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Vol. 17 No. 23 - March 22, 2017


Irene's celebrates 60 years

LaPensee Plumbing Pools Air


Nanette Almeter owner of Irene's
Resort Wear, has taken the vision of her
great aunt Ireneto new heights.

If you believe that who we are is predetermined through the genes passed from generation to generation, then you'll appreciate the story of Irene's Resort Wear in Holmes Beach. Sixty years ago, when Anna Maria was still a baby, Irene Cassady closed her West Virginia shop and opened Irene's Resort Wear in Holmes Beach. Like her mother, Mattie, she too had retail in her blood and treated her new shop like a baby growing it right along with the island she loved.

After Irene's death, her nephew and his wife Bob and Nina Boyers took over the business. They eventually passed it on in 1990 to their daughter, Nanette Almeter who has taken great aunt Irene's vision and service principles to new heights.

Irene's has come a long way from being one of the few ladies' shops in Manatee County stocking a little bit of everything for her customers. Under the sharp eye and guiding hand of Almeter, Irene's now carries high end fashions and accessories including Joseph Ribkoff, Brighton, Tribal, Onex and more. The stunning display of Mary Frances evening bags shines and sparkles like a jewel case, and the abundance of jewelry will impress even the fussiest buyer.

Almeter calls herself an old fashioned retailer, but there's nothing old fashioned about her inventory. She has recently added a line of comfortable and funky summer and classic linen dresses, as well as a new line of hand painted, leather bags and accessories from Anuschka. These are singularly unique handbags, wallets and small purses that come with a history of the company and the name of the artist, and they make unusual gifts.

Irene's prides itself on personalized service, something hard to come by these days, and don't forget the sale loft overflowing with discounted inventory for the bargain hunter in all of us. Also, keep an eye out for specialty trunk shows before the end of season and Irene's big Easter sale.

Irene's is the kind of shop when you can find an outfit for a formal affair or a day at the beach, and much of it can be viewed at the many charity fashion shows Almeter participates in every year. The Bradenton Opera Guild, St. Bernard's Church and the Key Royale Club are just some of the fashion shows, in addition to other community events, that Irene's either participates in or donates to.

To celebrate Irene's Diamond Anniversary, Almeter invites everyone to an all-day anniversary party on March 23. There will be refreshments, gift certificate raffles and sale opportunities. For more details check out Irene's ad in this paper. She wants to thank her supportive and accomplished staff and all of her loyal customers.

When I asked Almeter what Aunt Irene would think if she were alive today, she said she would be very proud at how beautifully her baby had grown. I'm sure Aunt Irene would also be grateful that a fourth generation of her family is still taking care of her baby. Irene's Resort Wear, a family legacy and iconic island business still going strong at 60.


5308 Marina Drive Holmes Beach


Monday-Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

All major credit cards accepted

Gift wrapping

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Reverse mortgages worth another look

Investment Corner

I have written about reverse mortgages over the years, at least twice here in the Sun. My advice was that reverse mortgages were expensive for the borrower, but in the case where a retired person or couple had run out of assets, using the equity in their home through a reverse mortgage wasn’t the worst idea in the world.

I’m bringing the topic back one more time because some changes in federal guidelines have made the reverse mortgage a more attractive option for those who are over age 62, that own their home free and clear of another mortgage and who are concerned about the possibility of running low on retirement income during their lifetime

Space limitations don’t’ allow us to go into a full primer on reverse mortgages, but let’s hit some of the highlights.

• Fees are down: The up front mortgage insurance premium applied to all reverse mortgages was reduced from 2.5 percent of the loan amount to 0.5 percent by the Reverse Mortgage Stabilization Act of 2013, as long as the borrower doesn’t tap more than 60 percent of the available credit balance in the first year. Other fees have been standardized and are roughly in line with a traditional home mortgage, but often lenders will issue credits to offset some or all of these other expenses.

• Education: Borrowers are required to attend a consumer counseling session to make sure they understand the nature of the reverse mortgage. The cost of this session is $125

• Borrowing limit: The limit for reverse mortgage credit lines depends on the age of the youngest borrower, current interest rates and the lenders margin. Generally, you can access about half of the value of your principal resident, up to a current maximum value of $625,000.

• Payments: You don’t need to make payment on a reverse mortgage. The money you borrow and accrued interest must be repaid when you no longer live in the home. This can be through a move to another location, or if you pass away. The home will then be sold, the reverse mortgage paid off and any excess above that can be left to heirs.

In the past, advice was generally to take out the reverse mortgage as a last resort when it was obvious additional funds may be needed. Under current guidelines, that advice is outdated. Reverse mortgage lines of credit actually grow over time, giving the borrower the ability to borrow more. So, the current advice in most situations is to establish the line of credit in your mid-60s, when eligible, and instead of borrowing, just let the line of credit rest with a zero balance.

A line of credit for about $125,000 will grow to about $190,000 in 10 years, 290,000 in 20 years and over $440,000 in 30 years. Establishing, but not accessing the line of credit until later in retirement gives the retiree a lot of flexibility. The exact loan characteristics are influenced by the age(s) of the borrowers as well as the current level of interest rates.

In summary, for those who may find themselves real estate rich and liquid asset challenged, a reverse mortgage may be a good option.

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. Visit


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