Supplement to Jewish News February 23, 2015 jewishnewsva.org | Retirement | February 23, 2015 | Jewish News | 13
Retirement Dear Readers,
etiring today rarely conjures up images of old people sitting on the porch
in rocking chairs. Instead, retirees could easily be mistaken for Yuppies. Perhaps, because some are! Retirees in 2015 are active: taking trips to fulfill those bucket list dreams, enrolling in classes at area colleges and universities, caring for grandchildren while their children are at work, focusing on preventive health care so they may continue to ski, play tennis, sail, golf, work-out and even surf, watching their investments, volunteering, and, yes, for some, launching new not-so-demanding careers. In this special retirement section, we offer a few articles on the importance of
Published 22 times a year by United Jewish Federation of Tidewater. Reba and Sam Sandler Family Campus of the Tidewater Jewish Community 5000 Corporate Woods Drive, Suite 200 Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462-4370 voice 757.965.6100 • fax 757.965.6102 email firstname.lastname@example.org www.jewishVA.org Terri Denison, Editor Germaine Clair, Art Director Hal Sacks, Book Review Editor Sandy Goldberg, Account Executive Mark Hecht, Account Executive Marilyn Cerase, Subscription Manager Reba Karp, Editor Emeritus Sherri Wisoff, Proofreader Miles Leon, President Stephanie Calliott, Secretary Harry Graber, Executive Vice-President The appearance of advertising in the Jewish News does not constitute a kashrut, political, product or service endorsement. The articles and letters appearing herein are not necessarily the opinion of this newspaper. © 2015 Jewish News. All rights reserved.
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into those retirement years. Comprised primarily of retirees, we highlight Brith Sholom, an area club of Jewish adults who are marking their 100th year in 2015. Now, that’s a milestone! The most consistent theme about retir-
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Brith Sholom: 100 years and counting
pproximately 90 people attended Brith Sholom’s most recent meeting held at Beth Sholom Village. A guest speaker and a Sunday brunch of lox, bagels and scrambled eggs with friends, is what draws these devoted members together each month. Mainly, members will say, it is the friendships that keep this 100-year-old Jewish organization vibrant and moving forward. “We are a very viable, fraternal group who come from all walks of life,” says Bruce Longman, the group’s president about to complete his second term. “We’re very inclusive, with members who are Reform, Conservative and Orthodox. We have lawyers, physicians, dentists, retailers and homemakers.” Now comprised primarily of retirees, Longman says that Brith Sholom is the continuation of such disbanded area social clubs as Amity Club and Club 35. Monthly Sunday morning meetings feature speakers and a brunch, while monthly evening events tend to be “all social.” Plus, members take organized trips and outings, such as the cruise some will voyage on in May from Norfolk to the Bahamas. Still, dedicated to the ideals of charity, fraternal, civic and social endeavors worldwide, Longman notes, “We contribute to 13 or 14 Jewish organizations, donating about $13,000 each year.” Since the group began meeting in the Pincus Paul Room at Beth Sholom, residents of The Village also attend the meetings to socialize, further strengthening connections across the community, says Longman. “Our meetings give people a reason to get together to socialize,” he says. “What can be better?”
A brief history of Brith Sholom
he large influx of immigrants that arrived in America in the early 20th century overwhelmed existing agencies because of language, customs and social differences. To integrate these new citizens into the American scene, The Independent Order of Brith Sholom (Covenant of Peace), was founded by 44 men in Philadelphia, Pa. in February 1905. The group’s primary
purpose was to provide these poor, mostly immigrant people with sick benefits when they were unable to earn a living, as well as some insurance for their families in the event of death. From there, Brith Sholom quickly became involved in civic, social and charitable activities. Then, inspired by a speech by Louis B. Brandeis at its national convention in 1915, Brith Sholom became the first large organization in the United States to lend financial assistance to the Zionist Movement. The Norfolk City Lodge was chartered by 16 men in 1915 and became the Brith Sholom Center of Virginia. According to the Jewish Communal Register of New York City, 1917-1918, in that year, Brith Sholom had 378 lodges nationwide that included 52,596 members. During World War I, 83 members and 3,224 sons of members served in the military. Lodges and their members purchased more than $1,000,000 worth of Liberty Bonds, as well as war savings stamps. The Order provided entertainment for sailors and soldiers and host homes for service men and women stationed where lodges were located so they could celebrate Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The first Jewish structure built in Norfolk that was not a synagogue, the Brith Sholom Lodge was erected at Moran St. and Boissevain Ave. in 1936. Since synagogue social halls were not common at the time, the Lodge, which was kosher, was where people hosted events. Brith Sholom was the place to go for social and cultural programs and entertainment where many national and international personalities performed. Locals would look to Brith Sholom for a place to go to have a cigar and play cards. The building housed a reading and lounge room, billiard room, bar and cocktail lounge which eventually offered television facilities. There was a gaming room, snack bar and a ballroom. Regular dances and dancing lessons took place at the Center and Brith Sholom held an annual New Years Eve Dance that was the “Talk of the Town.” When a member mentioned at a meet-
ing in the 1930s that the Red Cross needed a station wagon for use as an ambulance, funds were collected from those present in 20 minutes to make the purchase. Whenever that first station wagon ambulance in Norfolk was seen driving through the city, it was viewed with pride. In 1939, with the deteriorating situation of German Jewry, Brith Sholom pledged its support to Congressman Emmanuel Celler who proposed a law that would enable the immigration of up to 100,000 Jewish children from Germany into the U.S., in addition to the current legal quota. Through fundraising efforts, Brith Sholom brought in more than $155,000 and using lodge members’ connections within local and national levels of government, guaranteed support for 50 children until they were settled into foster families. In June 1939, after arriving in New York, these children were taken to Brith Sholom’s
Joe Weintraub, secretary, Joe Goldberg, vice president, Bruce Longman president, Bud Blumenthal, treasurer.
