The Morrison County Record http://mcrecord.com Covering community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for the Morrison County, Minnesota. Thu, 27 Aug 2015 21:14:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sheriff’s dive team training under Broadway bridge in Little Falls today http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/27/sheriffs-dive-team-training-under-broadway-bridge-in-little-falls-today/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/27/sheriffs-dive-team-training-under-broadway-bridge-in-little-falls-today/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:50:51 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=580807 Residents and drivers will see a number of Morrison County deputies around the Broadway bridge in Little Falls this afternoon, Thursday, Aug. 27.

The Sheriff’s Dive Team is working on training exercises— so residents and drivers need not be alarmed.

Sheriff Shawn Larsen said the training would last about three hours this afternoon.

  ]]> http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/27/sheriffs-dive-team-training-under-broadway-bridge-in-little-falls-today/feed/ 0 Noah’s Ark trip provides awesome experiences for Faith Lutheran group http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/27/noahs-ark-trip-provides-awesome-experiences-for-faith-lutheran-group/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/27/noahs-ark-trip-provides-awesome-experiences-for-faith-lutheran-group/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:15:47 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=580804 By Jennie Zeitler, Correspondent

Most of the participants of Faith Lutheran’s recent youth trip to Noah’s Ark in Colorado agreed that whitewater rafting was the best activity of the trip. Pictured while rafting are front row (from left): Zackary Leibold, Haakon Bjorge, Katie Card and Tammie Leibold. Back row: Pastor Nate Bjorge, guide/ Maddie and Nolan Bjorge.
Most of the participants of Faith Lutheran’s recent youth trip to Noah’s Ark in Colorado agreed that whitewater rafting was the best activity of the trip. Pictured while rafting are front row (from left): Zackary Leibold, Haakon Bjorge, Katie Card and Tammie Leibold. Back row: Pastor Nate Bjorge, guide/ Maddie and Nolan Bjorge.

A group of middle school and high school youths and adults from Faith Lutheran Church in Little Falls travelled to Noah’s Ark non-denominational Christian camp near Buena Vista, Colorado in July for a week of adventure and new experiences. Nearly everyone agreed that the whitewater rafting was the best activity they did.

“The whitewater rafting was probably my favorite,” said Amber Bieniek. “All the rapids were fun and we had a good group.”

It wasn’t just the youth who enjoyed it. “I liked the whitewater rafting the best because it was more of a group setting,” said Trevor Skeesick. “The other activities were more individual.”

While at Noah’s Ark, the group also experienced hiking to a mountain peak, rock climbing and rappelling.

Ann Pugh was not feeling well the morning that the group was preparing to rappel, but her friends encouraged her to go. “It was really fun – I’m glad I did it,” she said.

Tucker Olson like rappelling best when he was able to “conquer my fears by taking that first step off the cliff,” he said. But the most meaningful part of the trip to him was the guides.

“They were really good – they prayed with us while we were whitewater rafting and talked with us at meals and told us their faith story,” he said.

Pastor Nate Bjorge has been to Noah’s Ark a dozen times or more. “I keep bringing groups out there because it offers an awesome opportunity to experience God’s creation in a Christian setting,” he said. “The camp only hires guides who are solid in their Christian faith. The guides assigned to us serve as great Christian witnesses to our group.”

“The one thing that really hit home with me was hearing about the guides’ faith walks and their journeys in life,” Skeesick said. “Seeing how that resonated with the kids was an eye-opener for me – I didn’t anticipate that.”

“This trip really offers a great opportunity for our campers to grow in our faith and to develop close relationships as we spend the week together at the campsite and encouraging one another in all of our activities,” said Bjorge.

“The guides shared how doing those activities in such a beautiful place kept them close to God,” said Skeesick. “They could recharge their faith before going back to school. Our guide said that doing what he loves and sharing his faith journey with like-minded people is the best of both worlds.” ]]> http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/27/noahs-ark-trip-provides-awesome-experiences-for-faith-lutheran-group/feed/ 0 Bequeathing 401(k)s, IRAs http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/27/bequeathing-401ks-iras/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/27/bequeathing-401ks-iras/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 16:00:04 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?guid=8fd73c00f4012f5fad7650a333552466 Think your estate plan is good to go right after you die, setting your heirs up for life? Depends: Many assets in your plan, such as your 401(k) and individual retirement accounts, must designate beneficiaries for any inheritance. Rules for specifying such heirs can be tricky and here are 11 common mistakes.

1. No one named. Perhaps your worst possible mistake is assuming that your other estate documents cover retirement account distribution and you name no beneficiaries for these assets. In such a case, a state probate court appoints beneficiaries – which might produce unintended distributions as well as unnecessary legal costs.

2. Your estate or last will and testament as beneficiary. Regardless of how well drafted your will, naming that document or your estate equates to not naming a beneficiary. When your retirement account goes through the estate, it also becomes subject to creditors’ claims.

3. Minors. Laws prohibit children younger than 18 or 21, depending on your state, from owning property of any kind in their own name. IRA and 401(k) custodians who oversee your accounts are similarly prohibited from dealing with minors.

Naming a minor creates two potential problems. First, the court must appoint a guardian to handle the retirement accounts until the child reaches legal age, again potentially with unintended distributions and unnecessary legal costs.

Second, the minor beneficiary obtains outright ownership of the retirement account when he or she reaches the age of majority. Though for small accounts this may be insignificant, if you accumulated a healthy six- or seven-figure nest egg in your plan, making these funds immediately available to a child at age 18 without constraints can spark a lot of problems for that that young person.

4. College age. A child who has reached the age of majority can legally inherit an IRA. Yet the early 20s can likewise be dangerous time to receive a whopping inheritance.

That heirs typically blow an inheritance within 18 months – sometimes picking up a host of other serious behavior problems along the way – motivates many parents to use a trust to distribute large inheritances over time to young adults.

5. Former spouse. Let’s say you’re a woman who set up a retirement plan 25 years ago and named your then-husband beneficiary. Without a change, your quarter century of savings now goes to your ex-husband no matter what your new will says.

6. No contingent. Suppose a husband and wife name each other as primary beneficiary when opening a retirement account but never name contingent beneficiaries. If both spouses die simultaneously, the Uniform Simultaneous Death Act decrees that the beneficiary is the spouse who died first.

Without a living primary or any contingent beneficiaries, this again becomes the equivalent of naming no beneficiaries.

7. Special needs individual. Leaving IRA assets to a special needs family member or friend who already receives needs-based government benefits might cause the individual to lose these benefits.

A better approach: Create a special needs trust (aka a supplemental needs trust) and name that trust as beneficiary. The trust assets can then supplement, rather than eliminate, government benefits.

8. Not naming a trust. A 2014 Supreme Court ruling found that inherited IRAs, unlike IRAs that you establish and fund on your own, are not protected from creditors in bankruptcy. A properly drafted trust as a beneficiary can work if you hold large IRA balances and you worry about protecting your inheritors’ new assets.

9. A generic trust. A look-through, or see-through, trust is named the beneficiary of a retirement account, which then go to the trust’s beneficiaries. A beneficiary trust that fails to qualify as a look-through trust meeting four criteria in the Internal Revenue Code creates several possible problems.

For example, trusts may fail to qualify as look-through if the oldest beneficiary of the trust is unidentifiable; boilerplate trust language provides power of appointment to the beneficiary to distribute assets to third parties, or the trust names a charity as one of the beneficiaries.

If not qualifying for look-through treatment, the trust faces the same distribution schedule as if you name no beneficiary.

10. A charity as beneficiary for a Roth account. When you contribute to a Roth account or convert assets in a traditional IRA or 401(k) to a Roth account, you essentially pay taxes on your income today to avoid taxes in the future. Leaving Roth assets to a 501(c)3 charity or nonprofit that pays no taxes gets you no future tax break.

The better solution in this case is to leave other assets to the intended charities or not convert or contribute to the Roth in the first place.

11. Elderly parents. If you have no children, you might be tempted to name your parents as primary beneficiaries and your siblings as contingents. The problem: The Internal Revenue Service bases required minimum distributions (RMDs) – mandating periodic withdrawals from a retirement plan – on the age of the initial beneficiary.

Naming your 90-year-old parent (or any elderly person) as primary beneficiary destroys most tax benefits of the retirement account because the IRS forces RMDs over less time: the older the beneficiary, the shorter the period.

Review your designations regularly and check with your financial planner or estate attorney to decide on any needed changes.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Jason Lina, CFA, CFP is Lead Advisor at Resource Planning Group Ltd. in Atlanta. Website: www.rpgplanner.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.

 

]]> Think your estate plan is good to go right after you die, setting your heirs up for life? Depends: Many assets in your plan, such as your 401(k) and individual retirement accounts, must designate beneficiaries for any inheritance. Rules for specifying such heirs can be tricky and here are 11 common mistakes.

1. No one named. Perhaps your worst possible mistake is assuming that your other estate documents cover retirement account distribution and you name no beneficiaries for these assets. In such a case, a state probate court appoints beneficiaries – which might produce unintended distributions as well as unnecessary legal costs.

