Tag Archive for: life plan community

beach condo with palm trees view from the ground up

Skyrocketing Condo Fees After Surfside’s Tragic Building Collapse: Why a Life Plan Senior Community May Be a Strategic Alternative

Surfside Ushered in a New Era for Condo Living

On June 24, 2021, the Champlain Towers in Surfside, Florida, tragically collapsed, killing 98 people and leaving hundreds more temporarily homeless.  The upcoming third anniversary of this tragedy hits especially close to home, having occurred right here in our own South Florida community.

In the aftermath of this catastrophe, home insurance premiums have significantly increased, and condominium association fees have skyrocketed.

When the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 4-D in May 2022, it created new requirements for condominium and co-op buildings three or more stories tall. As a result of the Surfside collapse, the bill aims to improve building safety and maintenance standards with significant provisions related to roofing and building inspections with another new requirement: to reserve funds to pay for future long-term maintenance repair.

With these changes comes a hefty price tag. As home insurance prices steadily climb in the state with the threat of damaging storms and in the aftermath of Surfside, the steep rise in association fees has forced many people to relocate.


Homeowner’s Insurance Blues

While inflation cooled in 2023, prices for goods and services remain high, with no relief in sight. Last year, the Insurance Information Institute predicted that insurance in the Sunshine State could increase by 40%, and the average Florida homeowner is paying $6,000, more than triple the U.S. average of $1,700. Plus, insurance carriers are clamping down on renewals. As one example, Progressive Insurance announced that it plans to send out non-renewal notices to half of its insurance policies in December. This would impact an estimated 100,000 homeowners in Florida.


Florida Senate Bill 4-D – And What it Means for Condo Owners

Senate Bill 4-D requires condos higher than three stories to be inspected every 10 years once they hit the 30-year mark, and for those within three miles of the coast, this inspection is required for buildings 25 years and older. The first milestone inspection must be completed by December 31st of its 30th year.

There are 25,000 condo associations and 1.4 million individual condominiums in the state, and according to the CRC Group, a wholesale specialty insurance group, nearly 600,000 of these condos are over 40 years old. For older adults who have lived in their condos for years, the high expense of assessments and monthly fees can become unbearable, forcing them to move. Even older adults who are financially secure are fleeing their condominium homes.


Waiving Reserve Fund Contributions is a Thing of the Past

Another major change to Florida condo law will impact how associations handle reserved funds.  Associations previously had the freedom to waive reserve contributions from their homeowners, but by December 31, 2024, they will no longer have that option.  As a result, after January 1, 2025, all condo associations will be required to be on track to collect enough reserve funds to pay for replacement costs in the event they are needed, which is sure to translate to higher association fees for condo owners.


A Smart Move Forward

With all the changes that condo associations are implementing as a result of changing regulations and the consequences that they bring to condominium owners, this may be the smartest time to sell.  For seniors over the age of 62, moving to an active senior Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), also known as a Life Plan Community, could be a very smart financial move toward protecting your assets. 

A Life Plan Community is a senior living option that eliminates the cost of association dues, property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and home maintenance costs.  Instead, it offers residents a set entry fee, with a stable monthly service fee that includes dining, lifelong learning opportunities, social and cultural arts events, home maintenance, housekeeping, utilities, and 24/7 security and health care on-site.  It also offers some unique tax advantages.  In short, it is an investment in yourself, rather than in a property’s association.

John Knox Village in Pompano Beach, Florida, is an internationally award-winning Life Plan Community boasting a lush, tropical 70-acre campus, resort-style amenities, a wellness-based lifestyle, and long-term healthcare should you ever need it. In many ways, JKV provides a safe haven from rising homeowner and condo costs and peace of mind for your future.

To learn more, call us to learn more about John Knox Village, or to schedule a tour.


JKV Proudly Opens BV’s French Press Coffee & Wine Bar at Westlake

BV’s French Press Coffee & Wine Bar Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting

On April 17, 2024, John Knox Village of Florida (JKV) in Pompano Beach proudly held its grand opening of BV’s French Press Coffee and Wine Bar, located on the lobby level of Westlake, its newest addition to the community. The new luxury apartment towers at JKV include 147 state-of-the-art apartment homes and many spaces on its ground floor where all residents and guests can gather, relax, and enjoy. Courtesy of a generous donation, BV’s was named in honor of its benefactor, JKV resident Bruce Voelkel, who has lived at JKV since 2017 and is an active member of the community.

