“Do you have the guts to take on a fixer upper?”

Joanna and Chip Gaines begin their hit show Fixer Upper on HGTV each week with that question.  I love their show and others which depict people taking on a fixer upper property and making it into something wonderful.  You might say I’m addicted!

taking on a fixer upper
Photo by slc

So, to answer the question, “Do you have the guts to take on a fixer upper?”  My answer is yes, I do!  This week I successfully negotiated a contract on a fixer upper in the mountains about 40 minutes from my home.

The original cabin with a stone fireplace was built in 1938.  It is a one room structure built on a stone foundation.  In 1989, former owners crudely built an attached two-story addition to the cabin.  This addition was not permitted and later deteriorated beyond livability.  The cabin has electricity but no running water or septic.  It has a primitive outhouse up the hill for the owner’s convenience.

So why am I buying this property?

First, I can afford it and it is a good investment.  The property was listed “as is” for $98,900.  I offered $85,000 and the sellers accepted.  Other fixer uppers we have looked at have been listed around $200,000 with major work needed. Mountain properties in the area typically go for $120,000 and up for smaller lots and cabins.  Once I fix this property up as now planned, we could probably list it for over $200,000.  The financial risk of taking on a fixer upper at this price is fairly minimal.

Second, it could become a source of income.  I am hopeful demolition, rebuilding and restoration will be completed by about August 1st next year.  At that time, I would like to offer it as a Vacation Rental By Owner, VRBO.  The property is near the Estes Park area and I would market it to people who are looking for a quiet place in the woods for their short-term stay.

taking on a fixer upper
photo by slc

Next, the thought of being the general contractor on this project is exciting.  I have already learned a lot from visiting with the planners at the county building department, a structural engineer and visiting websites on codes, permits and even sealed vaults for septic.   Designing the new structure will probably be my favorite part of the process.  I have already drawn a rough sketch of the proposed layout of the new addition.  Fun stuff!

Lastly, I have always (since about seventh grade) wanted a home in the woods.  Since moving to Colorado over 20 years ago I have wanted a  cabin in the mountains.  Since I have a passion for taking on a fixer upper and I have always wanted a cabin in the woods, this one is a pretty good fit.

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Group offers emotional support

emotional support
dailymail.co.uk

Women start ministries to help widows

By Kandice Bell, Newnam Times-Herald

August 6, 2017

“According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 800,000 people are widowed each year in the United States, and two local women are making strides to help widows deal with their grief.

Susie Walker lost her husband Rev. William Gerald ‘Jerry’ Walker in June 2016. Walker was a pastor at First Baptist Church in downtown Newnan for over 30 years.

Walker said her widow group, W.O.W, which stands for ‘Women of Worth,’ began with nine ladies having coffee at her house in the fall of 2016 to help her with her grief, but the group has quickly grown to 30 or more widows.

‘When you lose your mate, all of a sudden everything you did as a couple is hard to do by yourself,’ Walker said. ‘Anything such as going to a movie or going out to eat.’

Walker said the group serves as emotional support for other widows. Some who were recently widowed and others who have been for years.”

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Feed your brain with the MIND diet

MIND dietMediterranean-style diets linked to better brain function in older adults

July 25, 2017

“Eating foods included in two healthy diets—the Mediterranean or the MIND diet—is linked to a lower risk for memory difficulties in older adults, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

The Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, potatoes, nuts, olive oil and fish. Processed foods, fried and fast foods, snack foods, red meat, poultry and whole-fat dairy foods are infrequently eaten on the Mediterranean diet.

The MIND diet is a version of the Mediterranean diet that includes 15 types of foods. Ten are considered ‘brain-healthy:’ green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, seafood, poultry, olive oil, and wine. Five are considered unhealthy: red meat, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries, sweets and fried/fast foods.”

Read more from medicalxpress.com

To learn more about the Mediterranean diet go to eatingwell.com

 

Retirement income – do you have enough?

7 Places to Find Income Once You Retire

Try these sources of income in retirement to help cover expenses from health care to spoiling your grandchildren.

By Scott Hanson, CFP, for Kiplinger

July 2017

“Where are you going to find income once you retire? Even if you’ve got a trunk load of cash saved, you can’t just live off the principal. Because with interest rates stuck in low gear, just to keep up with inflation your money’s going to have to earn income.

And then there’s all those unexpected health care expenses, along with your grandchildren’s college educations.

What should you do?

retirement income
Getty Images

Here are seven places to find income once you stop working, with a tip added to each to help nudge your thinking toward the future.

  1. Retirement Savings Account
  2. Social Security
  3. A Diversified Investment Portfolio
  4. Reverse Mortgage
  5. Pension
  6. Work
  7. Inheritance

Read retirement income tips and other details

 

Have you received a financial wake-up call?

financial wake-up call
lifemeisters.com

Widows, divorcees face financial wake-up call when spouses are gone

By Erin Arvedlund, The Philadelphia Inquirer

July 21, 2017

“Widows and divorced women need to plan for retirement differently. That’s the advice from financial planners and studies by Allianz, Lincoln Financial Group, and the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Women pay a higher economic price for divorce, separation, and widowhood compared with men. Older wives are doubly disadvantaged relative to their husbands because, among other factors, they’re less likely to recoup their losses from divorce by remarrying, according to a 2016 Center for Retirement Research study. Furthermore, men typically make more money than women, are more likely to have access to pensions, and are more likely to achieve financial security and live above the poverty line in later life compared with women, regardless of marital status.

About 65 percent of women save less than they need to, compared with 55 percent of men, according to the 2017 Lincoln Financial retirement survey, based on a national sampling of 2,509 full-time workers ages 21 to 70 who have been contributing to their current employers’ defined-contribution retirement plans for at least one year.

So what’s an aging American woman to do? First, seek out help, starting with a financial adviser, particularly one who is a fiduciary — the term means the adviser puts clients’ interests first, ahead of the paycheck.”

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A pediatrician’s advice for older adults

7 Things Pediatrics Can Teach Us About Aging Well

Older adults can benefit from following the advice we give to kids

Dr. Edward Schneider, Next Avenue, July 21, 2017

pediatrician's advice
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“Aging is a process that begins on the day we are born — toddlers’ seemingly overnight transformations into teens should serve as proof enough of this. And recent research is confirming that the secret to a long and healthy life may be as simple as listening to seven pieces of advice your pediatrician dispensed decades ago:

  1. Eat your fruits and veggies (and skip supplements)
  2. Move your body
  3. Stay in school
  4. Brush your teeth
  5. Make friends
  6. Don’t smoke
  7. Get enough sleep

Pediatricians operate on the principle that it is never too early to begin healthy habits. But it is also never too late. Start taking some of these baby steps today. They can make a big difference in your health and wellness, no matter how old or young you are.”

For more details

Edward Schneider, M.D., is a professor and dean emeritus at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. He is a former deputy director of the National Institutes on Aging and completed a research fellowship in pediatrics before turning his focus to improving the health of older adults.

Beware of SSA impersonators

SSA impersonatorsSocial Security Scam Targets Retirees

“The Acting Inspector General of Social Security, Gale Stallworth Stone, is warning citizens about a new Social Security Administration (SSA) employee impersonation scheme.
SSA and its Office of the Inspector General (OIG) have recently alerted citizens about an OIG employee impersonation scheme and a scheme targeting former clients of Kentucky disability attorney Eric Conn; the agencies are now receiving reports from citizens across the country about other phone calls from an individual posing as an SSA employee.  The caller attempts to acquire personally identifiable information from victims to then edit the victims’ direct deposit, address, and telephone information with SSA.”

 

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