The Caledonia Argus http://hometownargus.com The Caledonia Argus covers community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for the cities of Caledonia, Eitzen, and Brownsville; Independent School District 299 and Houston County, Minnesota. Mon, 27 Jul 2015 14:34:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Burton Fruechte http://hometownargus.com/2015/07/27/burton-fruechte/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/07/27/burton-fruechte/#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 14:34:13 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=39680 Fruechte Burton_rgbBurton W. Fruechte, 81, of rural Caledonia died Friday, July 24, 2015, at Gundersen Tweeten Care Center in Spring Grove, Minnesota.
Burton was born September 3, 1933, in Spring Grove, to Walter and Lillie (Meyer) Fruechte.  After graduating from Spring Grove High School, he served in the United States Air Force for eight years, returning home to farm upon his discharge from the service. On September 5, 1964, he married Lois Headington at St. Luke’s United Church of Christ in Eitzen, Minnesota. Burton and Lois lived and farmed together on his home farm for the rest of his life.
Throughout the years, Burton was active in the community, serving on the boards of Meadowland Dairy, Spring Grove Public Schools, Wilmington Township, St. Luke’s UCC and ABLE Inc.  After retiring from farming, he spent several years driving tour buses and delivering motor homes throughout the country. Burton and Lois enjoyed traveling, and the highlights of their travels included a family trip to Burton’s ancestral home in Germany and a motor home trip to Alaska, which completed his quest to visit all 50 states.
Family was Burton’s greatest source of joy, especially his grandchildren who looked forward to taking rides with Grandpa on his John Deere Gator. He also thoroughly enjoyed the company of his many friends, neighbors and relatives, who will miss his hearty laugh and good humor.
He is survived by his wife of 50 years, Lois; his two children, Kevin (Becky), Plymouth, Minnesota, and Karla (Rob) Cuff, East Grand Rapids, Michigan; his grandchildren, Colin and Kayla Fruechte and Benjamin and Henry Cuff; two sisters, Evelyn Estenson,  Northfield, Minnesota, and Audrey Hulsey of Omaha, Nebraska; brother-in-law, Merle (Beverly) Headington, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; sisters-in-law, Phyllis (Herbert) Banse, Caledonia; Janice Numedahl, Brenda Headington, and Lynn Headington, all of Decorah, Iowa; Lila (John) Cangemi, Jacksonville, Florida, and Joyce (Daniel) Nelson, Las Vegas, Nevada; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
In addition to his parents and parents-in-law, Elmer “Guy” and Clara Headington, he was preceded in death by his brother and sister-in-law, Armin and Shirley Fruechte; brothers-in-law, Don Estenson, Wayne Headington, Lyle Headington, and Mark Numedahl; a niece, Diana Headington; and close friend and cousin, Gilbert Fruechte.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m., Wednesday, July 29, at St. Luke’s United Church of Christ, Eitzen. Pastor Michael McCann will officiate. Burial will be in the church cemetery. A visitation will be held from 4 until 7 p.m., Tuesday and from 10 a.m. until the time of service Wednesday, both at St. Luke’s United Church of Christ, Eitzen. Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Homes and Crematory, Caledonia Chapel, is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Gundersen Medical Foundation or any other recipient of the donor’s choosing.Online condolences may be sent at www.jandtfredrickson.com.
Burton’s family would like to express their heartfelt appreciation to the doctors and medical staff who so ably and generously cared for him over the past several years.

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Time for Riskier Investing? http://www.adviceiq.com/content/time-riskier-investing http://www.adviceiq.com/content/time-riskier-investing#comments Mon, 27 Jul 2015 13:30:27 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?guid=de5d5a82483e23f40a35eeecc9095df5 After several years of solid stock market returns, you may actually be less afraid of risk. Maybe you question your asset allocation and strongly consider more stocks and other supposedly riskier assets. When balancing the temptation of ballooning returns with prudent and tested patience, though, choose the latter.

First let’s look at a few important points when changing an asset allocation, specifically when adding risk to a portfolio.

Historical Returns

The table contains the historical results of large U.S. stocks, U.S. bonds and portfolios containing varying percentages of each from 1926 to 2014. A few details stand out:

  • An all-stock portfolio generated the highest return, compounding capital at nearly 10% per year. This higher return came with greater volatility; stocks declined more often and in greater severity than did bonds.
  • Although stocks handily outperformed bonds over the 88 years, stocks occasionally underperformed for many years. Investments made in stocks during the late-1920s, mid-1960s and late-1990s lagged behind bonds for stretches of 10 or more years. Frequently since 1926, stocks underperformed bonds for five-year stretches.

Here are expected returns for different asset allocations assuming that future returns remain consistent with historical ones.

Historical Forecast Returns

(I think returns will be lower, but let’s use these averages.)

Assuming an asset allocation of 60% stocks and 40% bonds and annual stock returns of 10% and bond returns of 5% (historically consistent), a 60/40 portfolio has an average expected annual return of about 8%.

What if we bump the portfolio’s stock exposure? An 80/20 portfolio, using the above figures, enjoys an average annual expected return of 9%.

Should you reallocate that way? Only if you have at least a decade to tie up your money in the investment: a buy-and-hold passive investor needs that many years for a solid chance of outperforming a 60/40 with an 80/20 one.

Why? Stocks fall precipitously once or twice a decade.


Bear Market Returns

Recessions and bear markets wipe out many years of the excess returns that investors hope will accompany more-aggressive asset allocations. During recession-driven bear markets, stocks’ fall averaged about 30% and bonds rise about 5%. In a typical recession, a hypothetical 60/40 portfolio goes down about 16% and a hypothetical 80/20 portfolio goes down approximately 23%.

This grid shows the number of years necessary to make sure that additional risk sees a reward if future returns follow historical patterns.

Breakeven Horizon 5% / 10%

What if you think future returns will skew from the historical? Your recommended time horizons change.

Breakeven Horizon 3% / 15%

Under this bullish forecast, you still need five years before it makes sense to shift from a 60/40 portfolio to an 80/20. If a bear market occurs before five full years of 15% stock returns and 3% on bonds, you’re better off staying at 60/40.

Breakeven Horizon 3% / 15% Recession

What about imminent below-average returns? If returns over the next decade average 6% for stocks and 3% for bonds, your required time horizon stretches beyond a decade.

Breakeven Horizon 3% / 6%

So far we assume you’re a perfectly passive investor, selecting an allocation, rebalancing once per year and making no attempt to change the allocation to manage risk or increase returns. Why approach this discussion with a passive investor in mind if you’re an active investor?

Though an active investor may attempt to manage risk, such efforts may fail. Investing passively and assuming average market returns makes probable outcomes more evident. You’re also armed to make better active-management decisions.

To distance yourself from short-term investing:

  • Aggressively buy stocks during bear markets and early in the market cycle. Once the market bottoms, it then tends to rise at least 20% annually during the following two to three years. Don’t attempt to buy at some hoped-for bottom; do buy consistently when blood is in the streets (even your own).
  • Reduce exposure to risk assets as a bull market ages and when future expected returns are low. Your portfolio may very well underperform a more aggressive investment stance for a while. Time will still reward a 60/40 portfolio as richly, or even better, than it will an all-stock portfolio in the middle of a bear market.

We expect returns over the next seven to 10 years to settle between 3% and 5% per year. We also foresee fairly solid returns over the next two to three years as the U.S. and worldwide economies continue to grow.

Think long-term and do not try to outperform the stock market or the benchmark every year. Managing risk even at the expense of short- to medium-term underperformance can make sense. If future returns are compressed, be patient and wait for better opportunities before increasing your risk exposure – which can also curb the dangers of emotional influences in your investing.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Alan Hartley, CFA, is chief investment officer for Black Cypress Capital Management, which has offices in St. Augustine, Fla., and Charleston, S.C. He has been in the investment field since 2004.

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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After several years of solid stock market returns, you may actually be less afraid of risk. Maybe you question your asset allocation and strongly consider more stocks and other supposedly riskier assets. When balancing the temptation of ballooning returns with prudent and tested patience, though, choose the latter.

First let’s look at a few important points when changing an asset allocation, specifically when adding risk to a portfolio.

Historical Returns

The table contains the historical results of large U.S. stocks, U.S. bonds and portfolios containing varying percentages of each from 1926 to 2014. A few details stand out:

  • An all-stock portfolio generated the highest return, compounding capital at nearly 10% per year. This higher return came with greater volatility; stocks declined more often and in greater severity than did bonds.
  • Although stocks handily outperformed bonds over the 88 years, stocks occasionally underperformed for many years. Investments made in stocks during the late-1920s, mid-1960s and late-1990s lagged behind bonds for stretches of 10 or more years. Frequently since 1926, stocks underperformed bonds for five-year stretches.

Here are expected returns for different asset allocations assuming that future returns remain consistent with historical ones.

Historical Forecast Returns

(I think returns will be lower, but let’s use these averages.)

Assuming an asset allocation of 60% stocks and 40% bonds and annual stock returns of 10% and bond returns of 5% (historically consistent), a 60/40 portfolio has an average expected annual return of about 8%.

What if we bump the portfolio’s stock exposure? An 80/20 portfolio, using the above figures, enjoys an average annual expected return of 9%.

Should you reallocate that way? Only if you have at least a decade to tie up your money in the investment: a buy-and-hold passive investor needs that many years for a solid chance of outperforming a 60/40 with an 80/20 one.

Why? Stocks fall precipitously once or twice a decade.


Bear Market Returns

Recessions and bear markets wipe out many years of the excess returns that investors hope will accompany more-aggressive asset allocations. During recession-driven bear markets, stocks’ fall averaged about 30% and bonds rise about 5%. In a typical recession, a hypothetical 60/40 portfolio goes down about 16% and a hypothetical 80/20 portfolio goes down approximately 23%.

This grid shows the number of years necessary to make sure that additional risk sees a reward if future returns follow historical patterns.

Breakeven Horizon 5% / 10%

What if you think future returns will skew from the historical? Your recommended time horizons change.

Breakeven Horizon 3% / 15%

Under this bullish forecast, you still need five years before it makes sense to shift from a 60/40 portfolio to an 80/20. If a bear market occurs before five full years of 15% stock returns and 3% on bonds, you’re better off staying at 60/40.

Breakeven Horizon 3% / 15% Recession

What about imminent below-average returns? If returns over the next decade average 6% for stocks and 3% for bonds, your required time horizon stretches beyond a decade.

Breakeven Horizon 3% / 6%

So far we assume you’re a perfectly passive investor, selecting an allocation, rebalancing once per year and making no attempt to change the allocation to manage risk or increase returns. Why approach this discussion with a passive investor in mind if you’re an active investor?

Though an active investor may attempt to manage risk, such efforts may fail. Investing passively and assuming average market returns makes probable outcomes more evident. You’re also armed to make better active-management decisions.

To distance yourself from short-term investing:

  • Aggressively buy stocks during bear markets and early in the market cycle. Once the market bottoms, it then tends to rise at least 20% annually during the following two to three years. Don’t attempt to buy at some hoped-for bottom; do buy consistently when blood is in the streets (even your own).
  • Reduce exposure to risk assets as a bull market ages and when future expected returns are low. Your portfolio may very well underperform a more aggressive investment stance for a while. Time will still reward a 60/40 portfolio as richly, or even better, than it will an all-stock portfolio in the middle of a bear market.

We expect returns over the next seven to 10 years to settle between 3% and 5% per year. We also foresee fairly solid returns over the next two to three years as the U.S. and worldwide economies continue to grow.

Think long-term and do not try to outperform the stock market or the benchmark every year. Managing risk even at the expense of short- to medium-term underperformance can make sense. If future returns are compressed, be patient and wait for better opportunities before increasing your risk exposure – which can also curb the dangers of emotional influences in your investing.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Alan Hartley, CFA, is chief investment officer for Black Cypress Capital Management, which has offices in St. Augustine, Fla., and Charleston, S.C. He has been in the investment field since 2004.

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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Finding Your Forgotten $$ http://www.adviceiq.com/content/finding-your-forgotten http://www.adviceiq.com/content/finding-your-forgotten#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 19:31:53 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?guid=d7e2fa1d96096cc8b99519bae2047b22 An estimated $42 billion in unclaimed property languishes out there. Is some of it yours? Here’s how to find out – and get your money.

Unclaimed money often sits buried in abandoned bank and investment accounts, uncashed dividend checks and paychecks, forgotten tax refunds and excess funds due from insurance policies you canceled ages ago. Other sources of unclaimed or abandoned property include certificates for stocks, mutual funds or other securities; security deposits; unredeemed money order or gift certificates; or the contents of safe-deposit boxes.