2. Your estate or last will and testament as beneficiary. Regardless of how well drafted your will, naming that document or your estate equates to not naming a beneficiary. When your retirement account goes through the estate, it also becomes subject to creditors’ claims.

3. Minors. Laws prohibit children younger than 18 or 21, depending on your state, from owning property of any kind in their own name. IRA and 401(k) custodians who oversee your accounts are similarly prohibited from dealing with minors.

Naming a minor creates two potential problems. First, the court must appoint a guardian to handle the retirement accounts until the child reaches legal age, again potentially with unintended distributions and unnecessary legal costs.

Second, the minor beneficiary obtains outright ownership of the retirement account when he or she reaches the age of majority. Though for small accounts this may be insignificant, if you accumulated a healthy six- or seven-figure nest egg in your plan, making these funds immediately available to a child at age 18 without constraints can spark a lot of problems for that that young person.

4. College age. A child who has reached the age of majority can legally inherit an IRA. Yet the early 20s can likewise be dangerous time to receive a whopping inheritance.

That heirs typically blow an inheritance within 18 months – sometimes picking up a host of other serious behavior problems along the way – motivates many parents to use a trust to distribute large inheritances over time to young adults.

5. Former spouse. Let’s say you’re a woman who set up a retirement plan 25 years ago and named your then-husband beneficiary. Without a change, your quarter century of savings now goes to your ex-husband no matter what your new will says.

6. No contingent. Suppose a husband and wife name each other as primary beneficiary when opening a retirement account but never name contingent beneficiaries. If both spouses die simultaneously, the Uniform Simultaneous Death Act decrees that the beneficiary is the spouse who died first.

Without a living primary or any contingent beneficiaries, this again becomes the equivalent of naming no beneficiaries.

7. Special needs individual. Leaving IRA assets to a special needs family member or friend who already receives needs-based government benefits might cause the individual to lose these benefits.

A better approach: Create a special needs trust (aka a supplemental needs trust) and name that trust as beneficiary. The trust assets can then supplement, rather than eliminate, government benefits.

8. Not naming a trust. A 2014 Supreme Court ruling found that inherited IRAs, unlike IRAs that you establish and fund on your own, are not protected from creditors in bankruptcy. A properly drafted trust as a beneficiary can work if you hold large IRA balances and you worry about protecting your inheritors’ new assets.

9. A generic trust. A look-through, or see-through, trust is named the beneficiary of a retirement account, which then go to the trust’s beneficiaries. A beneficiary trust that fails to qualify as a look-through trust meeting four criteria in the Internal Revenue Code creates several possible problems.

For example, trusts may fail to qualify as look-through if the oldest beneficiary of the trust is unidentifiable; boilerplate trust language provides power of appointment to the beneficiary to distribute assets to third parties, or the trust names a charity as one of the beneficiaries.

If not qualifying for look-through treatment, the trust faces the same distribution schedule as if you name no beneficiary.

10. A charity as beneficiary for a Roth account. When you contribute to a Roth account or convert assets in a traditional IRA or 401(k) to a Roth account, you essentially pay taxes on your income today to avoid taxes in the future. Leaving Roth assets to a 501(c)3 charity or nonprofit that pays no taxes gets you no future tax break.

The better solution in this case is to leave other assets to the intended charities or not convert or contribute to the Roth in the first place.

11. Elderly parents. If you have no children, you might be tempted to name your parents as primary beneficiaries and your siblings as contingents. The problem: The Internal Revenue Service bases required minimum distributions (RMDs) – mandating periodic withdrawals from a retirement plan – on the age of the initial beneficiary.

Naming your 90-year-old parent (or any elderly person) as primary beneficiary destroys most tax benefits of the retirement account because the IRS forces RMDs over less time: the older the beneficiary, the shorter the period.

Review your designations regularly and check with your financial planner or estate attorney to decide on any needed changes.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Jason Lina, CFA, CFP is Lead Advisor at Resource Planning Group Ltd. in Atlanta. Website: www.rpgplanner.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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Camp Ripley gives Pine Grove Park a boost with new ADA ramp http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/27/camp-ripley-gives-pine-grove-park-a-boost-with-new-ada-ramp/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/27/camp-ripley-gives-pine-grove-park-a-boost-with-new-ada-ramp/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:07:27 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=580794 By Gabby LandsverkStaff Writer

Soldiers from Camp Ripley were recently deployed on a special mission at Pine Grove Park in Little Falls — making sure everyone is welcome at the park by adding a new handicap-accessible ramp from the parking lot to the restrooms.

Pine Grove Park has a new handicapped-accessible ramp, courtesy of a class of warrant officer candidates (WOCs) from Camp Ripely. Pictured are front row (from left): WOCs David Xiong, Bethany Dempsey and Angelina Kielsa; second row, WOCs Bloung Vue, Alex Keehn, Frederick Thunborg and Travis Zandlo; back row, Little Falls Mayor Greg Zylka, and WOCs Andrew Gwost, Jim Baxter, Merlin Battcher, Justin Falness and Reiman.
Pine Grove Park has a new handicapped-accessible ramp, courtesy of a class of warrant officer candidates (WOCs) from Camp Ripely. Pictured are front row (from left): WOCs David Xiong, Bethany Dempsey and Angelina Kielsa; second row, WOCs Bloung Vue, Alex Keehn, Frederick Thunborg and Travis Zandlo; back row, Little Falls Mayor Greg Zylka, and WOCs Andrew Gwost, Jim Baxter, Merlin Battcher, Justin Falness and Reiman.

The project took about two months of planning between Little Falls city staff and the volunteering class of warrant officer candidates (WOCs), according to Seth Reiman, who took a leadership role in planning the project.

“Over the course of about two months, I coordinated with Kris VonBerge and Greg Kimman to set up the details for the project,” Reiman said.

The Warrant Officer Candidate School, according to its official mission statement, is intended to train leaders within the Army National Guard.

WOCs from Camp Ripley participate in an annual volunteer project chosen by the class as part of their candidacy.

This year’s decision to improve Pine Grove Park was a win-win situation for both the city and the soldiers, said Little Falls Public Works Director Greg Kimman, since the WOCs needed a project and the city needed help with its ADA accessibility.

“Everything kind of fell right into place,” Kimman said.

Without their help, Kimman said, the city wouldn’t have had the time or resources to create the ramp, as it was not considered high-priority compared to other city projects.

Kimman said it would have taken city staff more than a full day to build the ramp, while the WOCs completed the task in a single afternoon.

“We spent roughly four hours constructing the ADA-approved walkway and then the rest of the afternoon cleaning up downed trees along walkways in the park,” Reiman said.

Kimman estimated a cost of about $1,000 for timbers, granite chips and other materials along with $500 in staff and miscellaneous costs for a project total about $1,500. ]]> http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/27/camp-ripley-gives-pine-grove-park-a-boost-with-new-ada-ramp/feed/ 0 Retirement: Reality vs. Delusion http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/27/retirement-reality-vs-delusion/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/27/retirement-reality-vs-delusion/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:00:05 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?guid=6ae94b77fbc925fada862958cf7fbb2f The idea of retirement is surrounded by a host of delusions, false assumptions and fears.

What does retirement mean to you? Here's a brief mental exercise to try: Quickly, without stopping to think, write down what comes to mind when you imagine yourself as retired.

If you're 40 or younger, your answers might well include terms like "future" and "old age," which probably don't seem especially relevant or urgent at this stage in your life.

If you're older, chances are you've had at least passing thoughts about retirement. You might associate it with concepts like these:

  • Freedom from the daily grind
  • Losing my earning power
  • Losing my identity
  • Enjoying financial independence
  • Being useless
  • Dependency and declining health
  • Doing what I've always wanted to do
  • I don't ever plan to retire

Both the positives and negatives in the above list have one thing in common: They don't tell the whole story. Many of our expectations about retirement do not match the reality.

Here are just two examples from "The 2013 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey," done by the Society of Actuaries.

  • Of the pre-retirees surveyed, 38% expected to work until at least 65. Another 15% expected not to retire at all. Yet 54% of the retirees surveyed had retired before age 60.
  • Many pre-retirees – 59% – planned to stop working gradually. Yet only 22% of retirees had done so. While 35% of pre-retirees intended to keep working part-time, only 10% of retirees actually did. 

It's no wonder that many workers plan to stay employed; they'll need the money. The 2015 Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers estimates the median amount that workers in their 50s have saved for retirement at only $117,000. For workers in their 60s and older, it is $172,000. Even combined with Social Security, that's hardly enough to provide an adequate retirement income.

Yet even if you intend to keep working and earning until you're 80, you may find your plans derailed. If companies downsize, older workers may be among the first to be laid off. Health problems (your own or those of family members you may need to care for) can force you to retire earlier than you expected to. And these are only two of the unfortunate realities that can jolt any of us out of our rosy expectations of enjoying a carefree retirement of good health, comfort and independence.

