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Investing in Your Future WIREGRASS INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT ADVOCATE • BUILD • CONNECT • PROMOTE A publication of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce



Ind and

There is a back servic sixty-five y is more tha to help the


Senior Start Ups


Elder Hostel An Educational Journey


Special Exercise Considerations for People with Type 2 Diabetes

“We wante the big co to use inde approach.”


Previously Todd Shive concierge, social secu succession legal profe client orien

Wiregrass renovated housed Gi ceilings an that they instead of

“We want Shiver. “To

The partn clients to is travel, a family mem

Left to right: Jared McGahee, Jimmy Shiver, Todd Shiver


Independent Ideas, Professional Advice, Trusted Advisors


Raised-Bed Gardening


Keeping a Clean Closet


Start Early. Stay Informed. Learn to Navigate Medicare Options

Graphic layout for this issue of Connection by:

229-247-7750 Connection 2017-2018




2017 / VOLUME 4

Publisher: Myrna Ballard, Valdosta-

Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

Editor & Writer: Leslie Harris, ValdostaLowndes County Chamber of Commerce

Creative Director: Kaitlyn Redish,

Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce

Content: Noel Carter, Fall 2016 Intern, Valdosta State University Larianne Kolb, Fall 2016 Intern, Valdosta State University Thressea Boyd, THBoyd Communications Advertising for the next edition of Connection Magazine will be available in the summer of 2017. For information please call 229-247-8100, Ext. 231. Copyright by Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce. © All rights reserved. Connection Magazine is produced and published annually by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce. Reproduction in whole or in part of this publication without the expressed written cVonsent of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce is prohibited. All claims, materials, photos appearing herein are believed by the editors to be accurate. However, no responsibility or liability is assumed, and is expressly disclaimed, by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions. Advertisements, articles, photos, editorial information, and other materials submitted for publication herein are subject to the unrestricted right to the edit of and by our editors and publisher.


In addition to the Personal Enrichment and Learning In Retirement programs at Valdosta State, the Valdosta Symphony and the Turner Center for the Arts provide our community with some of its many experiences in the arts. For your shopping pleasure, Valdosta has everything from large retail chain stores to locally-owned boutique shops in our downtown community. When your grandchildren come to visit, we have our own theme park for cold and hot weather to keep them entertained. Among the military community, our area is known as the most supportive of any military base. This is demonstrated by the large number of retirees, across all branches, that choose to live here despite having no prior roots in Lowndes County. The Chamber of Commerce is located in the historic Barber House, on the National Register of Historic Places. Please come by for a complimentary tour and let our Chamber staff tell you about our Silver Star membership. It is a great way for the active retiree to get involved in the business community. We can’t wait to meet you.


Lee McArthur, Vice Chairman Chamber Member Services Division


Stay Connected with the Chamber through social media 416 North Ashley Street Valdosta, Georgia 31601 229-247-8100 FAX: 229-245-0071



aldosta-Lowndes County is an ideal community for anyone seeking quality of life in retirement. Home to Valdosta State University and South Georgia Medical Center, our community offers cultural and educational opportunities that other communities cannot offer, while meeting your healthcare needs.

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Representing Wiregrass Investment Management, left, Jimmy Shiver, middle, Todd Shiver, and right, Jared McGahee. Cover Photo: Steven Heddon (Fusion Creative Marketing)

Senior Start Ups By: Noel Carter


n today’s modern age and with all the advancements in health and technology, we live in a society where our life expectancies are constantly on the rise. However, with the addition of these years, many retired citizens over the age of 55 are worried if they will outlive their

retirement savings and be able to underwrite themselves financially. With the recent recession and the rise of ageism, those who did plan on staying employed longer, are unable to find jobs. In 2014, the rate of unemployment for those 55 and older was 3.9%, and the average unemployment duration was just over a year. Despite these difficulties, many people in their fifties and up have decided to become their own boss by starting their own businesses.

