55 Plus of Rochester, #40: July – August 2016

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Does it Pay to Take Social Security Early? RIT President Bill Destler on His Decision to Retire



PLUS Issue 40 July / August 2016

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

Breaking the Church’s Glass Ceiling The remarkable journey of Rev. Mary Ramerman from California to Rochester, where she has made her mark as a pastor


Rock ‘n’ Roll Remembering when it was considered the ‘devil’s advocate’

Local experts weigh in on the pros and cons of reverse mortgages

BOOMERS’ NEW TOY Sales of personal drones soar, in part thanks to baby boomers

Couple benefits from 40 years of plant-based cuisine, culture

July / August 2016 - 55 PLUS





July / August 2016



Savvy Senior 6 Financial Health 8 Dining Out 10 My Turn 16 Addyman’s Corner 42 Visits 46, 48 Long-term Care 49

36 12 RETIREMENT • RIT president talks about retirement, bucket list

Mike Reif, a Perinton coach, has been in the competitive racing profession for more than 55 years and trained some of the best runners 4

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• Rev. Mary Ramerman making a difference in the lives of many





• YMCA offers hassle-free camping program for baby boomers

• Runners show what dedication, perseverance can do Last Page Q&A


24 DIET • Couple benefits from 40 years of plant-based cuisine, culture


• Reverse mortage: Should you go for it?

• It’s always a great opportunity to toss those unwanted documents

• Boomers’s new trendy toy: Drones


• Molly Wolf: Artist, retired teacher masters the art of murals


• Environmentalist with national prominence finds a niche in Naples

July / August 2016 - 55 PLUS


savvy senior By Jim Miller


Does it Pay to Take Social Security Early?

ost financial planners agree that waiting to take your Social Security retirement benefits is a smart financial move. Why? Because each month you defer, from your 62nd birthday to your 70th, your monthly benefits grow. That adds up to around 6 to 8 percent higher payments for every year you delay. Yet despite the financial incentive to wait, most people (58 percent of men and 64 percent of women) claim their benefits before full retirement age, which is currently 66 for those born between 1943 and 1954. But speeding up the clock isn’t always a bad idea. Here are some scenarios where it may make sense for you to collect early.

You need the money:

If you’re retired and don’t have enough savings or a pension to cover your living expenses, you’ll probably have to start early. But if you decide to work, be aware of the earnings test. If you claim Social Security benefits before full retirement age (and you don’t reach 66 this year), you’ll forfeit $1 for every $2 you earn over the earnings limit of $15,720 in 2016. It usually doesn’t make sense to take benefits early if you’re working, unless your income is below the earnings limit.

You have poor health:

Having a serious medical problem that is likely to shorten your life is another reason to start your benefits sooner rather than later. Consider the “breakeven point” — the age you need to reach to come out ahead by waiting to claim Social Security — is 78 for someone who claims at 62 versus waiting to 66. If you don’t anticipate making it to 78, go ahead and claim early. However, if you are married or have other dependents at home that depend on your benefit, you may want 6

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to hold off because starting early will reduce their survivor’s benefits.

You’re a lower-earning spouse:

If you’re married and your lifetime earnings are much lower than your spouse’s, you could take your benefit early but your higher-earning spouse should delay. This lets you increase your household income now, while the higher-earning spouse’s benefit grows, therefore increasing the survivor benefit. This strategy is best suited when a lower-earning wife is three to six years younger than her husband and her earnings are 30 to 40 percent of his. She should claim at 62 and he should claim at full retirement age, or better yet wait to age 69 or 70. Because the husband is likely to die earlier, the wife’s reduced benefit will be temporary and she will then qualify for the higher survivor benefit.

Skeptical of Social Security:

Many people take their retirement benefits early because they fear Social Security will go bankrupt, but this not a good reason to start collecting early. While it is true that the Social Security trust fund will become insolvent around 2033 — 17 years from now — if no changes are made, that doesn’t mean there will be no more money for benefits. It means that the fund is no longer taking in enough money to cover all promised benefits. Thus payment checks are likely to end up shrinking by about 25 percent. But, if the thought of losing out on your benefits keeps you up at night, then it may be better to start claiming early instead of holding off for more later. To see how much your benefits will be affected by your claiming age, use the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s new planning for retirement tool at consumerfinance. gov/retirement/before-you-claim.

55PLUS roc55.com Editor and Publisher Wagner Dotto

Associate Editor Lou Sorendo

Contributing Writers

Deborah J. Sergeant , Ernst Lamothe Jr., Deborah Blackwell, Jacob Pucci, Arn J. Albertini, Nina Alvarez, Tim Fenster. Kristina Gabalski


Jim Terwilliger, Susan Suben Jim Miller, Bruce Frassinelli John Addyman, Lian Gravelle


Donna Kimbrell, Anne Westcott H. Mat Adams

Office Assistant Michelle Kingsley

Layout and Design Eric J. Stevens

Cover Photo

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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Mailing Address PO Box 525 Victor, NY 14564 © 2016 by 55 PLUS – A Magazine for Active Adults in the Rochester Area. No material may be reproduced in whole or in part from this publication without the express written permission of the publisher. Third class postage paid at Syracuse, NY. Permit Number: 3071

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July / August 2016 - 55 PLUS


financial health By Jim Terwilliger

Managing Distributions from Your Retirement Nest Egg


hose of us offering advice in the financial planning world like to identify two primary time periods in our clients’ financial lives: • Accumulation Phase — the multi-decade period in which folks work and set aside excess cash flow into savings earmarked for retirement. • Distribution Phase — the (hopefully) multi-decade period in which folks take ongoing distributions from their retirement savings in order to supplement regular income from Social Security, pensions and other income streams. During accumulation, it is common to use a variety of vehicles to build up retirement wealth — 401(k)type re-


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tirement plans, IRAs, Roth IRAs, investment accounts, savings accounts, CDs, etc. It is also common, and advised, to have significant exposure to the global stock market — somewhere in the 70 percent to 100 percent range — with the remainder invested in bonds (or bond funds) and cash. The accumulation phase generally exhibits a rocky ride, given the high exposure to stocks, but such exposure provides the best opportunity for asset growth. Throughout this phase, volatility is your friend if you dollar-cost-average in to your accounts. This means adding constant dollars to your accounts on a regular basis so that you buy more shares when the market is down. In the distribution phase, it is generally

advised to simplify and consolidate the myriad number of accounts that seem to multiply during one’s lifetime. This makes the tracking of such accounts easier. It also allows for a more focused and cohesive investment strategy. Typically, in retirement, we recommend maintaining a healthy exposure to the global stock market, say, in the 50 percent to 70 percent range, in order to keep assets growing at a rate greater than inflation. In this phase, portfolio volatility is your enemy. This is because you are negative dollar-cost-averaging — removing constant dollars, adjusted for inflation, on a regular basis. Here, volatility can reduce your effective rate of return. Another factor of extreme importance during this phase is to control the distribution rate such that retirement savings are not exhausted during your lifetime. Finally, most planners agree, it is important to organize accounts in a distribution mode into three “buckets” — stock, bond and cash buckets. The idea is to draw all distributions from cash, and bonds if necessary, but not from the stock bucket. The stock bucket can then be partially liquidated, from time-to-time, to the extent necessary to replenish the cash — but only when the market is up. Such a strategy can give you peace of mind by minimizing the impact of volatility on the long-term health and viability of your retirement portfolio. Many financial planners suggest having two to four years of cash in the cash bucket to weather long market cycles. Unfortunately, this produces a “cash drag” on portfolio performance. To counter this drag, we recommend the following distribution strategy as optimal:

• Establish a macro stock/bondcash allocation that has an adequate level of stocks but with a volatility that allows you to sleep at night — say around a 60/40 allocation. • For monthly distributions, to generate the cash bucket, rebalance the portfolio back to, say, 60/40 and extract one year’s worth of cash at the same time. If the market is up, the cash will come mostly or entirely from stocks. If the market is down, the cash will come mostly or entirely from bonds. Distribute cash from the replenished cash bucket during the year. When the year ends and the cash is depleted, repeat the process, including the portfolio rebalance. Average cash level in the account during the year is one half year’s worth. • For annual distributions, rebalance the portfolio and extract one year’s worth of cash at the same time. Again, if the market is up, the cash will come mostly or entirely from stocks. If the market is down, the cash will come mostly or entirely from bonds. Distribute cash from the replenished cash bucket in a lump sum. One year later, repeat the process, including the portfolio rebalance. Average cash level in the account during the year is essentially zero. • Note that cash set aside for emergencies is not considered in this strategy. The key to making this work is the disciplined act of rebalancing the stock-bond portfolio at the time cash is extracted through partial portfolio liquidation. Even in the occasional years when this strategy results in partial stock liquidation in down market years, the realized capital loss is minimal. Skeptical? Do the math, then let’s talk. Much of my time with clients is spent walking them through and helping them manage a deliberate retirement distribution strategy. Making it work correctly takes patience and discipline. Don’t try this on your own. The stakes are too high. James Terwilliger, CFP, is senior vice president, financial planning officer at Wealth Strategies Group, Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. He can be reached at 585419-0670 ext. 50630 or by email at jterwilliger@cnbank.com. July / August 2016 - 55 PLUS





By Jacob Pucci The main entrance to the New York Wine and Culinary Center.

New York Wine and Culinary Center


Canandaigua restaurant features some of the best scallops around

ate one of the best scallops of my life at the New York Wine and Culinary Center in Canandaigua. The jumbo sea scallop — deep brown, nutty and sweet — was harvested in Montauk off the tip of Long Island. The scallop, along with the shaved radish and green baby grape clusters served alongside, were sourced in New York, as are more than 90 percent of the menu items. The seared vanilla and rose scented scallop was part of the seasonal tasting menu at the culinary center’s Upstairs Bistro. At $40 for three courses ($50 with wine pairings), or $55 for five courses ($75 with wine pairings),


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the tasting menu was a bargain considering the quality of the ingredients. Dinner on a recent early evening started with the scallop ($14 a la carte, or part of tasting menu) and a charcuterie platter ($15). Canandaigua-based Artisan Meats — formerly known as Hartmann’s Old World Sausage — supplied the meat. The capicola had a strong fennel kick, while the pork rillette had the flavor of rich pork and the texture of fatty butter. A most ideal combination, if ever there was one. The platter included a generous helping of thinly-sliced speck, prosciutto’s slightly smoky cousin,

each bite seemingly evanescing on my tongue, leaving behind a wisp of sweetness and tang. The dried landjager had a firm texture that contrasted well with the other meat. The meats were served with “seasonal accompaniments,” which in this case was Finger Lakes Kimchee that provided a welcome acidic bite to cut through the richness. The fiddlehead ferns — in season only in the spring — were lightly pickled, but still retained their firm texture. The dried grapes were large, plump, juicy and far better than anything you’d find in the classic red box. Next came the grilled ramp salad

More than 90 percent of the ingredients are sourced from New York state.

Charcuterie board: Clockwise from top left: dried grapes, landjager, grainy mustard, capicola, pickled fiddlehead ferns, pork rillette, Finger Lakes Kimchee, speck (bread in the middle).

($8 a la carte, or part of tasting menu) with shaved daikon radish, cucumber, snow peas and a pickled ramp vinaigrette. On this particular day, five other dishes also featured ramps, a kind of wild onion that like fiddleheads, have gained something of a cult status due in part to their short season and limited availability. The ramps were grilled, which added pleasant sweetness to the dish and helped round out some of the ramp’s sharper onion and garlic flavors. The rest of the vegetables were sliced paper thin and the greens were light and crisp, making for a flavorful, light salad. Just as the last bite of softened white ramp bulb disappeared into my mouth, our entrees arrived. The salmon filet special ($20), served with an herb butter sauce and asparagus, managed to provide a crisp, salty crust without overcooking the interior. Both the salmon and rib steak ($34 a la carte, or part of tasting menu), were served with asparagus, evidence that only the freshest, in-season produce makes it onto the diner’s plate. In both cases, the asparagus still retained a bit of firmness and did not wilt or shrivel up after cooking, as meager stalks that traveled thousands of miles are wont to do. The steak, sourced from Bedient Farms in Yates County, was seared

to a rosy medium-rare and served with a raspberry rhubarb glace. The sauce was quite a bit savorier than I expected, but in this case, that’s not a bad thing. I wish the steak came with an entire basket of potato and blue cheese croquettes instead of just one. After dinner, we sipped the last of our Gruner Veltliner and watched from our outdoor patio seats as the boats lazily drifted along Canandaigua Lake. The red of the setting sun reflecting off the gentle waves was a reminder that, like the hot dog roasted over the fire on a family camping trip or the otherwise mundane sushi you ate on a great first date, sometimes it’s the setting that makes the meal. Of course, having the best ingredients in the state at your fingertips tends to help.

