Savvy Seniors Living Seminars – Rightsizing 101 – Part 2

View this Rightsizing 101 video (Part 2 of a 9-part series) to discover the stories of how top downsizing professionals serving seniors in the Bay Area have helped their clients. Hear real-life experiences from Katherine Fogelman of Senior Sorters and Estate Liquidators, Tammy Jo Borosky of Clear Organizing, Karl Anderson of Anderson Bros. Movers, and Mary Lynne Murray of It’s About Time Organizing. This Rightsizing 101 seminar is part of the Savvy Seniors Living Seminar Series hosted by Dayna Wilson, Senior Real Estate Specialist with Keller Williams Realty-East Bay. These 90-minute monthly educational seminars are presented at the Lafayette Library Community Hall, 3491 Mt Diablo Blvd in Lafayette. Adults 55+, seniors, and caregivers are invited to attend the free seminars to learn the actual facts about issues related to home ownership and post-retirement downsizing in the S.F. Bay Area. See the full seminar schedule at http://savvyseniorsliving.com/schedule/

Freedom Friday: More Advice in 2018 for the Nearly Retired

Four colored price stickers on the worn wooden backgroundIn the Market Watch article, 9 New Year’s Resolutions for the Nearly Retired, author Alessandra Malito suggests that if you are planning to retire in 2018, there are some important resolutions you should make now:

Get the important documents settled. Even at your healthiest, or when you’re struggling to save money, wills and other life documents, such as a power of attorney, are important, especially if you want your wishes to be followed. ‘Don’t leave your family with difficult decisions and scrambling to piece together your finances,’ said James White, a financial adviser and founder of J.H. White Financial in Pottstown, Penn. Know who you want to make the medical decisions, who should be executor of your estate and how to divide your assets. And, though it seems morbid, write out a safely stored document with all the important information you know that your family may need, such as all financial accounts, passwords to social media and other websites and even family recipes they may want, to keep your family’s legacy alive.

Declutter. Getting rid of possessions can be a tedious process, but it frees up space in your home — and could do the same in your mind. ‘By simplifying your life early in retirement, you’re not only freeing up space in your home, but you’re able to take your time to examine what’s most meaningful to you and release anything that no longer serves you,’ said Penny Gordon, senior vice president and private wealth adviser at Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust in East Berlin, Penn. Having a clean slate is just as important as getting your financial house in order, she said (and it could make downsizing homes in the future easier, too). The items that no longer mean much to you may mean a great deal to a family member, friend or charity organization, Gordon added. Some may want to follow Marie Kondo’s method of decluttering, where she puts everything of one category (such as clothes, books or linens) on the floor and picks them up one by one to see which “spark joy” and which don’t. When something is no longer important, you’re supposed to thank the item for its time and find a new place for it (outside of your life).

Know your benefits. Educate yourself on what your company gives you in retirement, including how your retirement accounts are invested and if you get any health benefits. About a quarter of employers who provide health insurance also offer some sort of financial help with medical needs (though that share of employers used to be a lot higher — 60% in the 1980s). Along with what employers offer, it’s important to know what the government will give you. Social Security benefit checks are expected to shrink in a few decades, because there are more people currently retiring than there are people entering the workforce. If you haven’t already, create an account with the Social Security Administration at My Social Security to ensure work history and personal information is current, view Social Security benefit statements or see what you should expect to receive in the future.”

Read more at 9 New Year’s Resolutions for the Nearly Retired.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Transition Thursday: Tax, Legal & Financial Issues

Savvy Seniors Seminar Tax Leg & Financial Issues

 

We all know there can sometimes be complexities related to the transfer of property. More times than not families try to solve these problems during a crisis, but creating a contingency plan in advance is a far better way of dealing with potential pitfalls. Your home is often your most valuable asset and there are thing you need to know before you move forward with any major decisions that will impact your future.

You may be asking…

  • What legal documents are needed when selling my home?
  • What are the tax implications of owning, selling, or transferring property??
  • How should property be deeded to avoid potential future challenges?
  • What other issues should I be aware of?

