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News & Events

Investing Risk Re-defined
Emerson Hartzler

Emerson Hartzler

As the stock market reaches new highs we will start to hear pundits recommending to all who will listen: Get out of “risky” stocks and into “safe” investments (meaning bonds, CDs, Money Market accounts, etc.). Unfortunately the perception of many investors, reinforced daily by the financial press, is that risk is defined by the volatility of stock market prices. While it is true that stock market prices can be very volatile, risk and volatility are not equivalent, and this misunderstanding is the downfall of many an investor.

So let’s unpack this risk thing a bit. First, a very real risk facing any investor is inflation.  Yet moving out of stocks into “safe” investments actually exposes the investor to much greater inflation risk, and the numbers are shocking.  Let’s look at some data.  From 1926 through 2013, the average annual returns of market indexes, assuming reinvestment of dividends, were:

Large Company Common Stocks 10.1%
Small Company Common Stocks 12.3%
Long-term, High Quality Corporate Bonds 6.0%

The problem with inflation is that it eats into these returns with a vengeance, and the Consumer Price Index over that same period compounded annually at 3.0%. So the real returns, adjusted for inflation (the resulting earning power of those dollars) were very different:

Large Company Common Stocks 7.1%
Small Company Common Stocks 9.3%
Long-term, High Quality Corporate Bonds 3.0%


To put this into real dollar terms, an investor who invested $200 per month over a 40-year working career and experienced the returns these three options provided would have an ending value of:


Large Company Common Stocks $547,732
Small Company Common Stocks $1,007,883
Long-term, High Quality Corporate Bonds $191,624

Ouch! Obviously there is an extreme price to be paid for having “safe” investments, and you ignore inflation risk at your own peril.

Now there are other risks to owning stocks that must be understood and managed. Investing in individual companies carries the business risk that even the “best” companies may fail, and stockholders may lose everything. But that risk is easily managed by diversification, and that is why I personally own a (very small) piece of more than 12,000 companies, so if one falls on hard times, it is of little consequence to me.

Finally there is the market risk that the stock prices of all companies fall, and the current market value of even a diversified portfolio goes into the tank. In fact, since 1980, the averageintra-year decline in the S & P 500 index, for example, has been 14%, and over the course of a full year we have seen declines approaching 50%. That’s called price volatility, and it is real.

But volatility equals risk only if you have to sell! Stock prices have fallen many times in the past, but the key fact that many miss is that while prices go down, they have never stayed down. So if you don’t have to sell when the market is down; if you can be patient and wait until the prices recover, you will have lost nothing due to market risk.

That is why the financial planning process is so important. If you know what your needs are in the relatively short term, you can accept some inflation risk (by putting that money into CDs or Money Market accounts), but not take major business or market risk. Then that money (while perhaps making only a modest return) will be there when it is needed.

But if you don’t need the money for some time (five years or more), you don’t really need to be concerned about the volatility of your investments, because you can wait to sell until the market recovers. As Warren Buffet is so famous for saying: “The stock market is very efficient in taking money from the impatient investor and giving it to the patient investor.” That patient investor should be you!

Emerson Hartzler, MBA, is a Lakeview Village resident, and, though he lives in a retirement community, he continues working as a financial advisor for Triune Financial Partners, LLC, at Lighton Plaza, 7300 College Blvd., in Overland Park, Kan. Reach Triune at 913-825-6100.

Learn more about Lakeview Village–the senior neighborhood of choice, and the largest retirement community in Kansas–by visiting our website at, or checking us out on Facebook.

Wine and Dinner Reception for Prospective Residents

Wine & DineProspective residents of Lakeview Village will be treated to a special dinner and wine pairings at several upcoming events, during which they will learn more about the continuing care retirement community.

Lakeview Village is excited to host several wine and dine events, where prospective residents will watch a presentation on the community and ask any questions they have about resident life. Before the presentation, the guests will be treated to a three-course dinner prepared by Lakeview’s talented dining services team and sample wines selected by a professional sommelier.