Vanilla and rose scented Montauk scallop with shaved radish, baby grape cluster salad and chile oil.

Sauteed salmon with herb butter and asparagus.

New York State Wine and Culinary Center

Address: 800 S Main St, Canandaigua, NY 14424 Phone: 585-394-7070 Hours: Monday to Thursday: 11:30 a.m. to 9p.m. Friday and Saturday: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday brunch: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Website: www.nywcc.com

Pan-seared autumn harvest rib steak with charred asparagus spears, potato and blue cheese croquette and raspberry rhubarb glace. July / August 2016 - 55 PLUS



retirement with Bill Destler


By Arn J. Albertini

President of RIT talks about his decision to retire and what’s on his bucket list

RIT President William Destler, 69, will step down in June 2017 after 10 years on the job. During his tenure, he’s credited with driving a steady uptick in student enrollment to become ranked among the top 10 in private universities. Additionally, he’s credited with helping start and foster several green and sustainability initiatives at the college. The Sierra Club named RIT as one of America’s 100 Greenest Universities. Outside the president’s office, Destler is known for having one of the world’s largest collections of antique banjos, which he often restores himself. Many of these banjos currently decorate the presidential home. He’s also an avid alternative energy enthusiast, having built several electric bikes himself. Prior to coming to Rochester, Destler worked at the University of Maryland at College Park for 30 years, most recently serving as senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. Q.: Why did you decide to retire? A.: I think it might be time to bring in some new blood; some new ideas. You don’t want to over stay your welcome. When I started here 10 years ago, I had always planned to step down after 10 years. I think this has been the greatest ride of my life. I’m very proud of my work. Q.: Why announce your retirement now, a year early? A.: I wanted to give the college adequate time to find my replacement. Q.: What will you miss most? A.: The students. I happen to really enjoy the students and I try to spend most of my time with 12

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them. I’ve learned a lot from the RIT students. And I’m always focused on making sure we stay true to the core mission of keeping and fostering a student-centered university. Spending time with students helped me realize the close relationship between video game design and digital film production. It got us thinking it might be a good idea to combine the two programs. And that helped set the stage for the MAGIC Spell Studios, a state-ofthe-art studio aimed at promoting digital media and helping RIT graduates start their own digital media businesses. We’re poised to become a leader in that field.

Q.: What will you miss the least? A.: As president, I have an infinite number of meetings and it’s been said that I’m allergic to twohour meetings. I get kind of restless if I feel like time is being wasted. The key to keeping meetings productive is to make sure we’re always focused on doing great things for students. Q.: Where will you go when you retire? A.: Rebecca [Destler’s wife] and I haven’t quite decided. We have a house in Maryland, where my grown sons consider home so we’ll likely spend some time there. But I don’t like summers down there. It’s like a swamp. And we’ve really come to like Rochester too, so we

may be still spending time here too. Q.: What will you do? A.: I’m not exactly sure. I don’t need to work for money anymore. I do plan on playing more music. I haven’t really had a lot of time for that. And I still want to involved in higher education. I want to help improve the quality of higher education around the country and maybe even the world. My wife and I also enjoy biking; it’s a great way to stay healthy. Q.: Do you have a bucket list? A.: I’ve lived a pretty, happy full life and, my wife, Rebecca, has come along for the ride. Maybe it’s time for her to have some input and where we go and what we do. [Destler’s wife, Rebecca Johnson, while at RIT, has served as associate of the the university, an unpaid position and has been involved in a number of initiatives, including helping promote sustainable initiatives at the university.] But, there are no plans for any big trips or adventures, for now. I’ll find ways to keep busy.

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Nature’s retreat camping programs at Camp Cory, sponsored by the YMCA of Greater Rochester. The camp lies at the northeastern edge of Keuka Lake, near Penn Yan. Participants — all over 55 years of age — can choose the activities they want. A new camp is scheduled for Sept. 22.

Camping Anyone? Don’t want to deal with hassles associated with camping? This YMCA program may be ideal for you By Tim Fenster


ost of us say we love to unplug and enjoy the outdoors, but let’s face it, camping is a real hassle. Between stockpiling a seemingly endless list of supplies, finding the right location, the right price and just dealing with the basic inconveniences of roughing it, a weekend camping trip doesn’t always feel like it’s worth the effort. But local people shouldn’t let all this work and anxiety keep them from enjoying some quality time out in nature. The YMCA of Greater Rochester offers two annual, overnight camping trips for those 55 and older. Folks who are more novice to camping or looking for something shorter and closer to home, would probably do better joining the Sept. 22 trip to Camp Cory, which lies at the northeastern edge of Keuka Lake,


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near Penn Yan. They can either do a day-trip or stay overnight in the cabins. While there they can enjoy a range of activities, including archery, zip-lining, canoeing, kayaking, water-skiing, sailing or trips out on the lake. “Because we’re on Keuka Lake we really focus a lot of our activities on the water,” said Michele Rowcliffe, vice president of camping services at the YMCA of Greater Rochester. The camp, which is only about an hour’s drive from downtown Rochester, sits on 30 acres of land and is nearly 95 years old. What’s more, Rowcliffe says they are able to accommodate people of all ages and those with mobility issues. The cabins — though they lack HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) — have indoor bathrooms and bunk-beds; for the camp they

only use the bottom bunks. “We call it rustic but comfortable,” Rowcliffe said of the lodging.

Feeling adventurous? Those looking for a bit more adventure may want to sign up for the YMCA’s trip to the Adirondacks at Camp Gorham from Aug. 28 - Aug. 31. The roughly 50-year-old camp sits on 1,500 acres of land on the shore of Dart Lake. It’s about 13 miles north of the popular Adirondack village of Old Forge, and is a roughly threeand-a-half-hour trip from Rochester. There seniors can enjoy much of the same activities and amenities offered at Camp Cory but in the rich, mountainous landscape of the North Country. And unlike Camp Cory, options for hiking are plentiful. “One of the benefits of Camp

Gorham is it’s a huge property. So they can do hiking on the property,” Rowcliffe said. Attendees don’t have to hike or commit to any one particular activity. With a range of recreation options offered every day, campers can cherry pick how they would like to spend their time at the camp. “We do a full day of activities. They can do as much or as little as they want to,” Rowcliffe said. Another big draw is the friendships forged by the shores of Dart and Keuka lakes. Rowcliffe said that many campers come back year after year to spend time with friends they made on previous outings. And it’s also a chance to enjoy activities that most of us don’t regularly get to — things like water-skiing and zip-lining and firing arrows. Rowcliffe says that when they put a camper 55 to 85 years old onto a zip-line, for instance, the reaction isn’t that much different from aged 5 to 15. The campers hoot and scream in exhilaration. “It’s wonderful. It’s one of our favorite programs to offer,” Rowcliffe said. “It’s just like taking kids to camp — they just have so much joy.” For more information on the Rochester YMCA’s camping programs, visit www.rochesterymca.org.

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July / August 2016 - 55 PLUS


my turn

By Bruce Frassinelli Email: bruce@cny55.com

When Rock ‘n’ Roll Was Considered ‘Devil’s Advocate’ Witnessing the birth of and the explosion of rock ‘n’ roll


eeing the “Golden Boys” — Frankie Avalon, Bobby Rydell and Fabian — in concert recently brought back a wave of youthful memories. My friends and I were sandwiched into that age group that was part of the birth of and the explosion of rock ‘n’ roll. It was 1954. We were freshmen. When we went to the weekly dance at the school gym, we slow-danced to the top hits of the day — Tony Bennett’s “Rags to Riches,” Doris Day’s “Secret Love,” Eddie Fisher’s “Oh! My Papa” and Kitty Kallen’s “Little Things Mean A Lot.” But from late July until October of that year, the hottest record going was “Sh-Boom” (“Life Could Be A Dream”). The big hit was sung by a white quartet, The Crew Cuts, but another earlier version was cut by a black group, The Chords, which we liked better. At the Friday night dances, we jitterbugged to “Sh-Boom,” but the priest in charge of the dance would allow only the Crew Cuts’ rendition. At the time, I didn’t know why. It became clear when my friend, Tommy, told me that when he bought a copy of The Chords’ version of “ShBoom,” he rushed home and played it on his 45 record player. His father yanked the record off the spindle and bent it until it snapped in two. (The 45s were supposed to be unbreakable, but only if they fell on the floor.) “Why the heck did he do that?” I asked Tommy. He said his dad yelled, “We ain’t gonna have no n---- singing in this house.” There is no question that race was a big factor in our community and in the rock ‘n’ roll world. In the


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fall of 1955, Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock” soared to No. 1 on the Billboard top 100 chart, and rock ‘n’ roll was on its way. Until I saw Haley and his group, the Comets, on Bandstand, I thought they were black performers. The same was true of the Diamonds, who sang the big hit, “Little Darlin.” I didn’t know it at the time, but “Little Darlin” was a white cover record of the same song originally sung by a black group, The Gladiolas, and written by Maurice Williams (of The Zodiacs fame). Other famous cover records of that era included: “Tweedle Dee,” sung by La Vern Baker and covered by (her Nibs, Miss) Georgia Gibbs (1954), “Tutti Frutti,” sung by Little Richard and covered by Pat Boone (1955), “Ain’t That A Shame,” sung by Fats Domino, also covered by Boone (1955), “Good Night, My Love,” sung by Jesse Belvin and covered by the McGuire Sisters (1956), and “I’m Walkin,” sung by Fats Domino, and covered by Ricky Nelson (1957). Nelson sang the song on “The Adventures of Ozzie and

Harriet” show, a sitcom about life in the Nelson family, and the recording became an overnight sensation. At a Fats Domino concert, Domino showed off an enormous diamond ring he was wearing. He invited Nelson on stage and thanked him for helping make the ring possible. Since Domino wrote the song, he received handsome royalties from the Nelson recording, in addition to his own. It was no accident that the white singers who covered the black artists’ versions of these songs were cleancut, all-America types. Boone, with his strong Christian values and white buck shoes, was the quintessential boynext-door whom dad wanted for his chaste daughter. Nelson’s boyish good looks sent teen-age girls into frenzied hysteria, a 1950s version of a young Justin Bieber or a skinny Frank Sinatra. With few exceptions — The Diamonds’ “Little Darlin’” and the McGuire Sisters’ cover of the Moonglows’ “Sincerely” — the cover records were dreadful compared to the black artists’ originals. “Black artists with more talent but less pull were muscled aside by an industry playing to the bland taste of the casual mainstream,” said David Hinckley in a 2011 column for the New York Daily News. Although Elvis Presley had had modest success on the Sun label, “Heartbreak Hotel,” his first recording with RCA Victor in 1956, made him a star. Later that year, the Elvis phenomenon took off like a meteor when his double-sided hit — “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Hound Dog” — dominated the airwaves for weeks.

