Recent Updates:

Real Estate Monday: Westard Ho, Villagio Continues Trend

Elevations at Villagio Reserve are Spanish-Italian influenced.

Elevations at Villagio Reserve are Spanish-Italian influenced.

Grand openings are a sign of good times at Villaggio Reserve as the local real estate market continues to impress.

While coastal neighborhoods remain hot, western communities are also racking up sales as the Boca-Delray real estate market continues its strong run.

The western  trend continues to be 55+ communities with prices ranging from the mid $200s to over $1 million. Developers are touting proximity to downtown Delray Beach and local cultural amenities such as the Morikami Museum and shopping at the Delray Marketplace.

Villagio Reserve, built by Ansca Homes, celebrated the grand opening last weekend of its third neighborhood since construction on the 55+ community began in January. Ansca has positioned the neighborhood as an elegant community in “America’s Most Fun Small Town”, a testament to the continuing value created by Delray’s downtown entertainment and cultural district.

Villagio Reserve is located on Hagen Ranch Road and Atlantic Avenue, west of Delray Beach.

Each ”grand opening” event has marked a milestone. A soft grand opening gave an insider’s first glance at plans for the new community of 598 homes. A formal grand opening was held in December and last weekend’s event marked the opening of a new enclave of 83 homes.  Residences are priced from $270,000 to $400,000.

“We’ve had tremendous sales and unbelievable construction starts,” said Ron Yuter, senior vice president with Ansca Homes. “Six months ago, we had nothing but streets and an entrance. By our grand opening weekend (April 19-20), visitors will see 60 homes under construction. That is a true testament to how excited the Delray Beach community has been about Villaggio Reserve.”

Already Villaggio Reserve has hit the “Century Mark,” selling more than 100 residences since sales began in January.

Every residence will deliver  architectural designs and amenities that elevate “standard” to new heights, says Yuter. Homes feature spacious rooms designed with elegance and style in mind. Design touches and amenities include coffered ceilings, granite counter tops and Kitchen Craft Cabinetry® in kitchens and baths.

Outside, Spanish-Italian designed exteriors, decorative stone driveways and walkways and lush landscaping highlight each home’s place in a development that exudes European styling. Impact-resistant windows and doors provide a measure of safety and peace of mind,

The new neighborhood also will be the closest yet to the Cabana Club – putting residents a short walk to Villaggio Reserve’s lifestyle destination and fitness facility. This 38,000-square-foot town square will serve up a multitude of activities designed to enrich daily life. Residents will enjoy dining indoors or on the covered patio. There will be activities like cards and games, to community or private events in the Grand Ballroom, to surfing free wi-fi on personal tablets or laptop computers.

For the fitness minded, a fully equipped and staffed Fitness Center will come complete with men’s and women’s locker rooms, massage tables, showers and sauna. Yoga, Zumba and other classes will be offered by on-site trainers skilled at customizing work-out routines. Outside, lighted tennis and “pickle ball” courts will be available for day or night play. Nearby, enjoy a game of Bocce ball, or take a dip in one of four pools – all surrounded by an expansive, resort-style pool deck.

For more information please visit  http://villaggioreserve.com/  The Sales Center is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

 

 

Weekend Best Bets: Easter Edition

The Easter Bonnet Dog Parade is a Delray tradition

The Easter Bonnet Dog Parade is a Delray tradition

The Trouble with Doug @ Arts Garage

  A contemporary re-imagining of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, “The Trouble With Doug” is a hilarious and moving new musical about a healthy young man who transforms inexplicably into a giant talking slug.

The play opens April 18. Tickets are $30 and $45. Visit www.artsgarage,org for more information.

 

Jimmy Webb in Delray

We love Jimmy Webb.

His rendition of Glenn Campbell’s Galveston, Wichita Lineman and By The Time I Get to Phoenix  are simply sublime. His Friday show has sold out but our friends at the Arts Garage have added a Sunday evening show at 7:30.

Visit www.artsgarage.org and grab those tickets.

 A true living legend of songwriting, Webb: is the only artist ever to have received Grammy Awards for music, lyrics, and orchestration. This is a can’t miss event.

Easter Pet Parade

Come to the Delray Beach Green Market Saturday for the 13th annual Easter Bonnet Pet Parade.