Join us to hear first hand from legal, financial and tax experts about how to avoid common challenges faced by families just like yours.

February 7, 2018
10 – 11:30 AM

Lafayette Library
Community Hall
3491 Mt Diablo Blvd
Lafayette CA

To register, call 925-788-6582 or go online to the Savvy Seniors Living Website.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Wellness Wednesday – Six Secrets to a Long Life from Ancestral Greek Islanders

Greek Island SantoriniIn the Next Avenue article Secrets From the Island Where People Forget to Die, author Laine Bergeson writes about the remarkable longevity of the residents of the Greek island of Ikaria:

“On the Greek island of Ikaria, people forget to die.

For the most part, they also forget to get sick – the island’s many nonagenarians experience relatively little cancer, cardiovascular disease or dementia.

This small island in the north Aegean Sea has been the subject of much study by researchers across the world. Every outsider wonders: What is the secret to a long and healthy life?

In her cookbook Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life, and Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die, ancestral Ikarian and part-time resident of the island, Diane Kochilas, offers an insider’s perspective on why this far-flung Greek community lives so long and so well.”

Here are some of Kochilas’ longevity tips:

1. Eat locally, seasonally and sparingly. The octagenarians, nonagenarians and centenarians I spoke with on Ikaria all described the eating habits of their early years — years of dire poverty, dearth and isolation — not so much in terms of what they ate but of how little they ate, because there simply wasn’t that much food.

Meat was rare, for some as rare as two to three times a year on the big holidays. For others who may have had animals (mainly chickens), they could afford to slaughter a few times a month. Fish was accessible if one fished; gardens were carved into terraces along Ikaria’s steep slopes and watered sparingly.

The 100-year-olds ate what they found in nature, from snails to mushrooms to wild greens, as well as what their gardens provided. There was and is still virtually no processed food on the island, except in some restaurants.

2. Live deliberately and don’t rush. The pace with which people move on Ikaria (including my own family!) never ceases to amaze me: slow, deliberate, unhurried, but with enough time to observe and live in every moment.

3. Enjoy sleep. We sleep so much when we are on Ikaria. It’s a godsend. I don’t know if it’s the atmosphere or the clean air, but I can sleep there totally soundly for 10 hours, even with daylight pouring into the room. Ikarians nap. All older Greeks nap.

4. Let things go. The Greeks say, ‘Don’t hold the bad in.’ There is so much truth and wisdom in that. Ikaria is a place where people tend to be easygoing, forgiving and unstressed. It’s also a place where the local culture allows for a very liberal interpretation of what it means to be uninhibited. The panygyria, local feasts of wine and dancing that are usually in celebration of a saint’s name day, are the place to witness how we let loose and enjoy it. Dancing has a lot to do with it. So does the strength of the local wine.

Read the rest of the tips: Secrets From the Island Where People Forget to Die.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

3 Things You Should Know About the Recent Tax Cuts & How it Affects YOU

Tax forms calculator and pen

1. Mortgage Interest. Today borrowers can deduct interest paid on a mortgage amount up to $1 million. The bill limits the amount of interest paid on a mortgage amount up to $750,000 for loans after December 15, 2017. So how does this play out mathematically?

For example, if you have a $500,000 30-year fixed mortgage with a 3.75% interest rate, you’re paying about $18,750 per year in interest, and you could subtract the $18,750 from your taxable income and pay tax on the new lower amount of income.

Alternatively, if you were to obtain a new $850,000 30-year fixed mortgage with a 3.75% interest rate, you’re paying about $31,875 per year in interest. With the new bill, you could only subtract $28,125, since that would be the amount of interest you’d pay for the same loan, but maxed at the new cap of $750,000.

In higher cost areas where larger loan amounts are more common, this may change a taxpayer’s decision to itemize or not. With the standard deduction increasing to $12,000 for individuals, $18,000 for heads of households, and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly, many homeowners may find it is more beneficial to use the standard deduction as opposed to itemizing line after line.

