The Morrison County Record http://mcrecord.com Covering community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for the Morrison County, Minnesota. Tue, 05 May 2015 20:36:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Arson likely cause of two fires near Little Falls, reward offered http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/arson-likely-cause-of-two-fires-near-little-falls-reward-offered/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/arson-likely-cause-of-two-fires-near-little-falls-reward-offered/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 20:36:26 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=575246   Fire investigators have determined that arson was the probable cause of two wildfires near Little Falls. The Morrison County Sheriff and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources continue to investigate. A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the arsonist.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact either the Morrison County Sheriff at (320) 632-9233 or the DNR Forestry Office at (320) 616-2450, ext. 230. To remain anonymous, call the arson tip line at 1 (800) 723-2020.

One wildfire started April 14 near the intersection of Hawthorn Road and 185 Avenue. The other started April 15 in the city of Little Falls along 11th Street Northeast. Neither fire grew large because of quick response by the Little Falls Fire Department and DNR Forestry Division.

On April 15, there was a red flag warning for Central Minnesota. Temperatures were in the 70s, relative humidity was exceptionally low, and there were sustained winds of 18 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Red Flag conditions lead to fast-moving fires that burn with extreme intensity.

The two wildfires could have grown large and threatened homes and structures. The coordinated efforts of local fire departments, wild land firefighters, sheriffs’ offices and emergency managers were instrumental in keeping the fires small and preventing further damage.

Arson wildfires in Minnesota cost taxpayers millions of dollars each year. The cost to those who lose homes is immeasurable. The DNR asks all citizens for their help in preventing arson.

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Women’s Transitions: $ Moves (Pt. 2) http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/womens-transitions-moves-pt-2/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/womens-transitions-moves-pt-2/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 20:00:03 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?guid=bbbb782846971318ada8b37698e3928b Our first article looked at the major changes women can face, from a booming business to the death of a spouse. Here are specific transitions that bring additional financial challenges, and how to cope.

Business ownership. Most small-business owners regard their enterprise as their greatest personal asset and primary source of family income. So protecting your company and planning for your future financial security are often the same goal. When the time comes to sell it, the experience can be tough. Selling your business can also stimulate a strong sense of loss and grief.

If you’re a woman facing an impending sale, you’re probably not alone: Women own more than 9.1 million firms in the U.S., employing nearly 7.9 million people and generating $1.4 trillion in annual sales as of last year, according to the National Association of Women Business Owners

Strategies you can take to help safeguard your finances during rapid growth or after the sale of your business:

  • Don’t mix rapid growth and inexperience. That often means not gifting a rapidly growing business to your inexperienced adult children. Uncontrolled growth in the wrong hands can quickly dissipate corporate assets – and that part of your nest egg that hinges on the business.
  • Protect your income after the sale. If something happens to the buyer, your payments can end abruptly. Request that duplicate notices be sent to you when premium payments are made on key-man life and disability insurance (which covers a business’s indispensable personnel).

Divorce. Whether you are considering separation or are already in or just finished divorce proceedings, the decisions you make now will affect the rest of your life.

Dividing wealth in a divorce is never easy, especially with increasingly complex investment options. Splitting a portfolio the wrong way can trigger vastly unequal tax consequences. You can, for instance, make a mess of portioning assets if you overlook the qualified domestic relations orders (QDRO) form, which facilitates access to a former spouse’s otherwise-protected retirement plan savings.

In a divorce, you might need help navigating the economic aspects, as opposed to the legal issues that lawyers handle. In addition to an attorney, you may want to consult a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA), a specialist who advises both you and your lawyer on the financial aspects of your settlement. Check with the Association of Divorce Planners for a CDFA in your area.

Strategies designed to help safeguard your finances:

  • A portfolio split down the middle might not be financially equal, especially when the tax consequences of various assets aren’t evaluated prior to determining splits.
  • Many divorcing women want to keep their homes for emotional reasons and to provide stability for the kids. Maintaining a house involves money matters such as mortgage, taxes and upkeep expenses.  It is a large illiquid asset whose value you can’t quickly tap.
  • Splitting retirement plans involves tricky tax rules, so prepare the proper paperwork and talk to qualified advisors. For example, most plans require submitting a QDRO to the plan administrator before the plan can pay any portion of your ex’s benefits to you.
  • Update your will, trusts and beneficiary designations on retirement plans and insurance policies so your ex or some other unintended beneficiary doesn’t unintentionally inherit a windfall.

Illness. If you or a family member were recently diagnosed with a serious sickness, you face many new challenges beyond the emotional loss of the health you always enjoyed. To protect finances before and after a diagnosis:

  • Establish a power of attorney so someone can handle your financial affairs as needed.
  • Choose your health-care proxy, someone you trust and can empower to authorize or decline your medical procedures if you can no longer make those decisions.
  • Consider establishing a trust so your assets will eventually pass to your heirs as you intend without the stress, expense and delay of probate.

Remarriage. Second marriages and blended families bring the financial challenge of providing for each other and for multiple – sometimes completely new – beneficiaries. To safeguard your finances:

  • Update wills, trusts and beneficiary designations on retirement plans and insurance, so both of you, your children and your partner’s children are provided for.
  • Discuss your finances. Know how much debt your partner carries and its effect on your option to share or combine assets.

Grief and loss. Grief after the death of a loved one is readily acknowledged; many women are surprised at similar feelings from the loss of health, the end of a marriage or the sale of a business. In such an emotional moment:

  • Don’t let grief drive your decisions. Viewing inherited or insurance money as a poor substitute for your lost loved one can lead to guilt, foolish spending or simply giving away what was intended to provide for your financial security.
  • Avoid making uninformed decisions. Not looking at your finances can cause unintended bad outcomes, missed opportunities and/or tax problems.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Heidi Clute, CFP, is the majority owner of Clute Wealth Management in South Burlington, Vt., and Plattsburgh, N.Y., an independent firm that provides strategic financial and investment planning for individuals and small businesses in the Champlain Valley region of New York and Vermont. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC.

For informational purposes only. LPL Financial does not offer legal or tax advice.  The LPL Financial Registered Representatives associated with Clute Wealth Management may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of certain states; visit our website for a list of states (www.clutewealthmanagement.com). 

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Our first article looked at the major changes women can face, from a booming business to the death of a spouse. Here are specific transitions that bring additional financial challenges, and how to cope.

Business ownership. Most small-business owners regard their enterprise as their greatest personal asset and primary source of family income. So protecting your company and planning for your future financial security are often the same goal. When the time comes to sell it, the experience can be tough. Selling your business can also stimulate a strong sense of loss and grief.

If you’re a woman facing an impending sale, you’re probably not alone: Women own more than 9.1 million firms in the U.S., employing nearly 7.9 million people and generating $1.4 trillion in annual sales as of last year, according to the National Association of Women Business Owners

Strategies you can take to help safeguard your finances during rapid growth or after the sale of your business:

  • Don’t mix rapid growth and inexperience. That often means not gifting a rapidly growing business to your inexperienced adult children. Uncontrolled growth in the wrong hands can quickly dissipate corporate assets – and that part of your nest egg that hinges on the business.
  • Protect your income after the sale. If something happens to the buyer, your payments can end abruptly. Request that duplicate notices be sent to you when premium payments are made on key-man life and disability insurance (which covers a business’s indispensable personnel).

Divorce. Whether you are considering separation or are already in or just finished divorce proceedings, the decisions you make now will affect the rest of your life.

Dividing wealth in a divorce is never easy, especially with increasingly complex investment options. Splitting a portfolio the wrong way can trigger vastly unequal tax consequences. You can, for instance, make a mess of portioning assets if you overlook the qualified domestic relations orders (QDRO) form, which facilitates access to a former spouse’s otherwise-protected retirement plan savings.

In a divorce, you might need help navigating the economic aspects, as opposed to the legal issues that lawyers handle. In addition to an attorney, you may want to consult a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA), a specialist who advises both you and your lawyer on the financial aspects of your settlement. Check with the Association of Divorce Planners for a CDFA in your area.