Camp Sholom. With the outbreak of WWII, September 1939 brought an end to Congressman Cellar’s attempt to pass that bill, but the accomplishment of Brith Sholom is known as the single largest attempt of an independent organization to rescue children as part of what has become known as Kindertransport. In 1942, the National Council of Brith Sholom Women was created. The name continued on page 16
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was changed in 1951 to Brith Sholom Women. The Virginia Lodge had an active women’s organization and like many lodges, later voted to include women in their general membership. National membership extended from coast to coast. During WWII, more than 22,000 of the Brith Sholom members served in the military. Many of the survivors are still active in their lodges. The efforts of Tidewater’s Brith Sholom Lodge are credited for being essential in buying and equipping the Baltimore Steamship, The President Warfield, in its conversion into the ship known as the Exodus. The Lodge housed and fed the crew until they departed on their rescue mission on Feb. 25, 1947. Also, during the early part of World War II, Brith Sholom was converted into a temporary hospital, at the urgent request of the U.S. Navy, for survivors of ships sunk off the Virginia and North Carolina coasts. The center was turned over to the USO
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for the duration of the war. Many Sunday morning brunches, affectionately referred to as “The Brith Sholom Bagel and Lox Club” were served there to service men and women of all faiths. During that period, the local Brith Sholom Center was also credited with the sale of $3 million of war bonds. The members watched and strongly supported the efforts of the State of Israel through representation at the World Jewish Congress in Montreux, Switzerland and Israel Bond drives and funding for the Adom Magen David and Hadassah. The Lodge, which originally was affiliated with the Independent Order of Brith Sholom in Baltimore, Md., severed its affiliation in 1967. The Brith Sholom Center was constructed at Pickett Street in Norfolk in 1972 where it remained until January 2013 when it began meeting at the Beth Sholom Village.
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Retirement Peninsula Agency on Aging presents the 33rd Annual Community Forum on Aging Tuesday, March 3, Christopher Newport University Ferguson Center
health and well-being event featuring workshops, exhibitors, and a Wellness Café with free health screenings, the 33rd Annual Community Forum on Aging is presented by Peninsula Agency on Aging in partnership with Christopher Newport University. This year’s event is sponsored by Sentara and will feature keynote speaker Dr. Joan Vernikos, a well-known author and expert in stress management and healthy aging. Her book Sitting Kills, Moving Heals: How Everyday Movement Will Prevent Pain, Illness, and Early Death —and Exercise Alone Won’t, shows how health can be dramatically improved with continuous low-intensity movement that challenges
the force of gravity. Dr. Vernikos was instrumental in the return to space for American hero John Glenn at the age of 77. A special addition to the 2015 Forum is a workshop geared specifically to professionals working in the field of aging. The topic of the workshop is “Community Behavioral Health and Services to the Aging Population.” Professional attendees will receive certificates of completion. Admission to the Forum is $2 for adults over 60 years of age and $15 for all others. Information on how to register can be accessed at www.paainc.org or by calling 757-873-0541.
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t is not necessary to speak or understand Yiddish to attend the JCC Yiddish Club. Almost everyone will discover that they know more than they think and will leave knowing even more. This is a fun, fun group and everyone is welcome to attend. “Kvetch”complain, “Nosh”-eat a bit, “oy veh”-oh my gosh. For more information, contact Sherry Lieberman, 321-2309 or slieberman@ simonfamilyjcc.org.