You never know what you may see, one year there was even a goat that attended in Easter finery.

The best dressed animals in Delray strut their stuff at 10:00 am in a parade up NE 1st Avenue and west on Atlantic Avenue to the front lawn of the Cornell Museum for judging and prizes.  Stick around to see who wins! I am one of the veteran judges and it is a tremendous honor…thanks Lori Nolan!

Categories: Most Traditional, Most Original, Funniest, Most Frou-Frou, Most Tropical, and Owner-Pet Look-Alike, and Best of Show

  • Entry Fee: $3 with all proceeds going to Dezzy’s Second Chance Rescue.  Registration is from 9:00 to 9:45 am under the “Big Top” directly behind the Green Market and in front of the amphitheater.  Parade starts at 10am

 

Easter Sunrise Service

 

 A long standing tradition in Delray Beach, residents and tourists alike, bring beach chairs and celebrate Easter as the sun rises.

This year’s event will take place at 6:30 a.m. Easter Sunday at the beach pavilion.

 The Delray Beach Interfaith Clergy Association hosts the beautiful service.

  The service will include hymns of the season, readings, and prayers.    An offering will be taken and proceeds contributed to The Delray Beach Interfaith Clergy Association’s outreach in our community.

 Bring beach chairs and sit on the beach or in front of the new pavilion.

 The Delray Beach Interfaith Clergy Association is a local association which welcomes clergy and congregations of all faiths in the Delray Beach area. 

  

 

 

Water Cooler Wednesday: Digital Main Streets

Rethinking Economic Development

Rethinking Economic Development

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has vision.

He’s a strong mayor on a mission to diversify Orlando beyond tourism, time shares and t-shirts.

So far, his plan is working. Downtown Orlando has come alive in recent years and is far, far more than Church Street Station these days. Lake Nona is a 7,000 acre hot bed for the medical industry with a school, research institutions and nearby start-ups taking root within the city limits.

Orlando hasn’t and will never abandon tourism, nor should it, but Orlando  also understands that it is never wise to rest on your laurels and it’s almost always smart to diversify.

In addition to medicine and urbanism, a nascent urban food industry is thriving with farm to table restaurants, organic growers, food manufacturers and the growth of “foodie” events and media celebrated by the likes of Edible Orlando magazine.

Add technology to the mix as well.

Mayor Dyer recently announced the creation of a “Digital Main Street” program which will seek to promote, support and grow Orlando’s tech community. The Digital Main Street is modeled on the long standing neighborhood revitalization known as Main Street .

Pineapple Grove in Delray used the Main Street program and philosophy to help redevelop Pineapple Grove in the 90s and early 2000s.

Main Street programs coordinate events, handle marketing and promotion, and work on the economic development of select areas. In the case of a Digital Main Street, the city will partner with the private sector on events, marketing and other activities needed to seed and fuel tech entrepreneurship in Orlando.

A basic rule of thumb is that government should get out of the way of entrepreneurs and that makes lots of sense. But while government can’t act as angel, seed or VC investor, there is a role for it to play.

Among the items that can be addressed by government are: removing unnecessary regulations that may hinder companies from locating, growing or even forming in your city, creating urban environments that attract entrepreneurs and working with the private sector to brand, promote and create events that are attractive to “start-up communities.”

The Main Street program in Delray’s Pineapple Grove did much to brand the area, which was the brainchild of Norman Radin, a visionary businessman who saw potential where others saw blight.

The Grove started with meetings, activities, events, and committees, all designed  to build excitement and momentum. It worked. Spectacularly.

When we think of economic development for Boca-Delray we should think beyond the “old school” efforts. Keep your incentives, add new ones (if they make sense), streamline approval processes but start to think creatively—like Mayor Dyer.