Strategies designed to help safeguard your finances:

  • A portfolio split down the middle might not be financially equal, especially when the tax consequences of various assets aren’t evaluated prior to determining splits.
  • Many divorcing women want to keep their homes for emotional reasons and to provide stability for the kids. Maintaining a house involves money matters such as mortgage, taxes and upkeep expenses.  It is a large illiquid asset whose value you can’t quickly tap.
  • Splitting retirement plans involves tricky tax rules, so prepare the proper paperwork and talk to qualified advisors. For example, most plans require submitting a QDRO to the plan administrator before the plan can pay any portion of your ex’s benefits to you.
  • Update your will, trusts and beneficiary designations on retirement plans and insurance policies so your ex or some other unintended beneficiary doesn’t unintentionally inherit a windfall.

Illness. If you or a family member were recently diagnosed with a serious sickness, you face many new challenges beyond the emotional loss of the health you always enjoyed. To protect finances before and after a diagnosis:

  • Establish a power of attorney so someone can handle your financial affairs as needed.
  • Choose your health-care proxy, someone you trust and can empower to authorize or decline your medical procedures if you can no longer make those decisions.
  • Consider establishing a trust so your assets will eventually pass to your heirs as you intend without the stress, expense and delay of probate.

Remarriage. Second marriages and blended families bring the financial challenge of providing for each other and for multiple – sometimes completely new – beneficiaries. To safeguard your finances:

  • Update wills, trusts and beneficiary designations on retirement plans and insurance, so both of you, your children and your partner’s children are provided for.
  • Discuss your finances. Know how much debt your partner carries and its effect on your option to share or combine assets.

Grief and loss. Grief after the death of a loved one is readily acknowledged; many women are surprised at similar feelings from the loss of health, the end of a marriage or the sale of a business. In such an emotional moment:

  • Don’t let grief drive your decisions. Viewing inherited or insurance money as a poor substitute for your lost loved one can lead to guilt, foolish spending or simply giving away what was intended to provide for your financial security.
  • Avoid making uninformed decisions. Not looking at your finances can cause unintended bad outcomes, missed opportunities and/or tax problems.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Heidi Clute, CFP, is the majority owner of Clute Wealth Management in South Burlington, Vt., and Plattsburgh, N.Y., an independent firm that provides strategic financial and investment planning for individuals and small businesses in the Champlain Valley region of New York and Vermont. Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC.

For informational purposes only. LPL Financial does not offer legal or tax advice.  The LPL Financial Registered Representatives associated with Clute Wealth Management may only discuss and/or transact securities business with residents of certain states; visit our website for a list of states (www.clutewealthmanagement.com). 

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Jury finds in favor of county in discrimination lawsuit http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/jury-finds-in-favor-of-county-in-discrimination-lawsuit/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/jury-finds-in-favor-of-county-in-discrimination-lawsuit/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 18:41:56 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=575242 A jury found in favor of Morrison County in the discrimination lawsuit filed by former employee Mary Doucette.

Doucette was relieved of her duties as an assistant jail administrator in November 2011. She had been working for the county since 1994.

The county contended that Doucette’s employment was terminated due to poor work performance after several years of verbal and written warnings about errors, and two suspensions.

Doucette contended that her employment was terminated due to age and gender discrimination.

Monday, the jury found no reasonable evidence of discrimination against Doucette.

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Pasch / Crosby http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/pasch-crosby/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/pasch-crosby/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 18:33:18 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=575240 Pasch / Crosby

James and the late Sharon Pasch of Little Falls announce the engagement of their daughter, Jolene, to Jim Crosby, son of Gerald and Patricia Crosby of Randall.
A June 2015 wedding is being planned.

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Robert Bob Schwanke http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/robert-bob-schwanke/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/robert-bob-schwanke/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 18:32:34 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=575237 Robert Bob   Schwanke

Robert "Bob" Schwanke, age 59, of Little Falls, died Friday, May 1, 2015 near Little Falls, as the result of a motor vehicle accident.
A Memorial Service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 6, at Emblom Brenny Funeral Service in Royalton, with Chaplain Gregg Valentine officiating. A private interment will be held at a later date. A visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 6 from 12 p.m.. until the hour of service at Emblom Brenny Funeral Service in Royalton.
Robert Allen Schwanke was born, July 24, 1955, in Sauk Centre. He graduated high school in Royalton and graduated from college as a machinist. He worked as a machinist for many years and worked various other jobs in the Morrison County area. When not working, Robert enjoyed hunting, fishing, spending time outdoors, participating in the Monday Night Men's Bowling League at the Little Falls Bowling Alley, but above everything else, Robert's true love was his family, especially his grandchild, Carter.
Left to cherish his memory are his children, Toby Schwanke and Steph (Rob Bollig) Schwanke; mother, Jean Mathis; siblings, Mike (DeDe) Schwanke, Richard (Kris) Schwanke, Jamie Mathis, Sue (Mike) Andersen, Sandy (John) Morgan and Jacqui (Tim) Mathis-Shoemaker; step-child, Carl Simmons; and a grandson Carter.
He was preceded in death by his father, Larry Mathis.

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Council rescinds and revotes on DeRosier Drive decision http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/council-rescinds-and-revotes-on-derosier-drive-decision/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/council-rescinds-and-revotes-on-derosier-drive-decision/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 18:06:22 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=575231 The Little Falls City Council voted at last night’s meeting to reconsider its previous decision not to proceed with improvements petitioned by residents on the west end of DeRosier Drive.

The Council had previously voted 3-4 against the project, with members Loren Boyum, Jerry Knafla and Leif Hanson opposing the improvements.

The motion was brought forward by Knafla, who cited a consensus from his constituents in support of the project.

Boyum voted against the motion to reconsider, and again voted no to the proposed improvements.

The final vote for was 7-1 in favor of the improvements.

The Council’s previous decision to hold a public hearing on the east end of DeRosier Drive was also rescinded. According to Public Works Director Greg Kimman, this was in order to schedule public hearings for both east and west DeRosier Drive projects at the same time and allow the projects to be bid together and completed simultaneously to avoid unnecessary inconvenience to residents.

The public hearings for all improvements to DeRosier Drive are scheduled for June 1.

 

Full story to follow in the next issue of the Record.

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8 Signs of Credit Problems http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/8-signs-of-credit-problems/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/8-signs-of-credit-problems/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 16:30:04 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?guid=3eb4ea255c76f8834c1c94b7269239b6 Credit troubles often begin inconspicuously, yet there are signs all along the way before they become unmanageable. Being alert to these warnings allows you to make the necessary changes to prevent a future of financial worries.

Having a credit card isn’t bad when you use it for the right reasons. It serves as a bridge to better things and establishes a credit history, which helps you make big purchases such as a home or a car.

Unfortunately, the “spend first, pay later” option is a slippery slope that leads to serious credit problems. They can happen to people of every age, income level and social status.

Many signs are obvious to conscientious consumers, but life can sometimes become so hectic that you push them aside for later. Only later never comes.

The sooner you admit that you have credit problems, the sooner you are able to fix them. Neglect the issue and you may end up with accounts in collections, purchases repossessed, eviction and bankruptcy.

Watch out for these eight signs that indicate you are headed for trouble:

1.    You never follow a budget. If you don’t budget, your spending can easily get out of control.

2.   A bank denies your loan. It may mean that the creditor think you have too much existing debt already, even though your official credit score isn’t bad – yet.

3.   You make late payments regularly. You face expensive penalties, increasing the size of your bills and your risk of falling into debt.

4.   You use payday loans. If you resort to these short-term cash loans with high interest rates, you can soon land yourself into serious debt.

5.    You buy essentials like food on credit. You’re living beyond your means if you charge essential expenses on credit cards and you can’t repay in full each month.

6.   Your annual percentage rate (APR), the amount of interest you pay per year, rises. A higher APR means the lender considers you at greater risk of debt problems.

7.   You can’t afford more than the minimum required payments. It’s a clear warning that you spend more on your credit card than your income can support.

8.   You don’t have sufficient savings to cover emergency expenses. You risk racking up massive debt when you need to use your credit cards in emergency situations.

If you recognize these signs, you need to be serious about making changes, even to the point of altering your lifestyle. Examine every purchase and question its actual need. Limit your credit cards to emergencies and use cash for the majority of your expenses. Make a commitment to save a percentage of your income for an emergency fund.