Just because we can't count on carrying out our retirement plans, though, doesn't mean we should give up on retirement planning altogether. Here are a few suggestions to deal with the realities of retirement:

1. Save as much as you can. Make funding retirement your priority, especially if it's too late to start early. Cut your spending, downsize and pay off debt. Having more money in retirement gives you more options when bad things do happen.

2. Improve your health: lose weight, exercise more and eat a healthy diet. Improve your odds for staying well by changing what is within your power to change.

3. Look at the whole retirement picture. Become willing to consider both the negative and positive possibilities to plan appropriately. Unreasonable pessimism and fear are no more realistic than unreasonable optimism. 

Finally, the most realistic viewpoint may be accepting that retirement is no more or less predictable than any other stage of life. We can't know if we'll develop serious health problems in our 70s or still be able to go dancing when we're 102. While we can and should prepare for the future, we also serve ourselves well when we remember to enjoy the present.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Rick Kahler, CFP, is president of Kahler Financial Group in Rapid City, S.D.

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.

]]> The idea of retirement is surrounded by a host of delusions, false assumptions and fears.

What does retirement mean to you? Here's a brief mental exercise to try: Quickly, without stopping to think, write down what comes to mind when you imagine yourself as retired.

If you're 40 or younger, your answers might well include terms like "future" and "old age," which probably don't seem especially relevant or urgent at this stage in your life.

If you're older, chances are you've had at least passing thoughts about retirement. You might associate it with concepts like these:

  • Freedom from the daily grind
  • Losing my earning power
  • Losing my identity
  • Enjoying financial independence
  • Being useless
  • Dependency and declining health
  • Doing what I've always wanted to do
  • I don't ever plan to retire

Both the positives and negatives in the above list have one thing in common: They don't tell the whole story. Many of our expectations about retirement do not match the reality.

Here are just two examples from "The 2013 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey," done by the Society of Actuaries.

  • Of the pre-retirees surveyed, 38% expected to work until at least 65. Another 15% expected not to retire at all. Yet 54% of the retirees surveyed had retired before age 60.
  • Many pre-retirees – 59% – planned to stop working gradually. Yet only 22% of retirees had done so. While 35% of pre-retirees intended to keep working part-time, only 10% of retirees actually did. 

It's no wonder that many workers plan to stay employed; they'll need the money. The 2015 Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers estimates the median amount that workers in their 50s have saved for retirement at only $117,000. For workers in their 60s and older, it is $172,000. Even combined with Social Security, that's hardly enough to provide an adequate retirement income.

Yet even if you intend to keep working and earning until you're 80, you may find your plans derailed. If companies downsize, older workers may be among the first to be laid off. Health problems (your own or those of family members you may need to care for) can force you to retire earlier than you expected to. And these are only two of the unfortunate realities that can jolt any of us out of our rosy expectations of enjoying a carefree retirement of good health, comfort and independence.

Just because we can't count on carrying out our retirement plans, though, doesn't mean we should give up on retirement planning altogether. Here are a few suggestions to deal with the realities of retirement:

1. Save as much as you can. Make funding retirement your priority, especially if it's too late to start early. Cut your spending, downsize and pay off debt. Having more money in retirement gives you more options when bad things do happen.

2. Improve your health: lose weight, exercise more and eat a healthy diet. Improve your odds for staying well by changing what is within your power to change.

3. Look at the whole retirement picture. Become willing to consider both the negative and positive possibilities to plan appropriately. Unreasonable pessimism and fear are no more realistic than unreasonable optimism. 

Finally, the most realistic viewpoint may be accepting that retirement is no more or less predictable than any other stage of life. We can't know if we'll develop serious health problems in our 70s or still be able to go dancing when we're 102. While we can and should prepare for the future, we also serve ourselves well when we remember to enjoy the present.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Rick Kahler, CFP, is president of Kahler Financial Group in Rapid City, S.D.

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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5th Oktoberfest Clues – Thursday, Aug. 27 http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/27/5th-oktoberfest-clues-thursday-aug-27/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/27/5th-oktoberfest-clues-thursday-aug-27/#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2015 10:59:00 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=580746 Those who purchase the 2015 Pierz Oktoberfest button are eligible to take part in the annual medallion hunt worth $500 in Pierz Bucks or win prizes during drawings all afternoon at Pierz Park, Aug. 30.
Those who purchase the 2015 Pierz Oktoberfest button are eligible to take part in the annual medallion hunt worth $500 in Pierz Bucks or win prizes during drawings all afternoon at Pierz Park, Aug. 30.

Fifth Clue – Thursday, Aug. 27:
“Everybody is a winner
Seasoned player or beginner.
Take the path of  least resistance
In the question for my existence.”

4th Clue – Wednesday, Aug. 26:
“Turn on the radio instead
And listen as the clues are read,
Kick back, relax, imagine life
Free of selfie sticks  and strife.”

3rd Clue – Tuesday, Aug. 25:
“All earth’s creatures, great and small
Enjoy the grandeur of it all.
Shut off the social media,
Google and Wikipedia.”

2nd Clue – Monday, Aug. 24:
“Double talk and innuendo,
Wells up in a huge crescendo.
Perform an act of kindness now,
Nobody needs directions how.”

1st Clue – Sunday, Aug. 23:
“Gather ‘round ye young of heart,
Here’s a tale from end to start.
The treasure hunt begins today,
More than that, I cannot say.” ]]> http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/27/5th-oktoberfest-clues-thursday-aug-27/feed/ 0 50th Anniversary http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/50th-anniversary-4/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/50th-anniversary-4/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 22:23:23 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=580790 50th Anniversary

Bob and Pat will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with a open house reception on Sunday, Sept. 6, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. with a dinner served at 5 p.m. at the VFW Club in Little Falls.
Bob and Pat were married on Sept. 6, 1965 at St. Stanislaus Church in Sobieski. ]]> http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/50th-anniversary-4/feed/ 0 Abel Warzecha http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/abel-warzecha/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/abel-warzecha/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 22:23:08 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=580787 Abel John Warzecha was born to Alex and Jessica Warzecha of Little Falls, August 11, 2015, at 10:03 a.m. at St. Cloud Hospital. He weighed 8 pounds, 13 ounces and was 19 inches long.
Grandparents are Ervin and Lynn Warzecha of Little Falls, John Westendorf of Sioux Falls, S.D. and Richard and Julie Groeger of Sioux Falls, S.D. ]]>
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Reverend Alfred Herman Stangl http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/reverend-alfred-herman-stangl/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/reverend-alfred-herman-stangl/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 22:23:01 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=580784 Reverend Alfred Herman   Stangl

Reverend Alfred Herman Stangl was born Aug. 29, 1937, in Pierz. He was the son of Frank and Frances Kruschek Stangl. Father Stangl attended St. Joseph's Grade School, Pierz, Little Falls Public High School, Little Falls, and Pierz Memorial High School, Pierz. He received his college and seminary training at St. John's Seminary, Collegeville,. Father Stangl was ordained on June 1, 1963, at the Cathedral of St. Mary, St. Cloud, by the Most Reverend Peter W. Bartholome. He celebrated his first Mass, June 2, 1963, at St. Joseph's Church, Pierz.
Father Stangl served in the following assignments: associate pastor, St. Mary's, Melrose, June 1963-June 1966; St. Mary's Cathedral, St. Cloud, June 1966-June 1968; St. Paul's, St. Cloud and assistant chaplain St. Cloud Hospital June 1968-July 1981. He attended St. Louis University July 1981-July 1982. He was pastor, St. Gall's, Tintah and St. Joseph's Foxhome, July 1982-June 1983.
In addition to his parish assignments, he was chaplain at the St. Cloud Hospital, June 1983-July 1995 and the Veterans' Medical Center, St. Cloud, July 1995-August 2007. Father Stangl retired August 31, 2007.
Father Stangl served on the Presbyteral Council for the Diocese of Saint Cloud, served as a spiritual director for Central Minnesota Beginning Experience, and was cofounder of St. Therese Center in St. Cloud.
Father Stangl died Aug. 24, 2015, at his home in St. Cloud. Visitation will be from 3:30 – 8 p.m., Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, at the Cathedral of St. Mary, 25 8th Ave. S., St. Cloud and also after 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015. A Vigil Service will be at 7 p.m. Monday evening at the Cathedral.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Mary, St. Cloud, Sept. 1, 2015, at 11 a.m. with the Most Reverend Donald J. Kettler, Bishop of St. Cloud presiding. Burial will be at Saint Joseph's Parish Cemetery, Pierz, at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1.
Father Stangl is survived by siblings, Marie Pohlkamp of Pierz, Herman (Frances) Stangl of Pierz, Clarence (Judie) Stangl of Maple Plaine; and sister-in-laws, Carol Stangl and Arlene Stangl both of Pierz; and many nieces and nephews.
Father Stangl was preceded in death by his parents Frank and Francis Stangl; siblings, Margaret Athman, Elaine Kummet, Evelyn Dehler, Richard Stangl and his twin brother, Alvin Stangl.