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As teenagers, we found rock ‘n’ roll as our rebellious outlet. Our parents branded this new music as “degenerate noise,” which made us play it all the louder to annoy them. Who could ever forget when “The Pelvis” first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show? He was not shown from the waist down, because his gyrating hips were “too obscene.” Ah, the good old days! Radio stations were pressured not to play Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Elvis Presley and other big stars of the era because critics said they promoted “sex and delinquency.” They targeted these talented performers for censorship or ridicule. Christian fundamentalists burned piles of rock ‘n’ roll records in an effort to rid society of this “devil-inspired evil.” There was grave concern, particularly in the South, that the music would promote a mixing of the races. Rock ‘n’ roll spoke to us and the growing-up experiences we were

‘It is inexplicable to me why I can’t remember where I put my keys five minutes ago, but I can remember my favorite songs from 57 years ago.’ having during the difficult teen years. When Paul Anka crooned “Lonely Boy,” girls may have wept for the chance to comfort him, but he spoke to my awkwardness in dealing with girls. When I was going steady, and my girl and I had a major fight, Dion and the Belmonts’ “Teenager in Love” made me feel as if someone understood the crushing pain I was feeling. Certain songs marked milestones in my life. My steady girl and I always waited for “our song,‘’ The Platters’ “That Magic Touch” when we went

parking under a bright August moon and listened to Cousin Brucie (Bruce Morrow) on WABC, radio 77 in New York. Then, there were my goofy moments, when I would walk around campus as a college sophomore singing, “Ooo eee, ooo ah ah, ting tang walla walla bing bang. Ooo ee, ooo ah ah, ting tang walla walla, bang bang.” (“The Witch Doctor” by David Seville (1958). My date and I jitterbugged frantically to “At the Hop” by Danny and the Juniors (1958), but when we snuggled outside her dorm hall for a good night kiss, she was more likely to respond to “All I Have to Do is Dream” by the Everly Brothers (1958). It is inexplicable to me why I can’t remember where I put my keys five minutes ago, but I can remember that one of my favorite songs from 57 years ago, “It Was I,” was sung by Skip and Flip, and was released on Brent Records, which had a red label with white lettering. Go figure! July / August 2016 - 55 PLUS




Hitting Their Stride Runners show what perseverance, dedication can do By Ernst Lamothe Jr.

C due.

olleen Magnussen just wanted to lose some weight and get healthier. Two goals that she believed were long over-

A few years ago, she decided following a couch-to-5K program would be the best way to achieve those goals. It was a surprising choice because she wasn’t much of a runner.

Colleen Magnussen blossomed from a newbie to claiming a title in the USA Track & Field Masters National Grand Prix Championships. Last year, she took second place in an individual 10K championship race. Magnuson, left, is pictured with a fellow runner. They both qualified for the Boston Marathon. 18

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“I wasn’t someone who just instantly fell in love with running,” said Magnussen, 56, of Geneseo. “But my job had changed where I went from being an engineer moving around all the time to moving up to a manager’s position and being tied to my computer writing reports. My son was a runner in high school and he just talked me into trying it.” Fifty-five-plus people continue to compete at a higher level in running throughout Upstate New York in various counties. To some, what these athletes are doing is simply amazing. After only three years, Magnussen blossomed from a newbie to claiming a title in the USA Track & Field Masters National Grand Prix Championships. Aside from improving dramatically in her speed at virtually every distance, her 50-59-year-old women's teams finished second in the National Grand Prix championships for three years in a row. Last year, she took second place in an individual 10K championship race. The journey was never easy. “I started actually walking for 10 to 15 minutes in the beginning and then I would run two to three minutes in a row,” said Magnussen. “It was

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Carolyn Smith-Hanna wanted to simply run a 5K in 2007, when she was 49. Now at 65, she is a key member of her 60-69-year-old team that has won multiple USATF National Championship team events including the past two years. very frustrating and harder than I thought because I couldn’t even run a mile without stopping all the time. But I decided not to get too frustrated and just build up to it. I smile when I look back at where I am now from where I came from.” So she slowly ran one mile without stopping, then a second and eventually she could run three miles and more without taking a break. The key was pacing and pushing through. “Whenever you try something new, it can be challenging. But I like to try new things and see what I can do,” said Magnussen. In addition to her running accolades as team captain, she motivates and organizes her team exceedingly well. She also is the race director for the Innovative Edge Sports Summer XC Series. Perspective also helped 20

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keep her looking ahead and behind in a good way. “You can look at things two ways. You can look ahead and see where you want to go in life and that keeps you motivated to forge on. But you can also look behind and see how far you have come from and appreciate that accomplishment as well,” added Magnussen.

Running addiction For Carolyn Smith-Hanna, 65, she also wanted to simply run a 5K in 2007. She started training in the Greater Rochester Track Club, and participated in an eight-week clinic that teaches runners of all levels. She accomplished that and was invited to train with the Genesee Valley Harriers for cross-country. The following year, Smith-Hanna ramped up her training and ran a mile close to six minutes at age 49. Soon

she started winning national races, taking second place in the 3,000 meters in the National Indoor Track and Field Championships. After breaking world records for her age group in the mile, she was hooked on running. “I love being outside, but not necessarily in the winter time,” said Smith-Hanna, of Pittsford. “Outside the obvious health benefits, I think it has kept my mind sharp and given me this wonderful sense of freedom.” Smith-Hanna continues to make podium finishes and is a key member of her 60-69 year old team that has won multiple USATF National Championship team events including the past two years. “As a former physical education teacher, I figured I might as well practice what I was preaching,” she said. “When I was young, there wasn’t Title IX and there wasn’t a lot of sports that I could get into. Running has just opened a door to social activity and just added another layer to my life. I am so grateful that I got into it because it really is special to me.” Many of these runners are part of the Genesee Valley Harriers Club, which was founded July 1, 1996. The organization is dedicated to the sport of running in general and particularly to the sports of cross-country, track and road racing. “We have so many tremendous runners who are at the top of their age group who are older than 55,” said Mike Reif, 67, Harriers Club founder and track coach. “We have people who are 70 years old who are competing in national events. We have people running anything from the mile to marathons. When younger people come to our club, they really see these men and women as role models of how you can keep in shape and keep running for years.” Magnussen encourages others to keep in shape for as long as they can. “I know I want to live a long life and be healthy. I know if I continue to do what I am doing then it will happen,” she said. “You see some seniors who don’t have the energy to do things because they haven’t been active in a long while. You want your quality of life to keep going as long as you do, so stay in shape so that you can ride that bike, climb that mountain or even regularly walk the dog without any problems.”

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Bruce Rychwalski running in the Crosswinds 5K in Canandaigua last Sept. 5. Since being diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy and having implantable cardioverter defibrillator implantation surgery in 2011, Rychwalski has competed in 190 5K road races: 18 in 2011, 32 in 2012, 51 in 2013, 50 in 2014 and 39 in 2015. And he is still running.

Wanted: Running Heroes Gates man reaches out to other runners with implanted medical devices By Kristina Gabalski


t age 66, there’s not much that stops Bruce Rychwalski from keeping on the move. The Gates resident is closing in on running his 200th race since having implantable cardioverter defibrillator surgery in 2011. The device helps Rychwalski to manage the genetic heart muscle disease from which he suffers. He is now working to reach out to others who face similar medical issues through the formation of “Rochester Running Heroes” — a group he envisions consisting of runners who, like himself, have had medical devices placed into their bodies — including pacemakers, insulin pumps, coronary or thoracic stents. Formation of the group was announced last autumn, but Rychwalski says so far, people have been slow to respond to his efforts. He’s now planning to promote the effort during this running season. “I’m going to try to re-ener-


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gize the project,” he said. “I think it would be a good idea to have a T-shirt printed up with ‘Rochester Running Heroes’ on the front and a picture on the back of a device such as a pacemaker. I could wear it to races and people could see what it is all about. “I may be the exception rather than the rule,” Bruce muses regarding his efforts to keep running and active despite his medical issues. He said there are more older runners now than there were just five or 10 years ago, although most do not have medical conditions like his. “Even with a slower pace, I still usually finish in the top-50 percent or third of all runners in the race,” Bruce says. “There are a handful of guys my age or older that I can’t beat, but there is nothing wrong with them.” For seniors who would like to consider running as a way to keep active and in shape, Rychwalski sug-

gests buying a decent pair of running shoes. He typically buys shoes for $40-$45 and advises to start slowly. “Anybody of any age can start by walking and then progress to a brisk walk, then jog, and then increase slowly to running,” he explains. Runners should also work to gradually increase mileage, working up to a 5K distance. Training programs are also widely available, Rychwalski adds. In addition to forming his running club, Rychwalski says he is hoping to volunteer at Unity Hospital as a mentor for others who are undergoing procedures to have pacemakers or defibrillators implanted. “People are frightened because they don’t know what to expect. This can help relieve their anxiety or make the decision to get an implant a lot easier,” he says. Rychwalski welcomes those interested in joining the running club to contact him at 585-328-1848 or email brucerychwalski@gmail.com.

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Chili residents Maggie and her husband Daryl Odhner have followed a meat-free diet for nearly 40 years.

Vociferously Vegan Couple benefits from 40 years of plant-based cuisine, culture By Nina Alvarez


t 57, Margaret “Maggie” Odhner takes no medication, has no allergies or headaches, and has never been hospitalized. She radiates good health and even better cheer. It’s the same for her husband Daryl, 62, who was able to get off medication for depression decades ago. They both credit their good health with a decision made separately nearly 40 years ago: to become vegetarians. They’ve invited me, a family friend and meat-eater-at-large, over for dinner. Two long candles are lighted and the table is spread with square slices of soft rice cheese, hand-ground pita, and a spicy and frankly addictive hummus. My hostess offers me a light cocktail and we toast while her husband is cleaning up for dinner. Then I stand by and snap photos of her preparing what she calls “tempeh reubens with my own twist.”


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“What’s the twist?” I ask. “I sauté the tempeh in onions and garlic first,” she said. Only short miles from open farmland and those long, lonely roads between towns like Scottsville, Wheatland and Churchville, the Odhner’s Chili home seems to glow with welcome. But it’s in the center of this home — the kitchen — where you’ll encounter the real heart of the family. Here three girls — Audrey, Amber and Rachel — now out of the house, were raised with vegetarian meals, homework, parties, and family discussions. Now, as empty nesters, Maggie and Daryl have maintained and even ungraded the warmth of the kitchen with long-awaited renovations, a new French Country-style wood kitchen table, and charming and useful touches like an artisanal glass water pitcher. And, as always, a copy of the nondenominational prayer book “A Grateful Heart” with-

in arm’s reach. The Odhner’s vegetarianism has always seemed to me a gastronomic endeavor. It involves discovering, tasting, researching, experiencing, and understanding food preparation and human nutrition as a whole. Over the years, they’ve reaped rewards in not just physical wellness, but in what they believe to be emotional and spiritual wellness as well. “It can all wrap into one philosophy of living,” says Maggie. “With your conscience you are protecting the earth. And now there’s even more information on why eating vegetarian is environmentally positive — less carbon footprint. You are using less packaging, less resources. This actually matters beyond the scope of my personal life.” Maggie, a nurse, made the leap to vegetarianism in the 1970s while a student at Onondaga Community College, around the time the pair

met, out of concern for those starving across the world. “People were documenting how many acreages of farmland were being used to feed livestock, and how that grain translates into feeding people — pasture land where food could be grown to feed people.” Daryl, an industrial hygienist at the New York State Department of Labor, became vegetarian while still a teen. An older friend in his Pennsylvania religious community who was raising his young family without meat was the first to sway him. “People talk about the lamb of God and then go and have lamb for dinner,” Daryl still remembers him saying. Clinically depressed, deeply compassionate, and searching for answers, trying out a radically different diet made sense. Maggie pulls her signature red hair into a bun, the same vibrant locks she passed on to all three of her daughters. These days, Maggie has about mastered the art of plant-based cuisine, but it took time. In the ‘80s, while raising three little girls, she relied on the Molly Katzen’s iconic “Moosewood Cookbook” with dishes like whole wheat Russian macaroni that, according to Maggie, “teach you that you can put these different foods together to make a delicious, exotic meal that leaves you not only satisfied, but empowered.” She keeps light conversation going while she handily places chunks of the tempeh on locally baked Flour City rye. To the untrained eye, tempeh looks like long blocks of brie but it is actually soybeans bound into a cake form. She smothers each piece with a generous helping of locally produced sauerkraut. “From Small World Bakery,” she explains. “We like to support local.” With a dash of homemade vegan Thousand Island dressing and a couple shakes of pepper, the pan disappears into the oven to bake. My hostess sits down with me and we toast while picking at the hors d’oeuvres while talking about her two new jobs. Both seem to balance on a similar leading edge: reducing chronic illness through preventive lifestyle changes. After decades as a head nurse practitioner at Strong Hospital in Rochester, she was the first to be hired under an umbrella called “transition care” as part of the

delivery system reform incentive program to reduce the number of hospital admissions by a full 25 percent.