Typically, property goes unclaimed if a bank, utility or other company has no contact with the accountholder for longer than a year.

How much money floats around out there? According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), rightful owners reclaimed $2.25 billion in 2011, via approximately 2.5 million claims. Claims averaged $892 apiece.

NAUPA reports that each state maintains an unclaimed property statute that protects your funds. These laws instruct companies to turn forgotten funds over to a state official who will then make a “diligent effort” to find you or your heirs. Most states hold lost funds until you are found, returning them to you at no cost or for a nominal fee.

Reclaimed amounts in some individual states are staggering: more than $200 million in New York this year; Pennsylvania needs to give away $2.3 billion. Florida even calls its unclaimed property site FLTreasureHunt.

You can quickly find out if cash sits somewhere for you in a handful of steps:

Check everywhere and everything. What slipped your mind can surprise you. Did you live in a different state 15 years ago? Did you once hold assets or money under your maiden name?

Did you sell an old business? Put money into a now-forgotten trust? Check your old states’ databases using the NAUPA map of the U.S.

Identify yourself. Most states provide a simple online process for you to claim property once you verify ID. If you prefer not to enter personal information online (such as a Social Security number, aka SSN, often requested), you may also claim over the phone from the appropriate state.

Check for old pensions. Were you once at a firm that offered a pension? Try contacting the company and ask if they still have a record of you.

If no, contact the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., a federal agency to help you can get your pension back. You’ll need your SSN, the dates you worked, the pension plan name, PBGC case number if you have one and the name of company (or other plan sponsor if the firm didn’t set up the account).

No frauds. Claiming funds that don’t belong to you is fraud; have backup evidence and proof. By the same token, scammers claiming to offer you help finding unclaimed money are mushrooming.

Watch the claim details. Once you find assets, your claiming process varies according to the state involved and the size of the property. Be thorough and comprehensive in completing all necessary documents.

Don’t give up. Even heirs can make claims into perpetuity, in most cases.

Protect your current property. At least once a year, touch base with institutions that hold your money. Financial institutions also don’t generally forward mail, so be especially diligent whenever you change your address.

If you think you left money behind somewhere, check: Some states now quietly whittle budget shortfalls with a process known as escheat, basically meaning a state takes the unclaimed money and hopes nobody ever notices.

Billions of unclaimed dollars are going nowhere. Check to see if some deserve to head directly into your retirement fund.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Sean Condon, CFP, is a wealth advisor and financial planner with Windgate Wealth Management in Chicago. He provides financial guidance to people who are building a career and concerned about accumulating wealth for their future. His firm also works with those at or near retirement and in need a strategy for managing the transition from living on a paycheck to living off their portfolio. Additional insights on financial planning and investing can be found on the Reflections blog, here.

If you would like to know more about Sean or have questions about becoming a client of Windgate Wealth Management, send an email to sean@windgatewealth.com or call 312-669-1650.

Perritt Capital Management Inc. is the registered investment advisor for Windgate Wealth Management accounts. Perritt Capital Management Inc. is not responsible for any linked website’s content.

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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An estimated $42 billion in unclaimed property languishes out there. Is some of it yours? Here’s how to find out – and get your money.

Unclaimed money often sits buried in abandoned bank and investment accounts, uncashed dividend checks and paychecks, forgotten tax refunds and excess funds due from insurance policies you canceled ages ago. Other sources of unclaimed or abandoned property include certificates for stocks, mutual funds or other securities; security deposits; unredeemed money order or gift certificates; or the contents of safe-deposit boxes.

Typically, property goes unclaimed if a bank, utility or other company has no contact with the accountholder for longer than a year.

How much money floats around out there? According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators (NAUPA), rightful owners reclaimed $2.25 billion in 2011, via approximately 2.5 million claims. Claims averaged $892 apiece.

NAUPA reports that each state maintains an unclaimed property statute that protects your funds. These laws instruct companies to turn forgotten funds over to a state official who will then make a “diligent effort” to find you or your heirs. Most states hold lost funds until you are found, returning them to you at no cost or for a nominal fee.

Reclaimed amounts in some individual states are staggering: more than $200 million in New York this year; Pennsylvania needs to give away $2.3 billion. Florida even calls its unclaimed property site FLTreasureHunt.

You can quickly find out if cash sits somewhere for you in a handful of steps:

Check everywhere and everything. What slipped your mind can surprise you. Did you live in a different state 15 years ago? Did you once hold assets or money under your maiden name?

Did you sell an old business? Put money into a now-forgotten trust? Check your old states’ databases using the NAUPA map of the U.S.

Identify yourself. Most states provide a simple online process for you to claim property once you verify ID. If you prefer not to enter personal information online (such as a Social Security number, aka SSN, often requested), you may also claim over the phone from the appropriate state.

Check for old pensions. Were you once at a firm that offered a pension? Try contacting the company and ask if they still have a record of you.

If no, contact the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., a federal agency to help you can get your pension back. You’ll need your SSN, the dates you worked, the pension plan name, PBGC case number if you have one and the name of company (or other plan sponsor if the firm didn’t set up the account).

No frauds. Claiming funds that don’t belong to you is fraud; have backup evidence and proof. By the same token, scammers claiming to offer you help finding unclaimed money are mushrooming.

Watch the claim details. Once you find assets, your claiming process varies according to the state involved and the size of the property. Be thorough and comprehensive in completing all necessary documents.

Don’t give up. Even heirs can make claims into perpetuity, in most cases.

Protect your current property. At least once a year, touch base with institutions that hold your money. Financial institutions also don’t generally forward mail, so be especially diligent whenever you change your address.

If you think you left money behind somewhere, check: Some states now quietly whittle budget shortfalls with a process known as escheat, basically meaning a state takes the unclaimed money and hopes nobody ever notices.

Billions of unclaimed dollars are going nowhere. Check to see if some deserve to head directly into your retirement fund.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Sean Condon, CFP, is a wealth advisor and financial planner with Windgate Wealth Management in Chicago. He provides financial guidance to people who are building a career and concerned about accumulating wealth for their future. His firm also works with those at or near retirement and in need a strategy for managing the transition from living on a paycheck to living off their portfolio. Additional insights on financial planning and investing can be found on the Reflections blog, here.

If you would like to know more about Sean or have questions about becoming a client of Windgate Wealth Management, send an email to sean@windgatewealth.com or call 312-669-1650.

Perritt Capital Management Inc. is the registered investment advisor for Windgate Wealth Management accounts. Perritt Capital Management Inc. is not responsible for any linked website’s content.

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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Withdrawing From a 401(k) http://www.adviceiq.com/content/withdrawing-401k http://www.adviceiq.com/content/withdrawing-401k#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 16:31:31 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?guid=9f532d897f63fef9e18d59ee6233fa08 You contributed to a 401(k) retirement plan for years and your employer added some matching funds. Now that you’re ready to retire it’s time to think about how to withdraw your money.

Two sets of rules govern your 401(k). Both the Internal Revenue Service and your plan administrator (probably your employer) oversee what you can do with the account. The IRS controls how your choices affect your taxes, the administrator how you invest and can withdraw assets.

If you’re 59½ or older, you can withdraw funds from your 401(k) without paying a tax penalty (generally 10% of what you take out). Under some circumstances involved in leaving a job, you can also withdraw a lump sum penalty-free if you’re older than 55.

Note: You avoid penalties, not ordinary income taxes. Some retirees delay taking withdrawals as long as possible, often to help savings compound safe from taxes.

Beginning the year you turn 70½, you must begin taking annual required minimum distribution (RMD) withdrawals. The amount is related to your life expectancy. To estimate your RMD, divide one by the number of years of your life expectancy, according to the IRS, and multiply that by the value of the assets in your 401(k).

Most financial advisors recommend that you take your money out of the 401(k) once you retire, either as a one-time distribution or as a rollover (a penalty-free transfer) into an individual retirement account. You avoid plan fees and gain greater flexibility in investing your funds.

If you decide to keep your money in the 401(k), you must adhere to the rules affecting both your options for distribution and your investment choices. Check with your plan administrator to find out how to take out your money; most will allow you to make periodic or regularly scheduled withdrawals. Other rules may also cover your RMDs or when and how often you can change your distribution options.

Again, withdrawals will be added to your taxable income unless you roll them over into a qualifying IRA. (Check the IRS chart to see how to safely transfer money from one kind of retirement account to another.)

Rolling into an IRA may well be your best choice: You have lower fees, more investment choices and similar distribution rules but can still let your money compound tax-free.

If you plan to take your distribution in cash, do some tax planning. Taking a regular distribution will allow you to spread the taxes and keep you in the lower tax brackets. Taking a lump-sum distribution might throw you into a higher bracket designed for the wealthy; your distribution will also incur a 20% withholding that you can apply to your next year’s tax bill.

A popular option is to take part or all of your distributed funds and buy an annuity to provide steady retirement income. Annuities come in various types. Retirees tend to prefer ones that provide guaranteed lifetime payouts.

Proponents point out that with an annuity you can’t outlive your money. You need to realize, though, that not all annuities are indexed for inflation (currently less than 1%). Your monthly guarantee might look good today yet buy much less in 20 years if prices rise.

You face the culmination of years of saving, and your moves will affect your finances for the rest of your life. You must think about many variables: how much you saved; your investment philosophy; your income needs, expected longevity and tax situation. Even your children’s financial situation can sway your decision.

No one choice suits everyone.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

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

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You contributed to a 401(k) retirement plan for years and your employer added some matching funds. Now that you’re ready to retire it’s time to think about how to withdraw your money.

Two sets of rules govern your 401(k). Both the Internal Revenue Service and your plan administrator (probably your employer) oversee what you can do with the account. The IRS controls how your choices affect your taxes, the administrator how you invest and can withdraw assets.

If you’re 59½ or older, you can withdraw funds from your 401(k) without paying a tax penalty (generally 10% of what you take out). Under some circumstances involved in leaving a job, you can also withdraw a lump sum penalty-free if you’re older than 55.

Note: You avoid penalties, not ordinary income taxes. Some retirees delay taking withdrawals as long as possible, often to help savings compound safe from taxes.

Beginning the year you turn 70½, you must begin taking annual required minimum distribution (RMD) withdrawals. The amount is related to your life expectancy. To estimate your RMD, divide one by the number of years of your life expectancy, according to the IRS, and multiply that by the value of the assets in your 401(k).

Most financial advisors recommend that you take your money out of the 401(k) once you retire, either as a one-time distribution or as a rollover (a penalty-free transfer) into an individual retirement account. You avoid plan fees and gain greater flexibility in investing your funds.

If you decide to keep your money in the 401(k), you must adhere to the rules affecting both your options for distribution and your investment choices. Check with your plan administrator to find out how to take out your money; most will allow you to make periodic or regularly scheduled withdrawals. Other rules may also cover your RMDs or when and how often you can change your distribution options.

Again, withdrawals will be added to your taxable income unless you roll them over into a qualifying IRA. (Check the IRS chart to see how to safely transfer money from one kind of retirement account to another.)

Rolling into an IRA may well be your best choice: You have lower fees, more investment choices and similar distribution rules but can still let your money compound tax-free.

If you plan to take your distribution in cash, do some tax planning. Taking a regular distribution will allow you to spread the taxes and keep you in the lower tax brackets. Taking a lump-sum distribution might throw you into a higher bracket designed for the wealthy; your distribution will also incur a 20% withholding that you can apply to your next year’s tax bill.

A popular option is to take part or all of your distributed funds and buy an annuity to provide steady retirement income. Annuities come in various types. Retirees tend to prefer ones that provide guaranteed lifetime payouts.

Proponents point out that with an annuity you can’t outlive your money. You need to realize, though, that not all annuities are indexed for inflation (currently less than 1%). Your monthly guarantee might look good today yet buy much less in 20 years if prices rise.

You face the culmination of years of saving, and your moves will affect your finances for the rest of your life. You must think about many variables: how much you saved; your investment philosophy; your income needs, expected longevity and tax situation. Even your children’s financial situation can sway your decision.

No one choice suits everyone.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

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

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Higher Rates? Not at Big Banks http://www.adviceiq.com/content/higher-rates-not-big-banks http://www.adviceiq.com/content/higher-rates-not-big-banks#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 13:30:41 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?guid=c1ee80c5221a05f6614133e9cdd935d6 When interest rates finally rise, where will you get a good return? Likely, not at large banks. Smaller lenders, which are more competitive, will give you more for your money.