If you’re fearful of making the necessary changes, you may need the assistance of a debt counselor. With perseverance and debt relief assistance, you can learn to manage and avoid debt and get back on financial track.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Kimberly J. Howard, CFP, CRPC, ADPA, is a Certified Financial Planner and the owner of KJH Financial Services, a Fee-Only practice in Newton, Mass., and Denver (781-413-4879). Please visit us at www.kjhfinancialservices.com or email Kim at kim@kjhfinancialservices.com. Follow Kim on Twitter at @KimHowardCFP
 
AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Credit troubles often begin inconspicuously, yet there are signs all along the way before they become unmanageable. Being alert to these warnings allows you to make the necessary changes to prevent a future of financial worries.

Having a credit card isn’t bad when you use it for the right reasons. It serves as a bridge to better things and establishes a credit history, which helps you make big purchases such as a home or a car.

Unfortunately, the “spend first, pay later” option is a slippery slope that leads to serious credit problems. They can happen to people of every age, income level and social status.

Many signs are obvious to conscientious consumers, but life can sometimes become so hectic that you push them aside for later. Only later never comes.

The sooner you admit that you have credit problems, the sooner you are able to fix them. Neglect the issue and you may end up with accounts in collections, purchases repossessed, eviction and bankruptcy.

Watch out for these eight signs that indicate you are headed for trouble:

1.    You never follow a budget. If you don’t budget, your spending can easily get out of control.

2.   A bank denies your loan. It may mean that the creditor think you have too much existing debt already, even though your official credit score isn’t bad – yet.

3.   You make late payments regularly. You face expensive penalties, increasing the size of your bills and your risk of falling into debt.

4.   You use payday loans. If you resort to these short-term cash loans with high interest rates, you can soon land yourself into serious debt.

5.    You buy essentials like food on credit. You’re living beyond your means if you charge essential expenses on credit cards and you can’t repay in full each month.

6.   Your annual percentage rate (APR), the amount of interest you pay per year, rises. A higher APR means the lender considers you at greater risk of debt problems.

7.   You can’t afford more than the minimum required payments. It’s a clear warning that you spend more on your credit card than your income can support.

8.   You don’t have sufficient savings to cover emergency expenses. You risk racking up massive debt when you need to use your credit cards in emergency situations.

If you recognize these signs, you need to be serious about making changes, even to the point of altering your lifestyle. Examine every purchase and question its actual need. Limit your credit cards to emergencies and use cash for the majority of your expenses. Make a commitment to save a percentage of your income for an emergency fund.

If you’re fearful of making the necessary changes, you may need the assistance of a debt counselor. With perseverance and debt relief assistance, you can learn to manage and avoid debt and get back on financial track.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Kimberly J. Howard, CFP, CRPC, ADPA, is a Certified Financial Planner and the owner of KJH Financial Services, a Fee-Only practice in Newton, Mass., and Denver (781-413-4879). Please visit us at www.kjhfinancialservices.com or email Kim at kim@kjhfinancialservices.com. Follow Kim on Twitter at @KimHowardCFP
 
AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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2015 Morrison County Relay for Life to be a bit shorter; teams have time to sign up http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/2015-morrison-county-relay-for-life-to-be-a-bit-shorter-teams-have-time-to-sign-up/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/2015-morrison-county-relay-for-life-to-be-a-bit-shorter-teams-have-time-to-sign-up/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 15:15:33 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=575224 The Steering Committee for the Morrison County Relay for Life has decided to shorten the Relay event for 2015. Rather than running from 6 p.m. Friday, July 17 to 6 a.m. Saturday, July 18, the
Relay will end at midnight.The Steering Committee noted that many teams do not want to stay all night and so decided to try this option instead.
“I think it’s going to change the Relay significantly, but I think that’s OK,” said Mary Kline, a member of the Steering Committee.
Teams can still sign up to join in the Relay for Life event. To sign up, contact Michelle Maslowski at (320) 733-4359 or email mmrelays@gmail.com.
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The Wall of Un-Worry http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/the-wall-of-un-worry/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/the-wall-of-un-worry/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 13:30:33 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?guid=0928af08a7c7f947e500d8281f33347f Both the stock and bond markets remain volatile as investors climb the proverbial “wall of worry.” Don’t worry. While something horrible always could crop up, it’s better to focus on the strong underlying growth trend in the U.S. economy and the influence of easy money policies abroad.

The preliminary first-quarter gross domestic product report came in weak as expected, given the brutal weather in the eastern U.S. that restrained housing starts and consumer outlays. Kiplinger still expects the economy to show more life through the rest of the year, moving from a first quarter GDP increase of a tepid 0.2% to 3% for 2015 as a whole. Expected job gains and improvement in consumer incomes should propel purchases of homes, vehicles and other products and services.

The first quarter of 2015 ended amidst relief that the harsh winter weather in much of the country was over. Near where I live, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport’s International Terminal was packed recently with spring breakers and families headed south to Caribbean climes. Despite a year-over-year increase in domestic airfares of about 14%, demand for travel is up, indicating rising consumer confidence. That’s a good thumbnail indicator that trends stack up favorably for financial markets for the balance of 2015.

With the Standard & Poor’s 500 index almost flat thus far this year in price terms, up just 2.4%, consumer-discretionary stocks rose by 5.8%. Analysts indicate that the impact of lower fuel prices has yet to be felt substantially in consumer spending patterns.

The health-care sector of the S&P 500 is ahead 6.3% this year, the best of any sector. The Boston Globe forecasts health-care costs rising by 7% in 2015, driven partly by the astronomical cost of specialty drugs.

Older consumers, especially those on Medicare, should monitor their drug and supplemental plans carefully as insurers will alter contracts every year in an attempt to pass more costs on to policyholders. Just because a plan is touted by a senior citizens organization does not mean the plan is best for you based on your unique health care needs and drug formularies.

Last year, if you were broadly diversified, your portfolio underperformed relative to large capitalization U.S. stocks. This year’s returns underscore the value of diversification as markets shifted. What didn’t work last year came to the fore.

Global stocks, last year’s also-rans, came to life with Japan, France and Spain winners, all up by double digits in 2015. Many analysts worry about high valuations for U.S. equities and are finding valuations outside of America compelling. Message? This is not the time to abandon global asset allocations, despite 2014 underperformance when measured against U.S. large-cap indexes.

Worries about a strong U.S. dollar show up in price weakness for large multi-national companies and exporters. Last year, big-cap performers outgunned small-company stocks. This year, though, the Russell 2000 small-cap index has risen 2.4%, largely because the stronger dollar typically doesn’t affect smaller businesses, which are mainly focused on domestic consumption.

Technology has performed well, to say the least, in 2015. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index has climbed6% and last week even topped its old 15-year high. It has been a long slog from the dot-com bubble crash of 2000-2002, but technology is on a firmer footing now versus then. 

The decline in oil prices slightly reversed lately, with U.S. crude prices at $67 a barrel. The rig count in the U.S. is falling but turmoil in the Middle East with Saudi airstrikes on Yemen is keeping traders on edge. Kiplinger sees U.S. prices settling around 60 to $65 by August.

The Federal Reserve is likely to go slow with expected interest rate increases. Kiplinger forecasts benchmark 10-year Treasury rates around 2.5% at year-end, versus 2.1% lately. Safe-money investors still will have to stretch to find satisfactory yields, taking on more risk and perhaps, less liquidity.

Inflation should accelerate to 1.5% for 2015 versus 0.8% for 2014. An investor in a 25% average (not marginal) tax bracket seeking a real yield of 3% over inflation and taxation must achieve a gross yield of 6%. With the average five-year certificate of deposit rate at 0.88%, according to Bankrate.com, safe-money yields continue to erode future purchasing power.

Take that long-desired trip to Europe or Canada, where your greenback buys more. While there, don’t watch CNN or Google news on your Smartphone. A week or two without worry ... priceless.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Lewis Walker, CFP, is president of Walker Capital Management, LCC in Peachtree Corners, Ga. Securities and certain advisory services offered through The Strategic Financial Alliance Inc. (SFA). Lewis Walker is a registered representative of The SFA, which is otherwise unaffiliated with Walker Capital Management. 770-441-2603. lewisw@theinvestmentcoach.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Both the stock and bond markets remain volatile as investors climb the proverbial “wall of worry.” Don’t worry. While something horrible always could crop up, it’s better to focus on the strong underlying growth trend in the U.S. economy and the influence of easy money policies abroad.