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hat does it take to be comfortable during retirement? Conventional wisdom calls it the four percent rule—withdrawing about that amount from your nest egg each year to live comfortably. And, for that, millions of Americans believe they need to stick to a job they don’t like during their earning years. Dave Lopez, “Unfortunately, the kind of money retirees want to spend each year for a comfortable lifestyle tends to be about $60,000, which means someone’s nest egg would have to be $1.5 million for that rate of withdrawal to sustain for 25 years,” says financial advisor Dave Lopez, a mathematics and computer science major
who applies his analytical mind to solving retirement challenges. “Of course, there are additional sources of income during retirement, such as social security, but the program may not survive the coming decades. And, there are additional costs of retirement, including legacy interests and the likelihood of needing long-term medical care.” The fact is that millions of retirees simply do not have or will not have the kind of income they’d like to have during retirement. Lopez, founder of ILG Financial, LLC (www.theilg.com), discusses an alternative approach to the golden, or distribution years. • Remember, Social Security is a welfare program. Before President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act in 1935, seniors worked. America was an agrarian culture, and many who were in their 60s and 70s usually continued duties on the family farm, albeit handling lighter tasks. Social Security is essentially a Socialist idea. A response to the Great Depression, its purpose was to move out older workers in favor of employing younger Americans. But now times have changed.
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• You don’t have to remain stuck in your “earning” job. “The U.S. government is the biggest employer in the world, and I work with many of its employees,” he says. “They usually have high-stress jobs and usually want to retire as early as possible and, while leaning on their pension, start working on their own terms as government contractors.” • Consider retiring early and working the job you’ve always wanted. The model frequently followed by retired government workers can be replicated by millions of other retirees. You don’t need a $1.5
million nest egg when you combine Social Security with a smaller withdrawal amount and a fun job earning $20,000 a year. Retirees can be creative in how they earn this “fun money.” “Let’s say your passion is water skiing—why not parlay this hobby into a career?” Lopez says. “You’ll likely have decades of experience and plenty of contacts. You might work for a ski shop or create a small business giving lessons. Doing something you love is a great way to stay active as an older person.” • No pension?—Create your own. The days of working 30 years for a single company and collecting a sizeable pension are mostly over. This means retirees need to get creative and rely on other sources of income, including IRAs and strategies for annuities—effectively creating their own “pension.” Annuities are contracts with insurance companies. The contracts, which can be funded with either a lump sum or through regular payments, are designed as financial vehicles for retirement purposes. The money used to fund the contract grows tax-deferred. Unlike other tax advantaged retirement programs, there are no contribution limits on annuities. “Annuities provide plenty of opportunity,” he says. “Of course, creative options also yield the risk of complexity. You’ll want to be sure to know what you’re doing, or at least consult with an accredited professional.” • Consider lifestyle changes. Through the distribution years, you should consider moving to a place where the cost of living is cheaper than major metropolitan areas. Simply put, you’ll want your money to go further. Take a play from younger folks who are cutting their cable in favor of only Wi-Fi access. Learn how to cook delicious meals on a budget. For many, learning how to make one’s money work better for them, rather than working for their money, is a preferable lifestyle.
Retirement Four tips to remember to avoid misfortune in money matters at retirement Investment rules change when moving into retirement, financial advisor says
fter a lifetime of deciding out how to get the best return on their investments, people nearing retirement could think they have this money thing figured out. But they could be mistaken, says financial advisor Dave Lopez. “When people move into retirement, all the rules change,” Lopez says. “What worked for them in their investments during their working years may not work as well when they reach retirement.” It’s also important that people have a comprehensive retirement plan that includes income planning, legacy planning, long-term care planning and growth, he says. “When you are trying to build a retirement plan, you need the right tool for the right job,” Lopez says. “Once you identify your goal, then you can fund the tool to get there.” Lopez, founder of ILG Financial, LLC (www.theilg.com), suggests four key points to keep in mind as you plan for, or move into, retirement.
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great losses,” Lopez says. Sure, you might like to plow a huge chunk of money into the latest trendy stock that could take off and send the value of your portfolio soaring. But those kinds of investments come with risks that might be too great at this stage in life. By the time you reach retirement, it’s less important that you see huge earnings on your investments than that you keep safe what you have. A modest return at that point is fine. “The belief that the stock market is the answer for beating inflation in retirement may be disastrous,” Lopez says. Once again, it comes down to that recovery time, he says. You just don’t have much.