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Rhonda Pauline Studley http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/rhonda-pauline-studley/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/rhonda-pauline-studley/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 22:22:34 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=580780 Rhonda   Pauline  Studley

Rhoda Studley, age 97, passed away Aug. 11, 2015, at St. Terese's of St. Odilia Hospice Home in Shoreview, after a 15 year struggle with Alzheimers Disease.
She was preceded in death by parents, Jack and Signe Sandwick, one brother, Jack, one sister, Peggy Henderson and husband, Franklin Studley.
Rhoda was born in Cass Lake in 1918. After graduating from Cass Lake High School at age 16, Rhoda went on to graduate from Business College. She worked as a secretary at the U.S. Forest Service, at Sears in Little Falls and as a freelance secretary. Her husband Frank was a teacher and coach in Cass Lake and Little Falls for 40 years. Throughout his teaching career, Frank was a fishing guide in Cass Lake every summer.
Rhoda was an avid golfer. She quit golfing at age 82 with two holes-in-one to her credit. She was also a voracious reader and regularly completed the New York Times crossword puzzles in ink! She was active in three churches: Trinity Lutheran Churches in Cass Lake and Mission, Texas and 1st English Lutheran Church in Little Falls.
She is survived by her three children: Mike Studley (Dr. Suzanne), Orlando, Fla., Dr. Anne (Rev. Doug) Petersen, Kalamazoo, Mich., and Jan (Dan) Parker, St. Paul; six grandchildren: Mike Studley, Shelley Studley Lail, Dr. Christy Petersen (Dan Bunn), Ben Petersen, Casey Wiessner, Dr. Brooke Wiessner Lundbohm, and seven great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Rhoda's life will be held Oct. 3 at 2 p.m., Sand Trap Golf Course, Cass Lake. For more information, contact Jan Parker, 651-247-8866, janpar4@gmail.com.

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Fr. Tim Wenzel to be Cong. Nolan’s guest at Pope Francis’ address to Congress http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/fr-tim-wenzel-to-be-cong-nolans-guest-at-pope-francis-address-to-congress/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/fr-tim-wenzel-to-be-cong-nolans-guest-at-pope-francis-address-to-congress/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 21:48:26 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=580776 Father Tim Wenzel, left, will be Cong. Rick Nolan’s guest when Pope Francis addresses Congress, Sept. 24.
Father Tim Wenzel, left, will be Cong. Rick Nolan’s guest when Pope Francis addresses Congress, Sept. 24.

Father Tim Wenzel, a well-known Catholic priest who has served pastorates throughout North Central Minnesota for 49 years, will be Cong. Rick Nolan’s, DFL-Dist. 8, special guest when Pope Francis addresses a joint session of Congress, Sept. 24.

“Father Tim’s long service and dedication to the Hispanic community here in Minnesota will make his visit to Washington an especially significant occasion since Pope Francis of Argentina is the first Pontiff from the Americas,” Nolan said in making the announcement Tuesday. “Father Tim has dedicated his life to the people of rural Minnesota – and much like the ideals and examples that define the Papacy of Pope Francis, he has always demonstrated a special compassion and respect for the dignity of the poor, the underprivileged, the unemployed and all who can so easily fall through the cracks in our society.”

Nolan noted that Father Wenzel, who most everyone refers to as “Father Tim,” served as director of hispanic ministry for migrant workers from 1970 to 1985 in Minnesota’s Red River Valley. While there, he became deeply involved in helping migrant children – establishing school programs that enabled them to learn, eat and play while their parents worked in the fields. Later on, he traveled on mission trips to Guatemala in Central America, assisting communities with economic development and education projects.

Father Wenzel said he expects the Pope to use his address to stress the importance of strengthening families, protecting the environment and assisting those in need.

“I am honored to have this opportunity to hear our Holy Father when he speaks to members of Congress. Ever since he was elected as our Pope, I have admired him – especially for his emphasis on reaching out to the poor, the hungry, the handicapped, the stranger and those on the margins of society,” Father Wenzel said.

“He is asking us to practice the compassion and mercy of Christ. His recent encyclical on the environment calls us to see God’s creation as a gift, and not to abuse it,” said Father Wenzel. “His message is consistent and integrated: all life must be respected. Since he is in the United States to attend the World Meeting of Families, it is likely he will have a message on the importance of the family. I believe it will be good for our lawmakers to hear his message, that they will be encouraged to work toward a society which reflects the values which our Holy Father has been teaching us by his word and example.”

The Rev. Timothy Wenzel is the son of the late Anthony and Anna Wenzel of rural Little Falls. He attended rural schools in Morrison County – and attended Little Falls High School. He graduated from Crosier Seminary in Onamia and St. John’s Seminary in Collegeville. Ordained to the priesthood in 1966, he has served pastorates at churches in Sauk Rapids, Foxhome, Little Falls, Fergus Falls, Sauk Centre, Staples, St. Cloud, Rice and Mayhew Lake.

He taught religion at Cathedral High School in St. Cloud from 1966 to 1971 and served as Executive Director of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of St. Cloud from 1987 to 1994. Father Wenzel retired from fulltime parish work in 2011, but still performs pastoral duties at churches on request throughout the Diocese of St. Cloud. ]]> http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/fr-tim-wenzel-to-be-cong-nolans-guest-at-pope-francis-address-to-congress/feed/ 0 Money Planning in 9 Steps http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/money-planning-in-9-steps/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/money-planning-in-9-steps/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 19:30:05 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?guid=aef691645b00c509c2ee677a84f16e85 Everybody wants a solid financial plan, yet more than 40% of Americans don’t have one. Unless you develop a formal strategy – such as a written plan – you might well find any financial goal elusive. Here are nine tips for planning.

1. Define your goals. Decide exactly what you need your finances to do and the strategies you need to make your money work best.

For example, do you have children who will attend college one day? You must save the money to make that happen. At what age do you hope to retire? This answer helps you decide how much time you have left to save and then to establish how much you must save to meet this goal.

Do you want to get out of debt? Strategy: Add up all your liabilities and determine how much you can afford to pay toward the balance and how much time paying off will take.

It can be helpful to work with a financial planner to help you target the most worthwhile and realistic goals.

2. Set up a budget. Any type of financial planning requires creating surplus money in your finances. This is why a budget is so important, enabling you to see exactly how much money you spend each month compared with what you earn.

You might at first think that a budget adds stress; often over the long run it does the opposite. As planner Adam Broughton of PlanningBetterLives.com remarks:

“Being in control of your spending gives you the ability to say ‘yes’ to the things that really make life meaningful. You are also able to enjoy your expenditures more when you eliminate the stress of constant overspending.”

3. Cut expenses. With a budget in place, you can prioritize outlays and redirect the flow of your money.

Identify necessary expenses that you must pay: mortgage, debt balances, insurance premiums and taxes, to name a few. The next category can be important expenses that you can control to an extent, such as groceries, utilities and outlays related to work or school. You can almost always cut these to some degree.

The third category: purely discretionary spending, such as entertainment, vacations and recreational shopping. Desirable but not necessary, this spending you can eliminate without threatening your survival.

Once you put your expenses in the proper categories, you can make reductions or cuts clearly to free your cash for savings or to debt payoff.

4. Create an emergency fund. Basically a bank savings or brokerage money market account holding your liquid cash, such a fund exists for an unexpected expense or income disruption. You not only weather a brief storm but can also potentially avoid borrowing. Generally, your emergency fund needs to contain enough cash to cover three to six months’ living expenses.

5. Get out of debt. The cash flow you create in your budget after cutting expenses you can now funnel into paying off debt.

You can use different methods to accomplish this, including Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball: You target your smallest debt first, paying it off before moving on to your next-smallest debt and so on. Among the several advantages:

  • Each balance paid off – regardless of how small – represents visible progress and a moral victory.
  • Each balance you whittle down completely eliminates a monthly payment, increasing your cash flow to take on the next obligation.
  • By the time you get to your largest amount owed, you enjoy a greater ability to pay it off because all your other debts are gone.

6. Save for retirement. Hopefully you already put away something for your golden years, even just a little bit each month. As you get out of debt, your cash stockpile increases, ultimately meaning you can save a lot more for retirement.

As with every other financial goal, the most important step in saving for retirement is getting started. Begin with contributions in amounts that don’t significantly hurt your overall finances. Then increase your contribution each year.

You can direct future pay increases into your retirement contribution or redirect debt payments once you pay off those debts. If your overall finances are strong, you can also feel confident contributing a lump sum to your retirement plan, such as income tax refunds and bonus checks.

7. Save for other goals. A host of reasons exist to save money other than emergency or retirement funds, such as saving for children’s college education, buying a new car (so you can buy one without going into debt) or for major home repairs.

Working hard to get out of debt does you little good if you only plunge back in when faced with a major expense – the merry-go-round many people get stuck on. Prevention through saving is your best strategy.

8. Carry adequate insurance. Many contingencies you can’t possibly save enough for, and that’s the whole purpose of insurance. Coverage comes in various types, including life, health, auto and homeowners’ insurance, in addition to business insurance if you are self-employed.

