LIFE AFTER DIVORCE: HEAR WHAT LOCAL COUPLES SAY ABOUT IT FR Author: ‘I Daydream About Retiring Someday, Back in Rochester!’
55 PLUS Issue 8 March / April 2011
For Active Adults in the Rochester Area
INSIDE Going Gray. Should You Dye? ‘Our Dog. At 14, He’s Showing His Age’ How Will the New Tax Bill Affect Us?
TONY DIMARZO One of the most successful developers in the Rochester area is still working overtime
March / April 2011 - 55 PLUS
SPECIAL Reinventing Yourself After Retirement
INSIDE FRONT COVER
55 PLUS - March / April 2011
ROCHESTER Healthcare Proﬁles
The Tai Chi Effect: Part of Pluta’s empowering approach to help support patients’ well-being
Cancer patients undergoing treatment, as well as those recuperating from treatment, often experience low energy and high anxiety levels. That is why more cancer patients are turning to various complementary services, including Tai Chi. Deﬁned as a slow, meditative physical exercise designed to promote relaxation, balance and health, Tai Chi is said to increase energy levels without causing fatigue, while also helping patients relax. “The slow, smooth, circular motions of Tai Chi calm nerves,” says Pluta Cancer Center Tai Chi Instructor Geoff Lister. “And, Tai Chi is adaptable for people who have injuries or problems standing, as the movements can be modiﬁed to avoid straining painful joints and can be done sitting down as well.” After doing Tai Chi, Lister says most of his class members report feeling happier and more positive because of the camaraderie that’s developed. The movements are done together, gradually building links among classmates.
...class members report feeling
HAPPIER AND MORE POSITIVE because of the overall camaraderie that’s developed. Cancer patients report a sense of control over their health as well, thanks to the ability to do the Tai Chi exercises at home. “Tai Chi can be done anytime, anywhere,” Lister says. “The techniques learned in class can be used whenever there is a desire to increase energy level and mood.”
We don’t just treat cancer, we treat people At Pluta Cancer Center, we believe patients and their families should understand their treatment options and be involved in core decisions.
Pluta Cancer Center offers Tai Chi and other complementary services, including yoga, massage therapy and nutrition counseling. For more information, contact Susan Nelson at 585-486-0580 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pluta’s highly skilled medical professionals provide radiation and chemotherapy in a supportive, comfortable environment designed with patient comfort in mind. By choosing Pluta, patients choose to be treated at a place with the expertise, personnel and clinical resources to address cancer from every angle—with sophisticated technologies and the restorative power of the human touch.
125 Red Creek Drive Rochester, NY 14623
585-486-0600 plutacancercenter.org March / April 2011 - 55 PLUS
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55 PLUS - March / April 2011
March / April 2011
Financial Health 8 Long-Term Care 26 My Turn 29 Visits 36 Last Page 42
22 COVER STORY
12 AT WORK
• Many older couples finding themselves single again
• Chronological age need not be a barrier to running one’s own business. Four Flower City women are proof of that.
• Deposited in Dayton: “I daydream about retiring someday, back in Rochester”
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• Reinventing yourself after retirement
• At 68, developer Anthony DiMarzo still working overtime
• To dye or not to dye
• Bailey, the dog, is showing his age
• Better health....one kick at a time
39 YOUR MONEY
• How the new tax bill will affect you March / April 2011 - 55 PLUS
55PLUS Editor and Publisher
Risk of Falling:
More Medication = Greater Risk Seniors can take precautions to avoid the risk of falling, such as asking their health care provider to review their medications
major risk factor for falls among older adults may be lurking in their medicine cabinets. Taking four or more medications, or taking a prescription with side effects including dizziness and drowsiness, can greatly increase an older adults’ risk of falling. Your risk for medication side effects increases with age. “If you have fallen, take many prescriptions or experience medication side effects, you should ask your physician or pharmacist to review your treatments,” said Mona Chitre, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield director of clinical services. “It is vital, however, that you do not stop taking your medications on your own. Doing so risks harming your health.” Many falls occur at home and are preventable. Just one fall can cause broken bones or head trauma. This can lead to long recovery times, nursing home care and even death. Medications that may increase your risk of falling include: • Drugs to treat nerves or anxiety such as Valium (diazepam) and Tranxene (clorazepate) • Drugs for depression such as Elavil (amitriptyline) and Tofranil (imipramine) • Sleep aids such as Benadryl 6
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(diphenhydramine), Dalmane (flurazepam) and Restoril (temazepam) • Heart medicine such as Catapres (clonidine) and Norpace (disopyramide) • Pain relievers such as Lortab (hydrocodone/acetaminophen), Indocin (indomethacin) and Demerol (meperidine) Removing home hazards is also important to preventing falls. Hazards include clutter in walkways and on stairs, poor lighting and slippery ﬂoors. Poor eyesight can increase the risk of falling, so annual eye exams and up-to-date prescription lenses are important. Go to youtube.com/excellusbcbs to watch local falls prevention expert Betty Perkins-Carpenter demonstrate fun moves to help seniors avoid falls and injuries, such as “Dancing with a Pillow,” “Stretching in Bed” and “The 10 Martini Slump.” Each year, 15,000 older adults in Upstate New York are hospitalized as a result of injuries due to falls, according to an Excellus BCBS report, FallIncidence and CostsAmongOlder Adults in Upstate New York. Annual hospitalization costs in Upstate New York related to falls average $370 million. To access the report, go to excellusbcbs.com/factsheets.
Amy Cavalier Deborah Graf Deborah Jeanne Sergeant
Jim Terwilliger, Susan Suben Bruce Frassinelli Sandra Scott
Marsha K. Preston, Marlene Raite Laura Vannah
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Layout and Design Chris Crocker
Chuck Wainwright 55 PLUS –A Magazine for Active Adults in the Rochester Area is published six times a year by Local News, Inc., which also publishes In Good Health–Rochester–Genesee Valley’s Healthcare Newspaper.
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HEALTH WATCH We Spend More Time Sick Now Than A Decade Ago
ncreased life expectancy in the United States has not been accompanied by more years of perfect health, reveals new research published in the December issue of the Journal of Gerontology. Indeed, a 20-year-old today can expect to live one less healthy year over his or her lifespan than a 20year-old a decade ago, even though life expectancy has grown. From 1970 to 2005, the probability of a 65-year-old surviving to age 85 doubled, from about a 20 percent chance to a 40 percent chance. Many researchers presumed that the same forces allowing people to live longer, including better health behaviors and medical advances, would also delay the onset of disease and allow people to spend fewer years of their lives with debilitating illness. But new research from Eileen Crimmins, AARP chairman in gerontology at the University of Southern California, and Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez, a postdoctoral fellow at the Andrus Gerontology Center at USC, shows that average “morbidity,” or, the period of life spend with serious disease or loss of functional mobility, has actually increased in the last few decades. “We have always assumed that each generation will be healthier and longer lived than the prior one,” Crimmins explained. “However, the compression of morbidity may be as illusory as immortality.” While people might be expected to live more years with disease simply as a function of living longer in general, the researchers show that the average number of healthy years has decreased since 1998. We spend fewer years of our lives without disease,
even though we live longer. A male 20-year-old in 1998 could expect to live another 45 years without at least one of the leading causes of death: cardiovascular disease, cancer or diabetes. That number fell to 43.8 years in 2006, the loss of more than a year. For young women, expected years of life without serious disease fell from 49.2 years to 48 years over the last decade. At the same time, the number of people who report lack of mobility has grown, starting with young adults. Functional mobility was deﬁned as the ability to walk up ten steps, walk a quarter mile, stand or sit for 2 hours, and stand, bend or kneel without using special equipment. A male 20-year-old today can expect to spend 5.8 years over the rest of his life without basic mobility, compared to 3.8 years a decade ago — an additional two years unable to walk up ten steps or sit for two hours. A female 20-year-old can expect 9.8 years without mobility, compared to 7.3 years a decade ago. “There is substantial evidence that we have done little to date to eliminate or delay disease while we have prevented death from diseases,” Crimmins explained. “At the same time, there have been substantial increases in the incidences of certain chronic diseases, speciﬁcally, diabetes.” From 1998 to 2006, the prevalence of cardiovascular disease increased among older men, the researchers
found. Both older men and women showed an increased prevalence of cancer. Diabetes increased signiﬁcantly among all adult age groups over age 30. The proportion of the population with multiple diseases also increased. “The increasing prevalence of disease may to some extent reﬂect better diagnostics, but what it most clearly reflects is increasing survival of people with disease ,” Crimmins said. “The cost of maintaining and providing care for people with chronic conditions is an important part of determining the economic wellbeing of countries with established social security and government-provided health services.” Crimmins and Beltrán-Sánchez note that only delaying the onset of disease through preventive care will clearly lead to longer disease-free lives. “The growing problem of lifelong obesity and increases in hypertension and high cholesterol are a sign that health may not be improving with each generation,” Crimmins said. “We do not appear to be moving to a world where we die without experiencing significant periods of disease, functioning loss, and disability.”
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financial health By Jim Terwilliger
Social Security Retirement Benefits
Strategies for PreviouslyMarried Retirees
n earlier columns, we discussed the importance of making an informed decision about when to start receiving Social Security retirement beneﬁts. Most recently, we covered the sometimes-complicated strategies available to married couples. An equally complex set of opportunities and decisions can be faced by previously-married retirees. Benefit options for widow(er)s and divorcees are many and all need to be considered when doing Social Security planning. The rules are confusing and must be followed carefully to maximize beneﬁts.
Widowed Retirees A surviving spouse is eligible to receive survivor beneﬁts equal to 100 percent of the deceased spouse’s actual retirement beneﬁt, as long as the couple was married for at least nine months. These beneﬁts can start as early as age 60. Benefits are reduced, though, if taken prior to full retirement age (FRA) — age 66 for surviving spouses born between 1945 and 1956. At age 60, the survivor-beneﬁt reduction is 28.5 percent. Between ages 60 and 66, the reduction is pro-rated. Taking a reduced survivor beneﬁt prior to FRA does not cause the survivor ’s own benefit to be reduced. For example, a high-earning widow(er) might claim a survivor beneﬁt anytime after age 60 and then start his/her own beneﬁt at age 70 in order to earn maximum delayed credits on the latter. This strategy offers the opportunity to maximize benefits over the full retirement time period, depending on the relative earnings history and ages of the husband and wife. Age 60 is an important age for 8
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survivor beneﬁts for another reason. If a surviving spouse remarries before age 60, survivor benefits are not available as long as that new marriage remains in effect. Remarriage after age 60 does not affect these beneﬁts.
Divorced Retirees Many folks are not aware that retirement benefits are available to divorcees — spousal beneﬁts or survivor beneﬁts. The result is that such potential beneﬁts are often not considered in the planning equation. A divorcee can receive spousal benefits, based on the ex-spouse’s work record, if the marriage lasted at least 10 years and the divorcee is not currently married. As with married couples, the FRA beneﬁt is equal to 50 percent of the exspouse’s FRA beneﬁt. Eligibility starts at age 62, with the spousal beneﬁt reduced at that age by 30 percent compared to the full beneﬁt at FRA. Prior to FRA, the beneﬁt is the higher of own or spousal. At or after FRA, one has a choice. This allows the option of delaying one’s own enhanced benefit to age 70 while receiving a spousal beneﬁt between ages 66 and 70. If the couple has been divorced for at least two years, the ex-spouse does not need to ﬁle for his/her own beneﬁts in order for the divorcee to receive spousal beneﬁts. Otherwise, the ex-spouse must have ﬁled. A divorced spouse does not need to know the whereabouts of the exspouse or his/her earnings record. Social Security will do the research in order to qualify the divorced spouse for beneﬁts. Also, taking such beneﬁts will not affect the ex-spouse’s own beneﬁts nor the beneﬁts available to the exspouse’s new spouse, if there is one.
A divorcee is also entitled to survivor benefits following an exspouse’s death. The divorcee can qualify for survivor beneﬁts at age 60 (reduced amount), FRA (full amount equal to the ex-spouse’s actual benefit), or anywhere in between if the marriage lasted at least 10 years. Otherwise, the rules are generally the same as those described above for widow(er)s.
