55+ Articles

Hunterdon is the place to be for active seniors, and there’s lots of them

Hunterdon is the place to be for active seniors, and there’s lots of them

Reposted from NewJerseyHills.com

“A study shows there will be more senior citizens in Hunterdon County than kids below the age of 18 within 10 years,” said Councilman Al Rylak at a Clinton Town Council meeting last month.

Although considered a high-priced area in which to live, Hunterdon County can be a great place for retirees even if their pocketbooks aren’t as “flush” as some of their neighbors. In other words, you don’t have to be wealthy to find a lot to do with your spare time. The county has a wealth of senior citizen groups with a lot to offer. Some adhere strictly to age restrictions of 65 or more, but others generously welcome younger folks in their 50s.

In the northern part of the county, there are a number of cost-effective opportunities for seniors, mostly run by the seniors themselves. Some towns support their activities by providing places for them to meet or with other contributions, but in most cases today’s seniors are a generation that like to make their own rules and choices.

If you are now retired, consider reaching out to one or more of the following groups to meet old friends, make new friends, and add a bit of entertainment to your daily life. If you no longer drive, perhaps you can connect with a fellow senior citizen willing to bring you along.

The largest group in the area is the completely self-sustaining Clinton Township Seniors Club (CTSC) with a membership of 80 plus. They do not receive any support from local government, leaving them free to not only choose what activities they can pursue, but removing all age and residency requirements municipally-run senior programs often impose.

The CTSC meets at 10 a.m. on the second Wednesday of each month in the Annandale Reformed Church on the corner of West Street and Beaver Avenue. Most meetings offer speakers or activities of a wide variety.

What has really drawn a large membership to the CTSC though, is that they are day-trippers. It is an opportunity to go places without having to drive great distances. Just sign up, drive to Annandale and hop on the bus. The club has no age or residency restrictions, but of course virtually everyone is over the age of 55 since anyone younger is probably at work on weekdays. It is a club of seniors living within a 15-20 mile radius of Annandale.

This year’s monthly trip itinerary included Broadway plays as well as performances at a variety of venues in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. On Tuesday, May 15, the bus is full for a trip to Lancaster, Pa. In July they’ll be taking the Spirit of New Jersey Cruise, luncheon included. To learn more about the club, call club president Sandy Pill at (908) 404-5448.

Although it is one of Hunterdon’s smallest towns, Lebanon Borough has a very active senior group. In addition to their monthly meetings at 10 a.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month with interesting programs and refreshments; fun bingo from 1-3 p.m. on the second and fourth Mondays of each month; and chair yoga exercises from 11:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. The Lebanon group is independent of the Borough government, but enjoy the benefit of being allowed to hold all of their meetings and other activities in Borough Hall on High Street. They just held a luncheon to celebrate their 13th anniversary, complete with magician-comic Rick Vale.

Like virtually all of the senior groups in northern Hunterdon, the Lebanon group also enjoy day trips. They will be going to the Mt. Airy Casino in June and Manasquan’s Crystal Point Yacht Club in July. They are also planning a 3-day trip to the PA Amish country in late September.

One problem all the clubs have had to deal with when it comes to excursions is being able to fill a bus. No one could afford renting a bus for only a handful of travelers. In Lebanon, there are 15 resident members and 20 that live in surrounding communities. So, they cooperatively travel with another small senior group in Bound Brook, which has 40 to 50 members, to have enough travelers to fill a bus. For more information, call club president Maddie Nolan at (908) 287-7949.

Another club that had been somewhat dormant for a while but has now reactivated is the Senior Club of Oldwick, which meets at 10 a.m. on the second Monday of each month in the Oldwick Firehouse. For those 65 plus, the reorganized club already has 35 members and is still growing.

“We were previously called the Tewksbury Township Seniors, but not enough people were coming,” said organizer Jim Reed. “Tewksbury doesn’t contribute anything to the club and we welcome non-residents. Only members can play bingo, though.”

Reed said no day trips have been planned yet, as they just began activities a few months ago, but they are looking into what excursions may be available. For more information, call Reed at (908) 439-2329.

In Readington Township there is a township sponsored seniors group for residents only, 60 plus in age. They meet at 12 noon on the third Wednesday of each month at Polish American Club in Whitehouse Station. They do, however, work jointly with a senior group in Raritan Borough to be able to fill a bus for their day trips. For more information, call club president Diane Anthony at (908) 534-4724.

Once out and about you will find a lot of the seniors have joined multiple clubs in the area to take advantage of more opportunities. In Bethlehem Township for example 80 percent of the members live there while 20 percent do not. Their minimum age is 55, and they meet at 12:30 a.m. for lunch on the first Monday of each month at 405 Mine Street, to the right of township hall. There are monthly programs, “out to lunches” and some day trips. For more information, call club president Sandra Bailey at (908) 917-8206.