The John Knox Village Foundation supports the community through innovative, compassionate programming and initiatives. According to the Foundation’s Executive Director Mark Dobosz, “Bruce’s donation to name BV’s French Press Coffee & Wine Bar is a perfect example of his commitment to the lifestyle, well-being, and pleasure for all Village residents to savor the delights of delicious coffee and wine.”


L-R: Lance Sanson, VP Dining, JKV Resident Bruce Voelkel, and Steve Turk, Founder Biscayne Coffee


JKV’s Dining team member Shala McKenzie proudly serves BV’s first cups of coffee to  what will sure to be many happy residents.


BV’s features offerings from Biscayne Coffee, a locally sourced coffee company that donates 10% of its proceeds to ocean conservation. Its founder, Steve Turk, participated in the ribbon cutting and presented Bruce with a gift basket and BV’s French Press apron.

Since 1967, JKV has been providing a fulfilling, engaging, and stress-free environment with an all-inclusive full continuum of care from independent living and assisted living to short and long-term skilled nursing care. As a Life Plan community, the internationally award-winning JKV allows proactive seniors to plan for their future healthcare needs while enjoying first-class amenities, life-long learning programs, and a full range of services that promote wellness of mind, body, and spirit. JKV continues to stay ahead of the curve by emphasizing fitness and overall well-being for each of its residents. Through unwavering commitment to excellence and guiding principles, the team brings the unique JKV experience to life every day for 1,000 residents.

7 Free Apps For Seniors Worth Downloading

Most of us rely on our smartphones and tablets to keep us connected to the world and our loved ones throughout the day. But are you taking full advantage of all that your phone can do for you? Apps on our mobile devices make it so easy to use technology to make our lives easier. You don’t have to be tech-savvy to reap their benefits.
We’ve curated 7 of the very best apps for older adults to help you save money, stay organized, and improve your wellbeing. Let us introduce you to apps you may have never heard of, and a few old familiars with secret features you never knew they had.

1. Google Maps – Remember Where You Parked
You may have Google Maps already downloaded on your mobile device, but did you know it can help you remember where you parked? If you allow Google Maps to access your Motion and Fitness Activity and use the app to navigate somewhere, once you arrive at the bottom, you can turn on “Know Where You Parked.” Even without enabling access to your activity, you can also open the app, touch the blue dot showing your location, and tap “Set as parking location” to keep a pin on the map where you left your car. Read step-by-step instructions here. Available on iPhone and Android.

2. Medisafe – Manage Your Medications
Many of us need to take medication to manage our health. If that includes taking multiple medications or doses throughout the day, it can become overwhelming to track what we need to take and what we’ve already taken. The Medisafe app helps you avoid missing a dose and even allows you to manage a loved one’s medications. You can also enable an optional feature that notifies someone you trust if you miss a dose. The app can also notify you of potentially harmful drug interactions, remind you of upcoming appointments, and let you know when it’s time to order refills. Available on iPhone and Android.

3. ShopSavvy – Nothing Beats Getting A Great Deal
Let’s face it. We’re all watching our pennies. Use an app like ShopSavvy to make sure you always get the best deal. This app continuously tracks prices across thousands of retailers and lets you compare prices. Find out instantly when an item you’re interested in drops in price or goes on sale. ShopSavvy also reads product reviews and ratings and summarizes them all into a simple set of pros, cons, and conclusions. Available for iPhone and Android.

4. Hopper — Get The Best Deals On Travel
Everyone loves a great deal on travel, and Hopper finds the best deals from sites across the web. You can browse hotels, flights, and car rentals. What makes this app especially helpful is getting notified when prices drop and features like Price Prediction and Price Freeze, enabling you to lock in the price if you need more time to plan your trip. Available on iPhone and Android.

5. Google Tasks – Because Everyone Loves Crossing Things Off A To-Do List!
How many times have you made a grocery list or written down your “To Do” list, only to misplace it or leave it at home? Another gem from the Google collection of apps, Google Tasks allows you to create as many lists as you like and check items off your list once complete. You can also change the order of items on your list by holding your finger down and dragging the list item to wherever you want it so you can reprioritize throughout the day. It’s also a great place to “jot down” anything that comes to mind — especially helpful when you don’t have a pen handy! Available on iPhone and Android.