Now, the average interest rate for saving accounts in the U.S. is less than 1%, according to Bankrate.com. But that's starting to change. Maybe after September it might get a little better.

The Federal Reserve signaled recently that it may raise its key interest rate this year. That should cause some banks to bump up the interest they pay on savings accounts. There are already a few banks offering rates near 1% and a few slightly higher.

"When the time comes for us to raise rates, I think there will be some benefits that flow through to savers," Fed Chair Janet Yellen said at a press conference. From the point of view of savers, of course, this has been a very difficult period for a long time.

The Fed slashed interest rates to near 0% in 2008 in an effort to resuscitate the U.S. economy after the financial crisis. The idea was to encourage people to spend and invest. But many Americans were savers during this same period and they were hurt.

Which banks are likely to offer the highest savings rates? The short answer is: small and online banks.

The Fed isn't the only driver of savings rates at banks. An increase in demand for loans over the past couple years has pushed smaller regional banks and online banks to gradually lift savings rates. Banks need deposits to fund loans they dish out, says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com.

The Palladian PrivateBank in South Carolina is already offering a 1.1% savings rate (with a minimum $10,000 account). Colorado Federal Savings Bank offers 0.85%, and First Internet Bank of Indiana has 0.8%, according to Bankrate.com.

Boosting savings interest payouts is common for smaller banks, which need a competitive edge against the giants, says McBride. "The best way to attract deposits is to offer attractive savings rate," he says. "The good news, for savers, is this going to continue."

But if your bank account is at a big bank – for example, Bank of America – you may not see a generous boost in interest on your savings account, even when the Fed starts raising rates.

The standard money market rate at Bank of America, which is flush with cash and customers, is a meager 0.03%. If your bank account doesn't offer a 1% savings rate by September, don't expect much more after a rate hike either. Big banks have so many customers and a lot of cash.  They don't have much incentive to raise the interest rates they offer to customers by much, McBride says.

"The bad news is that a rising tide is not going to lift all the ships," he says.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Phillip Q. Shrotman is founder and president of Principal Planning Service, Inc. in Long Beach, Calif. He was a professor in the Business Division at Long Beach City College for over 29 years, where he held the position as Coordinator for Financial Planning and Insurance for the college. He holds a Community College Instructors Credential from the University of California at Los Angeles and a master’s from the University of San Francisco. He also holds the profession designations of General Securities Principal of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Series 7 and 24. He has appeared as a guest on KABC Talk Radio and various television and radio programs.

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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When interest rates finally rise, where will you get a good return? Likely, not at large banks. Smaller lenders, which are more competitive, will give you more for your money.

Now, the average interest rate for saving accounts in the U.S. is less than 1%, according to Bankrate.com. But that's starting to change. Maybe after September it might get a little better.

The Federal Reserve signaled recently that it may raise its key interest rate this year. That should cause some banks to bump up the interest they pay on savings accounts. There are already a few banks offering rates near 1% and a few slightly higher.

"When the time comes for us to raise rates, I think there will be some benefits that flow through to savers," Fed Chair Janet Yellen said at a press conference. From the point of view of savers, of course, this has been a very difficult period for a long time.

The Fed slashed interest rates to near 0% in 2008 in an effort to resuscitate the U.S. economy after the financial crisis. The idea was to encourage people to spend and invest. But many Americans were savers during this same period and they were hurt.

Which banks are likely to offer the highest savings rates? The short answer is: small and online banks.

The Fed isn't the only driver of savings rates at banks. An increase in demand for loans over the past couple years has pushed smaller regional banks and online banks to gradually lift savings rates. Banks need deposits to fund loans they dish out, says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com.

The Palladian PrivateBank in South Carolina is already offering a 1.1% savings rate (with a minimum $10,000 account). Colorado Federal Savings Bank offers 0.85%, and First Internet Bank of Indiana has 0.8%, according to Bankrate.com.

Boosting savings interest payouts is common for smaller banks, which need a competitive edge against the giants, says McBride. "The best way to attract deposits is to offer attractive savings rate," he says. "The good news, for savers, is this going to continue."

But if your bank account is at a big bank – for example, Bank of America – you may not see a generous boost in interest on your savings account, even when the Fed starts raising rates.

The standard money market rate at Bank of America, which is flush with cash and customers, is a meager 0.03%. If your bank account doesn't offer a 1% savings rate by September, don't expect much more after a rate hike either. Big banks have so many customers and a lot of cash.  They don't have much incentive to raise the interest rates they offer to customers by much, McBride says.

"The bad news is that a rising tide is not going to lift all the ships," he says.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Phillip Q. Shrotman is founder and president of Principal Planning Service, Inc. in Long Beach, Calif. He was a professor in the Business Division at Long Beach City College for over 29 years, where he held the position as Coordinator for Financial Planning and Insurance for the college. He holds a Community College Instructors Credential from the University of California at Los Angeles and a master’s from the University of San Francisco. He also holds the profession designations of General Securities Principal of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Series 7 and 24. He has appeared as a guest on KABC Talk Radio and various television and radio programs.

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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How to Start Real Planning http://www.adviceiq.com/content/how-start-real-planning http://www.adviceiq.com/content/how-start-real-planning#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 19:00:30 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?guid=1b6e95f4411ce25fd3b3f6d26b7fcd2f You’re way too busy. You’ll take care of that next month. These words probably cross your mind when you face difficult or time-consuming tasks – including financial decisions. Bad move, and here are easy first steps to finally end procrastinating about your money.

Too often we all easily delay long-term financial planning because we don’t see the results of our choices until much further on. You may also avoid the topic entirely, as it requires you confront situations that are complex, deeply private and emotional.

Still, the cost of waiting to get your financial house in order can severely affect the well-being of you and your family.

Your first step might well be to hire an experienced financial advisor who can help you better control your finances and lay the groundwork for achieving your goals. Here are four tips to help you prepare for a productive discussion with an advisor – and cross tasks off your financial to-do list for good.

Develop goals. Your advisor needs to understand what you want both soon and in the years ahead. Take time to consider and convey a complete understanding of your current financial picture.

Where are you today? What goals or milestones do you hope to accomplish over the next few years? Where do you hope to be in five, ten or 20 years?

Include your spouse and other members of your family in the process, since they will likely play a large role in prioritizing the goals. Maybe you aim to pay down credit card debt by the end of next year or you want to start a college fund for your child or save to care for elderly parents.

Your advisor can help you assess the attainability of your goals, develop appropriate timelines and strategize where to allocate money.

Identify strengths and challenges. Before you sit down with your advisor, review some of your experience regarding money and your personal finances. What challenges did you face? What strides did you already make toward your goals?

You may want to review your budget, past statements or account information to pinpoint any trends, gaps or weak spots. If possible, identify any roadblocks. For instance, you may do an excellent job depositing money into your savings each week but lack an appropriate investment strategy to build and sustain that growth.

Share with your advisor any knowledge or helpful information you built up over the years. Learn of any potential health issues (such as hereditary illnesses) that might affect your finances or your ability to achieve your long-term goals, for instance? Prepare in advance and you can focus more on finding solutions to address problem areas.

Prioritize and take action. Once your advisor reviews your needs, priorities and goals, concentrate on the most critical areas. Ask your advisor to present recommendations in order of urgency.

Also evaluate the consequences of situations or events that fall outside of your defined plan or your list of goals. Maybe in the past you opted against developing an estate plan or purchasing life insurance. Improper planning – or worse, no planning – in these areas can cause a lot of damage fast if you die unexpectedly or become incapacitated.

As your advisor develops an implementation strategy for these recommendations, he or she may coordinate with other professionals, including your attorney, insurance agent or tax advisor.

Focus seriously on the long term. Steadfastly reviewing and tracking your progress is essential to your long-term financial goals. Whether you review monthly, biannually or annually, use regular meetings with your advisor to track checkpoints and share developments that may affect your plan.

If you develop a new goal or see other life events such as marriage, a job change or a new baby, work with your advisor to adjust your plan or investments as necessary. You also want to tackle upkeep on your current strategies. This includes reviewing beneficiaries on your accounts or implementing strategies to accommodate changes in tax laws.

Financial planning is an ongoing process that evolves as your life changes. Don’t leave your goals to chance.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Ryan McGuire is an associate consultant with Wipfli Hewins Investment Advisors LLC in Madison, Wis.

Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC d/b/a Wipfli Hewins Investment Advisors, LLC (“Hewins”) is an investment advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Hewins is a proud affiliate of Wipfli, LLP. Information pertaining to Hewins’ advisory operations, services, and fees is set forth in Hewins’ current ADV Part 2A, copies of which are available upon request or at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.

The views expressed by the author are the author’s alone and do not necessarily represent the views of Hewins or its affiliates. The information contained in any third-party resource cited herein is not owned or controlled by Hewins, and Hewins does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of any information that may be found in such resources. Links to any third-party resource are provided as a courtesy for reference only and are not intended to be, and do not act as, an endorsement by Hewins of the third party or any of its content or use of its content. The standard information provided in this blog is for general purposes only and should not be construed as, or used as a substitute for, financial, investment, or other professional advice. If you have questions regarding your financial situation, you should consult your financial planner, investment advisor, attorney or other professional. 

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.

]]>
You’re way too busy. You’ll take care of that next month. These words probably cross your mind when you face difficult or time-consuming tasks – including financial decisions. Bad move, and here are easy first steps to finally end procrastinating about your money.

Too often we all easily delay long-term financial planning because we don’t see the results of our choices until much further on. You may also avoid the topic entirely, as it requires you confront situations that are complex, deeply private and emotional.

Still, the cost of waiting to get your financial house in order can severely affect the well-being of you and your family.

Your first step might well be to hire an experienced financial advisor who can help you better control your finances and lay the groundwork for achieving your goals. Here are four tips to help you prepare for a productive discussion with an advisor – and cross tasks off your financial to-do list for good.

Develop goals. Your advisor needs to understand what you want both soon and in the years ahead. Take time to consider and convey a complete understanding of your current financial picture.

Where are you today? What goals or milestones do you hope to accomplish over the next few years? Where do you hope to be in five, ten or 20 years?

Include your spouse and other members of your family in the process, since they will likely play a large role in prioritizing the goals. Maybe you aim to pay down credit card debt by the end of next year or you want to start a college fund for your child or save to care for elderly parents.

Your advisor can help you assess the attainability of your goals, develop appropriate timelines and strategize where to allocate money.

Identify strengths and challenges. Before you sit down with your advisor, review some of your experience regarding money and your personal finances. What challenges did you face? What strides did you already make toward your goals?

You may want to review your budget, past statements or account information to pinpoint any trends, gaps or weak spots. If possible, identify any roadblocks. For instance, you may do an excellent job depositing money into your savings each week but lack an appropriate investment strategy to build and sustain that growth.

Share with your advisor any knowledge or helpful information you built up over the years. Learn of any potential health issues (such as hereditary illnesses) that might affect your finances or your ability to achieve your long-term goals, for instance? Prepare in advance and you can focus more on finding solutions to address problem areas.

Prioritize and take action. Once your advisor reviews your needs, priorities and goals, concentrate on the most critical areas. Ask your advisor to present recommendations in order of urgency.

Also evaluate the consequences of situations or events that fall outside of your defined plan or your list of goals. Maybe in the past you opted against developing an estate plan or purchasing life insurance. Improper planning – or worse, no planning – in these areas can cause a lot of damage fast if you die unexpectedly or become incapacitated.

As your advisor develops an implementation strategy for these recommendations, he or she may coordinate with other professionals, including your attorney, insurance agent or tax advisor.

Focus seriously on the long term. Steadfastly reviewing and tracking your progress is essential to your long-term financial goals. Whether you review monthly, biannually or annually, use regular meetings with your advisor to track checkpoints and share developments that may affect your plan.

If you develop a new goal or see other life events such as marriage, a job change or a new baby, work with your advisor to adjust your plan or investments as necessary. You also want to tackle upkeep on your current strategies. This includes reviewing beneficiaries on your accounts or implementing strategies to accommodate changes in tax laws.

Financial planning is an ongoing process that evolves as your life changes. Don’t leave your goals to chance.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Ryan McGuire is an associate consultant with Wipfli Hewins Investment Advisors LLC in Madison, Wis.

Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC d/b/a Wipfli Hewins Investment Advisors, LLC (“Hewins”) is an investment advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Hewins is a proud affiliate of Wipfli, LLP. Information pertaining to Hewins’ advisory operations, services, and fees is set forth in Hewins’ current ADV Part 2A, copies of which are available upon request or at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.

