to ask right questions about reverse mortgages
By PAUL FRANKLIN
President and CEO, Franklin Funding, Inc.
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
16, 2009 -- In light of last year's financial meltdown, it makes
sense that many are skeptical of any kind of mortgage loan. Reverse
mortgages, which service the often vulnerable senior population,
are being met with a great deal of skepticism and concern.
time your finances are involved, there's no question you should
proceed with caution. But reverse mortgages can be quite helpful
for many older adults, and if you know what to look for in a lender,
you can make an educated decision as to whether it's right for you.
mortgages are available to homeowners age 62 and older. It's a way
for homeowners to convert a portion of the equity in their homes
to tax-free cash - the opposite of a "forward" mortgage
in which debt decreases and equity rises. In many instances a reverse
mortgage can be used to help older adults pay off an existing mortgage,
help with medical expenses, or simply improve their quality of life.
The senior population is growing. Seniors - even those who have
a low monthly income - often own their homes outright. As with any
emerging market, the attraction of unethical individuals is bound
to happen. It is the actions of few that tarnish the image of many,
so don't immediately discredit reverse mortgages and assume all
lenders are scam artists. Simply use caution.
are some things to look for in a reverse mortgage lender:
lender should be FHA approved. Because 95 percent of reverse mortgages
are FHA insured, it's best to work with an approved lender.
the lender a member of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association,
which indicates a commitment to the industry and a code of ethics?
(Check online at http://www.reversemortgage.org.)
many reverse mortgages has the lender closed? Reverse mortgages
are very different from traditional forward mortgages and require
a level of expertise and specialization. Also, is the lender skilled
in working with the senior population so he understands seniors'
needs and concerns?
you meet with the lender face to face? While many lenders prefer
to do business over the telephone, it's best to meet in person
to ask questions and be reassured about the process and your decision.
Don't work with a lender who pressures you or doesn't answer your
questions. If you don't feel comfortable with the financial agreement,
don't go any further. If the lender tries to pressure you into
signing an agreement, walk away and find a lender who has your
best interests in mind.
A reputable and honest lender won't mind if you bring your adult
children, a trusted friend or your attorney to your meetings.
Be wary of a lender who wants to meet with just you alone and
isn't open to questions from your friends and family.
Funding is a Charleston-based financial services company that helps
older adults throughout the state of South Carolina with financial
solutions tied to home equity. For more information, visit http://www.franklin-funding.com.
luncheon yields good news for area
ANDY BRACK, publisher
16, 2009 -- By the time keynote speaker David Sanger waxed about
his new book, the Obama administration's performance, Afghanistan
and nuclear proliferation, it was hard to see how he would connect
Charleston into the talk at Thursday's 2009 annual lunch of the
Charleston Regional Development Alliance.
he did. And that's probably why he's the chief Washington correspondent
for The New York Times.
outlined how in today's global economy, the United States may be
the remaining superpower, but other economies are rising -- and
having big influences here because of the money they lend to prop
up our way of life. These days, for example, the Chinese want to
know details about the public option in the U.S. health care debate.
Why? Because they may end up loaning us the money to fuel health
care for all.
international inquiry and influence into what once would have been
a domestic issue will continue, Sanger said. And therefore Boeing
-- and by extension Charleston - will experience more international
forays by other powers that may impact business here.
how: If China and the U.S.- - or Korea and the U.S, or some other
country and us -- get into a tiff about something completely unrelated
to airplanes, the people who make plane orders with Boeing might
decide to stop business with the American company -- or to curtail
involvement briefly, which could hurt jobs here and Seattle. So
Boeing, a plane maker, kind of has to have its own foreign policy
to turn back business threats, Sanger explained.
line: Other countries, like China, are going to have more leverage
with trade issues beyond mere trade agreements. And now that Charleston
is on a front line of the trade game thanks to Boeing's increased
presence, businesses here are "going to have a front row view
into how the global political game is played," Sanger said.
what Sanger told hundreds about the global economy was a completely
different message by the CRDA that rang loud and clear at the luncheon:
With the increasing sophistication of global trade in the Charleston
market, the leadership offered by the CRDA is a key to the area's
the last few months, the organization has retooled to involve private
businesses significantly in what once was an economic development
agency that trolled for new jobs mostly on behalf of local governments.
