primetime 55-PLUS IN HAMPTON ROADS
critical retirement savings milestones
Paddle, bike, bird-watch and more: Get outside this summer!
remedies to summer maladies
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Do you know what “Elder Law” means? If the answer is no, you are not alone!
Elder Law deals with specific issues for our aging, elderly and disabled population. People in the U.S. over age 65 is expected to rise 20% by 2050, Elder Law a highly complex area of law.
The average cost per day in a Nursing home is $204. The average family is paying between $5500 up to $8500 per month, and sometimes higher depending on the level of care and facility selected. Has your family planned for this, or will you run out of money? Due to improper, or no planning, statistics say that families run out of money within the first year of care.
be necessary for many seniors. Veterans Benefits
Our nations Hero’s and their families have earned benefits that often go unclaimed. Many eligible veterans have stated they are confused by the process, requirements and paperwork.
The VA Aid and Attendance pension program is available to veterans, or their widowed spouses if the veteran served 90 days or more of active duty, with one day during a period of wartime. This benefit can provide for care, including: home care (even by a child or family spouse), home care by a professional assisted living, nursing care, insurance and medications.
Medicaid is a government program that pays for long term nursing home care. Rising costs of long term care mean seniors may not be able to pay privately for care. As a result, Medicaid planning may
Special needs beneficiaries require special planning! If you have a disabled member in your family, it’s important to have a proper plan in place. Financial expenses often lead individuals
Type of planning for Elder Law include:
Special Needs Planning
with special needs to depend on public benefits. Public benefits often fail to meet all needs of a disabled individual. The supplemental needs of those individuals (needs not covered by public benefits) can be met by using funds held in a Special Needs Trust (SNT). The SNT will provide for the disabled individuals needs while protecting their public benefits. Elder Abuse There are millions of cases of elder abuse every year. In Virginia, Adult Protective Services receives thousands of reports, and three fourths of these claims are substantiated. Elder Abuse, by family members and strangers, can be physical, emotional or sexual. It could be neglect and abandonment, financial abuse and exploitation, healthcare abuse or fraud. The growing population has made this segment of our population a target for Elder Abuse.
Estate Planning Estate Planning is developing a customized plan for yourself and your family during incapacity and upon your death. A well-crafted estate plan legally arranges for the orderly transfer of everything you have to those you care about, with a minimum of taxes, court costs, legal fees, and stress to your loved ones. Probate Probate is the court-supervised proceeding by which a deceased person’s assets are assembled, debts are paid, and at the completion of the court process, remaining assets are transferred to the identified beneficiaries. This can be a frustrating, public, expensive, and time consuming process. Trust Administration A trust is a client developed rule book for handling assets, and Trust Administration occurs when the rules and wishes of the Trustmaker are put into action.
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ELDER LAW • ESTATE PLANNING • LEGACY PRESERVATION • ASSET PROTECTION TRUST ADMINISTRATION • PROBATE • BUSINESS FORMATION & SUCCESSION PLANNING • GUN TRUSTS page
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whatâ€™s inside PrimeTime staff
Cover stor y: Hot summer hobbies >>
editor Shana Gray
We talked with Hampton Roads residents to see what they love about their outdoor hobbies. See Page 8.
designer Bethany Bogacki photographers Rob Ostermaier Adrin Snider
Make the most of your money We cover many financial topics in this issue, including how to pick the right financial adviser and the milestones of saving for retirement. Plus, our financial columnist touts the perks of the 529 savings plan. Stories begin on Page 14.
adver tising Melissa Orendorff contributors Tara Bozick Alison Johnson Jo-Ann Mahony Susan Smigielski Acker cover photo by Rob Ostermaier
<< Three things to tr y this summer From fishing to concer ts to walking trails, we offer three reasons to get off your sofa. See Page 22.
This magazine is published quar terly and inser ted in the Daily Press, the Tidewater Review and The Virginia Gazette.