The preliminary first-quarter gross domestic product report came in weak as expected, given the brutal weather in the eastern U.S. that restrained housing starts and consumer outlays. Kiplinger still expects the economy to show more life through the rest of the year, moving from a first quarter GDP increase of a tepid 0.2% to 3% for 2015 as a whole. Expected job gains and improvement in consumer incomes should propel purchases of homes, vehicles and other products and services.

The first quarter of 2015 ended amidst relief that the harsh winter weather in much of the country was over. Near where I live, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport’s International Terminal was packed recently with spring breakers and families headed south to Caribbean climes. Despite a year-over-year increase in domestic airfares of about 14%, demand for travel is up, indicating rising consumer confidence. That’s a good thumbnail indicator that trends stack up favorably for financial markets for the balance of 2015.

With the Standard & Poor’s 500 index almost flat thus far this year in price terms, up just 2.4%, consumer-discretionary stocks rose by 5.8%. Analysts indicate that the impact of lower fuel prices has yet to be felt substantially in consumer spending patterns.

The health-care sector of the S&P 500 is ahead 6.3% this year, the best of any sector. The Boston Globe forecasts health-care costs rising by 7% in 2015, driven partly by the astronomical cost of specialty drugs.

Older consumers, especially those on Medicare, should monitor their drug and supplemental plans carefully as insurers will alter contracts every year in an attempt to pass more costs on to policyholders. Just because a plan is touted by a senior citizens organization does not mean the plan is best for you based on your unique health care needs and drug formularies.

Last year, if you were broadly diversified, your portfolio underperformed relative to large capitalization U.S. stocks. This year’s returns underscore the value of diversification as markets shifted. What didn’t work last year came to the fore.

Global stocks, last year’s also-rans, came to life with Japan, France and Spain winners, all up by double digits in 2015. Many analysts worry about high valuations for U.S. equities and are finding valuations outside of America compelling. Message? This is not the time to abandon global asset allocations, despite 2014 underperformance when measured against U.S. large-cap indexes.

Worries about a strong U.S. dollar show up in price weakness for large multi-national companies and exporters. Last year, big-cap performers outgunned small-company stocks. This year, though, the Russell 2000 small-cap index has risen 2.4%, largely because the stronger dollar typically doesn’t affect smaller businesses, which are mainly focused on domestic consumption.

Technology has performed well, to say the least, in 2015. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index has climbed6% and last week even topped its old 15-year high. It has been a long slog from the dot-com bubble crash of 2000-2002, but technology is on a firmer footing now versus then. 

The decline in oil prices slightly reversed lately, with U.S. crude prices at $67 a barrel. The rig count in the U.S. is falling but turmoil in the Middle East with Saudi airstrikes on Yemen is keeping traders on edge. Kiplinger sees U.S. prices settling around 60 to $65 by August.

The Federal Reserve is likely to go slow with expected interest rate increases. Kiplinger forecasts benchmark 10-year Treasury rates around 2.5% at year-end, versus 2.1% lately. Safe-money investors still will have to stretch to find satisfactory yields, taking on more risk and perhaps, less liquidity.

Inflation should accelerate to 1.5% for 2015 versus 0.8% for 2014. An investor in a 25% average (not marginal) tax bracket seeking a real yield of 3% over inflation and taxation must achieve a gross yield of 6%. With the average five-year certificate of deposit rate at 0.88%, according to Bankrate.com, safe-money yields continue to erode future purchasing power.

Take that long-desired trip to Europe or Canada, where your greenback buys more. While there, don’t watch CNN or Google news on your Smartphone. A week or two without worry ... priceless.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Lewis Walker, CFP, is president of Walker Capital Management, LCC in Peachtree Corners, Ga. Securities and certain advisory services offered through The Strategic Financial Alliance Inc. (SFA). Lewis Walker is a registered representative of The SFA, which is otherwise unaffiliated with Walker Capital Management. 770-441-2603. lewisw@theinvestmentcoach.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Randall’s Garage Sale Days Wednesday and Thursday, May 6 – 7 followed by Treasure Day Saturday, May 9  http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/randalls-garage-sale-days-wednesday-and-thursday-may-6-7-followed-by-treasure-day-saturday-may-9/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/randalls-garage-sale-days-wednesday-and-thursday-may-6-7-followed-by-treasure-day-saturday-may-9/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 12:16:16 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=575189 By Tina Snell, Correspondent

Randall-Garage-Sale-daysIn the German tradition, the residents of Randall will be giving away their unwanted items Saturday, May 9, beginning at 8 a.m. If looking for used furniture, kitchen wares, toys, tools and more, come to Randall and cruise the streets. There are sure to be many items, free of charge, worth stopping for.

The event, in its third year, follows the citywide garage sale, held Wednesday and Thursday, May 6 – 7. Items not sold will be put on the street the following Saturday, free for the taking. The event promises treasures galore.

“When my wife, Sandy, and I were living in Germany, we furnished our first apartment during the twice annual event,” said Randall resident Danny Noss. The Noss’s are part of Vision Randall’s Quality of Life Committee which is the sponsor of the event.

About two dozen residents participate in the annual citywide garage sale, bringing bargain hunters to town. On the following Saturday, those people then offer what wasn’t sold to anyone who wants to haul the goods away. This event is as popular as the garage sale.

Items not taken during Treasure Day will be disposed of during the citywide clean up day to be held Saturday, May 16.

For visiting treasure hunters, maps showing garage sale locations will be available at Gosch’s Food Store, Bermel’s Shoe Store, Kim’s on Pacific Avenue, the Randall State Bank and at the Randall City Hall. The maps will also list the items available at each residence.

For more information, contact the Randall City Hall at (320) 749-2159.

 

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Controlled burns conducted by Camp Ripley http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/controlled-burns-conducted-by-camp-ripley/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/05/controlled-burns-conducted-by-camp-ripley/#comments Tue, 05 May 2015 10:26:16 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=575219 Controlled-burnsCamp Ripley’s Range Control has been conducting controlled burns in the training area of Camp Ripley.

“Residents of the Little Falls, Baxter and Brainerd areas may notice the smell of smoke emanating from Camp Ripley.  They may also witness increased rotary wing flights,” said Maj. John Donovan a spokesperson for Camp Ripley.

Camp Ripley conducts periodic controlled burns throughout the spring season to mitigate the risk of wildfires on the 53,000 acre military reservation.

In addition, many of the native grasses on Camp Ripley are fire dependent species.  The controlled burns eliminate old and dried grass allowing new shoots to spring forth according to an environmental spokesman for Camp Ripley.

For more information on the Minnesota National Guard or Camp Ripley, visit www.MinnesotaNationalGuard.org.

 

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Gaffke http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/04/gaffke/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/04/gaffke/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 22:06:45 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=575216 Gaffke

Weston Silas Gaffke was born to Rebecca and Lee Gaffke of Cushing on April 8, 2015 at 7:11 p.m. at Lakewood Health System in Staples. He weighed 9 pounds, 5 ounces and was 22.5 inches long.
Grandparents are Darrell and Bev Welle of Fort Ripley and Rick and Robin Gaffke of Randall.

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Iris Reynolds http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/04/iris-reynolds/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/04/iris-reynolds/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 22:06:18 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=575213 Iris   Reynolds

Iris Lorraine Reynolds, a resident of Onamia, died April 29, 2015, surrounded by friends and family. A Celebration Service will be held Saturday, May 16, at 11 a.m. at Lakeview Community Church, 25538 – 370th Avenue (County Road 8), Hillman. A luncheon will be served by the Lakeview Ladies Aid.
Iris Lorraine Reynolds was born Dec. 13, 1926, in Aitkin, to the late Lloyd and Hilda 'Zuelke' Hough. She grew up in Minnesota experiencing farm life and rural living with her sister Delores and brother Lyndon. Iris was united in marriage to Nels W. Reynolds, Feb. 9, 1947, at the Elim Baptist Church in Anoka,where they worshipped with family and friends. (The day before their marriage, the church burnt to the ground; regardless they married the next day and stayed married until death parted them.) The couple resided in Anoka, where Iris, besides being a caring mother of five, served in various waitressing and garden center positions. She has always worked among people and was especially gifted in helping individuals. In 1970, they moved to Hillman and once again enjoyed rural life, never-ending flower beds, and nature at its finest. Iris always took pleasure in watching the new year's growth pop up every spring and long walks through the woods. Many lifelong relationships were formed with the individuals met at Lakeview Community Church. Iris has been a resident of LakeSong Assisted Living and Onamia Nursing Home for the last six years of her life and enjoyed many trips through the fabulous Healing Garden. She will always hold dear the friendships gained throughout her life. After her passing, it was a delight to hear how many people she touched with her caring and thoughtful ways.
Iris is survived by sons Lyle Reynolds and wife Cindy of Isanti, Darrell Reynolds of Crescent City, Fla., Adrian Reynolds of Mt. Enterprise, Texas and Taye Reynolds of Hillman; daughter Bonnie Stanley and husband Curtis of Columbia Heights; sister, Delores Mead of Scottsdale, Ariz.; nine grandchildren; twenty great grandchildren; and twelve great-great grandchildren, and just as important, her dog Meggie.
Iris was preceded in death by her husband, grandson, brother, and extended family.