Thanks to the CRDA's new alliance with about 50 leading area businesses,
the organization now is stronger and able to speak with a unified
voice to attract growth to the tri-county area.
news out of the luncheon was outstanding. First, Sanger highlighted
how Charleston has become a bigger player in the global economy,
which should have spin-off benefits throughout the community. And
second, because the CRDA is a more diverse, stronger group of business
leaders, we will tell our story in better and new ways that should
make us even more successful down the road.
Brack is publisher of CharlestonCurrents.com.
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public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents
to you at no cost. In this issue, we highlight the Joye Law Firm.
Committed to fighting for the rights of the wrongly injured in South
Carolina for more than 40 years, the experienced, dedicated personal
injury lawyers of the Joye Law Firm want to help you get every dollar
you truly deserve for the injuries you've suffered. Whether you've
been injured in an auto accident, by a defective product, in a nursing
home, or on the job, we may be able to help you. For more information,
contact Joye Law Firm at 843.554.3100 or visit online at: http://www.joyelawfirm.com.
in space: Citadel grad set to lift off on shuttle today
1989 graduate of The Citadel will be on board the space shuttle
Atlantis today when NASA begins the official launch countdown for
him and five other astronauts. Marine Lt. Col. Randy Bresnik is
believed to be the first Citadel graduate to become an astronaut
and go on a space mission.
a part of the mission on the Atlantis, Bresnik and the crew will
deliver two express logistics carriers to the International Space
Station, take part in three spacewalks - two of which will include
Bresnik - and return NASA astronaut Nicole Stott to Earth.
member of Band Company as a cadet, Bresnik was commissioned as a
second lieutenant in the Marine Corps after graduating with a degree
in math. As a Marine, he gained wide-ranging experience in complex
aircraft, first by attending flight school and being selected to
fly jets, then by attending Top Gun and Test Pilot School, flying
F/A-18s and various test aircraft and ultimately logging more than
4,500 hours in 79 different aircrafts.
is scheduled for 2:28 p.m. and can be viewed live online at NASA
TV. The Citadel has its own countdown-to-launch clock and updates
and background information about Bresnik at http://www.citadel.edu/atlantis/.
gives $6,000 to group to promote holiday shopping
Old Mount Pleasant Shopping District organization got an early gift
from the town of Mount Pleasant last week: a check for $6,000, which
will be used to match the district's advertising dollars for a "Holidays
in the Neighborhood" campaign.
Mount Pleasant Mayor Billy Swails (left) presents a check for
$6,000 to Jan Clouse and Jim Ray Cobb of the Old Mount Pleasant
Pleasant Mayor Billy Swails presented the check to the OMPSD president
Jan Clouse of Lowcountry Lighting and Jim Ray Cobb or Anchor Line
Advertising during a meeting at Campbell's Jewelers. The advertising
campaign will promote shopping at member businesses in the district,
which starts at the foot of the Ravenel Bridge and goes to Chuck
Dawley Boulevard and Bowman Road.
The Old Mount
Pleasant Shopping District was established to help boost local
businesses in Mount Pleasant's Old Village area.
releases new marketing program for nonprofits
the leading global provider of software and related services designed
specifically for nonprofit organizations, is now offering a new
version of its popular Web-based e-marketing and event fundraising
tools. Blackbaud Sphere Grow is designed to provide nonprofits with
"an affordable turn-key solution with a guided implementation
and ongoing consulting services," the company says.
