Retire AZ Style News

Is it Time to Sell Your Home? 

Retirement communities are my specialty in Arizona, including the communities of Sun City, Sun City West, Corte Bella, Sun City Grand, Sun Village, Arizona Traditions Sun City Festival, Trillogy at Vistancia and many others.

As a professional real estate consultant, I have made a commitment to learn about various floor plans built in the retirement communities, asset preservation fees and the amenities offered at our beautiful recreation centers.

In today’s market, pricing your home correctly is very important as we begin to see an increase in inventory of homes on the market in the coming months. The spring market is an excellent time for both home buyers and homeowners who are ready to sell their properties.

Is it time to sell? I can help you find out by providing a free, quick, no obligation comparative market analysis on your home. Simply click here and fill in the details. I will email or mail a copy of what your home could sell for in today’s market.

I look forward to assisting you with your retirement needs in Arizona.

Your Arizona Retirement Expert,

Sharon Mason - Associate Broker
RE/MAX Professionals
623-810-9988

www.RetireArizonaStyle.com 

Follow me on Facebook or Twitter!

Posted by Sharon Mason on January 21st, 2019 12:30 PM

3 Ways to Enjoy a Fun Retirement Staycation

Now’s the fun time of year where many Arizona retirees begin taking their summer vacations. From taking adult cruises to the Bahamas to snorkeling off the Cayman Islands and hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro. But these days, more and more active adults are opting to stay close to home and enjoy all the amenities their community has to offer. This has aptly been called taking a “staycation” which is a slang term for frugal vacation without leaving your hometown. Whether you’re saving up or just don’t feel like traveling this year, here are 3 ways to enjoy a fun retirement staycation.

1.) Create a Staycation Schedule: Can you believe there are Arizona retirees who have lived in Arizona their entire life and have not seen the Grand Canyon? If you’re one of those, create a staycation itinerary of some fun places to visit or local things to do. Pick up the paper or check out a local even page online to see what’s happening that you’d be interested in. Visit local art exhibits, craft shows, free live entertainment venues, museums, or try out that new restaurant you’ve been hearing about. The possibilities are endless when you stay in town so why not explore them?

2.) Homeward Bound: Who says you can’t have fun in your own home? It’s easy to get into a daily routine rut that has you yawning long after you’ve started your day. So breaking the bonds of your normal home routines can be a great way to enjoy your staycation. Indulge in some new hobbies like planting a garden, taking a recreational online class, or trying a new recipe in the kitchen. If you’re feeling more social than solitary, you can host a weekly book club or host a wine tasting party at home. Fire up the grill and have a dinner party to remember right in your own backyard!

3.) Get Outside: Early mornings and evenings are still great times to discover the hidden gem bike riding trails, join a hiking club, or even indulge in some camping near a lake. Stargazing on a night hike away from the city is a great way to appreciate and connect with nature. Not into trekking and sweating?  The many outdoor spring festivals, farmers markets, and public barbeques happening valley wide can help give you a healthy dose of vitamin D and a shot of retail therapy too.  

Having fun doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg, and staying in doesn’t have to be a bore. If you’re interested in finding more retirement activities for a staycation in your area or if you’re an active adult seeking the perfect home in Sun City, please contact Sharon Mason today!

 

Sharon Mason, Associate Broker

RE/MAX Professionals

623-810-9988

www.RetireArizonaStyle.com 

Join Sharon on Facebook or Twitter!

Posted by Sharon Mason on June 30th, 2018 6:55 PM
5 Quick Tips to Reduce your A/C Bills this Summer

Summer is just around the corner and summertime energy demand can be higher with weather responsible for up to seventy percent of your electric bill according to Arizona Public Service (APS) department. In fact, cooling accounts for forty percent of the energy consumption in the average Phoenix home.

So if you’re looking to keep your monthly cooling bill costs from rivaling the heats triple digits, here are 5 quick tips to reduce your A/C bills this summer.

1. Replace disposable air filters at least once a month to save energy and increase the life of your cooling system.

2. Leave your air vents open to help improve the effectiveness of your cooling system.

3. Check windows for any hot air leaking in and seal them with caulk or weather stripping.

4. Add window treatments. Sunscreens can block as much as sixty to eighty percent of the sun’s heat from reaching the glass.