The views expressed by the author are the author’s alone and do not necessarily represent the views of Hewins or its affiliates. The information contained in any third-party resource cited herein is not owned or controlled by Hewins, and Hewins does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of any information that may be found in such resources. Links to any third-party resource are provided as a courtesy for reference only and are not intended to be, and do not act as, an endorsement by Hewins of the third party or any of its content or use of its content. The standard information provided in this blog is for general purposes only and should not be construed as, or used as a substitute for, financial, investment, or other professional advice. If you have questions regarding your financial situation, you should consult your financial planner, investment advisor, attorney or other professional. 

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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2014 Financial Summary http://hometownargus.com/2015/07/23/2014-financial-summary/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/07/23/2014-financial-summary/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 18:16:31 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=39667 2014 Financial Summary

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Reverse Mortgage Cautions http://www.adviceiq.com/content/reverse-mortgage-cautions http://www.adviceiq.com/content/reverse-mortgage-cautions#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 16:00:49 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?guid=de79142a136584430de38d7a72130288 As you near retirement, you may foresee a need for more money in the golden years than your savings can handle. You look to use Social Security, careful withdrawals from qualified accounts and maybe annuities. Can you also use one of your biggest assets: your home and its equity in the form of a reverse mortgage?

With a second mortgage, or a home equity line of credit, you must make monthly payments on the principal and interest. In a reverse mortgage, you use the equity in your home to receive monthly income payments. Generally, once you die or sell the home, you or your survivors use the remaining equity to pay off the loan.

You must live in the home as a primary residence – no renting it out – for the life of the loan. There’s also a limit on the amount you can borrow from such sources as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Among other conditions:

  • Lenders generally charge an origination fee and other closing costs, as well as servicing fees over the life of the mortgage. Some also charge mortgage insurance premiums.
  • You can’t deduct interest on your reverse mortgage on your income tax returns.
  • You remain responsible for property taxes, insurance, utilities, fuel, maintenance and other home expenses. Fail to keep any of these up and the lender might require you to repay your loan.
  • A financial assessment is required when you apply. Your lender may require a set-aside amount to pay your taxes and insurance during the loan. The set-aside reduces the amount of funds you can get in payments.
  • Reverse mortgages can use up the equity in your home, which means fewer assets for you and your heirs.

One popular form of a reverse mortgage is HUD’s home equity conversion mortgage (HECM). To qualify, you must be 62 or older, live in a single family home or a 2-to-4-unit home where you occupy one unit (HUD-approved condominiums and some manufactured are also eligible) and receive advice from a HECM-approved counselor who educates you on the advantages and disadvantages of such a mortgage.

With a HECM, you also still own your home. HECM loans are non-recourse, meaning you’ll never owe more than the value of your home at its sale regardless of whether the home’s value declines.

Other types, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC):

Single-purpose reverse mortgages are often a least-expensive option, offered through some (not all) state and local government agencies, as well as nonprofit organizations. You use these loans for only one purpose, which the lender specifies (for example, home repairs, improvements or property taxes).

Proprietary reverse mortgages are private loans backed through lending companies. If you own a higher-valued home, you may get a bigger loan advance.

Shop around carefully for a good reverse mortgage for you, the FTC recommends:

  • Compare fees and costs. While the mortgage insurance premium is usually the same lender to lender, most loan costs – including origination fees, interest rates, closing costs and servicing fees – vary.
  • Understand total costs and loan repayment. Ask a counselor or lender to explain the total annual loan cost (TALC) rates, which show your projected annual average cost of a reverse mortgage, including all the itemized costs.
  • No matter what type of reverse mortgage you consider, understand all the reasons you might have to repay your loan before you planned.

When you sell or convey title of the property, die or do not maintain the property as principal residence for longer than 12 months due to physical or mental illness, you reach what’s called the maturity event, meaning your reverse mortgage becomes due and payable. 

Pitchmen often dangle these loans as easy tools to fund maintenance and other home costs. Inflation can also eat away the buying power of fixed payment amount.

Nevertheless, when you do the deal right a reverse mortgage can increase your chances of a healthy income in your golden years, especially if you use the money in conjunction with other income such as Social Security, pensions and payouts from your retirement accounts.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Sterling Raskie, MSFS, MBA, CFP, is an independent, fee-only financial planner at Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Ill. He is an adjunct professor teaching courses in math, finance, insurance and investments. His blog is Getting Your Financial Ducks in a Row, where he writes regularly about investments, retirement savings and financial 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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As you near retirement, you may foresee a need for more money in the golden years than your savings can handle. You look to use Social Security, careful withdrawals from qualified accounts and maybe annuities. Can you also use one of your biggest assets: your home and its equity in the form of a reverse mortgage?

With a second mortgage, or a home equity line of credit, you must make monthly payments on the principal and interest. In a reverse mortgage, you use the equity in your home to receive monthly income payments. Generally, once you die or sell the home, you or your survivors use the remaining equity to pay off the loan.

You must live in the home as a primary residence – no renting it out – for the life of the loan. There’s also a limit on the amount you can borrow from such sources as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Among other conditions:

  • Lenders generally charge an origination fee and other closing costs, as well as servicing fees over the life of the mortgage. Some also charge mortgage insurance premiums.
  • You can’t deduct interest on your reverse mortgage on your income tax returns.
  • You remain responsible for property taxes, insurance, utilities, fuel, maintenance and other home expenses. Fail to keep any of these up and the lender might require you to repay your loan.
  • A financial assessment is required when you apply. Your lender may require a set-aside amount to pay your taxes and insurance during the loan. The set-aside reduces the amount of funds you can get in payments.
  • Reverse mortgages can use up the equity in your home, which means fewer assets for you and your heirs.

One popular form of a reverse mortgage is HUD’s home equity conversion mortgage (HECM). To qualify, you must be 62 or older, live in a single family home or a 2-to-4-unit home where you occupy one unit (HUD-approved condominiums and some manufactured are also eligible) and receive advice from a HECM-approved counselor who educates you on the advantages and disadvantages of such a mortgage.

With a HECM, you also still own your home. HECM loans are non-recourse, meaning you’ll never owe more than the value of your home at its sale regardless of whether the home’s value declines.

Other types, according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC):

Single-purpose reverse mortgages are often a least-expensive option, offered through some (not all) state and local government agencies, as well as nonprofit organizations. You use these loans for only one purpose, which the lender specifies (for example, home repairs, improvements or property taxes).

Proprietary reverse mortgages are private loans backed through lending companies. If you own a higher-valued home, you may get a bigger loan advance.

Shop around carefully for a good reverse mortgage for you, the FTC recommends:

  • Compare fees and costs. While the mortgage insurance premium is usually the same lender to lender, most loan costs – including origination fees, interest rates, closing costs and servicing fees – vary.
  • Understand total costs and loan repayment. Ask a counselor or lender to explain the total annual loan cost (TALC) rates, which show your projected annual average cost of a reverse mortgage, including all the itemized costs.
  • No matter what type of reverse mortgage you consider, understand all the reasons you might have to repay your loan before you planned.

When you sell or convey title of the property, die or do not maintain the property as principal residence for longer than 12 months due to physical or mental illness, you reach what’s called the maturity event, meaning your reverse mortgage becomes due and payable. 

Pitchmen often dangle these loans as easy tools to fund maintenance and other home costs. Inflation can also eat away the buying power of fixed payment amount.

Nevertheless, when you do the deal right a reverse mortgage can increase your chances of a healthy income in your golden years, especially if you use the money in conjunction with other income such as Social Security, pensions and payouts from your retirement accounts.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Sterling Raskie, MSFS, MBA, CFP, is an independent, fee-only financial planner at Blankenship Financial Planning in New Berlin, Ill. He is an adjunct professor teaching courses in math, finance, insurance and investments. His blog is Getting Your Financial Ducks in a Row, where he writes regularly about investments, retirement savings and financial 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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Pernilla Ernster http://hometownargus.com/2015/07/23/pernilla-ernster/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/07/23/pernilla-ernster/#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 15:05:01 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=39660 PernillaErnsterPernilla Ernster, 97, of Caledonia passed away gracefully on Tuesday, July 21, 2015.
She was born May 25, 1918 in Caledonia to August and Josephine (Thillen) Klug. She graduated from Loretto High School and Wisconsin Business University.
She married Linus P. “Ernie” Ernster on October 18, 1938 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church and together they farmed three miles northwest of Caledonia. They raised Ayrshire cattle and Arabian horses. She worked at the ASCS Government office for 20 years. After retiring, Pernilla received her real estate license and worked for Caledonia Realty. She officially retired in 1987.
Featured in the La Crosse Tribune’s Hopes & Dreams in 2000, Pernilla was quoted, “Isn’t it FUN getting old? I’m sure grateful for the privilege!”
Pernilla was active in many civic and church activities. She played piano for St Mary’s Masses. She was a chartered adult 4-H leader for most of the time her eight children were in 4-H. She was a member of the senior citizens club, Hospital Auxiliary, CCW, Catholic Women’s Group, St. Mary’s church choir, Circle-A-Saddle Club, actress and pianist for Founder’s Day melodrama plays, pen pal for CPS 6th grade journal class and regent of the Catholic Daughters #555. In 2000, Pernilla was named Houston County Outstanding Senior Citizen.
When Pernilla turned 80 years old, she started the “Granny Band” with some friends. Pernilla was musically multi-talented with the accordion, glockenspiel, spoons, piano, keyboard and harmonica.The Granny Band was an invited guest at the Superior, Wisconsin annual parade, winning best performing group, second place. Playing in the Granny Band kept Pernilla young at heart. The Granny Band was awarded the President’s Service Award and the Daily Points of Light. Congratulations were received from Presidents Clinton and Bush, Governor Jesse Ventura, Senator Rod Grams and House Representative Gil Gutknecht.
Pernilla was the proud mother of five sons and three daughters, Duane Ernster, Caledonia; Alice Ernster, Chatfield; Larry (Mary Kris Best) Ernster, Richfield; John (Ilene) Ernster, La Crescent; David Ernster, Apple Valley; Mark (Barb) Ernster, Lewiston; Rita (Ed) Duda, Rochester; and Jane (Ken) Meisch,  Caledonia; 17 grandchildren, Jody, Maria, Deanne, Miki, Matt, Mike, Emily, Tracie, Ryan, Lisa, Laura, Joe, Peter, Angela, Jacob, Josie and Margo; 25 great-grandchildren, Kenzie, Max, Sam, Abe, Nic, Lexi, Isaiah, Beau, Brody, Tobi, Abbi, Johnathon, Cashten, Montana, Sierra, Gunner, Summer, Afton, Brooklyn, Will, Ellie, Adelyn, Analeigh, Henry, and Charlie; three great-great-grandchildren, Payton, Remington and McCoy; along with in-laws, Louie, Judd, Brian, Amy, Jeremiah, Jaeson, Jenny, Jon, Lindsay, Sabrina, Stephan, Mark Noelle and Katie. Pernilla is also survived by sisters-in-law, Irma (Wilfred) Klug and Patricia (Leland) Klug.
Pernilla was preceded in death by her husband, Linus; her parents and three brothers, Wilfred, Leland, Silas and his wife, Alice.
Visitation will be 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 23 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church/Holy Family Hall in Caledonia. Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday, July 24 at 10:30 a.m. with visitation an hour before.
McCormick Funeral Home, Caledonia is assisting the family and online condolences may be given at mccormickfuneralhome.net.

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U.S. Investors’ Home Bias http://www.adviceiq.com/content/us-investors%E2%80%99-home-bias http://www.adviceiq.com/content/us-investors%E2%80%99-home-bias#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 13:00:50 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?guid=dc0f5249e95f93b2fdc03853d1d26fee Even though the predominance of domestic stocks has shrunk as other nations’ equities have grown in value, Americans continue to cling to investments from our own country.

That goes against the best investment advice. Around 12 years ago the South Dakota Investment Council – which manages my state’s public employee retirement system – combined two of their asset classes, domestic and international stocks, into one, global stocks. This move didn't make the nightly news, but it did signify a growing trend. Many investment managers no longer view the U.S. stock market as a separate asset class from the rest of the world's stock markets. Today, they regard it as one component of a global asset class of stocks. 

For the same reason that you don't want to own just one company's stock in your portfolio, it makes no sense for an individual investing for retirement to own just U.S. stocks. It's as important to diversify among countries as among companies.