Make your rental property pay off >> Check out these digital tools for maximizing that family vacation home to help save for retirement. See Page 24.
PrimeTime is a product of the Daily Press Media Group, located at 703 Mariners Row, Newpor t News, VA 23606.
Reach us at 757-247-4600.
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Here’s a list of spots on the Peninsula where you can dock your boat and dine Captain Chuck-A-Muck’s Sandbar and Grill, 21088 Marina Road, Carrollton Kingsmill Marina on the James River, 1010 Kingsmill Road, Williamsburg Paradise Ocean Club, 490 Fenwick Road, Fort Monroe River walk Landing, 425 Water St., Yorktown
Smithfield Station, 415 S. Church St., Smithfield
The Deadrise, 100 McNair Drive, Fort Monroe
Surf Rider, 105 Rens Road, Poquoson
War wick Yacht and Countr y Club, 400 Maxwell Lane, Newport News
Hampton Surf Rider, 1 Marina Road, Hampton
York River Oyster Co., 1809 Yacht Haven Road, Gloucester Point
The Barking Dog, 4330 Kecoughtan Road, Hampton
Owens Marina in Poquoson, 259 Mingee St., Poquoson
The Crown Plaza Marina Hotel, 700 Settlers Landing Road, Hampton
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cover stor y | outdoor hobbies
Kick off summer with a new hobby â€” or two By Susan Smigielski Acker
All paddling is relatively inexpensive. It is great exercise and a fun way to get outside. It doubles as my gym. — Chuck Conley
urrounded by several bodies of water and mild temperatures, Hampton Roads allows residents to enjoy a variety of outdoor
hobbies. Chuck Conley has been paddling on area waters for a couple of decades on “everything that uses a paddle.” The 53-year-old teacher at a juvenile detention center in Chesapeake started with a kayak. He does it for a couple of reasons. “All paddling is relatively inexpensive. It is great exercise and a fun way to get outside. It doubles as my gym,” he said. To get started, Conley recommends taking lessons. “A good forward stroke is not intuitive. And once you learn (good technique) you are less likely to have an injury. It is also good to learn how to rescue yourself if you overturn,” he said. continued on page 10
Chuck Conley paddles his surf ski boat on the Back River in Hampton. Conley, a teacher, recommends that new paddlers take lessons to get started. (Photos by Rob Ostermaier)
cover stor y | outdoor hobbies
In this file photo, a woman collects sea glass at Grandview Nature Preserve, a favorite spot of Jennifer Barker. (Photo by PrimeTime staff )
continued from page 9
Conley combines his volunteer time with his love for paddling. He takes Wounded Warriors out on lakes with a group called the River Runners. His favorite place to paddle is the ocean. “I like riding the waves and swells, plus seeing dolphins,” he said. Collecting sea glass Jennifer Barker needs only a bucket to do what she calls “the
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It is ver y rewarding. You never know what or how much you will find. — Jennifer Barker, on collecting sea glass as a hobby
most relaxing hobby” – collecting sea glass along the beaches. “It is like treasure hunting and
a great stress reliever,” she said as she sifted through glass jars containing blue pieces. The third-grade teacher at R.O. Nelson Elementary in Newport News does it year-round. She said it is best to go during low tide. Barker said the area lends itself to sea-glass hunters because of all the cargo ships moving in and out of the area. Her best hunting is at Grandview Nature Preserve in Hampton. continued on page 11
continued from page 10
“Many can be jewelry quality. And many people make wind chimes out of them,” she added. “It is very rewarding. You never know what or how much you will find. On a good day, I’ve found as many as 80 pieces, but usually it is about 30 pieces,” Barker said. Bird-watching Jessica Ausura calls herself a causal naturalist as a bird-watcher. The corporate trainer for Priority Automotive began her hobby as a child while doing her homework and gazing out the window.