5. Install a programmable thermostat to save time and energy costs.

Be sure to implement one or more of these 5 tips to reduce your A/C bills this summer, and the heat will be the only thing that will have you sweating this summer! If you’re looking for more energy saving tips or if you’re looking to buy a home in an Arizona retirement community or sell your Sun City home, please contact me today!

Your Arizona Retirement Expert, Sharon Mason RE/MAX Professionals 623-810-9988 www.RetireArizonaStyle.com Join Sharon on Facebook or Twitter!
Posted by Sharon Mason on May 10th, 2018 10:51 AM
Providing Above and Beyond Service in the Valley Since 1994

As a native Arizonan and resident of the Arizona retirement communities I sell, I take pride in proudly celebrating professionalism and honesty as a full-service full-time Associate Broker for RE/MAX Professionals. I bring a strong combination of customer service, sales, market knowledge and marketing to benefit my clients. As a Top 20 REALTOR®, I follow the highest standards of customer service and ethics to conduct business on your behalf and have been doing so since 1994. When something needs to get done I do it. I do this so we have a smooth transaction and to ensure we have a good relationship, trust, and satisfaction. Here is just of the testimonials that one of my past clients had to share about his experience working with me:

“I would like to thank your broker Sharon Mason for the above and beyond services she provided for me on the sale of my condo. I have been a licensed Real Estate Broker since 1961 and am still active in the business myself, which gives me the expertise to recognize the outstanding services she provided. I would recommend her very highly to anyone needing assistance in the real estate field.” - Fred Schonewise

There are eleven wonderful retirement communities to choose from in the West Valley area and my office is located right in the center of them. So when you are ready to make your move, please contact Sharon Mason. I look forward to helping you find the Arizona retirement community and home of your dreams!

Your Arizona Retirement Expert,
Sharon Mason
RE/MAX Professionals
623-810-9988
www.RetireArizonaStyle.com
Join Sharon on Facebook or Twitter!
Posted by Sharon Mason on April 12th, 2018 2:04 PM
Top 3 Overlooked Tax Breaks for Retirees

Finally retired? Congratulations! In addition to being the boss of your own time, retirement affords you a variety of new tax breaks that aren’t available to younger people. But are you aware of all the tax breaks you can claim? Here are the top 3 overlooked tax breaks for retirees.

1.) Bigger Standard Deduction: When you turn sixty-five, the IRS offers a gift in the form of a bigger standard deduction. The extra $1,550 will make it more likely you’ll take the standard deduction rather than itemizing and, if you do, the additional amount will save you almost $400 if you’re in the twenty-five percent bracket. Couples in which one or both spouses are age sixty-five or older also get bigger standard deductions than younger taxpayers.

2.) Medical Expense Deductions: Until 2017, taxpayers age 65 and older get a break when it comes to deducting medical expenses. Those who itemize get a money-saving deduction to the extent their medical bills exceed 7.5 percent of adjusted gross income. For younger taxpayers, the AGI threshold is ten percent. If you’re married, only one spouse needs to be sixty-five to use the 7.5 percent threshold.

3.) IRA Contributions: If you’re married and your spouse is still working, he or she can contribute up to $6,500 a year to an IRA that you own. If you use a traditional IRA, spousal contributions are allowed up to the year you reach age 70 ½. If you use a Roth IRA, there is no age limit. As long as your spouse has enough earned income to fund the contribution to your account (and any deposits to his or her own), this tax shelter’s doors remain open to you.

If you or someone you know is retiring this year or are seeking a retirement home in Sun City, please give me a call today. I can help you find the perfect Arizona retirement community where you can enjoy your golden years!

Your Arizona Retirement Expert,
Sharon Mason
RE/MAX Professionals
623-810-9988
www.RetireArizonaStyle.com
Join Sharon on Facebook or Twitter!
Posted by Sharon Mason on February 14th, 2018 12:49 PM
Here’s How to Fully Enjoy Being a Snowbird

While many places are combating tons of snow and shoveling their driveways, Arizonans are enjoying hikes, outdoor festivals and afternoons by the pool. It’s no wonder Arizona is one of the top places snowbirds love to frequent during the winter time. For those who don’t know, the term “snowbird” refers to travelers who choose to fly south to escape the harsh winters. Whether you’re a first time snowbird or you’ve been doing it for most of your retirement, here’s how to fully enjoy being a snowbird.

Secure your home: The thought of heading to a sunny paradise is enough to make anyone forget about their snow covered bungalow back home. But taking the extra steps to secure your home will help make your transition home much smoother. Add additional security to your home such as timers for lights, extra locks, and someone to check in on your space.