And often overlooked benefit of insurance: protection of your assets. For example, homeowners’ insurance enables you to repair your residence after damage from certain catastrophes without having to drain other financial resources. Auto insurance likewise pays claims you otherwise must cover out of pocket. Typically you can use life insurance is typically used to replace the lost wages of a deceased wage earner.

9. Set up a will. A properly drawn and executed will is your final direction regarding your financial affairs. At a minimum, if you don’t set up a will your survivors can end up in probate court, working out some sort of a deal to distribute your assets. At worst, assets you intended for your heirs just disappear.

An estate attorney can help; you can modify your will later as your circumstances change. You may also gain a sense of peace on completing your will, just like you can from a proper financial plan.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Jeff Rose, CFP, is the founder of Alliance Wealth Management in Carbondale, Ill., and also is the founder of the website Good Financial Cents and Life Insurance by Jeff.

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.

]]> Everybody wants a solid financial plan, yet more than 40% of Americans don’t have one. Unless you develop a formal strategy – such as a written plan – you might well find any financial goal elusive. Here are nine tips for planning.

1. Define your goals. Decide exactly what you need your finances to do and the strategies you need to make your money work best.

For example, do you have children who will attend college one day? You must save the money to make that happen. At what age do you hope to retire? This answer helps you decide how much time you have left to save and then to establish how much you must save to meet this goal.

Do you want to get out of debt? Strategy: Add up all your liabilities and determine how much you can afford to pay toward the balance and how much time paying off will take.

It can be helpful to work with a financial planner to help you target the most worthwhile and realistic goals.

2. Set up a budget. Any type of financial planning requires creating surplus money in your finances. This is why a budget is so important, enabling you to see exactly how much money you spend each month compared with what you earn.

You might at first think that a budget adds stress; often over the long run it does the opposite. As planner Adam Broughton of PlanningBetterLives.com remarks:

“Being in control of your spending gives you the ability to say ‘yes’ to the things that really make life meaningful. You are also able to enjoy your expenditures more when you eliminate the stress of constant overspending.”

3. Cut expenses. With a budget in place, you can prioritize outlays and redirect the flow of your money.

Identify necessary expenses that you must pay: mortgage, debt balances, insurance premiums and taxes, to name a few. The next category can be important expenses that you can control to an extent, such as groceries, utilities and outlays related to work or school. You can almost always cut these to some degree.

The third category: purely discretionary spending, such as entertainment, vacations and recreational shopping. Desirable but not necessary, this spending you can eliminate without threatening your survival.

Once you put your expenses in the proper categories, you can make reductions or cuts clearly to free your cash for savings or to debt payoff.

4. Create an emergency fund. Basically a bank savings or brokerage money market account holding your liquid cash, such a fund exists for an unexpected expense or income disruption. You not only weather a brief storm but can also potentially avoid borrowing. Generally, your emergency fund needs to contain enough cash to cover three to six months’ living expenses.

5. Get out of debt. The cash flow you create in your budget after cutting expenses you can now funnel into paying off debt.

You can use different methods to accomplish this, including Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball: You target your smallest debt first, paying it off before moving on to your next-smallest debt and so on. Among the several advantages:

  • Each balance paid off – regardless of how small – represents visible progress and a moral victory.
  • Each balance you whittle down completely eliminates a monthly payment, increasing your cash flow to take on the next obligation.
  • By the time you get to your largest amount owed, you enjoy a greater ability to pay it off because all your other debts are gone.

6. Save for retirement. Hopefully you already put away something for your golden years, even just a little bit each month. As you get out of debt, your cash stockpile increases, ultimately meaning you can save a lot more for retirement.

As with every other financial goal, the most important step in saving for retirement is getting started. Begin with contributions in amounts that don’t significantly hurt your overall finances. Then increase your contribution each year.

You can direct future pay increases into your retirement contribution or redirect debt payments once you pay off those debts. If your overall finances are strong, you can also feel confident contributing a lump sum to your retirement plan, such as income tax refunds and bonus checks.

7. Save for other goals. A host of reasons exist to save money other than emergency or retirement funds, such as saving for children’s college education, buying a new car (so you can buy one without going into debt) or for major home repairs.

Working hard to get out of debt does you little good if you only plunge back in when faced with a major expense – the merry-go-round many people get stuck on. Prevention through saving is your best strategy.

8. Carry adequate insurance. Many contingencies you can’t possibly save enough for, and that’s the whole purpose of insurance. Coverage comes in various types, including life, health, auto and homeowners’ insurance, in addition to business insurance if you are self-employed.

And often overlooked benefit of insurance: protection of your assets. For example, homeowners’ insurance enables you to repair your residence after damage from certain catastrophes without having to drain other financial resources. Auto insurance likewise pays claims you otherwise must cover out of pocket. Typically you can use life insurance is typically used to replace the lost wages of a deceased wage earner.

9. Set up a will. A properly drawn and executed will is your final direction regarding your financial affairs. At a minimum, if you don’t set up a will your survivors can end up in probate court, working out some sort of a deal to distribute your assets. At worst, assets you intended for your heirs just disappear.

An estate attorney can help; you can modify your will later as your circumstances change. You may also gain a sense of peace on completing your will, just like you can from a proper financial plan.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Jeff Rose, CFP, is the founder of Alliance Wealth Management in Carbondale, Ill., and also is the founder of the website Good Financial Cents and Life Insurance by Jeff.

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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Video: Hometown Sound Episode 6 with The Rum River Brass http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/video-hometown-sound-episode-6-with-the-rum-river-brass/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/video-hometown-sound-episode-6-with-the-rum-river-brass/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 19:01:34 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=580768

The Rum River Brass

The Rum River Brass plays “Amazing Grace,” and while they hope the audience thinks it is a sweet sound, they say the best part is having fun performing together as a band. They plays a wide variety of music such as jazz, electric repertoire, pop, ragtime, classical transcriptions, and pop. This quintet has players from the northern part of the Twin Cities and was formed in 2006.  The band has played over 60 performances for events including weddings, concerts out in the park and in local cities and corporate functions. The Rum River Brass became a band when five members from the North Suburban Concert Band were asked to perform brass quintet music for the band’s “Pops”concert.

Scott McCullough plays the trumpet, cornet, and piccolo trumpet. He has been playing the trumpet since elementary school. He was also a member of the University of Michigan Marching Band. McCullough has written many of the quintet’s arrangements and says he doesn’t want to be done playing his instrument anytime soon.

“I said once up a time I don’t want to ever say I used to play the trumpet,” said McCullough.

Ron Chamberlain plays the trumpet and the flugelhorn and comes from a musical family. He began playing with his dad’s band, “Big Stoop,” when he was 13 years old. Now, he is the leader of that band. He also writes many of the arrangements for the Rum River Brass.

  While they are performing they hope the audience knows they are having a good time.

“One of the most appreciated comments we’ve gotten and we get it fairly often is you guys are having a great time up there, you’re having fun, and that’s what this is really all about,” said McCullough.

To find more information on the band visit their website at http://www.rumriverbrass.com/. ]]> http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/video-hometown-sound-episode-6-with-the-rum-river-brass/feed/ 0 Handling Market Turmoil http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/handling-market-turmoil/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/handling-market-turmoil/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 16:30:24 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?guid=61e1877ea56369bad1610675097994dc Stoicism amid market turmoil comes hard when a tsunami of dire investment headlines and plunging prices hits you, as we’ve seen in the last few days. Your financial future rides on Wall Street. What should you do?

Let’s look at recent history. In 2008, the problem was credit risk fears and collapsing home prices – along with oil hitting $100 a barrel. This time the culprits are different, with investors worried about China’s economic growth worries and falling oil prices.

The effect remains the same: double-digit drops, the bear market’s roar announcing a nasty market correction, the first in four years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now down 12% for the year.

Consider the mistake some investors made exiting markets in 2008-09. Those investors’ selling locked in steep losses and often were too nervous to get back into markets as prices rebounded. The result: a double drubbing.

Similarly, in the 2008 crash a well-known advisor liquidated his clients’ accounts in August, saving millions of dollars. This advisor wasn’t shy about his impeccable market timing.

Too bad that a number of years passed and this same advisor continued to sit on cash in his client portfolios. His clients began to complain they were missing the bull market rebound; some left him. He soon retired.

Here are some pointers to keep in mind in the current market turmoil:

Market timing fails. Stocks outperform other asset classes – even considering bouts of steep decline.

Investing in stocks means remaining disciplined through both good times and bad; no formula exists for consistently timing markets to buy at the bottom and sell at the top. Investors who attempt such timing often get sub-par returns because they actually often end up doing the opposite: buying high and selling low.

Free lunches are a myth. Higher historic returns on stocks go hand in hand with higher volatility. Conversely, we expect a lower return from bonds in exchange for lower volatility. Pursuing higher long-term returns means accepting accompanying risk, period.

My clients’ portfolios are based on unique financial and personal circumstances. This conceptual purpose doesn’t change if stocks correct 10% or rise 10%. We do rebalance regularly. We certainly don’t buy or sell in a panic.

While fundamentals are little changed, lower prices make stocks more attractive, if anything.