I actually don’t mind getting stopped at the HRBT because it means I will see some sea birds nesting. — Bird-watcher Jessica Ausura, who took this photo of an osprey
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cover stor y | outdoor hobbies
continued from page 11
She spent 12 years in Lynchburg working with a nature program and helping to establish a bluebird trail. Locally, she created the bluebird trail in Kiln Creek and helps to monitor a box in Newport News Park. She also writes a monthly column for the Daily Press called “The Bird Nerd.” Ausura also enjoys seeing waterfowl in the area. One of her favorite spots is Sandy Bottom Nature Park in Hampton. “American coots can be seen there in the swamp grass,” Ausura said. Grandview Nature Preserve and Fort Monroe, both in Hampton, are other favorite spots. A day trip takes her to beaches on the Eastern Shore. Her bird watching gives her an unusual perspective on
Get started by riding in your neighborhood or to the store. That is a way to break the ice. — Wayne Wilcox, on getting started riding bikes for a hobby
fighting traffic at the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel. “I actually don’t mind getting stopped at the HRBT because it means I will see some sea birds nesting. There are quite a few nesting on the rocks,” she said. Bike it Riding around on a bike is not just for kids. At least not for Wayne Wilcox, who has been
riding for more than 40 years. Wilcox rides mostly in Virginia Beach, where he is a senior city planner developing bikeways and trails. “I have the best job in the city,” he said, laughing. Wilcox, who is also the membership chairman of the Tidewater Bike Association, said it is great exercise and gives him a sense of freedom. Wilcox rides on his own as well as in groups from area bike shops. “It is fun socially, as well as to be pushed to ride faster,” he said. Many are put off by the cost; however, a beach cruiser is a great way to get started for just a little more than $100. “Get started by riding in your neighborhood or to the store. That is a way to break the ice,” he said. tribune newspapers file photo
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when picking an adviser, bank on your intuition Seek an honest provider who’s out for your best interests By Alison Johnson good financial adviser can pave the way for a comfortable retirement, but choosing the right person requires time, effort and analysis — and gut instinct. “The trust between the client and adviser is as important as the trust between the patient and a doctor,” says Antonija Simpson, a financial adviser with Edward Jones in Williamsburg. “It is very important that the client knows and feels that the adviser has their back and acts in their best interest.” While the best match is based on individual needs, many experts agree that the smartest bet is a fee-only adviser who is also a fiduciary, or legally obligated to put a client’s financial interests first and avoid conflicts of interest. Those advisers charge set rates rather than earning commissions on specific investments or products. “Even if the client needs ‘products’ like life insurance or annuities, the fee-only adviser will make sure to refer to a competent ‘product’ person and make sure the client is making
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the right decision,” says Ira Fateman, a certified financial planner in Northern California and author of a column on senior money matters for a weekly newspaper there. A CFP certification is proof that an adviser has passed a comprehensive national board exam. Another safeguard is to pick a firm that belongs to the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors and is fully independent, rather than attached to a broker dealer or Wall Street firm. To narrow the search, ask for recommendations from family and friends, research companies online and schedule in-person interviews to meet both the prospective adviser and office staff. Discuss investment philosophy, qualifications, accessibility and specialty areas and/or age groups, and request sample financial plans or portfolios. Also check for any disciplinary issues (see box). The best advisers will listen carefully but also be honest, Fateman notes: “Clients are interested in making better decisions. This often involves modifying behavior such as spending, and only if you have a personal relationship do you have a better chance of succeeding.”
Resources For more tips on finding an adviser and to access a search feature by location, visit the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors at napfa.org or findanadvisor.napfa.org, as well as the Certified Financial Planner Board at cfp.net. To check on a professional’s background or any disciplinar y actions or complaints, visit the Financial Industr y Regulator y Authority at finra.org and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission at sec.gov/ investor/brokers.htm.
More inside Read about saving for retirement on Page 20.