Bring your meds: Sunscreen? Check. Bathing suit? Check. Flip-flops? Check. But did you remember to pack your important prescriptions and medications? It’s a good idea to pack your meds in a safe place and keep them with you at all times while traveling. Be sure to have enough extra to cover you while you’re away or be sure to confirm out of state prescription refills are approved with your health care provider. And don’t forget to pack your insurance cards.

Save smart: It’s a given you’re going to need cash for living and enjoying your time in the valley of the sun these next few months. In addition to travel expenses, don’t forget to set aside money for any last-minute emergencies that may occur. Sort out finances and makes sure a trusted family member or friend knows where to find your important documents just in case.

Are you a snowbird ready to buy a home in one of our many Arizona retirement communities? Contact Sharon Mason, your retirement expert today!

Sharon Mason
RE/MAX Professionals
623-810-9988
www.RetireArizonaStyle.com
Join Sharon on Facebook or Twitter!
Posted by Sharon Mason on December 9th, 2017 11:10 AM
3 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Snowbirds

Fall is here and Arizona’s beloved snowbirds are returning back to the Valley of the Sun. You don't have to live in the Phoenix,  area very long before you start hearing about snowbirds. But for those who are unfamiliar with the term, snowbirds are people who migrate to warmer locations to escape the harsh winters of their main home. Typically retirees and active adults, they use their freedom to escape the cold and snow from northern U.S. states and Canada, and purchase or rent homes in the Phoenix area. So in celebration of their welcomed return, here are 3 things you probably didn’t know about snowbirds.

1.) Snowbird is not a new term: The term “snowbird” has been around for almost 100 years. The word was first used in 1923 to describe seasonal workers who moved south for the winter months, and by 1979 it was commonly used in reference to the large number of retiree tourists who flocked to the south.

2.) Oh Canada: Believe it or not, the majority of international snowbirds come from Canada. About ten percent of snowbirds live in a permanent location outside of the United States. Four out of five of those international snowbirds come from Canada. There’s even a Canadian Snowbird Association, which is a nonprofit group made up of 80,000 older adult members aged sixty-five and up.

3.) Hello Boomers: Today, Baby Boomers are taking over the snowbird population. It didn’t always used to be this way, but now the majority of snowbirds are between the ages of fifty and sixty-nine. This generation is known to be very active and they tend to be wealthy, well-educated, and adapt to the snowbird lifestyle very well.

Snowbirds, also known as winter visitors, don’t just hang out down south and then leave. They actually have a big impact on the Phoenix economy! They pay real estate taxes, do all their grocery shopping, buy gas from local gas stations, and some even work seasonal jobs or volunteer. If you’re a snowbird looking for an Arizona retirement community to enjoy the winter or seeking to buy a home in Sun City, please contact Sharon Mason today!

Your Arizona Retirement Expert,
Sharon Mason
 RE/MAX Professionals
623-810-9988
www.RetireArizonaStyle.com
Join Sharon on Facebook or Twitter!
Posted by Sharon Mason on October 16th, 2017 12:59 PM

4 Wonderful Ways to Prepare for Retirement in 2017

There’s rarely a greater joy in life than when you make that personal decision to hang up your hat and enjoy retirement. Just don’t forget that retirement takes planning, commitment, and a good financial head on your shoulders. Here are 4 wonderful ways to prepare for retirement in 2017.

1. Determine your needs: Retirement can be expensive, with experts estimating that you need seventy to ninety percent of your pre-retirement income to maintain your standard of living when you stop working. The average American spends twenty years in retirement, so ask yourself, “What do I want?” Do you want to buy a home? Travel? Go back to school? Start a business? Determining your retirement needs and identifying what you want to do in retirement will help you plan better so you can enjoy your golden years to the fullest.

2.) Build a solid savings: Financial experts now recommend saving as much as fifteen percent of your salary for retirement. Don’t touch your retirement savings early or you may have to pay withdrawal penalties, lose principal and interest, and lose tax benefits. If you’ve just now started saving with few years left until retirement, don’t be deterred. It never hurts to explore investment and saving options that can help you reach your retirement goals faster.

