Shepherd Health and Cobalt Seniors have broken ground on Shepherd Living at Savannah Quarters and Pooler Physical Therapy near the intersection of I-16 and Pooler Parkway. The 124-resident development is the first in Georgia for the Shepherd and Cobalt partnership, and will span 10 acres with two single-story buildings totaling 86,000 square feet.

“This is a great day for the City of Pooler,” said Pooler Mayor Mike Lamb. “Shepherd Living at Savannah Quarters is the premier senior community in the Coastal Empire and will not only benefit our 55 and older residents, but be an economic boon for our entire area.” The project will create approximately 200 jobs throughout the construction period and, once completed, approximately 65+ additional jobs for permanent operations.

Residents will enjoy a host of amenities, including gourmet farm-to-table food, fine wine storage, a full-service salon, a greenhouse and numerous gardening opportunities, private kitchens, animal therapy, extensive walking trails and landscaping throughout the large grounds, and even a tavern. The wellness lifestyle at Shepherd Living at Savannah Quarters also includes daily classes ranging from meditation and gentle yoga to aerobics and circuit training. Certain amenities, such as the spa, wellness center and classes, will be open to members of the public age 55 and older. Others, such as the restaurant and many social activities, are open to those of all ages.

Shepherd Health co-Founder and CEO Christine Menedis explains, “We have created a new breed of community. Thoughtfully designing our projects to engage the entire regional population, we look at the lifestyles of an area and understand how we can serve to enhance them and simultaneously create continuity for seniors. It’s one of the many reasons Pooler and the broader Savannah region is such a natural fit for us. The area shares many of our core values, such as family, community, a rich food, art, and wellness culture, as well as a sense of history and a desire to give back and engage with neighbors.”

Donald Trump isn’t the only septuagenarian unwilling to ease into a traditional retirement. As they near the end of what’s traditionally been the working years, today’s Baby Boomers are entering into retirements that look a lot different than those of their parents. Thanks to increased longevity, retirement today is longer and more expensive than ever before, and it also very often includes some kind of work.

More than 70 percent of workers over the age of 50 say that their ideal retirement now includes working, and nearly half of current retirees say that they have worked or plan to work in retirement.

Eight in 10 of those surveyed say that they’re doing so because they want to, not because they have to, and they’re more likely to work part-time or volunteer. More than 60 percent of those who work in retirement do so because they want to work or stay mentally active, and 46 percent work in order to remain physically active.

While a working retirement may differ from the older dream of retirement, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Retirees who work report more satisfaction and less stress about finances than their peers who have quit the workforce entirely. The most successful among them are able to find jobs in retirement that not only meet their financial needs, but are also meaningful in other ways and offer scheduling flexibility.

Many workers heading into retirement are woefully unprepared financially and have no idea of the tax impacts of taking on a part-time job to ease the fiscal pain, researchers warn. 

Any of the Baby Boomers retiring every day who are contemplating a second job in their retirement may want to reconsider, due to an unfamiliar network of federal and state taxes that can serve as significant work disincentives.

Prospective retirees can forget the Social Security Administration-provided benefit calculations that come in the mail. They’re completely meaningless. They simply don’t factor in the implicit and explicit taxes that those ages 50 through 79 face from the offsets between income, age, and benefits.

There is a need for much more transparency in the nation’s retirement and fiscal systems. The Social Security Administration could provide the information, but likely needs a push to do so by someone in government who thinks it’s important. That someone could be in the presidential administration or in Congress.

Working longer, say an extra five years, can raise older workers’ sustainable living standards. Taking a second job to supplement income during retirement can prove costly. But the impact is far smaller than suggested, in large part due to high net taxation of labor earnings. Many boomers now face or will face extremely high work disincentives arising from the hodgepodge and uncoordinated design of the nation’s fiscal system.

Older workers typically face high, very high or remarkably high marginal net taxation on their extra earnings. Work disincentives are highest for those at the bottom and top levels of resource distribution.

