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retirement Archives - Greenwald and Gerke Real Estate



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By Ron Greenwald

Home Care Tips When You are Away on Vacation

On 20, Apr 2017 | No Comments | In Blog | By Ron Greenwald

One of the benefits of retirement is that you have the freedom and flexibility to travel whenever your heart desires. If you are planning a trip to see the grandkids or you are heading out on a European cruise, then you need to take care of your home before you leave town.

Here are a few simple strategies to keep your home protected while you are away:

  • Install Automatic Lights: Indoor lights can be set on timers, to make it look like someone is home in the evenings. Outside, you might consider motion sensor lights to illuminate the driveway if someone walks up to your home.
  • Notify the Neighbors: Talk to your neighbors to let them know the dates that you will be gone. It can be helpful to have someone watching the house in case something goes wrong. You might consider leaving a key in case of an emergency situation.
  • Hold the Mail: When the mailbox is full and the newspapers are piled up on the porch, it is an announcement that you are out of town. Avoid these problems by putting a hold on your mail and newspaper service.
  • Leave an Itinerary: Where will you be traveling? Share a copy of your itinerary with a family member or close friend.
  • Avoid Social Media: It might be fun to share pictures of your vacation, but it is best to wait until after you get home. Posting travel pictures on social media will announce to the world that your home is empty.
  • Pay for a Security System: There are many benefits to installing a security system. Put up the security company sign to notify potential intruders that your home is protected.

If you are planning to travel a lot during retirement, then you might consider the option to move into a home that offers HOA services. You can pay a monthly fee that cares for the yard and outdoor maintenance of your property.

If you are interested in living in an HOA community, then you need to talk to our team here at Greenwald &Gerke Realtors. We will gladly help you find the right home for your retirement lifestyle: (844) 782-9674

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By Ron Greenwald

An Interview with Merrianne Dean, The Dean Law Group, APLC….

On 13, Apr 2017 | No Comments | In Blog | By Ron Greenwald

You have worked hard to build assets and financial support for your retirement.  It  is vitally important that you work with a team of professionals that specialize in the ways to protect  your financial and personal wishes.

Merrianne E. Dean, Principal of The Dean Law Group, APLC, located in San Diego, CA. is that person.  By having years of cross training in being an estate and trust litigator while preparing estate plans, Merrianne has seen and heard all the war stories.  Merrianne will support you in order to stay in control of your future.  She talked to us about a few things that should be done to prepare for life’s events…

What’s Ahead for Your Family?

The future is now, tomorrow, one year from now, and beyond.   You need to  take action right now to prepare for those  future events that will happen when you least expect them to occur. Consider your current home and how it will work if you need to have an in-home caregiver later in life. Look at your finances and how they will support the retirement lifestyle that you desire.

Many individuals do not take time to understand the cost of what will be and what are the options available.   Do you want to leave your dreams and desires to total chance?  It is beneficial to work with an estate planner who will offer advice about how a comprehensive plan can keep you in charge and protected.

Don’t Fail to Plan!

Those that fail to plan, leave their loved ones to fight it out in court. For example, if an individual didn’t put together an estate plan, then it is possible that the court proceedings might be necessary to establish a conservatorship. This process is in full view of the court and is made public for all to view.  Conservatorship grants legal authority to a person who can take care of someone who has lost the ability to care for themselves. This legal authority can include the authority to pay the bills, handle decisions about the estate, and make medical decisions.

A preferred solution is to setup an effective estate plan so that these legal proceedings are not necessary. If you don’t plan for the future and the family needs to establish a conservatorship, then they will  accrue thousands of dollars in litigation costs . Family members often have differing opinions about how things should be handled, which results in years of legal fees and acrimony.

The best way to avoid these problems is to work with an estate planner. You can put together a plan that handles the details in advance. If you need support for real estate transactions or moving to a new home, then our team at Greenwald &Gerke Realtors. Call us for more information: (844) 782-9674

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By Ron Greenwald

Minimalism in Retirement: Simply Your Life to Focus on the Things that You Love

On 06, Apr 2017 | No Comments | In Blog | By Ron Greenwald

Minimalism is a growing trend among people of all ages. Even though our society prides itself on the accumulation of personal belongings, individuals aren’t finding the happiness that they desire. It is common for people to be weighed down by consumerism, distractions, clutter, possessions and debt.

Do you love the idea of simplifying your life by reducing the clutter in and around your home? Many people who focus on minimalism find a deeper sense of satisfaction in their daily living.

What is Minimalism?

This term can cover a broad range of goals and beliefs. For some people, minimalism is a dedicated effort to cut out excess items in their home. These efforts are often focused around reducing clutter and getting rid of unused items.

