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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.

Generating a Sustainable Retirement Income

According to the National Institute for Retirement Security, the average American has saved only $30,345 in a defined retirement account. Even if they invest it wisely, this is not enough savings to last them through their golden years—and it’s easy to see why the National Senior Citizens Law Center reports that more than 6.3 million seniors in the U.S. are living in poverty today. Fortunately, better advanced planning can help you generate a sustainable retirement income.

Determine your target income. What are your core retirement spending needs? They will include things like food, housing, healthcare and taxes. To cover these core expenses throughout your retirement, you’ll need an income that will increase with inflation. A financial planner can help you determine how much you’ll need to withdraw each month as well as the total investments you’ll reasonably need to generate those funds.

Don’t forget discretionary spending. What would make you happy in retirement? Perhaps you want to travel, join a country club or spoil your grandchildren. Whatever your desires, add at least 10 percent to your retirement savings to cover them. That way you can have some fun without jeopardizing your financial security.

Hold off on Social Security. Wait until you turn 70 to begin withdrawing your Social Security benefits, otherwise you’ll forfeit stacks of cash. You may have to tap other income sources while you wait, but that shouldn’t be a problem if you have adequate retirement investments. If you’re a married couple, the surviving spouse will keep the biggest Social Security payment regardless of who passes on first. It makes the most sense for the highest earner to delay his or her withdrawal.

Allocate your assets wisely. You need the right balance of stocks to other investments, and according to some financial analysts, holding too little can actually be more costly than holding too much. You’re going to need equities to sustain your retirement income so talk to your financial planner or investment advisor about how to navigate the stock market’s inevitable movements.

5. Include tax bracket considerations when planning. If you withdraw too much in a given year, you may find yourself pushed into a higher tax bracket. You’ll want to spread out your income to avoid significant losses in the form of taxes. For example, in 2014 a married couple filing jointly will pay only 10 percent in taxes on their first $18,150 in income. The tax rate increases to 15 percent for income from $18,151 to $73,800. Above that cutoff, the government will tax you at 25 percent.

Your financial planner can provide you with additional insight into these suggestions as well as other retirement income opportunities. Whether you fear your finances are not ready for retirement, or just want to review the plan you have in place, contact him or her today.