Here are some thoughts:

  • Create an event: Spark has worked for Jacksonville, PopTech for Maine, SXSW for Austin, Business Innovation Factory for Providence. Boca Delray has the weather, the airports, the hotels and the amenities to make it happen. There are also some terrific venues, including Lynn University, the Crest Theater, Arts Garage and Living Room Theater at FAU.
  • Support Programs that work: The Boca Chamber’s YEA program, which encourages youth entrepreneurship, is an example. All local high schools should teach entrepreneurship. And we should strive to bring new programs that have worked elsewhere here—such as “Girls Who Code.”
  • Invest in Human Capital: FAU held a business plan competition last week but will those who competed stay and grow here? We need to encourage local investing (locavesting). The capital is here but are we investing locally?   We should develop a strategy to bring our best and brightest back home after college. It’s the flip side of “Field of Dreams”—if they come back, they will build it.
  • Invest in MedUTech: Boca has a great branding mechanism to grow its health care, education and technology sectors.
  • Sports and Food 2.0: Delray has a unique opportunity to grow its food economy and build on its reputation to become a sports mecca. So does Boca Raton.

    The question is and has always been do we have the leadership– public and private –to make it happen?

     

Boca Rude? Yes, According to Foursquare

Never seen in Boca...just saying

Never seen in Boca…just saying

Just came across an interesting little study that solidly placed good old Boca Raton in the Top 20.

Hold on. It’s not for the best beaches, finest restaurants, or even for some of the top-notch golf courses.

Drum roll please….Boca Raton is ranked #12 in the world for being the “rudest.” Yup, that’s right. This is according to social media firm Foursquare. The list was based on the number of curse words used in random situations and recorded by people charged with infiltrating English speaking cities throughout the world.

Let’s have a big shout-out for Boca! Obviously, can’t say Jeff and I agree since we’ve had great experiences in the area we call home. Right Jeff? (Yes, Dave).

Here’s  the full list. Please note some of the cities that aren’t on the list (i.e. New York). As a New York native, I never really understood that perception. New Yorkers are actually extremely friendly, as evidenced by your’s truly.
1. Manchester, U.K.
2. El Paso, Texas
3. Pittsburgh, Pa.
4. Bloomington, Ind.
5. Riverside, Ca.
6. Tempe, Ariz.
7. Scottsdale, Ariz.
8. Portland, Oregon
9. Venice, Ca.
10. Orange, Ca.

11. San Jose, Ca.
12. Boca Raton, Fla.
13. Culver City, Ca.
14. Fullerton, Ca.
15. Los Angeles, Ca.
16. Melbourne, Australia
17. Staten Island, N.Y.
18. Miami, Fla.
19. Boston, Ma.
20. Jacksonville, Fla.

Discuss?

Weekend Best Bets: Legends, Buffalo and The Blues

One word: Oriente

One word: Oriente

Buffalo Bash Food Festival

 On April 13th, the Mizner Amphitheatre will be the site for the Buffalo Bash Food Festival. Local restaurants will be showcasing their best wings. So, stop by. You’ll probably see Jeff with some Tabanero hot sauce.

 This event benefits Autism Speaks and is one of many events during Autism Awareness Month.

 RENÉ MARIE @ Arts Garage

 Award-winning singer and legend René Marie is unmistakably honest and unpretentious while transforming audiences worldwide with her impassioned vocals and powerful interpretations of jazz, soul, blues and gospel.

In other words, she’s all that and a bag of chips. Catch her Friday night at 8 p.m.

Visit www.artsgarage.org for tickets and more info.

  

ORIENTE Rocks

 Oriente’s signature sound features funky, guitar , blazing harmonic brass, and explosive Afro-Latin percussion – fusing Cuban roots with Blues, Jazz, Caribbean and Brazilian influences.

You will be blown away and energized. They play the Arts Garage, Saturday night at 8 p.m.

Visit www.artsgarage.org for tickets and more info.

 

 Blues: Trampled Under Foot

Enjoy this award-winning Kansas City blues/rock band (soon to be touring with George Thorogood & The Destroyers), at the Delray Center For The Arts, Friday, April 11. (Speaking of George Thorogood, Dave says he’s Bad to the Bone).

 Proceeds benefit the Delray Beach Public Library.

The show starts at 8 p.m. with tickets costing $30 and $55.

Visit www.delraycenterforthearts.org for tickets.

Have a great weekend!

 

 

Searching For The Next Big Thing: FAU Hosts Business Plan Competition

Outback founder Tim Gannon will speak at FAU's business plan competition. He was Inc. magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year in 1994

Outback founder Tim Gannon will speak at FAU’s business plan competition. He was Inc. magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 1994

We live in the age of entrepreneurship and FAU will showcase hundreds of aspiring minds this week.

