Love It! Rick facilitates workshops for clients of advisors and others. He is available for speaking engagements. Twitter: @dontjustretire.