PR, Community Relations,
Events, Speakers' Bureau,
Marketing for 55+ Older Adults, Seniors, Boomers, and their Families


Charles Kauffman CEO Atty. Ret.     
5101 River Road     
Bethesda MD 20816     
Phone 301-467-9336     
     
charles@kauffman.com     

HEARINGS BY MAIL FOR AUTO SPEED, RED LIGHT, PARKING VIOLATIONS IN MARYLAND AND MONTGOMERY COUNTY

The State of Maryland and Montgomery County require defendants accused of parking, standing, automatic speed and automatic red light violations to appear in person  to stand trial if they wish to contest the violations and defend their rights. In addition Montgomery County imposes a   $25 “trial fee” on defendants. The fines for these violations are limited and sanctions involve no dreaded “points”.
Washington DC, Delaware, Virginia and New York City and many other jurisdictions allow defendants to challenge parking, standing, automatic speed and red light violations using the “hearing by mail” process. Hearings by mail are efficient, inexpensive and convenient and provide the judiciary with a process which resolves a large number of cases fairly and expeditiously without formal trials. Our neighbors provide for both “hearings by mail” and also offer a similar appeal process, as well. Reviewing a matter by mail is an option which enhances freedom by enabling judicial resolution without requiring attendance which increases the burden and expense of a trial on all parties.
The current Maryland and Montgomery County requirements deliberately discourage defendants from exercising their rights to defend themselves. Trials waste time and money and are a subtle abuse of the power of the County and State. The attendance requirements are particularly burdensome financially and physically for seniors, the disabled and lower income workers. There is no acceptable argument which requires a low income hourly paid worker or retiree to pay a fee and then spend hours in court waiting to defend a ticket which he or she feels was unjustly issued.
The “in person” trial requirement, delays justice, and imposes burdens which substantially diminish, degrade and undermine the opportunity of an accused to defend him or herself.
The financial expense to the State and County in prosecuting large numbers of this particular class of cases is huge. Every trial involves correspondence, scheduling, preparation, time and the physical presence of the judiciary, clerks, police, district attorneys, in addition to the defendant. A visit to any Montgomery traffic Court is proof of the appalling amount of time wasted by a team of public employees as well as defendants.
“Hearings by mail” in this limited class of cases would result in the substantial financial savings and would not impair “justice”. A cost analysis (including income from fines) vs. productivity would clearly show savings of State and County funds.

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Subject: Downsizing: When Home Alone Is No Longer a Good Idea

Subject: How to Know When Home Alone Is No Longer a Good Idea.NY Times  12/25/12
LETTER TO EDITOR . Edited and  published in the NY Times 1/1/13 p.D4

Much emphasis has been awarded to “aging in place” in single family homes which, more often than not, fail to accommodate the needs of their elderly occupants. In many cases they foster day-to-day isolation, false security and harbor inherent physical dangers. The majority of these homes are badly lit, multi-level tripping traps with dangerously neglected interiors and exteriors. By and large, expensive alterations handrails, etc. fail to provide the safety their installation implies.
Many of the virtues of independent living can be found in “down-sizing”. Moving from single family homes to high-rise apartments which are single level in managed buildings where there are inherent features such as smoke alarms, building managers and desk clerks and alert neighbors. The informal “social” environment of apartment buildings is a valuable asset to the aging. More emphasis should be placed by “aging in place” activists on promoting “downsizing” and enhancing the neighbor-to-neighbor” systems popularized by the “aging in place” movement.
“Downsizing” may bridge the gap between “aging in place” to more supportive accommodations. Paula Spencer Scott’s excellent questionnaire provides clear guideline s for families and caregivers to realize “when the time has come”.