Florida Atlantic University’s 2014 Business Plan Competition will take place from Wednesday, April 9 through Friday, April 11 at the College of Business, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus.  The competition provides participants the opportunity to vet their business idea before a panel of successful entrepreneurs, early stage investors and venture capital principals.  More than 250 teams have registered to compete with 16 teams advancing to the final round. 

Final round teams in the FAU student track and entrepreneur track will compete for a share of more than $225,000 in cash and prizes to launch their business.  The Research Park at Florida Atlantic University is the event’s presenting sponsor.

The event commences with the Greater Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) Investor Panel on Wednesday, April 9, from 4 to 8 p.m. in FAU’s Student Union, Live Oak Pavilion.  The Investor Panel is the culmination of a 30-week program where students’ grades seven to 12 develop legitimate businesses and pitch to investors for seed-funding.

The Kick Off Reception and Elevator Pitch Event takes place on Thursday, April 10 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in FAU Stadium.  The 16 final round teams each will present their 90-second elevator pitch.  Reception guests have the opportunity to cast their vote for their favorite pitch.  The winner will receive the $5,000 People’s Choice award sponsored by Office Depot.

Day three of the competition is Friday, April 11, and features business plan presentations from the FAU student and entrepreneur tracks from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in room BU 120 in the College of Business and room OD 101 in FAU’s Office Depot Center for Executive Education.

The three-day event culminates with keynote speaker Tim Gannon, co-founder of Outback Steakhouse, Inc. and chief executive officer of Palm Beach PDQ, on April 11 from 2 to 3 p.m. in room BU 120 in FAU’s College of Business.  Gannon is the creator of the popular Bloomin’ Onion and owner of the Outback Polo team, the only team to win three consecutive U.S. Open championships and five championships overall.  The competition awards ceremony will immediately follow Gannon’s keynote address.  All events are open to FAU students, alumni, faculty, staff and the community.

Newly Rebranded Delray Beach Open an International Tennis Destination Promoting Local Business Growth

From the ticket to the posters, the Delray Open was completely rebranded this year.

From the ticket to the posters, the Delray Open was completely rebranded this year.

 

Editor’s note: Before it fades into history, we wanted to revisit the rebranding of the Delray Beach Open to give readers insight into the thinking behind the effort and what the future holds for Delray’s ATP event. Guest blogger Natalie Mikolich gives us some insight.

 

By: Natalie Mikolich, Sports Publicist for NPM | PR (@npmikolich)

 

Now known as one of the top tennis towns in the U.S., Delray Beach and the

Delray Beach Tennis Center have been the hometown courts to many local tennis players along with hosting some of the most prestigious tennis events in the world such as the U.S. Davis and Fed Cup ties. Also showcasing the future generation of American tennis stars during the national junior tournaments put on every summer at their public facility, the most well-known event of all to take place at the Delray Beach Tennis Center is the annually held ATP World Tour event – the Delray Beach Open.

 

Going on its 15th year of bringing out some of the hottest ATP World Tour tennis superstars and serving-up full court entertainment for local tennis fans, 2014 turned out to be one of the best years yet for the newly re-branded Delray Beach Open. Undergoing a complete marketing and branding overhaul in 2013, it was local WOO Creative (www.woo-creative.com) of Delray Beach that the event turned to in order to guide them through the process.

 

“In 2013, we started working with WOO Creative in Delray Beach on re-developing our brand identity and ad campaign,” said John Butler, Executive Director of the Delray Beach Open.  “We are very into working with local talent for public relations and marketing of the event.”

 

One of the biggest changes to take place this year was renaming the ATP World Tour Event to the Delray Beach Open from the International Tennis Championships of Delray Beach.

 

“We wanted to be careful about using the word ‘open’ which means anyone can enter to play, but we truly are ‘open’ to anyone,” added Butler.  “We had two pre-qualifying events this year with more than 200 players including juniors, college players and pros.  We even have one player in his 70s who gives it a go every year.”