Opportunities There are a number of opportunities for widowed and divorced retirees to maximize Social Security income over a lifetime by choosing allowable sequences of spousal, survivor, or own beneﬁts. And in the previous two articles in this series, we discussed options for never-married and married-couple retirees to maximize their lifetime beneﬁts. One thing is clear. Do not try this on your own. Making a hasty or ill-informed decision when planning a beneﬁts strategy can cost you tens of thousands of dollars. The general rules of thumb described in this series should never be used without ﬁrst seeking professional help. Each household has circumstances that impact the selection of an optimal strategy. And while Social Security personnel are equipped to describe options and answer questions, they are not expected to provide advice. This is why Social Security planning needs to be a key part of any credible retirement plan. James Terwilliger, CFP, is vice president, Financial Planning, Wealth Strategies Group, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. He can be reached at (585) 419-0670 ext. 50630 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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Till Divorce Do Us Part
Many older couples finding themselves single again By Deborah Graf
ith the national divorce husband is a good man, provider and rate at nearly 50 percent, best friend. But on the other hand, it seems the words, “Til she said she no longer wants to live death do us part,” just with him. don’t seem to apply anymore. “I felt stiﬂed, restricted, my joy Divorce is a complete change in [was] smothered,” said Cole. “We lifestyle, an about-face in the direction have shared so much together. But of your life. There are many factors somehow that isn’t enough.” to consider when contemplating the Indovino said she hears this every end of a marriage, including day in her matrimonial law stress on the children and practice. She said couples lose the rest of the family, job, connection and the affection ﬁnances and the push-andthey once had for each other pull of the legal process. is now gone. And on top of all that “They don’t want to live is the emotional turmoil like that, and they want to of ending a long-term move on before it’s too late,” relationship. she said. Mary Cole, 68, a former Cole’s husband, Carl, re s i d e n t o f R o c h e s t e r, 57, said he doesn’t fully is ending her 27-year understand what happened marriage. To her, even the Deborah Indovino, to their marriage. word “divorce” itself seems a family law “I thought we loved each alien. other,” he said. “I don’t know attorney, said “When I hear the word that “long-term how many years I have left, ‘divorce,’ my mind goes marriages are and starting over at this age numb,” said Cole. “It is becoming extinct.” scares me. But I can only impossible that the word can move forward and hope that be applied to me.” it is the right decision.” But statistics don’t lie: According The Coles are one of many older to the Centers for Disease Control and couples finding themselves single Prevention, current divorce rates in again. After deciding to divorce, Mary America indicate that nearly one in Cole said, she and her husband lived two marriages now ends in divorce. together for a year. They spent time “ L o n g - t e r m m a r r i a g e s a re getting used to the idea, ﬁguring out becoming extinct,” said Deborah how they would move on, and then Indovino, a family law attorney in grieving the end of the marriage. Spencerport. “Couples just drift For Bonnie Iver, 57, of Gates, apart.” divorce did not come soon enough. Cole said she’s not sure how “I waited much too long,” she her marriage fell apart and that her said. “I was married for 20 years and emotions about the split are conﬂicted. should have left much sooner. It had On one hand, she said, she feels her been coming on for years.” 10
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There are many reasons people choose to divorce, with inﬁdelity and the resulting loss of trust being among the most common. Other reasons include ﬁnancial problems, lack of intimacy, difﬁculty communicating, inlaw issues, different long-term goals, addictions, emotional or physical abuse, or simply growing apart. “ D i v o rc e o c c u r s f o r m a n y reasons. Marriages go stale,” Indovino explained. “Women and men are equally asking for divorces, and men are just as devastated. They take their marriages seriously, too.” Frequently, couples will stay together to try to work things out for their family. They believe things will change and eventually improve, only to end up divorcing years later. Age is a key factor in midlife divorces. Lives are established and there are relevant issues to be considered, such as retirements, health issues, ﬁnancial support and an equitable distribution of the assets that were built up over a long period of time. “Fifty is young,” said Indovino, “But every case is different, and sometimes there are very serious issues involved.” Domestic abuse is an unfortunate and widespread phenomenon that is often kept hidden until one spouse comes forward seeking divorce, while the other spouse oftentimes refuses to acknowledge a problem. According to the National of Institute of Health, abuse is not conﬁned to any minority or class; it happens in all spectrums of society. Indovino points out that in New
York, long-term marriages with a high degree of cruelty could not get a divorce due to the burden of proof. The new “no-fault” law is helping those who face domestic abuse get out of their marriages without worrying about the grounds for divorce. She also stresses the importance of keeping your emotions out of it as best as you can. “Look at the big picture, don’t worry about the pots and pans, you can replace those,” she said. “You can’t replace your peace of mind. Look at the major issues like children and emotional and ﬁnancial security.” It is hard to separate the emotional and ﬁnancial aspects when considering divorce, which is why it is important to ﬁgure out what type of divorce and legal representation is best for you. Avvo, the world’s largest lawyerrating directory explains different types of divorces: • No-fault divorce is a way couples can get divorced upon request, without having to prove grounds for divorce. Each party may hire a lawyer to represent them throughout the proceedings. The exact requirements for a no-fault divorce vary by state, but oftentimes only involves ﬁling papers and the couple living apart for a set period of time, while the details of the divorce are ﬁnalized. • Collaborative Divorce is a
way to end a marriage cooperatively and effectively. It takes less of a toll on each party emotionally and financially. Each spouse hires his own lawyer who is experienced in collaborative law. Through a series of meetings between each spouse and their attorney, a settlement is reached, which is presented to a family court judge who signs it so that the divorce becomes ﬁnal. • Mediated divorce is similar to collaborative, but mediators do not provide legal advice or advocate for either side, even if they have a law degree. Each spouse may retain legal advice and separate from the mediator, but they can meet with the mediator throughout the process. The end result is an agreement that outlines the divorce which then is approved by the court. • Contested divorce is the most complicated, emotionally difficult and expensive process. It requires litigation, a trial, time and energy. If your divorce issues are complicated, the cost and proceedings increase. More often than not, litigated divorces leave one party hostile, bitter and a negative post-divorce relationship. Contested divorces are going out of style as more amicable ways of dissolving a marriage are now available. • Uncontested and simplified
divorces occur when both spouses mutually agree to end the marriage. They are simple and quick, and they often occur when there are few assets and no children. Rights should still be examined for both parties, in spite of the expediency of these types of divorces. Going through a divorce takes a toll on most people regardless of the circumstances. Family relationships and friendships change. The way you spend your time changes. But that does not necessarily mean it’s for the worse. Divorce can often be a positive change depending on your personal situation. Cole, like many others in defunct marriages, was lonely. She also worried that she would be lonely after she divorced. In time, however, she did not feel a loss, but a growth of herself and her life. She connected with other divorced women and men, established a great support system, and created a new “family” for herself. Iver did the same. “Learning to be self-sufficient and independent is a great feeling,” she said. “You can reinvent yourself, do things you never did before, start over. And there’s nothing better than a fresh start after decades of an unhappy union.” March / April 2011 - 55 PLUS
Grandma Entrepreneurs Chronological age need not be a barrier to running one’s own business. From taxes to Tai-Chi, from tourism to training, four Flower City women are proof of that, and they use their skills to help others and create successful ventures in and around Rochester.
By Dean M. Lichterman
Betty Perkins-Carpenter At 80, she still runs her Penfield business, Senior Fitness, Inc. Seven years ago, Betty PerkinsCarpenter decided that she needed to get her doctoral degree. She accomplished that goal – at the age of 75. “I went back to school at age 72 to work for a PhD because physicians and professors told me that I must have a PhD if I wanted the medical ﬁeld and academia to pay attention to my work. I graduated at 75 ½ and am still working at 79,” said PerkinsCarpenter. “It was brutal, studying and running a corporation, but it was worth all the effort. Especially gratifying is the fact that others have returned to get their advanced degrees because they felt, ‘If ‘you can do it, then I can do it.’ ” The doctorate is in health administration. She also holds a b a c h e l o r o f s c i e n c e d e g re e i n physical education administration and a master’s degree in child care administration. Perkins-Carpenter turned 80 in 12
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January. She uses her knowledge to help fellow seniors through her business — Senior Fitness, Inc. — in Penﬁeld. “Our business is dedicated to providing seniors with vital, life-enhancing health and fitness information,” said Perkins-Carpenter. “Our goal is to educate and motivate
this very important class of citizens about the beneﬁts of physical ﬁtness and fall prevention.” With the acclaimed 6-Step Balance System, she said, “We give seniors the tools to prevent falls, reduce their fear of falling and reduce injuries if a fall occurs with.” She previously worked for the YWCA and the Air Force. PerkinsCarpenter is also the only person to have coached both men’s and women’s Olympic diving teams. “My years of training our diving teams and exposure to the elite Olympic athletes gave me pertinent knowledge about motor memory,” said Perkins-Carpenter. “What I was observing and learning in those two corporations actually led to the founding of Senior Fitness. We were already doing water therapy with seniors for over 20 years and the preschool children taught us more about falling.” “My family is very small, and we are all working but really look forward to every holiday that we have so we can plan on seeing each other, be together and celebrate birthdays etc.,” said Perkins-Carpenter, who has one grandchild and two great grandchildren. “I am planning on spending more family time with my two great-granddaughters.”
55+ Sandy Baker Rochester grandma still in charge of four businesses Running a business can take up a lot of time and energy, and Sandy Baker, of Rochester, owns four of them. She works as a tour guide for Exotic Tour of Ethnic Markets, Gourmet Specialty Markets Tour, Here’s to Your Health Markets Tour. She’s a consultant through How to Deer-Proof Your Garden, a nutrition cooking instructor at the Cancer Project, and she offers cooking demonstrations and classes as “Chef Sandy.” Baker started in the food business when she was 13. She declined to reveal her age for this story, but did say that she has two grandchildren. “I don’t remember a time when I didn’t work. As a small child, I worked in my parents’ organic gardens and whenever I wanted, I could sell surplus fruits and vegetables to neighbors,” said Baker. “By the time
I was 13, my parents helped me set up a fruit stand, which eventually grew into a large retail and wholesale produce business.” Baker started her market tour company 12 years ago and followed that two years later with How to Deer-Proof Your Garden. Her “Chef Sandy” business began eight years ago, and her work with the Cancer Project started six years ago. In addition to her other endeavors, she is a nondenominational minister, acts in commercials and also with a comedy improv group. Baker keeps herself in shape by exercising and doing yoga, meditation, diaphragmatic breathing exercises and eating an organic vegetarian diet. “My health comes ﬁrst. My family [and close friends] come second. My career comes after that,” Baker said. “For example, if someone asks me to do a market tour, I check with my daughter to be certain the children have no piano recitals, chess tournaments, etc. scheduled at that time.”