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CHEVY CHASE LAKE SECTOR – NEW, VITAL, PROSPEROUS

I served on the newly created Community Planning Board #8 in New York City in 1960 and we embraced the dynamic development of the Upper East Side. That situation is analogous to the one existing here now in Chevy Chase. My personal belief is that the future impact of enhanced transit on commerce and on this area has been vastly underestimated.
The proposed Purple Line offers Montgomery County a rare opportunity for robust development of a transit- oriented mixed use, 21st Century modern community. This area will exceed both Friendship Heights and DuPont Circle in economic dynamism. The planning board should encourage and enhance the use of this valuable and available land and the development assets that are offered.
I believe that sector development should and will embrace the best interests of the entire community, its neighbors, seniors , future residents and visitor-users. It therefore must be economically viable. This area will produce jobs, income, homes, recreation, parks and amenities which do not presently exist. It can become the most vital economic segment of Montgomery County.
(1) Development should be holistic with full mixed use as opposed to defined strip center type shopping. The plan should include amenities for seniors and younger residents including local shopping services, parks, well- lit walkways, recreation and exercise facilities.
(2) To achieve this end – developers should be allowed to build taller buildings rather than lower. The height should complement the height of 8401 Connecticut Avenue and to offset the added height more publicly attractive and useful amenity space should be offered to the community.
(3) Financing and management of amenities should be underwritten by those developers and operators who are reaping profits with the participation of government and community representatives.
Underestimating the impact of a Purple Line terminal will inhibit development and result in the underuse of an area of enormous economic vitality to community and to transient users who will bring interest, amenities and prosperity to the area.

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SENIOR ENCORES.COM

SENIOR ENCORES. COM *

  SENIOR ENTREPRENEURS VS. SENIOR JOB SEEKERS

Employment per se is psychologically and physically beneficial and invigorating at any age. Today outside employment for seniors is scarce. Seeking it is often frustrating and humiliating. Efforts focusing on “Retraining and recycling” and “employment expos” while creditable, require great effort and produce minimal results. In a real sense they may create unwarranted optimism and ultimately result in frustration for older job-seekers.

THE ADVANTAGE OF EMPLOYING SENIORS AS INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS.

Services and products can be produced less expensively by retired seniors

1.    They do not require health insurance since they are covered by Medicare.

2.    They don’t require contributions to an I.R.A. or similar plan.

3.     Their financial goals are mainly to augment existing retirement funds and social security.

4.    Most desire  part-time rather than full-time work and they are available to work, as needed;

5.    The family financial pressures such as mortgage payments, tuition, and child rearing expenses no longer exist.

6.    SeniorEncores will match seniors with the experience and skills required to perform specific tasks.

 Montgomery County is Ready now for SeniorEncores.com

The lack of employment opportunities for seniors converges with the growth of population in this fairly affluent County and growing needs of young families and seniors make Montgomery County an ideal site for initiating Senior Encores.

 Examples of SeniorEncore ENTERPRISES

SeniorEncores.com envisions the formation of many income producing guild- like mini enterprises. For example:

a.    Executive and professional consultancy. Tax, legal, executive.

b.    Create and compile a 24/7 phone manned – county- wide “list serve” for aging in place communities;

c.    Research & Development;

d.    Thrift and consignment shops; organized tag sales for recycled merchandise, 

e.    Patio and Balcony design and maintenance;

f.     Website design, development and maintenance;

g.    Social network response management;

h.    Telemarketing – Surveys – Direct Marketing-focus groups;

i.      Neighbor to Neighbor Services:

1 House sitting

2 Plants and Pets

3 Baby sitting and adult day care

4 Readers –

5. Bookkeeping and bill paying.

5 Chauffeur or local shopping

6. Cupcakes. Bread and Cake   Food and home-made goodies

7. Homemade meals delivered. Customers would be working young families who don’t have time to prepare proper dinners, as well as seniors.  Daily delivery of home prepared meals. Cakes and cookies and other culinary specialties.

8. Neighborhood patrol force.

9. Minor home and appliance repairs; “OLD GEEKS” – Computer services.

10. Small non- physically taxing chores.

11. Home and neighborhood security patrols – like air-raid wardens.

12. Portable parties – “port-o-party”-children & adults sidewalk preparation, garden or inside set-up.

13. Sale and leaseback.  Assist troubled homeowners in default to sell and rent in their homes instead of being foreclosed.

SENIOR ENCORES AND AGING IN PLACE “VILLAGES

Senior Encores blends beautifully with the nationwide growing popularity of Aging in Place Villages.  Currently, there is much duplication and overlapping in many activities now performed individually by each of the existing villages. Many tasks can and should be consolidated, combined and used by all of the villages on a County- wide basis. These tasks would be organized and staffed by skilled older adults.

