7 Steps for Improving Women’s Retirement Readiness

How can you improve Retirement Readiness?

A study from the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® (TCRS) titled, Fourteen Facts About Women’s Retirement Outlook aimed at raising awareness of retirement risks that women face in order to affect positive change. “Women can take greater control of their finances,” according to Catherine Collinson, president of TCRS, “by taking small steps that can ultimately lead to a giant leap in terms of their long-term retirement readiness.”

The 7 Steps for Improving Women’s Retirement Readiness

  1. Develop a retirement strategy anwomen-offered-a-retirement-pland write it down.

  2. Calculate your retirement savings and income needs.

  3. Consider retirement benefits as part of your total compensation.

  4. If your employer offers a retirement plan, participate.

  5. Get educated about retirement investing.

  6. Have a backup.

  7. Importantly, talk about retirement with family and close friends.

In the March 2014 release Collinson continued, “How each woman ultimately plans on spending her retirement is unique, but the tools to help attain retirement readiness are common to all. Women have made tremendous strides in recent decades in terms of educational attainment and careers. Now is the time to make even greater strides in achieving a financially secure retirement.” Continue reading

Fourteen Facts About Women’s Risky Retirement Outlook

What financial risks do women face in the United States?

Writer’s Note: I am sharing this data with you in the hopes that you may do a better job than I did preparing for retirement. When I was rising through the ranks, I did not always maximize my contributions to a 401K plan or IRA. Today there is an even greater need for self direction to create a personal retirement plan and I hope you will find this information helpful. -Kathy Sperl-Bell

A study provided by the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® (TCRS) titled, Fourteen Facts About Women’s Risky Retirement Outlook raises awareness of the financial risks women in the United States face and how they can improve their retirement outlook.

women-working-past-age-70“Our research has found that women around the world are concerned that future generations of retirees will be worse off than current retirees,” said Catherine Collinson, president of TCRS.

Based on select findings from the 14th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers, Fourteen Facts highlights specific areas of opportunity for women (and offers comparisons to men).

It also outlines some of the underlying reasons why women are at greater risk than men of not achieving a secure retirement, such as lower incomes, lower lifetime earnings, time out of the workforce to be a parent or caregiver, and longer life expectancies that drive a need for greater savings.

Did you know…

women-confident-about-retirementOnly 7% of women are very confident in retirement

61% of women are offered a 401(k) or similar plan

45% of women work part-time and

43% of women plan to retire after age 70

52% of women plan to work in retirement

Since 2006 TCRS has been publishing research reports and pursuing outreach campaigns regarding women as part of its annual retirement survey. “In the United States, women can take greater control of their financial futures by taking small steps today that can ultimately lead to a giant leap in terms of their long-term retirement readiness,” said Collinson. Continue reading

Active Adults Realty April 2014 Delaware Real Estate Update

SUSSEX, KENT & NEW CASTLE COUNTY, Delaware Real Estate Update from Active Adults Realty

Active Adults Delaware Community Update


Kathy Sperl-Bell, Broker Active Adults Realty, “Southern Delaware, the market is flooded!”

Active Adults Realty Coastal DE buttonNow that it’s warming up, buyers, who ended up holding off because of the bad winter weather along with those who will normally enter the market in spring, are flooding our Delaware real estate market now.

Local builders are attempting to meet these demands by producing Quick Delivery Homes and offering new models with efficient floorplans for sale. While we do our best to keep you current with available information and updates on the areas most popular neighborhoods, if you are really interested in pursuing your dream here in Delaware, please Email me or call 302-542-1203 for the most current Sussex County information.

Updates, QDHs and Resales

We get many requests for notice of resales at NASSAU GROVE in Lewes. There are a few right now, they do not come on the market often and don’t last long. CLICK HERE to View Available Listings in NASSAU GROVE as of press time.

MODEL LEASE BACKS: Schell Brothers currently have a few at  BAYSIDE, BAYFRONT, HERITAGE CREEK and ELLIS POINT. For more details, Email me.