 

“Last year, after our first year handling the marketing materials for, at the time, the ‘International Tennis Championship of Delray Beach,’ my business partner and I were sitting in the stands asking ourselves ‘Why isn’t this tournament called the Delray Beach Open?’,” said Ryan Boylston, President and Founder of WOO Creative. “From there, we pitched the new name and a proper logo to the event’s Executive Director, John Butler, because we wanted to help put them on the same level as any other ATP tournament.”

 

 

Along with the new name for this year’s event, WOO Creative also worked closely with the Delray Beach Open team to refocus their brand messaging so that they were targeting true tennis fans with their marketing materials this year – which even included some special edition Dunkin Donuts just for the event.
cakes

 

“The main initiative was to launch the new name and logo,” Boylston added. “Although the marketing materials grew evolutionary from last year’s, we ensured to keep a lot of elements so that the consumer could still make the connection. We wanted people to know that this wasn’t a new event, just a better one.”

 

“Working with WOO, we took the ATP World Tour’s campaign graphics for the players and logos and toned them down for the tournament so that the players (the product) were even more easily recognizable in the marketing materials, especially because they had to work with both the ATP Champions Tour and the ATP World Tour logos and other mandatory inclusions,” Butler elaborated on.  “We went through several revisions with the ATP before there was a consensus on our final campaign, including tweaking the player photos so they had less flourishes and using a darkened version of the ATP logos so they supported the ads rather than being a focal point.”

 

And with that, there also came a mock-up design of a tennis ball in the shape of a heart along with the tagline “I Heart Tennis” by WOO Creative.  Once approved by the event, the local Dunkin Donuts next door to the Delray Beach Tennis Center on Atlantic Avenue began serving-up specialty yellow tennis ball, heart-shaped designed donuts in the week leading up to the start of the Delray Beach Open.

 

“As soon as we mocked up our first heart-shaped tennis ball, we knew we had something,” Boylston mentioned. “The donuts were just a nice little coincidence. It helps when your tournament kicks-off on Valentine’s Day and Dunkin Donuts is already serving heart-shaped donuts.”

 

On-site at the event this year, it was local Delray Beach Polaroid Fotobar (www.polaroidfotobar.com/) who did all of the images of the players that filled the backdrops on stadium court.

 

“We wanted to have to have a ‘wall of family photos’ featuring the players in the tournament as a backdrop to the stadium action, and partnering with Polaroid Fotobar on the project, it enabled us to use the tournament’s tv visibility to expose a homegrown brand,” said Butler.

 

But, of all the new changes to take place this year for the Delray Beach Open, perhaps the one that “wooed” spectators the most was the new WOO Lounge skybox setup on the East side of the stadium in the middle of the stands. While some of today’s hottest tennis stars like John Isner were popping big serves on the court, in the WOO Lounge they were popping bottles of bubbly for their VIP guests who got some much needed reprieve from the sun at times during the day, or a place to lounge and socialize at night after work.

 

“We want tennis people to be proud of the way the event is promoted and want to make it just as exciting for fans who attend NBA Heat Games.  We want the Delray Beach Open to be more than tennis with its entertainment, so you will see things out of the norm like the Volley Girls dancing on changeovers, in-stadium hosts engaging fans with contests and games, and the new WOO Lounge skybox area in the middle of the east stands,” Butler explained.  “We try to take the event to the next level and want fans to appreciate the great spectator sport that tennis is, but also enjoy everything that is here so they walk away saying ‘that was not what they were expecting’.”

 

And to that extent, the Delray Beach Open and WOO Creative covered every inch of the court and town when it came to this year’s event so that not only were billboards and large cutouts of the top players seen throughout Delray Beach and neighboring cities, but they even reached residents in their homes by partnering with local businesses who also benefited from this year’s event.

 

“This year, we partnered with Delivery Dudes who included our brochures with all of their food deliveries in the weeks leading up to the event, and then during the tournament at the end of every session, we would do a cool promo on stadium court encouraging everyone to call Delivery Dudes on their way home so dinner was ready and waiting when they got home,” said Butler.

 

Delivering from most of the local area’s favorite restaurant locations, the

Delivery Dudes (www.deliverydudes.com) pride themselves on their “hilarious and friendly staff” racing around town (including in other near-by locations like Boca Raton and Boynton Beach) to pick-up and deliver food orders faster than most deliveries are even possible.