Don’t let the door hit you. Uncle Sam is, indeed, inducing the elderly to retire. Of particular concern is Medicaid and Social Security’s complex earnings test and clawback of disability benefits. A clawback is the recovery of funds disbursed by a company, pension, or government. But an open question is the extent to which the elderly correctly perceive these disincentives. Indeed, it’s hard to believe that policymakers, themselves, are cognizant of the level and spread of the work disincentives they are imposing on the elderly.

The marginal net tax rate linked to a significant increase in retirement earnings, such as $20,000 a year from a part-time job, can for many elderly be dramatically higher than that associated with earning a relatively small, say $1,000 a year, extra amount of money. Many baby boomers face fairly grim financial realities in retirement, and more government transparency around taxes and benefits is needed to help them assess their futures. 

For the 20 percent of the population aged 50 to 79 with the lowest incomes, earning an extra $1,000 raises a household’s expected value of lifetime spending by just around $700, which translates into a 30 percent marginal net tax rate. Even an extra $10,000 of lifetime earnings means another roughly $6,000 in lifetime spending, and a 40 percent remaining lifetime net tax rate on those additional earnings.

Other financial tradeoffs or exchanges include:

  • Medicare income limits, Social Security earnings test limits for those retiring before the current full retirement age of 66 and Social Security income tax thresholds.
  • Increased premiums for Medicare Part B for retirees earning more money.
  • Rising out-of-pocket healthcare costs through higher premiums, higher Medicare Part B co-payments and outpatient care not covered by Part B, as well as projected increases in prescription drug expenses.
  • Implicit taxes linked to government benefits such as food stamps.

All this is set against a backdrop of an already grim financial picture for many baby boomers’ golden years. Only 67 percent of them have any retirement account, and many of those have very low balances. Forty percent of boomers have no retirement savings at all.

While Social Security was designed as a basic floor for retirees’ living standards, it actually provides at last 90 percent of more than a third of elderly households’ income. Nearly two-thirds of older households rely on Social Security for at least half of their income.

Meanwhile, prospects of increased Social Security benefits to help boomers are dim. Social Security already is 32.2 percent underfunded.



By Basil Venitis


Gone are all the power years

Avoid now any strife

Shifting now slow gears

The last years of my life.


Life is a real game

Peace and prayer are now rife

Have accomplished my aim

The last years of my life.


Euthanasia is coming

Marching now with a fife

Thank you much for all the hugging

The last years of my life.


All alone and no wife

Looking back at my life

Wondering about afterlife

The last years of my life.

Pooler Physical Therapy will provide on-site services to Shepherd Living at Savannah Quarters residents, as well as serving the needs of the broader community of all ages. In addition to working with local physicians and practices, Pooler Physical Therapy will engage with business to provide direct-contracted, on-site care for their employees. “SEDA (Savannah Economic Development Authority) and the local chambers of commerce have been very welcoming and we look forward to exploring new and unique ways to serve their local members,” says Erik de Vries, Principal and President of Cobalt Medical Development.

Co-founded by Christine Menedis and Naveen Trehan, Shepherd Health is a forward-thinking healthcare real estate development company based in Miami Beach, Florida. Shepherd takes pride in integrating advances across numerous sectors into each of its developments, while becoming intimately connected with the communities it serves and offering investors strategic entry-points into demographically solid industries. Shepherd Senior Living is the operations arm of the Shepherd brand, and focuses on integrating technology, wellness, and personalized care into the lives of seniors and their communities across the United States. 

Cobalt Seniors is the senior living division of Cobalt Medical Partners, a healthcare real estate development and operations company based in Dallas, Texas. Cobalt focuses on providing exceptional patient care in state-of-the-art facilities that promote improved experiences and outcomes. The company has significant real estate development experience in numerous areas, with a core competency in inpatient rehabilitation hospitals. As experienced medical developers, Cobalt supplies its investors and healthcare providers with a sharp focus on strategy and developing real estate in rapid growth sectors.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s