Diane Macchiavelli Brighton Pathways to Health, a holistic business in Brighton, is her most recent business
I n h e r o w n w o rd s , D i a n e Macchiavelli, is “passionate about helping and guiding people to ﬁnd their way to wellness. Seeing them begin to live a life beyond their imagination and watching them grow gets me up and going every day.” She helps people through her latest business: Brighton Pathways to Health (BPTH), which she describes as “the integrated health center that I am developing.” BPTH has five practitioners. Macchiavelli is one of two practitioners of acupuncture. It also has one massage therapist, an art therapist
Diane Macchiavelli and a teacher of jin shin jyutsu (a form of Japanese acupressure) along with life coaching. “I started BPTH because there is a need in Rochester for people to receive integrated health care. The non-Western forms of medicine are as ancient as the people on this earth itself,” said Macchiavelli. “Treating people holistically, taking the entire experience of the human — the body, the mind and the spirit— into consideration and actually treating these three aspects together in one form of treatment is really important. And it’s really effective.” Macchiavelli lists her age as “59 going on 60.” She has been operating a business since 1984, when she owned a design and production ﬁrm in Washington, D.C. Macchiavelli moved to the Rochester Area in 1992. She earned a bachelor of science degree in 3-D design from the University of Maryland and holds an advanced certiﬁcation in acupuncture from the Worsley Institute of Classical Acupuncture (Florida and England) along with national certiﬁcation in acupuncture and oriental medicine. March / April 2011 - 55 PLUS
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“I practice a very unique form of acupuncture that is designed to treat the whole person. We do not separate the mind, the feelings and the emotions from what is happening with our bodies,“ said Macchiavelli. “We view the human being as part of nature, not separate from nature. And tending to the ‘garden’ or ‘landscape’ of the body, the mind and the spirit in the way that a master gardener would tend a beautiful garden to ensure that it is growing and thriving, is at the root of how we practice classical ﬁveelement acupuncture. “We want people to thrive in their lives, and feeling well throughout their entire body, their minds and their spirit is a key to this goal.” “A ﬂedgling business that is taking off like skyrockets,” Macchiavelli said of the two-year-old business. Macchiavelli has been teaching tai chi at OASIS, a learning center for seniors, and at a church fellowship hall. She also writes articles on acupuncture and Tai Chi. Her hobbies include going to the movies, dancing and travel. She has no children. “I’m grateful for the many opportunities that I have been given and for the extraordinary life I am living. I wake up every day excited, eager and curious to find out just what is going to be presented to me, to us human beings, in this world,” said Macchiavelli. “I have complete faith in a higher power, a supreme consciousness, and that I will continue to learn how to serve humanity in small ways as best I can.”
Birgit Ray 69-year-old grandma ready to take on more clients at her tax business If you need your taxes done, Birgit Ray is here to help. Ray has been preparing taxes for 29 years. After taking a course “out of curiosity,” she started working for H&R Block in 1981. After working there for four years, she was offered a promotion. Ray
Birgit Ray considered the offer, then declined and decided to go it on her own. “They wanted to make me a manager,” said Ray. “It would be enormously stressful for a minimum wage, so I became independent.” She’s been on her own for 25 years. “I started from scratch with the Pennysaver. I got people in Perinton and Mendon Ponds,” said Ray. “I traveled to their houses initially, it was all a big travel thing and now most people come to my home ofﬁce.” That ofﬁce is in Greece. She said she has about 400 clients and is still willing to take on more. Ray, who is 69, recently passed the certiﬁed public accountant exam, and that has also increased her client base. “I do corporations, partnerships, individuals, you name it,” said Ray. She said she does “everything from a tiny return for a teenager and their ﬁrst job to a real-property corporation with 48 properties, and everything in between.” Ray grew up in Germany. Over the years, she has worked in India, Denmark, France and Spain. She has a doctorate degree in history and political science. “It was wonderfully adventuresome,” said Ray. She has grandchildren who are 4, 5 and 7.
Be Prepared! A 2-year-old association of Kodak retirees created to fight for retiree’s pensions and health care, EKRA is inviting more Kodak retirees to join forces By Bob Volpe
he recent announcement of another decline in Kodak’s sales and earnings reinforces questions about the future of the relationship between Kodak and Kodak retirees. How will retirees make out if Kodak’s future is uncertain? What will happen to Kodak pensions? Do you think that PBGC [Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.] will guarantee your pension? Think again! Wondering what might happen to your pension and health care if Kodak goes through a change of control? Previous signals that not all might be well for the future of Kodak retirees includes: Kodak’s action in 2009 eliminated dental and life insurance beneﬁts for people who retired after 1990 and will eliminate Kodak’s contribution toward health care for spouses of these retirees after 2018. C E O A n t o n i o P e re z , i n a n interview with the Rochester Business Journal last July, acknowledged that the next three years are critical for Kodak to achieve its ﬁnancial goals. We hope that Kodak is successful. A strong, ﬁnancially successful Kodak is good for everybody. Kodak reduced health care plan choices for retirees and spouses under 65 to just the Consumers Directed Healthcare Plan. This plan has seen huge cost increases for retirees in the last year. Kodak’s costs for retirees are about $200-$300 million annually. No
other company with which Kodak competes has such a burden of retireeassociated costs. On the other hand, Kodak retirees are still very much connected to Kodak. In a recent survey of EKRA members, we learned that: • 66 percent are still receiving a monthly Kodak pension • Over 90 percent of retirees have their health care through Kodak • 62 percent have their spouse’s health care through Kodak EKRA, an association of Kodak retirees, is developing answers to the questions about retiree’s pensions and health care and developing strategies to address the circumstances that might affect retirees in the future. Formed in 2009 after Kodak eliminated retiree dental and life insurance, EKRA is incorporated under New York’s not for proﬁt laws. See www.EKRA.org for more details. There are more than 35 Kodak retiree volunteers of EKRA focused on trying to protect our remaining pension and health care beneﬁts and ﬁnding alternatives to the beneﬁts we have lost. EKRA leaders are meeting with Kodak representatives regularly and hope to develop win/win outcomes regarding Kodak’s future and the future of retirees. We are not ﬁghting for restoring the benefits we have lost. EKRA has joined and actively participates in the National Retiree’s
Legislative Network (NRLN). Go to www.NRLN.org for more information. NRLN has over 320,000 members who belong to 32 other retiree associations. NRLN is a non-partisan, coalition devoted to enacting federal legislation to protect retiree’s pension plans and healthcare. EKRAhas established relationships with all of the ofﬁces of the Rochesterarea members of Congress. EKRA has developed an alternative dental offering. EKRA communicates with m e m b e r s re g u l a r l y re g a rd i n g important news and issues There are now over 1,200 members of EKRA. There are over 35,000 U.S. Kodak retirees so EKRA needs more members to strengthen its voice on State Street and in the halls of Congress. A membership subscription is $15 for 12 months. Join the organization through EKRA’s website at www. EKRA.org or by mailing your check for $15.00 (or more) payable to EKRA Ltd. Send your payment with a note that includes your name, address and telephone number to: EKRA Ltd. P.O.Box 25660 Rochester, NY 14625 In summary, you can help by: • Joining EKRA and asking other retirees to join too. • Invite EKRA to have a speaker at a meeting of any group of Kodak retirees. These sessions will help clarify EKRA’s goals, strategies and actions, and the reasons retirees should join. Send an invitation to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 585-789-1503. • Become an EKRA volunteer. We need people to help with computer and/or administrative skills.
B o b Vo l p e is president and chairman of the board of EKRA, an association of Kodak retirees. He retired from Kodak in 1998 after 32 years of service. March / April 2011 - 55 PLUS
Deposited in Dayton
‘I daydream about retiring someday, back in Rochester!’ By Karen Boughton Siegelman
hen my husband and I reached our 50s we expected our children to leave the nest, but a few months ago when we were forced to spread our wings and ﬂy the coop it
was traumatic. Just when we were comfortable with and fulﬁlled by the life we were leading as empty nesters in Rochester, economic conditions pushed us out of our comfort zone. In February 2009
Karen Boughton Siegelman and her husband Greg lived most of their lives in Rochester. They moved to Dayton, Ohio, last year after Greg lost his job in Rochester.
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my husband, Greg, joined the ranks of the unemployed. At 51 he was a victim of downsizing, and for 14 months he worked day and night to ﬁnd a job. He discovered that the job search process had changed immensely from the last
MACULAR DEGENERATION time he sought a new position, but I marveled at how well he navigated his way through the networking meetings, social media sites and online applications. He endured faceto-face, telephone and even Skype interviews and enlisted the help of a job coach. And I wasn’t the only one impressed with Greg’s dedication to ﬁnding employment. A networking colleague of his recommended that Marcia Heroux Pounds, a columnist at the South Florida Sun Sentinel, interview Greg about his search, and subsequently she included some of his tips in her recently published book titled, “I Found a Job!” In her book Pounds mentions that Greg’s motto through the whole job-seeking process was “it is what it is.” “I didn’t overanalyze my presentation to employers,” states Greg in the book. “If an employer didn’t like me then I probably wasn’t the right choice.” In this book Greg also comments that job hunters “have to be patient and really know the position they want.” Since Greg was focused on ﬁnding the job that was the right ﬁt, we spent more than a year living in what I called “limbo”. We didn’t plan vacations, do home improvement projects or make any large purchases. And as the months went by we also realized Greg had to look outside Rochester for his next job opportunity. After 14 months he landed a marketing director position at a high-tech ﬁrm in Dayton, Ohio. He started the new job in April 2010 and commuted back and forth on weekends until the end of August when we followed the moving van out of Rochester. During those in-between months, I attended goodbye parties, conducted garage sales, watched painters and repairmen prepare my home for the real estate market and boxed up countless memories. I wondered how I was going to bear leaving the home and life that I loved.
After the movers unloaded our belongings at our new home in Dayton and I watched the moving van drive away, I felt like a kid on the ﬁrst day at a new school. I had butterﬂies in my stomach and tears welling up in my eyes. For a few weeks I was able to distract myself with emptying boxes, shopping for new furniture and ﬁguring out how to get from point A to point B. However, when my “to do” list started to dwindle, I realized it was time to begin working to build a new life in Dayton, and it wasn’t going to be easy. We had moved away from Rochester a couple times before, but this experience felt totally different. This time we didn’t have any children with us to help break the ice with strangers and ﬁll our days with school and sports activities. I have decided to give this strange, new situation a positive label …we are “reinventing” ourselves. With about five months under our belts, I can report that there are many signs that this may turn out to be one of the most fascinating, inspiring, and revitalizing moves of our lifetime. Greg loves his new job and we adore our house and neighborhood. We joined a gym and are getting ﬁt together for the ﬁrst time in our lives. I have found a very warm and welcoming church community, an active Penn State (my alma mater) alumni club and new friends who enjoy so many of my favorite pastimes…. walking, shopping and eating! Of course there are days when I long to go on a Wegmans shopping spree, taste an Abbott’s frozen custard or walk on the Charlotte pier. It is then that I use my cell phone, Facebook page or email to connect with those I love and miss back home. I could not have survived this move without their encouragement, humor and updates on the latest Rochester news and weather. There is something else that keeps me going on those days when I feel a bit homesick — I daydream about retiring someday, back in Rochester!
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Reinventing Yourself After Retirement Lynette Loomis, 59, found her passion as a life and business coach. Now let her help you find yours. By Amy Cavalier
ouldn’t it be great to have a GPS to guide us through life? Enter Lynette Loomis, a certiﬁed life and business coach. According to the International Coach Federation, a life coach
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partners with clients in a thoughtprovoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. “Most people spend more time planning a single vacation than they do planning their life,” says Loomis. You could deﬁne a life coach as kind of an “insightful cheerleader.” Loomis enjoys “helping people discover their magniﬁcence.” “All of us have gifts that we don’t recognize in ourselves,” she said. Just as professional athletes rely on coaches to help them master their sport, people can use a little coaching in every day life, she says.