6. Hunched — Your Good Posture Guardian 
In this tech-driven world, many of us are “hunched” over our mobile devices throughout the day without any thought to how it may be physically affecting us. Developed by a chiropractor who noticed an increasing number of headaches in his patients from poor neck posture when looking down at our devices, the app will help you avoid “text neck” by alerting you to raise your device and correct your posture. Available on iPhone.

7. Magnifying Glass + Flashlight – Like Your Readers, But Better
You’re sitting in a restaurant and wondering, why is the print on this menu so tiny? (Thank you, ambient lighting. You’re not helping.) Not a problem. This app enables you to turn on the magnifier that will auto-focus the text. You’ll also be able to zoom in and out as needed. Also helpful for reading pill bottles and small numbers like the serial number from the back of devices. Available on iPhone and Android.

Technology is ever-changing and keeps bringing us new ways to enhance our wellbeing, connectedness, and lifestyle. At John Knox Village, we strive to inspire our residents to embrace technology with all its benefits and to never stop learning. JKV’s Technology Coordinator, Jason Cook, provides ongoing classes, workshops, and one-on-one education to JKV residents each week. It’s just one of the ways we’re redefining senior living.

To learn more about the lifestyle at JKV or to schedule a tour, call us today.  We’d love to show you what sets us apart.

Michelin-Star Chef Frederic Delaire joins John Knox Village as their new Executive Chef

JKV Spotlight on Executive Chef Frederic Delaire: His Journey from Michelin-Starred Restaurants to Senior Living

As an award-winning Life Plan community in Pompano Beach, Florida, John Knox Village prides itself on finding incredible talent, such as Chef Frederic, and offering the very best to its residents – from life enrichment and fitness to cultural arts and dining. Chef Frederic Delaire has been a fantastic addition to John Knox Village, and we are so fortunate to have him. 

Chef Frederic grew up in southwest France in the idyllic town of Agen, one hour from Bordeaux. As a boy, he became interested in cooking as his grandfather was a well-known bread baker. He cooked at home for his family all the time. So, when he graduated high school in 1989 at 16, he was presented with a choice – culinary school or an apprenticeship at a restaurant. Being from a middle-class family, neither Frederic nor anyone in his family had ever eaten in a high-end restaurant. Imagine his surprise when his first restaurant apprenticeship was at the 2-star Michelin classic French restaurant, L’Aubergade in Puymirol, about an hour from home, where he started as a dishwasher and worked his way up to Pastry Chef.  

Struck by wanderlust after four years, Chef Frederic traveled to Germany to work with German Chef Christian Lohse at the restaurant Die Windmule in Westphalia. In 1997, he returned to France to join the team at the famous Michelin Star restaurant Jules Verne, located on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, where he worked both the meat and fish stations for three years.  

In 1999, Chef packed his bags and flew to South Florida. Among his stops as Executive Chef before joining JKV were the Historic National Hotel on South Beach and Loews Miami Beach. 

He also participated in the South Beach Wine & Food Festival for 13 years, collaborating on special dining events.  

The long hours and 7 days a week schedule running busy kitchens began to take their toll on Chef and his wife and daughter, who is now 12 years old. Chef Frederic says, “I knew I had to make adjustments to my work/life balance to spend more time with my loved ones, as well as to take care of myself.” He started looking for different opportunities. His job search led him to Lance Sanson, the VP of Dining Services at JKV. After a meeting of the minds, Sanson hired Frederic as the Executive Chef at JKV in July 2023. Adds Chef, “The reason I am at JKV is because of Sanson. He has a vision for John Knox Village, and I want to be a part of that. It is an exciting time to be here.” 

John Knox Village Executive Chef Frederic Delaire visits a table to check in with residents about their meal

Under Chef Frederic and Lance Sanson’s leadership, the dining program across the board has gone through a great metamorphosis at the 6 restaurant concepts across campus. New approaches have been implemented at the Pavilion, where there are two restaurants – The Pearl and Seaglass that share a kitchen, and a new menu has been created to better serve our residents.  The other restaurants, The Palm Bistro, Glades Grill and Poolside Pub, each have their own personality with fresh concepts. The soon-to-open Westlake Eatery and BVs French Press Coffee & Wine Bar are in menu development and will open in the summer of 2024. They will also focus on fresh, healthy, delicious options – all under the supervision of Chef Frederic. 