Tour the Whimbrel Model by Schell Brothers with Active Adults Realty at a Grand Opening House Party in INDEPENDENCE. Email Me now to Schedule Your VIP Tour between 11am and 2pm on April 26.

The new Cape May Model home is now available in SAWGRASS NORTH. Schell Brothers offers an easy-entertaining floorplan, perfect for shore-style living. Email me for the details on this new home floorplan or the SAWGRASS NORTH Siteplan.

QUICK DELIVERY HOMES: Builders at THE VILLAGES AT RED MILL POND and PLANTATION LAKES also have homes in various form of readiness. Click Here to View Available Listings in the Villages at Red Mill Pond or in PLANTATION LAKES.

With inventory turning over quickly at this time, DON’T HESITATE TO CALL 302-542-1203 or Email me for Southern Delaware updates.

Continue reading

Report: US Housing Market Needs More Homes for Sale

US homes for saleThe national housing market is dealing with an issue of supply and demand right now and it’s impacting both buyers and sellers… the Market needs more homes!

Specifically, the national housing market has too few people selling their homes compared with the number of people who want to buy homes, according to a recent report from Standard & Poor’s/Case Shiller.

This is consequently driving home prices up, which in some cases is making available homes for sale unaffordable to buyers.

It’s certainly a unique situation and one that both home buyers and home sellers are going to need to learn how to navigate in the coming months.

Recent National Housing Market Activity Explained

Here’s what we know based on the recent Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller 20-city index:

  • Last year saw a 13.4 percent jump in the average price of a home sold.
  • Average prices nationally are expected to increase by single digits this year.
  • The gains are expected to be the strongest in those cities with strong job growth, including Seattle and Austin.
  • Meanwhile, lenders are beginning to ease barriers for those with less-than-ideal credit, meaning that these home buyers could find it easier to qualify for a mortgage and buy a home.
  • Currently there are about five months worth of homes on the market, compared with 5.9 months in 2012 and 8.3 months in 2011.
  • Part of the explanation of low housing inventory is the fact that about 19 percent of home owners remain underwater on their mortgages, which may deter some sellers from listing because their sales price may be less than what they owe.
  • And an additional 37 percent are “effectively underwater,” which means that their sale would not be enough to cover the cost of listing their home as well as putting a down payment on a new home.
  • But luckily, warmer weather, job growth and a more robust economy are expected to help encourage more home owners to list their properties this spring.

Experts also believe that the rise in home prices will help the problem correct itself. After all, as sales prices continue to rise, it will lure more home owners to list their properties. Continue reading

Bootcamp Workshop on VA Loans: Active Adults Realty REALTORS® Earn CMRS Designation

Active Adults Realty REALTORS® attended the recent BOOTCAMP Workshop on VA Loans sponsored by Fairway Independent Mortgage.

Certified Military Specialist DesignationThe Workshop, led by Louise Thaxton included Real Estate Professionals who earned the certification of Certified Military Residential Specialist (CMRS).

Realtor Bootcamp

On hand with their CMRS certificates are (Left to Right) Active Adults Realty REALTORS® Al Willis, Tracey Wehr-Harrell, Elliot Welan and Debbie Shearer along with Gail Alm of Fairway Independent Mortgage.

The Boot Campaign, developed to bridge the gap between American society and the warriors that protect her, is dedicated to cultivating awareness, promoting patriotism, and providing assistance to military personnel, past and present, and their families. In this Workshop, the REALTORS® learned how to be equipped to handle, with excellence the home purchase needs of active duty and former military clients.

To conclude the program, Fairway Independent Mortgage presented their 14th mortgage-free home to a wounded warrior.

Quick Delivery Homes Help Make the Move… Smooth!

Quick Delivery Homes: How They Can Speed Up The Move

These days, it’s hard for somhttp://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-couple-new-home-mature-unpacking-boxes-their-image38105125e Boomers to carry two mortgages while their existing home sits on the market. They must wait for their house to sell, called a contingency, before buying a new one.

For Quick Delivery Home buyers, the biggest concern is availability… looking to avoid short term renting or getting into your new home before the holidays. If you find yourself in this situation, you are not alone.