“Anyone who excels at what they do has someone supporting them, mentoring, coaching them along the way,” Loomis adds. And for individuals 55 and over, life coaching can help you reinvent yourself or ﬁnd a new passion. “I think at this stage in life we have usually had one or more careers and are ready for a new career or the change of life that is called retirement,” says Bob Emens, 60. “ We are so immersed in the responsibilities of parenting and career building that we need to open up to the endless possibilities of life after 55.” With a background in marketing, communications, and counseling, and several degrees under her belt, Loomis decided to pursue a career in coaching about 10 years ago. A former vice president of marketing and Medicare at Preferred Care, she became certiﬁed to coach individuals through the Coach Training Alliance. She graduated from Corporate Coach U to train as a business coach. Today, she is the proprietor of several businesses. In addition to Your Best Life Coaching, Loomis also offers marketing consulting under her business The Marketing Strategists. As a life coach, Loomis works with individuals from 20 to 70 years old, and from all walks of life. In her business coaching she tends to work with sales people, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and even someone who might be having a performance issue at work. People seek out
coaches out of passion or advice not only on pain, Loomis says. business considerations, Perhaps you’re 80 and but also in how he needed you want to make peace to grow personally to with the sister you haven’t achieve them. spoken to in 10 years. “Once I saw Maybe you want to write improvements it became your ﬁrst book, or explore clear to me that I needed volunteerism. Perhaps you to consult with her from recently lost your spouse time to time to stay on and need to ﬁnd a way to track,” he says. ﬁll the emotional void. When it comes to “People my age grew helping clients set and up at a time when there attain their goals, Loomis were traditional and begins by looking at nontraditional women where they are and where roles,” she explains. “There they want to be in their may be some women who life, career or business. didn’t work outside of Then together they the home and their whole develop a plan on how identity was being a wife to bridge the gap. She and a mother. Now the helps them anticipate the kids are grown, maybe her obstacles that may pop up husband has died, and for along the way. the ﬁrst time in her life, she “We play out the gets to chose who she wants worst case scenarios, get to be now, not just who those fears and anxieties Bob Emens, 60, right, is the owner of Luke’s Mill Creek she’s supposed to be.” out on the table, and deal Farm in North Chili. He said he couldn’t just “sit at Older clients, like Dick with them one by one, and home” after his retirement. That’s why he sought the Bennett, 60, and Emens, most of the time, it’s never help of Lynette Loomis. “She helped me with a lot of sought out Loomis for as severe as we thought it the incidental things I might not have thought about,” he would be,” she says. assistance starting up said. He is pictured with celebrity chef Michael Psilakis. their own businesses after Along the way, retirement. A retired history The photo was taken at the New York Botanical Garden Loomis challenges and teacher, Emens said he supports her clients. show last October. couldn’t just “sit at home.” Sometimes that requires “I knew when I retired, I some homework. For example, say to me with some options, ideas and wanted to have some purpose,” he your goal was to become a creative impressions.” says. “I wanted to do something writer. Loomis might ask you to Proprietor of Luke’s Mill Creek productive.” interview three creative writers Farm, Emens sells products made Falling back on his lifelong love and see how they got started or she from garlic scapes, or the ﬂower of photography, Bennett helped might have you submit three articles stem that grows through the center started up Image City Gallery on for publication in an effort to build of a hard neck garlic plant. After University Avenue in Rochester. your portfolio. For a client looking 25 years in the engineering ﬁeld, Bennett says Loomis helped him to become an entrepreneur or Emens says, he had to break the make connections in the business inventor, Loomis may have them do corporate mindset to set out on his community, develop his business research to explore whether or not own. plan, and market it. She helped there’s a market for their product or “One’s mind is programmed Bennett price his services, set up a service. to go to work every day and website, and even get over some of Bennett says Loomis helped concentrate on the goals and the anxiety he had about going out “put his feet to the ﬁre.” mindset that the company or your to photograph strangers. “It helps me become accountable career requires to succeed,” he “She helped me with a lot of for my decisions,” he said. “When says. “When I tried to think outside the incidental things I might not we decide I need to do something, the box, I had been used to, I was have thought about,” he says. the next time I go see her, I’ve done having difﬁculty, especially since I “Even now if I have a question, I something. I’m not just wasting my had never had my own business.” can e-mail her and she can get back money ignoring what she said.” Loomis gave Bennet valuable March / April 2011 - 55 PLUS
Procrastination is the thief of time, 16th century poet Edward You may want to consider a coach, if you Young once said. Loomis says she agree with any or all of these statements: understands how easy it is to stall. However, if a client isn’t serious • Is there something in my life that I’ve always wanted to try but I’ve never about moving forward, she says, out allowed myself to get started on? of integrity, she can no longer work with them. She’s had to ﬁre clients • Is there an unfulﬁlled dream or ambition that I’d like to pursue, but I need before. support or encouragement along the way? “I’m not going to charge them • Am I in a painful situation that I want to escape? and let them go nowhere week after week,” she says. “We talk about, are • I have lots of ideas and dreams but I’m not focused and I don’t have a plan. they ready for this or are they ready • I’ve always wanted to start my own business but don’t know where to begin. to make the commitment, because there’s more than just my time. There’s an emotional investment.” feedback, or present other options full of them.” Loomis recognizes making to them, “a good idea goes He says investing in a life coach changes to better one’s life isn’t easy. unsupported and a poor idea goes will pay off. “People get scared because unchallenged.” That can prevent “I think personally, if you’re they’re changing their life’s the company from moving forward, seeking a life coach, then the money paradigm,” she says. “For most says Loomis. is secondary, because if you work at of us, there’s a comfort zone and “If that CEO can create a non it, she can guide you to happiness,” then there’s a rut. Most of us tend -confrontational environment he says. to revert back to what we know, where people feel safe expressing a Loomis sees clients in their what’s familiar, even if that’s not a different opinion, the company does home or ofﬁce, and also can comfortable place, or a joyful place, better because you have a wealth of coordinate group coaching. or an exciting place, so as a coach, experience to work with, rather than Sometimes it’s just a matter of I’m there to help you if everyone just says responding to a quick email climb out of it.” ‘yes’ to the CEO,” she question, and there’s some clients Sometimes, Loomis explains. that she’s never met, only spoken says, a client may decide You might be to over the phone. That’s the thing that perhaps the goal thinking, why do I about coaching, she says, you can they had set wasn’t need a life coach? have clients all over the world. Some something they wanted I have friends to people may only need her help for to do after all. bounce ideas off of. three months, while Loomis has had “Then we move onto The difference with other clients who’ve been with her what they want to try Loomis, is she is for years. As for the cost, Loomis next,” she adds. objective. says she can work within clients to Loomis’ past “I have no vested ﬁnd the plan that will best ﬁt their experiences as a interest in a particular goals and their budget. counselor come into play outcome,” she says. Besides the joy of connecting as a life coach. Being “I’m interested in people and helping them successful, she says, helping you arrive accomplish their goals, Loomis says requires you to be in at the outcome it’s a great privilege when someone touch with your emotions you want. I care trusts you enough to let you be part Dick Bennett, 60, helped deeply about my and to be able identify of a major life journey with them. to start Image City Gallery clients. I share your what sets you off. She says changing careers in her Those qualities can on University Avenue disappointments second half of life was the best move be particularly important in Rochester. Bennett and celebrate your she ever made. if you’re say, the CEO says Loomis helped him successes.” “Let’s spend the last third of our of a company. Being Bennett says make connections in the lives fulﬁlling our dreams, growing, in a position of power Loomis taught him enriching the lives of others, and business community, requires an individual a process to achieve having exciting, interesting and develop his business to be very directive and plan, and market it. goals, and helps him enriching experiences,” she says. high energy, Loomis says, focus on the task at hand, and not be “We’re not retiring from life. and to be a good listener. If everyone misdirected by cluttered thoughts. We’re retiring from a job. There’s a in the company is intimidated by “I don’t think Lynette can give difference.” the CEO, and is afraid to provide just one good idea,” he says. “She’s 20
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Vaccine cuts shingles rates by more than half Few Americans have taken the medication
vaccine for the prevention of shingles is associated with a 55 percent reduction of people developing the painful condition, according to a new study. Kaiser Permanente researchers said the herpes zoster vaccine was effective in both adults 60 years old and older, as well as in adults 75 years old and older. A previous clinical trial of the vaccine found it less effective in people older than 75. The researchers say the study bolsters recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to offer the vaccine to eligible patients of all ages, including those older than 75. The drug was licensed in the United States in 2006, but has since only been taken by about 10 percent of adults over 60. Shingles is caused by the dormant chickenpox virus, which stays in the body after a person has recovered from the illness. The virus can eventually damage the nervous system. The elderly are particularly vulnerable because their immunity to the virus that causes shingles declines. A report on the study appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association in January.
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March / April 2011 - 55 PLUS
Tony DiMarzo at his Legacy At Fairways in Victor. 22
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Tony DiMarzo At 68, one of Rochester most successful developers (he owns Legacy Senior Living Communities, for example) is still working overtime
By Mike Costanza
fter decades in real estate development, Anthony DiMarzo still enjoys going to work. “I just love the business,” said the president, CEO and owner of Mark IV Enterprises, Inc., a top real estate development and management ﬁrm in the Rochester area. That dedication to his work, along with hard work, good business skills and an eye for a good deal, has helped make the 68-year-old one of leading local developers. Mark IV Enterprises has grown to encompass about 150 properties throughout and beyond Monroe County, including commercial properties, apartment complexes and pioneering senior residential communities. Not bad for someone who began his working life being paid in cookies. DiMarzo’s career path began in a small grocery store that his parents bought on Rochester’s Verona Street after coming here from Gaeta, Italy. Their children helped in the store when they were not in school. DiMarzo remembers pulling a little red wagon full of groceries to customers’ homes as a child. “I would get a cookie in exchange,” he said, chuckling at the thought. “Not bad.” By the time DiMarzo got his driver’s license, he’d put aside the red wagon but continued working at his parents’ store. Three times a week, he would get up at 5 a.m. and drive the store’s van to the Rochester Public Market, where he and his father would
buy goods for the grocery. After they’d unloaded back at the store, DiMarzo would head to Jefferson High School. After school, he’d head back to the store and deliver more groceries. It was while helping his parents that DiMarzo got his first taste of the real estate business. They had purchased properties near the family store for rental or sale. “I used to go with my mother to rent them [and] show them,” he said. Those experiences gave him the idea of buying his own properties. Delivering groceries around the area had given him the chance to look over good prospects. He bought his ﬁrst property, a Verona Street house owned by one of the grocery store’s customers, when he was only 16, DiMarzo said. That ﬁrst deal seemed to reﬂect a time when a good reputation counted more than an expensive suit in a business deal, and bank ﬁnancing wasn’t needed to clinch it. DiMarzo said the owner of the property, who knew him and his family, held its $5,000 mortgage. “The ﬁrst deal was written on a brown bag [from] the grocery store,” he said. The teenager made a deposit of $500, signed his name on the bag and walked away with the keys. DiMarzo converted that house into one that was suited for two families, rented the properties and began looking for others in the neighborhood to purchase. After graduating from Jefferson, he headed
to Syracuse University to study ﬁnance and real estate. “I went to Syracuse with 16 [rental] units under my belt,” DiMarzo said with pride. When he graduated from SU, DiMarzo married and spent the next two years working in the family grocery while expanding his real estate holdings. “My belief is, if you look at a piece of property, you ﬁnd the right use for it,” he said. “Whatever it takes to get that use, because you believe that that’s going to work, then that’s the right thing for that area.” That was a heady time for Rochester. Business was booming, the area’s major employers were hiring and their new employees needed places to live. To capitalize on that growing market, DiMarzo joined with his brother, Patsy, his sister, Angela, and her husband, Lou Basso, in 1967 to form the Mark IV Construction Company. The new company, which was the predecessor of Mark IV Enterprises, focused on home construction, real estate development and management. Its first large project was the construction of a 110-unit apartment complex in Charlotte, just a short bus ride from Kodak Park, the ﬁlm giant’s huge distribution center. “Eighty percent of our people who rented there were [from] Kodak,” DiMarzo said. The firm continued building apartments until the mid 1980s when demographic and market changes prompted a shift of its focus, DiMarzo said. As a result, Mark IV March / April 2011 - 55 PLUS
Legacy Senior Living in Rochester is owned by Mark IV Enterprises. More than 1,000 people live in the seven Legacy facilities in the Rohester area. 24
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began building upscale homes as large as 3,000 square feet and then smaller patio homes and town homes. DiMarzo estimated that Mark IV built and sold about 1,500 town homes in Monroe County alone during that period. It also broke into the construction of commercial real estate, building such mixed-use projects as Country Village, a 60,000-square-foot property in Greece that offers shops and ofﬁces for rent. Donald Riley, the supervisor of the town of Greece from 1972 to 1989, encountered DiMarzo when he came to Greece seeking permission to build. He said he liked what he saw in the developer. “He’s very artistic,” Riley said. “He can actually look at an empty space and have a pretty good handle on what he wants it to look like.” Riley said that DiMarzo’s personal skills also stood out, particularly when he sat down with Greece residents who were concerned about the effects his projects could have on their own properties and lives. “People get used to living near an open space, and even though they don’t own it, they almost think of it as theirs,” Riley explained. “When someone wants to come along and build something, it’s feared.” DiMarzo worked to quell those concerns. “He was willing to sit down with them in their houses and backyards, not to cajole them or work them, but to show them what he wanted to do,” Riley said. Riley said that that kind of attitude toward the community helped Mark IV build three projects in Greece during his tenure as supervisor. Riley has since left public service and is now Mark IV’s vice president for marketing and development. As local adults grew older, they began seeking housing and living arrangements that allowed them to retain their autonomy while obtaining services or other assistance they might need. DiMarzo sensed an opportunity for Mark IV. “We saw a market coming that wasn’t being handled, [and] that wasn’t being satisfied,” DiMarzo
55+ said. Mark IV began meeting those needs with its Legacy Senior Living Communities. The communities give older adults the chance to live independently in apartments or townhouses, while making use of the additional services they need to continue doing so. Those services include full-service dining facilities, libraries, personal laundry services, transportation services, as well as security and ﬁre systems, individual emergency call systems, and a 24hour staff. Since the ﬁrst Legacy community, Legacy at Willow Pond, was built in Penﬁeld, ﬁve others have sprouted around Monroe County, and there is one in Ontario County. Rick Herman, CEO of the Rochester Home Builders Association, said the development of the Legacy communities reﬂects an ability to see and make use of an opportunity for real estate development. “ To n y i s a v e r y a s t u t e businessman,” said Herman, who has known DiMarzo for about 25 years. “He was one of the pioneers in our area to say that the Baby Boomers are getting older, and they’re going to want different types of housing.” Those qualities also led Mark IV to look beyond the suburbs for development opportunities. “He was one of the ﬁrst builders from the Rochester Home Builders Association that reached back into the city of Rochester and urban development,” Herman said.