The question then becomes how much of a global stock portfolio should be in U.S. stocks and how much in international stocks. For many years the standard thinking of portfolio managers was still to over-allocate to the U.S. Often, you still see 80% of a portfolio’s equity allocation in U.S. stocks.

While there is an increased appetite among American investors for foreign equities, home-based ones still predominate. Investment Company Institute statistics show that, in 2014, a quarter of new cash put into American mutual funds went to overseas-oriented mutual funds. That’s up from 15% in 2004, yet nowhere near 50%.

That over-allocation to domestic equities has never made a lot of sense to me, considering that the U.S. accounts for far less than 80% of the global market capitalization. In the 1980s, U.S. companies accounted for about 65% of the global capitalization. Accordingly, I weighted my stock portfolios with 65% U.S. and 35% international. By 1999, the U.S. had slipped to 50%. I adjusted my portfolios accordingly.

The latest statistics from Dimensional Fund Advisors show the U.S. still accounts for around 50% of the global capitalization. Investors who want to maintain a true global diversification of their stock portfolios will need to seriously consider reducing their American allocation.

Which international stocks, then, should you add? Developed regions and countries like those of Europe, Australia Pacific and Japan account for about 40% of the total global capitalization. Emerging market countries, many in Southwest Asia and LatInvestingin America, make up the remaining 10%. Weighting your portfolio accordingly gives you a well-diversified stock portfolio that has a high probability of withstanding the inevitable rise and fall of equity markets. 

How do you invest globally? There are mutual funds that invest in specific countries, in regions, internationally or globally. I don’t really like the country funds, as I don’t know which countries I should be underweighting or overweighting. Besides, creating a global index using country funds can be a lot of work and expense.

Using index regional funds is an easier way to invest in international stocks. To allocate according to the global capitalization percentages above, you would include three index mutual funds in your stock portfolio: one broad market U.S. fund, an international fund of developed (non-emerging markets) and an emerging markets fund.

If you want even more simplicity, invest in one good global fund. The difference between an "international" fund and a "global" or "world" fund is that a global fund will include U.S. stocks, where an international fund won’t. Vanguard Total World Stock ETF (VT) comes to mind as one of the better one-size-fits-all global funds that will invest in a mixture of countries, including the U.S. This one exchange-traded fund holds 7,164 stocks in 47 countries. You really need nothing more in the equity portion of your portfolio.

You don’t necessarily have to allocate your stocks strictly according to global capitalization percentages. Still, research suggests you will probably do better in the long run to do so. Whether you decide to own country, regional, international or global funds, what's most important is that you diversify your stock portfolio globally. In today’s world, global exposure is an important component of diversified investing.

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.

 

]]>
Even though the predominance of domestic stocks has shrunk as other nations’ equities have grown in value, Americans continue to cling to investments from our own country.

That goes against the best investment advice. Around 12 years ago the South Dakota Investment Council – which manages my state’s public employee retirement system – combined two of their asset classes, domestic and international stocks, into one, global stocks. This move didn't make the nightly news, but it did signify a growing trend. Many investment managers no longer view the U.S. stock market as a separate asset class from the rest of the world's stock markets. Today, they regard it as one component of a global asset class of stocks. 

For the same reason that you don't want to own just one company's stock in your portfolio, it makes no sense for an individual investing for retirement to own just U.S. stocks. It's as important to diversify among countries as among companies.

The question then becomes how much of a global stock portfolio should be in U.S. stocks and how much in international stocks. For many years the standard thinking of portfolio managers was still to over-allocate to the U.S. Often, you still see 80% of a portfolio’s equity allocation in U.S. stocks.

While there is an increased appetite among American investors for foreign equities, home-based ones still predominate. Investment Company Institute statistics show that, in 2014, a quarter of new cash put into American mutual funds went to overseas-oriented mutual funds. That’s up from 15% in 2004, yet nowhere near 50%.

That over-allocation to domestic equities has never made a lot of sense to me, considering that the U.S. accounts for far less than 80% of the global market capitalization. In the 1980s, U.S. companies accounted for about 65% of the global capitalization. Accordingly, I weighted my stock portfolios with 65% U.S. and 35% international. By 1999, the U.S. had slipped to 50%. I adjusted my portfolios accordingly.

The latest statistics from Dimensional Fund Advisors show the U.S. still accounts for around 50% of the global capitalization. Investors who want to maintain a true global diversification of their stock portfolios will need to seriously consider reducing their American allocation.

Which international stocks, then, should you add? Developed regions and countries like those of Europe, Australia Pacific and Japan account for about 40% of the total global capitalization. Emerging market countries, many in Southwest Asia and LatInvestingin America, make up the remaining 10%. Weighting your portfolio accordingly gives you a well-diversified stock portfolio that has a high probability of withstanding the inevitable rise and fall of equity markets. 

How do you invest globally? There are mutual funds that invest in specific countries, in regions, internationally or globally. I don’t really like the country funds, as I don’t know which countries I should be underweighting or overweighting. Besides, creating a global index using country funds can be a lot of work and expense.

Using index regional funds is an easier way to invest in international stocks. To allocate according to the global capitalization percentages above, you would include three index mutual funds in your stock portfolio: one broad market U.S. fund, an international fund of developed (non-emerging markets) and an emerging markets fund.

If you want even more simplicity, invest in one good global fund. The difference between an "international" fund and a "global" or "world" fund is that a global fund will include U.S. stocks, where an international fund won’t. Vanguard Total World Stock ETF (VT) comes to mind as one of the better one-size-fits-all global funds that will invest in a mixture of countries, including the U.S. This one exchange-traded fund holds 7,164 stocks in 47 countries. You really need nothing more in the equity portion of your portfolio.

You don’t necessarily have to allocate your stocks strictly according to global capitalization percentages. Still, research suggests you will probably do better in the long run to do so. Whether you decide to own country, regional, international or global funds, what's most important is that you diversify your stock portfolio globally. In today’s world, global exposure is an important component of diversified investing.

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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HTS Episode 1: Time Atlas http://hometownargus.com/2015/07/22/hts-episode-1-time-atlas-2/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/07/22/hts-episode-1-time-atlas-2/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 20:12:21 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=39653

Grayson DeWolfe started off as a solo artist at the age of 14, but once he started playing with other musicians such as Kristoff Druva and Josh Bening he knew he wanted to start playing with them as a band. That is when DeWolfe, Druva, Bening, Adam Feuring, and Aaron Gates became Time Atlas. After receiving more than 90,000 views on their cover of Maroon 5’s song “Unkiss Me” they were ready to launch their own official music video. On June 7, The band released their new song and video on YouTube to their original song called “Falling.”

Time Atlas has a growing number of fans throughout the Twin Cities. The band hopes their music will satisfy a range of tastes. “We want to be pretty diverse about our songs so we can kind of touch you know people who like different genres and everything and I think we did a good job at that,” says guitarist Bening. They will next be performing on Friday, Aug. 14 in Lacrosse, Wisconsin.

“Get ready everyone,” says DeWolfe as they kick off their new adventures with their band members beside them. For more information you can check them out at facebook.com/timeatlas. For upcoming performances you can also visit their website at www.timeatlasofficial.com.

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Steps After Your Spouse Dies http://www.adviceiq.com/content/steps-after-your-spouse-dies http://www.adviceiq.com/content/steps-after-your-spouse-dies#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 20:00:35 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?guid=ca5dc4f445617af7958f044f42dae068 You face fewer sad events in life as emotionally draining as losing your spouse. You are often swept up in the whirlwind as you prepare the funeral and make final arrangements to say good-bye. Once you emerge, often overwhelmed and lost, what do you do next to put your financial life in order?

First, try to not make any major decisions during this emotional time. Start with only what needs to be done; let the rest wait. Long-term judgment calls need thoughtful consideration and a clear head.

Some level of organization helps you begin recovering. Get a large file holder with individual slots for each category mentioned below to start sorting any and all paperwork relevant to your spouse.

You will need a certified copy of the death certificate, a copy of his or her birth certificate and your marriage certificate and access to any safe deposit box you or your spouse used.

Also maintain a list with contact information of the professionals your spouse used; attorneys, accountants, financial advisors, insurance agents and the like. Keep written records of any discussions with these people from now on – in an emotional time, you can easily forget key details.

Among your other considerations:

Life insurance. You may want a folder for this paperwork – and with luck you have a copy of the actual policy. You must make a claim on any policy to collect; contact the insurance agent for help if necessary.

Find out what type of life policy your spouse had – term, whole or variable life, for instance – and if the policies were still in force at the time of death. Also determine the beneficiaries and whether the policy carried additional benefits that you may not spot at first.

You may receive proceeds from a life policy fairly quickly, often in just a few days. Don’t forget that if your spouse was employed, group life or survivor benefits may be available to you from the employer.

Social Security. You or your children may qualify for survivor benefits based on your late spouse’s work record. Contact your local Social Security office to see what you can expect; have on hand your family’s Social Security numbers and any benefits statements.

Finances. Collect statements of all of your late spouse’s financial investments, including bank and brokerage accounts, retirement accounts and any partnership investment information. Keep titles and ownership documentation of all assets.

Wills. You will need a copy of the will and last testament. An attorney can help you through the process of settling the estate.

Online. In your grief you might overlook this contemporary loose end. If your spouse had an online presence on social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and the like, you may want to close those accounts.

Debts. Collect all credit card statements and bills. Just as before your life’s upheaval, it remains important to pay these on time. Check to see if your spouse carried credit insurance, a type of life policy to pay off some debts after death.

Finally, address your own financial affairs such as retitling assets, changing account beneficiaries and updating estate documents.

This bad time will pass and you will come back. When you do, best to emerge with what are now all your affairs in order.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Kathryn S. Allen, CFP, is a partner with Aspen Wealth Management in Fort Worth, Texas.

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 face fewer sad events in life as emotionally draining as losing your spouse. You are often swept up in the whirlwind as you prepare the funeral and make final arrangements to say good-bye. Once you emerge, often overwhelmed and lost, what do you do next to put your financial life in order?

First, try to not make any major decisions during this emotional time. Start with only what needs to be done; let the rest wait. Long-term judgment calls need thoughtful consideration and a clear head.

Some level of organization helps you begin recovering. Get a large file holder with individual slots for each category mentioned below to start sorting any and all paperwork relevant to your spouse.

You will need a certified copy of the death certificate, a copy of his or her birth certificate and your marriage certificate and access to any safe deposit box you or your spouse used.

Also maintain a list with contact information of the professionals your spouse used; attorneys, accountants, financial advisors, insurance agents and the like. Keep written records of any discussions with these people from now on – in an emotional time, you can easily forget key details.

Among your other considerations:

Life insurance. You may want a folder for this paperwork – and with luck you have a copy of the actual policy. You must make a claim on any policy to collect; contact the insurance agent for help if necessary.

Find out what type of life policy your spouse had – term, whole or variable life, for instance – and if the policies were still in force at the time of death. Also determine the beneficiaries and whether the policy carried additional benefits that you may not spot at first.

You may receive proceeds from a life policy fairly quickly, often in just a few days. Don’t forget that if your spouse was employed, group life or survivor benefits may be available to you from the employer.

Social Security. You or your children may qualify for survivor benefits based on your late spouse’s work record. Contact your local Social Security office to see what you can expect; have on hand your family’s Social Security numbers and any benefits statements.

Finances. Collect statements of all of your late spouse’s financial investments, including bank and brokerage accounts, retirement accounts and any partnership investment information. Keep titles and ownership documentation of all assets.

Wills. You will need a copy of the will and last testament. An attorney can help you through the process of settling the estate.

Online. In your grief you might overlook this contemporary loose end. If your spouse had an online presence on social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and the like, you may want to close those accounts.

Debts. Collect all credit card statements and bills. Just as before your life’s upheaval, it remains important to pay these on time. Check to see if your spouse carried credit insurance, a type of life policy to pay off some debts after death.

Finally, address your own financial affairs such as retitling assets, changing account beneficiaries and updating estate documents.

This bad time will pass and you will come back. When you do, best to emerge with what are now all your affairs in order.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Kathryn S. Allen, CFP, is a partner with Aspen Wealth Management in Fort Worth, Texas.

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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HTS Episode 1: Time Atlas http://hometownargus.com/2015/07/22/hts-episode-1-time-atlas/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/07/22/hts-episode-1-time-atlas/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 18:53:27 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=39650

Grayson DeWolfe started off as a solo artist at the age of 14, but once he started playing with other musicians such as Kristoff Druva and Josh Bening he knew he wanted to start playing with them as a band. That is when DeWolfe, Druva, Bening, Adam Feuring, and Aaron Gates became Time Atlas. After receiving more than 90,000 views on their cover of Maroon 5’s song “Unkiss Me” they were ready to launch their own official music video. On June 7, The band released their new song and video on YouTube to their original song called “Falling.”

