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Berlin, MD 21811
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Water babies seek to capitalize on love of ocean

Posted On: 10/24/13
Written By: Sheila R. Cherry, Associate Editor

Water babies seek to capitalize on love of ocean  BERLIN—Hunter and Devon Bostic grew up on the water and their parents are entrepreneurs, so it is no big surprise that their first venture, Sea-La-Vie, would open with the type of atmosphere and seasoned polish that drew crowds into the repurposed North Main Street studio at 11 Artisans Way on Oct. 19. Actually, the robust foot traffic  on opening day coincided with Berlin’s Octoberfest celebration. A common refrain of customer’s entering the shop with its whitewashed walls and nautical-themed gifts and décor items was, “Wow, it smells so nice in here!” A common view as customers left the shop was the Tiffany’s blue bags, with crisp white borders and string handles and pink tissue paper wrapped around newly-purchased goodies peeking out along the top, swinging from the arms of sated shoppers. Inside, the shop bathed in light and with a nice balance of open space, included crystalized faux chandeliers, white paper lanterns and Capiz ...
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Corbett and Waldhelm, new owners of Bluebird Farms

Posted On: 10/17/13
Written By: Sheila R. Cherry, Associate Editor

Corbett and Waldhelm, new owners of Bluebird Farms BERLIN—Nancie Corbett enjoyed working at the nursery at 11207 Racetrack Rd. that is now called Bluebird Farms so much that she worked for free for a month and a half after the owner retired. A transplant from Baltimore County, who has lived in the area for the past 20 years, Corbett worked as a furniture refinisher and restorer, having done many pieces for the Harrison Group and the historic Atlantic Hotel. But she is no novice to farming. She said she comes to her new business venture with 30 years garden and farm experience. Corbett bought the farm, the Gazebo, along with her husband Donnie Waldhelm, who it turns out hails from New York—from Brooklyn. Waldhelm, who has a background in marketing, was excited and thought the purchase was a good opportunity, Corbett said. The Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Oct. 15, to welcome the new owners into the local business community. The location is less than a mile from Beauchamp Roa...
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Looking at estate planning from different age perspectives

Posted On: 10/17/13
Written By: Chip Gordy, MBA, CRPC

I'm often asked; what is estate planning? To answer that question, let's look at estate planning from different age perspectives; the 30 to 50 group; the 50 to 70 crowd and the 70 and above age bracket. Between ages 30 to 50 you’re either getting started with a career and a family or have them in the works. You think, at least occasionally, about retirement and begin to accumulate an estate. By this point in your life you may have started a 401(k) or other retirement savings plans. If you have children you think about their protection, if something unforeseen happens to you. Statistics show that you think life insurance, for both husband and wife, for the loss of either will cause a loss of support for the kids and added expense for the home. Maybe you’re still paying your college loans but want to start saving for your own child's college education. On top of everything you are dealing with for your own family, you also need to consider and ask your par...
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Financial areas highlighted to be reviewed yearly

Posted On: 10/10/13
Written By: Chip Gordy, MBA, CRPC

The following are eight areas of your financial life you should probably review on a yearly basis: INVESTMENTS. Review your investment strategy – make sure it’s in line with your current investment goals. Look over your portfolio positions and revisit your asset allocation. Are you still adhering to your investment policy? Do you have an investment policy? RETIREMENT. Take a look at your overall retirement strategy. Does it (still) make sense or not? If applicable, take your RMD (required minimum distribution) from your traditional IRA. Take a look at and/or max out contributions to IRAs, 401(k)’s. Consider maxing-out catch up contributions, if applicable. Finally, consider Roth IRA conversion scenarios. RETIREMENT INCOME. If you’re not already taking your retirement income, what will your withdrawal rate be? Is it guaranteed? Is it predictable? What happens if the economic environment changes? TAXES. Search for possible credits and/or deduction...
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Development tour to showcase commercial properties

Posted On: 9/26/13
Written By: Sheila R. Cherry, Associate Editor

OCEAN PINES—Worcester County will host a commercial bus tour of the Lower Eastern Shore on Sept. 27 to highlight areas ripe for commercial development and familiarize potential investors with the area. The county’s Economic Development Director Bill Badger said the tour will begin at Harrison’s Harbor Watch at the Ocean City Inlet and commence up the length of the boardwalk by tram with a guided tour of “iconic Ocean City” to 27th Street. The group will include investors and local and county officials and is scheduled to travel through Ocean City, West Ocean City, Ocean Pines and Berlin, Badger said. The investors will be briefed on commercial sites that are ready for development or redevelopment and sites that officials would like to see developed or redeveloped in the future.  Badger said the tour concept was meant to provide a fun and different way to remind investors of why the Eastern Shore is a great market for business invest...
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Childcare provider wants to expand business