The goal of creating a true “one-stop” concierge service can be achieved by combining under one roof,

  • ·list-serves,
  • ·volunteer management
  • ·transportation assignments,
  • ·administrative software and support,
  • ·mailings,
  • ·membership,
  • ·volunteer recruitment and training
  • ·Communications: creating, printing, distributing, social networking communications

 Unifying these common activities Villages would be save time, labor, and money enabling them to achieve the freedom to fulfill their basic neighborly missions. An added benefit in combining these services less than one organization would be the ability to attract major long term – consistent funding from large endowments to a single source. This would free villages from the constant necessity of seeking small grants and time consuming membership solicitation.

Hypothetical Case: “Chevy Chase Home-made Cookie (Club) Factory”.

The “Factory” would employ the skills of a lawyer, accountant, bakers, designers, decorators, and administrative, sales and promotional people. SeniorEncores identifies a possible business for senior’s living in the Village of Chevy Chase. It is selling fancy decorated cookies at retail. An open meeting at the Town Hall or school is announced and the enterprises are described. By a member of SeniorEncores’ board. Personnel need a lawyer, accountant, bakers, designers, marketing, decorators, and administrative, sales and promotional people to launch the enterprise. At a second meeting a market study is undertaken to determine viability and competitiveness of the product. Lawyer researches requirements for a home based cookie baking business, design and marketing devise ways to make product unique and saleable. A market plan is developing and a draft will be presented with samples of the product at the next meeting. Legal outlines the requirements of health dept. etc. All reports are assembled in a Final Plan and Projection by Accountant who assembles all available information and comes up with a financial projection.

           The end result indicates that the group can sell and market Fancy cookies which cost $.50 each to retail at $2.50 with a wholesale cost to vendors of $1.00. Estimated sales of 1000 per week growing to 2000 in 6 months. New cookie designs, personalized birthday cookies are projected. A line of ceramic Chevy Chase cookie jars is being planned. Holiday specials are planned, small kiosks in malls, street vending in summer are discussed as future plans’

                                   COMPENSATION AND EQUITY

The participating partners receive approximately 75% of the equity (perhaps distributing 10% to the “village” or neighborhood association). Working members receive $12 per hour.

 SeniorEncores would  receive 25% per cent of the equity of  Chevy Chase Cookie Company and receives a royalty of 10 per cent of the gross sales. The equity and commission paid to SeniorEncores will fund popularization and expansion of SeniorEncores and enable it to provide seed money to future micro businesses.

 © 2012 Charles Kauffman.. seniorencores.com tm pending, registered domain.  All rights reserved

 

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DRIVING MISS MONTGOMERY

 At some point it often becomes necessary for an older driver to  turn in his or her car keys  and stop driving. The loss of a lifetime of freedom  and mobility while a necessary safety measure is extremely hard to accept.  Providing accessible alternative “on demand” transportation would help older or impaired drivers to transition and forego driving. Safety is the prime reason but we must provide the ability to get from place to place as before. It’s cheaper  and less stressful than hospitalization, court appearances and huge increases in auto insurance premiums after multiple accidents.

 I propose this plan to provide an incentive to certain seniors to give up driving and for periodic refilling of their  transportation account.  Seniors would  sell their cars with the proceeds deposited   in a transportation credit account. Cars are sold at full retail price or close to it with an independent “broker” being paid a nominal commission. Funds received are then placed in a personal transportation account. Trip charges are  deducted from the balance.

  • When the balance from initial deposit is low it can
    be filled from time to time or on a regular basis by children, friends, family or the user. The pattern is similar to the establishment and replenishment of  an EZ pass account. I especially like the “easy pass” concept of children replenishing the transportation account on a regular basis.
  • Transportation would be provided by a taxi company, limousine service or by a  paid corps of volunteers. Rates could be adjusted for slow or peak times. Trip  assignment would be made by a single call to a central one-stop dispatcher. Billing – with a reasonable tip for the driver – would be automatically deducted from the senior’s account.
  • Accounting and administration including one stop phone
    dispatching service would be concentrated in one agency.
  • A great  source of transportation would be a large corps of senior “volunteers” organized under a 501(c) (3). The drivers would use their own vehicles and receive a nominal hourly fee. The “paid volunteer” transportation service also provides both a source of 55+ employment and transporation both of the major needs cited by seniors.