Get to know us and come see how Chef Frederic and the rest of the JKV community are best-in-class.  If you would like to schedule a private tour and tasting dinner at JKV, please contact VP of Sales, Kim Ali at kali@jkvfl.com, or (954) 783-4040. 


Be in the Know: Life Plan Communities Offer Some Valuable Tax Benefits

When looking at retirement living options, buying or renting into a senior living community are well-known options. But choosing to live in a Life Plan Community offers some valuable federal tax benefits that other senior living options do not. Read on to learn more.

What is a Life Plan Community?
Life plan communities, also known as continuing care retirement communities (CCRCs), provide the security of having a plan in place for any future healthcare needs that might arise. Residents live independently, knowing if they ever need care, they’ll have it. Most CCRCs offer multiple service levels: independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, and memory support services, all available when you need them.

What are the tax benefits?
Current federal income tax laws permit residents at Life Plan Communities or CCRCs like John Knox Village in Pompano Beach a tax deduction on a sizeable portion of the one-time entrance fee the year of move-in. In addition, a percentage of the monthly service fees paid during each year can be itemized as a medical expense.

At the beginning of each year, in some communities, such as John Knox Village, auditors calculate the portion of the Entrance Fees and Monthly Service Fees that are attributable to medical expenses and provide this information to residents for their tax preparation.

Can a financial advisor help me navigate this?
Tax and financial advisors can play a crucial role in helping seniors living in CCRCs and Life Plan Communities navigate the complexities of tax laws related to their unique situation. An advisor can help you understand CCRC-related tax deductions, such as:

• The amount or portion of your healthcare services and fees to the CCRC, as applicable
• Other potential itemizable deductions, such as local income taxes related to living in a CCRC
• Specific tax implications of different types of CCRC contracts, including the nuances of life care, fee-for-service, and other modified contracts

In addition, financial advisors can help seniors project future healthcare needs and provide guidance on potential tax implications for accessing long-term care services within or outside of the CCRC.

How much can I deduct?
According to Carol Enisman, Investment Advisor Representative and Managing Partner at Premier Wealth Planning in Fort Lauderdale, “The current tax code allows you to deduct a portion of your unreimbursed medical and dental expenses that exceed a set percentage of your Adjusted Gross Income.”

However, she says, it’s important to note that you’ll need to itemize your deductions rather than take a standard deduction, which would disqualify you from claiming medical expenses.

I’m not sure which type of care contract I’m going to choose. Can you tell me the tax benefits of each?
The tax benefits may vary, depending on which type of care contract you select. A Life Plan Community Consultant can explain the different contract options, including Type A, B, and C contracts, and what each includes. Depending on how much healthcare coverage is included in the contract you choose, the medical expense tax benefit may vary.

For some types of CCRC contracts, a portion of the entry fee and monthly fee may be applied toward future medical expenses. Essentially, this portion is considered a pre-paid medical expense and may be included as part of your annual medical expenses.

It’s always best to speak with your tax professional, who will be able to advise you with up-to-date tax regulations.

Are there any other tax deductions seniors should keep in mind when filing taxes?
Most of us know that medical bills, hospital bills, prescription costs, dental and vision care, in-home medical care, and costs for hearing aids and glasses are tax deductible.

Another hidden gem that might surprise you is that the standard mileage rate for driving to and from doctor appointments, therapy sessions, and other medical care is also tax deductible.


Join us for a free seminar on Monday, March 11, 2024 at 11:00 am, at the John Knox Village Auditorium. We’re excited to welcome Carol Enisman, Investment Advisor and Managing Partner, and Ariel Enisman, Estate Planning and Asset Protection Attorney from Premier Wealth Planning in Fort Lauderdale, to our campus. JKV Residents and guests are welcome.

Carol will focus on the importance of proper tax planning, tax filing updates, and optimization strategies and will offer a new client discount of 25% for tax preparation this year. Ariel will be speaking on wills, trusts, probate avoidance, and the importance of proper estate planning.

Premier Wealth Planning works with clients to understand the complexities of the tax code and how it applies to residents of a CCRC.  Non-JKV Residents who are interested in attending are welcome. Please call John Knox Village at (954) 783-4040 to RSVP.

Premier Wealth Planning Mandatory Disclaimer:
Securities are offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a SEC Registered Investment Adviser. Cambridge and Premier Wealth Planning are not affiliated. Cambridge and Asset and Estate Planning, LLC are not affiliated. Cambridge does not offer tax nor legal advice.