"How will we take care of our population to earn living wage?" by: John Sample

   Another week and more gains in the various equity indexes and averages. 
   I would assume that many of you have received your statement as it concerns the performance of your retirement plan portfolio. 
   It has to make you smile. The big question though is what will happen in this last quarter. 
   I’ve said in this column for quite some time that I believe that the equity markets will do well in the last quarter. 
   I base that on more and more companies producing positive earnings reports. 
   There is an unfortunate caveat in that however. 
   These earnings reports reflect large companies’ earnings. 
   The problem in this country is that small businesses are being crushed. This is real side of free enterprise where the weakest of the herd gets eliminated. 
   If there is an upside to this process, then it is the ability of people to regroup and move in another direction. 


Caregivers must also care (financially) for themselves

   If you’re a caregiver, possibly for a loved one dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, you’re probably already facing some significant emotional and physical challenges – so you don’t need any financial ones as well.
   How can you deal with these?
   For starters, see if it’s possible to continue working.
   Can you work remotely?
   Or work part-time? In either case, you’ll be earning money while still being able to contribute to your IRA and your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored plan.
   Also, depending on your situation, you may be able to get paid for your caregiving services.


"To live with joy, examine your heart, motivations and accept failures" by: Betsy Monico

   This week has been full of ups and downs. If I created a tally sheet, it might show a few more tearful moments than smiling ones for me.
   This happens from time to time with us all - if we are honest and forthcoming. I will attempt to share snippets from the mountaintop and some from what seemed like I was nearer to a valley.
   Transparency keeps my purpose in writing alive, meaningful, and helpful to others I pray.
   Our local school district just completed the first nine-week grading period. We dismissed early Thursday.
   Students do not return until next Wednesday. Continuous questions and heartfelt concerns regarding face to face instruction, virtual classrooms, and Covid quarantines have worn us all slap out.
   We needed a break! My co-workers would agree in unison if asked.
   My two kids might be the only ones in disagreement.


"Believe that God’s redemption story is occurring before your eyes" by: Caleb Gibson

   God is still working miracles today.
   The Bible teaches us that God has given many grace gifts by the Holy Spirit. 
   This is important because we all play a role in the Body of Christ.
   Some of us are feet of Christ when we travel across the aisle to speak to a friend we haven’t seen in a while.
   Some of us are the hands of Christ when we pay for someone’s meal.
   And others are the mouth of Christ when we evangelize and teach God’s word.
   Just as the Apostle Paul wrote, “But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” (1 Corinthians 12:18).
   Here is a Greek lesson for the day. Charis is the Greek word for “grace.”
   Charisma is the Greek word for “gift of grace.”
    This is usually translated as, “gift” in the New Testament.


" Reel Reviews: ‘The War with Grandpa’ filled with childish gags, plenty of adult-geared jokes" by: Jessica Shepard

   In lieu of something spooky this week, I decided to be one of the first few people to catch “The War with Grandpa” because the trailer seemed promising.
   Plus, I’m down to watch anything that pits adults against kids if it features pranks and traps.
   I’m always fondly remembering the first two movies in the “Home Alone” series and a little bit of “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.”
   The promise of a prank war also stirs up a bit of childhood nostalgia.
   Except for me, it was my sister and I versus my brother – and definitely not fair but totally hilarious!
      The War with Grandpa is an American family comedy film directed by Tim Hill, from a screenplay by Tom J. Astle and Matt Ember, based upon the novel of the same name by Robert Kimmel Smith.
   It stars Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, Rob Riggle, Oakes Fegley, Laura Marano, Cheech Marin, Jane Seymour, Laura Marano, Poppy Gagnon, and Christopher Walken.


"Sharing a birthday with National Pumpkin Day is pretty cool" by: Jessica Shepard

   So, recently, I was surfing and clicking around on the Internet with the hopes of fishing out more fun information about my birthday on Oct. 26.
   Apparently, it’s also known as “National Pumpkin Day,” too.
   I guess I missed this in my previous searches and I’ve got to say that I’m a little disappointed in myself for overlooking such an easy way to celebrate my birthday.
   I mean, I’ve got no problem immersing myself into the word of pumpkin-flavored everything.
   Not just pumpkin spiced lattes or cinnamon rolls but cupcakes, muffins and pancakes.
   Also, I’ll probably head to Kate’s Coffee, Tea & More for a pumpkin spice frappe with boba pearls in it – if it’ll still be available by then.
   I recall that last year there was a run on pumpkin spice flavoring and was woefully disappointed by having to wait for a new shipment.

"A good economy can cure what ails you" by: John Sample

   This year just keeps up with the unexpected. 
   The President contracted Covid-19 and was admitted to the Walter Reed hospital. 
   It does appear that he is on the road to recovery. 
   I am wondering whether I will get infected or the vaccine first. 
   Luckily I am not as apt to be exposed due to my rather hermit existence.  
   I am currently visiting with my daughter’s family which encompasses four boys. 
   I am not sure Covid could make me anymore tired than keeping up with my young grandsons. 
   It appears that the news from the White House that the President is doing well will support the market.  
   It didn’t hurt that the employment claims announced Friday were positive. 
   We shall see how much longer the trend continues as the airlines, Disney and public works employees are facing furloughs now that October has arrived. 
   I will say though that advertising is on the rise with the election. 


Avoid financial mistakes during retirement

   When you retire, you’ve learned to avoid some mistakes you made earlier in life.
   However, you may still be susceptible to financial missteps specifically related to your retirement years.
   How can you avoid these errors?
   Here are a few suggestions:
   First, choose an appropriate withdrawal rate for your retirement accounts.
   If you take out too much early in your retirement years, you risk running short later on.
   Next, don’t underestimate your health care costs.
   Even with Medicare, you could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on medical bills during your retirement years, so you’ll need to be prepared.
   Also, try not to take Social Security too early.
   The longer you wait past age 62, the bigger your checks.
   Here’s another tip: Don’t invest so conservatively that your portfolio can’t keep up with inflation.

"Let Jesus be your song and He alone is your salvation" by: Betsy Monico

   I recently began teaching my early morning group at school about “seasoning” their writing and how to notice when an author “seasons” their words and eloquently transforms plain text into something special. 
   I stole the idea of “seasoning” from my son’s 4th grade teacher. She impacted him. Duh, she equated school to food. 
   He took the analogy to heart and connected it to his stomach! My kids appreciate good food. 
   They learned to cook and grill from their Dad and bake from me. 
   Following her plan, I explained to my small group last week that hamburger patties without any seasoning are pretty blah. Likewise, ground meat without the addition of taco seasoning from a packet or spices in the pantry, will not taste like taco meat. It will simply be ground beef. 
   True, seasoning when cooking is not absolutely essential. Food is edible without any extras, but when you add some spices into any dish, the palate is more pleased. 


"Sing to Lord and don’t let Coronavirus stop you from worshipping God" by: Caleb Gibson

   I love the story of Jacob because it reminds us of God provides for our needs. 
   While Jacob had basically nothing, no job, no house, no wife, no family living around him, the Lord spoke to him in a dream. 
   He was sitting a random patch of land. Jacob had left his family’s house because he deceived his brother. 
   Jacob got the blessing of the Father instead of Esau, the older brother. Esau was angry and wanted him dead. Jacob knew his skill in archery and figured it was time to leave. 
   When God speaks to him, Jacob calls the place Bethel. This means house of God. 
   Later, Jacob got married, had a job, good family, and much cattle. He became “exceedingly prosperous” (Genesis 30:43). When Jacob was being mistreated by his boss, God spoke to him again and reminded him that He was the God of Bethel. 


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