The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 16 No. 51 - October 19, 2016


Merchants have new president

LaPensee Plumbing Pools Air

joe hendricks | SUN

Popular with the shoppers of all ages, the seasonal
Sunday Market on Bridge Street will not take place this year.

BRADENTON BEACH – Island Time and Bridge Street Bistro co-owner and managing partner Bill Herlihy has agreed to serve as the new president of the Bridge Street Merchants Association.

In a statement provided by Jack Clarke, the association's new executive director, Herlihy said, "I am honored to accept the position as president of the Bridge Street Merchants Association. My predecessor Angela Rodocker did an outstanding job and I aspire to continue to accomplish all of the goals set forth by our board of directors. Bridge Street and Bradenton Beach have seen so many positive things happen recently to our community and businesses and I am confident that we will be able to keep moving in a favorable direction that will promote Bridge Street and our mission statement."

When she announced her resignation in August, Rodocker issued a statement to the board members that said, "After being your president of the Merchant Association for over two years, I am stepping down from this position as of September 1st. I have greatly enjoyed being a part of everything that we have done and created for the street; and although I will not be on the board at this time, I will remain the committee chair for Christmas on Bridge Street. At the same time, I would like to welcome Jack Clarke as the Bridge Street Merchants' first executive director."

In regard to the seasonal Sunday Market, Rodocker, while still serving as president, issued an e-mail to the board members and merchants that said, "The board has agreed to discontinue the Sunday Market on Bridge Street. Although it had become known and successful to many, the cost to continue was going to outweigh the benefits given the fact that we were going to have to move it to the street with the impending building on the empty lot. It was also going to have a significant impact on the parking situation by closing a portion of the street. We will continue to keep our relationship with our loyal vendors and many have agreed to come back for our special events."

Beyond providing seasonal sales space to local vendors and artists, the Sunday Market also featured food tastings, fund-raisers, live entertainment and other community events.

In addition to the annual Christmas on Bridge Street celebration, the merchants will continue to host the annual Blues, Brews and Barbecue festival that takes place each spring.

Visit the Bridge Street Merchants online at

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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