ESTATE PLANS THAT WORK The phrase “Estate Plans That Work” is not a tag line. We have dedicated our professional lives to making sure we accomplish this ambition.
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Proper estate planning is a process. What we are able to demonstrate to our clients is that a properly drafted estate plan can preserve family relationships and protect the family’s wealth from divorce or creditor claims. Ultimately, our clients most important objective is to nurture their family’s values for the next generation. Clients who engage us understand from the minute they walk through our doors that working with us is a mutual commitment, a carefully managed process that collectively gets us to our goals. The result is simple: your dreams, our knowledge: creating estate plans that work.
• Elder Law & Medicaid Planning • Special Needs Planning • Guardianship Petitions • Child Safeguard Planning • Charitable Entities • Probate & Trust A Administration
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health SUMMER HEALTH GUIDE: While no one is immune from seasonal maladies such as jellyfish stings and sunburn, sickness doesn’t have to spoil the family vacation.
summertime afflictions (and how to treat them) By Alison Johnson common maladies of summer are no fun for anyone. But they can be more dangerous for older adults, who are generally more susceptible to sun, heat and the side effects of some pain-relieving treatments. “Their skin is thinner, less moist and less resilient,” says Cheryl Boggs, a family nurse practitioner with Riverside Norge Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. “They are less able to adapt to elevated temperatures and their bodies are made up of less water, which is used for temperature regulation.” While prevention is most important, here’s some advice on home remedies for five problems that
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strike all season from local health care professionals and the Mayo Clinic: 1. Sunburn Wash skin gently with mild soap and water. Place cold, damp towels on burns several times a day to draw out heat. Use calamine lotion or aloe vera to soothe skin and ibuprofen for pain. Don’t pop any blisters. Drink extra water to prevent dehydration. Seek medical attention for severe blisters or pain, fever, vomiting, chills or delirium. 2. Mosquito bites Wash with soap and water and apply ice packs for swelling. Try calamine lotion, an over-the-counter painkiller or a non-sedating antihistamine for itching.
Seek medical attention for difficulty breathing, hives, dizziness, nausea or loss of consciousness, or for fever, headache or other signs of infection that seem linked to a bite. 3. Heat exhaustion Move to a cool place, rest and drink water or Gatorade. Place ice packs around the neck, under the armpits and on the groin area to reduce core body temperature (a cold bath can be too shocking to the system). Seek medical attention for a temperature of 104 degrees-plus or any neurological symptoms such as slurred speech, delirium, confusion or seizures. Always err on the side of caution. continued on page 17
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4. Jellyfish stings Use a plastic object such as a credit card to gently scrape away all tentacles. Rinse with seawater, hot water or vinegar (cool freshwater can activate more stingers, as can rubbing skin with a towel). Apply ice packs or a paste of seawater and baking soda. Seek medical attention for symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, or for stings that cover a large area or affect an eye. 5. Poison ivy Apply over-the-counter cortisone creams, which tend to relieve pain and itching better than antihistamines. Soak in a cool-water oatmeal bath and use cool, wet compresses and calamine lotion. Seek medical attention if the rash is severe or affecting the eyes, mouth or genital area, or if it doesn’t get better within a few weeks.