3.) Eliminate debt: It's easier to save and fund your retirement when you don't have looming debts hanging over your head. When you're about to enter your retirement years, credit card debt -- and any student debt -- should be paid down. Thirteen percent of baby boomers still have student loan debt. Sit down with a financial planner to whip up a plan to quickly eliminate debt so you can use you can retire in style.

4.) Learn your Social Security Benefits: A lot of people just assume that social security will meet their retirement needs without truly knowing what could be available come retirement. Social Security pays benefits that are on average equal to about forty percent of what you earned before retirement. You can estimate your benefit and learn more information on the Social Security Administration's Website or by calling them at 1-800-772-1213.

If you or someone you know plans on retiring in 2017 or are considering a retirement home located in Sun City Grand, please give me a call today. I can help you find the perfect retirement home where you can enjoy your golden years!

Your Arizona Retirement Expert,

 

Sharon Mason

RE/MAX Professionals

623-810-9988

www.RetireArizonaStyle.com 

Join Sharon on Facebook or Twitter!

Posted by Sharon Mason on February 5th, 2017 2:27 PM
Retire Arizona Style: Welcome to Trilogy at Vistancia 

Bordering the breathtaking foothills of North Peoria, Trilogy at Vistancia is one of Arizona’s award-winning master-planned retirement communities for active adults’ ages forty-five and up. Vistancia is a multigenerational community with the five-star amentities you deserve in your golden years.

Endless pampering can be enjoyed at the Alvea Spa, which is fully staffed with highly trained massage therapists, naturopaths and professional stylists. Or play a friendly game of bridge or pickelball, or explore your artistic side with oil painting, quilting, scrapbooking, photography to name a few. If you prefer a more refined retirement agenda, you can enjoy a variety of imported cigars, wine and fabulous company in one of Trilogy’s dozens of clubs.

There are nearly seven miles of walking trails, plus a 35,000 square foot facility that offers residents athletic and wellness opportunities, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and four lighted tennis courts. Of course retirement in Arizona wouldn’t be complete without a par-72 golf course, designed by legendary architect Gary Panks.

Trilogy at Vistancia opened in 2004, and homes range from resale to custom and some new home options. Environmentally friendly houses that make minimal impact on the environment and reduce energy costs are also available. Cozy havens comprising 1,314 square feet of living space mesh seamlessly with spacious 3,096 square-foot homes in this resort-style community. You’ll find single-level homes that feature front courtyards, three-car garages and luxuriously appointed interiors.

Want to learn more about Trilogy at Vistancia? Visit me online at: http://www.retirearizonastyle.com/Trilogy

If you are ready to plan your retirement, and you want to learn more about how to retire Arizona style, give me a call today. I’ll help you explore Trilogy at Vistancia real estate through the Arizona MLS and in-person. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Your Arizona Retirement Expert,
Sharon Mason
RE/MAX Professionals
623-810-9988
www.RetireArizonaStyle.com 

Join Sharon on Facebook or Twitter!
Posted by Sharon Mason on October 13th, 2016 2:35 PM

Survey Shows Retirees are Homeward Bound

Every retirement plan is different, but a new survey shows an overwhelming number of people nearing or in retirement want to remain in their current home as long as possible. The Home Equity and Retirement Income Planning Survey released by The American College of Financial Services was created to better understand retirees’ attitudes about home equity and housing decisions. The results were based on surveys of more than 1,000 people between the ages of fifty-five and seventy-five with at least$100,000 in investable assets and $100,000 in home equity. About fifty-three percent of the participants were male while forty-seven percent were female. Here are some of the statistics the retirement survey revealed:

  • Eighty-three percent of older adults do not want to relocate in retirement and almost no homeowners wanted to rent in retirement.
  • Forty-four percent of older adults have considered using home equity in retirement.
  • Only twenty percent of retirees feel comfortable spending home equity as a source of income.
  • Twenty percent of those surveyed felt that it was extremely important to leave their home as a legacy asset to their children or other heirs.
  • Forty-five percent of respondents listed leaving their home to their children as not important.

Overall, the study reveals a strong desire to age in place among baby boomers and retirees alike. If you’d like to learn more about retiring in Arizona or if you’re looking to buy an Arizona retirement home, please contact Sharon Mason today! 

Your Arizona Retirement Expert,

Sharon Mason, Associate Broker
RE/MAX Professionals

623-810-9988
www.RetireArizonaStyle.com 

Join Sharon on Facebook or Twitter!

Posted by Sharon Mason on June 2nd, 2016 3:22 PM

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