According to Forbes contributor, Kerry Hannon, in her article “Are Senior Start Ups the

Answer,” in 2012 alone, 20.9% of new businesses in America were created by those over the age of 55, and 1 in 20 of workers over the age of 50 planned to start their own businesses, including 1 in 5 who were unemployed. If you’re like one of these people, but are intimidated by the word entrepreneurship, there are actually a number of factors working in your favor. Hannon writes that the government and lending institutions are beginning to view senior entrepreneurship as an “economic catalyst” that could help “drive the economy.” Additionally, “These entrepreneurs are bringing their lifetime work experience skills to the table, whereas a very young entrepreneur doesn’t have that treasure chest of 30-to-40 years of experience.” Connection 2017-2018


However, before starting on the path to becoming your own boss, it’s important to assess

both the financial and emotional risks of starting a business. Luckily, there are many institutions designed to help potential entrepreneurs. The SEEDS Center is one such institution, whose goal is to be a source of up-to-date information for aspiring entrepreneurs, start-up businesses, existing businesses or individuals searching for custom market data, industry profiles, demographic reports, competitor information, targeted sales leads and much more.

As a free resource, the SEEDS Center can help you evaluate the inherent risks of starting

a business as well as help to develop the skills needed to run a successful business. So, if you’re of retiring age and are looking to supplement your income or just looking for something to engage your time, consider the possibility of running your own business and take advantage of your available local resources that will help you on your path to entrepreneurship.

For more information, contact Betty Morgan at (229) 247-8100 or send an email to: You can also visit the SEEDS website at:


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Elderhostel An Educational Journey

By: Leslie Harris


fter backpacking through Europe as the director of the University of New Hampshire’s youth hostel program, Marty Knowlton wondered why there were no educational travel experiences for adults. In 1975, he and friend David Bianco

started Elderhostel, patterned after Scandinavian folk schools, which regarded that all people should have access to education according to their own needs and interests.

The principal behind Elderhostel was to offer adults, 60 and older the chance to go on

an educational adventure. The hostel, an inexpensive place for travelers to stay overnight, came into play when they decided to utilize unused dorm rooms over the summer. Participants could stay on campus, learn about intriguing subjects from the college faculty and interact with other seniors in an academic setting.

Now called Road Scholar™, the program offers over 5,500 experiences to more than

100,000 seniors each year in more than ninety countries, all fifty states and aboard ships. The days of staying in dorm rooms has long passed and have been replaced by hotels and Bed & Breakfasts.

There are women-only trips, individual skills trips where a senior can learn to do

something they have always wanted to, like playing the guitar and multi-generational trips for grandparents to experience adventure and learning with their grandchildren. You can explore Hemingway’s Cuba, attend a lecture on geological processes while standing next to Old Faithful, or participate in a spirited debate in Colonial Virginia. Connection 2017-2018


There are many other companies

today who provide seniors with adventures, such as Grand Adventures™ and Odysseys Unlimited ™. All of whom continue the philosophy of the Lifelong Learning Movement, a belief in the idea of lifetime human potential and the possibility of its realization. For more information on Elderhostel Adventures, visit:


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Special Exercise Considerations for People with Type 2 Diabetes

By: Callen Windham SGMC Community Health Promotions Intern


ype 2 diabetes mellitus occurs when the pancreas becomes unable to properly regulate the amount of glucose in the body. The pancreas may still be able to produce insulin, but not

in sufficient quantities, or the body may resist the effects of insulin which are necessary for the metabolism of carbohydrates. This condition is commonly referred to as non-insulin dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes.

While diabetes is a chronic condition that lasts over one’s lifetime, exercise has proven to

be a big benefit. With or without weight loss, exercise offers the best protection from the effects and complications of diabetes. It consumes calories, lowers blood sugar, improves blood flow and blood pressure and makes muscle cells more receptive to the effects of insulin.

Types of exercises can include walking on the treadmill, water aerobics, and cycling. It

is recommended individuals perform at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. The sessions can range from the minimum duration of 10 minutes and can increase when the individual becomes more conditioned. Improvement in cardiovascular risk factors such as cholesterol, blood pressure, and body weight can also occur with regular exercise. Many of the exercise principles for healthy adults apply to individuals with Type 2 diabetes, but there are also important considerations that should be taken into account.