Posted On: 9/19/13
Written By: Sheila R. Cherry

BERLIN— After a chance encounter in the local Wal-Mart parking lot with state officials recruiting local entrepreneurs, a business owner could realize one of her dreams. Sheneka Nichols, a 38-year-old mother of six, said she bought Stages Early Childhood Learning Center, Inc. two years ago after she and her husband, Clayton, faced an emergency need for childcare when a daycare center three of the Nichols’ children attended closed abruptly on April 1, 2011. Nichols said she has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, a master’s degree in early childhood education from Wilmington University and is a certified childcare provider.  She has worked in the public school system for nearly ten years, she said. She has lived in Berlin since her mom returned to the area with her when she was eight months old. Nichols said her husband, a construction worker, has been very supportive of her venture ambitions, ̶...
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Retirement myths including money needed, discussed

Posted On: 9/19/13
Written By: Chip Gordy, MBA, CRPC

Following are some “untruths” about retirement that I’ve observed over the years. You will not need as much money during retirement as you do now. The general rule of thumb says that you will need approximately 70% of your pre-retirement income in order to maintain a lifestyle similar to that which you currently have. This may be true if you live your current lifestyle. However, when you retire, you will have more free time for travel, leisure activities, hobbies, and other things you might like to do during your retirement years. In addition, medical expenses will increase at a faster rate than they likely did during your pre-retirement years. Also, your overall tax rate may not drop very much. My retirement years won't last all that long. The fact is, today individuals in their 50s and 60s are generally healthier than previous generations. Currently, if you are age 65 your life expectancy is approximately 21 years, which is a long time to plan for....
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Breast cancer support group opens WOC office

Posted On: 9/5/13
Written By: Sheila R. Cherry, Associate Editor

Breast cancer support group opens WOC office BERLIN—Independent breast cancer support organization Women Supporting Women closed its Worcester County office on Old Ocean City Boulevard, reopening at 12216 Ocean Gateway in a cost-saving move. Past volunteer Mary Henderson was hired as the full-time coordinator, along with Salisbury University student Cristina Bustamante, who will handle daily operations. A senior, Bustamante is plans to graduate with a double major in marketing and management in December 2014. Women Supporting Women’s mission is to provide awareness, education and support to those affected by breast cancer. The immediate goal of the new office, however, might be to get new signs up so individuals can find them. The $900 of signage needed for the door, building and roadside pylon will have to come out of overhead cost, if not donated beforehand, Henderson said. The organization provides surgeons with bags of information kits and products for their patients who are battling cancer, H...
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Local jurisdictions receive first impact grants from casino this year

Posted On: 8/29/13
Written By: Sheila R. Cherry, Associate Editor

Local jurisdictions receive first impact grants from casino this year WORCESTER COUNTY—The Casino at Ocean Downs generated $5,826,335 in gross terminal revenues from its 800 video lottery terminals in July, according to the Maryland Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. Since the state requires that 5.5 percent of VLT proceeds are paid to communities in the local area that meant a payout of $320,448.42 in local impact grants to Worcester County its largest municipalities for the first month of the 2014 fiscal year, which began July 1. By law, the county would have received 60 percent of the grant expenditures (approximately $192,269.05), Ocean City would have received 20 percent (approximately $64,089.68), and Berlin and Ocean Pines would have received 10 percent each (approximately $32,044.84), from the total $320,448 grant fund amount paid in July. The grant fund revenue must be spent on infrastructure improvement; facilities; public safety; sanitation; economic and community development, including housing; or other public services or...
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Key retirement planning traps to avoid

Posted On: 8/29/13
Written By: Chip Gordy, MBA, CRPC

One of the most important goals of investing should be maintaining financial independence in retirement. With that in mind, here are some key retirement planning tax traps to avoid. Neglecting taxable savings. Because earnings in qualified retirement plans and IRAs grow tax-deferred, it seems obvious that these plans should receive the maximum contribution allowable and perhaps even the bulk of someone’s available savings. The reality is that the tax hit when withdrawing these funds in retirement often turns out to be potentially higher than many thought. Therefore, you shouldn’t overlook systematically saving after-tax dollars in taxable accounts. Placing assets in the wrong accounts. Sometimes investments are held across multiple IRAs, qualified retirement plans, and taxable accounts. In these situations, it is prudent to strike a balance between taxable and tax-deferred accounts. It makes sense to talk to a professional when deciding what to invest and...
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