Sam Austin, the executive head chef of Lakeview Village, designed the menu and wanted to ensure that the meal would be complemented with a variety of wine for the prospective residents to enjoy. Chris Schoenster, a sommelier and representative of Worldwide Wine & Spirits, picked out several wines that would enhance the different courses.

For the first course, prospective residents will be served a salad of sliced tenderloin served over a bed of mixed greens and house vegetables served with homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing on the side. This course is paired with Oak Grove Chardonnay.

The main course of the meal is a chicken spiedini served over citrus scented rice pilaf with a side of roasted vegetables. Casal Garcia Rose wine will be the paring for this dish.

Desert will be a choice of classic crème brulee or chocolate baskets served with either a Riando Blu Prosecco or a Stump Jump Sticky Chardonnay.

Centerpointe Residents Go Back to School Shopping to Help Staff
back-to-school-shoppingLakeview Village residents have been back to school shopping… for the children of Lakeview staff members.
Residents in Lakeview’s Centerpointe Care Center like to do events and fundraisers to give back to the community. In the past, residents have knit blankets and run food drives, but they decided that they wanted to do something that would also support their staff members.
“The residents feel like they are making a difference,” Pam Hermon, the assistant director of health services at Lakeview Village said. “They were overwhelmed by how much money Lakeview employees had to spend on school supplies, and they wanted to help.”
 For the past few weeks, residents have been collecting and purchasing supplies, and will present the new supplies at a back to school party on Friday, August 1.
Centerpointe residents have found creative ways to raise money and supplies for the drive.  They hosted a supplies competition between staff and residents to see who could get the most school supplies and had “penny wars” between Centerpointe residents and independent living residents to raise money. Centerpointe residents also organized a spaghetti dinner and the proceeds from the meal went towards the supplies drive.
“We are the only retirement community in the area I know that is doing an event like this,” Hermon said.
Though Centerpointe residents organized the drive and event, the entire community helped. Independent living residents helped Centerpointe residents sort through the supplies and organize items into grade appropriate piles.
More than 90 children between kindergarten and eighth grade will receive supplies because of the drive.
“The entire Village came together to make this happen,” Hermon said.
Staying Strong and Fit at Lakeview Village
Lakeview Village president and CEO

Jamie Frazier

For more than 50 years, Lakeview has worked hard to provide a continuing care retirement community that promotes wellness and an active lifestyle among its residents. Wellness is achieved in many areas: intellectual, social, vocational, spiritual, physical, and emotional. Approximately 85 percent of our residents actively participate in at least one of our wellness programs!

Opportunities to sustain physical fitness are found throughout the campus and include a myriad of activities. One of the best opportunities is strength and cardiovascular training, at our state-of-the-art fitness center, which provides numerous machines to keep hearts and muscles strong.
The cardio equipment gets the heart rate up and can accommodate both sitting and standing positions. Our trained fitness employees provide assessments and customized fitness plans for our residents, showing them how to easily set the machines and use each one.  
Many of the popular fitness machines are our pneumatic machines geared toward strength training. They are operated with a compressor that provides air via tubes underneath the floor. These machines are very quiet, but more importantly, they allow for extremely easy resistance adjustment. Residents simply press buttons with their thumb to increase or decrease resistance. This is unlike more traditional weight-training equipment, which requires the user to adjust cables and move weights and metal pegs. Our machines are much safer (and more fun!) to use.
Our fitness center is also available to our employees and Priority Circle future residents so they too can enjoy the benefits. The fitness center is just one way among many that our residents prolong a healthy, active lifestyle.
Want to find out more about Lakeview Village?  Give us a call at 913-888-1900 to set up a tour!
Comedian and Story Teller Mary Lou Anderson Entertains Lakeview Priority Circle
Mary Lou Anderson

Mary Lou Anderson

Mary Lou Anderson, an accomplished comedian and storyteller, decided to use her funny bone to write about her experiences getting older in “Two Hairs Talking on an Old Head,” and recently read excerpts of the book to future residents of Lakeview Village.