One important consideration regarding the Frequency, Intensity, Time, and Type (FITT)

principles should be to increase the time spent exercising. Increasing the exercise duration will burn more calories and help with weight loss or maintenance. This can be accomplished by increasing the continuous times of one exercise session or increasing the accumulated time of multiple exercise bouts throughout the day. As the individuals improve functional capacity, higher intensity exercise modes can be added to help with exercise adherence and decrease boredom. Individuals should be conscious to exercise regularly and not allow more than two consecutive days of physical inactivity. Connection 2017-2018


Diabetes Management Center 3018 North Patterson Street Valdosta, Georgia 31602 229-433-7200

Blood glucose should be monitored

several hours before and after exercise. Hypoglycemia is an occurrence when the individual’s blood glucose levels drops below 70 mg/dL. Common signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia include

SGMC’s Diabetes Management Center (DMC) provides evaluation, treatment and education on diabetes and diabetes related conditions including Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes and Gestational Diabetes in a nonemergency outpatient setting.

shakiness, weakness, abnormal sweating,

The team at DMC consists of affiliated endocrinologist Dr. Jennifer Lawrence, a physician assistant, nurse practitioners, certified diabetes nurse educators and a registered dietitian. Call us today to better manage your diabetes.

Patterns in blood glucose levels can be

Life with Diabetes Support Group Generally meets the third Monday of each month at 6:00pm at SGMC Outpatient Plaza. The public is welcome to attend.


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anxiety, tingling of fingers, and hunger. Individuals can help prevent hypoglycemia by changing insulin timing, reducing the insulin dose, and increasing the consumption of carbohydrates. All of these factors can be adjusted according to blood glucose levels and exercise intensity. detected with use of continuous monitoring during multiple days and can help with determining the effect of exercise on blood glucose.

Education is a very important aspect

when prescribing exercise for populations with chronic diseases and other health conditions. When provided with sufficient information the benefits of exercise far outweigh the risks for individuals with Type 2 diabetes. Exercise is medicine!

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Left to right: Jared McGahee, Jimmy Shiver, Todd Shiver


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Photography by Steven Heddon Fusion Creative Marketing

Independent Ideas, Professional Advice and Trusted Advisors There is a new investment firm in town and they are bringing back service tailored to the customer. With a combination of over sixty-five years of experience, Wiregrass Investment Management is more than qualified to manage its clients’ financial futures and to help them pursue their individual long term goals and lifestyle. “We wanted to build something on our own and break away from the big corporate atmosphere,” said Jimmy Shiver. “To be able to use independent ideas instead of the cookie-cutter or canned approach.” Previously with a wirehouse firm, partners Ellis “Jimmy” Shiver, Todd Shiver and Jared McGahee can act as their clients’ personal concierge, coordinating every aspect of financial planning from social security and life insurance, to estate planning and business succession. If needed, they can make referrals to trusted tax or legal professionals. “Being independent gives us the ability to be client oriented,” said McGahee, a Certified Financial Planner™. Wiregrass Investment Management is located in the newly renovated building at 3321 North Valdosta Road, which formerly housed Girardin Jewelers. The clean, crisp white walls, coffered ceilings and wide plank heart pine floors, give guests the feeling that they are stepping into a charming, southern farmhouse instead of a cold, corporate office. “We want people to walk in and feel comfortable,” said Todd Shiver. “To create a place where people enjoy coming.” The partners at Wiregrass Investment Management want their clients to imagine what their future will look like. Whether it is travel, a sporting life, philanthropy, or being able to help out family members in need, everyone has their own inspiration. It is

Left to right: Todd Shiver, Jimmy Shiver, Jared McGahee, Ben Jones

the firm’s goal to help you obtain the financial security required to reach your individual needs. “Going on our own allows us to do what is best for the client, period,” says Todd Shiver. Wiregrass Investment management of Valdosta, GA is an affiliate of Wiregrass Investment Management of Boston, GA. For more information about Wiregrass Investment Management, call 229-245-6022 or visit them at 3321 North Valdosta Road or online at Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advice offered through Wiregrass Investment Management, a registered investment advisor. Wiregrass Investment Management and Wiregrass Asset Management are separate entities from LPL Financial.

