The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 9 No. 22 - February 18, 2009


Get fit at home with Steve

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Steve Schewe will come to your home and deisn
a fitness program tailored to your needs.

Do you think Adam and Eve worried if they were eating properly or getting enough exercise? Their lifestyle was organic by default, filled with basic natural foods and physical exertion modern man needs to make a deliberate point of perusing. Steve Schewe understands the disconnect between ancient and modern man, and encourages his clients to adopt the Adam and Eve Principle of natural wholesome foods as part of their fitness program.

Schewe approaches fitness from a holistic point of view. His goal is to design a fitness program that addresses not only improved physical flexibility and endurance, but also nutritional guidance to improve overall health. He teaches simple modifications to lifestyle through resistance training that will improve muscle tone, strengthen bones and reduce weight at a pace that is comfortable and enjoyable.

His focus is on the special needs of the individual relative to his/her health, and he designs a program specifically for them where there are no training numbers to adhere to and no boot camp atmosphere. He offers an exercise prescription rather than exercise regiment. In addition, Schewe feels part of his job is to also teach good solid eating habits and the Teeter Totter Principle of calories eaten verses calories burned. He points out there is a difference between losing weight and becoming fit, and they both go hand in hand.

Schewe moved to Bradenton Beach over a year ago from California, where he has been involved in fitness since 1975. He has earned several local and national certifications including the two year Certified Program in Fitness Instruction from UCLA. He would like everyone to be aware that since the fitness industry is not regulated, it is essential to investigate your trainer’s credentials and certifications before starting a program, as well as asking for references.

An in-home fitness program, of course, has the primary advantage of having a trainer come to your home, and Schewe makes himself available to fit your schedule whether you’re on or off the Island. He presents a variety of cost-based programs, including two for one sessions that can include a spouse, family member or friend, as well as a three-session program for $99 that can also be shared. If your time is short, Schewe has designed a one hour workout accomplished in 30 minutes by alternating opposing muscle groups. He also conducts complimentary Living Well seminars on a varying schedule so keep an eye open for future seminars.

Making fitness fun and improving quality of life is the objective of Steve’s In-Home Fitness. But beware, once Schewe gets you in shape, you’ll be swinging from the trees like Tarzan, or at least walking the beach like Bo Derek.

Steve's In-home Fitness

941-400-GIFT (4438)

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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