The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 17 No. 17 - February 8, 2017


Acqua Aveda: a full service day spa

LaPensee Plumbing Pools Air


Ali Severson offers full salon and
spa services at Acqua Aveda.

Anna Maria has a lot of great business stories, and I thought I heard them all, until now. But the lovely and confident young woman who recently purchased Acqua Aveda Salon in Holmes Beach has a new twist to business and family.

Ali Severson purchased Acqua Aveda On The Beach Salon in May of last year after having worked there for nine years. The transition was virtually seamless, helped by the staff, that she sincerely thanks, and that all remained with her. The talented and experienced staff some with as much as 30 years' experience, participate in continuing education classes on a regular basis. In fact, since owning Acqua, Severson has doubled her staff in preparation for the Waterline resort and marina next door set to open this year and which has chosen Acqua Aveda to be the signature salon for its guests.

Acqua Aveda has seven hairstylists, three massage therapists, two nail specialists, an eyelash specialist and three at the front desk coordinating guest services. Severson herself is a hair stylist and make-up artist.

The salon offers haircuts and style for both men and women, a variety of hair coloring services, facials and other skin care services, makeup application and nail aesthetics. In addition, it offers a long list of massage services including deep tissue, sports and stress, as well as body treatments like all natural sunless tanning, herbal detox and body wrap. Acqua exclusively carries a full line of Aveda products, which are 100 percent natural, and, of course, men can take advantage of Acqua's services.

Wedding parties are more than welcome at Acqua Aveda for a day of spa services. The staff will arrange any level of service and schedule and even bring in food and champagne. And since Severson herself will be a bride in April, she knows exactly what every bride wants.

Severson's dream has come true, owning a beautiful salon with a wonderful staff and marrying a great guy, but there are two people she really needs to thank, her father and grandfather. Todd Severson and Dan Callaghan own many tire retreading businesses in Florida and two repair shops. They were the ones who had the confidence in their daughter and granddaughter to become partners with her in recognizing a good business investment when they saw one. What a great family story.

Getting more involved with the community is important to Severson, and Acqua Aveda is sponsoring a soccer team coached by her fiancé at the Community Center. The salon also did a breast cancer fund-raiser offering a mini spa night. It raised $2,200 for her grandparents' charity, the Callaghan Tire Cancer Charity, with all proceeds going to Moffitt Cancer Center.

Watch for Acqua Aveda's ribbon cutting and grand opening party on March 25. There will be food, drinks, gifts, raffles and discounts on services and products.

Severson is backed by a great family and staff who all saw something special in this impressive young woman. She wants her full service day spa to be welcoming, comfortable and make you feel at home. Visit Acqua Aveda and see what it feels like to step into the pale blue ocean without even getting wet.


5311 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach


Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tuesday and Thursday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

All major credit cards

Walk-ins welcomed

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Reverse mortgages worth another look

Investment Corner

I have written about reverse mortgages over the years, at least twice here in the Sun. My advice was that reverse mortgages were expensive for the borrower, but in the case where a retired person or couple had run out of assets, using the equity in their home through a reverse mortgage wasn’t the worst idea in the world.

I’m bringing the topic back one more time because some changes in federal guidelines have made the reverse mortgage a more attractive option for those who are over age 62, that own their home free and clear of another mortgage and who are concerned about the possibility of running low on retirement income during their lifetime

Space limitations don’t’ allow us to go into a full primer on reverse mortgages, but let’s hit some of the highlights.

• Fees are down: The up front mortgage insurance premium applied to all reverse mortgages was reduced from 2.5 percent of the loan amount to 0.5 percent by the Reverse Mortgage Stabilization Act of 2013, as long as the borrower doesn’t tap more than 60 percent of the available credit balance in the first year. Other fees have been standardized and are roughly in line with a traditional home mortgage, but often lenders will issue credits to offset some or all of these other expenses.

• Education: Borrowers are required to attend a consumer counseling session to make sure they understand the nature of the reverse mortgage. The cost of this session is $125

• Borrowing limit: The limit for reverse mortgage credit lines depends on the age of the youngest borrower, current interest rates and the lenders margin. Generally, you can access about half of the value of your principal resident, up to a current maximum value of $625,000.

• Payments: You don’t need to make payment on a reverse mortgage. The money you borrow and accrued interest must be repaid when you no longer live in the home. This can be through a move to another location, or if you pass away. The home will then be sold, the reverse mortgage paid off and any excess above that can be left to heirs.

In the past, advice was generally to take out the reverse mortgage as a last resort when it was obvious additional funds may be needed. Under current guidelines, that advice is outdated. Reverse mortgage lines of credit actually grow over time, giving the borrower the ability to borrow more. So, the current advice in most situations is to establish the line of credit in your mid-60s, when eligible, and instead of borrowing, just let the line of credit rest with a zero balance.

A line of credit for about $125,000 will grow to about $190,000 in 10 years, 290,000 in 20 years and over $440,000 in 30 years. Establishing, but not accessing the line of credit until later in retirement gives the retiree a lot of flexibility. The exact loan characteristics are influenced by the age(s) of the borrowers as well as the current level of interest rates.

In summary, for those who may find themselves real estate rich and liquid asset challenged, a reverse mortgage may be a good option.

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing. Visit


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