Sphere Grow is a complete online marketing and peer-to-peer fundraising
solution that helps nonprofits desiring a greater online presence
build engaging Web sites, create effective e-mail campaigns, run
peer fundraising events and measure their success," says Steve
MacLaughlin, Blackbaud's director of Internet solutions. "The
Grow package was designed to guide nonprofits through their strategy
- from launch to analysis - to ensure success."
to the solution is Blackbaud's Friends Asking Friends technology,
which allows users to set up and run 'Thon' style peer-to-peer fundraising
events. Friends Asking Friends has built-in integration with social
networks like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to help nonprofits
extend the reach of their marketing. Blackbaud Sphere Grow also
includes an online supporter database that stores all of a nonprofit's
Web site and e-mail contacts, greatly reducing the amount of time
and money staff must spend on administrative tasks and allowing
supporters to provide a customized, targeted online experience with
company plans to offer a free Web seminar that will provide an overview
of Blackbaud Sphere Grow. To register for the program or learn more,
your view to our readers
If you have a review of a book, movie, restaurant or local arts
endeavor, please send no more than 150 words to editor Ann
Thrash. Make sure to include your name and full contact information.
in 1971, the Marshall Tucker Band (MTB) laced its rock and roll
with doses of country, blues, and jazz, selling millions of albums
in the 1970s and 1980s and influencing acts such as Waylon Jennings,
Hank Williams Jr., Charlie Daniels, and Kid Rock. Named for a blind
South Carolinian who tuned pianos, the group kept Spartanburg as
a home base, a fact that allowed the upstate town to share the band's
original MTB included lead guitarist and chief songwriter Toy Caldwell,
bass player Tommy Caldwell, lead singer Doug Gray, drummer Paul
Riddle, rhythm guitarist George McCorkle, and flutist/saxophone
player Jerry Eubanks. Signed to Capricorn Records, MTB released
its self-titled debut album in 1973. That album contained a Toy
Caldwell composition called "Can't You See," a song that
would later be covered by Hank Williams Jr., Waylon Jennings, and
others. The band's most successful album was Searchin' for a Rainbow
(1975), which included the McCorkle-penned "Fire on the Mountain,"
a song whose lyrics are displayed at Nashville's Country Music Hall
of Fame. Other notable MTB songs include "Take the Highway,"
"Long Hard Ride," and the Top-Twenty single "Heard
It in a Love Song." Each of the band's six albums with Capricorn
sold at least 100,000 copies, with two selling more than one million.
A late 1970s shift to Warner Brothers Records proved less fruitful.
Caldwell died in 1980 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
Former Toy Factory bassist Franklin Wilkie then joined the band,
which soon added keyboardist Ronnie Godfrey. Toy Caldwell, McCorkle,
and Riddle left the group in 1984, with Caldwell going on to record
a solo album in 1992. Caldwell passed away after a heart attack
in 1993 at age forty-five. Gray and Eubanks carried on the MTB name,
utilizing various supporting musicians, until Eubanks departed in
1996 and left Gray as MTB's only remaining original member.
Excerpted from the entry by Peter Cooper. To
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has spent many years helping small businesses, formerly as the editorial
director of Entrepreneur Magazine and currently as the CEO of GrowBiz
month she spoke to more than 200 local business people at the Charleston
Metro Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Innovation Summit. Here
are 13 quick, practical tips she offered at the conference to help
local companies grow and thrive:
- Start preparing
for the recovery by looking at new talent and interns and keeping
in touch with past employees you may have laid off.
- Check with
local and state government for tax incentives.
- Shop small
and support local businesses.
- Speak up
and contact government representative to demand small businesses
be a part of the recovery plan.
with your banker, landlords, etc.
- Join groups
like the Chamber, industry trade associations and college alumni
- Work your
- Cash is
king, so closely monitor what's coming in and out.
- Stop trying
to be perfect.
- Update technology.
Slow computers can cost you money. Invest in mobile technology.
- Stop worrying.
- Be innovative.