Diversification remains key. Proper asset allocation is the one free lunch in the investment world. The magical effects of diversification – which help smooth returns over time – persist.

During a massive selloff, stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate and other asset classes may all exhibit weakness but this is a short-term phenomenon. Once we move beyond the urge to excessively sell in a panic, the benefits of diversification again become obvious.

Avoid emotional reactions. Your core portfolio needs to be sufficiently diversified (multiple assets classes with lower correlations) to give you the highest probability of achieving your goals for the reasons important to you. Stick to your core portfolio and look to rebalance so you remain on track longer after you forget the scary headlines.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Eve Kaplan, CFP, is a fee-only advisor in Berkeley Heights, N.J. Kaplan Financial Advisors is a Registered Investment Advisor in New Jersey and New York.

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.

 

]]> Stoicism amid market turmoil comes hard when a tsunami of dire investment headlines and plunging prices hits you, as we’ve seen in the last few days. Your financial future rides on Wall Street. What should you do?

Let’s look at recent history. In 2008, the problem was credit risk fears and collapsing home prices – along with oil hitting $100 a barrel. This time the culprits are different, with investors worried about China’s economic growth worries and falling oil prices.

The effect remains the same: double-digit drops, the bear market’s roar announcing a nasty market correction, the first in four years. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now down 12% for the year.

Consider the mistake some investors made exiting markets in 2008-09. Those investors’ selling locked in steep losses and often were too nervous to get back into markets as prices rebounded. The result: a double drubbing.

Similarly, in the 2008 crash a well-known advisor liquidated his clients’ accounts in August, saving millions of dollars. This advisor wasn’t shy about his impeccable market timing.

Too bad that a number of years passed and this same advisor continued to sit on cash in his client portfolios. His clients began to complain they were missing the bull market rebound; some left him. He soon retired.

Here are some pointers to keep in mind in the current market turmoil:

Market timing fails. Stocks outperform other asset classes – even considering bouts of steep decline.

Investing in stocks means remaining disciplined through both good times and bad; no formula exists for consistently timing markets to buy at the bottom and sell at the top. Investors who attempt such timing often get sub-par returns because they actually often end up doing the opposite: buying high and selling low.

Free lunches are a myth. Higher historic returns on stocks go hand in hand with higher volatility. Conversely, we expect a lower return from bonds in exchange for lower volatility. Pursuing higher long-term returns means accepting accompanying risk, period.

My clients’ portfolios are based on unique financial and personal circumstances. This conceptual purpose doesn’t change if stocks correct 10% or rise 10%. We do rebalance regularly. We certainly don’t buy or sell in a panic.

While fundamentals are little changed, lower prices make stocks more attractive, if anything.

Diversification remains key. Proper asset allocation is the one free lunch in the investment world. The magical effects of diversification – which help smooth returns over time – persist.

During a massive selloff, stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate and other asset classes may all exhibit weakness but this is a short-term phenomenon. Once we move beyond the urge to excessively sell in a panic, the benefits of diversification again become obvious.

Avoid emotional reactions. Your core portfolio needs to be sufficiently diversified (multiple assets classes with lower correlations) to give you the highest probability of achieving your goals for the reasons important to you. Stick to your core portfolio and look to rebalance so you remain on track longer after you forget the scary headlines.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Eve Kaplan, CFP, is a fee-only advisor in Berkeley Heights, N.J. Kaplan Financial Advisors is a Registered Investment Advisor in New Jersey and New York.

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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The Fed and Its Broken Record http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/the-fed-and-its-broken-record/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/the-fed-and-its-broken-record/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 13:30:40 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?guid=9b41089e0f6be4d9e3c7440c03946c36 The Fed likes to keep people in the dark about when it will raise interest rates. Will this occur at their September meeting? October? December? To further the obfuscation, the board barely bothers to change the language in Fed monthly missives, which are supposed to discuss the factors that will compel it to finally act.

Recently, we reported that the Federal Reserve’s policy statement was almost identical to its previous one.  Now the Federal Open Market Committee, its policy-making arm, has issued another statement – and it’s almost identical to the last one.

Granted, there’s not much to say.  The economy has flat-lined, the Fed has run out of policy tools and it’s late summer, a time when many people spend more time avoiding work than actually working.  But this is the Federal Reserve Board we’re talking about – the people who are in charge of our economy, since neither President Barack Obama nor Congress want to do much about it.

So for those of you who remember what a “carbon copy” is, the latest policy statement is a carbon copy of the last one. 

“The most notable change,” as Goldman Sachs’ Chief Economist Jan Hatzius wrote, “was the addition of the word ‘some’ in the committee’s description of desired progress in the labor market.  Specifically, the June FOMC statement said that it will be appropriate to raise interest rates ‘when it has seen further improvement in the labor market’ (and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to two percent).  Today’s statement said that rate hikes would be appropriate after ‘some further improvement in the labor market.’ ”

So “further” became “some further.” 

Goldman Sachs interpreted this to mean that the FOMC “requires a smaller cumulative improvement in labor market slack” before raising interest rates.

Keep in mind that Goldman Sachs employs financial experts, not experts in the English language.  They haven’t a clue about what the Fed means when it adds the word “some” to a phrase.  What the coupling of the words “some further” tells us is that the Fed should hire someone who can write to edit its policy statements and Goldman Sachs should stick to interpreting financial data, because Hatzius is just winging it.

Zerohedge, the financial website, recommends that “if you are currently unemployed, discuss what ‘some’ means and you may soon have a job.”

In the interest of doing our part in promoting full employment, we’ll note that the American Heritage Dictionary defines “some” as “an unspecified number or quantity.”  “Further” means “more distant in time or space.”  So the Fed statement means, “We’re not going to tell you when we’re going to raise interest rates, except to say that we’re not ready to do so now.”

Of course, there’s a reason that Fed policy statements are as telling as a press conference with New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick.  Any real information is subject to misinterpretation.  If the Fed was straightforward and honest about its plans, it could cause the equivalent of another “taper tantrum.”  When then-Fed Chair Ben Bernanke announced the obvious in 2013 – that the Fed would taper its bond purchases in the not-too-distant future – the markets went a little nuts. The current Fed chair would like to prevent another tantrum.

Of course, we think the real reason the Fed issues the same policy statement month after month is just plain laziness.

Think about it.  The FOMC gets together, as it must, even during the summer.  The members talk, pontificate, argue and presumably eat well.  Then, because media know they’re meeting, they have to issue a policy statement.  The policy statement has to be written at the end of the meeting, so it can tell the American public what happened during the meeting.  By that point, Fed members are anxious to book it back home to their summer homes in the Hamptons (or wherever they happen to have summer homes).

It’s unlikely that everyone on the FOMC can ever agree on anything, except for the need to not spook investors by actually saying something real, so they review the most recent policy statement, change a few words and call it a day. 

If you disagree, consider the other changes to the Fed policy statement, as Goldman Sach’s Hatzius notes:

“(T)he committee upgraded its description of activity in the housing market (‘additional improvement’ vs. ‘some improvement’), but left its characterization of consumer spending unchanged (‘has been moderate’). A reference to stabilizing energy prices was removed. The statement also revised the discussion of utilization in the labor market. Previously the statement said underutilization ‘diminished somewhat’ (implicitly over the intermeeting period). Today’s statement said that underutilization ‘diminished since early this year’.”

No one who’s not a member of the FOMC – including Hatzius – really knows what happens at those meetings, and the FOMC likes it that way, so it issues policy statements that say nothing.  Nothing is revealed, but analysts, economists and journalists are paid to report what happened, so they go along with the charade.

If you want deeper meaning, forget the Fed’s policy statements and go read some haiku.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Brenda P. Wenning is president of Wenning Investments LLC in Newton, Mass. 

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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The Fed likes to keep people in the dark about when it will raise interest rates. Will this occur at their September meeting? October? December? To further the obfuscation, the board barely bothers to change the language in Fed monthly missives, which are supposed to discuss the factors that will compel it to finally act.

Recently, we reported that the Federal Reserve’s policy statement was almost identical to its previous one.  Now the Federal Open Market Committee, its policy-making arm, has issued another statement – and it’s almost identical to the last one.

Granted, there’s not much to say.  The economy has flat-lined, the Fed has run out of policy tools and it’s late summer, a time when many people spend more time avoiding work than actually working.  But this is the Federal Reserve Board we’re talking about – the people who are in charge of our economy, since neither President Barack Obama nor Congress want to do much about it.

So for those of you who remember what a “carbon copy” is, the latest policy statement is a carbon copy of the last one. 

“The most notable change,” as Goldman Sachs’ Chief Economist Jan Hatzius wrote, “was the addition of the word ‘some’ in the committee’s description of desired progress in the labor market.  Specifically, the June FOMC statement said that it will be appropriate to raise interest rates ‘when it has seen further improvement in the labor market’ (and is reasonably confident that inflation will move back to two percent).  Today’s statement said that rate hikes would be appropriate after ‘some further improvement in the labor market.’ ”

So “further” became “some further.” 

Goldman Sachs interpreted this to mean that the FOMC “requires a smaller cumulative improvement in labor market slack” before raising interest rates.