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Williamsburg: 240 McLaws Circle #110 • (757) 229-7854 | Newport News: 10858 Warwick Blvd. #C • (757) 599-3011 Note: Design images are for illustration purposes only and are subject to change.† Up to 35% Savings offer is based on a per person discount off applicable Launch Fares on a space-available basis at time of booking on select sailings and categories. Launch Fares are offering fares and may not have been in effect for the past 90 days or resulted in actual sales in all categories. Intermediate discounts may have been taken and fares may remain at discounted levels after this promotion. * New bookings only. Fares apply to minimum lead-in categories on a space-available basis at time of reservation. Fares for other categories not shown may vary. Fares are per person, do not include air travel, are cruise only, based on double occupancy and apply to the ﬁrst two guests in a stateroom. These fares do not apply to singles or third/fourth berth guests. Taxes, Fees and Port Expenses ranging from $70 to $1,240 per person are additional and subject to change.Offer only applies
to voyages advertised in this promotion.This offer has limited space, is nontransferable, subject to change, and may not be combinable with any other public, group or past passenger discounts.This offer may not be combinable with any other offer. Offer is available to residents of the 50 United States, Canada, Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the District of Columbia who are 21 years of age or older. Fares quoted in U.S. dollars. Please refer to the applicable Cunard brochure or Cunard. com for terms, conditions and deﬁnitions that apply to all reservations. Ask about our applicable air add-on programme.This offer expires 31 May 2016. Please reference promo code: RDN. Ships’ Registry: Bermuda. ©Cunard 2016.The Cunard logo and logotype are registered trademarks of Carnival plc, an English company trading as Cunard Line. Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria are trademarks owned by Cunard. All rights reserved in the United States and other countries. Note: For assistance reserving a wheelchair-accessible stateroom, please contact customer service at 1-800-728-6273.
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the 411 on 529 savings plans you miss 5/29, or 529 day? If you did, thatâ€™s OK! 529 day is not about the actual date but about the 529 College Savings programs available and there is still plenty of time to take advantage of them. When Congress created the 529, named after the IRS section code, they did so to help families prepare for college tuition bills. Created in 1996, 529 plans helped solve a vexing problem for the American public: saving for college. The legislation codified into law tax breaks for those saving for college or many different kinds of post-secondary education. Later legislation made the plan even more valuable by allowing earnings to be taken 100 percent tax free if used for qualified post-secondary education expenses. Will Miller Accounts can be opened for anyone with the account owner retaining 100 percent control of the funds, and the beneficiary has no right to the funds. Beneficiaries can even be changed down the road. Contributions cannot be deducted from federal income tax; however, many states do offer deductions or incentives for their residents to contribute. Unlike some IRAs, 529 plans have no income restrictions for setting one up; yet, there are contribution restrictions. Be aware than any unused earnings taken out of the plan and not used for qualified education expenses will be taxed as ordinary income and penalized 10 percent. A crucial point is that the 529 College Savings plans are administered by each state. You will want to see what your state offers since the rules can vary. As long as the parent owns the 529, they have a minimal effect on the expected continued on page 20
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30s, 40s, 50s: how your savings add up By Susan Smigielski Acker lanning for retirement is a long process that needs to begin about 30 or more years before you receive that gold watch. Many people do not stop to analyze what they need to retire for what they want to do when they retire, said Guy Manchester, a financial planner with Financial Security Management in Newport News. In your 30s, the first step is learning how to control your debt. “Debt is an issue right now, we are finding, with the ease of credit cards,” he said. According to information provided by Farmers Insurance Group, your 30s is a good time to get permanent life insurance that can build a cash value. It is also a good time to start an Individual Retirement Account, which is tax-deferred, according to Bank Tracker. Another option is maximizing your employer’s 401(k) matching. Many people in their 30s are starting or have families. While we may want the best for our children, Manchester said
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be careful not to neglect your retirement in exchange for your children’s future and education. “Many people in the middle class do a lot for their children only to drain their resources. Make a budget and stick to it. “More often than not, your children won’t be able to support you,” Manchester added. In your 40s, it is best to make your savings a priority. “Try to save as much as possible and live one level below your capability. Half the time people don’t want to make that sacrifice,” Manchester said. It is also a good time to look at investments. Manchester said many times people are hesitant to make changes, especially if the economy is bad, as in the case of the 2008 downturn in the economy. “But bad times like that, it can be a good time to make investments and hold onto them for the long haul,’’ he said. In your 50s, contribute more to your retirement plan and savings. It is also a good time to buy long-term care insurance. Plus, get rid of debt, especially credit card debt, which can have a high interest rate.