 

“When I got the voicemail John Butler left me about wanting to work with us, I told everyone I knew how incredible it was that an event like the Delray Beach Open wanted to partner with us,” said Jayson Koss, Founder of Delivery Dudes created in Delray Beach about two years ago.  “I was taken back to be on the event’s radar with the others like WOO Creative and Polaroid Fotobar who are doing really great things, but it was really fun to be apart of the event and we are very appreciative to have partnered with them.”

But, even with all the new branding, cross promotion and enhancements done for this year’s Delray Beach Open, there is still work to be done for next year’s event.

 

“My favorite aspects were the little ideas that infiltrated our downtown,” said Bolyston. “From the beginning, we have always felt that during the nine days of the tournament downtown Delray Beach should drip tennis. This year, we had cutouts of Andy Roddick around town as well as over 10,000 tennis ball coasters at all the bars. Next year, we hope to take that to another level.”

Weekend Best Bets: Happy Anniversary Arts Garage

Arts Garage Executive Director Alyona Ushe has made lots happen in the past three years.

Arts Garage Executive Director Alyona Ushe has made lots happen in the past three years.

Gala Gig III Night of the Gypsies
It’s hard to believe but the Delray Arts Garage is still a toddler.
Despite awards, tons of press, unforgettable performances and a tad of controversy–the organization is only three years old.
Three years running and just getting warmed up!

The  Arts Garage celebrates Gala Gig III, their third anniversary in true Gypsy style this Saturday.
Come drink and dine with the lights, colors, sounds and entertainment that only gypsies can deliver.
The anniversary party takes place April 5 and will include delectable food,  vivacious entertainment and enthralling works of art.
Oh and there will be music too–the exciting sounds of Washington, D.C.-based Trio Caliente which has vocals in Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan, and English set to a wide array of Latin grooves.
Trio Caliente’s sound is reminiscent of The Gypsy Kings, Buena Vista Social Club, Strunz & Farah, and Jobim— but with a flavor all their own.
“…be seduced by the blend of fiery guitar work…rumba beats, bossa nova rhythms, flamenco-tinted guitar flourishes and romantic ballads…evocative vocals…shimmering guitars…” – The Washington Post

Single ticket: $100 per person | Table for 6: $550
Visit www.artsgarage.org for tickets and information

Real Men Bake
On Sunday, April 6 at 6 p.m. head on over to the Arts Garage for some tasty treats.

Presented by GFWC Woman’s Club of Delray Beach, Real Men Bake is an all-you-can eat feast of baked goods (sweet or savory) prepared by about 30 “bakers” — men who come from all walks of life. There may be one or two actual chefs, but most of the men are just real good cooks.
The best “bakers” will receive prizes, and the public selects the best.
While you are there, for another dollar or two, you can take a chance on a 50/50 raffle.
GFWC Woman’s Club of Delray Beach is a diverse group of women dedicated to volunteering in the greater Delray Beach community. The Club actively supports the Caring Kitchen, the Achievement Center for Children, scholarships for HS graduates, and the Veterans Administration to name but a few.
Admission is $20.
Film Series
At yourdelrayboca we like to extend the weekend until at least Tuesday.
That’s why we are telling you about a film series you won’t want to be miss.
Friends of the Boca Raton Public Library – Film Series

When: Tue, April 8, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Where: Downtown Boca Raton Library
Description:Film Series “A Separation” 2nd Tuesday of each month @ 6:30pm
Have a safe and fun weekend! Go Gators!

Water Cooler Wednesday: How Do You Pick The Right Financial Advisor?

Steve Fenyves

Steve Fenyves

We asked Boca Financial Advisor Steve Fenyves to help our readers pick a financial advisor. As tax season comes to a head, we thought it would be a good time to seek advice on this important subject.

By Steve Fenyves

The question that is the title of this article is actually not a great question. It doesn’t go far enough. The question should be, “How do I choose the right financial advisor for me?

 

 Each of us have different needs both financially and in what we want from the person who we are going to entrust with such a huge responsibility.

 

There are many different types of financial advisors. Many have different specialties, so first decide what you need from them.