Keep in mind that Goldman Sachs employs financial experts, not experts in the English language.  They haven’t a clue about what the Fed means when it adds the word “some” to a phrase.  What the coupling of the words “some further” tells us is that the Fed should hire someone who can write to edit its policy statements and Goldman Sachs should stick to interpreting financial data, because Hatzius is just winging it.

Zerohedge, the financial website, recommends that “if you are currently unemployed, discuss what ‘some’ means and you may soon have a job.”

In the interest of doing our part in promoting full employment, we’ll note that the American Heritage Dictionary defines “some” as “an unspecified number or quantity.”  “Further” means “more distant in time or space.”  So the Fed statement means, “We’re not going to tell you when we’re going to raise interest rates, except to say that we’re not ready to do so now.”

Of course, there’s a reason that Fed policy statements are as telling as a press conference with New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick.  Any real information is subject to misinterpretation.  If the Fed was straightforward and honest about its plans, it could cause the equivalent of another “taper tantrum.”  When then-Fed Chair Ben Bernanke announced the obvious in 2013 – that the Fed would taper its bond purchases in the not-too-distant future – the markets went a little nuts. The current Fed chair would like to prevent another tantrum.

Of course, we think the real reason the Fed issues the same policy statement month after month is just plain laziness.

Think about it.  The FOMC gets together, as it must, even during the summer.  The members talk, pontificate, argue and presumably eat well.  Then, because media know they’re meeting, they have to issue a policy statement.  The policy statement has to be written at the end of the meeting, so it can tell the American public what happened during the meeting.  By that point, Fed members are anxious to book it back home to their summer homes in the Hamptons (or wherever they happen to have summer homes).

It’s unlikely that everyone on the FOMC can ever agree on anything, except for the need to not spook investors by actually saying something real, so they review the most recent policy statement, change a few words and call it a day. 

If you disagree, consider the other changes to the Fed policy statement, as Goldman Sach’s Hatzius notes:

“(T)he committee upgraded its description of activity in the housing market (‘additional improvement’ vs. ‘some improvement’), but left its characterization of consumer spending unchanged (‘has been moderate’). A reference to stabilizing energy prices was removed. The statement also revised the discussion of utilization in the labor market. Previously the statement said underutilization ‘diminished somewhat’ (implicitly over the intermeeting period). Today’s statement said that underutilization ‘diminished since early this year’.”

No one who’s not a member of the FOMC – including Hatzius – really knows what happens at those meetings, and the FOMC likes it that way, so it issues policy statements that say nothing.  Nothing is revealed, but analysts, economists and journalists are paid to report what happened, so they go along with the charade.

If you want deeper meaning, forget the Fed’s policy statements and go read some haiku.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Brenda P. Wenning is president of Wenning Investments LLC in Newton, Mass. 

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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4th Oktoberfest Clue – Wednesday, Aug. 26 http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/4th-oktoberfest-clue-wednesday-aug-26/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/4th-oktoberfest-clue-wednesday-aug-26/#comments Wed, 26 Aug 2015 10:59:34 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=580718 Those who purchase the 2015 Pierz Oktoberfest button are eligible to take part in the annual medallion hunt worth $500 in Pierz Bucks or win prizes during drawings all afternoon at Pierz Park, Aug. 30.
Those who purchase the 2015 Pierz Oktoberfest button are eligible to take part in the annual medallion hunt worth $500 in Pierz Bucks or win prizes during drawings all afternoon at Pierz Park, Aug. 30.

4th Clue – Wednesday, Aug. 26:
“Turn on the radio instead
And listen as the clues are read,
Kick back, relax, imagine life
Free of selfie sticks  and strife.”

3rd Clue – Tuesday, Aug. 25:
“All earth’s creatures, great and small
Enjoy the grandeur of it all.
Shut off the social media,
Google and Wikipedia.”

2nd Clue – Monday, Aug. 24:
“Double talk and innuendo,
Wells up in a huge crescendo.
Perform an act of kindness now,
Nobody needs directions how.”

1st Clue – Sunday, Aug. 23:
“Gather ‘round ye young of heart,
Here’s a tale from end to start.
The treasure hunt begins today,
More than that, I cannot say.” ]]> http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/26/4th-oktoberfest-clue-wednesday-aug-26/feed/ 0 Douglas Helmer Halvorson http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/25/douglas-helmer-halvorson/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/25/douglas-helmer-halvorson/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 22:21:15 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=580744 Douglas Helmer Halvorson

Douglas Helmer Halvorson, 73 of Little Falls, formerly of Buxton, N.D., passed away Tues day, Aug. 18, 2015, at St. Cloud Hospital surrounded by family, Carolyn Halvorson (sister-in-law), Robbie Halvorson (nephew), Dawn Halvorson Riemers (neice) and close friends, Michelle Carll and Mary Bellefeuille.
Doug never married but touched many people with his kind heart and hearty sense of humor. He was a lifelong outdoorsman who enjoyed fishing and hunting. Never wanting much attention, he requested no funeral and that he be cremated.
Doug is survived by his sister, Audrey Halvorson Rike of Mesa, Ariz.
Doug was preceded in death by his parents, Helmer and Alveda Halvorson and brother, Lloyd Halvorson.

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Using Social Security Online http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/25/using-social-security-online/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/25/using-social-security-online/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 19:00:04 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?guid=720192ea776ff5831a14cc2737344bde You might think that dealing with a federal agency, such as the Social Security Administration (SSA), means long lines in some office near you. Not so: If you’re an adult, you can monitor your benefits situation with a few clicks of the keyboard and start serious planning for your retirement income.

The my Social Security accounts give you the chance to change direct deposit of your benefits if you already receive Social Security, as well as request a replacement Medicaid card or order SSA tax documents, among other services. To qualify for an online account, you must be at least 18 and have a valid email address, a Social Security number and a U.S. mailing address.

A my Social Security online account also starts your next considerations in planning for benefits. Once you set up the account, you can review your Social Security statement – a key move since earnings determine your future retirement benefits and, according to the SSA, you cannot normally correct your earnings after three years, three months and 15 days from the end of the taxable year in which your wages were paid.

(Average monthly benefits max out at some $2,600 a month for most workers in 2015, according to SSA figures.)

You can correct your record after that length of time to:

  • Confirm records with tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service;
  • Fix errors due to employee omissions from processed employer reports or missing reports;
  • Rectify mistakes “on the face of the record,” that is, errors Social Security can find after examining agency records of processed reports; and
  • Include wages that an employer reported as paid to you but that don’t appear in SSA records.

Once you verify your earnings, you’re ready to figure where benefits fit into the whole picture of your retirement income. In his study “Does the Social Security ‘Statement’ Add Value?,” Steven Sass of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College states:

“Social Security is the nation’s most important source of retirement income, providing half or more of the monthly income of well over half of all retired households … Benefits, however, are set by a complicated formula based on a worker’s lifetime earnings record at retirement … Workers, on their own, cannot be expected to know how much they could get.”

For instance, the study finds that reviewing your records generally leads to an understanding that claiming benefits later increases monthly Social Security income. No evidence, though, indicates that just because most people understand this concept they do delay retiring: Most look at planning for retirement only in terms of saving and investment and not in terms of working longer – the latter of which can drastically increase savings and benefits.

When planning for your retirement, envision what living in the golden years will look like and then work backward. What standard of living do you want in those years? Will you spend more or less on maintaining a home, on grandchildren, travel, health care or taxes?

How much will you get from Social Security? Will you run out of money during retirement? How much will you need to supplement Social Security with savings and other sources – and how do you accumulate those additional savings now?

Waiting a few more years before retiring and filing for Social Security raises your monthly benefit with Delayed Retirement Credits (DRCs); these include a 5.5% increase in your eventual benefits per year of delay if you were born in 1933 or 1934, a 7.5% yearly increase if you were born in 1941 or 1942 and an 8% increase in you were born in 1943 or later.

Delaying filing can also of course decrease additional savings you need to maintain your desired standard of living and can shorten the number of years that you eventually draw on savings.

Using my Social Security constitutes only one part of your overall retirement planning. Take the time to review your account at my Social Security and then speak with a qualified advisor who can help you integrate your benefits with your planning for retirement income and taxes.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Wayne Fourman, with the May Financial Group in Greenville, Ohio, has served individuals and businesses with personal financial counseling since 1983 and was among the first in the nation to provide Social Security start-date planning.

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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You might think that dealing with a federal agency, such as the Social Security Administration (SSA), means long lines in some office near you. Not so: If you’re an adult, you can monitor your benefits situation with a few clicks of the keyboard and start serious planning for your retirement income.

The my Social Security accounts give you the chance to change direct deposit of your benefits if you already receive Social Security, as well as request a replacement Medicaid card or order SSA tax documents, among other services. To qualify for an online account, you must be at least 18 and have a valid email address, a Social Security number and a U.S. mailing address.

A my Social Security online account also starts your next considerations in planning for benefits. Once you set up the account, you can review your Social Security statement – a key move since earnings determine your future retirement benefits and, according to the SSA, you cannot normally correct your earnings after three years, three months and 15 days from the end of the taxable year in which your wages were paid.