Top Left (left to right): Langley DeVane, Jimmy Shiver, Ben Jones, Jared McGahee, Todd Shiver, Latricia Clary

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Raised-Bed Gardening By: Larianne Kolb


rom constant weeding to keeping critters away, the pesky difficulties of gardening can be a hassle for both the experienced and the rookie. Raised-bed gardens, however, have taken gardening to a whole new level – literally. Building and maintaining a raisedbed garden is simpler than it may seem. Susan Dukes, gardening hobbyist gave tips for a successful raised -bed garden. Connection 2017-2018


Begin with the structure. Dukes says that she usually purchases a frame from

Super Sod, though they can be made from things such as concrete blocks, bricks and railroad ties. 10’ is preferred, but any size will do. To achieve a smaller garden, try using window boxes or a planter.

Decide what to plant. In South Georgia, almost anything can thrive.


summer plants need more attention than those of fall or spring, raised-bed gardens can help efficiently manage the challenges of horticulture. Since they are smaller than a row garden, they allow for faster rotation. Dukes’ favorite things to plant are potatoes, carrots and peppers. Others she has planted include:

• Onions • Cucumbers • Squash • Eggplant • Broccoli • Strawberries • Lettuce

Nurture to flourish. Since plants can be spaced close together in a raised-bed

garden, weeds are crowded out. Those that do happen to sprout up are easier to pull since the bed is above ground level. That’s right, no more bending over to the ground to get those weeds! Wildlife is often another complication of gardening. To avoid harm caused by animals, Dukes builds a fence around her garden. A raised bed can also prevent insects from causing damage. Like all plants, watering them is always crucial. To make this method of gardening even more effortless, try installing an irrigation system.

Gardens are always versatile. From the way they are structured to what is

planted, they can be customized to fit anyone’s preferences. A raised-bed garden is everything of a regular garden, but with much less trouble. 22

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“Gardens are always versatile. From the way they are structured to what is planted, they can be customized to fit anyone’s preferences.”

Photo: Susan Dukes

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Keeping a Clean Closet By: Noel Carter


or some of us, the thought of cleaning out our closets is daunting. If you’re like me, it’s easy to just throw things in there, close the door, and forget about them. Out of sight out

of mind, right? But, after a while, those things start to add up, and pretty soon the closet door won’t even close anymore! At this point, the closet refuses to be ignored, and you’re faced with the realization that it has to be cleaned. But, luckily, there are many tips and tricks that can help! First things first though. Breathe, we’ll get through this together.

Make a plan

Before you begin, it’s important that you form a plan on how you’re going to clean your

closet. This will allow you to work quickly and efficiently. Here are some important tips that will help you create your own game plan: • Dedicate an adequate amount of time for yourself to clean. It’s fine to take small breaks while you work, but if you completely stop to do something else or go somewhere else, you might find it hard to pick up where you left off. • Some items in your closet may be too heavy to lift or too high to reach. So, know your limits, and be sure to ask for assistance if you need it. 26

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Organize and Prioritize

When removing items from your closet, separate your belongings into different categories

such as, clothes, shoes, belts, scarves, trash, etc. This will make it easier to sort through the items you want to get rid of or put back in your closet, which brings us to the importance of prioritization. Regarding clothing, when you’re deciding on what should or shouldn’t go back in your closet, ask yourself these questions: • Have I worn it in the past year? • Is it in good condition?

Odds are, if you haven’t worn it in at least the past year, you’re probably not going to wear

it anytime soon. However, there are always certain items that we just can decide if we should keep or not…

Learn to let go

As we live our lives, we often find ourselves collecting or keeping things such as pictures,

knick-knacks, clothing, etc. that hold a special place in our hearts. But, over the years, these keepsakes begin to pile up. If you’re having trouble deciding if you should keep a certain item, here are a few questions to ask yourself: • Have I taken it out of the closet in the past year? • Do I remember why this item is important? • Does this item still affect me emotionally?

If you answered no to any of these questions, then it might be time to let it go.

But, where do you let your unwanted stuff go? Your loved ones are always an option, and it might be more preferable to pass on certain items to a loved one, rather than a complete stranger. However, for the stuff your family doesn’t want, there are many re-sale shops that can breathe new life into your unwanted belongings and will then go on to a family that will cherish them!

Now What?

Once our closets are nice, clean, and organized, we often make promises to keep it that

way. But, like New Year’s Resolutions, those promises aren’t always kept. We’re all human, so if you find yourself with an overflowing closet down the road, just be sure to remember these tips and tricks! Connection 2017-2018



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Start Early. Stay Informed. Learn to Navigate Medicare Options. By: Thressea Boyd, THBoyd Communications


he golden years of retirement should be stress-free, a time to relax, travel, and spend time with family. However, for many retirees and those planning for retirement and having to

navigate the sometimes complex Medicare system can cause some confusion and unnecessary anxiety.

