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Phone: (713) 681-2500

Fax: (713) 684-1600

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STORM SEASON
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.

Have You Included These Costs in Your Retirement Budget?

When you’re planning for retirement, it’s easy to get caught up in saving for all the fun things—like travel and spending time with family—that you have to look forward to. Unfortunately, this distraction can lead to forgetting other essential expenses that could end up taking a big bite of your retirement budget. Whether you’ve created your own retirement plan or are working with a professional, make sure you’ve accounted for these costs.

Housing and Utilities – Even if you pay off your mortgage, you still need to budget for property taxes, insurance and maintenance as well as heating, cooling, water, gas, trash pickup and lawn work. These bills can really add up, so you may want to consider downsizing into a smaller property or looking into a retirement community that will cover some of these expenses for you.

Medicare Premiums – While you may not have to pay a premium for Medicare Part A, which covers hospitalization and skilled nursing facility care, Medicare Part B, which covers preventative and medically necessary services such as lab tests, charges a standard premium of $121.80 this year—and it’s likely to go up in the future. You’ll also have to pay a premium for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan and any Medigap plan—to cover out-of-pocket costs—that you choose to enroll in.

Other Healthcare Expenses – The deducible for Medicare Part B is $166 in 2016. As with the premium, it’s possible that it may increase in the future. Regardless, after meeting your deductible, you’ll still be required to pay 20 percent of the Medicare-approved amount for most medical services unless you purchase a Medigap plan or other insurance plan to supplement your Medicare coverage. While some preventative services are covered without out-of-pocket costs, things like eyeglasses and hearing aids generally aren’t covered at all.

Taxes – Depending on the vehicles you’ve used to stash away your retirement savings, you may need to pay income tax on your withdrawals. A portion of your Social Security benefit could also be taxable if your retirement income is above a certain threshold. You’ll need to figure these expenses into your retirement budget, though consulting with a financial planner may enable you to make more strategic withdrawals from your accounts, thereby lowering your tax burden.

Emergencies – Busted water heaters, worn out car engines and sick pets don’t go cease to exist when you retire. You’ll still need an emergency fund to deal with unexpected expenses if you want to avoid spending your retirement savings too quickly.

Whether you’re 25 or 65, a financial planner can help you prepare for—and enjoy—a better retirement. If you’d like to discuss your current retirement plan or have other questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.