“Two Hairs talking on an Old Head” chronicles the lives of several characters in a series of stories, or “ditties” as Anderson calls them, that highlight the funny quirks of aging.

Prospective residents and staff members thoroughly enjoyed the performance. Those in attendance also sampled light refreshments during the reading.

 Anderson’s ditties combine a mix of creativity, rhyme, and humor into short stories. For added comedy, “Grandpa,” Mary Lou’s puppet, narrated one of the ditties.

Always trying to find a humorous spin, Anderson began writing entertaining monologues about adolescence when she was in middle school. She employs a similar comedic tone when writing about her current age group.

Anderson is well known around the Kansas City region for her work on the children television shows “41 Treehouse Lane” and “Mother Nature Show” which aired in the 1970s.

Watch a clip of Anderson perform at another area retirement community here.

If you are interested in learning more about Lakeview Village or attending an event like this, call 913-888-1900 to schedule a visit!

Personal Finance: Back to the Basics

Emerson Hartzler

By Emerson Hartzler

For 44 years I worked in the corporate world dealing with complex financial issues.  Corporate finance is complex, but many decisions are easy, once the financial information is available. During the past 7 years I have found personal finance to be very different from corporate finance.  It’s pretty simple (unless you are really intent on creating your own confusion!), but decisions are not easy!

First of all, personal finance is, well, personal. Corporate executives typically make decisions based on the “cold, hard facts” and while I would not suggest that all executives have ice water running through their veins, sometimes it helps when gut-wrenching decisions have to be made! By contrast, every decision in personal finance involves some degree of emotion. Add a spouse, children and grandchildren to the equation, and you’ve got real challenges!

So how do you introduce some objectivity into personal finance? I would suggest, as a first step, understanding the basics of personal finance – the “True North” on the financial compass. I promised it was simple, and so it is:

  1. Spend less than you earn
  2. Avoid the use of debt
  3. Save for emergencies and major purchases
  4. Plan & Invest long term
  5. Give generously and systematically

Oh, and by the way, you need to do this every day for the rest of your life. I said simple, not easy. So let’s unpack these five basic tenets.

Spend less than you earn:

Well, duh, you say? The problem is you and I are subject to a literal barrage of messages daily (hourly!) trying to convince us that today (just today; tomorrow will be different) we can spend more than we earn. I know people who have done this for a decade or more, and while it inevitably ends badly, they have a great time while it lasts! The simple (there’s that word again!) fact remains, you can’t possibly comply with rules 3 through 5 if you don’t obey rule 1. Sadly, most people I meet don’t.

Avoid the use of debt:

Wow! Is this ever countercultural! Everyone knows you can’t live without your credit cards. And what would life be without “points”? The simple (that word again!) truth is credit cards were invented because merchants and banks knew people would spend more if they weren’t limited to the cash on hand, but could borrow against the future. The second most dangerous threat to rule #1 is credit cards. (The first is the student loan, but that’s a story for another chapter.)

Most of my friends carry multiple credit cards and use them daily, solemnly swearing that:

  • They never fail to pay them off each month, avoiding all interest and penalties.
  • They really don’t spend any more money than they would if they had to produce cash (or a debit card, actually having money in the bank) for each transaction.

Yet, according to Dun & Bradstreet , consumers spend 12% to 18% more with plastic versus cash, and the average household credit card debt balance for households that use credit cards is north of $15,000. So one of two things is in play here. Either I have a very select group of friends, or my friends may be inclined to lie about other things too.

Save for emergencies and major purchases:

In 2005 in the aggregate, American households saved a paltry 1.5% of their disposable income, and while that number is currently up over 4%, it is trending lower again. In 2010 only 52% of households saved anything for emergencies or major purchases. So if you can’t “afford” to save anything before “life happens”, when it does, out comes the plastic (or the Home Equity Loan), and now you have debt payments further burdening your already inadequate monthly cash flow. What a nightmare scenario!

When one of my clients has a budget suffocating in debt payments, I often recast it without any debt payments. Now I can’t magically make those payments go away, but having a vision of a better future can be a powerful motivator. Typically the clients would see an amazing amount of free cash flow, were they not burdened with their past violations of rules #1 and #2.