2. Property Taxes. Today homeowners get to deduct all property taxes they pay when filing their taxes each year. The bill caps this deduction at $10,000. Let’s pretend you put 20% down when you got the $500,000 loan in the example above. This means you bought the home for $625,000, making your estimated annual taxes about $7,812. In this scenario, you’d still get to deduct the full $7,812 (since it’s less than $10,000). For homes in higher priced markets, the cap of $10,000 will remain, so if you’re concerned about what this means if you buy a home, I can help you analyze your options.

3. Capital Gains. Today homeowners are exempt from paying capital gains taxes on gains up to $250,000 (or up to $500,000 for married couples) when selling a primary residence. If you lived in the home two of the last five years, this means you’d pocket home appreciation up to $250,000 (or up to $500,000 if you’re married) tax free when you sold your home and then pay capital gains taxes on any appreciation above this amount—the calculation is a bit more complex, but this is the gist. Earlier tax reform proposals would have increased the threshold, but this bill keeps the two year minimum so many homeowners who may want to sell can still receive this benefit. (Source: LendUs 1/2018)

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REGISTER NOW: The Savvy Seniors Living Seminar Series consists of 90-minute monthly educational seminars presented at the Lafayette Library Community Hall, 3491 Mt Diablo Blvd in Lafayette, CA. Adults 55+, seniors, and caregivers are invited to attend to learn the actual facts about issues related to home ownership and post-retirement downsizing in the S.F. Bay Area. This series of candid conversations and expert panel discussions about the unique and often complex issues facing long-time homeowners is moderated by Dayna Wilson, Seniors Real Estate Specialist® [SRES]® of Keller Williams Realty-East Bay, who has a team that provides comprehensive “senior friendly” transition services related to downsizing, late-life relocation, and (55+) senior living solutions. To view the complete 2018 Savvy Seniors Living Seminars Schedule and to register, visit http://savvyseniorsliving.com/

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READ: 5 Things That Affect Home Values You May Not Have Considered

Front Door Painted BrownSome of the features that increase property values are obvious: a remodeled bathroom, a modern kitchen, or a sought-after neighborhood. Here are a few features you may not have realized can affect property values:

1. The neighbors: Not every neighborhood or community has an HOA that can keep the neighbors from going overboard with decorations, painting their home an less-than-desirable color or neglecting to care for their home or yard. Homes in or adjacent to crazy neighbors can potentially be undervalued.

2. Trendy groceries and coffee: Recent statistics suggest that if your home is a short walk from popular grocery stores like Whole Foods or coffee chains like Starbucks, it can actually appreciate faster than the national average.

3. Mature trees: A big beautiful tree in the front yard is enviable, and it’s not something that can be easily added to any home. Plus, the shade they offer can add to energy efficiency in the summer. Homes with mature trees tend to get a little boost in value.

4. Parking: This isn’t too much of an issue if you live in the suburbs or in a rural area, but residents in denser cities or in communities with town homes or condos can have real problems with parking, and homeowners might need to rent a spot just to guarantee a place to park each night. That’s why having guaranteed parking in urban areas will raise property values.

5. The front entrance: First impressions matter to buyers—many will cross a home off their list within 10 seconds of stepping through the front door. An appealing front door, a friendly entryway, and a functioning doorbell are all necessities for getting top dollar.

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REGISTER NOW: The Savvy Seniors Living Seminar Series consists of 90-minute monthly educational seminars presented at the Lafayette Library Community Hall, 3491 Mt Diablo Blvd in Lafayette, CA. Adults 55+, seniors, and caregivers are invited to attend to learn the actual facts about issues related to home ownership and post-retirement downsizing in the S.F. Bay Area. This series of candid conversations and expert panel discussions about the unique and often complex issues facing long-time homeowners is moderated by Dayna Wilson, Seniors Real Estate Specialist® [SRES]® of Keller Williams Realty-East Bay, who has a team that provides comprehensive “senior friendly” transition services related to downsizing, late-life relocation, and (55+) senior living solutions. To view the complete 2018 Savvy Seniors Living Seminars Schedule and to register, visit http://savvyseniorsliving.com/

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Savvy Seniors Living Seminars – Rightsizing 101 – Part 1