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Lawrence N. Ehrenberg http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/04/lawrence-n-ehrenberg/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/04/lawrence-n-ehrenberg/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 22:06:10 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=575210 Lawrence N.   Ehrenberg

Lawrence N. Ehrenberg, 92-year-old resident of Swanville, passed away Wednesday, April 29, 2015, at Diamond Willow Assisted Living in Little Falls. Funeral service were held 11:00 Monday, May 4, at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Swanville, with the Rev. Kevin Zellers Jr. officiating. Burial will take place in the St. Peter's Lutheran Cemetery in Swanville.
Lawrence was born April 30, 1922, in Swanville, to the late Carl and Martha (Ganz) Ehrenberg. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Swanville. Lawrence grew up in Swanville, where he attended Swanville School. He was united in marriage to Doreen M. Reinke, Sept. 12, 1941, at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Swanville. The couple farmed with Lawrence's parents until they purchased the farm in 1947. Lawrence dairy farmed and operated a chicken laying house until 1980 when they sold the farm. He also worked at the Long Prairie Sales Barn, and helped Steve Thieschafer every spring and fall with the discing and plowing. Lawrence also worked as a Mounted Patrol at the Minnesota State Fair for nine years. Lawrence was a member of St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Swanville, MN, Minnesota Draft Horse Association and was a former Swanville Lion member. He looked forward to family Christmas every year when he could see all his grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren which he so dearly loved and adored.
Lawrence is survived by sons, Dale (Pam) Ehrenberg of Burtrum, Vernon (Collette) Ehrenberg of Swanville and Lawrence (Joy) Ehrenberg Jr,. of Cedar; daughters, Phyllis (Les) Crawford of Bethel, Judy (Harvey) Johnson of Coon Rapids, Laureen (Rick) Braaten of Browerville and Renee (Jeff) Perowitz of Cambridge; 18 grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
Lawrence was preceded in death by wife, Doreen Ehrenberg; parents, Carl and Martha Ehrenberg; brothers, Frederick, Arthur and Walter Ehrenberg; and sister, Anna Schmidt.

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Gen Y: How Much to Invest? http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/04/gen-y-how-much-to-invest/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/04/gen-y-how-much-to-invest/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 19:30:03 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?guid=dedcba703b413807d72ff24e348ff462 Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000, aka Gen Y) drown in advice about investing for retirement and growing wealth to achieve financial goals. How much to scrape out of each paycheck to grow yourself a sufficient nest egg? Hard to pinpoint, but you can plan based on your goals and a few general rules.

First, investing now matters. Starting as soon as possible gives your money time to grow. Don’t put off investing because you think you can’t contribute enough to your accounts.

So you know the why and the when. What about how much? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer.

How much to save depends on your goals, what you’d like to accomplish in life and how you want your future to look. Think goals such as buying a home or traveling. Then estimate how much your goals will probably cost.

Break that big estimated number down into how much you need to save and invest each month to reach these goals.

What about longer-term investments and goals, such as retirement and financial independence? If you want to live a certain lifestyle in retirement, estimate how much that lifestyle will cost you per year. If you want to spend most of your time traveling, a year in retirement will cost you more than if you want to spend most of your time enjoying your home and going for walks around the neighborhood.

Envision your ideal retirement lifestyle, rough out your costs and expenses and create a mock yearly budget for yourself. Multiply that budget over a span of years (such as two to four decades) to get an idea of what you’ll need in your nest egg before you can retire. Work backward to determine how much to invest each month during your working career to meet that goal.

Start with these common rules – far from perfect measures of how much to invest now or what you need in your far-off retirement, they can get you in the ballpark.

Eight times your estimated ending salary: Let’s say you predict to end your full-time working career making $90,000 a year. Your nest egg target: around $720,000 saved for retirement when you stop working.

Some factors influence this amount, including how long you expect to live or how much you plan to spend in retirement. If you expect to want a more lavish lifestyle in retirement than while working, you want to save more.

Times 25: Figure your ideal annual total of expenses in retirement and multiply it by 25. Many people use the annual salary they expect to make by the end of their career.

4% rule: This shows you how much you can withdraw annually in retirement. Let’s say you retire with $800,000 in your portfolio. The 4% rule says that, in order to stay solvent through your golden years, you can withdraw no more than 4% of that $800,000 ($32,000) a year.

Invest in percentages: Because many of these numbers in investments and retirement revolve around your annual income – which may fluctuate a lot during your long career still to come – yearly percentages of that income make sensible investing benchmarks. In other words, don’t get caught up using fixed numbers year after year.

For instance, if you’re in your 20s, aim to save 10% to 20% of your income, whatever that annual number. Every time you receive a raise, increase that percentage. In your 30s, try to save and invest 20% to 30% of your yearly income.

Work to increase that number as you earn more or as you reduce expenses. Be patient and steady, and remember that you still enjoy the one thing you never earn more of: time.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Mary Beth Storjohann, CFP, is the founder of Workable Wealth, an RIA in San Diego. She is a writer, speaker and financial coach who is passionate about working with individuals and couples in their 20s and 30s to help them organize and gain confidence in their financial lives. She has been quoted or featured in various industry publications on the local and national level. You can find her on Twitter at @marybstorj.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Millennials (born between 1980 and 2000, aka Gen Y) drown in advice about investing for retirement and growing wealth to achieve financial goals. How much to scrape out of each paycheck to grow yourself a sufficient nest egg? Hard to pinpoint, but you can plan based on your goals and a few general rules.

First, investing now matters. Starting as soon as possible gives your money time to grow. Don’t put off investing because you think you can’t contribute enough to your accounts.

So you know the why and the when. What about how much? There’s no one-size-fits-all answer.

How much to save depends on your goals, what you’d like to accomplish in life and how you want your future to look. Think goals such as buying a home or traveling. Then estimate how much your goals will probably cost.

Break that big estimated number down into how much you need to save and invest each month to reach these goals.

What about longer-term investments and goals, such as retirement and financial independence? If you want to live a certain lifestyle in retirement, estimate how much that lifestyle will cost you per year. If you want to spend most of your time traveling, a year in retirement will cost you more than if you want to spend most of your time enjoying your home and going for walks around the neighborhood.

Envision your ideal retirement lifestyle, rough out your costs and expenses and create a mock yearly budget for yourself. Multiply that budget over a span of years (such as two to four decades) to get an idea of what you’ll need in your nest egg before you can retire. Work backward to determine how much to invest each month during your working career to meet that goal.

Start with these common rules – far from perfect measures of how much to invest now or what you need in your far-off retirement, they can get you in the ballpark.

Eight times your estimated ending salary: Let’s say you predict to end your full-time working career making $90,000 a year. Your nest egg target: around $720,000 saved for retirement when you stop working.

Some factors influence this amount, including how long you expect to live or how much you plan to spend in retirement. If you expect to want a more lavish lifestyle in retirement than while working, you want to save more.

Times 25: Figure your ideal annual total of expenses in retirement and multiply it by 25. Many people use the annual salary they expect to make by the end of their career.

4% rule: This shows you how much you can withdraw annually in retirement. Let’s say you retire with $800,000 in your portfolio. The 4% rule says that, in order to stay solvent through your golden years, you can withdraw no more than 4% of that $800,000 ($32,000) a year.

Invest in percentages: Because many of these numbers in investments and retirement revolve around your annual income – which may fluctuate a lot during your long career still to come – yearly percentages of that income make sensible investing benchmarks. In other words, don’t get caught up using fixed numbers year after year.