A question I often get from clients is: “Can I afford to buy (fill in the blank)?” The (universally unpopular) answer is always: “Can you write the check?” If not, you’ve answered your own question. Pretty simple, and when your monthly budget contains a healthy savings component, the answer is much more likely to be yes, because I’ve saved the money in advance of the purchase.

Plan & Invest Long Term:

In the race between the tortoise and the hare, the tortoise wins every time you read the book. To paraphrase Warren Buffet, “The stock market is very effective at taking money from the impatient and giving it to the patient.” The term “long term investor” is redundant. Many people get so excited about investing they skip rule #3 (saving) and go directly to investing. Big mistake, and here I speak from personal experience.

If you have a reasonable expectation that you will need some serious money for an emergency, a major purchase, or anything else in the next three years or so, there is no way those funds should be in the stock market, or any investment carrying similar risk. Murphy’s Law rules the planet, and inevitably, when you need the money the most, the stock market will be in retreat. Historically the market has tended to recover within five years, but in the interim, you need to be able to ride out the storm.

The good news is that once you have savings to cover your shorter term needs, you can take a bit more risk (and expect higher returns), with your investment dollars.

Give generously & systematically:

While this is not really counter-cultural (people in our country are the most generous people on earth), it may at first seem counter-intuitive. If I am trying to build wealth, isn’t giving it away the financial equivalent of “shooting myself in the foot?” The answer lies in two human emotions that, if left unchecked, will destroy any financial plan: Fear and greed.

Fear can be mitigated by education. For example, if I know the history of how the capital markets work, the next market downturn will be no surprise, and I will be less likely to sell out, fearing my investments will run to zero.

Greed is a bit more insidious. However, many have found that giving is the best antidote to greed. If you are personally involved with helping people less financially fortunate than you, a re-examination of your budget “needs” may transform some of those to “wants”, and the margin in your budget may suddenly expand. Personally, I have experienced the greatest joys in life when I am able to give to others. The gift may be time, attention, labor or money. But compared to other line items in my budget, giving has the highest rate of return, hands down!


So that’s it: Five simple steps to financial success. Today it’s the “road less traveled”, but the trip is a whole lot more joy-filled!

Emerson Hartzler, MBA, is a Lakeview Village resident, and, though he lives in a retirement community, he continues working as a financial advisor for Triune Financial Partners, LLC, at Lighton Plaza, 7300 College Blvd., in Overland Park, Kan. Reach Triune at 913-825-6100.

Learn more about Lakeview Village–the senior neighborhood of choice, and the largest retirement community in Kansas–by visiting our website at, or checking us out on Facebook.

Lakeview myDucks Recap

Lakeview Village

Earlier this month, Lakeview Village hosted a webinar for residents, staff, and guests to help them organize what can feel like endless clutter and disorder.

What was the myDucks webinar?

The webinar was presented by Colette Panchot, Lakeview Village’s director of sales and marketing and Amy Gonzalez, representative.

Viewers of the webinar learned the value of, which allows users a simple way to organize their important documents, paperwork, and passwords into a digital and print personal organizer. The webinar demonstrated how people using can scan and upload documents into the personal organizer on their computer. Drawers filled with medical history forms and file folders crammed with bills can now fit into a small thumb drive. 

What is the value of

If you are experiencing a move, a change in health, or a general life transition, it is a great time to get your “ducks in a row” and organize your most important paperwork to help ease the transition.

To learn more about, click here.

What are other events and activities at Lakeview?

Every day, Lakeview residents enjoy a variety of opportunities, such as: exercise classes, speeches, trips, and a list over 90 groups and activities to join. To find out about other great events happening at Lakeview, join their email list or give them a call at 913-888-1900.

Learn more about Lakeview Village–the senior neighborhood of choice, and the largest retirement community in Kansas–by visiting our website at, or checking us out on Facebook

Military Couple Finds Home at Lakeview

Larry Lust spent 35 years as an active duty member for the United States Army. During those 35 years, his wife, Cathy, set up 24 different homes, moving wherever the Army needed them. Recently, the couple chose a more permanent place to live- Lakeview Village, a continuing care retirement community.