 

 Are you looking for someone to pick a few mutual funds for you? Do you want someone who specializes in life insurance or annuities? Do you need an overall financial plan or one to help you reach retirement? Are you already retired and want someone to help ensure that your money will last your lifetime? Is it your goal to maximize what you leave to your heirs?

 

Once you decide what it is you want you can begin to narrow down the type of financial advisor you want. Keep in mind that financial advisors are people too, and everyone has their own agenda. I don’t mean this as a bad thing. It’s just a fact. If you go to a surgeon, he or she will give you the surgical solution to a problem. They generally will not recommend a treatment plan that involves diet and exercise…it’s not what they do! Be sure to pick a financial advisor with the skills that match your needs.

 

If you have a portfolio of stocks, bonds and mutual funds, a professional specializing in insurance may not be the right advisor for you. If your concerns are limited to life insurance and annuities, then that same professional might be a good fit.

  One of the best things that you can do for yourself is to remain objective. You don’t necessarily want the advisor who is the best salesman, the prettiest or the one who tells you how smart you are.

 Ask him about his education. Does she have any professional designations? Is she a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) or a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)? These are two of the more recognized and meaningful designations. There are many other designations that don’t necessarily have such strict educational and ethical requirements, so do your homework or just stick with either a CFP® or a ChFC.

 It can also be a good idea to ask your friends, relatives or your CPA if they can recommend someone who might fit your needs. If you do get a referral, call them and set up an appointment. It may not be important to you for the advisor to be local, but keep in mind that as you age, it might become more important to have someone to sit down with face to face and go through your finances.

 Don’t be afraid to ask questions, such as:

 How do you get paid? Commissions? Fees? A combination of the two?

  • Will I be working with you or someone else on your staff?
  • What does your “typical” client look like? Am I a good fit for your practice?
  • How often would we meet?
  • If the advisor is recommending an annuity, ask, “How does this annuity fit in to my overall plan?”  Since annuities generally tie your money up for at least several years, you need to be sure that you will have enough other money available if an emergency arises.
  • If you’re retired and drawing money throughout the year, you can ask them“What training do you have in income distribution planning?”

 

After you meet with a potential advisor, ask yourself if they seemed genuinely interested in learning about you and your personal situation or were they mostly talking about themselves to show you how smart they are? This may offer you an important clue as to how the advisor sees his clients.

 

These are only a few things to consider. In practice, there are good financial advisors who haven’t earned even a single designation. There are also those who have enough designations after their name to complete the whole alphabet-twice, but whose skills are lacking. However, by hiring an advisor who has taken the time and made the commitment to earn a respected designation, you are putting the odds of choosing a competent advisor more in your favor.

 

 

Steven Fenyves is a Certified Financial Plannerand the founder of  Valued Wealth Management Inc. in Boca Raton, Florida. He is a registered representative with Securities America, Inc.  Securities offered through Securities America, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Securities America Advisors, Inc. Valued Wealth Management, Inc. and Securities America are unaffiliated. He can be reached at 561-392-4646 or at steven@valuedwealth.com.

Thanks Florida Travel +Life But You Missed Boca

Delray's public beach has been named tops in the southeast.

Delray’s public beach has been named tops in the southeast.

Florida Travel + Life Magazine is out with their list of best places to live in Florida.

Delray Beach made the cut,  but Boca didn’t.

Here’s the magazine’s  tally:

  • Clearwater
  • Panama City Beach
  • West Palm Beach
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Naples
  • Sarasota
  • Sanibel
  • Vero Beach
  • Upper Keys
  • Jacksonville Beach
  • Gainesville
  • Coral Gables

We love the list but find it hard to fathom that Boca wouldn’t be among the top dozen.

A rated schools, top-notch restaurants, incredible parks, beautiful neighborhoods, several universities and a booming economy would seem to favor Boca.

Here’s what Florida Travel had to say about Delray.

“As the silver Mercedes crawls to a stop at Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, the bearded chin of a wheaten terrier pokes through the open window. The sight of other canines lazing under sidewalk cafe tables piques his curiosity. Atlantic Avenue is Delray’s energy epicenter. The pedestrian traffic and overflowing alfresco cafes, where Fido and Rover are right at home, are what residents — full-time and seasonal — love about this city nestled between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach on the Atlantic Ocean.

