Reno Gazette-Journal Sunday, August 20, 2017
No matter how well you plan, there is much uncertainty about retirement. After all, it’s not something you can gather experience in unless you do it.
Wouldn’t it be great to know the “truth” about issues such as care insurance, financial planning, senior living options, selling a house, or preparing well to “stay put” in your own home as you age-in-place?
The Retired Living Truth Series – 90-minute monthly educational seminars – explores these topics each month. Adults 55 and older and caregivers are invited to attend the free seminars to learn facts about post-retirement issues.
Fred Karkalik, a retired aerospace engineer, began attending the seminars a year ago. “My wife and I are in our 80s, have a nice large home and I’m the care giver for my wife who has Parkinson’s disease,” he said. “Last year we realized that the time had come for us to down size and move into a simpler life style.“
The Karkalik’s did not know where or how to start and felt overwhelmed.
“I needed help to first find out what we needed to do, and then to map out a plan of action and then to engage the best talent for each of the major actions; what to do with our house, and where to move to.” Fred said.
“I attended 4 or 5 seminars at no cost. Each seminar included experts in each category needed; downsizing, selling, health needs, assisted living, moving, and more,” he said. “The seminars have been extremely helpful and useful to me,” Fred said. “I really appreciate what Annette & Brett Junell are doing; they’re really doing a service for us retired folks having to cope with the challenges that come with age.”
The Retired Living Truth Series was created by Annette and Brett Junell with Keller Williams Group One. Annette and Brett along with a core group of like-minded professionals, have made it their mission to educate and guide both consumers and professionals on best practices related to post-retirement living. “Since the first seminar in June of 2016, we have had over 500 people attend. Many people attend regularly and bring friends. We love seeing familiar faces and new ones in the audience,” Annette said.
Annette and Brett began the series because they wanted retired homeowners to feel empowered and connect them with allies and experts who can help navigate decision-making.
The series of candid conversations and panel discussions always focuses on the unique and often complex issues facing long-time homeowners.
“People are tired of being ‘sold’ something only to find out later that there were either strings attached or they didn’t get all the facts,” Annette said. “There are myths and misinformation and people deserve to know the real truth before they make a significant life-changing decision.”
Annette said seminar attendees don’t want a sales pitch.
“They want truthful information from people they can trust so they can consider their options. And that’s exactly what we’re sharing in this series of educational expert seminars,” she said.
The right mix of expertise and “truth” are what the attendees appreciate.
Audrey Heck and her husband Dawson attended after seeing an article about the event in the newspaper. “The seminars are just well-organized and well presented,” Audrey said. Audrey, a retired school teacher, and Dawson having retired from the Army after 26 years, would like to stay in their home and age in place. They feel well-equipped for their retirement years, but feel there are still many unknowns.
“The seminars are answering a lot of questions that I didn’t even know I had,” Audrey said.
Besides practical tips on things such as transportation options, REMSA silver program, the Heck’s have also learned about reverse mortgage options, in home care resources and the many different types of senior living options.
“It’s about learning that you have to plan early, and about understanding what you need and what you don’t,” added Audrey.
Jessi Helgren of Cascades of the Sierra Senior Living Community, a regular sponsor of the event, said besides providing important information to seniors, the series has also fostered community.
“When Annette, Brett and their team rolled out the Retired Living Truth Series, we knew it would be a great service and provide relevant information and empower adults as they faced important decisions,” Jessi said.
As the program has evolved, Jessi said she has come to recognize an even greater outcome.
“The Retired Living Truth Series provides participants with more than reliable information; it has also created a sense of community and camaraderie.”
“The sponsors and the guests greet each other with smiles and have come to know each other well. There is no doubt this is more than an information resource – it is a community builder,” she said.
The next event will focus on “The Truth About Paying for Senior Living” and will be held at 2 p.m., August 24 at the Sierra View Library, Reno (Old) Town Mall, 4001 S Virginia St in Reno.
September’s event will focus on “The Truth About Assisted Living”, October will be “The Truth About Avoiding Homeowner Scams”, November is “The Truth About Downsizing from Seniors Who Know” and December is on “The Truth About Estate Liquidation. There is no cost to attend.
Reservations can be made online at www.RetiredLivingTruthSeries.com or by calling 775-432-6398.
Space is limited and pre-registration is requested.
Sponsors for the series include: Amada Senior Care, Cascades of the Sierra, Eagle Home Mortgage, Promenade on the River, Holiday Retirement Communities, The Federal Savings Bank, Sierra Place Senior Living, and Junell Realty Group Retired Living Division.