Cathy was the first to explore Lakeview Village. When she returned home after a thoroughly enjoyable visit, Mr. Lust felt compelled to check out Lakeview. He was “sold” on moving to Lakeview Village after experiencing firsthand the friendliness of the residents and staff and researching the high ratings the community had on the U.S. News and World Report.

“My wife likes it here,” Mr. Lust said. “She set up 24 homes while I was on active duty. Those were 24 moves where things could break, or get lost. Living somewhere she likes improves my quality of life.”

Though he retired from active duty in 1993, Mr. Lust still works as an associate professor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth in Leavenworth County, Kansas. Fort Leavenworth is only 45 minutes away from Lakeview, which is a convenient commute for Larry.

Coming from a military background, Mr. Lust was pleasantly surprised to see the similarities between the armed forces and Lakeview Village, including the strength and camaraderie of the community.

“There are good folks that live here; their qualities are just as good as the folks I knew in the military,” Mr. Lust said. “They’re concerned, they care about their country and others around them. They are [people] of all different backgrounds, just like in the military.”

Larry knew he wanted to check out area retirement communities after seeing the work his wife did to care for her parents when they got older. He “did not want to put [his] sons through” having to care for him or his wife over the years, and is “very pleased” that they chose Lakeview as their new home.

The 26th and final move for the Lusts will be when they move into their permanent villa at Lakeview, which is being remodeled and will be ready for the couple later this summer.

“My whole life, especially in the military, has been about how to achieve expectations,” Mr. Lust said. “And Lakeview does just that.”

Learn more about Lakeview Village–the senior neighborhood of choice, and the largest retirement community in Kansas–by visiting our website at, or checking us out on Facebook.

Pole Walking

Take a moment to picture an avid hiker & the accessories he or she may carry. Are you picturing sturdy shoes, bottles of water, perhaps a map and compass? What about a walking pole or two? Many hikers use walking poles of some sort, whether they are purchased or simply a sturdy branch found beside the trail. Here at Lakeview Village, we encourage the use of walking poles whenever possible. When you add walking poles to your walks, it can help you improve your posture, strength and endurance. The poles can serve two purposes; first, poles are great tools that engage your entire body (not just your lower body as normal walking would do) and second, they can provide more stability for those who may need it. Lakeview Village’s new class, “Take Your Brain 4 A Walk,” will include pole walking and incorporate some fun brain fitness activities. The idea is to get back outdoors while the weather lasts and take in the beauty of summer. If it gets too warm or rains, the class will be held inside. We will also learn how to use the walking poles for stretching and strengthening. Here are a few benefits of pole walking:

  • Provide balance and increase confidence
  • Promote more upright posture
  • Unload spine, hips and lower joints
  • Make walking a total bodyweight-bearing activity
  • Provide psychosocial advantages vs. canes and walkers
  • Stabilize lumbar spine
  • Build total body muscle fitness
  • Improve cardiopulmonary fitness
  • Increase metabolic activity
  • Promote a more normal gait patter
  • Renew a sense of ability

The poles we will be using have a unique boot shaped cushion gripped tip to prevent slipping as you walk. The poles promote arm swing; have a cushioned handgrip that fits your hand nicely, and no straps. Also, they are adjustable, safe, and lightweight. These walking poles are designed for fitness walking and have been used by people aged nine to 90. The class begins June 18 at 8:30 a.m. in Eastside Terrace Media Center – rain or shine! IF there’s rain, we will be inside trekking Eastside and Heritage. If the weather is nice, we will walk around the campus. The walking poles are available for you to purchase at a reduced cost of $60 dollars, compared to the normal cost of $109 dollars, plus shipping and handling. This includes a DVD and booklet explaining how to use the poles and how to set them up to your size. If you don’t have time to review that material beforehand, don’t worry, we will review this in class. If you would like to order a set of poles, please contact Jackie Halbin as soon as possible. Learn more about Lakeview Village–the senior neighborhood of choice, and the largest retirement community in Kansas–by visiting our website at, or checking us out on Facebook.