Other people take minimalism to an extreme level by drastically reducing their belongings. For example, they might have a limit to the number of clothing items that are owned. So, buying a new shirt means that another shirt is donated or discarded.

Is Minimalism Right for You?

Retirement is a time to enjoy life to the fullest. Which means that many people don’t want to be burdened by a house full of stuff. Not only do people often reduce their personal belongings, but they also find it beneficial to “rightsize” their home.

Living with fewer possessions and a smaller home creates space for the things that are important in your life. Too many possessions can be an anchor that ties us down, making it difficult to enjoy life in the best way possible. On the other hand, minimalism can be a great way to give you more peace of mind and freedom in your lifestyle.

Just because you want to simplify your life, doesn’t mean that you need to get rid of everything that you own and live in a tiny house. Instead, be deliberate about choosing a home that matches your desired lifestyle. Focus on hobbies, travel, and health instead of buying more material possessions.

Do you need help finding the perfect home for your retirement lifestyle? Talk to us at Greenwald & Gerke Realtors. We are experts in real estate for retirement, and our team is here to help. Call us for more information about the services that are available: (844) 782-9674

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Top 3 Spring Travel Destinations for Retirees

On 16, Mar 2017 | No Comments | In Blog | By Ron Greenwald

Spring is a great time of year to travel because the weather is starting to get warm and you can enjoy your vacation before the busy summer crowds show up. Are you itching to explore a new destination? Here are a few options for the spring season:


White beaches and crystal clear water are waiting, giving you a warm getaway to enjoy. The Caribbean offers many destinations with all-inclusive resorts, allowing you to show up and relax for the rest of the trip. If you don’t want to share your trip with college-aged kids, then stay away from some of the busy spring-break destinations such as Cancun.

Instead, you could consider a quiet couples-only resort further down the Mexican Riviera coastline. Or, choose an island somewhere else in the Caribbean area.


Do you enjoy historical sights and beautiful cathedrals? Then Europe is the perfect destination for you! The summer months can get busy, making it difficult to get around without fighting the crowds. So, plan your trip in the spring months before school lets out. The weather is warm enough that you can enjoy time outside without packing your heavy winter clothing.

For cheap destinations, consider Eastern Europe such as Poland or Hungary. If you want to enjoy the coastline, then you might look at destinations in Portugal or Southern Spain.

Las Vegas

If you love great food and fun entertainment, then Las Vegas can be the perfect destination. But, the summer months are too hot to enjoy any time outside! Instead, plan your Vegas vacation in the spring before the temperatures warm up.

Book a room away from the strip if you want a place to relax without fighting the crowds. You might consider a resort with highly-rated golf course and spa services.

Are you ready to “rightsize” your home so that you can enjoy more travel during retirement? Our team at Greenwald &Gerke Realtors is here to help! We provide the assistance that you need to find the best living situation to match your preferred lifestyle. Contact us to learn more about the services that are available: (844) 782-9674

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5 Technology Tools to Improve the Quality of Your Retirement

On 16, Feb 2017 | No Comments | In Blog | By Ron Greenwald

Have you maximized the use of technology to improve your lifestyle? Retirement is the time when you can enjoy the golden years of your life, and there are many tools that can be used to help around the house. If you like to keep up with the tech industry, then you will love some of these gadgets:

1. Voice Activated In-Home Assistant

Amazon’s Alexa system and other speakers are easy to control with the spoken word. If your hands are busy with your favorite hobby, then you can adjust the playlist by giving a verbal command. This in-home assistant can provide information, manage shopping lists, and even set a timer for your dinner that is in the oven.

2. Camera Security Systems

By leveraging your smartphone and strategically placing cameras, you can keep an eye on your home when you are away on vacation. A security camera can be positioned to show who is on the front porch when the doorbell rings. Or, set up cameras inside so that you can monitor the activities of the housekeeping crew during the day.

3. Floodlight Security

Another great option is a floodlight cam, which triggers the camera when the motion-sensor floodlight is activated. This system can be setup with facial recognition, a built-in alarm, night vision, and two-way audio. If you are notified on your app that the camera has been triggered, then you can zoom in and choose to sound the alarm or manually flash the lights to scare intruders away. Everything can be controlled on your smartphone from any location with a good internet connection.

4. Smart Watches

Do you love staying connected with your kids and grandkids, but you don’t like using your smartphone all the time? Invest in a smart watch which will allow you to manage phone calls, text messages, and other apps on your wrist.

5. Medication Dispenser

It is common for people of all ages to take medication for various health conditions, such as acid reducers, blood pressure management, and more. If you find it a hassle to remember the dosages, then consider the benefits of a medication management tool. Program the tool once, then load the machine with your medicine. The machine is coded to deliver the pills at the right time, giving you a quick reminder.