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• Recovery time has shortened. If the market takes a dramatic downturn when you are in your 30s, you have plenty of time for your investments to make a recovery. You likely draw a paycheck and have little or no need to dip into that money, taking a loss. But that’s not the case when you are in retirement and living off those investments. In later years, your investing strategies need to adapt so you aren’t as subject to the whims of the market. •H anging on to what you have. “You don’t need great returns if you can avoid
•O ne and done. “You won’t get a second chance to get your retirement planning right,” Lopez says. That’s why you need to plan carefully the firs—and only— time around. He’s known people who had no plan, or whose planning relied on a specific chain of events that might or might not come about, such as assuming their lives would be shorter than they turned out. Essentially, instead of taking a mathematical approach, they were doing little more than hoping everything would work out. •S eek a specialist’s help. It’s important to get advice from someone with expertise not just in finance, but in retirement planning, Lopez says. That person can help you understand what pitfalls you need to plan for and what tools you can utilize. “You wouldn’t use your primary care physician if you needed heart surgery,” he says. “Likewise, when moving into retirement, you need a specialist.”
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Retirement Four ways to hire and get the most from a financial professional
s the United States approaches an unprecedented point in its history— what many are calling a retirement crisis—attention for retirement planning is at an all-time high. “The baby boomers are retiring, about 10,000 every day for the next several years, and their greatest fear is that they’ll outlive their retirement funding; of course, money is an issue for just about everyone else, too,” says Rodger Alan Friedman, author of Forging Bonds of Steel, (www.forgingbondsofsteel.com/). “Most people have a sense that they could be doing more with their money— more savings, better investments, etc.—much the same way that they know that they could be healthier. But on both accounts, taking action is a different story.” As with health, failure to take action on your finances will, over time, cost you, he says. While educating yourself on money
matters has tremendous benefits, you’ll ultimately want a certified and experienced professional who manages money for a living. A strong client-advisor relationship is fundamental for success, says Friedman, who offers the following tips for hiring an advisor you can trust and building a strong relationship: • A sk a would-be planner what he or she is reading. Would you trust an advisor who doesn’t read? While experience is valuable, the most reliable form of knowledge usually comes from reading books and trade publications. The former deals in well-established information, while the latter explore new directions in the industry. “I would want to know that an advisor reads books on the best thinking on wealth management, economics,
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investment and retirement planning,” Friedman says. “Ideally, your advisor would also attend, participate and learn from others at seminars. In other words, good advisors are engaged in continual learning, not resting on what they learned 10 years ago.” • Advisors should take copious notes and repeat back to you your concerns. How do you know your advisor is listening to you, and is he or she getting crucial information, rather than simply sounding good with data points? Taking notes is a good sign. And, when she repeats back to you something you’ve just said, it indicates she is actively listening. You feel understood, and that’s when the “I get it” look passes between both of you. This moment is a link in the chain of trust and understanding that’s so important.
it, you need to be forthright from the outset. • Accountability flows both ways; do your homework. Advisors need personal documents that are crucial for a comprehensive review. Upon the agreement of a full financial plan, the advisor will want to review and analyze the following items: a copy of the most recent tax return, including a W2 or 1099 info; a copy of all bank, CD and money market account statements; mutual fund, investment; IRA accounts, 401(K) accounts and corporate benefit statements; pension or annuity arrangements; long-term-care and life-insurance statements; disability, liability umbrella, car- and home-insurance statements. Without these, it’s nearly impossible to create a baseline of where you are now and to chart a course to where you want to be.
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• B e forthright with your advisor. This is essential. Some folks, for example, are “big-hat-and-skinny-cattle” people, which means they have a high standard of living—expensive vacations, BMWs, Rolexes, etc.—but little in the way of investment accounts, bonds, equities, commercial operations or real estate. This balance sheet does not spell success, despite the outward signs. Seasoned advisors need to see that balance sheet— they need to see what’s under that big hat. Whether there are fat or skinny cattle underneath a wealthy image, you and your advisor need to collaborate and agree on a common purpose. To achieve
—Rodger Alan Friedman, author of Forging Bonds of Steel, (www.forgingbondsofsteel.com/), grew up working in his family’s New York City laundry, where he learned a strong work ethic—and the type of work he didn’t want to do. After earning a degree in political science, he became a real-estate agent trainee, then performed compliance audits for a large Wall Street brokerage firm, eventually became a stock broker, and then financial advisor and wealth management professional. Today, he advises affluent retirees and near-retirees in structuring their planning and investments for the next phase of their lives. He is a managing director, founding partner and wealth manager at Steward Partners Global Advisory in the Washington metropolitan area.