Holistic approach Her other new role is with Rochester Lifestyle Medicine, a local clinic dedicated to reducing the burden of health care costs related to chronic disease. It focuses, among a handful of holistic methods, on helping people move toward a whole-food plant-based eating pattern. A wholefood, plant-based diet focuses on whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants and fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes. It minimizes meat, dairy products, and eggs, and highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil. The new health guidelines coming out from big medical societies like the American Dietetic Association

and American Heart Association for those with diabetes and cholesterol management problems are that lifestyle and dietary modifications are the first step. Maggie, in both her roles, will be helping people with diabetes and heart disease come off medications through lifestyle changes. She says, “A tsunami of information is coming about plant-based diet, disease and health.” She recommends picking up “Diet for a Small Planet,” and watching the documentary “PlantPure Nation,” which you can rent or buy online. Indeed, with books like “Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition,” and informational sites like Nutritionfacts.org run by New York Times bestselling author Michael Gregor, a lot is coming out about the complex effects of what we put in our bodies over the short- and long-term. Gregor teaches that a conver-

Maggie Odhner preparing a vegan dish known as tempeh reuben.

July / August 2016 - 55 PLUS


gence of evidence suggests an affordable plant-based diet can help prevent and even reverse some of the top killer diseases in the Western world and can be even more effective than medication and surgery. Maggie explains the importance of good health in your 50s. “You are in a pivotal point in your genetic evolution, because in your 50s your cells are more likely to have cancerous origins. But the research shows that if you live through your 50s and you don’t have cancer or another chronic disease, chances are you are going to make it through your 60s. If you make it through your 60s, your odds are better for living through your 70s and so-on.” And if you are already sick, Maggie suggests visiting Rochester Lifestyle Medicine, and trying a plant-based diet because, as she puts it, “You’ve got nothing to lose. And there are people there to help you learn how to do it.” Her husband offers do-it-yourself starter suggestions. You can buy whole and even pre-made vegetarian and vegan foods at Wegmans, Abundance CoOp, Lori’s Natural Foods, the Public Market, or anywhere you shop. You can join a community supported agriculture program. But he also recommends if you are buying a bunch of veggies to first procure a good cookbook. Cooking delicious recipes will make the transition a lot easier. Maggie suggests “The Compassionate Cook” and “Vegan Planet.” The tempeh reubens come out and are paired with a handsome side salad full of daikon, white turnip, carrots, and scallions. Before we eat, my hosts say a prayer: “This food is from the earth and sky, it is a gift of the entire universe and much hard work.” For the Odhners, mealtime is clearly about joy, ease, and communion. They live it up, eat, drink, and are merry. Maggie has an infectious laugh, almost a cackle, and is gregarious, grounded, and fun. Daryl, a trim and compact man with large, liquid eyes, is thoughtful, self-effacing, and deeply sincere. Amber, their middle daughter, co-owns Eat Me Ice Cream, a popular Rochester artisanal ice cream brand that offers new, inventive flavors every week, always with a veg26

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an option. Of her vegetarian upbringing, Ambers says, “I feel that being raised in a home where food is something you talk about was a positive influence. I was vegan for a long time, but I pulled away from putting words on how I choose to eat. Mostly I do eat vegetarian, but my boyfriend hunts, so I do eat venison and fish, but I try to be conscientious about it. Thinking about where food comes from is probably the most important thing.” This is good to hear for people like me who aren’t ready to give up meat but are ready to increase the fruits, vegetables, and whole foods they pile on their plates. Daryl and Maggie, though, are

The Odhners during a recent dinner at their home.

committed to their way of life. Twelve years ago, once the girls were all away in college and making their ways in the world, Daryl decided to go vegan, something he’d been contemplating since 1975. Two years later, Maggie followed, though it was harder for her. She loved to eat cheese and bake with eggs. “But the truth is, when I get right down to it, the more I know about the environmental and earth-impact of being a vegan, that’s where I really want to be. And I’ve proved it — I’m 57 years old and I’ve proved that I’m well. I’m not on any medications. I feel as though I have a pretty good wellness factor. So I’ll stick it out.”


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Reverse Mortgage. Should You Go For It? By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


hy should you consider a reverse mortgage? Officially known as the home equity conversion mortgage, the FHA-insured program allows people who qualify to receive monthly payments that draw from equity in their homes to use for ongoing or periodic expenses. For some people, this can offer many advantages. Local experts weighed in on the pros of reverse mortgage. Dave Walsh, principal at Homechex in Rochester, said that a reverse mortgage can "generate cash for whatever the homeowner may need with no repayment as long as they live in their home." He added that providing both the husband and wife take part in the transaction, the repayment isn't triggered if one goes to live in a nursing home. (If both leave permanent-

ly, the repayment must take place.) "It's one of the greater advantages of the program," Walsh said. "For people who want to stay in their home and want some cash, it's a terrific program." The federally-insured program works for snowbirds as well, as long as their reverse mortgage property remains their primary residence as represented by their driver's license and other indicators. If the couple decides to move, they can sell the house to pay off the reverse mortgage and keep any money above the loan amount. If they remain in the house until they die, their heirs can do the same. "Or, the heirs could keep the house if they get their own financing," Walsh said. "They can't assume the reverse mortgage." The homeowner must pay off any existing mortgage or home

equity loan as part of the reverse mortgage closing, which eliminates the monthly payment. Many people believe that a reverse mortgage endangers home ownership. However, Walsh said that's it's actually more likely with a standard mortgage or equity line of credit, as such loans require a monthly repayment. Some home owners fear that they could end up owing more than the value of the home if they continue to reside in it for an extended period of time. Walsh said that the FHA guarantees that the required repayment will never exceed the value of the home, therefore the owners or the heirs will never "have a bill at the end," Walsh said. Any remaining equity after the loan is repaid belongs to the home's owners or their heirs. "It's probably the one mortJuly / August 2016 - 55 PLUS


gage product that the FHA has done a good job of fixing with all the new rules and regulations they've put in," said Tom Cali, vice president / general manager of Web Title Agency in Rochester. "They make sure the seniors can afford the reverse mortgage." Although seniors receive monthly installment payments, they must still pay taxes and insurance on their home. Until recent years, companies approved reverse mortgages without screening applicants carefully and some did not realize that they were still responsible for the taxes and insurance, as well as home maintenance. "Now they have caps as to what people can take out," Cali said. People who are 62, the youngest qualifying age for a reverse mortgage, may take out only half the value of their home and receive it in monthly installments. Someone who's 82 may receive close to two-thirds to three-quarters of the home's value. "I think it's something that should be part of everyone's retire-

“I think [reverse mortgage] is something that should be part of everyone’s retirement portfolio� Tom Cali, vice president / general manager of Web Title Agency in Rochester. ment portfolio," Cali said. "It's one thing you have available to you. Though home values seem to not appreciate much, but we don't have bad depreciation, either. You can rely on it, especially if you take it as a line of credit. You can take it as you need it and enjoy your senior years." Before approval, applicants must go through third-party counseling to ensure they understand the terms of the program. Andrea Colline, education and outreach coordinator for Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Rochester, said that some people use a reverse mortgage to pay for amenities to make their homes more functional and comfortable as

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they age. Using it for home maintenance and improvements "will make it easier to sell," Colline said. "It's not that a reverse mortgage is a good thing or bad thing but does it fit the individual?" she added. People who don't fit the ideal profile include those who are not dedicated to remaining in that home. Since there's fee involved with obtaining a reverse mortgage, it's not a short-term solution for obtaining money. "We review their finances and make sure it's a sustainable situation," Walsh said. "We don't want to just give them money for the next six months. We want to make sure they can meet their obligations and pay the taxes and insurance." People who want their children to have their home as a legacy should not consider a reverse mortgage since for most heirs, the only way to keep the home in the family is to pay back the loan after the parents have passed away. "Ninety percent of the time, the kids say, 'We want you to be comfortable; use the money if you need it,'" Walsh said.


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Soothing Soul Rev. Mary Ramerman emphasizes the power of spirituality By Deborah Blackwell

"Rev. Mary is a role model for many women. She is a dynamic leader who has crashed the glass ceiling of the church, and has done so with the dignity, confidence and the peace of someone who knows she is doing the right thing. Her gentleness and calm belies her strength." — Barb Adams, Penfield


hen leaders change the heart of a community, sometimes it’s those out of the limelight who make the difference. Rev. Mary Ramerman is that guiding light, whose dedication to humanity reaches beyond her congregation at Spiritus Christi Church in Rochester. For nearly 40 years, Ramerman’s work in ministry has touched the lives of many people from coast-to-coast and even outside


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of the United States. From her first experience running a Catholic summer camp in her native California at age 20, and running a youth ministry there, Ramerman’s calling came early and never wavered. Her dedication to the ministry grew as she pursued her ecumenical roles in two prominent churches in Rochester, and through mission outreaches in Mexico and Haiti. “I knew from the age of 7 that I wanted to be a minister, and got involved in the Catholic Church at 25,” said Ramerman. “The long history of the Catholic Church going back for centuries was very interesting to me. I like the earthiness, the rituals, I like the sense aspect, incense, candles, statues, banners; the sensuality spoke to my spirit.” Now at age 60, Ramerman’s experience defines the leadership she has exemplified since forming Spiritus Christi Church in 1999 with the Rev. James Callan. Callan, formerly an administrator at the now closed Corpus Christi Church in

Rochester, encouraged Ramerman to move from California to Rochester to be part of the Corpus Christi parish in 1983. But after controversy relating to the long-held issues of women’s roles in the church, Callan and Ramerman left Corpus Christi to form Spiritus Christi Church. Although it’s exceedingly rare to have a woman in a pastoral role in the Catholic Church, Ramerman was ordained in 2001, serving as pastor of the highly regarded church for nearly 20 years, along with Callan as associate pastor. According to “Moment,” a secular journal, Spiritus Christi has the largest non-Roman Catholic congregation in the country, with a diverse congregation of 1,500 members. “The community wanted a church where women can be priests,” said Ramerman. “Women leaders are not always allowed on the altar, and that’s a direct contradiction of what our message is at the church. The church’s job is to help women discover that the goodness comes

Rev. Mary Ramerman photographed on May 5 at Highland Park Conservatory. She picked the spot saying that’s one of her favorite places in Rochester. July / August 2016 - 55 PLUS


Rev. Ramerman (center) and Father Jim Callan (right) baptize a baby at Spiritus Christi church in Rochester.

from within. My job as a pastor is to help people discover that.” Ramerman takes her role representing the Catholic Church as a woman pastor seriously, attending conferences around the country encouraging women to step forward in their heartfelt purpose. “I think the church does influence society. Women need to be valued in the church. We are all sons and daughters of God, created in the same image,” said Ramerman. “In our society women can become very dependent on what they get externally, what their boss or husband or father says. You go up and down depending on what you are getting. It’s important that the church have both men and women visible.” Spiritus Christi clearly exemplifies that value through its ministry offerings and outreach programs. The full-service church offers religious education, weddings, funerals, inclusive communion, and officiates gay and lesbian weddings. The outreach programs Ramerman oversees serve numerous 32

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people throughout the greater Rochester area. Operated by both paid staff and volunteers, some of the various ministries include home assistance resources, social worker resources, youth reading assistance, refugee language assistance, a social justice outreach, a prison ministry, a recovery house, and a mental health outreach. The Nielsen House for men and the Jennifer House for women, both in Rochester, were established to provide a safe and welcoming home environment for those coming out of jail, in-patient facilities, or the homeless. Each with 12 beds, guests can stay there for several months as they re-establish themselves in the community. The Grace of God Recovery House in Rochester was formed as a safe house for men recovering from alcohol and drug addiction. The houses are well staffed, offering a stable structure for guests. Spiritus Christi Mental Health Center offers mental health services to those who cannot afford care, staffed by three employees and over

25 volunteers including therapists, psychiatrists, advocates, and lawyers. Ramerman is instrumental in the success of these programs. “Like a mother of a large family, Mary pays attention to how everyone is treated, especially those most likely to be forgotten or excluded. Her love for God and her dedication to the poor are her guiding lights,” said Callan.