Need to downsize? Rightsize? View this Rightsizing 101 video (Part 1 of a 9-part series) to discover the top downsizing professionals serving seniors in the Bay Area: Katherine Fogelman of Senior Sorters and Estate Liquidators, Tammy Jo Borosky of Clear Organizing, Karl Anderson of Anderson Bros. Movers, Mary Lynne Murray of It’s About Time Organizing. This Rightsizing 101 seminar is part of the Savvy Seniors Living Seminar Series hosted by Dayna Wilson, Senior Real Estate Specialist with Keller Williams Realty-East Bay. These 90-minute monthly educational seminars are presented at the Lafayette Library Community Hall, 3491 Mt Diablo Blvd in Lafayette. Adults 55+, seniors, and caregivers are invited to attend the free seminars to learn the actual facts about issues related to home ownership and post-retirement downsizing in the S.F. Bay Area. See the full seminar schedule at http://savvyseniorsliving.com/schedule/

Transition Thursday: Relationship Advice for Couples Who Stagger Retirement

Baby Boomer Couple Talking with Financial Advisor

In the AARP article Advice for Couples Who Stagger Retirement, author Margery D. Rosen writes that planning can be tricky if one opts out of the workforce before the other, also known as “Out-of-Sync Retirement Syndrome”:

“As 76 million boomers march toward what was once a generally agreed-upon ‘retirement age,’ many are poorly prepared for the conflicts unleashed when one partner retires and the other continues to toil. ‘Retirement can magnify preexisting problems in a marriage,’ says social historian Stephanie Coontz. ‘The decision to stop work forces you to reevaluate what you both want — and you may discover the gaps are wider than either of you thought.'”

Boomers in particular may struggle with this transition.

“‘In the past, most couples took it for granted that when one of them retired, the other would, too — and they usually faced only the husband’s retirement,’ says sociologist Phyllis Moen, author of Encore Adulthood: Boomers on the Edge of Risk, Renewal, and Purpose. ‘Two-career boomers are the first generation that has had to deal with his-and-her retirements.'”

Another issue: Many 50+ women in the workforce opted for the “mommy track,” putting their careers on hold while they raised their families.

“Then, when their nests emptied, they reentered the workforce with renewed ambition. Today, more than 25 percent of women ages 65 to 69 — and 15.5 percent of women ages 70 to 74 — are employed full time. (The figures for men are 33 percent and 24 percent.) Not only do they enjoy the regular paycheck, they also don’t want to lose the intellectual stimulation and social life a job often provides. ‘While husbands may be thinking about volunteering, traveling or having more time as a couple,’ notes Dorian Mintzer, coauthor of The Couple’s Retirement Puzzle, ‘their wives may be hitting their stride at work. Both spouses are in transition, but they’re traveling different roads.'”

Read the rest at Advice for Couples Who Stagger Retirement.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Wellness Wednesday: 12 Tips for Baby Boomers to Achieve Optimal Health

Baby Boomer Couple on BicyclesIn the article 12 Tips for Baby Boomers to Achieve Optimal Health, author Rebecca Forstadt-Olkowski suggests that as we age, we all need to be “self-preserving.”

Here are some tips that can help:

Drink water as your main source of hydration. Sip it throughout the day. Fresh spring water is best, but if it’s not available, filter it using an inexpensive pitcher with a filter. If you’re worried about acidity, squeeze a little lemon or lime into it. It will alkalize your water and you won’t have to spend a fortune on a fancy water machine.

Always keep your body moving. There’s no need to go to extremes when it comes to exercise, especially if you’re over 50. A knee or hip replacement from running too hard isn’t something you want to deal with. Walking’ is the best exercise for most people. People who live to 100 or more have stayed active and in motion most of their lives. Swimming is easy on the bones and good for those who have difficulty walking. If you’re sensitive to chlorine, swim in salt water instead. Too much chlorine can be toxic. Stretching is essential for flexibility and strength training will keep your bones strong. You can add exercise to your life without having to join a gym. Gardening, house cleaning, walking the dog, dancing, and other routine activities are all good forms of exercise. The main thing is to stay off your duff as much as possible. If you work in front of a computer all day, get up every 20 minutes to move. Sitting for long periods of time can be hazardous to your health. The same goes for flying long distances in a plane. Try to book an aisle seat and move around the cabin as often as possible. If your feet start to swell after flying, see a doctor immediately to make sure you don’t have a pulmonary embolism.