Kevin Tomlinson, Chief Operating Officer with MSIS, Inc. in Valdosta, advises starting

early in researching health benefit options. He suggests visiting the Medicare website (www. and discussing with an insurance agent to determine the best options.

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for those individuals who are 65 years

or older, or have a disability, and are eligible for Social Security. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in 2011 there were 48.7 million people enrolled in Medicare with a total expenditure of $549.1 billion.

The two original Medicare plans are Part A, which covers hospital care, skilled nursing

facilities, hospice and some healthcare services; and Part B, which covers doctor visits, preventive care, outpatient procedures, and some hospital care not covered by Part A.

There is no cost for Medicare Part A if the person or their spouse paid Medicare taxes for

ten or more years. However, there is a cost for Medicare Part B, $134 per month in 2017 for most new enrollees, but may vary due to income.

According to Tomlinson, Medicare Part B may be optional if you still have health

insurance through your employer or another insurance plan. However, he said it is important to weigh your future health options because delaying enrollment in Medicare Part B without creditable coverage can result in penalties when you do decide to enroll. 30

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“You have a one-time six-month open enrollment period to choose a Medicare

Supplement that starts the first of the month in which you are both 65 years of age and enrolled in Medicare Part B,” said Tomlinson. “If you do not pick a Medicare Supplement during your open enrollment period and later decide to enroll, you can be denied coverage due to health reasons.”

Additional coverage is also available through Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage),

which is administered by private insurance companies and may include benefits such as vision, dental, hearing, and prescription drugs.

According to Tomlinson, approximately 33 percent of eligible adults in Georgia are

enrolled in Medicare Part C.

“Medicare Part C is not standardized like Medicare Supplements are; consumers will need

to compare the copays, deductibles, network requirements, and benefits of each plan,” Tomlinson said, “An insurance agent can help determine which type of plan best suits a consumer’s needs.” Part C is not a supplement, and you first have to be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B.” Continued on page 32...

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The latest addition to Medicare is Part D, which helps pay for prescription drugs. To

qualify for a Part D plan, a person must be entitled to Medicare benefits under Part A and/or enrolled in Part B.

Tomlinson said there are also supplemental coverage options (Medigap insurance), which

are administered by private insurance companies. Currently, there are 14 supplemental plan options (identified as A through N) that help pay for costs not covered by Medicare Parts A and B, including copayments and deductibles.

“There are many choices available for Medicare supplements, and the good news is the

packages are standardized so that the benefits remain the same from company to company,” said Tomlinson. “This makes it easier to compare because you are looking at apples-to-apples. The benefit options of some Medicare Supplements can be very comprehensive.”

According to American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the annual open

enrollment period (Oct. 15 through Dec. 7) is the one time each year people can make changes to their Medicare coverage. The following are suggested questions when shopping for supplemental Medicare insurance: 1. How much will I have to pay for premiums, deductibles, doctor visits and hospital stays? 2. Will I have to choose hospital and health care providers from a network? 3. Will my doctors accept the coverage? If not, are there doctors near me who will? 4. Will I need referrals to visit specialists? 5. Will the plan cover me if I get sick while traveling in another state? 6. What will my prescription drugs cost? 7. Are my drugs on the plan’s drug list (or formulary)? 8. Does the plan include the pharmacies I currently use? 9. Can I get my prescriptions through the mail? 10. Does the plan have a good quality rating?

“The best time to start thinking about your Medicare options is six months before you

turn 65 years of age,” Tomlinson said. “Even though you might not start drawing Social Security or Medicare you definitely don’t want to turn 65 without having looked at all the options.”

For more information, visit or contact your local Social Security office. 32

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US Press AD

PRSRT STD U.S. Postage PAID Valdosta, GA Permit No. 47

Metro Valdosta’s 55+ Lifestyle Magazine

416 North Ashley St. Valdosta, GA 31601

Independent Ideas, Professional Advice, & Trusted Advisors 3321 North Valdosta Rd • Valdosta GA 31602

(229) 245-6022

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