The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 13 No. 20 - February 27, 2013


Carts and parts at Big Don's

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

Louise Bolger | Sun
Roy Sumner, of Big Don's sells, services and repairs golf carts.

What’s more fun than tooling around Anna Maria on a golf cart? Picking up dinner at Publix, heading for the beach or checking out a great café for lunch or dinner. Whatever you do, it’s more fun when you arrive in a golf cart.

Roy Sumner returned to Bradenton, where he grew up, from Tennessee a year ago and did what he has done for 18 years opened a shop to sell, service and repair golf carts. Sumner’s shop is closer to the Island than any other golf cart repair service, but distance isn’t a problem for Island residents since Sumner makes house calls and delivers to and from the Island.

He can handle almost any type of repair for electric and gasoline golf carts, as well as replacing parts and batteries on-site. He and his technician will come out to you, whether you’re on the Island or in another location in Bradenton, diagnose the problem and make recommendations. Sumner also has used golf carts for sale as well as accessories to get your golf cart looking sharp.

Big Don’s customers include individuals who live on the Island, in mobile home parks and adjacent to golf course communities. He counts many senior citizens among his repeat customers and has built a very large referral base during his first year of business.

Sumner says his rates are affordable and well below what large dealers charge. He won’t sell you anything that you don’t need, and with years of experience, Big Don’s can be counted on to do a thorough job in a timely manner.

And if you’re wondering who exactly Big Don is, well he’s Roy Sumner’s 12-year-old son who has become the face of his golf cart business.

Let Big Don’s keep your mini ride in tip top shape so you can enjoy the tropical breeze while scooting around town or improving your swing on the back nine. It’s why we live in Florida.


222 41st Ave. E.

8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
9:00 a.m. to 1 p.m.

MasterCard & Visa

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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