Time Atlas has a growing number of fans throughout the Twin Cities. The band hopes their music will satisfy a range of tastes. “We want to be pretty diverse about our songs so we can kind of touch you know people who like different genres and everything and I think we did a good job at that,” says guitarist Bening. They will next be performing on Friday, Aug. 14 in Lacrosse, Wisconsin.

“Get ready everyone,” says DeWolfe as they kick off their new adventures with their band members beside them. For more information you can check them out at facebook.com/timeatlas. For upcoming performances you can also visit their website at www.timeatlasofficial.com.

]]>
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Key Homebuying Details http://www.adviceiq.com/content/key-homebuying-details http://www.adviceiq.com/content/key-homebuying-details#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 17:00:33 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?guid=08d947ff5757c84ef9afe6a18a897bf2 For most of us, our home is the largest investment we ever make. Counter your understandable butterflies at such an outlay of money by knowing as much as you can about the process in advance.

Housing also remains one of the biggest sectors influencing our national economy, with home starts and inventory data providing valuable insights into how we’re doing nationwide.

Homebuying continues to surge. The National Association of Realtors reports that home sales remained on a brisk pace in recent months. Housing markets are also nearing records in Denver and Seattle, to name just two cities.

Sounds great, and we’re all conditioned to think that homeownership constitutes a big part of the American Dream. What’s the right time to for you to invest in that dream and what do you need to think about before signing the deal?

Conventional wisdom suggests that you can buy a home as soon as you can afford a down payment, monthly mortgage bill and, of course, settle on a location. These aren’t the only issues for you to consider.  

First, be reasonably certain you will live in the home for at least seven years. On top of the recurring mortgage payments, insurance and property taxes that come with home ownership, you’ll face such carrying costs as yardwork, replacing water heaters or roofs and general upkeep. Plus, you must pay for transactional costs in the buying and selling.

The next question is often, “How much house can I afford?”

Qualifying for the monthly payment usually starts the buying process. Mortgage companies use a formula called debt-to-income ratio to calculate a monthly payment.

As I’ve written before, bankers add up all your car payments, minimum monthly payments on credit cards, monthly student debt payments and other obligations and divide the debt by your monthly income. Including the new potential mortgage payment, your ratio ought to be lower than 40% – ideally, less than 27% to 36%.

Meeting a specific amount for a down payment can help you avoid springing for private mortgage insurance (PMI) to protect your lender if you default on the mortgage loan. Generally, lenders require homebuyers to put down 10% to 20% of the purchase price to avoid mandatory PMI.

Your credit score helps determine terms of your mortgage. Your score probably comes from Fair Isaac Corp., and takes into account such factors as your payment history, amounts you owe, the length of your credit history, any new credit and the type of credit you use. Your score falls between 300 and 850. Above 750 usually denotes excellent credit, around 650 fair and less than 600 poor credit.

Each year you can receive a free copy of your credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com. Reports are provided from the three major credit-reporting agencies (EquifaxExperian and TransUnion).

Lenders typically offer fixed-interest home loans that give you the option to repay over 15 or 30 years. The 30-year option usually comes with a little higher interest rate and a smaller monthly payment.

Your lender may also offer an adjustable rate mortgage that specifies a fixed rate for a certain number of years but then adjusts the rate based on economic conditions. Generally, the fewer the years in the mortgage’s term, the better your payments at the initial stages of that loan.

Don’t forget costs for movers, new furniture, hooking up utilities and your first night’s take-out dinner. Like most ideals, the American Dream makes for excitement and a lot of work.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Joseph “Big Joe” Clark, CFP, is the managing partner of the Financial Enhancement Group LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm in Indiana. He is the host of Consider This with Big Joe Clark, found on WQME and iTunes. Big Joe can be reached at bigjoe@yourlifeafterwork.com, or (765) 640-1524. Follow him on Twitter at @Big Joe Clark and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/FinancialEnhancementGroup.

Securities offered through and by World Equity Group Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services can be offered by the Financial Enhancement Group (FEG) or World Equity Group. FEG and World Equity Group are separately owned and operated.

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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For most of us, our home is the largest investment we ever make. Counter your understandable butterflies at such an outlay of money by knowing as much as you can about the process in advance.

Housing also remains one of the biggest sectors influencing our national economy, with home starts and inventory data providing valuable insights into how we’re doing nationwide.

Homebuying continues to surge. The National Association of Realtors reports that home sales remained on a brisk pace in recent months. Housing markets are also nearing records in Denver and Seattle, to name just two cities.

Sounds great, and we’re all conditioned to think that homeownership constitutes a big part of the American Dream. What’s the right time to for you to invest in that dream and what do you need to think about before signing the deal?

Conventional wisdom suggests that you can buy a home as soon as you can afford a down payment, monthly mortgage bill and, of course, settle on a location. These aren’t the only issues for you to consider.  

First, be reasonably certain you will live in the home for at least seven years. On top of the recurring mortgage payments, insurance and property taxes that come with home ownership, you’ll face such carrying costs as yardwork, replacing water heaters or roofs and general upkeep. Plus, you must pay for transactional costs in the buying and selling.

The next question is often, “How much house can I afford?”

Qualifying for the monthly payment usually starts the buying process. Mortgage companies use a formula called debt-to-income ratio to calculate a monthly payment.

As I’ve written before, bankers add up all your car payments, minimum monthly payments on credit cards, monthly student debt payments and other obligations and divide the debt by your monthly income. Including the new potential mortgage payment, your ratio ought to be lower than 40% – ideally, less than 27% to 36%.

Meeting a specific amount for a down payment can help you avoid springing for private mortgage insurance (PMI) to protect your lender if you default on the mortgage loan. Generally, lenders require homebuyers to put down 10% to 20% of the purchase price to avoid mandatory PMI.

Your credit score helps determine terms of your mortgage. Your score probably comes from Fair Isaac Corp., and takes into account such factors as your payment history, amounts you owe, the length of your credit history, any new credit and the type of credit you use. Your score falls between 300 and 850. Above 750 usually denotes excellent credit, around 650 fair and less than 600 poor credit.

Each year you can receive a free copy of your credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com. Reports are provided from the three major credit-reporting agencies (EquifaxExperian and TransUnion).

Lenders typically offer fixed-interest home loans that give you the option to repay over 15 or 30 years. The 30-year option usually comes with a little higher interest rate and a smaller monthly payment.

Your lender may also offer an adjustable rate mortgage that specifies a fixed rate for a certain number of years but then adjusts the rate based on economic conditions. Generally, the fewer the years in the mortgage’s term, the better your payments at the initial stages of that loan.

Don’t forget costs for movers, new furniture, hooking up utilities and your first night’s take-out dinner. Like most ideals, the American Dream makes for excitement and a lot of work.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

Joseph “Big Joe” Clark, CFP, is the managing partner of the Financial Enhancement Group LLC, an SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm in Indiana. He is the host of Consider This with Big Joe Clark, found on WQME and iTunes. Big Joe can be reached at bigjoe@yourlifeafterwork.com, or (765) 640-1524. Follow him on Twitter at @Big Joe Clark and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/FinancialEnhancementGroup.

Securities offered through and by World Equity Group Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services can be offered by the Financial Enhancement Group (FEG) or World Equity Group. FEG and World Equity Group are separately owned and operated.

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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Hey, Fed: Admit Your Limits http://www.adviceiq.com/content/hey-fed-admit-your-limits http://www.adviceiq.com/content/hey-fed-admit-your-limits#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 14:01:40 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?guid=cbbc3eba08462e1cfee36cce12bbe8a3 Apparently, the Federal Reserve is taking the summer off. Since so many people erroneously believe that this flawed institution is all-powerful, maybe the bank can use its idle time to come clean with the public about its limitations.

After the Fed’s June meeting, the statement it issued was a rehash of its last statement, which was not worth repeating. Check the link from the Wall Street Journal, which you can use to compare the two most recent statements (as well as others), and you’ll see that the Fed mailed it in this time. The upcoming July meeting likely will be no different, and the Fed will wait until fall to hike interest rates.

Supposedly, these folks are managing our economy. The fate of the world is in their hands. And the best they can do is come up with an update to a previous statement. No wonder the economy has practically flat-lined throughout the current “recovery.”

Still, the Fed’s Seinfeld approach of having meetings about nothing may be better for the economy and for the American taxpayer than previous Chair Ben Bernanke’s pronouncements about unlimited quantitative easing programs – it’s bond-buying stimulus program, which did nothing other than distort markets.

The latest Fed statement starts with this: “Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January suggests that economic growth has moderated somewhat.” Really? What does “has moderated somewhat” mean? And where is the “information” received from? National Security Agency wiretaps? Drones? Bernanke’s blog?

The Fed did admit that its previous economic growth predictions were a tad too rosy, but that’s not news anymore. The world’s greatest economists are habitually as wrong about the rate of growth as they are about the cure for our current economic doldrums.

The Fed now predicts that the economy will grow at a rate of only 1.8% to 2% this year, which is down from a forecast of 2.3% to 2.7% in March, which was down from 2.6% to 3% in December. Of course, the latest Fed estimates may need to be notched down yet again, given that revised estimates for the first quarter show that the economy shrank by 0.2%.

“The Fed has consistently estimated that its near-zero interest rate policy and bond buying would produce faster growth,” The Wall Street Journal noted. “Yet each year yields disappointment. Then the Fed uses the reality of slower growth to explain why it needs to continue the policies that haven’t produced faster growth. The Fed has been in a perpetual policy feedback loop.” 

Of course, the Fed says little, but makes it sound important by, for example, referring to a “central tendency” for annual gross domestic product growth, rather than actual GDP growth.

Now’s the time for the Fed to take a more honest approach. Here’s what the Fed could have said:

“The Fed’s mandate is to foster maximum employment and price stability. As we’ve seen in recent years, it’s ludicrous to think that monetary policy can achieve those goals.

“The Fed is capable of lowering interest rates. It can artificially boost asset prices. It can weaken or strengthen the dollar. But it can’t control employment and its policies in recent years have had precious little impact on price stability.

“It’s the job of President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress to manage the economy. It’s a job that they have inappropriately left to the Fed since 2008.

“The Fed doesn’t control federal tax rates. America still has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. When American corporations earn money aboard, they are taxed on it by foreign countries and are taxed again if they try to bring that money back to the U.S. As a result, many companies that were formed in America have been moving their headquarters abroad.

“The Fed doesn’t control legislation, either. In recent years, American businesses have had to adjust to the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and numerous other new rules. Congress has frequently been accused of doing nothing. Yet the previous Congress broke new records with the volume of regulations passed, adding tens of thousands of pages of new rules to the Federal Register each year.

“In addition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other bureaucracies have reinterpreted old rules, which will make expanding more difficult for businesses to expand and could even challenge the reliability of our electric grid.

“The Fed doesn’t control the federal budget or the federal deficit, which exceeds $18 trillion. That doesn’t include nearly $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare.

“The Fed doesn’t negotiate trade agreements and cannot, for example, lift the embargo on U.S. oil exports.

“The Fed doesn’t control immigration policy, either. Each year, the best and brightest students from throughout the world come to the U.S. to earn degrees in business, engineering, information technology and other important subjects. When they graduate, they’re forced to return home after a short time. Congress could create more opportunities for entrepreneurial students to stay in the U.S. President Obama lifted the embargo on Cuba by executive order. Why can’t he issue an executive order to allow foreign entrepreneurs to establish their businesses in the United States?

“These issues are beyond the scope of what the Fed can do. We will no longer pretend that easy money policy is enough to restore economic vitality to the U.S. economy.

“Whether or not you agree with the Fed’s actions in recent years, we tried to do our job. Now it’s up to President Obama and the U.S. Congress to do their job.”

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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Apparently, the Federal Reserve is taking the summer off. Since so many people erroneously believe that this flawed institution is all-powerful, maybe the bank can use its idle time to come clean with the public about its limitations.

After the Fed’s June meeting, the statement it issued was a rehash of its last statement, which was not worth repeating. Check the link from the Wall Street Journal, which you can use to compare the two most recent statements (as well as others), and you’ll see that the Fed mailed it in this time. The upcoming July meeting likely will be no different, and the Fed will wait until fall to hike interest rates.