Global outreach Ramerman also holds the missions in both Haiti and Mexico close to her heart. Haiti Outreach Pwoje Espwa has helped improve water and sanitation, built a grain mill and even a hospital there. The Chiapas Mission provides a hand of humanity to this struggling and economically challenged region, and held a Chiapas pilgrimage earlier this year. The outreach programs and missions operate with funds received through fundraising and grants that Ramerman and her staff work to obtain.

“It’s the passion of the people and grace of God that the programs run year after year. The prison ministry has been running 38 years, and the recovery house 17 years,” said Ramerman. There is no typical day in her role as pastor of Spiritus Christi, according to Ramerman, who said she is extremely grateful for the tireless efforts of Callan, who also works hard to keep the church running smoothly. They not only officiate daily Mass, but they do daily pastoral visits to area hospitals, counsel those in need, coordinate staff members’ duties and projects, and Ramerman even leads weekly hikes. “We have some great outdoorsy people in the church. I love leading hikes during the summer and enjoy spending time with parishioners to hear their stories. It’s fascinating,” said Ramerman. Her favorite place to pray is near the water, a lake, ocean, or stream, and she loves to canoe. She enjoys nature both by herself, with her husband, grown children, especially her grandson, and of course members of the church. She and Callan even hold Mass in the park eight times a

Rev. Ramerman and her husband Jim Ramerman. He describes their 40 year marriage as a journey where she has grown as a leader, showing inner strength, maturity and deep spirituality as a wonderful mother, outstanding pastor and life-long partner. They live in Irondequoit.

Rev. Ramerman joins a group in baking bread at a Spiritus retreat. Spiritus Christi’s pastor Rev. Mary Ramerman (right) is a leader in the church along with Father Jim Callan who together create a diverse and flourishing church community. year. “My love of nature helps me find my spiritual center,” said Ramerman. “The environment is really near and dear to my heart.” In addition to the church’s extensive services and programs, Ramerman recently started a project called Green Spot. Once each week at the end of each mass, she delivers a short announcement about what people can easily do in their daily lives to help the environment. Since its inception, many parishioners have joined environmental committees in their towns and work places, according to Ramerman. “Everybody is for the environment, but a lot of people don’t really know what that means. They wonder, ‘What in particular am I supposed to do to help the earth?’” said Ramerman. “Controlling the climate seems like such a big thing, so we have tried to break that down into tangible things we can do, and educate ourselves on how we can make a difference.” The Green Spot recently focused on micro-beads, tiny pieces of toxic plastic found in teeth whiteners and facial scrubs, now banned by the federal government. Another project focused on plastic bags and bringing awareness to their impact on the planet. “Even at a young age, Mary was a leader, and was a person of integrity

and thoughtful values that she would stand up for,” said Jim Ramerman, her husband of 40 years. “A friend and a blessing to me and to so many, I could share many examples and stories about how she has changed the people and the world around her for the better.” Ramerman says her passion and commitment stem from a responsibility she feels to bring awareness to a broad audience, not just about the environment, but about finding their spiritual center. Opportunity, growth and reflection are valuable components of that center, she noted. She said age has something to do with it, but it’s about knowledge, confidence and enthusiasm, and not worry about failing or somebody not liking you. “I think we live in a very exciting time, a time where especially those in my age group and older can really make a difference,” said Ramerman. “Our role is to mentor and encourage these younger people that are coming along and to put our time and energy into healing the earth and healing relationships that are causing so much stress in the world. I think we have the vision, the talent and the ability to do that at this age and who we are at this time in the universe. We are all a very important piece of it.” For more information Spiritus Christi Church, visit spirituschristi. org. July / August 2016 - 55 PLUS


55+ paperwork What to Keep, What to Toss By Jim Miller


his is a great time of the year to get rid of unnecessary or outdated paperwork and to organize your records in preparation for filing your tax return in the spring. Here’s a checklist of what to keep and what to toss out, along with some tips to help you reduce your future paper accumulation.

Toss Out • ATM receipts and bank-deposit slips as soon as you match them up with your monthly statement. • Credit card receipts after you get your statement, unless you might return the item or need proof of purchase for a warranty. • Credit card statements that do not have a taxrelated expense on them. • Utility bills when the following month’s bill arrives showing that your prior payment was received. If you wish to track utility usage over time, you may want to keep them for a year, or if you deduct a home office on your taxes keep them for seven years. To avoid identity theft, be sure you shred anything you throw away that contains your personal information. It’s best to use a crosscut shredder rather than a strip one, which leaves long paper bands that could be reassembled.

Keep One Year • Paycheck stubs until you get your W-2 in 34

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January to check its accuracy. • Bank statements (savings and checking account) to confirm your 1099s. • Brokerage, 401(k), IRA and other investment statements until you get your annual summary (keep longer for tax purposes if they show a gain or loss). • Receipts for health care bills in case you qualify for a medical deduction.

Keep Seven Years Supporting documents for your taxes, including W-2s, 1099s, and receipts or canceled checks that substantiate deductions. The IRS usually has up to three years after you file to audit you but may look back up to six years if it suspects you substantially underreported income or committed fraud.

Keep Indefinitely • Tax returns with proof of filing and payment. You should keep these for at least seven years, but many experts recommend you keep them forever because they provide a record of your financial history. • IRS forms that you filed when making nondeductible contributions to a traditional IRA or a Roth conversion. • Receipts for capital improvements that you’ve made to your home until seven years after you sell the house. • Retirement and brokerage account annual statements as long as you hold those investments. • Defined-benefit pension plan documents. • Savings bonds until redeemed. • Loan documents until the loan is paid off. • Vehicle titles and registration information as long as you own the car, boat, truck, or other vehicle. • Insurance policies as long as you have them. • Warranties or receipts for big-ticket purchases for as long as you own the item, to support warranty and insurance claims.

Keep Forever Personal and family records like birth certificates, marriage license, divorce papers, Social Security cards, military discharge papers and estate-planning documents (power of attorney, will, trust and advanced directive). Keep these in a fireproof safe or safe-deposit box.

Reduce Your Paper To reduce your paper clutter, consider digitizing your documents by scanning them and converting them into PDF files so you can store them on your computer and back them up onto a USB flash drive or external hard drive like icloud.com or carbonite.com. Your can also reduce your future paper load by switching to electronic statements and records whenever possible.

Selling Your Business and Maintaining Control of Your Company By Lian Gravelle, Esq.


hen considering retirement, a new venture or simply a diversification of assets, business owners find themselves faced with the prospect of selling their business. It’s possible to sell your business to a third-party and walk away into the greener pastures of retirement on the same day. But others refrain from selling even a portion of their company because they are not ready to quit. An employee stock ownership plan (“ESOP”) provides owners with a competitive buyer and allows them to decide their level of involvement in the company after the sale. An ESOP-owned company may be structured to allow a business owner to sell all of his shares and continue to run the company on daily basis. Instead of dismantling the company, the owner transitions the day-to-day operations of the company to his chosen management team and continues to groom them overtime. Selling shareholders can maintain their seat on the board of directors after a sale. ESOP-owned companies often retain the services of an active owner through a multiyear employment agreement in order to maintain the profitability and stability of the company after the sale. ESOPs give the business owner a diversified investment portfolio and the opportunity to continue her involvement to ensure the success of the company. An ESOP may be one of a few mechanisms available to transition ownership of your company and allow you to relinquish control slowly over time. It may not be the right move for you, but you should consider a sale to an ESOP in any succession plan.

Lian Gravelle, Esq., is an ESOP compliance counsel who works at ESOP Plus®: Schatz Brown Glassman LLP in Rochester. Visit www.esopplus.com or email lgravelle@esopplus.com. July / August 2016 - 55 PLUS




Curtis Donalies, president of Dan’s Crafts and Things in Rochester. He said many 55-plus people buy drones to look over their properties.

Boomers’s New Trendy Toy: Drones By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


ommonly known as “drones,” unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have become popular among baby boomers for both work and play. Now that they have the time to engage in more hobbies as retirees, those interested in radio-controlled aircraft can learn all about piloting a UAV. Though all ages enjoy UAVs, they offer 55-plus people some highly desirable benefits. Curtis Donalies, president of Dan’s Crafts and Things in Rochester, said that many 55-plus people buy UAVs to look over their property, survey their deer hunting acres, and examine their home’s rain gutters, 36

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among their many practical uses. “It takes time and energy to walk the acres,” Donalies said. “And for the rain gutters, now they don’t have to go up on a ladder.” UAVs are becoming popular for business owners as well. Farmers, for example, use them for all sorts of reasons. Elson Shields, Cornell University enteomologist who has flown drones since 1996, said UAVs can help farmers plan field drainage, monitor crops, identify plant stress, and time their harvest, as well as keep an eye on livestock, all without taking a step. For beginners, Donalies recommends a small, light craft, which has

spare parts available locally. “It helps you develop the eye hand coordination for basic maneuvers,” he said. For example, when you fly the craft back to where you’re standing, you must remember that the left and right movement of the controls refers the craft’s left and right, not yours. Going small doesn’t mean you must select a featureless model. “There are plenty of small UAVs that have the ability to have a camera onboard that you don’t have to register with the FAA to pilot,” he said. UAVs lighter than 250 grams do not require registration. For those 250

grams and over, the registration is $5 for three years. Newer, four-propeller helicopters are “easier to fly, but the prices are higher,” Donalies said. He doesn’t see the technology as a barrier to anyone interested in flying. “It doesn’t matter if you’re older, you can be on the cutting edge, especially if you are familiar with computers and smartphones.” Read all instructions first and practice take-off and landing several times while in a wide open area. Don’t try any abrupt movements until you become accustomed to the controls. Turn the throttle down if you think you’ll crash because the craft will suffer less damage if the propellers aren’t turning upon impact with the ground. Don’t fly a UAV near pets. Although UAVs look like toys, keep children away and never go near an operating UAV unless you are absolutely certain the propellers cannot engage, since their high speed can cause serious injuries.

Consider buying from an American source, since the instructions in an imported model may be difficult to understand or abrupt.

Where Can You Fly? Most people flying UAVs are considered hobbyists. Recreational pilots don’t use their UAVs for hire or to benefit another person’s business for free. No one may fly a UAV in any restricted zone such as over the White House, above 400 feet and within three miles of airports. If your UAV should damage someone else’s property, you are responsible for the expenses. Additional local ordinances may apply. Check with your municipality. To learn more about the changes in UAV laws, Elson Shields, Cornell University enteomologist who has piloted drones for a long time, advises pilots to join the Academy of Model Aeronautics (www.modelaircraft. org). The organization also offers reasonably priced liability and injury insurance as part of the membership.

