About Me

Wednesday, March 18, 2020


Yes, a lot of people are going to be ill. Yes, we are going to have to quarantine, practice social distancing.  Yes, we should self-isolate to protect ourselves and prevent the spread of the virus. But we are a strong community filled with wonderful people and we can cope if we avoid being overwhelmed by the news on television, the internet, newspapers, etc.

We must do what the medical experts at the CDC have recommended – wash hands frequently, don’t touch your face – especially eyes, nose and mouth, stay 6-feet away from others, avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home as much as possible to mitigate the spread of the virus. The less people you come in contact with, the lower the odds of giving or catching something.

Staying home has its challenges including not getting enough exercise, eating too much, and feeling isolated and depressed. 

First and foremost, stock up on essentials but PLEASE don’t hoard.  Here are some tips to avoid the negatives from taking over:
  •  Get a daily update from TV or the internet and then TURN OFF the Coronavirus news. Stay  informed, but don’t be obsessed … same advice for the stock market.
  • Talk - USE THE TELEPHONE or even better FaceTime, with friends, family (your grandkids), co-workers, and people you know who are isolated.  Yes, Facebook, email, Messenger, Instagram are all good, but person-to-person is what we all need now.
  • Catch up on your reading, work on those hobbies that you put aside, clean out those closets!
  • Do that thing that you’ve been wanting to do but never seem to get around to it – now’s the time to explore, experiment and renew.
  • Watch HAPPY programs, movies on TV or your iPad. Binge to your heart’s content!
  •  EXERCISE – do something every day, even walking in place.  There are programs on TV, youtube, etc.  I remember my dad doing the air force regime every morning. As a kid, I thought it was corny, but guess what, I’m doing jumping jacks!
More than anything, PRAY… for the health and safety of all your loved ones, our community, our country and the entire world,  and add a special prayer for all the health care professionals who are putting their lives at risk to help others.  May we be blessed with strength to cope, perseverance in what we all have to do, and the miracle of a vaccine and a speedy end to this pandemic.

God Bless You.

Thursday, March 12, 2020


As a public service, we would like to share information with you regarding the rapid developments relating to the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). We hope this information will help mitigate the spread of the virus in our community, which has reported at least two people who tested positive, to date, who either work or live in Southold.  We have seen the rapid spread of the virus in Italy. The country is now in lock-down for about three weeks to stem the spread of the virus.  The coronavirus has hit the older population hardest - Italy has one of the oldest populations. The median age in Italy - 45.4, U.S. - 36.9, and Southold - 51.8 years.  We have an older population in Southold and must be more vigilant to protect ourselves and our neighbors from contracting the virus.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has said, “The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.” The virus is thought to spread mainly from people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet), through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Here is the latest advice from the CDC:
Protect Yourself:
·       Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in public places, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
·       Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
·       Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
·       Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. Especially people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
·       Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
·       When you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow, or cover your mouth and nose with a tissue (throw used tissues in the trash).
·       Immediately wash your hands (follow the protocol above for washing hands)
·       If you are sick:  wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. People who are caring for you should wear a facemask.
·       If you are NOT sick:  only wear a facemask if you are caring for someone who is sick. Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
·       Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. To disinfect, use 4 teaspoons of household bleach per quart of water or an alcohol solution that is at least 70% alcohol.
·       If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

If we all do our part, we can help reduce the spread of COVID19 in our community and protect those who are most vulnerable to serious illness.

Sources:1.  As Virus Spreads, Italy Locks Down Country, Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2020, pp A1 and A9    2. 
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID19) What You Should Know, March 11, 2020, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-

Thursday, March 5, 2020


When my mom, who was in her nineties with short-term memory loss, was asked her age, she would say, “I was born in 1923, you do the math!”  Couldn’t help but quote her here, when we talk about whether it makes sense to refinance – take her advice and do the math before you plunge in.

Certainly, with the current drop in the Federal Reserve benchmark rate on Tuesday, mortgage rates will likely fall possibly, “below 3% …and frankly that would be a once-in-a-lifetime refinancing opportunity,” says Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance, quoted by the Wall Street Journal.

How do you go about figuring out if it makes sense for you? Certainly, with the help of your financial advisor, a good mortgage broker or your bank’s mortgage department. But here are a few things you should consider:

 1. Look at the difference (spread) between your current rate and the rate you will   be getting and calculate your savings.  

2. Calculate the cost to refinance (you should get this from your bank or mortgage broker), including title insurance, appraisal, attorney fees, refinancing fees, New York State Mortgage Tax (.8% of loan amount.  This mortgage tax can be mitigated with a program called CEMA – consolidated extension modification agreement – ask about it.

3. Rule of thumb: consider a refi if the difference in mortgage rates is at least ½ or 1 percentage point and cost to refi will be recouped in 2-3 years.  If you are planning to move in a year, it may not make sense.

4. Consider a refi not just to reduce your monthly mortgage payment but to reduce the term of your loan and pay it back faster.  You will save on interest and be free of your monthly mortgage nut sooner!

5. Consider a refi if you have an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) loan to lower the rate and/or fix it at the low rate.

It’s a good time to take stock of your finances and see if you can save by refinancing.  Visit your banker, call you financial advisor or call us if you would like more information. 

Source: Wall Street Journal, “Home Refinancing Looks Attractive, but First Do the Math,” March 4, 2020, page B12.