Here at Greenwald &Gerke Realtors, we specialize in real estate services for retired adults. Contact us today if you want to buy a home that will help you maximize the use of technology in your life: (844) 782-9674

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By Ron Greenwald

Fun Retirement Activities to Add a Spark for Valentine’s Day

On 02, Feb 2017 | No Comments | In Blog | By Ron Greenwald

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Have you planned something fun to share with that special someone? Retirement is a great time to enjoy these holidays to the fullest because you have a flexible schedule and the resources to make it a great experience.

If you are looking to add a spark for Valentine’s Day, consider these options:

Hire a Chef

Instead of fighting the crowds at a busy restaurant, consider hiring a chef for the night. This person can come to your home to prepare a gourmet candlelight meal to share with your sweetheart. Most personal chefs will bring the ingredients that are needed for the meal. Additionally, they will plan the menu to match any dietary restrictions that you might be worried about.

Valentine’s Day can be one of the busiest days of the year for the nice restaurants in the area. Luckily, you don’t have to go out to enjoy a romantic meal together.

Plan a Vacation

How does it sound to run away to a warm beach for the week? Destinations like the Caribbean, Mexico, and Hawaii allow you to enjoy the sunshine and warm weather all year long. Or, you might consider a weekend away in wine country. A getaway is a perfect way to step away from daily activities and feel the spark in your relationship. Talk to a travel agent to see if there are any Valentine’s packages available.

Try a New Hobby

Is there an activity that you have wanted to try? Use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to gift the items that will be needed for your new hobby. For example, if you want to spend more time on the golf greens together, then consider purchasing new golf clubs as Valentine’s gifts. Planning an activity together is a great way to build strong memories.

At Greenwald &Gerke Realtors, we want to help you maximize your retirement lifestyle. Contact our team to learn more about how our real estate services can be used during this stage in your life. We are here to help: (844) 782-9674

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By Ron Greenwald

Re-Thinking Retirement: Create a Lifestyle You Will Love!

On 24, Jan 2017 | In Blog | By Ron Greenwald

What bucket list items are still on hold until your retire? Have you revisited your dreams and hopes as you move towards the ladder years of a “working” career?  Instead of sitting back to see what life brings, move the daily mind set into the proactive approach to create a lifestyle that includes all of your favorite hobbies and activities. Whether retired or approaching that day, today is a great opportunity to transform your thinking so that you can create a retirement lifestyle that brings rewards for yourself, those that you choose to have around you, and for the world at large.  God knows we need more of that!

Fulfillment Means to You?

You have worked hard for many years.   Now is the time to revisit, amend, create a new set of dreams. Don’t let yourself be fooled into thinking that your retirement lifestyle needs to be structured in a certain way. It doesn’t matter what your friends or family members choose… you can pick the lifestyle that will be best suited to match your needs.

Retirement is more than just having enough money to get by. These finances are designed to help you get the most out of life. Put yourself first to make sure you have the “what if’s” financially covered then think about starting a Foundation, donating time and treasure to a cause, or mentoring others. Put together your wish list to decide where you want to live, what you want to do, and how you should be spending your time. This life plan can help you be proactive to enjoy these years, instead of missing out on the opportunities that are available.

Planning a Home to Match Your Preferences

As you put together a life plan for your retirement years, you will be in a better position to choose a home to match your desired lifestyle. For example, if you want to spend time exploring the world, then it might make sense to “rightsize” to a smaller home or condo service with an HOA that cares for the yard. Or, if you want to spend more time with family, then you need to be sure that you are in a home where you can easily host your children and grandchildren.

At Greenwald &Gerke Realtors, we want to help you achieve your retirement dreams. Contact us for information about finding the right home to support the retirement lifestyle of your choice: (844) 782-9674

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Is 2017 the Year that You Should Retire?

On 12, Jan 2017 | No Comments | In Blog | By Ron Greenwald

It is a dream for many people to retire early, but this choice is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Are you ready to make the transition from the workplace to a relaxed retirement lifestyle? Here are a few signs that 2017 might be the year that you should step away from your career:

You Can Afford to Retire

Have you built a financial portfolio that provides a big enough budget to support the retirement lifestyle that you desire?  You are 65 today.  Will your financial portfolio be able to outlast 35 years of lifestyle choices, healthcare needs, charitable intent, and unforeseen family obligations?

You Are Ready to Stop Working

Do you find it hard to get out of bed in the morning, because you don’t want to face another day at the office? If you have built the financial war chest for retirement but you are still working because that’s what you are “supposed to do,” then it might be time to step away and enjoy retirement a little early.