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BASIC EDUCATION: ENGLISH AND CIVICS

It is the primary function and the essential job for teachers in Montgomery County’s elementary and high schools to provide intensive English language, basics and civic education. Montgomery County is now diverse and multi-cultural. These newer residents left their birthplaces to seek aspects of “The American Dream” for themselves and their families. Their ultimate goal and ours, is citizenship and a place in our society for their children. In multi-generational households it is the children who will “teach America” to their parents and grand-parents. Education is “viral” and moves upward generationally.

Schools don’t have the time, the teachers or the assets for less important diversions. Pan-culturalism is fine but ‘Teaching America’ must come first. Civic education defines a common culture and will inspire students to greater goals.

Teach first, then treat the 13,000 elementary school students who now have limited English ability as ambassadors. Nurture each family’s American Dream, their hopes and aspirations. Encourage the children not only to learn but also to bring home to their families, the beauty of our language, our history and values.

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IMAGINING AFFORDABLE RENTAL HOUSING

IMAGINING AFFORDABLE RENTAL HOUSING NOV 20TH 2011 

Jane Jacobs said “Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.”

 Michael Kimmelman’s provocative article in the Arts Section of the NY Times on November 17th 2011, should inspire the creation of a significant amount of affordable, well-located rental housing not only for the “homeless” but for our growing senior population to age in place and for younger students and workforce housing.  These potential residences will house one or at most two people who will eagerly swap space for small reasonably priced rentals,   walkable to shops, parks, libraries, offices and public transportation.  The need for truly affordable, accessible housing is made more pressing by the explosive growth of our senior population.

 Old factories, SRO hotels, loft buildings, depressed tenement buildings, schools and government buildings are now being converted into new luxury hotels  and new smaller residential housing units.  Such conversions are profitable and privately developed.  Private developers usually  respond quickly to simplified zoning, reduced   taxes and stimulation incentives allowing density.  Government must continue to control safety, zoning, building standards, upkeep and above all must maintain long term affordability.  Regulation is reminiscent of the 1960’s “Artist in Residence” rules which allowed conversion of unused commercial lofts to residences and studios.

 Older buildings require ideas and design innovation. New developments can be built with full floors in a high rise condominium containing more small l well designed units, perhaps containing  elements of universal design, owned and/or managed by a single entity which leases  those units and receives tax benefits in exchange for maintaining  quality units with affordable rents and increases based on cost of living .

 A coalition of developer, consumer and government groups is being organized  to  create the reality inspired by Mr. Kimmelman’s “imagination”.

 CHARLES KAUFFMAN

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“TOTAL LIFE CARE INSURANCE (“TLCI””):AFFORDABLE, PRIVATE SECTOR, POPULAR, PROFITABLE LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE

     “TOTAL LIFE CARE INSURANCE (TLCI) ”: AFFORDABLE . PRIVATE  SECTOR , POPULAR,     PROFITABLE LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE

     The insurance industry has dismally failed to address the unfulfilled demand for Long Term Care insurance policies. A huge market exists for this critical coverage, a market created by: (i) a growing demand to provide long term care services to a rapidly aging population; and, (ii) a need to relieve Federal and State governments of this significant financial burden. The dimming prospects of the CLASS Act should encourage insurance industry giants to exploit this lucrative unmet market with “new” modifications of highly profitable life insurance policies. Approximately 60% of individuals over the age of 65 will need long term care during their lifetimes, but most will not be able to afford it nor pass the physical requirement needed to obtain it. Consequently, most seniors will turn to Medicaid for government assistance.