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family contribution for federal student aid. Lastly, 529s can play a role for someone looking to minimize their estate-tax burden. There are two types of 529 plans: pre-paid plans and savings plans. Pre-paid plans were the first types of plans established and were set up by states to allow people to buy future tuition at today’s dollars. These plans had some restrictions on where they could be used. The desire for more flexibility on where the money could be used led to savings plans that allowed dollars to accumulate based on where your money was invested. How do you set up a 529 plan? Since plans are state-run, you will want to learn a bit more about your state’s plan and its options. Most will allow you to invest directly with the 529 plan itself or you can work with a certified financial planner to help set one up. The earlier you start the better off you are. As with other investments, there are fees and expenses associated with participation, and there is also a risk that these plans may lose money or not perform well enough to cover college costs as anticipated. Miller is a financial adviser with 16 years of experience who currently works for Raymond James in Hampton Roads. Opinions expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Raymond James. All opinions are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. For informational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation.
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A fisherman tries his luck off the Engineer Wharf Fishing Pier at Fort Monroe in Hampton. (File photo by Adrin Snider)
catch some fish, tunes and solace Grab your rod and reel and go fishing at one of these spots: Buckroe Beach Fishing Pier in Hampton, 330 S. Resort Blvd. near Point Comfort Road: The 709-foot pier is famous for its cobia, croakers, spot and other saltwater fish. The pier is open 24/7 from April through December and is handicapped accessible with
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restrooms, a snack bar and bait shop. Parking areas, fish cleaning stations and shelters are available nearby. For further information, call 757-727-1486. James River Bridge Fishing Pier in Newport News: The pier is located adjacent to Huntington Park at 6701 River Road. Anglers can find striped bass, flounder and
From fishing to concerts to walking trails, here are some activities to tr y this summer By Jo-Ann Mahony
gray trout. A bait shop is on-site, and the pier is open from April through November. Call 757-2470364 for more information. Engineer Wharf Fishing Pier at Fort Monroe: Set on the Chesapeake Bay, the wharf is perfect for anglers of all skill continued on page 23
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levels who are looking for rockfish, white perch and striped bass along with other bay species. Open daily from dawn until dusk, the wharf is located on Fenwick Road adjacent to Continental Park. A Virginia saltwater fishing license is required and can be purchased at the Old Point Comfort Marina Ship’s Store, or by calling 866-721-6911. There are plenty of musical opportunities throughout the Peninsula this summer: Downtown Hampton Block Party: Saturdays, 6-10:30 p.m., through Sept. 3. Different bands descend on downtown at the intersection of Queen and Wine streets. Concert by the Bay Series, Fort Monroe: Thursdays, 7-8:30 p.m. June 23 through Aug. 11. Located in Continental Park, this free series has been a mainstay of the Continental Army Band at the fort for several years. Bring lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy views of the Chesapeake Bay. Fridays at the Fountain Concert Series, City Center, Newport News: Fridays, 6-10 p.m. June 3-Aug. 26. City Center offers a mix of bands to delight all music lovers at the fountain. Bring a lawn chair.