“We try to offer a program every month,” said Bailey. “Our day trips are mostly by car-pooling, and the township provides us with a stipend for each trip.”

Lebanon Township does not have a senior club, but support the YMCA senior center on County Route 513 in Bunnvale with an annual $4,000 donation. Others communities like High Bridge, Clinton Town and Califon do not sponsor or financially support senior clubs; but you will find their residents involved with the other area clubs.

As part of a community outreach program, the sister facilities of Rolling Hills Care Center in Clinton Township and Hunterdon Care Center in Raritan Township, are a source for local groups to find informative speakers as well as entertainers for their meetings. They also run some day trips, and you don’t have to be a care center resident to go along. Most travelers are 50 plus years of age, but there are no age restrictions. For more information call director of community services Joani Lauyer at (908) 783-0116.

Their most successful outreach has been Bingo, held at 12 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at the VFW Hall on Main Street in Glen Gardner.

“It is a free program, but has become so popular we now need to have a head count beforehand,” said Lauyer. “We serve a full course luncheon, and last month 120 people came. We were worried we would run out of food.”

So don’t sit home bored, take advantage of all the fun times and new friends that are waiting for Hunterdon’s retired residents.

Keep an eye on the Hunterdon Review’s weekly “Things To Do” listing of upcoming events which will soon be adding more senior clubs in northern Hunterdon including speakers and upcoming excursions.


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Are older investors the new niche for planners?

Are older investors the new niche for planners?

Reposted from Mintel.com

Shifting consumer demographics and the demise of pensions are combining to force advisers to shift their focus from helping clients accumulate retirement savings to helping them manage their savings so they last through retirement. According to the US Census Bureau, 24 million Baby Boomers are now 65 and older and 33 million more will join them by 2023. The first wave of Boomers are turning 72 in 2018, with 10,000 Boomers crossing that threshold every day for the next 17 years

59% of Baby Boomers are confident they will have enough saved for retirement.

Whether they are retired or still working, Boomers have unique planning needs as they transition from earning income to living off savings. For most, investing strategies change from asset accumulation to asset preservation as retirees focus on making sure they don’t outlive their savings. Mintel’s US report on investment trends shows that 59% of Baby Boomers are confident they will have enough saved for retirement. What’s more, those who have a retirement plan have to begin meeting minimum distribution requirements at age 70.5, further changing their distribution strategy.

Startups target retirees

With people living longer and often retiring earlier, many consumers need guidance to make sure they don’t outlive their savings.  While retiring investors have largely been ignored by the investment community, a new crop of start-ups recognizes retirees need help transitioning and are developing services targeted to older investors to help them maximize the income that will see them through retirement.

Launched in June 2016, United Income provides financial planning and money management services to clients who are making the transition to living off their retirement savings. It offers those close to retirement and those already retired help in making decisions on how and when to draw down their accounts, how to budget on a fixed income, and how to reduce their taxes wherever possible. Asset management services are available for a fee and clients can also opt to have United Income complete retirement paperwork, enroll in Social Security and Medicare benefits, and recommend elderly care services.

Meanwhile, True Link raised another $3.6 million in 2016 to market itself more aggressively to seniors, a segment the company feels is underserved and filled with potential. It is a retiree-focused hybrid advice platform that offers the convenience of digital advice along with the ability to talk to a human on the phone, assuring seniors that they can get the personal attention many prefer. A main differentiator for the company is the True Link card, a prepaid card marketed as a way for seniors to maintain control of their spending without fear of fraud.

What we think

People are living longer and retiring earlier, which puts more strain on the savings they have accumulated. Retirees have different needs than younger investors, and the growing number of retirees means that demographics will drive the need for financial advice. Firms and advisers who can adjust to helping with the income distribution needs of retirees will find themselves in the best position to grow their businesses.


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7 Factors to Consider When Choosing A Home to Retire In

7 Factors to Consider When Choosing A Home to Retire In

As more and more baby boomers enter retirement age, the question of whether or not to sell their homes and move will become a hot topic. In today’s housing market climate, with low available inventory in the starter and trade-up home categories, it makes sense to evaluate your home’s ability to adapt to your needs in retirement.

According to the National Association of Exclusive Buyers Agents (NAEBA), there are 7 factors that you should consider when choosing your retirement home.

1. Affordability

“It may be easy enough to purchase your home today but think long-term about your monthly costs. Account for property taxes, insurance, HOA fees, utilities – all the things that will be due whether or not you have a mortgage on the property.

Would moving to a complex with homeowner association fees actually be cheaper than having to hire all the contractors you would need to maintain your home, lawn, etc.? Would your taxes go down significantly if you relocated? What is your monthly income going to be like in retirement?

2. Equity

“If you have equity in your current home, you may be able to apply it to the purchase of your next home. Maintaining a healthy amount of home equity gives you a source of emergency funds to tap, via a home equity loan or reverse mortgage.”