For instance, if you’re in your 20s, aim to save 10% to 20% of your income, whatever that annual number. Every time you receive a raise, increase that percentage. In your 30s, try to save and invest 20% to 30% of your yearly income.

Work to increase that number as you earn more or as you reduce expenses. Be patient and steady, and remember that you still enjoy the one thing you never earn more of: time.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Mary Beth Storjohann, CFP, is the founder of Workable Wealth, an RIA in San Diego. She is a writer, speaker and financial coach who is passionate about working with individuals and couples in their 20s and 30s to help them organize and gain confidence in their financial lives. She has been quoted or featured in various industry publications on the local and national level. You can find her on Twitter at @marybstorj.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Rita Irene Stewart http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/04/rita-irene-stewart/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/04/rita-irene-stewart/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 18:09:18 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=575203 Rita   Irene  Stewart

Mass of Christian Burial celebrating the life of Rita I. Stewart, age 90, of Bowlus, will be at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at St. Edward's Catholic Church in Elmdale. Father John Odero will officiate and burial will take place in the parish cemetery. There will be a visitation from 4-8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 and again after 10 a.m. until the time of service all at the church in Elmdale. Arrangements are being made with the Miller-Carlin Funeral Home of Upsala.
Rita was born on June 8, 1924 to Stanley and Cecelia (Kedrowski) Bartkowicz in Swan River Township. She grew up with seven siblings and attended the local school. On Oct. 28, 1946 Rita married Joseph Stewart at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Sobieski. She enjoyed working outdoors and loved fresh flowers and planting in her gardens. A soap opera fan, Rita also had a passion for reading. She loved her family above all else. Rita was a woman with deep Catholic faith and was devoted to praying her rosary daily. She was an active member of St. Edward's Catholic Church, the Rosary Sodality, and the Funeral Group.
Rita is survived by her children Jerome Stewart (Carolyn Bennet) of St. Paul Park, John (Judy) Stewart of Sartell, Ron (Nancy) Stewart of Elmdale, Beverly (Dale) Molitor of Doss, MO; her brothers and sisters Laura Jarnot of Holdingford, Richard Bartkowicz of Swanville, Donald (Bernadine) Bartkowicz of Bowlus, Ernie (Jeanette) Bartkowitz of Little Falls; six grandchildren Nicole, Josh, Abria, Rebecca, Dustin and Aaron; six great-grandchildren Olivia, Sam, Jake, Joslynn, Jackson and Rowan; as well as other family and friends.
She is preceded by her parents Stanley and Cecelia; husband Joe in 1992; sisters Esther Lashinski, Gertrude Milbert, Elsie Maciej; and grandson Cody Molitor.

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Do You Invest or Speculate? http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/04/do-you-invest-or-speculate/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/04/do-you-invest-or-speculate/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 16:30:03 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?guid=31dacf5d13d715423d956ffe3c1e58bb Can you beat the market? Everyone with money to invest for whatever reason needs to ask this question. Your answer helps you decide what types of investments and investment advisors you want to use.

If you believe you can outsmart Wall Street, what besides your gut tells you so? Few professional managers ever beat the market. Data show that passive investing – meaning to put money in a market index fund and then largely forget it – historically outperforms active investing, where you are dodging in and out of various holdings.

If you always try to beat the market, you’re a speculator. That’s not evil. It’s just that many speculators wish they’d simply invested, especially when they look at their paltry returns after several years.

Consider investing icon Warren Buffett, who remains solidly ahead in his decade-long bet with New York-based asset manager Protégé Partners. Buffett invested in the Vanguard 500 Index Admiral Shares (VFIAX), a low-priced index fund that simply tracks the Standard & Poor’s 500. Protégé chose an actively managed hedge fund.

(Buffett, who did amass much of his fortune by periodically weeding out bum bets, in more recent years maintained that the best holding time for stocks is “forever.”)

Timing the market means, beyond unearthly amounts of luck, plain hard work. Can you spend chunks of time examining investment options? Got an extra four to ten hours a week?

If yes, then being a speculator might be OK for you. If no, think about being an investor and ride a market that’s climbed steadily overall for more than century.

Among your other key questions:

Work with an advisor or make your own decisions? If you see yourself as an investor, an advisor is a logical person for you to work with, a professional to help you choose long-term investments that have a track record consistent with achieving your goals.

Your advisor can also help you stay the course when your portfolio goes south and not get too excited when the market does well. You can’t put a price on such a guide: A few years back, investors who stayed the course with stocks in their 401(k)s came out far ahead even after the financial crisis of 2008-2009.

Men are slightly more inclined than women to tackle investing without an advisor, according to a recent Bankrate survey.

How long before you’ll need your investment cash? You might think you have no choice but speculate: Your timeframe is short and your savings painfully inadequate.

Wrong. Here, you need to think about where to get and how to protect cash, not how much of your money goes into stocks or bonds.

Investing generally doesn’t work to fund short-term needs. It’s even worse at funding emergency ones.

What do you believe? How you invest always comes down to your own belief system. If you really believe you can beat the market and you’re willing to devote time to the adequate research, you might just develop a rare skill – not to mention get very rich.

If instead you believe that markets are truly hard to forecast and want to use a low-cost solution that gives you a good chance to approximate the market, being an investor might be your better choice.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Josh Patrick is a founding principal of Stage 2 Planning Partners in South Burlington, Vt. He contributes to the NY Times You’re the Boss blog and works with owners of privately held businesses helping them create business and personal value. You can learn more about his Objective Review process at his website.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Can you beat the market? Everyone with money to invest for whatever reason needs to ask this question. Your answer helps you decide what types of investments and investment advisors you want to use.

If you believe you can outsmart Wall Street, what besides your gut tells you so? Few professional managers ever beat the market. Data show that passive investing – meaning to put money in a market index fund and then largely forget it – historically outperforms active investing, where you are dodging in and out of various holdings.

If you always try to beat the market, you’re a speculator. That’s not evil. It’s just that many speculators wish they’d simply invested, especially when they look at their paltry returns after several years.

Consider investing icon Warren Buffett, who remains solidly ahead in his decade-long bet with New York-based asset manager Protégé Partners. Buffett invested in the Vanguard 500 Index Admiral Shares (VFIAX), a low-priced index fund that simply tracks the Standard & Poor’s 500. Protégé chose an actively managed hedge fund.

(Buffett, who did amass much of his fortune by periodically weeding out bum bets, in more recent years maintained that the best holding time for stocks is “forever.”)

Timing the market means, beyond unearthly amounts of luck, plain hard work. Can you spend chunks of time examining investment options? Got an extra four to ten hours a week?

If yes, then being a speculator might be OK for you. If no, think about being an investor and ride a market that’s climbed steadily overall for more than century.

Among your other key questions:

Work with an advisor or make your own decisions? If you see yourself as an investor, an advisor is a logical person for you to work with, a professional to help you choose long-term investments that have a track record consistent with achieving your goals.

Your advisor can also help you stay the course when your portfolio goes south and not get too excited when the market does well. You can’t put a price on such a guide: A few years back, investors who stayed the course with stocks in their 401(k)s came out far ahead even after the financial crisis of 2008-2009.

Men are slightly more inclined than women to tackle investing without an advisor, according to a recent Bankrate survey.

How long before you’ll need your investment cash? You might think you have no choice but speculate: Your timeframe is short and your savings painfully inadequate.

Wrong. Here, you need to think about where to get and how to protect cash, not how much of your money goes into stocks or bonds.

Investing generally doesn’t work to fund short-term needs. It’s even worse at funding emergency ones.

What do you believe? How you invest always comes down to your own belief system. If you really believe you can beat the market and you’re willing to devote time to the adequate research, you might just develop a rare skill – not to mention get very rich.

If instead you believe that markets are truly hard to forecast and want to use a low-cost solution that gives you a good chance to approximate the market, being an investor might be your better choice.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Josh Patrick is a founding principal of Stage 2 Planning Partners in South Burlington, Vt. He contributes to the NY Times You’re the Boss blog and works with owners of privately held businesses helping them create business and personal value. You can learn more about his Objective Review process at his website.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Why Are Stocks Less Popular? http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/04/why-are-stocks-less-popular/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/04/why-are-stocks-less-popular/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 13:30:04 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?guid=4a13f187a740f6d44463e4d8ebd0bc47 Why do fewer people own stocks nowadays? Part of the answer is the bad karma of two horrible bear markets, and part of it is generational. Still, there is hope that this situation will turn around.