City Center ’s event offers a mix of bands to delight all music lovers. Thursdays by the Lake, The Mariners’ Museum, Newport News: Thursdays, 6-10 p.m. June 2 through August 25. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the music provided by a mix of favorite bands, complemented by views of the lake and park. It is free. Candlelight Concerts and Organ Recitals Bruton Parish Williamsburg: Located on Duke of Gloucester Street in Williamsburg, Bruton Parish has a long history of exceptional music offerings. Candlelight Concerts are held at 8 p.m. every Saturday throughout the year. There is no charge, but an offering is received at each concert. The 30-minute organ recitals are held at 10 a.m. Saturdays in the Christopher Wren Chapel in the College of William and Mary. For further information, call 757-229-2891. The region also boasts a number of walking trails, including these: Sandy Bottom Nature Park: Located in Hampton is an 8.6-mile loop, which includes the 3.3-mile
trail, known as the Trillium Trail. It has multiple entrances and several parking areas. The 3-mile trail offers views of the woodlands and two lakes. Dogs on a leash are permitted on the trail, which is wheelchair accessible. The Noland Trail: The 5.1-mile trail is located at The Mariners’ Museum and Park in Newport News, along the shoreline of Lake Maury. There are 14 bridges, picnic areas, benches, handicap access and mile markers. Newport News Park: Located at 13560 Jefferson Ave., the trail is a 3.3-mile heavily trafficked loop. It features a lake, is accessible all year and is good for all skill levels. Dogs with leashes are permitted. York River State Park: Located near Williamsburg at 9801 York River Park Road, the 4.5-mile trail is a lightly trafficked loop featuring a lake and year-round accessibility. It is good for all skill levels. Dogs with leashes are permitted. New Quarter Park: Located near Williamsburg at 1000 Lakeshead Drive, this 5.1-mile trail is a moderately trafficked loop. It features a lake and is accessible year round. Dogs on a leash are permitted. Freedom Park Trails: Located at 5535 Centerville Road in Williamsburg, the trail is a 4.9-mile loop and is accessible year-round.
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work for you make your vacation home
By Tara Bozick
Jesse Costin rents out his home in Nags Head, N.C., shown here. (Photos courtesy of Jesse Costin)
ake sure you’re getting the most money out of your Outer Banks vacation home so it’s paid off by the time you retire. HomeAway, which represents 1.2 million rental homes in destinations across the world, finds that many property owners listing on the platform wanted a family getaway or found their dream retirement home, but they weren’t quite ready to move. The platform represents more than 10,000 vacation rental homes in coastal Virginia and North Carolina. More than half of the owners using HomeAway, which includes VRBO.com (Vacation Rentals by Owner), cover 75 percent of their mortgage by renting out their home, said Bill Furlong, who heads HomeAway’s North American business. On average, HomeAway’s owners bring in about $28,000 a year in rental income. continued on page 25
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continued from page 24
“They can cover a pretty substantial percentage of the cost of that home by renting it out,” Furlong said. “That makes a big dent in a mortgage payment.” While Austin, Texas-based HomeAway — which Expedia acquired last year — and VRBO have been the dominant players in the vacation-rental home market for quite some time, the recent buzz around Airbnb has more travelers thinking about ditching hotels for homes with more character and amenities. Jesse Costin uses multiple online platforms to advertise his threebedroom rental in Nags Head,
My place has so much more to offer than a hotel. By the time I retire, I hope I have a couple more properties. — Jesse Costin, 30, who uses multiple online platforms to advertise his three-bedroom rental in Nags Head, N.C.
N.C., but he notes that Airbnb attracts a different demographic — customers who book at the last minute and for shorter stays. He
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prefers using FlipKey by TripAdvisor because he likes communicating with customers before booking. FlipKey and Airbnb offer owners free listings but charge booking fees. HomeAway offers annual subscriptions or a pay-per-booking model. While property management firms may also use these sites to market your property, popular ones such as Twiddy & Co. Realtors and Sun Realty offer their own online platforms with exclusive listings. Costin, a 30-year-old Outer Banks native, remodeled his home to have a rental property because he doesn’t like having debt.
