The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 9 No. 21 - February 11, 2009


New owners continue Tyler’s tradition

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Laura and Rob Alderson are receiving advice from Geri and Larry Tyler.

There are many types of sophisticated foods in the world that can be classified as gourmet, but there aren’t too many sophisticated foods that can be classified as both gourmet and fun. If you’re looking for a good time that involves your taste buds, ice cream should be at the top of your list, especially if it’s been around for 25 years.

Tyler’s Gourmet Ice Cream on Cortez Road near 119th Street has been satisfying our taste buds for 25 years at the same location. Although Rob Alderson, Tyler’s new owner, recently moved to Florida, he recognized immediately that Tyler’s is a landmark in the area, and plans on continuing the Tyler’s tradition.

Relocating from Minnesota at the end of last year, Alderson, his wife Laura Alderson and their two daughters Josie and Ava were looking to make a new life in Florida’s sunshine and be near family. The opportunity to own and operate Tyler’s was a dream come true for them, especially when they had the good fortune to meet the original Tylers, Larry and Geri Tyler who established the legendary ice cream shop 25 years ago. Their advice and years of experience have been an invaluable asset to the Aldersons, who are committed to maintaining the same top quality product the Tylers introduced 25 years ago.

Tyler’s makes all its homemade ice cream on site using 300 recipes of ice cream and sorbets. It maintains 48 different flavors of ice cream, in addition to carrying fat free, sugar free, regular cones, waffle cones, sundaes, shakes, soft ice cream, and fat free yogurt. You can have ice cream to go and in the near future it will have cakes and pies available. Tyler’s is already supplying ice cream to restaurants and plans on partnering with additional restaurants in the future that will feature its gourmet line of ice cream.

Sometime in early April Tyler’s will host a blow out 25 year anniversary party with ice cream eating contests and anniversary specials of all kinds. In the meantime, you can visit Tyler’s booth at the Cortez Fishing Festival on Feb. 21 and 22, or the shop for your ice cream fix.

The country may be experiencing an economic slump, but no one can ever resist the fun and temptation of great ice cream. So forget the other gourmet foods and make yourself feel better with the gourmet food you can still afford, Tyler’s Gourmet Ice Cream the local landmark that redefines sophistication.

Tyler’s Gourmet Ice Cream

11904 Cortez Road W., Cortez
Monday through Thursday 1 to 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday Noon to 10 p.m.
Sunday, noon to 9 p.m.

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story
Revisiting reverse mortgages

Investment Corner

The last time I wrote about reverse mortgages, the real estate market was heating up and prices were escalating toward unsustainable levels. Hindsight has revealed the truths about many things in the last few years. Despite price declines for most real estate in the last couple years, many seniors still have a lot of equity in their home, which does not produce any spendable income. With investment portfolios across the board at low levels and interest rates on "safe" savings vehicles not paying much at all, I thought it might be a good idea to revisit the concept of the reverse mortgage.

Reverse mortgages allow you to receive either a lump sum or monthly distributions, which essentially amount to borrowing a portion of the equity in your home and using the money for whatever you desire. The company underwriting the reverse mortgage charges interest on the amount borrowed, but unlike a home equity loan, no monthly repayment of principal and interest is required. The amount borrowed and the accrued interest continues to accumulate until you sell or no-longer live in the home. At that time, the home is sold and the reverse mortgage balance paid off.

You can even open up a reverse mortgage as a credit line. In this situation you don’t receive any money up front, but receive a book of checks which you can use to access the credit line if, and when, necessary. The advantage of this method, assuming you don’t need monthly cash flow, is that you don’t pay interest on borrowed funds until it is absolutely needed.

To take advantage of a reverse mortgage all co-owners of the home must be at least 62 years of age, and the home must be your principal residence. Because of the up-front origination fees you should only consider a reverse mortgage if you plan on living in the home for at least five years. Also, there cannot be any other mortgages on the property. Any small remaining mortgage balances can be paid off using funds from the reverse mortgage.

A common misconception about reverse mortgages is that when you die, your home will be seized by the bank and your heirs will get nothing. In reality, you are borrowing the equity in your home, and that loan needs to be repaid when you sell the home or no-longer live in it (such as if you pass away). If your home has a value of $250,000 and you have accumulated a balance of $100,000 on the reverse mortgage (both principal and interest), your heirs could sell the house upon your death and still receive $150,000 cash (minus closing costs and commissions) representing the excess equity in the home above the reverse mortgage balance.

Some seniors with highly valued homes have dreams of leaving the house to the kids and are hesitant to have a mortgage on the property when they do so. This is a personal preference, but in many cases the children will not keep the house anyway. The financial burden of the taxes and insurance on such a residence may be too much for the children to take care of and the house will end up being sold.

In the case where there are multiple heirs, one may want to keep the house and the others may not. As always with family and money, it is best to talk with the children and get a feel for what they desire ahead of time.

I suggest visiting the following educational Web sites to learn more:

The large institutions offering reverse mortgages are Bank of America, 877-245-8852; Wells Fargo, 877-291-4333; and Financial Freedom, 800-750-0306. All of these firms have information available on their Web sites.

In summary, I have never thought reverse mortgages were a great idea, mostly because the fees to establish the mortgage were high. These fees have come down in recent years and for seniors without alternatives to help create some cash flow, they are not the worst thing you can do.

Tom Breiter is President of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing.

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