As evidence of this, Herman pointed to Corn Hill Landing, the apartment complex that Mark IV completed on the Genesee River. Corn Hill features upscale apartments, thousands of feet of retail and restaurant space, boat docks, an underground garage and other amenities. Under DiMarzo’s leadership, Mark IV has grown into a leading real estate development ﬁrm that has built and owns properties throughout the Rochester area. The complete list of those properties includes about 2,000 apartments, another 1,000 or so apartments and town homes in the ﬁrm’s Legacy communities, and as many as 12 commercial properties, DiMarzo said. The ﬁrm has also built and sold about 3,500 town homes. Most of those properties are in Monroe County, though a small number are in Ontario County. “Our tax bill is over $20,000 a day,” he said. Mark IV manages all its own properties through management organizations developed especially for that purposes. The ﬁrm employs about 350 in winter, and as many as 450 in the summertime. The work of developing a property has grown harder over the years, DiMarzo said. Whereas he clinched his ﬁrst deal with a signature on a paper bag, a developer or construction company can only break ground on a new project today after ﬁling tomes of paperwork, and obtaining the approval of multiple government boards or committees.
“It’s just an unlimited barrage of stuff you’ve got to go through,” DiMarzo said. “That’s probably the most challenging thing for me, now.” Whereas that process once took as little as six months, it can take a great deal longer nowadays. Mark IV spent nearly six years getting approval to break ground on one of its newest projects, the Champion Hills Country Club in Victor, which opened in May of 2010. The facility and its 120-acre golf course abut Legacy at the Fairways, Mark IV’s local senior living community. “You see that in Florida all the time, but up here you really don’t see too many integrations of golf courses to residential [quarters],” he said. Though DiMarzo is a golfer, has traveled extensively and enjoys spending time with his family, he admits to spending much of his time at work. Even with those gray hairs, the father of three grown children and grandfather of ﬁve still puts in 11-hour workdays. “I’m not running up the stairs, but I’ll run into any project, and I’ll work with you all the way,” he said. At one point, DiMarzo even took the time to hold ofﬁce as CEO of the Rochester Home Builders Association. DiMarzo might turn his business over to the younger generation some day — his sons Christopher and Steven are both vice presidents at Mark IV — but that could be far in the future. “I don’t see retirement.”
Five things you didn’t know about Anthony DiMarzo… • One of his first jobs was as a translator. DiMarzo’s parents were Italian immigrants who spoke little English when they bought a grocery store on Verona Street, but they could converse with the neighborhood’s other Italian immigrants. They initially turned to their children for help serving those who spoke only English. “It was a family business,” DiMarzo said. • It’s all in the hair. DiMarzo credits
hard work and not an abundance of special skills for his own achievements as a developer. “See all this gray hair?” he said, smiling, “it didn’t happen overnight.” • Size didn’t matter. DiMarzo entered real estate while working at his family’s grocery store. Some might call that a small beginning. “The store was approximately 500 square feet,” he said
from his desk at Mark IV Enterprises, “about the size of this ofﬁce.” • Or maybe it’s in the ﬁngers. Though approaching 70, the president of Mark IV doesn’t sound as if he’s slowing down. “I’m out there pushing my ﬁnger around, saying, “Come on, let’s get this done, and I want it done this way,” he said.
March / April 2011 - 55 PLUS
long-term care By Susan Suben
Long-Term Care: Protect Your Future Your Way The recent correction in the industry should not deter you from planning for long-term care
010 was certainly a wild ride and 2011 will probably be just as eventful. The message that came through to me this past year is that we have to rely on ourselves to accomplish what needs to be done. Government policies are constantly changing along with the politicians that put them in place. Social Security and Medicare may be totally different in the future, the job market may remain weak, and interest rates may stay stagnate. Your ﬁnancial plans for the future are in your hands more than ever before. That is why it is ever so important to insure for longterm care. We insure our homes and cars but we don’t readily insure ourselves to protect our families in the event of a longterm illness. The biggest threat to our security and the security of our loved ones is a long-term care illness. The cost of care can have devastating effects on our family’s ﬁnancial and emotional well-being. The average cost of nursing home care in the Rochester area is approximately $116,800 per year and home care for someone afﬂicted with Alzheimer’s can be a 24/7 job. The simplest way to transfer the risk of long-term care is to purchase a LTC insurance policy. Many of you, however, have probably read articles about carriers leaving the LTC insurance market and others raising premiums on current policyholders. This can cause a 26
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bit of anxiety about the products. To understand why this is occurring, one needs to look at the lapse ratio of LTC insurance policies — how many people drop their policies, and current interest rates. LTC insurance is a relatively new product. It has been in existence for about 35 years. When the companies started marketing policies, they made certain assumptions about the lapse ratio. The assumption was that approximately 5 percent of policyholders would drop their coverage. In reality, only
The biggest threat to our security and the security of our loved ones is a long-term care illness. The cost of care can have devastating effects on our family’s financial and emotional well-being.
about 1 percent to 1.5 percent of policyholders canceled their policies. This conﬁrms the value of the coverage. The result is that more claims are being paid on older policies. This low lapse ratio and exceedingly low interest rates have lowered the cash reserves of the LTC insurance carriers. In order to fulﬁll their promise to pay claims and maintain their cash reserves, the carriers have had to raise premiums on older existing policies as well as make internal rate adjustments for new buyers. This correction in the industry should not deter you from planning for long-term care. The current LTC insurance carriers are committed to the industry. Now is actually a good time to purchase the coverage because carriers have a better understanding of their claims history, are offering better features and options, and are pricing their products more accurately. Here are some of the LTC planning options you can consider in 2011: • Traditional Long-Term Care Insurance: There are multiple carriers offering policies geared toward home care that offer an array of inﬂation protection options and in some instances cash payments that allow anyone to take care of you anywhere. • NYS Partnership Plans: Whether you plan to reside in New York or move out-of-
state, these economically priced policies should be investigated. They provide either total or partial asset protection, include 5 percent compound inﬂation protection, and offer home care riders for added ﬂexibility. You can transfer or gift some or all of your assets without having to worry about the ﬁve year Medicaid look-back period. • Life Insurance With LongTerm Care Rider: If you are concerned about never using your LTC insurance policy (that would be a good thing) and wasting premium dollars, there are several universal life policies on the market that will allow you to accelerate your death beneﬁt and use the funds for LTC expenses. If you never become disabled, the full death beneﬁt is paid to your heirs tax free. If you do require care, you will have the beneﬁts of a stand-alone long-term care insurance policy. The policies can be purchased with a single or annual premium. Some companies will return your initial single premium if you decide that the policy does not meet your needs. It’s a win/win strategy. • Employer/Association Plans: If you are a business owner, you can initiate a discounted LTC insurance program for key management and/or employees as well as their families. If you are a member of an association, a LTC insurance program can be implemented giving all members and their families a discount on the coverage. There are several tax advantages with stand-alone LTC insurance policies. NYS offers a 20 percent tax credit on the premiums. The federal government offers a tax deduction, and there are tax advantages for businesses. In addition, you may be able to pay for your premium taxfree through an annuity. With so many uncertainties in life, take control of your future in 2011. LTC planning is important to your family, can be managed and customized to your needs. Susan Suben, MS, CSA, is president of Long Term Care Associates, Inc. and a consultant for Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. Contact her at 800-422-2655 or e-mail email@example.com.
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Andrew Comins is a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Securities and investment advisory services offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer (member SIPC) and registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln afﬁliates and other ﬁne companies. Branch Ofﬁce: 200 Meridian Centre, Suite 150, Rochester, NY 14618 CRN201010-2047014
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hearing Top 10 List for Hearing Aid Buyers 55+
uying new hearing aids is an important decision with the potential to greatly enhance your quality of life. Keep in mind these important considerations as you compare hearing aids types and styles, and ﬁnd the best solution for your hearing problem. HearingAid.com and the National Council for Better Hearing offer this top 10 list of tips for anyone planning to buy new hearing aids.
Research hearing aids types — Learn about hearing aids types and hearing technology to gain a basic understanding of the many choices available.
Undergo a hearing test and complete hearing evaluation — A comprehensive hearing test and evaluation is the ﬁrst step toward identifying hearing loss and ﬁnding the right hearing aid for a speciﬁc hearing problem. An online hearing test is a good way to get started, but it is essential to visit a hearing professional for a comprehensive hearing evaluation.
Honestly identify hearing needs — Some hearing aids are well suited for noisy situations; others are not. Some hearing aids types are perfect for an active lifestyle, while others are better suited for quiet activities such as watching television or listening to music. Features, controls — even color — may be important factors to consider when choosing a hearing aid.
Choose a qualified hearing professional — Several types of hearing professionals including audiologists; hearing aid specialists; and ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors can provide information about, and help with hearing aids. Hearing professionals with strong qualifications such as appropriate education, license or certification, experience and a good reputation in the community are generally a wise choice. 28
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Understand hearing aid prices — Hearing aids are a major purchase and as such, the buyer should receive a written contract which includes the cost of the hearing aids, as well as any services provided by the hearing professional. These services may include fitting, training and follow up appointments. Insurance coverage and ﬁnancing may also be available to help make hearing aids affordable.
Get a comfortable ﬁt — Custom earmolds ensure the best fit when purchasing new hearing aids. New hearing aids require a
period of adjustment, and any level of discomfort could make the transition difﬁcult.
Follow up — Adjusting to new hearing aids takes time as the brain learns to hear again in a new way. Follow up appointments with a hearing aid specialist are imperative to get the most out of new hearing aids.
Ask about the return policy — Most hearing professionals will offer a trial period for new hearing aids. Some may charge a fee if the hearing aids are returned; others may offer the opportunity to try a different hearing aid style.
Understand the warranty — As with any major purchase, hearing aids may come with a warranty to cover repairs or replacement. An extended warranty may be available to protect in the event of loss or damage to hearing aids after the initial warranty has expired.