Protecting Your Legacy

By Emerson Hartzler Emerson Hartzler

For those of us who have spent a working lifetime trying to accumulate enough wealth to sustain us through the retirement years and leave something to the next generation, protecting that “Legacy” is a big deal. So when the thought of paying entrance and monthly fees to a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) translates to “sticker shock”, it is perfectly natural to be concerned. I would argue, however, that a CCRC could be a move that actually protects, rather than threatens, your legacy.

For many of us the primary financial worry in our retirement years is the prospect of needing an expensive period of high cost, long-term care of some sort. Now the ego of the typical “Alpha Male” might put one into a state of denial regarding this issue, and I am no exception. I will point to the fact that my father, a week shy of his 91st birthday, drove to the post office to get the mail (No, our small Ohio town had yet to offer home delivery!). He apparently felt a bit dizzy, decided to lie down on the cold ceramic tile floor and passed gently into the Kingdom of the Heavens. No long-term care for him!

My mother was not so fortunate. While she lived to the age of 95, the last five years or so were most difficult, as she needed increasing levels of expensive care as her once brilliant mind gradually deserted her. We used my share of the remaining family legacy to buy some patio furniture.

Today, my wife Marge and I count ourselves very fortunate to have two adult children who are doing better financially than we were at their age, so it is unlikely they will need any of our financial resources when we pass. They can buy their own patio furniture, thank you very much. Our primary financial motivation in moving to Lakeview Village was to insure, to the extent possible, we would never be a burden, financially or otherwise, to our children.   You may have circumstances that make it a priority for you to bless the next generation (or two) with your legacy, and I have friends for whom that is an important consideration.

For example, I know a couple at Lakeview who have three sons, two of whom are successful professionals today, with more than adequate financial resources. Interestingly, my friends count their youngest son as the most successful of the three. He was born with Down’s syndrome, and, while he is not expected to ever be financially self-supporting, he has held a steady job for decades, and is a most delightful person!   For my friends, preserving a part of their legacy for this son’s continuing support is a very high priority! And that is one of the reasons they decided to live at Lakeview.

A CCRC like Lakeview includes a long term care program with benefits, unlike a typical long term care insurance policy, unlimited by the level or duration of care needed. The fees paid by the LifeCare CCRC resident remain essentially the same, no matter what their needs for long-term care. Deciding a CCRC is not for you can expose you to a financial risk that could seriously damage your legacy. The “going rate” for skilled nursing care in Kansas today is about $87,0001 per year on average, and this is for one person in a semi-private room. Two people would of course be $174,000 per year. Ouch! A private room will average $111,550 per year.

Luck may be with you, but the odds aren’t all that good. Consider these statistics:

  • More than 50%of seniors age 85+ have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia2
  • 70% of aging Americans will require long-term care at some point after age 653
  • 80% of Lakeview residents use their LifeCare benefit4
  • 28% of women will need 5+ years of long-term care5

As a financial planner, I love working with clients who choose to live in a CCRC. Their expenses over a lifetime are so much more predictable when risks like the cost of long-term care are managed. No, the CCRC fees aren’t cheap, but the peace of mind that results from the decision to move to a CCRC is infinitely better than the alternative.   Your heirs will thank you!

1Source: Lakeview Village 2014 rate sheet
2Source: The Alzheimer’s Association
3Source: Conning & Company, a global insurance asset manager
4Lakeview Village Executive Team study
5Wall Street Journal, April 2014

Emerson Hartzler, MBA, is a Lakeview Village resident, and, though he lives in a retirement community, he continues working as a financial advisor for Triune Financial Partners, LLC, at Lighton Plaza, 7300 College Blvd., in Overland Park, Kan. Reach Triune at 913-825-6100.

Learn more about Lakeview Village–the senior neighborhood of choice, and the largest retirement community in Kansas–by visiting our website at, or checking us out on Facebook.