The equity you have in your current home may be enough to purchase your retirement home with little to no mortgage. Homeowners in the US gained an average of over $14,000 in equity last year.

3. Maintenance

“As we age, our tolerance for cleaning gutters, raking leaves and shoveling snow can go right out the window. A condominium with low-maintenance needs can be a literal lifesaver, if your health or physical abilities decline.”

As we mentioned earlier, would a condo with an HOA fee be worth the added peace of mind of not having to do the maintenance work yourself?

4. Security

“Elderly homeowners can be targets for scams or break-ins. Living in a home with security features, such as a manned gate house, resident-only access and a security system can bring peace of mind.”

As scary as that thought may be, any additional security and an extra set of eyes looking out for you always adds to peace of mind.

5. Pets

“Renting won’t do if the dog can’t come too! The companionship of pets can provide emotional and physical benefits.”

Evaluate all of your options when it comes to bringing your ‘furever’ friend with you to a new home. Will there be necessary additional deposits if you are renting or in a condo? Is the backyard fenced in? How far are you from your favorite veterinarian?

6. Mobility

“No one wants to picture themselves in a wheelchair or a walker, but the home layout must be able to accommodate limited mobility.”

Sixty is the new 40, right? People are living longer and are more active in retirement, but that doesn’t mean that down the road you won’t need your home to be more accessible. Installing handrails and making sure your hallways and doorways are wide enough may be a good reason to look for a home that was built to accommodate these needs.

7. Convenience

“Is the new home close to the golf course, or to shopping and dining? Do you have amenities within easy walking distance? This can add to home value!”

How close are you to your children and grandchildren? Would relocating to a new area make visits with family easier or more frequent? Beyond being close to your favorite stores and restaurants, there are a lot of factors to consider.

Bottom Line

When it comes to your forever home, evaluating your current house for its ability to adapt with you as you age can be the first step to guaranteeing your comfort in retirement. If after considering all these factors you find yourself curious about your options, let’s get together to evaluate your ability to sell your house in today’s market and get you into your dream retirement home!


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55+ Market Sizing

Sizing the 55+ Market in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties

Sizing the 55+ Market in Hunterdon and Somerset Counties

Reposted from builderonline.com

Here are some bottom-line insights impacting what people want–and will pay for–as they near and tip into retirement.

Relative affordability and proximate access to family members and friends are the key drivers to what should sustainably support one of the two biggest demand streams in new housing and development over the next decade: the 55+ market.

Two of every five Americans say they move when they retire. Even more, 43%, might prefer to move if they could, and the three most important criteria for where people who move choose to live are affordable cost of living, proximity to family and friends, and access to healthcare and good hospitals.

These are some of the findings in a recently released analysis from Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, called The Current State of Retirement: Pre-Retiree Expectations and Retiree Realities.

New Strategist Press editorial director Cheryl Russell zeroes in here on some of the survey’s key findings, including:

The single biggest reason retirees moved was to downsize (34 percent), followed by to reduce expenses (29 percent), to start a new chapter in life (28 percent), and to be closer to family and friends (27 percent). Multiple responses to this question were allowed.

One of the telling data points in the Transamerica Center report focuses on retirees’ and 55+ workers’ choices with respect to senior living communities, per se.

A large majority of age 50+ workers (71 percent) would prefer to live in single family home in retirement, and a similar proportion of retirees (70 percent) actually do live in a single family home. Surprisingly, few retirees (5 percent) live in a retirement community, and only slightly more age 50+ workers would prefer to live in one when they retire.

This strong preference likely aligns with survey respondents’ current health status–a big majority–seven out of 10–of retirees say they’re in excellent health, and expect a long retirement (i.e. they plan to live long lives).

Emphasis on affordability, ties to family and friends, and access to good healthcare ties to what retirees name as their top three fears

Among retirees, their greatest fears about retirement are declining health that requires long-term care and that Social Security will cease to exist in the future (44 percent, respectively). Among age 50+ workers, the most frequently cited fear is outliving their savings and investments (43 percent). Retirees are more likely than age 50+ workers to fear cognitive decline and being unable to find meaningful ways to spend time and stay involved. On the contrary, age 50+ workers are more likely than retirees to fear that they will not be able to meet the basic needs of their families and will not have access to affordable healthcare.

The pervasiveness and intensity of these fears describe, of course, the magnitude of both the challenge and opportunity developers, community and home builders have, being in the business of assuaging them.

People who’ve reached the age of 55 and are either retired or still working “hire” community developers and builders to provide them a place that’s both protective–of physical, emotional, and financial interests–and enabling them to prosper. In other words, builders and developers are in the business of well-being, which can allow them free-range as to the design, engineering, and construction models that create well-being as a value.


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