Supposedly, these folks are managing our economy. The fate of the world is in their hands. And the best they can do is come up with an update to a previous statement. No wonder the economy has practically flat-lined throughout the current “recovery.”

Still, the Fed’s Seinfeld approach of having meetings about nothing may be better for the economy and for the American taxpayer than previous Chair Ben Bernanke’s pronouncements about unlimited quantitative easing programs – it’s bond-buying stimulus program, which did nothing other than distort markets.

The latest Fed statement starts with this: “Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in January suggests that economic growth has moderated somewhat.” Really? What does “has moderated somewhat” mean? And where is the “information” received from? National Security Agency wiretaps? Drones? Bernanke’s blog?

The Fed did admit that its previous economic growth predictions were a tad too rosy, but that’s not news anymore. The world’s greatest economists are habitually as wrong about the rate of growth as they are about the cure for our current economic doldrums.

The Fed now predicts that the economy will grow at a rate of only 1.8% to 2% this year, which is down from a forecast of 2.3% to 2.7% in March, which was down from 2.6% to 3% in December. Of course, the latest Fed estimates may need to be notched down yet again, given that revised estimates for the first quarter show that the economy shrank by 0.2%.

“The Fed has consistently estimated that its near-zero interest rate policy and bond buying would produce faster growth,” The Wall Street Journal noted. “Yet each year yields disappointment. Then the Fed uses the reality of slower growth to explain why it needs to continue the policies that haven’t produced faster growth. The Fed has been in a perpetual policy feedback loop.” 

Of course, the Fed says little, but makes it sound important by, for example, referring to a “central tendency” for annual gross domestic product growth, rather than actual GDP growth.

Now’s the time for the Fed to take a more honest approach. Here’s what the Fed could have said:

“The Fed’s mandate is to foster maximum employment and price stability. As we’ve seen in recent years, it’s ludicrous to think that monetary policy can achieve those goals.

“The Fed is capable of lowering interest rates. It can artificially boost asset prices. It can weaken or strengthen the dollar. But it can’t control employment and its policies in recent years have had precious little impact on price stability.

“It’s the job of President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress to manage the economy. It’s a job that they have inappropriately left to the Fed since 2008.

“The Fed doesn’t control federal tax rates. America still has the highest corporate tax rate in the world. When American corporations earn money aboard, they are taxed on it by foreign countries and are taxed again if they try to bring that money back to the U.S. As a result, many companies that were formed in America have been moving their headquarters abroad.

“The Fed doesn’t control legislation, either. In recent years, American businesses have had to adjust to the Affordable Care Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and numerous other new rules. Congress has frequently been accused of doing nothing. Yet the previous Congress broke new records with the volume of regulations passed, adding tens of thousands of pages of new rules to the Federal Register each year.

“In addition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other bureaucracies have reinterpreted old rules, which will make expanding more difficult for businesses to expand and could even challenge the reliability of our electric grid.

“The Fed doesn’t control the federal budget or the federal deficit, which exceeds $18 trillion. That doesn’t include nearly $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities for Social Security and Medicare.

“The Fed doesn’t negotiate trade agreements and cannot, for example, lift the embargo on U.S. oil exports.

“The Fed doesn’t control immigration policy, either. Each year, the best and brightest students from throughout the world come to the U.S. to earn degrees in business, engineering, information technology and other important subjects. When they graduate, they’re forced to return home after a short time. Congress could create more opportunities for entrepreneurial students to stay in the U.S. President Obama lifted the embargo on Cuba by executive order. Why can’t he issue an executive order to allow foreign entrepreneurs to establish their businesses in the United States?

“These issues are beyond the scope of what the Fed can do. We will no longer pretend that easy money policy is enough to restore economic vitality to the U.S. economy.

“Whether or not you agree with the Fed’s actions in recent years, we tried to do our job. Now it’s up to President Obama and the U.S. Congress to do their job.”

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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2014 Financial http://hometownargus.com/2015/07/22/2014-financial/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/07/22/2014-financial/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 11:27:59 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=39640 City of Caledonia, Minnesota
SUMMARY FINANCIAL REPORT
REVENUES & EXPENDITURES FOR GENERAL OPERATIONS
ALL GOVERNMENTAL TYPE FUNDS
Year Ended December 31, 2013

PROPRIETARY FUNDS
Statement of Net Position
December 31, 2014
With Comparative Totals for December 31, 2013

PROPRIETARY FUNDS
Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Net Position
For the Year Ended December 31, 2014
With Comparative Totals for the Year Ended December 31, 2013

PROPRIETARY FUNDS
Statement of Cash Flows
For the Year Ended December 31, 2014
With Comparative Totals for the Year Ended December 31, 2013

Published in The Caledonia Argus July 22, 2015 422217

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McCarthy http://hometownargus.com/2015/07/22/mccarthy/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/07/22/mccarthy/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 11:27:56 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=39638 NOTICE OF INFORMAL PROBATE OF WILL AND INFORMAL APPOINTMENT OF PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE AND NOTICE TO CREDITORS
STATE OF MINNESOTA
COUNTY OF HOUSTON
DISTRICT COURT
THIRD JUDICIAL DISTRICT
Court File No.: 28-PR-15-469
In Re: Estate of Mary Jeanne McCarthy,
Decedent.
Notice is given that an Application for Informal Probate of Will and Informal Appointment of Personal Representative was filed with the Registrar, along with a Will dated October 2, 1972, and a First Codicil dated June 15, 2000. The Registrar accepted the application and appointed Michael E. McCarthy, whose address Is 417 Linden Street West, Stillwater, MN 55082, to serve as the personal representative of the decedents estate.
Any heir, devisee or other interested person may be entitled to appointment as personal representative or may object to the appointment of the personal representative. Any objection to the appointment of the personal representative must be filed with the Court, and any properly filed objection will be heard by the Court after notice is provided to interested persons of the date of hearing on the objection.
Unless objections are filed, and unless the Court orders otherwise, the personal representative has the full power to administer the estate, including, after thirty (30) days from the issuance of letters testamentary, the power to sell, encumber, lease, or distribute any interest in real estate owned by the decedent.
Notice is further given that, subject to Minn. Stat. 524.3-801, all creditors having claims against the decedents estate are required to present the claims to the personal representative or to the Court within four (4) months after the date of this notice or the claims will be barred.
Dated: July 10, 2015
/s/ Darlene L. Larson
Registrar
/s/ Susan Kasten
Deputy Court Administrator
ATTORNEY FOR PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE
Gregory B. Schultz, Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
214 East Main Street
Caledonia, Minnesota 55921
Telephone: (507) 725-3737
Attorney Reg. No.: 122099
ATTORNEY FOR PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE
Published in
The Caledonia Argus
July 22, 29, 2015
423000

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Sundet http://hometownargus.com/2015/07/22/sundet/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/07/22/sundet/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 11:27:52 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=39636 NOTICE OF INFORMAL PROBATE OF WILL AND INFORMAL APPOINTMENT OF PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE AND NOTICE TO CREDITORS
STATE OF MINNESOTA
COUNTY OF HOUSTON
DISTRICT COURT
THIRD JUDICIAL DISTRICT
Court File No.: 28-PR-15-480
In Re: Estate of Alden Sundet,
Decedent.
Notice is given that an Application for Informal Probate of Will and Informal Appointment of Personal Representative was filed with the Registrar, along with a Will dated January 16, 2007. The Registrar accepted the application and appointed Richard Sundet, whose address is 240 1st St. NW, Spring Grove, Minnesota 55974, to serve as the personal representative of the decedents estate.
Any heir, devisee or other interested person may be entitled to appointment as personal representative or may object to the appointment of the personal representative. Any objection to the appointment of the personal representative must be filed with the Court, and any properly filed objection will be heard by the Court after notice is provided to interested persons of the date of hearing or the objection.
Unless objections are filed, and unless the Court orders otherwise, the personal representative has the full power to administer the estate, including, after thirty (30) days from the issuance of letters testamentary, the power to sell, encumber, lease, or distribute any interest in real estate owned by the decedent.
Notice is further given that, subject to Minn. Stat. 524.3-801, all creditors having claims against the decedents estate are required to present the claims to the personal representative or to the Court within four (4) months after the date of this notice or the claims will be barred.
Dated: July 13, 2015
/s/ Darlene L. Larson
Registrar
/s/ Susan M. Kasten
Court Administrator
ATTORNEY FOR PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE
Timothy A. Murphy (MN# 76594)
Hammell & Murphy PLLP
PO Box 149
Caledonia, Minnesota 55921
Telephone: (507) 725-3361
Facsimile: (507) 725-5627
Published in
The Caledonia Argus
July 22, 29, 2015
422821