Sure, other Florida towns have both urban centers and beaches, but Delray, a city of 60,500, possesses a magnetic quality all its own. It is in part the result of progressive thinking decades ago, when the construction of view-blocking high-rises along the oceanfront was prevented. Commerce was channeled to Atlantic Avenue, a beach-to-business sweep that crosses the Intracoastal Waterway and pushes a dozen blocks westward. During the past 10 years or so, a living, breathing downtown has emerged, and people have followed, trying to live as close as possible to the city’s heart.

“The first thing people ask when they walk into my office is where can they live and walk to Atlantic [Avenue],” says Ted Brown, the managing broker for Prudential Florida Realty’s Delray office. “Delray is a walking town. People from other cities come here to walk, shop, eat or go to the beach.”

Delray’s dynamic downtown has helped soften the impact of the real-estate fallout. Although home prices in some neighborhoods have dropped 35 percent, the rate of foreclosure is lower here than in other parts of Florida. Buyers have returned, and they represent a microcosm of an affluent and upwardly mobile society of young professionals, investors cashing in on a hot rental market (single-family homes fetch up to $4,000 a month), and those like Chicagoans Kim and Kevin Radisewitz, who moved down here to escape the Midwest cold and plan ahead for retirement.

The Radisewitzes purchased a three-bedroom townhome last fall in Latitude, a relatively new condominium and townhome development. It cost them a fraction of the original $500,000 asking price. Since they both work from home, being five blocks from Atlantic Avenue wasn’t as important to them as the two extra bedrooms, which they’ve converted to offices. “We’re big runners and bikers and compete in triathlons,” Kim says. “Delray is a good area for us to spend the winter, and we’re only a mile and a half from the ocean.”

Besides the Atlantic, there’s the Intracoastal Waterway that separates Delray into beachfront and mainland. The beach side falls into a late-night lull, but come morning, power walkers, pedestrians and dogs return to the sidewalks, and bicycle racks fill quickly. However, on the mainland, the hum of Atlantic Avenue’s nightlife, west of the Intracoastal, continues into the early morning hours. The open-air restaurants and bars that cater to night owls attract a wide range of ages. Vic & Angelo’s is a favorite for crisp, charred-crust pizzas, and Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Lobster Cafe scores for its lobster rolls.

The variety of properties is staggering. Delray Beach has multi- million-dollar waterfront estates, well-preserved 1950s bungalows and Intracoastal condos tucked into neighborhoods on each side of Atlantic Avenue. Inventory south of the avenue is limited, due to residents’ desire to be near both the ocean and the pedestrian hub. Currently, listings show condos in older mid-rise buildings, including the Venetian Village, where the occasional two-bedroom, 1,200-square-foot property runs around $250,000.

Hip Pineapple Grove is an area whose artsy cachet is pro- claimed by a wall mural at Northeast Second and Atlantic avenues. The neighborhood features two- and three-bedroom condos and townhomes adjacent to and above restaurants and boutiques. The 1,200- to 2,400-square-foot homes are just a walk from the new DU20 holistic spa, the home-furnishings store Beached Boat Co. and Max’s Harvest, chef Dennis Max’s farm-to-fork venture.

“Pineapple Grove is an ideal location for everyone who wants to be downtown,” Brown says. “New or relatively new homes with stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops, once priced at $400,000 to $500,000, are selling at $300,000.”

Nearby neighborhoods, such as Banker’s Row, have a mix of architectural styles, from pastel-colored early-1900s-era cottages to Mediterranean Revival mansions. Lake Ida, 10 blocks north of Atlantic Avenue, is a sought-after neighborhood with cul-de-sacs, canals and lakefront single-family homes. Prices range from around $300,000 to $1 million, depending on the age of the home and its proximity to the lake. “Lake Ida is one of the most active markets in the community,” Brown points out. “It has the charm of Old Florida. Buyers are making major improvements to older homes.”

Delray clearly buzzes with an urban energy, but for the Radisewitzes, the beach is still the hands-down winner. “One of our favorite things is spending time at the ocean, just sitting and relaxing in the sun,” Kim says. No doubt, other residents agree.