Consider using hearing aids with other assistive listening devices — Many hearing aids are designed to work well with phones and audio equipment. New wireless hearing aids may be the ultimate in convenience for the hard of hearing. A hearing professional can answer questions about the compatibility of hearing aids with assistive listening devices. For more information on hearing loss and hearing aids, visit HearingAid.com, sponsored by the National Council for Better Hearing.
my turn By Bruce Frassinelli
If Your PINs Are Driving You Nuts, You’re Not Alone
don’t know about you, but the never-ending number of passwords and PINs (personal identiﬁcation numbers) we need to operate our computers, do our banking and perform other vital functions of life is driving me nuts. I live in mortal fear of forgetting some key password, and, of course, you are warned ad nauseum not to carry the password or PIN for your bank and credit cards in your wallet or on your person for fear that some nefarious individual will steal them. Just for fun, I counted all of the passwords and PINs I have to operate the various accounts associated with them. I was dumbfounded as I stared at the number – 65. How am I supposed to keep 65 codes squared away and brought to mind instantaneously when needed? Well, the sad truth is, I can’t, so I have to cheat. I write them down. Wait! I know what you are saying, but here’s the genius of my solution: I write them in code, so only I can decipher a long string of numbers that probably looks innocuous to someone who might ﬁnd my list. To make matters worse, my online bank requires me to change my password every six months, so it seems that just as I succeed in memorizing the existing combination, I get a message that it’s time for a change. Several other online providers do the same, so, invariably, for the ﬁrst
couple of attempts after a password change, I absent-mindedly type in the former password and get scolded by the computer. Now, I have tried to memorize my ATM PINs so I don’t have to carry them in my wallet. (I am a customer at three banks.) For awhile I was carrying them in my shoe, ﬁguring it would be the last place a thief would look, but it was kind of awkward to take off my shoe and fish around for the little slip of paper I had squirreled away into a side compartment. I also got strange looks from other ATM patrons behind me when I performed this little caper. Since I am not always the steadiest guy on one foot on the planet, I usually need to prop myself up by holding on to a post at the ATM machine. Once I asked the guy behind me if I could lean on his shoulder. He was nice enough to say “yes,” but I can only imagine what he was thinking. After three times, I scrapped the shoe “solution” and just memorized the PIN. Once or twice, I have gotten the PINs of the various banks confused, and, on one occasion when I entered the wrong number three times in a row without realizing what I was doing wrong, the ATM ate my card and wouldn’t give it back. I was told I needed to contact the bank to reset my number. Imagine my joy when I heard the other day that the U.S. Commerce
Department is proposing a new online security system that will eliminate the password maze. This would require a single sign-in using something like a digital token, smartcard or ﬁngerprint reader. Once I am logged in, I would have access to any website that has signed up for the program. John Clippinger, co-director of the Law Lab at Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and a supporter of the proposal, says passwords don’t provide good security because most people choose character combinations that are easily hacked. According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, the most frequently used passwords are: 123456, password, 12345678, qwerty and abc123. I was stunned to find out that it would take just 10 minutes for a hacker’s computer to randomly guess your all-lower-case six-character password. It would take four hours to solve a seven-character password, four days for one of eight characters and four months for one of nine characters. If you had a combination of six lower- and upper-case characters, it would take 10 hours and as long as 178 years for a nine character lowerand-upper-case password. Better yet is a password of upper and lower case characters and a symbol, which would take a hacker anywhere from 18 days to 44,530 years to randomly crack, depending on whether there were six or nine characters. And, oh, yes, all of this doesn’t take into consideration the varying usernames I have. There are 29 unique usernames by which I am known, and, sometimes, these are even more difﬁcult to remember than passwords or PINs. March / April 2011 - 55 PLUS
Going Gray — To Dye or Not to Dye? By Deborah Graf
hat has the most impact on a woman’s personal appearance? Her hair. Regardless of age, women care about their hair, and their hair color can affect every aspect of their lives. For many, hair color promotes a sense of self, and can make the difference between feeling younger, conﬁdent and secure — or just the opposite. “Coloring hair now is much more about style, not because women have to, but because they want to,” says Julie Judge, 47, owner of Tru Salon in Pittsford. “Whether women want to be gray or not, they have a way to freshen up, brighten up, and look younger.” Gray hair can come at any age, and coloring it is a personal decision. “You can be all gray in your 40s and a brunette in your 70s, it all depends on genetics 30
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and preference,” Judge says. But why do women care so much about gray hair? It has to do with self-conﬁdence, body image and feeling comfortable with the way you look.
According to Anne Kreamer, 51, author of “Going Gray: What I Learned About Beauty, Sex, Work, Motherhood, Authenticity and Everything Else That Really Matters,” statistics show that 65
percent of women over the age 40 color their hair. She says that the two things that scare women the most about having gray hair is that they will lose their attractiveness and their professional opportunities. Many women feel that they need to color their hair to maintain their status in the workplace, and compete with their younger colleagues. Some women feel that in order to be hired for a job or be promoted, they cannot have gray hair.” “When I did not color my hair I looked 10 years older, and didn’t look like I took care of myself,” says Pam Kone, 57, of Rochester. “I want to look younger and stylish and ﬁt in.” Cathy Stolt, 61, of Victor, colors her hair to please her husband. She said she feels un-groomed when her hair is not colored. “My husband is all gray and is OK with that but he hates it on me,” Stolt said. “He doesn’t look older, but I do. Gray hair is distinguishing on a man.” But some women simply see their hair as another accessory, and change their color depending on their mood. “Many of my clients just like change,” says Amanda Brown, stylist, at Tru Salon. “It’s mostly about personality.” The hair color clients at Tru vary in age and gender. According to stylists, some girls start to color their hair for fun before they are teenagers, with streaks of purple or pink. As women age, they may start dyeing their hair by highlighting before they do a full hair color; and as they get more gray, they transition into enhanced coloring. There are even a few men who come in for a touch of color to blend their gray. “Men want to feel and look good, and not look old,” says Judge. “Hair coloring is one of the easiest things you can do to achieve that, for both men and women.” Coloring hair does not require going to a salon, but visiting one does have other beneﬁts that include facials, massage and other services for an intimate, personalized experience.
“I love this salon and have known Julie for years,” says Peggy Domuracki, of Pittsford. “I like to pamper myself and keep my skin and hair looking the best I can.” Going to a salon can be transformative. There is a level of quality and service that cannot be matched, and many salons also offer spa services for a whole body concept. Almost all women enjoy feeling pampered and taking a break from their busy lives. “After my hair is colored and is being blow-dried and brushed, my hair feels so soft and it’s very relaxing,” says Sandra Lutzec, 67, of Fairport. Trust is important when dealing with hair color. Hair color cannot only change a look, but also change the texture and feel of hair. Gray hair is usually more coarse, dry, and can even be wiry. Coloring gray hair will often temporarily reverse that, but also depends on how healthy the hair is, and the ingredients of the coloring product. “Having been to salons that use synthetic products vs. naturally derived products, I notice a difference overall, says Dawn Nagel, guest care manager, Tru Salon. “The color is richer and my hair is not as dry.” How often to color your hair varies depending on hair health, how fast your hair grows and how much gray you have. There are different types of color, such as permanent that lasts through the growing out period, and semipermanent that washes out after several shampoos. There are also different ways to apply the color, and there are products to enhance and care for it, like toners, shampoos and conditioners. Regardless of coloring statistics, there are women who embrace all shades of gray on themselves and others. Anne Kreamer, the book author, said in an online interview with AOL that her philosophy is, “Gray hair color is a very vocal symbol saying, ‘I acknowledge who I am and I’m happy about it.’ Today it seems as if the most provocative statement a woman can make with her hair is to let it be naturally gray.” Clearly, color is in the eye of the beholder.
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March / April 2011 - 55 PLUS
Man’s Best Friend Ages Too As Bailey ages, I notice he’s become set in his ways, a creature of habit, not unlike his human counterparts By Nancy Haus
an has traditionally are neutered at around 6 months, that as soon as we got home. Six months seemed a little young to be neutered c l a i m e d t h e d o g a s didn’t give us much time. his best friend. And We all felt sad that he had to compared to his human counterpart, why not? They define have a surgical procedure and, of but we decided he wasn’t going to unconditional love: a pal, a buddy course, I — the mom — got roped into become a daddy, just our pal. A yellow Labrador and golden who misses you as much for the taking him to the vet. He stayed for few minutes you go out to get the the day and then it took a few days retriever mix with a lot of creamnewspaper as he does if you’re gone to recuperate. When I picked him colored fur, we chose the perfect name for a week. up, he seemed a little lethargic and immediately. It would be “Bailey,” as He doesn’t get mad or try to get disoriented, just like I do after having in Bailey’s Irish Cream. We went through the trials back at you if you forget to feed him or a surgical procedure, and he slept and tribulations of raising a if you ignore him, and he’ll newborn but potty training sit at your feet or cuddle was the hardest. We never with you with no need for quite ﬁgured out whether he commitment. He smiles and didn’t get it or we didn’t get sometimes looks sad, but he it. It took quite awhile for always loves you. And who him to get the hang of it, and can beat that? he much preferred doing his We knew the moment thing inside — preferably on we saw him that he was the rug — and particularly in the perfect addition to our winter. We had many heart-tofamily and that we had hearts about it. Barking was his to share our home with other (annoying) problem, and him. At 4 or 5 months old, at age 14, he still barks, at times we were truly bringing a for no apparent reason. trembling baby home from As a puppy, Bailey ran the hospital. We took turns through the house with my holding him tightly in the sons chasing after him. With car to help him feel more so much energy, he’d run secure; he seemed confused so fast that he’d slide on the about where he was headed hardwood ﬂoors and hit his with this bunch of strangers head on the brick kitchen who’d taken him from his wall. He probably had many crate full of buddies. concussions over the years. He’d had his shots so As my kids grew and left we didn’t have to put him for college, and my husband through that ordeal. But we left for a new life, it was just quickly decided as a family Bailey and me, and he became that it would be best to have Fourteen-year-old Bailey has been with the author’s my protector. He slept in my him neutered. Since males family since he was 4 or 5 months old. 32
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55+ room and barked if he heard strange noises. I don’t know what he would’ve done if anything happened because he’s pretty timid; I could only hope that he would’ve protected me. When I’d tell him that the kids were coming home for a visit, his ears would perk up. He never forgot their names, and when they came home he acted as if they’d never left, snuggling with them and licking their faces. It was a love affair you just can’t explain — unless you’ve had a dog who loves you. Now that Bailey is 14, his life is changing. Retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia, and Bailey’s symptoms of that condition are slowly worsening. Getting up off the floor, especially from a tile or wood floor, creates problems. He plods up the stairs now, one step at a time. Sometimes, he needs an extra push from behind and I can see how the years are catching up with him. A recent visit to the vet for an ear problem revealed a hematoma, which the doctor drained, but it reﬁlled with blood almost immediately. During that visit, I showed the vet what I thought was a cyst on Bailey’s paw. His reaction was not what I had anticipated. He wanted to do a needle biopsy but said that because the mass, something that’s common in older dogs, was so small, he’d have to do it under general anesthesia. I felt that since he’d have to put a drain in Bailey’s ear under anesthesia, he might as well do both procedures at the same time. But a lack of veterinary insurance combined with limited finances caused me to delay the surgery until I can afford them. In the meantime, the hematoma seems to have improved a little, but I’m more worried about the mass. Bailey acts ﬁne and, even at his age, he runs and plays with the kids, now adults, and he still loves the snow. He buries his nose in it and digs and runs in it just like he did when he was a pup. But as he ages, I notice he seeks more attention. He stays right behind me during my daily walk. He’s lost a little hearing or else he has learned the
Patrick Haus, the autor’s son, hugging the family dog. art of ‘selective hearing;’ and he has cataracts. He eats a little less food and drinks a little more water. He’s become set in his ways, a creature of habit, not unlike his human counterparts. The Washington Post’s Gene Weingarten says, “They can be eccentric, slow afoot, even grouchy. But dogs live out their ﬁnal days with a humility and grace we all could learn from.” Older dogs make it easy for you to love them. They think you’re brilliant, even if you’re not. When a dog gets old, the virtues he’s acquired during his life are demonstrated so clearly. Old dogs may not be as cute as puppies but to anyone who’s ever known an older dog, their ﬂaws are of little consequence. They become vulnerable, show intense gratitude, limitless trust and become funny in new and unexpected ways. Most importantly, they seem at peace. Old dogs grieve the loss of their friends. They seem to comprehend time’s passage, and, if not death’s meaning, they understand their frailties. They know that what’s gone is gone. Unlike humans, dogs don’t fear death or have a feeling of injustice or entitlement. They don’t see themselves battling against time.