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He’s also met some pretty cool folks along the way, he said. “My place has so much more to offer than a hotel,” Costin said. “By the time I retire, I hope How to make I have a couple more your property properties.” So now in this stand out crowded online booking marketplace, how Offer the amenities can you make your travelers would want vacation rental stand to enjoy at home. out? Consider investing Wi-Fi is a must. in the amenities that travelers would be able Provide vacationto enjoy at home. This specific items to your goes beyond making guests so they don’t sure you have a funchave to bring their tional kitchen with own things such as necessary items and a beach towels and clean home. umbrellas. Be sure to Wi-Fi is increasingly advertise whatever important for folks items you provide in who rely on their devicyour listing. es, Furlong said. Costin offers a flat-screen TV, Make your home feel Netflix, AmazonPrime, like home, but don’t cable and an Xbox get too personal. video game console. Supply vacation-specific items so visitors Engage the people don’t have to bring who agree to stay them. Costin offers in your place and boogie boards, surf be available to help. boards, towels, beach bikes, chairs and umbrellas in addition to extras such as a choice of gas or charcoal grill, a kayak and giant fire pit. If you have these extras, make sure to list them. continued on page 27
SMRU1614160 (Exp.08/07/2016) © 2016 New York Life Insurance Company, 51 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010
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Make sure to get the right kind of insurance with liability protection for a rental home and remit the appropriate taxes to the locality. continued from page 26
Give your home a personal touch, but don’t overdo it. Folks who book a home like to see personal touches, such as an album showing the ways your family enjoys the beach home, Furlong said. Online reviews are important. Travelers can trust hotel brands, but your home is more of an unknown, Furlong said. Customers will look at online reviews before making a decision.
Engage the travelers. Costin lives below his rental home and places his phone number on the fridge for questions or in case of emergency repairs. He personally checks guests in and shows them how everything works. HomeAway offers an app that allows owners to give visitors a manual for the home — like how to use the TV remote — or other tidbits such as including the best places for brunch and a calendar of events. Take care of business. Make sure to get the right kind of insurance
with liability protection for a rental home and remit the appropriate taxes to the locality, Furlong said. Regulations differ by jurisdiction. If you’re afraid of damage from renters, HomeAway offers a property damage protection program, too. Property managers can also help with this know-how, in addition to handling complaints and using their vendor relationships for cleaning, repairs or cross-promotion packages, said Sun Realty President Ali Breaux.
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Estate Planning Enemy No. 1: Procrastination Written by: Walt Zaremba
If you have not prepared an estate plan that incorporates your intentions, state law will determine what happens to your property and even the custody of your minor children. Is that your plan? One of the great ironies in my estate planning practice is the lack of younger clients. While senior citizens need an estate plan, experts agree that proper estate planning is critical for parents with minor children because it is the only legal way to designate guardians should you die before the children reach the age of majority. Of course, if there is a surviving parent, he or she is the default guardian. What’s your plan, however, if that parent is an ex-spouse that has little, if any, capability for managing the minor or the minor’s inheritance? Why do so few of us take advantage of what is readily available?
The answer: procrastination. This is especially true in the years when we are attempting to grow our wealth. Our thinking is that our ﬁnancial picture is incomplete and that we need to wait until it’s more fully developed. A revocable trust, if chosen, can be adapted to changes in circumstances during your life. And because it becomes irrevocable at your death, you will have the peace of mind knowing that the important purposes for which you envisioned the inheritance -- everything from providing for orthodontics to funding a college education -- will be met.
An estate plan should not simply distribute your assets at death. You’ll also need legal documents that assist with managing your health and your wealth in case of incapacity. These important documents include a general durable power of attorney and advance medical directive that express your wishes and identify who you have empowered to make these decisions if you cannot. Finally, there is one more reason estate planning is essential for those in their 30s and 40s. That reason has everything to do with how those empowered handle ﬁnancial assets that increasingly involve online accounts including bank accounts, social media accounts and photography accounts. A digital estate can cause headaches for grieving loved ones when attempting to access these accounts. We recommend that you identify your conﬁdential passwords or digital access codes applicable to your digital accounts (or use one that we’ve created for this purpose) without which it can be almost impossible to get any assistance from ﬁnancial institutions or social media management. Call us to schedule your complimentary consultation at 757-259-0707 or complete a request for your complimentary consultation online at http://events. zarembalaw.com/. Reference: Houston (MO) Herald (October 10, 2015) “Establish an estate plan before death comes knocking”
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