- Join social
media (such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
people are born on third base and go through life thinking they
hit a triple."
football coach Barry Switzer (1937 - )
Networking: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 16, Holliday Alumni
House at The Citadel, Hagood Ave. Sponsored by the Center for Women's
Entrepreneurial Woman Series, the event is expected to feature more
than 150 local businesswomen. Through "speed networking,"
participants can meet other entrepreneurs quickly and have the chance
to introduce themselves, their business and their interests to everyone
at each table. Light refreshments provided. Cost: $15 for Center
for Women members; $20 for nonmembers. Free parking at Johnson Hagood
Charleston Style: 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Through
Nov. 18, Culinary Institute of Charleston's Palmer Campus, 66
Columbus St., Charleston. A series of short courses celebrating
the many facets of entertaining with a focus on Charleston style
and traditions. Guest presenters include hosts, event professionals,
authors, collectors, stylists and other specialists known for their
distinctive contributions to local hospitality and tourism. Light
beverage and cocktail samplings will be provided. Cost: $149. More
Thursday in Summerville: Nov. 19, downtown Summerville.
Enjoy a holiday open house at local stores, with refreshments, strolling
carolers, a jazz trio and other entertainment and promotions. Sponsored
by Summerville D.R.E.A.M. (Downtown Restoration, Enhancement and
Grinch': Nov. 21 and Nov. 22, Charleston Ballet
Theatre, 477 King St. The CBT will stage "The Grinch Who Stole
Christmas," based on the timeless Dr. Seuss classic. The 48-minute
show is suitable for the whole family. Times: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Nov. 14 and Nov. 21; 3 p.m. Nov. 15 and Nov. 22. Tickets: $20 adults,
$10 children; call 723-7334 or order online at http://www.charlestonballet.com.
Oyster Roast: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 22, Elks Lodge, 1113
Sam Rittenberg Blvd. Oyster roast and a silent auction will benefit
the Outreach Learning Center at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in
Charleston (on King Street across from Marion Square). Oysters,
fish stew, hot dogs, cole slaw, dessert; bring your own beverages.
Live music by Wood & Steel. Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at
the door, $10 for children under 12; available at the center, 403
King St., or online
Memorial: 5:30 p.m. Nov. 22, Colonial Lake, downtown.
Hospice of Charleston's 21st Annual Candlelight Memorial Ceremony.
The lighting of hundreds of memorial luminaries placed around the
lake will be followed by a brief ceremony of music and readings
and a performance by Ann Caldwell. For details or to order a memorial
to a loved one (money raised benefits Hospice), visit
this Web page, click
here to send an email or call 216-7323.
ONGOING AND SOON
Spiritual Christmas': 6 p.m. Nov. 27, St. Stephen's Episcopal
Church, 67 Anson St., Charleston. The Charleston Symphony Orchestra
Spiritual Ensemble under the direction of Nathan L. Nelson will
perform African-American spirituals set to a holiday theme. Tickets:
$10 per person at the door.
Parade of Boats: 5 p.m. Dec. 5, Charleston Harbor. This
Lowcountry holiday tradition features festively decorated and lighted
boats of all sorts parading through the harbor, following by a fireworks
display. View the procession along Charleston's waterfront or decorate
your own boat and join the parade. Parade begins in the harbor off
Mount Pleasant at 5 p.m.; viewing from the peninsula begins at 6:30
p.m., and fireworks start about 6:45 p.m. More info: 724-7305.
Lending: 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Dec. 9, Charleston Metro
Chamber of Commerce, 2750 Speisseger Drive, Suite 100, North Charleston.
The chamber's Charleston Area Business Council will discuss small-business
lending and how to obtain financing in today's current lending climate.
Cost: $15 chamber members, $30 nonmembers. More
Silks Exhibition: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 10, 214 King
Street Gallery, 214 King St. Kimono Silks features new works by
batik master Mary Edna Fraser. Fraser discovered the vintage narrow
silks on a recent Australia trip and has blogged about the experience
A master dyer, Fraser came home with aerial landscapes featuring
batiks, monotypes, oils and archival prints. Exhibition on display
through Jan. 24; gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Monday
through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. More info: 762-2594
or at email@example.com.
Polar Plunge prep
Homes for Christmas
Enjoy holidays sans lbs.
Instruments of Hope
Armas: Latin biz expo
Be a principal
Women at Gibbes
new food show
on car tags
way of tithing?
over on Sanford
off a little
is time for courage
place for prejudice
fun at Halloween
to old clunker
to squeeze in
on holiday lights
a tourist here
lists of year