     Insurance giants such as Genworth, Prudential and MetLife and AARP have not responded creatively to the lack of appeal  of stand-alone Long Term Care products. The few hybrid Long Term Care policies that do exist are based on an “annuity” template which requires allocations from personal savings and investments. However, these hybrids have limited appeal due to stringent life and long term care insurance requirements which exclude eligibility because of preexisting conditions. This, in turn, narrows the market to a very few affluent, eligible seniors. Another sales inhibitor that limits current market appeal is the fact that premiums already paid for stand-alone Long Term Care insurance policies are “lost’ if not used.

      The potential exists for privatization and making the long term care insurance industry profitable through a simple policy innovation and creative marketing to  expand  the insurance pool to include a large base of  younger families.

       SIMPLE MARKETING STRATEGY FOR “TOTAL LIFE CARE              INSURANCE (TLCI)”
      1. ADD A “NEW” BENEFIT AT MINIMAL COST. Merely adding a clause to conventional Term, Universal or Whole Life policies allowing prepayments for expenses needed for in-home or institutional Long Term Care. Lifetime advances would be deducted from the final death benefit. The risk to the insurer is minimized since most seniors regard institutional care as a desperate last resort. Statistically the average stay in a nursing home is 18 months at an estimated cost of $60,000 exclusive of medical payments. These factors and the “death benefit” cap reduce an insurer’s risk, resulting in a minimal increase in premiums for he additional coverage. Extending life through long term care might even prolong premium payments.
   2. TARGET A YOUNGER MARKET. Stop using the term “Long Term Care.” Young people simply do not contemplate Long Term Care as an inevitable or foreseeable future need. They see Long Term Care insurance as something for older people. What appeals to them is robust protection for life — for their families — and this added enhancement for only a slightly higher premium. The affordability of significantly more lifetime protection is an attractive selling point. Use “branding” to create customer loyalty.
   3. INSTILL LIFETIME LOYALTY. Facilitate premium payments using a simplified IRA payroll deduction plan, a roll-over with job changes and a COBRA type plan in the event of unemployment. Stability is achieved by maintaining the rates established at the inception of the policy at an early age.

     The insurance industry should wake up and realize that providing this much needed long term coverage is highly profitable, widely popular with consumers and beneficial to the national economy.
Charles Kauffman
November 2011

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Ungovernable America Can Break Your Heart

Some think they’re strong,

Some think they’re smart,

Like butterflies they’re pulled apart,

America can break your heart.

You don’t know all, sir, you don’t know all.

(‘Paul Bunyan’, operetta, Benjamin Britton & W. H. Auden, 1939)

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VAMOOSE BUS DONATES TICKETS TO FAMILIES AND FRIENDS OF NIH PATIENTS

VAMOOSE BUS DONATES TICKETS TO FAMILIES AND FRIENDS OF NIH PATIENTS.

 Vamoose Bus, the popular, express bus service between New York City and Bethesda, MD, will be donating 4 round trip tickets daily to families and friends of patients presently staying at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center. The service is  available to friends and family of wounded warriors at Walter Read Navy Medical Hospital and Children’s Inn at NIH.

  “The expense of frequent trips to visit patients can be a great financial burden on families,” said Sam Bluzenstein, President of Vamoose Bus. “Our company is pleased to provide this free service, to assist families in their time of need.”   The program will outreach to Children’s Inn at NIH, Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge, Friends of the Clinical Center, and Special Love, Inc.  

 Randy Schools, President of NIH Recreation and Welfare Association  announced the commencement of this new service.   Priority will be given on financial need. Friends and family should Contact Kallie at NIH 301 496 6061 wassermankt@mail.nih.gov.

 Vamoose Bus provides economy luxury scheduled bus service between New York’s Penn Station and  Bethesda, Arlington and Lorton VA with convenient stops near the Metro and at Lorton VRE. Vamoose offers regular service at $30 each way and  super luxury Vamoose Gold buses for slightly more. Each dollar spent earns a bonus credit toward a free trip. Over 60 scheduled buses per week for rider convenience.  For Vamoose schedules,  information or to make reservations contact www.vamoosebus.com or call 301 718 0036 or 212 695 6766.

 Media contact Charles Kauffman 301 467 9336 charles@kauffman.com . www.kauffman.com

 Military and US Government employees  should visit www.recgov.org 

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