Your willpower is powerful. If you have a strong will to live you’ll have a better chance of making it to a healthy old age. What you think about, you bring about. Train your mind to visualize positive outcomes, rather than dwell on the negative. It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you truly believe you can.”

Read the rest of the tips at: 12 Tips for Baby Boomers to Achieve Optimal Health.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

2018 Savvy Seniors Living Seminar Series Schedule Announced

Savvy Seniors Living Seminar SeriesThe facts. It’s what East Bay homeowners want concerning late-in-life housing issues like reverse mortgages, 55+ senior living options, selling a house in today’s market, and preparing to “stay put” in your own home as you age-in-place.

These topics, along with others, will be presented in the upcoming Savvy Seniors Living Seminar Series as 90-minute monthly educational seminars beginning in January at the Lafayette Library Arts & Sciences Community Hall, 3491 Mt Diablo Blvd in Lafayette.

Adults 55+, seniors, and caregivers are invited to attend the free Savvy Seniors Living Seminar Series to learn the actual facts about issues related to home ownership and post-retirement downsizing in the S.F. Bay area.

This series of candid conversations and expert panel discussions about the unique and often complex issues facing long-time homeowners is to be moderated by Dayna Wilson, Seniors Real Estate Specialist® [SRES]® of Keller Williams Real Estate-East Bay, who has a team that provides comprehensive “senior friendly” transition services related to downsizing, late-life relocation, and (55+) senior living solutions.

“Emotions get in the way, and fear often sets in,” said Wilson. “Seniors often have to deal with the prospect of leaving the family home, of losing their independence, and sorting through all the stuff they’ve accumulated over the course of their lifetimes. This is where our expertise and experience in dealing with these types of moves comes in.”

Increasing numbers of 55+ active adults in the East Bay and beyond have many questions. “Many seniors have no idea what is available to them, how much it will cost, or the process for making all the pieces fit together,” Wilson continued. “We want to give them helpful information, introduce them to trusted local resources, and answer their questions. Beyond helping with immediate needs, our intention is give individuals and families both direction and confidence so they feel empowered when the time comes to make a major life decision.”

The 2018 Savvy Seniors Living Seminar Series debuts with “55+ Senior Living Options” on January 17th at 10 AM. “You will learn the facts about the many types of retirement communities available in the area and the questions you should be asking when considering your options. This is the perfect place to educate yourself so that you can make the right decisions for you and your family,” said Wilson.

Here is the full seminar schedule for 2018:

January 17th – 55+ Senior Living Options
February 7th – Tax, Legal & Financial Issues
March 7th – Senior Scams
April 4th – Aging in Place-AKA Stayin’ Put
May 2nd – Selling your Home in Today’s Market
June 6th – How to Pay for Senior Living
July 11th – Assisting Living Options
August 15th – Understanding Continuing Care Retirement Communities
September 5th – The New Reverse Mortgages-Fact vs. Myth
October 3rd – Independent Living Options
November 7th – Estate Liquidation Strategies
December 5th – Downsizing Lessons from People Who’ve Done It

The seminars are open to all individuals who want to learn the facts about local senior living options from some of the most knowledgeable and experienced professionals in the senior living industry. Admission is free. All seminars start at 10 AM and finish at 11:30 AM. Please call 925-788-6582 to register or sign up online at http://savvyseniorsliving.com. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

More about the host and moderator: Dayna Wilson has been serving clients in the East Bay communities of Orinda, Lafayette, Moraga, Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, Pleasant Hill, Concord, Clayton and Martinez and beyond since 2009. As a certified Seniors Real Estate Specialist® Dayna helps Boomers, Zoomers and Savvy Seniors explore housing options, ensuring that their next home best serves their current and future needs.