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Important Note:

June through November our agency may become prohibited from binding coverage should a “Tropical Disturbance” enter the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean Sea.

In these cases we may be unable to bind new coverage quoted in open proposals until the storm leaves our area and our binding authority has been restored.

Please arrange your coverage protection early to avoid this type of delay. While we regret any inconvenience, the carriers impose these restrictions on all agencies.

Real Estate Mistakes Retirees Make

As you approach retirement, real estate may be one of the biggest assets you have. Unfortunately, it’s also an area in which many retirees make mistakes. Consider the following common errors—from belated downsizing to carrying a mortgage—as well as how to avoid them.

Delaying Downsizing

The larger your home, the higher your energy bills and—very likely—the more substantial your property taxes and homeowner’s insurance premiums. Postpone downsizing into a smaller property and you’ll pay these costs longer, missing out on potential savings. As soon as your children are out of the home—even if only to go to college—it’s time to reevaluate how much room you actually need.

Squandering Downsizing Proceeds

If trade your home for a smaller property and are able to walk away with cash on closing day, invest rather than spend your windfall. Depending on your individual circumstances, this may mean living off the equity in order to postpone drawing social security or touching your other retirement funds. It could also mean using the equity to max out your IRA and/or 401(k) contributions. Your financial advisor can help you analyze your options and their associated tax implications.

Relocating Without Researching

Not only do you need to consider the cost of living and recreational benefits offered by any new location, but you should also look into part-time employment opportunities and available healthcare. Many retirees choose to go back to work to supplement income and relieve boredom, so you don’t want to choose a location where this won’t be an option. Nor do you want to relocate to an area lacking doctors or hospitals within your insurance network.

Owning More Than One Home

If you love the idea of spending your winters in a warmer climate but don’t want to make a permanent move, purchasing a home in a second location can be tempting. However, it’s important to remember that maintaining two properties is always a drain on finances. Consider renting a condo or other abode in the location where you’ll spend the least amount of time instead. If you must own a second property, rent it to vacationers when you’re not using it yourself to defray some of the costs.

Carrying a Mortgage In Retirement

Sure, mortgage rates are currently near historic lows, and you can deduct the interest paid each year when you file your income taxes. But if you’re going to be living on Social Security, IRA distributions and other investments, that deduction may not be very significant. Additionally, if you take the money you might have paid into a mortgage and use it to cover other expenses, you could possibly delay drawing on Social Security until you reach full retirement age—leading to larger distributions. If you’re nearing retirement, consult your financial planner before you refinance your home loan or use one to buy a new property.