I feel like, even though his muzzle is now graying, he has acquired a certain serenity and he’s even more special than before. But Bailey does have his health problems and I often think about the life span for retrievers and how I would feel if something happens to him. He is 98 in human years, though he’s in pretty decent shape for an “old man.” He has health issues and health insurance issues, yet his owner doesn’t have the money to take care of the problems. But Bailey does have a family that loves him — unconditionally — despite the bathroom accidents and chewing things he’s not supposed to. All in all, the good has far outweighed the bad. Bailey is part of our family and he has made us smile when we were down. He understands what we’re talking about, especially when he’s the topic of our conversation, and he knows exactly who will and won’t share their food with him. He’s a smart old man, a forever friend, and I am treasuring the days we have left. Nancy Haus is a writer who lives in Baldwinsville. March / April 2011 - 55 PLUS
Better Health... One Kick at a Time By Mike Costanza
By Mike Costanza
Martial arts training gives 55-plussers an edge Julio Olmeda, 71, says he loves practicing Taekwondo. “When I ﬁnish a workout, I feel good,” he said. 34
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owever old you are, martial arts training can help you kick the aging process backwards. “I feel better than I ever have in my life,” says JoAnn Moda. Then, the 60-year-old grandmother with the black belt in taekwondo returned to pummeling a punching bag. Moda studies taekwondo and elements of other martial arts at Grand Master Avent Self Defense and Fitness, where she’s enrolled in the executive class. All in the class are 35 years old or older. “It’s something that a person of the age of 50 can start, and do for the rest of their lives,” says Michael Avent Sr. Avent, the owner of the Gates martial arts school, has a seventhdegree black belt in Taekwondo. In keeping with tradition, his students address him as “grand master.” The term “martial arts” covers many disciplines, each of which involves different types and systems of kicks, punches, throws and other actions. Whereas judo practitioners use techniques that allow them to grip and throw their opponents, practitioners of karate use powerful blocking, kicking and punching movements to defeat them. On the other hand, taekwondo makes more use of the greater strength and length of the legs. “There’s a lot of kicking; there’s a lot of aerial techniques; there’s a lot of bounces,” Avent says. Taekwondo students can proceed through several levels of training, each of which involves the learning of a new set of “patterns” or sets of kicks, punches and other movements. Each
55+ level of training is represented by a different color of belt. The white belt is the lowest, followed by yellow, green, and other levels up to black. “My current pattern, there are 39 moves to it,” Moda says. The black belt itself has 10 levels, though no one has ever advanced past the ninth.
Examining the beneﬁts Though many might take up martial arts for the purpose of selfdefense, just the act of doing so can confer its own beneﬁts. Studies have shown that those who practice martial arts have experienced overall improvements in cardiovascular ﬁtness, along with greater physical strength, balance and flexibility, and other benefits. The benefits of such training can also reach into the psyche. A 2001 study found that college students who were studying taekwondo experienced lower levels of depression, anger, fatigue, confusion and tension than those who were not taking the training. Avent formed the executive class several years ago in order to bring those kinds of benefits to older students who might be less up to flying through the air and
throwing roundhouse kicks than their younger counterparts. The class allows students to excel at martial arts within the limitations imposed by age or any physical conditions that might have cropped up. The training focuses on Taekwondo, but also includes elements of other disciplines as well as self-defense training. “When they do their kicks, they’re just doing them to the limitation that they’re comfortable with,” Avent says. “We don’t really expect them to kick over their heads.” Those in the class can also train in the use of the traditional weapons used in martial arts, such as nunchucks—essentially two sticks joined by a short chain or rope. Though executive class members don’t have to throw those ﬂying kicks, that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to do so. Moda has exercised, walked and hiked throughout her life. She was looking for a new challenge at 56 years old, when she decided to sign up for Taekwondo lessons with another instructor. The North Chili resident admits that she’d never expected to learn how to kick, punch, and roll her way around a practice mat. “When I grew up, the martial arts were for skinny, jock Asian men,” she says. Moda says martial arts training has helped her stave off the effects of aging. Though the registered nurse still has arthritis of the thumbs, neck, and back, she says that the stretching exercises that are part of her training have cut the pain of those conditions so much that she no longer needs medication to deal with it. The physical activity has also helped her attack the mental challenges that aging can bring.
Staving off old age
JoAnn Moda, 60, said she’d never expected to learn how to kick, punch, and roll her way around a practice mat. “I feel better than I ever have in my life,” the North Chili resident says.
“Focusing, discipline, even remembering is becoming more and more of a challenge,” she says. “The more I progressed in this program, the more I found myself focusing and remembering.” Julio Olmeda, who wears a yellow belt with a green stripe, took time away from his workout with the executive class to talk about the beneﬁts of martial arts training.
Michael Avent Sr. is the owner of the Grand Master Avent Self Defense and Fitness in Gates. He has developed a program for people who over 35 to practice Taekwondo. Avent Sr. has a seventh-degree black belt and his students address him as “grand master.” “It’s helped me out physically and psychologically,” the 71-year-old says. “When I ﬁnish a workout, I feel good.” Olmeda says the training has also helped him lower his cholesterol and blood pressure, and has even made his job easier. The Kodak retiree works part time as a security ofﬁcer for a local retailer. “I’m more conﬁdent, not afraid to communicate with anybody,” he says. Martial arts training can be a boost to the ego in other ways, as well. Moda picked up a few well-earned compliments after earning her black belt last June. “The accolades that I had received from the young and old really, like, made me step back and say, ‘Wow, I really did accomplish something special in my life.’” To contact Grand Master Avent Self Defense and Fitness, call (585)690-9424. March / April 2011 - 55 PLUS
Toronto is Terriﬁc
Largest Canadian city has museums, historic sites, theatrical presentations, sports venues, shopping galore and diverse dining options By Sandra Scott
oronto is a world-class city closer to Central New York than New York City with just as much to offer. Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario, Canada’s largest city, and one of the world’s most diverse cities. There are museums, historic sites, theatrical presentations, sports venues, shopping galore, and diverse dining options. Toronto has an excellent transit system with money-saving day or week passes but the best way to get an overview of the city is on one of the bus tours. There are several
Get acquainted on the Hippo Tour. 36
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fun ways to learn about the city. The Sightseeing Toronto and the Grayline offer hop-on bus tours with commentary while Hippo Tours offers land and water tours of Toronto. The 40-passenger Hippo splashes down into Lake Ontario with great views of the city and Ontario Place from the water. The hop-on tours stop at CN Tower where the view of the city is expansive. There are several guided walking tours that explore the ethnic neighborhoods, parks, architecture and art but for a personalized tour check out TAP into TO. The free
greeter program pairs visitors with like-minded Torontonians. Public transportation is included. Greeter programs are a wonderful way to create a personal connection with a city.
World-class museums The most unique museum in Toronto is the Bata Shoe Museum. One does not have to have a shoe fetish to enjoy the museum. The history of footwear starts more than 4,500 years ago with replicas of the Ice Man’s shoes, which are the oldest shoes associated with the museum and follows the evolution of shoes through the years as they were adapted to changes in culture, environment and uses. Ancient funerary shoes, chestnut-crushing clogs, and celebrity footwear are all part of their extensive collection. Nearby is the Royal Ontario Museum with its Michael Lee-Chin Crystal addition. The crystal is composed of ﬁve interlocking, selfsupporting prismatic structures that co-exist but are not attached to the original ROM building, except for the bridges that link them. The inside is just as spectacular. Explore world cultures from the early Canadians to the ancient Chinese. Naturalist will love the Bat Cave with animatronics and atmospheric sounds. Discover the real stories behind these mysterious creatures of the night.
Another do-not-miss museum is the Ontario Science Centre where the learning starts before visitors enter the Front Yard. Learn about the urban landscape and play music on a water fountain. Inside there is something for everyone and every age with their newest exhibit, “Nature Unleashed,” that explores the dynamics of earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural forces. Besides the big three museums visitors can step into the past at Black Creek Pioneer Village, an authentically re-created 1860s Ontario country village and tour Casa Loma, the Edwardian Castle home of Canadian ﬁnancier Sir Henry Pellatt. The Art Gallery of Ontario is home to over 73,000 works of art,
Show time Toronto is considered second only to New York City in North America when it comes to theatrical performances. The Entertainment District is home to theater, symphony, ballet and opera. Attending a production at The Royal Alexandra Theatre is a treat in itself. The Beauxarts building has survived more than 100 year in beautiful shape. The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts was built speciﬁcally for ballet and opera. Broadway shows are always popular with some opening in Toronto before they do in New York City. For sidesplitting laughs check out the Second City, the venue that inspired Saturday Night Live. Step into the 11th century at the Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament, which combines dinner and a show. Cheer for your brave knights as they engage in a tournament of sword ﬁghting and daring-do on horseback. It is just one of many dinner theater presentations.
Neighborhoods Toronto is a vibrant city made up of eclectic, vibrant neighborhoods. The ethnic diversity means there is great food and fun festivals that include the Corso Italian Festival and the annual Chinatown Festival. Try spanakopita in Greektown, handmade pirogies in Little Poland and dim sum in Chinatown. At the Sultan’s
Take the elevator to the viewing area of the CN Tower
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Tent diners can experience dining in a tent and belly dancing while enjoying Moroccan food. Try some of their Toronto street treats including hot dogs, healthy choices, and ethnic foods served by sidewalk vendors in a variety of locations. Take a trip around the world of food without ever leaving Toronto.
More fun No matter how long the stay, it is impossible to experience all that Toronto has to offer. Take in a sports event at the Sky Dome or Air Canada Centre. Toronto is the undisputed Hockey Town. Toronto may be a cosmopolitan city but it is easy to escape to the outdoors and still be in the city. Parks and city trails make biking, hiking, jogging and skating fun, and don’t forget the islands, which are only a 20-minute ferry ride to any of the three islands. Those who ﬁnd shopping a mustdo activity will be spoiled for choice. Not to miss are the trendy shops of Yorkville, the famed Eaton Center with over 300 shops, and Honest Ed’s, which sports the sign “There’s no place like this place, anyplace!” There is nothing like Kensington Market, a maze of narrow streets lined with Victorian houses with goods from around the world. The Hudson Bay Company is uniquely Canadian but there is more — antiques, paintings, bargains shops — truly something for every shopper.
Michael Lee-Chin Crystal façade toThe ROM.
More information Adults need to have a passport or an enhanced driver’s license in order to enter Canada. Wolfe Island is part of Canada. Children traveling with both parents do not need a passport but if they are traveling with one parent or someone else they should have a letter of permission from their parent. Visitors planning to visit several museums should check out Toronto CityPass, which offers substantial reduction to the area’s major attractions and can avoid standing in long ticket lines. For more information check www. seetorontonow.com or call 800-4992514. 38
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Hockey Hall of Fame.
How the New Tax Bill Will Affect Us By Ken Little
ax season means it’s time to consider ﬁnancial strategies for 2011. Several Rochester certiﬁed public accountants offered insights on the recent federal tax legislation, and what 55-and-over taxpayers should be aware of. Genie Ackerly McKeown, a CPA and certiﬁed ﬁnancial planner with Conlon & Co. CPA’s in Rochester, said that the Congress ﬁnally dealt with the now-expired Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 — also known as EGTRRA — and all of the tax relief that it contained. The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 was signed into law in December. The measure resolved uncertainty over tax legislation for the immediate future but after 2012, “Tax regulations are once again completely up in the air,” McKeown said, creating “a very unfriendly environment for both personal and business tax and ﬁnancial planning.”
