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Planning for the Future Series: Retirement & Education Funding

Monday, February 28, 2011

With constant talk of the economy and the number of baby boomers retiring, many people are thinking about the future. These days, it’s not uncommon to begin researching methods to plan for your child’s education not long after they enter the world. Whether planning for your child’s education or looking to retire, here are some answers to some of your frequently asked questions:

Can I take money from my individual retirement plan to pay for my child’s education?

Traditionally you would incur a 10% early distribution penalty for withdrawing money from a traditional or Roth IRA before you reach age 59-1/2. Luckily, there is an exception for distributions used to pay qualified higher education expenses. Keep in mind that the qualified higher education expenses must be for you, your spouse, your children or your grandchildren. For more details, visit the FinAid website. 

How can I save on my taxes while setting aside retirement income?

By utilizing an IRAs, whether traditional or Roth, you can receive a great tax savings. You will only pay taxes on your investment gains when you withdraw money in a traditional IRA and might be able to deduct contributions to the plan. Conversely, with a Roth IRA, you cannot deduct contributions but you can take advantage of tax-free growth and laws were changed to allow you to contribute more to the Roth IRA.

What’s my best bet for long-term growth for retirement savings?

If you have the time and the patience, you will find that investing in stocks will increase your ability to achieve higher returns over the long run. Whether you have a lifetime or little time to save, remember to plan wisely for retirement. Use the Social Security Administration’s calculator to find out how much you can expect to expect in Social Security when you retire.

Have more questions or want to get started? Turn to the experts at The Salmon Agency. Give us a call at 407-365-1766 and take a positive step toward your future!

Cutting Your Energy Costs Can Mean More Lattes!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It’s a new year and many people are looking to makeover their expenses while they makeover their bodies. While my specialty may be insurance, I am mindful of helping all of my clients – whether businesses or families – to look at their whole life and as a result, have helped clients save hundreds or sometimes, thousands of dollars a year.

One of the easiest areas to cut expenses is in the luxuries you may splurge on; magazine subscriptions or shopping sprees for instance. However, many people have already eliminated these types of expenses from their budget. Another place to look to save without drastically changing your lifestyle is in reducing your energy costs. Here are a few simple steps you can take to reduce that energy bill and help reduce your environmental footprint in the process:

  • Consider switching to a natural-gas water heater and turn the setting down to 120 degrees. This will cut energy use by half!
  • Use compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL) in your lamps. They not only last much longer, but provide a warm glow and 70 percent more energy efficiency!
  • Seal your home or business: close the fireplace damper; seal ductwork and caulk any unnecessary openings that may permit drafting of air.
  • If you cannot afford to install all Energy Star appliances, then install Energy Star–certified ceiling fans which are 50 percent more energy efficient.  
  • Unplug your computer and other appliances when they are not in use.

With these simple steps, you could easily save more than $600 annually on your energy bill. That’s extra cash you can use for those Starbucks lattes, toward a down payment on a car, or even more importantly, for retirement! Call our experts at Salmon Agency at 407-365-1766 to discuss your financial goals and insurance needs – helping you achieve your dreams is our goal!


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