Don’t Miss Your Chance for “Instant Gratification” Continue reading

Expect to See an Exceptionally Busy Spring Home Buying Season in 2014

Spring home buying

Expect to See an Exceptionally Busy Spring Home Buying Season

That’s because national real estate experts are projecting that this spring will see even more home buying activity than is already expected for this time of year.

Why? Because of pent-up home buyer demand from the unusually cold winter we had.  Home buyers who might have navigated the market in late 2013 and early 2014 ended up holding off because of the bad winter weather.

Can you blame them?  House hunting in frigid temperatures while trudging around in the snow and bad weather is no fun at all.

So now that it’s warming up outside, these home buyers – along with those who would have normally entered the market in spring – are flooding the real estate market.

More Trends to Expect This Spring on the National Housing Market

According to a recent Bloomberg article, the spring home buying market (which usually runs from March to June) was delayed because of the unusually bad winter we’ve had across the country.

This late start meant that home sales declined in February to the lowest level since mid-2012. And the number of contracts signed reached the lowest level since 2011.

Meanwhile, applications for mortgages to buy homes dropped to the lowest since 1995 during the month of February. Continue reading

Bouncing Back After Foreclosure and Bankruptcy

Boomers Bouncing Back, Are You Ready To Buy Again?

What are the qualifications for buying a home after foreclosure or a bankruptcy?  Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist Gail Alm at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation in Rehoboth Beach, has put together a guide to educate you to the fact that…  yes, you can own a home again!

Are you wondering if you can ever bounce back from bankruptcy, a short sale or a foreclosure and buy a new home? The attached information, supplied by Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist Gail Alm at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation in Rehoboth Beach, will guide and educate you to the fact that..  yes, you can own a home again!

DOWNLOAD a PDF of Gail's Qualifying Criteria at the end of the article.

DOWNLOAD a PDF of Gail’s Qualifying Criteria at the end of the article.

“There are many people who have been affected by the “Housing Bubble” and subsequent “Mortgage Meltdown”!  You may know someone personally, that has.  Bankruptcy and foreclosure are not the end of the world,” says Gail Alm. “By working together with a CMS, you can plan your strategy to enhance your buying power and buy a home again.”

The Following list details a borrower’s criteria for qualifying for Conventional, FHA, VA and USDA Rural Loans after bankruptcy or if  your home was taken by foreclosure.


Chapter 7 Bankruptcy: 4 years from discharge date or dismissal date

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy: 12 years from discharge date or 4 years from dismissal date

Multiple Bankruptcy Filings in the Last 7 Years: 5 years from latest discharge date or dismissal date

Foreclosure: 7 years from completion date

Deed-in-lieu of Foreclosure: Note: Follow AUS requirements. 4 years from completion date, plus Owner-Occupied purchase or limited Cash-Out refinance and max LTV of 90%.  For a purchase, borrower must contribute at least a 10% down payment or what is required for the loan program. 7 years from completion date if transaction is a: Cash-Out, Second Home, or Investment Property

Pre-foreclosure, Short Sale, or Prior Loan Modification: 2 years—80% max LTV, 4 years—90% max LTV, 7 years—Max LTV allowed by program.

Consumer Credit Counseling: Must be approved by AUS. Continue reading

Our Featured Boomers for March 2014

Sophie and Ted Krezel of Milton, Delaware

Our Featured Boomers, Sophie and Ted Krezel of Milton, Delaware

Our Featured Boomers: Meet “The Krezels”

“Locals Now!” recently interviewed Sophie and Ted Krezel who moved to Holland Mills in Milton in March 2013 for this month’s Featured Boomer column.

The Krezel’s relocated from Wayne, New Jersey via Loveland, Colorado where they lived for five years. Sophie was a former Speech Therapist while Ted owned a Hardware Store. At this time, they are both enjoying retirement in Delaware.

LN:  Where else did you consider before buying in Delaware? What were the most important factors in making your choice?

SK:  We looked in South Jersey. We sought out the availability of suitable, affordable housing in a location near beaches and, of course, low taxes. Continue reading