‘Signiﬁcant Changes’ “Many signiﬁcant changes that will affect individuals have resulted from passage of the 2010 Tax Relief Act,” she said. Perhaps the one affecting the broadest number of individuals is the extension of the EGTRRA tax rates, McKeown said. Many older Americans continue working to make ends meet. The package includes a 2 percent reduction in the Social Security payroll tax in 2011,
from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent, for taxable wages up to $106,800. Another area receiving considerable publicity was the federal estate and gift tax. McKeown said that due to the lack of action by Congress, the federal estate tax was allowed to b e abolished in 2010 and the preEGTRRA 55 percent maximum estate tax rate and $1 million individual exclusion were scheduled to be revived in 2011. The 2009 maximum estate tax rate had been 45 percent, with a $3.5 million exclusion. The 2010 Tax Relief Act provides temporary relief through 2012 from the return of the pre-EGTRRA estate tax and addresses the 2010 estate tax question, she said. The 2010 Tax Relief Act revives the estate tax in 2010 through 2012, after which it will expire. The new maximum estate tax rate is now 35 percent, and the exclusion amount is $5 million per person. “The 2010 Tax Relief Act also reuniﬁes the gift and estate tax that had been decoupled by EGTRRA, as a result, after 2010, lifetime gifts can now be made of up to $5 million without incurring a gift tax,” McKeown
said. “The EGTRRA lifetime gift tax exclusion had been $1 million. The annual gift tax exclusion remains $13,000 per donor in 2011.” A new development in the tax act provides for “portability” between spouses of the estate and gift tax exclusion, she added. A surviving spouse will be able to elect, on a timely ﬁled estate tax return, to take advantage of the unused portion of the predeceased spouse’s estate and gift tax exclusion, McKeown said. If a predeceased spouse has an unused estate and gift tax exclusion of $3 million, a surviving spouse with a $5 million unused exclusion could March / April 2011 - 55 PLUS
claim the combined unused exclusion of $8 million, she explained. In order to provide relief for estates of decedents dying during 2010, the 2010 Tax Relief Act enables these estates to make an election to not come under the revived 2010 estate tax. McKeown said those estates now have the option of claiming the 35 percent tax rate and $5 million exclusion, on a steppedup basis or no estate tax with the modiﬁed carryover basis rules under EGTRRA.
Energy Tax Credits Additional provisions of the legislation that taxpayers may want to examine closer include energy tax credits. McKeown said the tax relief act extends, though reduces, the energy tax credit through 2011. “The reduced credit applicable for 2011 is 10 percent of the costs of qualiﬁed energy property placed in service in 2011, with an aggregate lifetime maximum credit of $500 for all tax years ending after December 31, 2005,” she said. The bill allows a tax credit of up to $200 for Energy Star-qualiﬁed windows and skylights and up to $500 for Energy Star-qualiﬁed doors for 2011. Another area the bill addresses is IRA charitable contributions. “The 2010 Tax Relief Act extends through Dec. 31 a provision known as the ‘Charitable IRA Rollover,’ which allows taxpayers age 70½ or older to make tax-free transfers of up to $100,000 per year directly from their IRA to charities,” McKeown said. The law, originally enacted in 2006, expired at the end of 2009, but has now been renewed for an additional two years, retroactive to January 1, 2010, and ending Dec. 31, 2011. Individuals over age 65 may be eligible for an increased standard deduction, said Tim Hern, a CPA partner at Rizzo & DiGiacco in Pittsford. A d d i t i o n a l l y, l o w - i n c o m e individuals over age 65 may be eligible for the Elderly tax credit if they do not itemize, Hern said. “If Social Security income is a taxpayers’ only income, they probably do not need to ﬁle a to ﬁle a return. If 40
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they have other income in addition to Social Security, then they may have to ﬁle a return and may owe some tax,” he said. Additional income can include wages and interest. Many seniors have substantial medical bills. “Medical expenses can be deducted to the extent that they exceed 7.5 percent of their adjusted gross income,” Hern said. Hern also referred to the fact individuals over 70½ years old must take required minimum distributions from an IRA account – which is taxable in the year taken, unless it is a ROTH IRA, Hern said. For high-net worth seniors, it could be worth investigating a ROTH conversion, Hern said. Changes being made to traditional and Roth IRA’s in 2011 include recently introduced opportunities to convert between traditional and IRA accounts, regardless of income. Roth IRA’s generally differ from traditional IRA’s in that contributions are made after tax, but are offset by having to pay no taxes when funds are withdrawn at retirement. Opening and contributing to a Roth IRA is currently restricted to those with an adjusted income limit of $122,000 for individuals and $179,000 for couples. The maximum annual contribution to Roth IRA’s is $5,000 for individuals under age 50 and $6,000 for those over 50. Contributions can be made to a Roth IRA for a year at any time during the year, or by the due date of the return for that year, not including extensions. Contributions can be made by the due date, not including extensions, for tax return ﬁling. Most people can make contributions for 2010 by April 15, according to www. savingtoinvest.com The $658 billion federal tax bill extends breaks put in place under former President George W. Bush. It represents “a substantial victory for middle-class families across the country,” President Obama said when the bill was signed. The bill stopped taxes from automatically going up on Jan. 1. It remains in effect for two years.
Q: How can I get an estimate of my retirement beneﬁts? A: Our online “Retirement Estimator” uses your Social Security earnings record to estimate your future beneﬁts. To use the feature, go to www.socialsecurity.gov/estimator. There, you can enter certain identifying information about yourself. As long as the personal information you provide matches our records, you can use the Retirement Estimator to enter other information, such as your expected retirement age and estimated future wages. This information will be combined with the information that Social Security has on record about your past earnings to provide a quick and reliable online beneﬁt estimate. A Spanish-language Retirement Estimator also is available at www. segurosocial.gov/calculador. Get an instant, personalized estimate of your future benefits now at www. socialsecurity.gov/estimator. Q: How do I report a change of address if I’m on Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? A: You must report any change of address by calling our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, or by visiting a local ofﬁce within 10 days after the month the change occurs. You cannot complete a change of address online because we must obtain more speciﬁc information about the change in your living arrangement. Failure to report or ﬁling false reports could result in a ﬁne, imprisonment, or both. Even if you receive your beneﬁts by direct deposit, you need to report your new address to Social Security so that you can continue to receive mail from Social Security when necessary. To learn more about SSI reporting responsibilities, read the publication What You Need To Know When You Get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) at www.socialsecurity.gov/ pubs/11011.html. Q: What are the four parts of Medicare?
A: The four parts of Medicare include: • Hospital insurance (Part A), which helps pay hospital bills and some follow-up care. The taxes you (or your spouse in some cases) paid while working financed this coverage, so it’s premium free. For those who are not “insured,” coverage may be purchased. • Medical insurance (Part B), which helps pay doctors’ bills and other services. There is a monthly premium you must pay for Medicare Part B and you may refuse this coverage. • Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans, which generally cover many of the same beneﬁts a Medigap policy would cover, such as extra days in the hospital after you have used the number of days Medicare covers. People with Medicare Parts A and B can choose to receive all of their health care services through one of these provider organizations under Part C. There might be additional premiums required for some plans; and • Prescription drug coverage (Part D), which helps pay for medications doctors prescribe for treatment. Anyone who has Medicare hospital insurance (Part A), medical insurance (Part B), or a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) is eligible for prescription drug coverage (Part D). Joining a Medicare prescription drug plan is voluntary and you pay an additional monthly premium for the coverage. To learn more about Medicare benefits, read our publication, Medicare, at www. socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10043.html. Q: I can’t get health insurance because of my pre-existing condition. Is there anything I can do? A: You may be eligible for the new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan — a program for people who have a pre-existing condition and have been without health insurance coverage for at least six months. For more information, call the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan toll-free: 1-866-717-5826 (TTY 1-866-561-1604) between the hours of 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern Time. Or visit www. pcip.gov and select “Find Your State” to learn about eligibility and how to apply.
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For further information, please feel free to contact us: AAIR Research Center 300 Meridian Centre Suite 305 Rochester, NY 14618 Phone: (585) 442-1980 Email: email@example.com Contacting us does not mean that you have to participate in this clinical research program and participation is completely voluntary.
March / April 2011 - 55 PLUS
By Mike Costanza
Robert Bakos, MD, 68
fter 33 years spent practicing medicine privately and at Strong Memorial Hospital, and serving on the faculty of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, this retired Pittsford neurosurgeon has returned to his ﬁrst passion— music. Q. You picked up an instrument for the ﬁrst time while living with you family in Cleveland Ohio. What was that moment like? A. I was 7 years old, and our family had an old violin that my grandfather had brought from Slovakia—White Russia, actually. I started to play. The next thing I knew, I was studying at the Cleveland Music School Settlement, which was one of the teaching arms of the Cleveland Orchestra. Students that were accepted into the Music School Settlement never paid anything—that was all full scholarship. I never missed a lesson, and I just loved it. Q. You practiced the violin most days of the week—including all day Saturdays—for 10 years. What drew you to music so strongly? A. I enjoy the intricacy. The thing that had the greatest hold on me during my lessons and my years of practice was the possibility to do something and hone it, sharpen it, make it as good as you possibly could, and then be proud of it, as opposed to slipping by. I also took clarinet. I would leave school around 2:30, take the bus across to the other side of Cleveland, [for lessons] and get home around 9:30 or 10, and that would be my Wednesday. 42
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Q. And yet, when the time came to seek a career, it was to medicine that you turned. What took you in that direction? A. I did a lot of volunteer work at a hospital—that’s what began to build my love for medicine and helping people. I can [also] honestly say that I was an extremely good technical player, but it became clear that I was not a virtuoso. Q. Once you decided to specialize, you went into neurosurgery. Why pick that ﬁeld as your specialty? A. Even in med school, I was fascinated by the intricacy of neuroanatomy. Later on, I was in a surgical internship, and I was waiting for my wife to pick me up [at Strong Memorial Hospital]. I said to myself, “I love surgery, and I’m fascinated by the nervous system.” Bang! I said ‘My heavens, there is such a thing—neurosurgery.’ That was it. Q. What kept you coming back to your work day after day for over three decades? A. Absolute excitement. Particularly in the last 15 years, when I was working in the area of the stereotactic and functional neurosurgery. My work was almost exclusively with implanting electrodes in the brains of Parkinson’s patients, [for the purpose] of controlling their symptoms. There was a small group of us, maybe at one time 75, in this world actively working in this area when computers began to be involved in targeting very, very speciﬁc, precise targets within the brain, where a millimeter or two millimeters was the difference between success and failure. The other part of it was that the patients were in such desperate straits. This person has not been able to pick up a cup of coffee or use a fork for the
last 15 years because the harder they tried, the more their hands shook. They had used up all the medicines there were; there was no possibility for them to have anything else that helped their lives. Q. Do you still play music? A. It goes in spurts. I had not played until my retirement, when I started playing again, and I can tell you it does not sound as it used to. I do it for fun. I don’t plan to push myself up to performance quality. Q. You are writing a book about several German composers, and how they died. Can you tell us about it? A. In the last 15-16 years I’ve given annual lectures at the Eastman school, a series called Dead German Composers and How They Got That Way. It’s the medical and the musical history of Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler, Hummel, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Bach, Brahms, Strauss, von Weber, and Haydn. I love to go hunting in libraries, and ﬁnd old books, and piece together segments of these stories from multiple sources and then plug them into the overall pictures of the composer’s lives. Each lecture took about a six months. Each will be a chapter in the book of the same title.
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In Good Health–Genesee Valley/ March / April 2011 - 55 PLUS Rochester’s Healthcare Newspaper
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Consolidate your retirement accounts at the Wealth Strategies Group, and let our experts help you determine the right investment plan to meet your goals. Investing your retirement savings in different asset classes is a proven strategy. But having different retirement accounts, managed by several institutions, isn’t. Simplify your life and consolidate your accounts at the Wealth Strategies Group. Your retirement plan will become more efﬁcient, and easier to manage and understand. We’ll help you create a personalized plan to ensure that your investment strategy supports your goals, with a variety of managed and self-directed options. Plus, you’ll receive a higher level of personal service—and our Pledge of Accountability, which includes a money-back guarantee.* It’s a great feeling when everything comes together. So call Mark Mazzochetti, CISP, VP, and Retirement Services Ofﬁcer, at (585) 419-0670, ext. 50606 today.
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