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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.

Transition Smoothly Into Retirement with These 10 Tips

Thinking about retiring soon, or just preparing for the future? Consider these financial tips for a smooth transition.

1. Develop a retirement “game plan” – Write down the activities you plan on taking part in during retirement. Examples may include traveling, attending cultural events, becoming involved in civic groups, etc. Make a list of the financial factors that impact your ability to accomplish these goals. The first set of factors should be your income stream (i.e., investment interest, pensions, and Social Security), while the second set of factors are your ordinary living expenses. Then, compare your income with your expenses.

2. Plan for a long retirement – Your money may have to last for two to three decades of retirement, so take that into consideration when choosing investment strategies.

3. Don’t over spend in the early years – During the first years of retirement, avoid trying to cram in all of your planned activities. This behavior might cause you to deplete your savings too quickly, leaving you without any resources for the years to follow. Come up with an annual figure you can withdraw from you assets that will let you live comfortably, but won’t leave you penniless.

4. Consider how inflation will affect your savings – Most retirement calculators assume a 3 percent annual rate of inflation, but it never hurts to plan more conservatively.

5. Be prepared – Assume that unexpected expenses will crop up. Prepare for them by setting aside a cash reserve that you can easily access, if necessary.

6. Don’t reach for the stars – It’s tempting to try to increase your nest egg by investing in financial instruments that offer higher than normal dividends. Keep in mind that these investments come with an equally high risk factor. Instead, find more prudent investments that will give you a slower, but more consistent dividend.

7. Don’t forget about health care – As you continue to age, your health care costs will increase. Make sure you have adequate health insurance so that your finances aren’t devastated by an extended illness. You should also focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep.

8. Talk to a tax adviser – There are tax implications when you make withdrawals from your retirement accounts. The best way to manage your tax situation effectively is to consult with a tax adviser.

9. Don’t overlook estate planning – Consult with an attorney to develop an estate plan so that your remaining assets will be distributed according to your wishes. An attorney can also help you draw up a living will, power of attorney, etc., in the event you aren’t able to administer your own affairs.

10. Review your finances annually – Talk to your financial adviser each year to be sure that your financial plan continues to meet your current needs.