(Average monthly benefits max out at some $2,600 a month for most workers in 2015, according to SSA figures.)

You can correct your record after that length of time to:

  • Confirm records with tax returns filed with the Internal Revenue Service;
  • Fix errors due to employee omissions from processed employer reports or missing reports;
  • Rectify mistakes “on the face of the record,” that is, errors Social Security can find after examining agency records of processed reports; and
  • Include wages that an employer reported as paid to you but that don’t appear in SSA records.

Once you verify your earnings, you’re ready to figure where benefits fit into the whole picture of your retirement income. In his study “Does the Social Security ‘Statement’ Add Value?,” Steven Sass of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College states:

“Social Security is the nation’s most important source of retirement income, providing half or more of the monthly income of well over half of all retired households … Benefits, however, are set by a complicated formula based on a worker’s lifetime earnings record at retirement … Workers, on their own, cannot be expected to know how much they could get.”

For instance, the study finds that reviewing your records generally leads to an understanding that claiming benefits later increases monthly Social Security income. No evidence, though, indicates that just because most people understand this concept they do delay retiring: Most look at planning for retirement only in terms of saving and investment and not in terms of working longer – the latter of which can drastically increase savings and benefits.

When planning for your retirement, envision what living in the golden years will look like and then work backward. What standard of living do you want in those years? Will you spend more or less on maintaining a home, on grandchildren, travel, health care or taxes?

How much will you get from Social Security? Will you run out of money during retirement? How much will you need to supplement Social Security with savings and other sources – and how do you accumulate those additional savings now?

Waiting a few more years before retiring and filing for Social Security raises your monthly benefit with Delayed Retirement Credits (DRCs); these include a 5.5% increase in your eventual benefits per year of delay if you were born in 1933 or 1934, a 7.5% yearly increase if you were born in 1941 or 1942 and an 8% increase in you were born in 1943 or later.

Delaying filing can also of course decrease additional savings you need to maintain your desired standard of living and can shorten the number of years that you eventually draw on savings.

Using my Social Security constitutes only one part of your overall retirement planning. Take the time to review your account at my Social Security and then speak with a qualified advisor who can help you integrate your benefits with your planning for retirement income and taxes.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Wayne Fourman, with the May Financial Group in Greenville, Ohio, has served individuals and businesses with personal financial counseling since 1983 and was among the first in the nation to provide Social Security start-date planning.

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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Gladys Hokanson http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/25/gladys-hokanson/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/25/gladys-hokanson/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 18:18:23 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=580738 Gladys   Hokanson

Gladys H. Hokanson, 96-year-old resident of Little Falls, passed away Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015, at the Little Falls Care Center. (Aug. 22 was the anniversary of her mother's birth). Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, at First Lutheran Church in Little Falls, with the Rev. Hank French officiating. Burial took place at Zion Lutheran Church Cemetery, Little Elk Twp. Todd County. A visitation will be held from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Friday at the Shelley Funeral Chapel in Little Falls, and one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the church.
Gladys H. Hokanson was born April 15, 1919 in Little Elk Township, Todd County, at her grandparents' home. She was the second child of Carl and Pearl (Brastad) Sharon. Gladys grew up on her parents' farm in Parker Township, Morrison County. Gladys attended a small country school through eighth grade and graduated from Little Falls High School in 1937. While attending high school she boarded with various people because there was no bus to take her to Little Falls. She would work for her board and room and her father would pick her up and bring her home on the weekends. After graduating she worked for a short time in Minneapolis while living with her Aunt Lil and Uncle Bert Reimer. She didn't like the city, so she returned to her parents' farm and worked for various neighbors as a hired girl. During her childhood a Sunday School was started and met in peoples' homes or in the school house in Little Elk Township. Church services were held there too when they could get a pastor to come from Little Falls. Later a new church was built across the road. Listening to the radio at her parents' home was something the whole family enjoyed and also some of the neighbor boys. Singing was a favorite pastime for the youth of the area and many times they would walk to choir practice. When her little sister Ardell started to play piano, Gladys, her sister Ellen, and her brother Bud would sing together. For most of her life Gladys enjoyed singing and listening to music. She sang with her sister Ellen at many weddings, anniversaries, and funerals. In the last eight years she was not able to enjoy any music because of hearing difficulties. After her stroke on May 22, something changed and she was able to enjoy singing and listening to music again. When told that the stroke paralyzed her left side but she was now able to enjoy music, she said, "It wasn't much of a trade-off." Still, she sang many songs together with family and with others who visited her. She was thrilled when two nephews and a niece brought instruments to her room and played music and sang with her. Across the river and up a hill from her childhood home lived the Hokanson family and one boy caught her eye. From the time she was 18 they were together and at age 21 she and Reuben were married in the little country church on Oct. 12, 1940. After spending their first 1 1/2 years of marriage on her inlaws' farm they bought property adjoining it and farmed there until they moved to Little Falls in 1979. Reuben and Gladys celebrated 69 years of marriage together before Reubens death in 2009. There wasn't anything Gladys couldn't do on the farm. She helped morning and night milking cows, then did things in the house, in the garden, or in the fields if she was needed. In her "spare" time she liked to read, knit, crochet, quilt, sew, embroider, write poetry, pick berries and help other people. After retiring she traveled a lot with Reuben. She was so happy to be able to go to Europe, to Hawaii, and to Alaska. She loved to do crossword puzzles even while she was in the Care Center. And, don't even mention playing Scrabble!!! She was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Little Elk Township and continued her membership there when the congregation moved to Browerville. When she moved to Little Falls she was a member of First Lutheran Church. She enjoyed the various activities of the church and the church members and served in many different capacities in both churches. After Reuben passed away she moved to Bridgeway Estates where she found new and old friends. It became home to her and there was always a candy dish outside her door which needed replenishing quite often!
Gladys is survived by her sons, Harlen (Sue) Hokanson of Browerville, Darryl Hokanson of Urbana, Iowa and Wes (Darla) Hokanson of Lisbon, Iowa; and a daughter, Ardyce (Lorence) Eckblad of Cushing; grandchildren, Kristi (Jim), Heidi (Mike), Carl (Natalie), Gretchen (Jim), Erik (Melissa), Owen (Lisa), Kyle (Hannah) and Britt; great-grandchildren, Luke, Dani, Jack, Andrew, Emmett, Lincoln, Ella, Tyler, Madison, Lauren, and Soren and one great-great grandson, Brayden; sister, Ardell Solem; sister-in-law, Lorraine Sharon; many nieces, nephews; and special friend, Victor Olson and his family. Gladys was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Reuben; grandson, Craig Eckblad; daughter-in-law, Kay Hokanson; sister, Ellen Johnson; and brother, Bud Sharon. Pallbearers will be Gladys's grandchildren.

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Margaret F. Hofmann http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/25/margaret-f-hofmann/ http://mcrecord.com/2015/08/25/margaret-f-hofmann/#comments Tue, 25 Aug 2015 18:17:51 +0000 http://mcrecord.com/?p=580734 Margaret F.   Hofmann

Margaret F. Hofmann, 97-year-old resident of Covina, Calif., formerly of Little Falls, died Sept. 14, 2014.
A Memorial Service will be held Thursday. Aug. 27 at 2 p.m. at the Emblom-Brenny Funeral Service in Little Falls, with the Rev. Audrey Peterson officiating. A visitation will be held from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. Thursday at Emblom-Brenny Funeral Service in Little Falls.
Margaret F. Bergstrom was born Feb. 19, 1917, in Little Falls, to the late John and Mary (Anderson) Bergstrom. She grew up in Flensburg, with her 10 siblings. Margaret attended and graduated from Little Falls High School with the Class of 1934. Following high school, Margaret lived with her mother. She later moved to Mankato, where she worked as a waitress. Margaret was united in marriage to John Czech in 1939 and the couple lived in Mankato. While John was in the military, Margaret moved to Little Falls. In 1944, while serving active duty, John was killed. In 1945, Margaret moved to Crosby, where she owned and operated a children's clothing store. She met Ralph Hofmann and in 1947, the couple was married in Montana. Following their marriage, Margaret and Ralph lived in rural Deerwood. Ralph died in 1957. Margaret then moved to Little Falls and was employed at Morrison County Social Services until her retirement in 1983. She was a member of First Lutheran Church in Little Falls. Margaret moved to Covina, CA in 2012 to be closer to her daughter.
Margaret is survived by her daughter, Susan Czech-St.Claire of Covina; grandchildren, Nathan Hofmann, Nicholas Hofmann, Thomas Hofmann, Jr., and Arlin Kahan; and six great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Mary; first husband, John Czech; second husband, Ralph Hofmann; son, Thomas Hofmann; brothers, David, Julius, Henning and Axel Bergstrom; sisters, Olive Erickson, Myrtle Masson, Eleanore Misbe, Gladys Pettyjohn, Blanche Shearing and Adelia Bergstrom.
In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to First Lutheran Church in Little Falls.

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