Just 13.8% of U.S. households directly owned stocks in 2013, according to a Federal Reserve study. This is the lowest level in 18 years. From 2007 through February 2015, individual investors have withdrawn $661 billion from U.S. equity funds including both mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.
 
Below is a graph of Standard & Poor’s 500 index declines from all-time highs since 1926.


 Macintosh HD:Users:lawrencelight:Desktop:unnamed.jpg

While no other period compares to the dark stretch from 1929 to 1954 on the chart above, the two significant drawdowns between 2000 (the start of the dot-com crash) and 2013 (the end of the housing bust) likely put a huge damper on investor enthusiasm for stock investing.
 
At a recent investor meeting, one attendee asked us: “If you don’t want to own stocks, what should an investor own?” Clearly, many individual investors have been asking this question, as their interest in U.S. stocks dwindled.

Other than stocks, the three major asset class alternatives are cash, bonds and real estate. None measures up to equities as an engine of long-term growth.

Cash is a loser relative to inflation. Many bonds currently offer no real rate of return: Their interest rates are so low that even today’s minimal increase in the Consumer Price Index (1.8% for the 12 months ending in March, not counting food and energy) is higher. Real estate has historically appreciated at about the rate of inflation and has low liquidity, meaning it is not easy to sell, and high transaction costs.
 
We see low interest in stocks as essentially bullish. A lack of investor interest is not characteristic of investment bubbles and irrational exuberance. Stocks climb walls of worry.
 
The long-term average real return in the stock market since 1926 is roughly 7%, well ahead of all major asset classes. A New York University study finds that 93% of the wealthiest one-tenth of Americans owns stocks, and this group holds 81% of all stock outstanding. Perhaps part of the reason the rich keep getting richer is their equity interest in the productive resources of America.
 
But convincing non-stock investors to buy equities is tough. Age demographics are a factor, as people’s tolerance for stocks relates to what was happening in the market when they were 18.

When we meet with local groups of the American Association of Independent Investors, the attendees are almost universally 60 years old or older. We see very few 40 to 50 year olds and no 20 to 40 year olds. The 60-plus bunch was 18 during the 1960s market’s go-go years.
 
Political scientists and statisticians from Columbia University estimate that events at age 18 are about three times more powerful in terms of influencing your thinking and preferences as events at age 40. That is as true of investing as it is of politics, the primary focus of the study.


 Macintosh HD:Users:lawrencelight:Desktop:unnamed-1.jpg

Generations of investors who were active investors during the 1982-2000 bull run are now 50 years old or older. Back then, they were young and the strong growth of the market left a stock-centric imprint on their investment approach. The generation that reached young adulthood from 2000 through 2012 – when the Standard & Poor’s 500 had zero appreciation, thanks to the twin market crashes – are generally missing in action when it comes to stock investing.

This resembles what happened to active investors during the 1929-1933 span, which saw an 80% market collapse and the Great Depression. Many of these investors became hyper-conservative and shunned stocks. Unfortunately, their emotional inability to resume stock investing meant they missed a roughly 1,500% advance from the 1933 low to the early 1970s.

Macintosh HD:Users:lawrencelight:Desktop:unnamed-2.jpg

Some believe these younger generation investors just need a more technologically advanced user interface to take an interest in investing. That’s doubtful. Snazzy investing apps likely can’t overcome the legacy of stocks’ poor performance during the millennials’ most formative years.

On the other hand, having generations of young Americans not invested in stocks may end up helping equity valuations. Their money is going somewhere. In California, where we live, young people have a high willingness to invest in starting their own new-economy businesses.

Patent applications dropped to a low of 75,060 in 2010 from a pre-crisis peak of 155,802 in 2007. But by 2011 (the last year we have data), applications rebounded to 106,711. Patents are positively correlated with wealth creation.
 
That spills over to benefit many economic sectors. Measured by patent applications, the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro area in California is far and away the country’s largest center for innovation; the San Francisco-Oakland area is next. 

One beneficiary is real estate. The region ranging from San Jose through San Francisco is now the most expensive place to live in the United States, with the highest home prices and the highest levels of income.

And sure enough, technological innovation boosts stock prices. New growth companies go public and help lift the broad market to new highs (Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tesla, etc.).
 
At some point, millennials probably will get in on the stock market. Then many more people will reap the bounty of our economy’s single biggest wealth creator.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Nicholas Atkeson and Andrew Houghton are the founding partners of Delta Investment Management, a registered investment advisory firm in San Francisco, and authors of the new book, Win by Not Losing: A Disciplined Approach To Building And Protecting Your Wealth In The Stock Market By Managing Your RiskAdditional market commentary and investment advice is available via their websites at www.deltaim.com and www.deltawealthaccelerator.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

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Why do fewer people own stocks nowadays? Part of the answer is the bad karma of two horrible bear markets, and part of it is generational. Still, there is hope that this situation will turn around.

Just 13.8% of U.S. households directly owned stocks in 2013, according to a Federal Reserve study. This is the lowest level in 18 years. From 2007 through February 2015, individual investors have withdrawn $661 billion from U.S. equity funds including both mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.
 
Below is a graph of Standard & Poor’s 500 index declines from all-time highs since 1926.


 Macintosh HD:Users:lawrencelight:Desktop:unnamed.jpg

While no other period compares to the dark stretch from 1929 to 1954 on the chart above, the two significant drawdowns between 2000 (the start of the dot-com crash) and 2013 (the end of the housing bust) likely put a huge damper on investor enthusiasm for stock investing.
 
At a recent investor meeting, one attendee asked us: “If you don’t want to own stocks, what should an investor own?” Clearly, many individual investors have been asking this question, as their interest in U.S. stocks dwindled.

Other than stocks, the three major asset class alternatives are cash, bonds and real estate. None measures up to equities as an engine of long-term growth.

Cash is a loser relative to inflation. Many bonds currently offer no real rate of return: Their interest rates are so low that even today’s minimal increase in the Consumer Price Index (1.8% for the 12 months ending in March, not counting food and energy) is higher. Real estate has historically appreciated at about the rate of inflation and has low liquidity, meaning it is not easy to sell, and high transaction costs.
 
We see low interest in stocks as essentially bullish. A lack of investor interest is not characteristic of investment bubbles and irrational exuberance. Stocks climb walls of worry.
 
The long-term average real return in the stock market since 1926 is roughly 7%, well ahead of all major asset classes. A New York University study finds that 93% of the wealthiest one-tenth of Americans owns stocks, and this group holds 81% of all stock outstanding. Perhaps part of the reason the rich keep getting richer is their equity interest in the productive resources of America.
 
But convincing non-stock investors to buy equities is tough. Age demographics are a factor, as people’s tolerance for stocks relates to what was happening in the market when they were 18.

When we meet with local groups of the American Association of Independent Investors, the attendees are almost universally 60 years old or older. We see very few 40 to 50 year olds and no 20 to 40 year olds. The 60-plus bunch was 18 during the 1960s market’s go-go years.
 
Political scientists and statisticians from Columbia University estimate that events at age 18 are about three times more powerful in terms of influencing your thinking and preferences as events at age 40. That is as true of investing as it is of politics, the primary focus of the study.


 Macintosh HD:Users:lawrencelight:Desktop:unnamed-1.jpg

Generations of investors who were active investors during the 1982-2000 bull run are now 50 years old or older. Back then, they were young and the strong growth of the market left a stock-centric imprint on their investment approach. The generation that reached young adulthood from 2000 through 2012 – when the Standard & Poor’s 500 had zero appreciation, thanks to the twin market crashes – are generally missing in action when it comes to stock investing.

This resembles what happened to active investors during the 1929-1933 span, which saw an 80% market collapse and the Great Depression. Many of these investors became hyper-conservative and shunned stocks. Unfortunately, their emotional inability to resume stock investing meant they missed a roughly 1,500% advance from the 1933 low to the early 1970s.

Macintosh HD:Users:lawrencelight:Desktop:unnamed-2.jpg

Some believe these younger generation investors just need a more technologically advanced user interface to take an interest in investing. That’s doubtful. Snazzy investing apps likely can’t overcome the legacy of stocks’ poor performance during the millennials’ most formative years.