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Chapter 72 http://hometownargus.com/2015/07/22/chapter-72-2/ http://hometownargus.com/2015/07/22/chapter-72-2/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 11:27:14 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?p=39634 CITY OF CALEDONIA
CHAPTER 72: PARKING REGULATIONS
Section
72.01 Parallel parking
72.02 Parking of certain vehicles restricted
72.03 Forty-eight-hour parking limitation
72.04 Alleys; no through traffic or parking
72.05 Parking for purposes of sale or repair prohibited
72.06 Owner responsibility
72.07 Parking during snow removal; to facilitate snow removal
72.08 Impoundment of vehicles
72.09 Enforcement of parking violations
72.01 PARALLEL PARKING.
On all streets and alleys in the city, the stopping or parking of vehicles shall be parallel, as provided by M.S. 169.35, as it may be amended from time to time, as incorporated herein.
(Ord. 151, passed 9-11-1978) Penalty, see 70.99
72.02 PARKING OF CERTAIN VEHICLES RESTRICTED.
(A) None of the following described vehicles shall be parked on any street or highway in the city at any time between 10:00 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. the following morning, nor at any time between 10:00 p.m. Saturday and 5:30 a.m. the following Monday:
(1) Dump trucks, tractors, semi-trailers, truck-tractors or any heavy machinery or equipment;
(2) Farm machinery or mobile homes; and/or
(3) Anything hazardous or dangerous so defined by any city and state fire codes
(B) No trucks or other vehicles exceeding five tons gross weight shall be parked on residential streets in the city over weekends or holidays, nor shall parking be permitted on other days overnight from the hours of 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 a.m. the following day.
(Ord. 151, passed 9-11-1978; Am. Ord. 167, passed 2-13-1984; Am. Ord. 173, passed 6-10-1985) Penalty, see 70.99
72.03 SEVENTY-TWO-HOUR PARKING LIMITATION.
No vehicle shall be stopped or parked for more than 72 consecutive hours on any street or highway in the city. For the purpose of this section, any vehicle moved a distance of less than one block or less than 400 feet on streets having blocks greater than 400 feet in length during the limited parking period shall be deemed to have remained stationary. It shall be unlawful for any person to obliterate, erase or remove any mark or sign placed on a vehicle by a police officer for the purpose of measuring the length of time the vehicle was parked.
(Ord. 151, passed 9-11-1978) Penalty, see 70.99
72.04 ALLEYS; NO THROUGH TRAFFIC OR PARKING.
(A) No public alley shall be used for through traffic. Each public alley shall be used only for ingress and egress for property abutting the alley and for making pickups and deliveries at properties abutting the alley. No vehicle shall be stopped or parked on a public alley for a longer continuous period of time than one hour.
(B) For the purpose of this section, a vehicle moved a distance of less than one block or less than 400 feet during the limited parking period shall be deemed to have remained stationary.
(C) It shall be unlawful for any person to obliterate, erase or remove any mark or sign placed on a vehicle by a police officer for the purpose of measuring the length of time the vehicle was parked.
(Ord. 151, passed 9-11-1978) Penalty, see 70.99
72.05 PARKING FOR PURPOSES OF SALE OR REPAIR PROHIBITED.
No vehicle shall be stopped or parked on a street, highway or public alley in the city for the purpose of displaying it for sale or doing maintenance work on it or making repairs to it, except immediate emergency repairs.
(Ord. 151, passed 9-11-1978) Penalty, see 70.99
72.06 OWNER RESPONSIBILITY.
The presence of a vehicle in or upon any public street, alley or highway in the city, stopped, standing or parked in violation of this chapter shall be prima facie evidence that the person in whose name the vehicle is registered as owner committed or authorized the commission of the violation.
(Ord. 151, passed 9-11-1978) Penalty, see 70.99
72.07 PARKING DURING SNOW REMOVAL; TO FACILITATE SNOW REMOVAL.
(A) Parking during snow removal. Upon notice by an official or employee of the city, or when posted by special signs, no person shall park a motor vehicle on a street, highway or alley in the city until the snow removal on the street, highway or alley has been completed.
(B) Parking to facilitate snow removal.
(1) Definitions. For the purposes of this division (B), the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING. A traffic control plan to facilitate snow plowing/removal during designated winter months, requiring all motor vehicles, trailers, wagons, dumpsters and all other obstacles to snow plowing vehicles to park on opposite sides of the street every other day.
ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING DAILY HOURS. Alternate side parking restrictions shall apply daily between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.
ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING DAILY RESTRICTIONS. Alternate side parking daily restrictions shall require all motor vehicles, trailers, wagons, dumpsters and all other obstacles to snow plowing vehicles to park on the even-numbered side of any public roadway on even-numbered days and on the odd-numbered side of any public roadway on odd-numbered days during the alternate side parking daily hours between 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.
ALTERNATE SIDE PARKING WINTER PERIOD. The alternate side parking winter period for the city shall be from and including November 1 through and including March 31, annually.
BLOCKS WITHOUT BUILDINGS. Should any particular block be without buildings, the even/odd-numbered side of the public roadway shall be determined by building addresses on adjoining blocks of that roadway.
EVEN-NUMBERED SIDE. The even-numbered side shall mean the side of the public roadway having building addresses with even numbers (104 North Kingston Street, 220 South Sunnyside Drive, and the like).
MISNUMBERED BUILDING. Should a particular building be erroneously numbered, being the only odd-numbered building on that side of the public roadway while all others are even, it shall not constitute a defense for parking violation.
ODD-NUMBERED SIDE. The odd-numbered side shall mean the side of the public roadway having building addresses with odd numbers (113 South Pine Street, 417 West Main Street, and the like).
ONE-SIDE PARKING. One-side parking defines a restriction permanently prohibiting parking on one side of the street.
(2) Alternate side parking violation; recommended fine.
(a) Violation. Parking on the even-numbered side of a public roadway on an odd- numbered day (October 17) or parking on the odd-numbered side of a public roadway on an even- numbered day (December 20) between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. from and including November 1 through and including March 31, annually, shall be a violation of this division (B), except that alternate side parking regulations shall not apply to roadways having one side parking restriction (examples: South Marshall Street, South Winnebago Street, and the like).
(b) Recommended fine. Subject to the final determination by the court having jurisdiction, the minimum recommended parking fine for violation of the alternate side parking regulation shall be $20.
(3) Parking violations; payment of fines. If the parking fine is paid as designated by the traffic tab or summons within 14 days of the date of issuance, the face amount designated shall satisfy the obligation in full. Thereafter, the required payment amount shall be twice the face amount, together with, in instances where enforcement is instituted in the courts, costs of prosecution. In addition to the foregoing fines and charges, violators shall be required to pay towing and storage charges to obtain the release of towed or stored vehicles.
(4) Violations petty misdemeanors. Violations of this division (B) are deemed petty misdemeanors and upon conviction thereof shall be punishable as provided by law.
(Ord. 151, passed 9-11-1978; Am. Ord. 216, passed 9-12-2005) Penalty, see 70.99
72.08 IMPOUNDMENT OF VEHICLES.
Vehicles left parked or standing in violation of this chapter or in a damaged condition as a result of an accident or disrepair so as to be inoperable, and so located as to constitute an obstruction of the highway, street, alley or other public ground, are hereby declared to be nuisances and the nuisances may be summarily abated by, under the direction of or at the request of a police officer by removing and impounding or storing the vehicle in an appropriate place by means of towing or otherwise and shall be surrendered only to the duly identified owner thereof or his or her lawfully constituted agent upon the payment of all necessary costs and expenses of towing and the removing and storage thereof. The impounding of a vehicle pursuant to this chapter shall not prevent or preclude the institution and prosecution of proceedings for violation of this chapter against the owner or operator of the impounded vehicle. The city shall not be responsible for any damage to any vehicle removed and impounded in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(Ord. 151, passed 9-11-1978)
72.09 ENFORCEMENT OF PARKING VIOLATIONS.
(A) Except with prior written permit issued by and under the authority of the City Council, it shall be unlawful for any motor vehicle or vehicle towed by a motor vehicle to remain parked anywhere within a public parking area of the city for more than 72 consecutive hours.
(B) It shall be unlawful for any motor vehicle or vehicle towed by a motor vehicle to remain parked on a public street for a continuous period longer than 72 consecutive hours.
(C) For the purpose hereof, any vehicle moved a distance of less than one block or less than 400 feet on streets having blocks greater than 400 feet in length, during the limited parking period shall be deemed to have remained stationary.
(D) Subject to the final determination by the court having jurisdiction in such matters, the minimum recommended parking fines are as follows:
(1) Parking in excess of a two-hour parking limitation or any other specific parking prohibition not otherwise covered in this schedule: $20.00.
(2) Double parking: $40.00
(3) Parking in driveways: $40.00
(4) Parking on wrong side of the street: $20.00.
(5) Parking in areas designated no parking by yellow curb: $40.00.
(6) Parking too near intersections pursuant to the laws of the state: $40.00.
(7) Parking in front of fire hydrants: $40.00.
(8) Parking in areas designated non-parking for emergency purposes such as snow removal and in fire lanes: $40.00.
(9) Alternate side parking violation: $20.00
(E) If a given parking fine is paid as designated by the traffic tab or summons issued within 14 days of the date of the issuance thereof, the face amount thereof designated shall satisfy the obligation in full. Thereafter, the amount required to be paid shall be twice the face amount thereof, together with, in instances where enforcement thereof is instituted in the Courts, with the costs of prosecution. In addition to the foregoing fines and charges, violators shall be required to pay towing and storage charges to obtain the release of towed or stored vehicles.
(Ord. 151, passed 9-11-1978; Am. Ord. 180, passed – -)
Published in The Caledonia Argus July 22, 2015 421618

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An Annuity’s Drawbacks http://www.adviceiq.com/content/annuity%E2%80%99s-drawbacks http://www.adviceiq.com/content/annuity%E2%80%99s-drawbacks#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 20:00:28 +0000 http://hometownargus.com/?guid=543e3d33f0a127e382175faca2310e6e If you’re approaching or already in retirement and your fear of outliving your savings steadily grows, consider this: You pay a premium to an insurance company and in return a lifetime income kicks in when you turn a certain age. But the aging buyer should beware: These products often work in only limited circumstances and often just prey on your fears.

Longevity annuities have increasing visibility due to recent tax law changes. Insurers promise guaranteed income for life and fewer taxes through what’s called a qualified longevity annuity contract (QLAC), which is getting a lot of attention lately. Before you reach for the pen, though, understand longevity annuities’ fine print.

Annuities come in two types: variable and fixed. With a fixed annuity (the type you can use in a QLAC), you make a lump-sum or series of payments to the insurance company. In return, the insurer pays you a minimum rate of interest on your contribution plus a series of periodic payments over a number of years.

With a deferred annuity, your payments begin sometime in the future, rather than immediately. A deferred fixed annuity that provides payments for the life of an individual or couple is a longevity annuity.

Regulations recently changed to allow longevity annuity contracts in individual retirement accounts and qualified retirement plans, creating the QLAC This created an exception to required minimum distribution withdrawals on these accounts, allowing you to defer your RMD until age 85 (an increase of almost 15 years over previous rules) on the portion of your retirement plan funds in the QLAC.

A longevity annuity must meet the following requirements to qualify as a QLAC:

  • The amount of premiums paid cannot exceed the lesser of $125,000 or 25% of your IRA.
  • Payments from the QLAC must start no later than age 85.
  • The QLAC must provide fixed payments; you can buy a rider for cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs).
  • The QLAC cannot have a cash surrender value. In other words, it must be irrevocable and illiquid. It can carry a return-of-premium death benefit payable to your heirs as a lump sum or stream of income (see below).

Before you consider leveraging a portion of your retirement savings for a QLAC, understand the risks.

  • Inflation can degrade the purchasing power of your annuity’s guaranteed income. Insurers’ COLAs will diminish the amount of money available in your initial payments.
  • A longevity annuity is essentially a hedge that you will live to a very old age. If you die before receiving your principal back, the balance after your death becomes the property of the insurance company unless you bought a return of premium death benefit (which significantly lowers your returns).
  • The QLAC is irrevocable and illiquid – you can’t again access any money you contribute until your contracted payout.
  • The agreed-to payments are largely dependent on the strength and stability of the insurance company. While the insurer’s solvency might never become an issue, your payouts are not ironclad.
  • Deferring withdrawals to reduce your taxes for up to 15 additional years may seem attractive. But you need to understand the QLAC’s performance compared with other investment options, such as a balanced portfolio, over that time.

Again, two main (potential) benefits of a QLAC: guaranteed income for life and tax advantages of deferring the RMDs on a portion of the QLAC. Still, at our firm we see no compelling reason for most of our clients to use QLACs or any form of annuity. Other options, such as a low-cost diversified portfolio, are simply more effective.

Only under very limited circumstances – you spend a lot relative to your assets, for instance, or you have a high aversion to risk  – might a fixed annuity work best.

Generally, beware of insurance products targeting your anxieties about aging.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Wayne A. Lippert Jr., CFP, is a wealth advisor and principal and Eric Ross, CFP, is a financial planning specialist at Truepoint Wealth Counsel in Cincinnati.

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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If you’re approaching or already in retirement and your fear of outliving your savings steadily grows, consider this: You pay a premium to an insurance company and in return a lifetime income kicks in when you turn a certain age. But the aging buyer should beware: These products often work in only limited circumstances and often just prey on your fears.

Longevity annuities have increasing visibility due to recent tax law changes. Insurers promise guaranteed income for life and fewer taxes through what’s called a qualified longevity annuity contract (QLAC), which is getting a lot of attention lately. Before you reach for the pen, though, understand longevity annuities’ fine print.

Annuities come in two types: variable and fixed. With a fixed annuity (the type you can use in a QLAC), you make a lump-sum or series of payments to the insurance company. In return, the insurer pays you a minimum rate of interest on your contribution plus a series of periodic payments over a number of years.

With a deferred annuity, your payments begin sometime in the future, rather than immediately. A deferred fixed annuity that provides payments for the life of an individual or couple is a longevity annuity.

Regulations recently changed to allow longevity annuity contracts in individual retirement accounts and qualified retirement plans, creating the QLAC This created an exception to required minimum distribution withdrawals on these accounts, allowing you to defer your RMD until age 85 (an increase of almost 15 years over previous rules) on the portion of your retirement plan funds in the QLAC.

A longevity annuity must meet the following requirements to qualify as a QLAC:

  • The amount of premiums paid cannot exceed the lesser of $125,000 or 25% of your IRA.
  • Payments from the QLAC must start no later than age 85.
  • The QLAC must provide fixed payments; you can buy a rider for cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs).
  • The QLAC cannot have a cash surrender value. In other words, it must be irrevocable and illiquid. It can carry a return-of-premium death benefit payable to your heirs as a lump sum or stream of income (see below).

Before you consider leveraging a portion of your retirement savings for a QLAC, understand the risks.

  • Inflation can degrade the purchasing power of your annuity’s guaranteed income. Insurers’ COLAs will diminish the amount of money available in your initial payments.
  • A longevity annuity is essentially a hedge that you will live to a very old age. If you die before receiving your principal back, the balance after your death becomes the property of the insurance company unless you bought a return of premium death benefit (which significantly lowers your returns).
  • The QLAC is irrevocable and illiquid – you can’t again access any money you contribute until your contracted payout.
  • The agreed-to payments are largely dependent on the strength and stability of the insurance company. While the insurer’s solvency might never become an issue, your payouts are not ironclad.
  • Deferring withdrawals to reduce your taxes for up to 15 additional years may seem attractive. But you need to understand the QLAC’s performance compared with other investment options, such as a balanced portfolio, over that time.

Again, two main (potential) benefits of a QLAC: guaranteed income for life and tax advantages of deferring the RMDs on a portion of the QLAC. Still, at our firm we see no compelling reason for most of our clients to use QLACs or any form of annuity. Other options, such as a low-cost diversified portfolio, are simply more effective.

Only under very limited circumstances – you spend a lot relative to your assets, for instance, or you have a high aversion to risk  – might a fixed annuity work best.

Generally, beware of insurance products targeting your anxieties about aging.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Wayne A. Lippert Jr., CFP, is a wealth advisor and principal and Eric Ross, CFP, is a financial planning specialist at Truepoint Wealth Counsel in Cincinnati.

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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