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She Has it Covered

Artist, retired teacher masters the art of murals By Mike Costanza


ollie Wolf may never slow down. “I work in a lot of different media, and I’ve even been busier since I retired,” says the 74-year-old artist and retired art teacher. Wolf’s Rochester home reflects that energy in a cornucopia of color and shapes. Paintings, fabric works and other creations line the walls of her living room, perch on tables and chairs or sit on the floor. Even the ceiling bears her touch — a panel depicts a dramatic beach scene. “I like to paint on the walls and stuff just for fun,” she said. Wolf also gives local children and youth the benefits of her skills and experiences through teaching art courses for local nonprofits, including 38

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Young Audiences of Rochester, NY. YA gives local kids the chance to experience and make art. “She is pretty eclectic in nature,” says YA CEO Lydia Boddi-Rice. “She’s done everything, from using her textiles and love of textures, to the fine arts and painting, to jewelry making.” Art lovers need not knock on Wolf’s door in order to view her creations — she has shown her works in galleries and other venues around the Rochester area and even given a one-woman show in New York City. You don’t even need to step out of your car to view some of her works — the artist has covered nine traffic control boxes around Rochester with four-sided murals. The large, gray boxes operate nearby traffic lights

and street crossing signs. Wolf painted her first control box mural about 14 years ago, when she decided to give a box at the intersection of Blossom and North Winton roads a makeover. A local group, the North Winton Village Association, had just planted flowers, bushes and other growing things on the ground around the device, and Wolf found the sight of the box amidst the attractive greenery unacceptable. “Here was this big, ugly traffic box,” Wolf said. “I decided it would be good to camouflage it, and make it look like the bush behind it.” Brush in hand, Wolf voluntarily set out to give the box the beauty of an outdoor planter. “I painted most of the bottom brick,” she says. “Then, I put plants on

the top of it — plants, and sometimes, birds.” The North Winton Village Association then commissioned her to paint five more boxes in the area in like manner. Part of the fun for Wolf was being out on the street. “One of the things I like about it is interacting with people who are walking by,” she says. “It’s sort of an extension of my teaching career, and it brings the art out of the gallery.” Since then, Wolf has given control boxes in other parts of the city her special touch — including one in the Neighborhood of the Arts, one of the city’s cultural hubs.

Putting color in neighborhoods As part of ARTWalk, the University Avenue public art project, Wolf worked closely with local students on a project to beautify the device at the intersection of University Avenue and North Goodman Street. The Neighborhood of the Arts Neighborhood Association and the Neighborhood of the Arts Business Association sponsored the project, and YA provided the students. “The designs were created by students,” says Paulette Davis, who coordinated the project for YA and

is a friend of Wolf’s. “She took those and made a cohesive design out of the various elements that students drew.” Every day, huge numbers of drivers and pedestrians view the finished product, which presents images of the nearby Memorial Art Gallery, Centennial Sculpture Park and other culturally significant elements of the neighborhood. Wolf also painted two control boxes on West Main Street, in a part of the city that is home to the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House. The one at the Canal Street intersection bears likenesses of the pioneer crusader for women’s suffrage and of Frederick Douglas. “When I drove through the neighborhood, you didn’t know you were in the Susan B. Anthony area,” Wolf said. “That’s why I started painting images of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick [Douglas], pioneers of equal rights, so that it would advertise the neighborhood.” Portraits of Anthony — one fullsized — grace Wolf’s home, along with those of the late poet Maya Angelou, Douglas and Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-Perinton). “When I’m working on these, I sort of get into my admiration of these people,” she says.

The Slaughter portrait is one of two — Wolf gave the other to the congresswoman. “She said she was going to hang it in her congressional office,” Wolf says. Wolf has never limited herself to painting portraits and control boxes. Her murals enliven the walls of at least two local nonprofits, and other works are in private collections around the area. She also creates pieces of art from felt and other fabrics, makes jewelry, and gives local kids the benefit of her skills as an artist and teacher. “Mollie is a wonderfully sensitive and vivacious person,” Boddie-Rice says. “She has the ability to really cross generations and use her love of art and her love for people of all ages to really execute a project.” Wolf began to develop an interest in the arts while growing up in San Antonio, Texas. “My mother and my aunt were artists,” she explains. “My aunt painted murals all over the house.” After marrying, she moved around with her former husband and family — he was a newscaster — before settling in Rochester in 1969. She has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art education from Nazareth College. Wolf is considering doing fabric design in the coming years, and wants to focus more upon creating jewelry. She makes her necklaces and other works of found objects — plumbing supplies, nuts and bolts, springs and the like — in a style called “steampunk.” “It’s from the era of the steam engine and the industrial area, but it also has the punk element,” the grandmother of two explains. “Blue hair and nose rings.” July / August 2016 - 55 PLUS



second act

Another World Bed and Breakfast in Naples offers more than a charming Americana feel. The home, built in 2010, incorporates all green technology where guests experience the comfort of environmentally friendly features, from a geothermal heating and cooling system all the way down to the carpet fibers made from corn products. The one-of-a-kind inn is ranked top in the country for eco-friendliness.

A Green B&B in Naples Environmentalist with national prominence finds niche in Naples By Deborah Blackwell


ynda Draper Nezelek’s life was an ordinary one, until a refrigerator repairman came to her home and released chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) out into the air. That day changed her life, and set her on a path that not only helped the nation but helped her build Another World Bed & Breakfast in Naples, one of the most eco-friendly inns in the country, according to BBOnline.com. “I am passionate about creating a healthy environment not just for the inn, but for generations yet to come,” said Nezelek. “I want to make sure we leave the planet at least as good as we found it by doing the right thing.” Nezelek’s expertise in environmental affairs came after a steady career in advertising and marketing in both the public and private sectors. Although she lived in various cities throughout the country, it was her home in Endicott, Md., when the repair of her refrigerator opened her eyes. The standard practice at that time of


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releasing CFCs into the air outraged her, and it set her on a path to help change that practice. She reached out to environmental groups who put her in contact with Al Gore, just as CFCs were coming to the forefront of consumer and governmental concern in the 1980s. Thus began her work with a process that eventually changed the way major corporations manage CFC solvents and coolants in their products. “I have always been interested in energy efficiency, and years ago I got involved in a lot of environmental issues,” said Nezelek. “When I learned that chlorofluorocarbons went up into the atmosphere and destroyed the ozone, I stepped outside of my comfort zone to speak up about it. I even did a press conference with the national press corps.” Her all-volunteer role in energy efficiency and environmental issues landed her in front of Congress as well as on Good Morning America with Al Gore, and she is noted in his book, “Earth in the Balance:

Lynda Draper Nezelek believes in a healthy environment so much that she dedicated her life to protecting it both through her work as an environmental spokesperson and then by building a bed and breakfast in Naples that is considered to be top in the country for being environmentally green.

Forging a New Common Purpose.” As a result of that publicity, CFCs were phased out through the country, according to Nezelek. “They actually capture CFCs now,” said Nezelek. “I’m a lifelong learner, and that work helped me see the importance of this from all sides. It then translated to my house, the B&B.” Nezelek wanted to build an inn that provided a home-awayfrom home atmosphere backed by a state-of-the art green design, using only sustainable building materials and cutting-edge green technologies both inside and out. In 2010 that dream came to life. From her expertise working in environmental affairs to Another World reaching five-star excellence in travel reviews, the inn is in a class of its own, offering exceptional eco-friendly comfort that crosses the line from the seen to the unseen. “What makes Another World so unusual is its appeal to bed and breakfast guests who are looking for ultra-comfort, but they get so much more,” said Bob Nezelek, Lynda’s husband. Some of the many standard eco-friendly features of the inn include R41 insulation, Anderson 400 windows, low-volume flush toilets and shower-heads, and of course the compact fluorescent and LED lighting. But what makes the home stand apart is its horizontal closedloop geothermal heating system that uses a non-toxic sugar-based antifreeze, which pulls heat out of the ground in the winter and puts it in the house, and in the summer it takes heat out of the house and dumps it into the ground. This system utilizes nature to provide a consistently comfortable temperature throughout the house year-round. Efficiency-increasing hot-water holding tanks connected to the geothermal system put already-hot water into the heat-pump water heaters, which use 60 percent less energy than conventional water heaters. Other features include special bathroom and kitchen ventilation controlling the interior moisture load. The home has engineered wood joists that do not require cutting of old-growth timber. Nezelek even has eco-friendly carpet, which uses a renewable-

Bob Nezelek and his wife Lynda on the porch of their Another World Bed and Breakfast in Naples.

sourced fiber made from corn sugar. But that isn’t even the half of it. Nezelek’s detergents and cleaning products are all 100 percent naturally derived, along with the bath and body products offered at the inn. Formulated with extracts such as honey, chamomile, and lemongrass, there are no parabens, phthalates, artificial or petroleumbased ingredients. From linens to landscaping, to the rotating, rack-mounted solar panel system currently in the works to become the inn’s sole source of electricity, the green initiatives are abundant. “It looks like a traditional house, but it’s really, really green,” said Nezelek. “This is my dream house. I made it personal, for me and for the guests.” Nezelek chose everything for the house down to the tiniest details, from knobs to floors to the shine of the eco-friendly paint. She used paint chips to match her fabrics and her wallpapers, and even her artwork and dishes. Every room is

If You Go…. Another World Bed and Breakfast 8404 French Hill Road, Naples



unique, and of course everything used is environmentally sustainable, including the food served at the inn. “The B&B is a one-of-a-kind, green, custom country property that is just marvelous to live in and to operate as a B&B,” said Bob. “It attracts guests from all over the world.” Situated on several acres of rolling hillsides, the 4,800-squarefoot inn is a cross between a southern country Cape and a New England center-hall colonial. There are four guest rooms accommodating eight guests. “I tried to make it so it reflects history, and make it homey, so people feel comfortable,” said Nezelek. “A lot of people when they come in ask me if the house is restored. It looks old, historical, it doesn’t look new.” Decorated in a traditional, early Americana style, the inn is filled with antiques, custom furniture and elegant reproductions that fit in perfectly with the overall charm of the Finger Lakes. It was that charm that drew her to the area to build her special house and inn. Nezelek says she hopes to continue to spread the importance of environmental safety beyond the local community. “I’m quite focused on protecting our environment while living comfortably. I guess you could say I’m high energy and I’m also energy efficient,” said Nezelek. “The house is an amazing place, but taking care of the planet is a team effort.” July / August 2016 - 55 PLUS


addyman’s corner By John Addyman

In Search of Mercury Losing weight: All it takes is a taste of the gym to get a stiff dose of reality


K, let’s get right to it. I’m fat. The 29-inch waist I had when I was a teacher is long gone. I have three-quarters of a closet full of pants I can no longer get into. A desk job hasn’t helped. Two umbilical hernia repairs haven’t helped. Doses of Mrs. Freshley’s carrot cake haven’t helped. The NFL Game Day Package hasn’t helped. I tried diets. The Atkins Plan helped me drop 30 pounds, but that took a year, and I got it all back and then some. The South Beach Diet? Loved it, but the pounds came back. But I have hope. I have joined a gym. When we lived in the Albany area, I worked for a company where just about everyone was a


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runner. So, I took up running — serious running. I got up to six miles a day and I looked like a Roman god — Mercury. I even had a pair of running shoes with little wings on them. Today, I still look like a Roman god, but this time it’s Bacchus, the god of food, wine and merriment. So I resolved to do something about it all the merriment. The gym beckoned, and I showed up for the introductory talking-to. “What are your goals?” the manager asked. “Mercury,” I told him. “I beg your pardon?” he asked. After a bit of explanation the manager understood that I wanted to be sleek and

svelte again. “I want to have a sixpack,” I told

him. “Right now I have a one-pack.” He showed me how to use some of the equipment so I could get a healthy start. But he had other things to do and left me to me own devices pretty quickly. At this stage in my life, standing in a room full of machines that look like they could have been put to good use in the Spanish Inquisition, was a little daunting. But I dived in. First, there was the treadmill. “Does anybody ever get shot off the back of one of these things?” I asked the man next to me. He was about my age and looked like he knew what he was doing. “It’s been at least a couple of weeks since I saw somebody fall off and get mangled,” he said. My jaw dropped and my blood pressure tanked. “Just kidding,” he said. “I think it’s been a year, and come to think of it, we haven’t seen that guy since.” I decided to try an elliptical machine instead. I felt like I was stepping over toads in a creek on that thing. I was told it was a machine good for my old knees because it had less impact on them. I wasn’t told that the thing would make me woozy, which it did. Back to the treadmill, and a rowing machine, and I had a good day. Weeks passed. I developed a little muscle. I found myself running up stairs occasionally. And I got brave and tried more and more machines. I saw a TV show on developing muscles for your golf swing, and the next time I went to the gym, I tried that machine and sure enough, I started whaling the golf ball. I couldn’t hit it any

straighter, but it was certainly going farther.