On the other hand, having generations of young Americans not invested in stocks may end up helping equity valuations. Their money is going somewhere. In California, where we live, young people have a high willingness to invest in starting their own new-economy businesses.

Patent applications dropped to a low of 75,060 in 2010 from a pre-crisis peak of 155,802 in 2007. But by 2011 (the last year we have data), applications rebounded to 106,711. Patents are positively correlated with wealth creation.
 
That spills over to benefit many economic sectors. Measured by patent applications, the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metro area in California is far and away the country’s largest center for innovation; the San Francisco-Oakland area is next. 

One beneficiary is real estate. The region ranging from San Jose through San Francisco is now the most expensive place to live in the United States, with the highest home prices and the highest levels of income.

And sure enough, technological innovation boosts stock prices. New growth companies go public and help lift the broad market to new highs (Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tesla, etc.).
 
At some point, millennials probably will get in on the stock market. Then many more people will reap the bounty of our economy’s single biggest wealth creator.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Nicholas Atkeson and Andrew Houghton are the founding partners of Delta Investment Management, a registered investment advisory firm in San Francisco, and authors of the new book, Win by Not Losing: A Disciplined Approach To Building And Protecting Your Wealth In The Stock Market By Managing Your RiskAdditional market commentary and investment advice is available via their websites at www.deltaim.com and www.deltawealthaccelerator.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 

]]>
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Spring truck weight restrictions end May 7-8 for Central, North-Central and North frost zones http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/04/spring-truck-weight-restrictions-end-may-7-8-for-central-north-central-and-north-frost-zones/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/04/spring-truck-weight-restrictions-end-may-7-8-for-central-north-central-and-north-frost-zones/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 12:35:34 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=575185 Spring truck weight restrictions on state highways will end Thursday, May 7, for Minnesota’s Central frost zone, and on Friday, May 8, for the North-Central and North frost zones, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Spring load restrictions ended April 22 in the South, Southeast and Metro frost zones.

Ending dates for spring load restrictions vary and are established by monitoring roadway strength as weather conditions change.

Frost zones

  • The Central frost zone extends south from the southern limit of the North-Central Zone (US 10 – Highway 210 – Highway 18 – Interstate 35 – Highway 48 – Wisconsin state line) to a line following and including US 12 from the South Dakota state line to the Hennepin county line. 
  • The North frost zone extends south from the Canadian border to a line following and including Highway 1 at the North Dakota state line east to Highway 89, Highway 89 south to US 2, US 2 east to Highway 33, Highway 33 south through Cloquet to I-35, I-35 north to the Carlton/St. Louis county line, and then south on that line to the Wisconsin state line.
  • The North-Central frost zone extends south from the southern limit of the North Zone (Highway 1 – Highway 89 – US 2 – Highway 33 – I-35 – Carlton/St. Louis county line – Wisconsin state line) to a line following and including US 10 from the North Dakota state line east to Motley, Highway 210 east to Brainerd, Highway 18 east to I-35, I-35 south to Highway 48, and then Highway 48 east to the Wisconsin state line.

Road restriction maps showing the locations of weight-restricted routes and state highways open to maximum 10-ton axle weights are listed at www.dot.state.mn.us/materials. Click on “Seasonal Load Limits,” and then “Spring Load Restrictions” for the most up-to-date information.

The information is also available by calling MnDOT’s 24-hour automated message center at 1-800-723-6543 in the United States and Canada or by calling 651-366-5400.

Middle-range overweight permits become available within each frost zone when spring load restrictions are lifted. Full-summer overweight permits become available within each frost zone starting two to three weeks after spring load restrictions are lifted.

Travelers in Minnesota can get up-to-date information on road conditions, construction and weather reports by dialing 511 or visiting www.511mn.org.

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City of Royalton and RHS partner for upcoming ‘Green Fair’ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/04/city-of-royalton-and-rhs-partner-for-upcoming-green-fair/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/05/04/city-of-royalton-and-rhs-partner-for-upcoming-green-fair/#comments Mon, 04 May 2015 12:08:50 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=575011 By Jennie Zeitler, Correspondent

A number of the Royalton YES Club members were able to attend a greenhouse worship at the College of St. Benedict this past winter. Pictured are front row (from left): Brandi Kloss, Lanae Sieben, Laura Huls, Alli Moga, Molly Presler and Meagan Moga. Back row: David Wimmer, Michael Petron, Brooke Tschida, Jordan Malikowski, Hannah Cimenski, Levi Popp, Emily Prokott, Jenna Carlson, Olivia McClintock, Alyssa Johnson, Janeille Schaubhut, Randale Fernelius, Ali Tresco, YES coordinator Winston, a St. Ben’s student and YES coordinator Jonathan.

A number of the Royalton YES Club members were able to attend a greenhouse worship at the College of St. Benedict this past winter. Pictured are front row (from left): Brandi Kloss, Lanae Sieben, Laura Huls, Alli Moga, Molly Presler and Meagan Moga. Back row: David Wimmer, Michael Petron, Brooke Tschida, Jordan Malikowski, Hannah Cimenski, Levi Popp, Emily Prokott, Jenna Carlson, Olivia McClintock, Alyssa Johnson, Janeille Schaubhut, Randale Fernelius, Ali Tresco, YES coordinator Winston, a St. Ben’s student and YES coordinator Jonathan.

The city of Royalton and Royalton High School have been participating in a pilot program through Minnesota Power, the Community Energy Challenge. As part of this program, the two organizations will be combining forces to host a first-ever Green Fair at Royalton Middle School/High School, Thursday, May 14, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Community members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

“The Green Fair will celebrate the work of the community,” said Mayor Andrea Lauer. “Minnesota Power will be there to present the checks to the school and the city.”

The Community Energy Challenge brought together students, the city, nonprofits, businesses and residents by participating in a Home Energy Analysis, recycling used refrigerators and by purchasing CFL bulbs, LED bulbs or LED holiday lights. Money earned through the program by students will be used for field trips and money earned by the community will be used to purchase LED holiday decorations, Lauer said.

The Youth Energy Summit (YES) club is cohosting the event with the city and will showcase their projects: high-mileage car, solar boat, hydration stations at the school and much more.  
 
Helen McLennan from Morrison County Soil and Water Conservation will share about the work being done on the Platte River. A representative from SPROUT, the local food hub, will be there.  Doug and Jane Popp will give information about their farm’s solar and wind production. The city’s Tree Board, Planning and Zoning committee and the Parks and Trails committee will also be there.

The Green Fair is part of the first-ever Green Week at the middle school/high school. Activities are being conducted by the Youth Energy Summit (YES) group, coordinated by planners Alli Moga and Janeille Schaubhut. Monday through Thursday of Green Week, May 11-15, will each have a color theme based on a type of recycling or conservation.

“Monday, students are encouraged to wear black to represent battery and oil recycling,” Schaubhut said. “Tuesday is blue for water conservation and our hydration stations; Wednesday is green to represent being friends of the forest for trees and our greenhouse project and Thursday is yellow for solar power.”

Following lunch each day, students can go into the gym for Green Week activities. Monday’s activities include guessing the number of batteries in a jar and playing in a milk carton shoot-off.

During homeroom time all week, each class will be creating sculptures from recyclables. Those attending the Green Fair will have the chance to vote for the sculptures and two winners will be announced at the fair.

“We want to educate students,” Schaubhut said. “It would be amazing if they could take home any part of what they learn and use it there.”

The week will be capped off with several YES teams travelling to Eden Prairie to compete in the annual solar boat competition.

“Any time the school and the community can partner together on something like the Green Fair, it’s a big opportunity for the school,” said Middle School/High School Joel Swenson. “We want to share with community members the good things that are happening in our school and to have community members be a part of what is happening at their school. I am really excited about what our students are doing in this area.”

“Through this event we hope our community has a chance to take a look at all of the exciting ‘green’ initiatives that are taking place in our district,” said Tech Ed instructor and YES Club adviser Marty Bratsch. “The students at our school are incredible with the projects they have completed with the support of our administration, school board and mayor. Our school district should continue to be a leader when it comes to environmental conservation.”

“Encourage family and friends to come to the Green Fair,” Lauer said. “There will be lots to learn and games for everyone.”

For more information, call City Hall at (320) 584-5900.

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