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Retirement Planning and Living

Retirement can be a gateway to your own personal golden era. The key: A carefully crafted plan. Use these tips from local experts to get started.


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Kahala Nui guarantees its residents a place in its nursing facility, he says. “We take care of the individual for life.” There can also be financial benefits. The community offers its long-term residents a 50 percent reduction in the cost of nursing care.

Duarte encourages seniors to move into Kahala Nui while the full benefits of a life on the 6-acre garden campus are within reach. “We keep you active and engaged,” he says. “It improves quality of life and helps you remain independent longer.”

#6 Think about purchasing a long-term care policy.

“We’re definitely starting to see an increase in the number of people using the insurance,” says Tricia Medeiros, regional director at Plaza Assisted Living. The company operates an assisted living community in Punchbowl and recently opened a second location in Mililani. Medeiros recommends shopping for a long-term care policy in your 50s, when the premiums are low. Make sure that the insurance covers the level of care you will want in the future.

#7 Take another look at reverse mortgages.

Take another look at reverse mortgages. While some advisors consider these multifaceted financial products for those in serious need, many homeowners 62 and older have tapped into their home equity for a number of good reasons, says Wendy Oshiro, a reverse mortgage professional at Generation Mortgage Company.

“We have to look at the whole financial picture,” she says. “My emphasis is on education.” Homeowners who meet age requirements and have significantly paid down their mortgages may be eligible for the loans. They would first use the loan proceeds to pay off any existing mortgage, thus eliminating any current monthly mortgage payments. The homeowner then continues to pay taxes and insurance, live in and maintain the home.

Additionally, the FHA introduced a new product last fall that helps qualifying homeowners reduce loan fees, Oshiro says.

The benefits need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, she says, and she never uses a hard-sell approach. “Reverse mortgages are more about helping families stay in their homes. It’s about quality of life.”

Wendy Oshiro, NMLS #391477. 888-688-6144. Generation Mortgage Company-NMLS #1319. Equal Housing Lender.

#8 Put a premium on flexibility.

You should feel at home in a senior care residence, says Elizabeth Slavens, president and executive director of KinaOle Estates, which operates adult residential care homes on the Windward side.

Find out how management responds to residents’ concerns, she says. While you may need to make concessions to a new community, your voice should count.

“No facility is perfect,” Slavens says. “Communication is the most important thing. If the facility is willing to listen and try to make things right, then there’s a good relationship.”

She recommends researching facilities early. Vacancies can be rare in the eight-bedroom homes KinaOle operates, and interest in a planned fourth home has been high. “If the time comes, you should know where you want to go.”

#9 Invest early, invest wisely.

“Having some money as we get older is going to be a good thing,” says Gregg Takara, vice president and a member of the top-rated Strada/McRoberts Team at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. “Do whatever you need to do to save more money, and start, or add to, your retirement plan.”

Your investment strategy, of course, is dependent on your age, risk tolerance, and time to retirement.

But smart investors should look at long-term trends, Takara says.  Consider large, multinational companies that have taken years to develop market share, and that have gained pricing power and access to global markets. As the population grows, commodities including copper, lead, zinc, water and timber could represent opportunity, as could the companies that transport or develop those and other commodities. “I am, however, currently underweight in gold, silver and oil,” Takara says. “The prices at this level are too speculative.”

The Strada/McRoberts Team anticipates that interest rates will rise soon, and has decided to trade duration risk for credit risk, he says. That means selling anything that has a maturity and investing either in fixed income products with a variable coupon or interest rate, such as Treasury Inflation Protection Securities (TIPS), or in products with a lower credit rating, such as senior floating rate funds and high-yield bonds.


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Honolulu Magazine June 2018
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