The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 13 No. 19 - February 20, 2013


Chillin' with Air America

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Louise bolger | sun
Jasper and Eric Bergan, await your call at Air America.

Are you feeling a little chilly? Florida winters are certainly cooler than Florida summers but it’s during the summer when you really want to feel the chill, and there’s a way to maintain cool temperatures all summer long from a company that is licensed to keep you chilled.

Eric Bergan has been in the air conditioning and heating business almost without a break since 1981. After five years of kicking back and doing everything from managing a fish market to running a charter fishing boat, he felt it was time to get back to his roots, and in 1997, he opened Air America Air Conditioning & Heating in Holmes Beach. Building on personal contacts in the community going back to his participation on the board of the Community Center, combined with a great business reputation it didn’t take Bergan long to be up and running.

Air America offers a full range of air conditioning and heating services, including installation of new units and maintenance of existing ones. His company offers service contracts, duct cleaning, leak checking, free estimates and competitive pricing. Air America sells all brands of equipment fitting the manufacturer to the needs of the consumer.

He has 24-hour service available and you will always get a real live person on the other end of the phone when you call Air America. Bergan has deliberately kept his business small, offering personal service so he has the ability to be hands on in keeping track of his six employees. The company is strictly air conditioning and heating doing what it does best. Air America services all of Manatee County with special emphasis on Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key working within an approximate-15 mile radius.

With all of the recent government regulation of air conditioning refrigerants, Bergan has been keeping on top of the regulations. He is paying special attention to alternative refrigerant choices that would benefit his customers and adhere to government guideline.

Bergan is originally from the Dakotas where they know a thing or two about keeping cool. But when the Navy brought him to Key West, he decided Florida was the place for him. He fishes for grouper and cobia in his twin engine 25-foot boat and spends time with Air America’s mascot Jasper his Hurricane Charley rescue dog, when he’s not working on keeping the Island cool.

So relax and chill out by letting Air America keep your winters toasty and your summers chilly. It is, after all, “Licensed to Chill.”


3008 Ave C
Holmes Beach
941-779-CHIL (2445)

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
All major credit cards accepted

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Social Security going 'e'

Investment Corner

It's now pretty much official. The Social Security Administration is about to be almost totally electronically based for it's payment and account administration. Of course, there will still be local offices where those needing problem resolution, personal attention or those without access to computers will be able to go to receive help. But, I suspect, over time, we will see some consolidation of these offices in a similar manner as the Postal Service is undergoing.

Two recent changes are important to know about. Already in effect is the cancellation of the annual benefit notices, which were previously mailed around our birthday each year, and which advised us of our benefit levels at various ages at which we could start to receive benefits - early, full retirement age or later.

To save money, the Social Security Administration now requires that you establish an on-line account at its website – Once there look for the tab labeled "My Social Security" and follow the prompts to establish your login name and password. Obviously, the Administration takes security very seriously, so the process of establishing this online account is a bit more extensive that most. So, plan on spending 5 to 10 minutes to go through the process. Once complete, the site is pretty easy to navigate to find your benefit levels at various ages.

Obviously, determining benefit levels is more important for those individuals who have not yet started to receive benefits, or those who have been receiving benefits for less than 12 months and may be considering a redo, by paying back the system, then starting over again at a later date.

As I mentioned in an article a few weeks back, there are some creative benefit strategies for couples, divorcees and widows or widowers that may yield tens or even hundreds of thousands in additional benefits over your lifetime. The folks at the Social Security offices mean well, but they are forbidden from giving personalized advice or recommending a particular strategy for you. Certain financial advisers are knowledgeable in this area and have the ability to perform a complete analysis.

The other big change occurs in just over a week on March 1. At that time, all benefit recipients will be required to receive their benefits by direct deposit to a bank or other financial account or by receiving a Direct Express cash card. This card is effectively a debit card against your monthly Social Security benefit. So, if you're still receiving your benefits by a paper check, you can make the conversion to direct deposit or Direct Express card by calling the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213, visiting a local Administration office, or by establishing an online account as described above and making the switch online once logged in.

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing. Visit


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