All about timing Going to the gym when you’re of a certain age takes timing. I’m not talking about making sure the morning prune juice has cleared a path before you venture out, I’m talking about who you’re in the gym with. If you go very early in the morning, for instance, the gym is filled with young guys and gals who are getting in a little exercise before jumping into their Audis and Volvos and BMWs and heading out for a day of crushing the competition. I didn’t look like anybody in the gym at that time of day, and the same goes for late in the afternoon into the evening. No, you have to get in there about mid-morning. Then, just about everybody in the gym looks like me — a bit more mature. This is good for your self-image and you don’t have to spend so much time sucking in your gut. At 10 a.m., there are a lot of guts that sag just like mine, many gentlemen of my era who have “furniture disease” — their chests have fallen into their drawers. There’s a certain friendly camaraderie in the gym when everyone in it is a pensioner or close to it. I sat down on an ab-crusher machine one morning. A woman who might have been a bit older than I was next to me and she looked like a pretty honest and responsible person with a good heart, so I apologized in advance. “I’m going to groan and make noises when I use this machine,” I told her. “That’s OK,” she said. “I’ll turn my hearing aids off.” One of the things they don’t discuss with you at the gym is pain. Instead, they say things like, “take it easy” and “don’t press your limits” and “listen to your body.” They don’t say, for instance, “Tomorrow you’re going to hurt like hell” or “Make sure you sleep on the side of the bed so your wife can more easily help you out of it the next day” or “When you came here, you didn’t

have muscles that could be sprained and strained and hurt — now you do!” or “You think it hurts today? Wait a couple of days more.” The first time I pressed my limits, I also listened to my body, which at that point was screaming and crying “Uncle!” Oh yes, sports fans, it is easy to sort of get in the swing of going to the gym and one day watching someone who is in a lot better shape do something, and you say to yourself, ‘I’ve been coming to the gym for three weeks now — I can do that!”

And you surprise yourself and do it. Success! The next day: reality! You hurt in places you didn’t know you had. Ibuprofen helps, and heat and cold help. Adult amber beverages help. Staying away from the gym for a day or two helps. Sweet words from your spouse are nice, but they don’t help. “Take some ibuprofen before you go to the gym today,” my wife warns me. “I don’t want to help you out of bed again tomorrow.” And I still haven’t lost any weight.

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Veterans’ BeneďŹ ts: Are You Missing Out? From burial benefits to long-term hospice and home care, veterans can count on a wide array of services (but many are not are aware of them) By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant


f you're a veteran of the armed forces, you may be eligible for benefits of which you're not aware. They range from hospice services to home care. According to Lisa Wild, veteran service center manager with Canandaigua VA Medical Center, some veterans don't know about some of the benefits available to them, such as health care benefits at the Veterans Affair hospital. "Many think they have to have served during a time of combat 44

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or have a service-related injury to receive health benefits," Wild said. "It can be non-service related [health needs]. But there are some income requirements that can determine what they're eligible for and what they would have co-pays for." The VA offers a full range of outpatient care, prescriptions, referrals to internal and external specialists, longterm hospice care, respite program for caregivers and home care, among other health related benefits. Many veterans also may not

realize that VA health care, while not insurance, satisfies the Affordable Care Act mandate to maintain health insurance. If they decide to also enroll in a health insurance program, that does not affect their VA benefits. The VA also offers some burial benefits to surviving family members. For qualifying veterans, "death benefit could apply whether they're buried at a national or private cemetery," Wild said. She urges veterans to look into their benefits long before they

Lisa Wild

Jim Terwilliger: How to Plan for a Successful Retirement

Learn More About Social Security’s ‘Viagra Benefit’ for Kids

External Drive, Cloud: What’s the Best Way to Store Photos?

Highland Geriatrician: 10 Tips to Live a Longer, Healthier Life




Thousands in Upstate getting ready to head to warmer places. We interview one of them

Key Financial Resolutions for 2016. Four Experts Weigh In

Square Dancing Anyone? More Baby Boomers Joining the Party

Mary Therese Friel, a beauty queen and business woman, is Flower City’s model of success


John Parkhurst, the leader at Rochester Broadway Theatre League, has been a powerful force behind the arts and entertainment in Rochester. He talks about his love for music, career and the lineup for the new season at the Auditorium

WXXI CEO Norm Silverstein has shaped public broadcasting in the Rochester region for two decades. He talks about career, challenges

Forget eBay. Ontario resident is making a bundle on Etsy

John Addyman: Key To Marital Bliss? Not What You Think…

Need Help from the IRS? Good Luck



Scotch Whisky : Two Aficionados Talk About Their Passion


Why you need to share financial information with your family. Experts weigh in


Issue 35 September / October 2015

Talented executive chefs, some trained internationally, are cooking at local independent living facilities


45 and counting... Number of kids for whom Judy and Wayne Holly have provided foster care

John Addyman: ‘My Grandchildren Are Ruining My Sex Life’

Issue 38 March / April 2016

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

Good Food

Don StevenS The ‘Voice of the Rochester Americans’ has been promoting hockey for three decades



Savvy Senior: Paying Income Tax on Social Security Benefits


Issue 37 January / February 2016

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

Meet all three candidates who want to succeed Maggie Brooks

Writer: ‘Oh No, I Just Turned 65!’

55 55

Jim Terwilliger: Congress Closes Social Security ‘Loopholes’ The Family Meeting


In her element as leader of Rochester Area Community Foundation, her goal is to make the region a better place

Miss USA 1979

Christmas on a Budget: Don’t Break the Bank

Behind the Scenes


For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

See You in the Spring

Where to Put Your Money: Your Retirement or Your Kids’ College Fund?

Kendall Lawn Chair Ladies: You‘ve Got to Meet Them!

Issue 39 May / June 2016

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

Savvy Senior: How to Choose the Best Place to Retire


Issue 36 November / December 2015

Issue 34 July / August 2015

are urgently needed because the enrollment process takes time. Adam McMahon, public affairs officer for the Veterans Affairs Buffalo Regional office, which covers Upstate and Western New York, said that "getting benefit information to our veterans is of the utmost importance, and there is a team of employees at every regional office across the nation dedicated to outreach services to ensure that veterans are aware of the benefits that we offer. "There's an enormous amount of benefits that a veteran and his or her dependents may be eligible for. Even if one veteran is unaware, that is one too many." To help veterans learn about their benefits, the VA maintains an ongoing national effort to inform veterans. The VA works with veteran service organizations such as local posts of the American Legion and VFW. Although not employed by the VA, these organizations often help veterans in learning about their benefits and eligibility requirements, and in filing claims. Confusion about how to get information represents part of the reason that vets don't use their benefits as much as they could. The VA has maintained numerous websites and phone lines for the various health, education, home loan and other benefits available. McMahon said that the VA is working on consolidating these points of contact so that one site provides the main source of online information and one phone number can direct veterans to where they can find out more. In recent years, the military has also begun briefing personnel before they sever from service about their benefits. To learn more about veteran eligibility and benefits, call 800-8271000 or visit www.benefits.va.gov.






How to Calculate Your Retirement Number When the Kids Are Gone: Single Mom Finds a Creative Solution

For Active Adults in the Rochester Area

Questions to Maggie Brooks

Writing A Book?

The World of Armand and Bruce

You Need to Meet Mary Dougherty

Meet Pat Peters The Consummate Volunteer

Owners of the House of Guitars share their incredible story

How to Sell Your Home in the Winter

Q&A with County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo

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The five-story Singer Castle on Dark Island was built in 1905 by Frederick Bourne, president of Singer Sewing Machine Company. It’s one of main attractions in the Thousand Islands region.

Sites to Explore Along St. Lawrence River

From castles to wineries, lighthouses, and islands, St. Lawrence River region is a great destination in the summer By Sandra Scott


rom Tibbetts Point in Cape Vi n c e n t , w h e r e t h e S t . Lawrence River gushes out of Lake Ontario, to Akwesasne, the territorial home of the Mohawk Nation, where the St. Lawrence leaves New York state and continues through Canada to the Atlantic Ocean, there is a wonderful diversity of places to visit. The 100-mile trip along the river via NY-12 and NY-37 is dotted with castles, art, culture, golf, wineries, and great views. There are accommodations to suit everyone from the beautiful new 1000 Island Harbor Hotel in Clayton to the Akwesasne Casino Hotel in Hogansburg and in between hotels, motels, B&Bs, and campgrounds. Here are 10 of the best things to see and do in the area:


Lighthouses: Tibbetts Lighthouse near Cape Vincent, the only original working Fresnel lens on Lake Ontario, is still an active lighthouse maintained by the Coast Guard. It is a state historic site with a visitor center and a hostel. It is just one of the many lighthouses along the 46

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river some of which can only be viewed from a boat; but Sunken Rock Lighthouse can be viewed from downtown Alexandria Bay and the light still guides mariners.


On the river: It is not necessary to have your own boat to explore the St. Lawrence River. Uncle Sam Boat Tours in Alexandria Bay offers several options for visiting the castles, sailing past Millionaire’s Row, and several lighthouses. Classic Island Cruise out of Clayton has a couple unique water trips. The Antique Boat Museum offers sightseeing speed boat rides. One of Clayton Island Tours includes a glassbottomed boat. There are several boat rentals and fishing charters. It is also possible to rent a houseboat. Blount Small Ship Adventures travels the river from Quebec to Lake Ontario, continuing on to NYC.


Castles: During the Gilded Age, the rich and famous built incredible summer homes in the Thousand Island

area. The five-story Singer Castle on Dark Island was built in 1905 by Frederick Bourne, president of Singer Sewing Machine Company. It has underground tunnels, secret passageways, and a dungeon. Most popular is romantic Boldt Castle. George Boldt, owner of the Waldorf Astoria, was having a castle constructed for his wife. The story goes that in 1904 his wife died and Boldt telegraphed the island commanding that all work stop immediately.


Wellesley Island: Wellesley

Island State Park is the largest camping area in the Thousand Island region offering a variety of options from tenting to cottages. They have a full service marina, four boat launches, a sandy beach and their own nine-hole golf course. It is home to Thousand Island Park, a lovely Victorian village that was founded in 1875 as a Methodist campground and thrived as a family retreat in the spirit of a Chautauqua. Today it is still retains its Norman Rockwell ambiance.


Antique Boat Museum:

Boat lovers will revel in the great collection of boats at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton. The museum has the largest collection of antique boats in North America. Some recreational boats have their purchase price listed. In 1946 the 40’ Express Cruiser was $21,700 putting it out of the realm of the average person. An entire building is devoted to “The Quest for Speed” with a display about Guy Lombardo, The World’s Fastest Bandleader” and his love of racing.


Arts: The Thousand Island

Arts Center in Clayton is home to the Handweaving Museum with a permanent textile collection and studios for weaving and pottery. Classes are available. Clayton is home to the Clayton Opera House, a Nationally Registered Historic Place, presenting live concerts and other performing art events. The Breakwater Gallery is a summer show place for area artists and is just one of the art venues offered by the Cape Vincent Council on the Arts. The Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg houses a comprehensive collection of original Remington paintings, sketches and sculptures, as well as a broad array of personal effects.


Beverage Trail: The region

along the St. Lawrence is home to several wineries. The 1000 Island Seaway Wine Trail has a “passport” promotion whereby, after visiting four of their

Coyote Moon Vineyard offers 20 different wines and one of the few vineyards in the area bottling Frontenac Blanc. member wineries, passport holders can enter a drawing for prizes. On their list is Coyote Moon Vineyard offering 20 different wines and one of the few vineyards in the area bottling Frontenac Blanc. There are several distilleries, including Clayton Distillery and Dark Island Spirits in Alexandria Bay. The Wood Boat Brewery in Clayton makes craft beers using locally grown hops and barley. Kanab Orchards in Massena produces hard cider.


Golf and more: The area offers

golfers a wonderful variety of experiences. Whether you’re a newbie or a pro there’s a scenic course for you. At one time it cost $100,000 to join The Thousand Island Country Club but now anyone can

stay and play. Wellesley Island State Park has a $10 weekday special for senior citizens. The Massena Country Club’s course has magnificent views of the St. Lawrence River. Of course, there is fishing, hunting, tennis and other sports with the river a magnet for boaters.