You are Out of Debt

Debt payments can have a negative impact on your retirement checks. If you are loaded with a big mortgage or a lot of credit card debt, then you might consider the option to continue working so that you can pay off the debt before retirement. Lowering your expenses is an important step to ensure that you are ready to retire.

Your Passion Lies in …..Fill in the Blank

Given the above that you can afford to retire with in depth analysis of your cash flow projected out many more years then you anticipate, is it now time to 1: volunteer time to a charitable organization? 2: start a business? 3. Mentor students?  4. Spending time with family? If you answer yes to any of the above, then it may be time to consider retirement.

If you are considering retirement this year, then it is essential that you look at the way your mortgage is impacting your monthly cash flow. “Rightsizing” your home can be a great solution to get you positioned, so that you can leave your job. At Greenwald &Gerke Realtors, we specialize in services to support individuals who are preparing for these changes in life. Contact us to learn more about choosing the right living situation to match your personal preferences: (844) 782-9674

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Do You Qualify for VA Aid & Attendance Benefits?

On 15, Dec 2016 | No Comments | In Blog | By Ron Greenwald

Are you a veteran or a surviving spouse of a veteran, 65 yrs. or older?  Are you aware of the little known “Improved Pension” Benefits available to meet your needs?

There are 3 tiers to the “Improved Pension” Benefits: Aid & Attendance is considered to be the Third Tier. These benefits have been an entitlement for 61 years, yet many veterans are unaware of them.

Aid & Attendance Benefits

This benefit is designed to provide financial aid to help offset the cost of long-term care for those who need assistance with the activities of daily living, such as: dressing, eating, toileting, bathing and transferring.

This benefit is available to veterans who have served more than ninety days, with at least one day served during wartime.  They can also be provided for a veteran’s spouse who’s medical expenses completely deplete their combined monthly income, or a veteran’s surviving spouse.  There are resources available to provide assistance at no charge when completing the application process. You are not under any obligation to purchase a financial product to complete the application.

Qualifying for Aid & Attendance Benefits

For the Aid & Attendance benefits to be granted, it is necessary to meet one of the following conditions:

  • You require the aid of another person in order to perform personal functions required for everyday living.
  • You are bedridden, in that your disability requires you to remain in bed apart from prescribed course of convalescence or treatment.
  • You are a patient in a nursing home due to mental or physical incapacity.
  • You have limited eyesight.

In addition to these conditions, total assets and annual income vs. expenses are analyzed during the application process.  The benefit amounts may change annually, so it is important to check the current program benefits to better understanding the monthly benefit you are eligible to receive.

Understanding your VA Benefits

At Greenwald & Gerke Realtors, we are here to support veterans and their spouses to better understand the Aid & Attendance Benefit and choosing the right living situation to match their needs.  Talk to our team to learn more about real estate services that can help to maximize your retirement situation: (844)782-9674

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3 Ways to Maximize Life Satisfaction during Retirement

On 08, Dec 2016 | No Comments | In Blog | By Ron Greenwald

Are you considering or near that decision to retire from the work force?   Today’s retiree is active, vibrant, engaged, and looking to give back.   The early retirement years is the time to put the pedal to the metal in terms of increasing your mental and physical activities.  Here are a few ways that you can improve your circumstances and maximize life satisfaction during your golden years:

1. Spend More Time with the People that You Love

Now that you don’t have to worry about work, it is the perfect opportunity to spend time with the people that you love. Take trips to visit your grandchildren, plan Sunday dinners with the nearby family members and friends, and look for ways that you can connect with each person in your family. Strong family relationships and deep friendships will bring a deeper sense of satisfaction into your life.

2. Pick Multiple New Activities

Are you getting out to enjoy the beautiful world? Find a hobby that helps you maintain an active lifestyle. Consider options like pickleball (the latest craze sweeping the nation), traveling, cycling, or any other sports activities that you have always wanted to try. If you enjoy artwork or crafts, check the local craft store to find out if they offer sewing, knitting, or flower arrangement classes. Even something as simple as getting out of the house to walk the dog each night can be an effective way to keep your blood pumping and boost your mind.

3. Focus on Your Health

The quality of your health matters and many retirees become more aware of their health because of small aches and pains that start to creep in. If you want to enjoy health and vitality, then you need to make an effort to improve daily habits that impact your health. Plan healthy meals, exercise several times a week and make it a point to keep yourself mentally active each day.  To assist in your interactions with the medical profession, we strongly encourage you to think long and hard about adding a medical advocate to your team of professionals.

At Greenwald &Gerke Realtors, we offer real estate services for active retirees. We know that it is important to have a home that will support your retirement lifestyle, and our team is here to help. Contact us to learn more about the best retirement living to match your preferences: (844) 782-9674

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