RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Retiring Soon? Last-Minute Strategies to Consider

November 6, 2014 12:39 am

Despite continuing economic recovery, many older Americans do not have sufficient funds to sustain their lifestyles in retirement. If you’re preparing to retire soon, consider augmenting your savings with these strategies.

1. Max out your contributions. The IRS sets higher limits for those aged 50 and older, so take advantage of it by cutting expenses and putting those savings into your retirement accounts.

2. Relocate to a less expensive area. With many soon-to-be retirees building significant equity in their homes, it may be worthwhile to sell and move to a location that accommodates a lower cost of living.

3. Become a part-timer. Supplement your savings with part-time employment. Many retirees find this to be not only a productive use of time, but also an opportunity to explore interests they could not pursue while working full-time.

4. Test your retirement lifestyle. For those who are uncertain they can live on their retirement savings, financial experts recommend spending two years before retirement living within those means.

5. Postpone retirement. If your savings fall short, consider delaying retirement altogether. When you do retire, you’ll receive higher Social Security payments than you would have if you collected earlier.

Those nearing retirement should consult a financial advisor or tax professional before making changes to their investment strategies.

Source: Bankrate

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Top Kitchen Design Tips

November 6, 2014 12:39 am

Kitchens remain a top remodeling project in 2014, according to the Member Profile Study done by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). Eighty-two percent of NARI members identify kitchens as its No. 1 service.

“Consumers want practical, comfortable kitchens that are efficient to use and easy to live in.” says Tom O’Grady, CR, CKBR, chairman of NARI’s Strategic Planning. “Bigger isn’t better, but homeowners still want a feeling of space, and open concept and islands are still part of kitchen trends in 2014.”

Improving the overall look and feel of the kitchen was most often cited as the main motivating factor by homeowners for remodeling, followed by improving function.

The continuing trend of fewer upper cabinets in the kitchen creates more space for decorative task lighting, often on adjustable arms that gives the option to have the light directed where it is needed most. Decorative task fixtures in black, iron and aged brass finishes make a statement. Other trends include:

  • Pendant lights over kitchen islands continue to be a great opportunity to bring style into the mix.
  • Chandeliers in kitchens add a pretty and an unexpected sparkle and can soften up the hard lines and smooth surfaces of appliances and countertops below.
  • An oversized lightening fixture becomes a focal point in an otherwise plain room.
  • Under cabinet lights, controlled by a dimmer, provide ambiance.

Built-in cabinetry that looks like furniture

Mixing and layering finishes and woods to create a custom look is another key trend, as is built-in accent cabinets that act as framework for the rest of the cabinetry.  These cabinets, often designed tall and narrow with glass fronts provide the look of a built-in china cabinet to showcase collectables. In general, upper cabinets are less popular because they stop the line of sight, especially to backyard garden views.

  • Appliances are subtly hidden behind the cabinetry for a clean, streamlined appearance.
  • Colorful kitchen cabinetry has made a big comeback. Palettes using and mixing blues,
  • orange, browns or greens countering neutral white, wood or dark finishes are providing
  • kitchen flair.
  • Dramatic contrasts of light cabinets and dark countertops provide visual impact.

Wine storage

  • With the explosion in the wine market over the past few decades, wine is becoming more of a lifestyle choice and factoring into kitchen designs.
  • Dedicated “butler” areas for entertaining, sampling and sharing wine with guests are very popular, allowing the cook the opportunity to socialize while doing food prep.
  • Integrated wine coolers, an answer to tight kitchen spaces, are nestled into cabinetry along with wine racks to showcase a homeowners’ collection.

If you're planning a home renovation project this year, consider incorporating some of these trends to update your kitchen. Before construction gets under way, consult with a professional remodeler about the renovation projects you have planned.

Source: NARI

Published with permission from RISMedia.