Nature: The Minna Anthony Common Nature Center on Wellesley Island is one of the largest nature centers in the New York state park system with hiking trails and cross country ski trails. The center has scenic views of the Thousand Islands, a summer ride in the 36-foot Voyageur Canoe, a butterfly house, which features native flora and butterflies. There are 14 New York state parks in the region, including a nature center at Robert Moses State Park, which was devastated by fire but it will reopen at the end of the year; meanwhile, there are still trails to walk. A few of the parks are on islands but most of them are accessible by automobile.

10 The Sunken Rock Lighthouse along St. Lawrence River can be viewed from downtown Alexandria Bay.

Events: The area is a happenin’ area with events all year long. The 1000 Island Harbor Hotel hosts “Fire & Ice” in February, Massena is home to the Heritage Festival in June, and the Antique Boat Museum has an Annual Antique Boat Show in August. There are events offered by July / August 2016 - 55 PLUS




Rochester Has a Rich Underground Railroad History By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Though her Rochester home was not directly involved with the Underground Railroad, Susan B. Anthony championed abolitionists causes and was friends with Underground Railroad stationmaster Frederick Douglass. She lived in this home — 17 Madison St., Rochester — for 40 years. Photo courtesy of the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, Rochester.


ochester became an important hub in the Underground Railroad in the 1830s. The Genesee River’s access to Lake Ontario helped freedom seekers slip into Canada. The city was also home to Frederick Douglass, who moved to Rochester in the 1840s. His presence attracted and recruited other abolitionists. Douglass founded The North Star, an abolitionist newspaper, in the city. Douglass became a prominent “stationmaster” of the route to Canada, opening his home and office to house to refugees. A bronze statue of Douglass in Highland Park honors the gifted orator. Douglass’ grave is at Mt. Hope Cemetery, a few blocks from Highland Park. Beyond its value as a pristine example of 1800s architecture, the Susan B. Anthony House (www.susanbanthonyhouse.org, 585-235-6124) at 17 Madison St., Rochester, commemorates a remarkable woman. The many causes for which she campaigned include abolition. The home’s guided tour highlights her friendship with Frederick Douglass, such as a photo of him on her mantle. The house’s website states that Anthony, who lived in the house for the last 40 years


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of her life, liked keeping photos of her closest friends nearby. Guides provide tours of the home Tuesdays through Sundays. The house hosts special events, too. Tour tickets are $5 for children, $10 for adults and $15 for seniors 62 and older. Other Underground Railroad points of interest in the Rochester area include the Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church building. It provided another stop on the northward journey, as well as the home of William Clough Bloss and possibly other places. Little solid evidence remains of many other safe houses since railroad workers and those they helped sought to conceal their activities from detection to avoid punishment. Several sites not currently open to the public were also used as part of the Underground Railroad in the Rochester area. In the 1830s, Isaac Chase’s residence was built at 1191 Manitou Road in Parma. A secret room in the basement, hidden under a trapdoor, concealed house’s temporary guests. He transported them to Lake Ontario where waiting boats helped them finish their trip to Canada.

Thomas Warrant also used his home at 1956 W. Henrietta Road in Brighton to support the cause and help freedom seekers until they could complete their journey to Lake Ontario and, subsequently, to Canada. In 1820, abolitionist Isaac Moore built what is now the Babcock House at 1496 Clover St. in Brighton. A secret room under the basement stairs, measuring 8 by 10 feet, is said to have been a safe haven. Pittsford is home to the Hargous-Briggs House at 52 South Main St. In the 1820s, Judge Ashley Sampson lived in the house and helped conceal former slaves in a large, unused oven in the basement. A secret stairway between the home’s parlors helped move people in hiding between the basement and attic. Considered the last stops on the Underground Railroad, Kelsey’s Landing on the Genesee River and the Latta Warehouse at Ontario Beach Park (also known as Charlotte Beach) in Greece are reportedly where many boarded vessels headed towards Lake Ontario, Canada, and freedom. Both are sites are used recreationally today.

long-term care By Susan Suben

Filing A LTCI Claim… What You Need To Know


ver the past 22 years, I have helped many clients file for benefits from their long-term care insurance policies. In almost all instances, the one thing that surprised me the most was their hesitancy to do so without some convincing from me. The reason — they wanted to save their benefits for the future. My client Evelyn bought her policy 15 years ago. Now 82 years old and on oxygen 24/7, she finds it difficult to get dressed and take a shower . She also has problems doing laundry, cooking and cleaning. Even though she met the policy criteria for filing a claim, she would not do so for some time. She wanted to save her benefits in case “things got worse.” In reality, by receiving care, she was safer, more independent, less stressed and hopefully delayed further decline of her health. According to the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, LTCI companies paid more than $6.6 million in benefits to 264,000 policyholders in 2012. In order to trigger your benefits, you must meet certain criteria. If you are frail and only need someone to clean the house or do the laundry, you will not qualify for benefits. Your doctor has to certify that you need assistance with two out of six activities of daily living (bathing, dressing, transferring, eating, toileting or continence) or supervision due to a cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s. All this should be documented by your physician who will also need to provide a plan of care outlining the type and frequency of services you

will need. The average claim takes about 21 days to process. Notify your carrier as soon as you plan to receive services. Claim forms will be sent to you to forward to your physician and service provider. Your medical records and an assessment will need to be obtained by the insurance company. All this takes time and time is of the essence when you need care. There are two policy features to familiarize yourself with once you decide to initiate a claim. The first is your elimination period (EP). It’s similar to a deductible. It is the amount of time you will have to pay out-of-pocket before the policy starts to pay benefits. Generally, it is 30, 60, 90 or 100 days. The EP can be based on service or calendar days. If it is based on service days this means for every day you receive a service you will earn one day credit toward your EP. If you have a calendar day EP, you will receive credit even for a day no service was provided. For example, if you had home care three days in a week, you would still receive 7 days credit towards your EP. Note that some companies require a minimum amount of hours of care to receive EP credit. There are policies that waive the EP at the start of home care. This can be a standard feature in your policy or you might have added it as a rider. Secondly, be aware of who is qualified to provide home care. All LTCI policies will allow you to hire nurses, therapists, home health aides and homemakers from an agency. Others will allow you to use independent caregivers who are

properly trained/licensed or certified. Still others will allow you to use uncertified/unlicensed/unskilled care from friends and neighbors. It is extremely important to know what qualifications caregivers need in order to receive benefits. This distinction is sometimes overlooked and a claim is denied. It is discouraging and frustrating when you hire someone only to find out that your policy considers them unqualified to care for you. Policies can offer an alternate cash benefit for home care. This benefit is often times a percentage of your home care benefit, such as 30% or 40%. The feature generally requires no elimination period or submission of receipts. It gives you the ability to hire anyone, including family members. Lastly, contact the agent who sold you your policy and grant that person permission to have access to your information during all stages of the claim process. Your agent can be a very valuable advocate. Denials occur because policyholders don’t remember or understand the features in their policy. Have a review of your policy every five years. Include your adult children. This way, everyone is prepared and knowledgeable, if and when the time comes to file a claim.

Susan Suben, MS, CSA, is President of Long Term Care Associates, Inc. and Elder Care Planning, and a consultant for Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Company. She can be reached at 800-422-2655 or by email at susansuben@31greenbush.com. July / August 2016 - 55 PLUS


last page Coach Mike Reif, 67 By Ernst Lamothe Jr.

Perinton coach has been in the competitive racing profession for more than 55 years and trained some of the best runners Q: Tell us a little about yourself A: I have coached the Genesee Valley Harriers Running Club since its inception in 1996, including its elite development program for qualifying men and women. As a runner, I have been competing in races for over 50 years. I am a five-time finisher of the Boston Marathon and an experienced mountain runner. Q: How did you begin your love of running? A: It is just a sport that I have loved ever since I can remember. A sprinter and middle distance runner in my youth, I did intervals on the streets of New York City as I made deliveries for my parents during summer jobs. I have always been an old-school guy who just enjoyed being out in nature. I found nature someplace where you can physically challenge yourself. When you add the combination of enjoying competition and enjoy competing against myself, racing made sense. It is a wonderful feeling challenging your body to go faster than it previously did. You can push your body to do so much. Q: You have been part of running clubs in the past. What do you enjoy about them? A: I do believe in the idea of a runner’s high. And I think that can be magnified when you have a lot of people around you. I enjoy the camaraderie of my teammates. I prefer to run with small groups of people than simply running on my own. Q: What do you enjoy about coaching? A: There are a lot of personal satisfaction elements to being a coach. I have one athlete who went to the 50

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Olympic trail for marathons. I have guided open elite runners to placing at national championship events and who have made US Nationals and participated at World Championship. There is a great satisfaction in helping others reach their professional goals. Also, I have worked with kids with special needs and it gives me such great joy to see them succeed. I enjoyed being a statewide and national advocate for children and adults with developmental disabilities and I will always continue to advocate for and sponsor many youth and adult running events. Q: What is your coaching style? A: There is a coach named Jack Daniels and I follow his exercise psychology. Runner's Magazine called him the world’s best running coach. He was my mentor for years. He believes in using a sound scientific background where you train at different intensities to train different parts of your body. We do a variety of challenging workouts where you develop your body to handle pacing by doing demanding physical and mental training. It’s definitely not easy but working hard is never easy. Q: What was your career before running? A.: I was in education. I was an administrator and professor of pediatrics for the University of Rochester Medical Center for over 30 years. It was an exciting and wonderful job before I retired. The funny thing is that I feel I am busier now than when I was working full time. The coaching profession took off. Q: Are you involved in anything besides coaching? A: Yes, I own my own T-shirt

company called Innovative Edge Sports. Since around 1992, we have had a strong market in innovative T-shirt design and other running related products. It is no surprise that I wanted a business connected to running and sports. The funny thing is that I got into it about 25 years ago because my son was running track in high school and he asked me to design a T-shirt. I did it and he liked it. Then other people started to ask me to do T-shirts for them and I started thinking that maybe this could be a whole lot bigger than I thought it could be. I’m glad that I did decide to start it because I have had a lot of fun with it. Q: Why do you think it is important for 55-plus people to exercise? A: Anything that promotes a healthy lifestyle is a good thing. I know I want to live a long life. And on top of that, I want my longer life to be satisfying. I preach to people all the time how essential just walking or doing any kind of activity is for all ages, but especially seniors. Getting older doesn’t have to mean stopping the things you love to do. By staying in shape and moving your body, you can maintain a lot of your quality of life. I have a 1-2-3 live well now philosophy that says first, be positive every day in all you do, secondly, do something nutritionally sound daily and the No. 3 do something physically active daily.

Take a virtual tour at www.chapeloaks.net

At Chapel Oaks, we invite you to

Live Life in the Fast Lane Or the slow lane. The choice is yours at our indoor pool, just one of the benefits of retirement living at Chapel Oaks. Our residents say it feels like resort living. You’ll say it too when you experience life at Chapel Oaks. • Fitness Center and Wellness Coach • Chef-prepared meals in our elegant dining room or sunlit bistro • Spa and full-service salon • Concierge service • First-class entertainment • Parties on the patio

at chapel oaks, you’ll also find:

• Day trips to concerts, cultural events, and culinary destinations

No eNtraNce fees!

• Unlimited complimentary transportation to medical appointments • Maintenance-free living • Pets welcome!

Call us today to schedule a visit:

(585) 697-6606

We’ve always been active people, so we love the activities offered at Chapel Oaks. The pool was a big selling point! We feel like we’re living in a resort — everything is taken care of for you. –Eugene & June Bello 1550 Portland Avenue, Irondequoit

It’s time to put the pieces of your retirement plan together.

Consolidate your retirement accounts with 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 with 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. 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. Get started today—call John Richardson, Vice President, Financial Planning Officer, at (585) 419-0670, ext. 50604.


Financial Planning | Retirement | Investments | Trust & Estate Services

*To see the full version of our CNB Pledge of Accountability and the details of our Fee Refund Guarantee, visit CNBank.com/Pledge. Investments are not bank deposits, are not obligations of, or guaranteed by Canandaigua National Bank & Trust, and are not FDIC insured. Investments are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of principal amount invested.

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