Columns/Opinions

Thu
25
Apr

Fixed annuity could extend lifespan of retirement accounts

   You could spend two or three decades in retirement. 
   And that means you’ll need several sources of reliable income – one of which might be a fixed annuity.
   A fixed annuity can be structured to pay you income for life – and this income may allow you to take out less money each year from your other tax-deferred retirement accounts, such as your traditional IRA and your 401(k).
   A fixed annuity’s ability to help you extend the lifespan of your IRA and 401(k) is clearly of value. 
   Still, a fixed annuity does come with some issues, such as surrender charges for early withdrawals, along with other fees.
   However, if you consistently contribute the maximum amount to your IRA and 401(k) and you still have money left to invest, you might want to think about an annuity. 
   An income stream you can’t outlive might be worth considering.

Thu
25
Apr

"Following the words of the old hymn: Take time to walk, talk with Jesus" by: Betsy Monico

   Last week our local community aggressively prepared for dangerous weather. 
   Churches cancelled activities, baseball dismissed early, and everyone was advised to head home and hunker down. 
   My husband rushed back this way to get our vehicles under some type of covering, whether it was the carport or the shop. 
   My daughter was driving home from college. I checked her locations often to make sure that she avoided the damaging hail and heavy rain. 
   Well, we all beat the weather home. It did not begin until way after midnight, but woke us up and put my Jack Russell into a panic like I have never seen. 
   I commented the next morning at how we all were ready for the squall, even hours before it came our way, but it was not as severe as predicted…better to be safe than sorry though! 
   A good life strategy is to prepare, but to also expect and embrace the unexpected. We must be ready for challenges. 

Thu
25
Apr

"Nicodemas went from speaking in dark with Jesus to publicly taking care of him" by: Caleb Gibson

   While Jesus was on Earth, many of his opponents were Pharisees. 
    Many would ask him questions to discredit Him. One night a Pharisee went to Jesus, not to discredit him but because He was on the verge of being discovered.  
   His name was Nicodemus. 
   He said that many of them believed that Christ was from God because of the signs. 
   Jesus told him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3). 
   This asks a great question, what does born again mean? Does this mean something has to take place in the physical realm?
Jesus was talking about being born again by the Spirit of God. 
   To be saved you must have the Holy Spirit. Paul once said, “…if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” (Romans 8:9). 
   You cannot be born again and then get the Spirit, because when you get saved, you are born again by the Holy Spirit. 

Thu
25
Apr

"Reel Reviews: ‘Curse of La Llorona’ a weak installment of horror ‘The Conjuring’ series" by: Jessica Shepard

   “The Curse of La Llorona” has managed to unseat “Shazam!” as the No. 1 movie worldwide with over $55 million during its debut weekend.
   The film is a supernatural horror film directed by Michael Chaves in his directorial debut, and written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis. 
   It is the sixth installment in The Conjuring movie universe and is based on the Mexican folklore of La Llorona.
   It stars Linda Cardellini, Raymond Cruz, Patricia Velásquez, Oliver Alexander, Aiden Lewandowski, Roman Christou and Laynee-Lynne Kinchen, and follows a mother in 1970s Los Angeles who must save her children from a ghost who is trying to steal them away.
   In 1973 Los Angeles, a social worker named Anna Tate-Garcia (Cardellini) investigates the disappearance of the two children of Patricia Alvarez (Velásquez). 
   Anna turns up at the house of Patricia with a police officer and demands to check the well-being of the children. 

Thu
18
Apr

"Mother, daughter don’t share same opinion on Spring planting" by: Jessica Shepard

   I know that pollen is important to the environment and growth of plants on our planet.
   But, if we could have a few quicker, gentle rainstorms to help keep the green powder down, that’d be great.
   Mostly my problem stems from tree pollen and to be fair, I don’t think I’m the only one who has to deal with it.
   Several other friends have expressed more than a mild annoyance at Mother Nature’s work.
   Having sinus issues and respiratory problems from pollen is the main reason Spring annoys me.
   Well, that, and temperatures start to rise above 80 degrees during the daytime.
   Outside of Easter and a handful of my friend’s birthdays, Spring can be the troublesome season for me.
    In fact, we could just replace it with another Autumn and I’d be a happy camper.
   Still, it’s one of mom’s favorite seasons. 
   We’ve already planted two lemon trees and have to find spots for my two fig trees.

Thu
18
Apr

"Are you at a loss for direction on trading?" by: John Sample

   We are in the earnings report season on a holiday-shortened week of trading. 
   The big banks were the first to report and while they had nothing that was exciting on the positive side of the ledger, they did show positive earnings, though not as much as expected. 
   The various indexes were nonplussed by the news and gave back a little ground. It did add to the number of negative days since the indexes moved near record territory highs. 
   One of the biggest impacts on the downside is Boeing and its ongoing difficulties with the 737 Max. It seems that for every insignificant down day, there will be a big up day.
   I continue to feel that there is a surreal feeling around the markets today. 
   Each and every explanation seems to be stretch for an answer. 
   Sometimes it is only in hindsight that you can connect the dots. 
   I heard an analyst say that he saw more probability of a reduction in interest rates in the future. 

Thu
18
Apr

Try to avoid ‘Titanic’ investment mistakes

   It’s been 107 years this month since the tragedy of the Titanic. 
   Commercial shipping lines learned much from this disaster – and investors can take away some lessons, too.
   First, be willing to listen. 
   Other ships telegraphed the Titanic about nearby icebergs, but the crew ignored these warnings. 
   As an investor, you can benefit from advice from a financial professional – someone who can steer you away from dangerous investment moves.
   Also, be prepared. 
   With a shortage of lifeboats, the Titanic wasn’t ready for the accident. 
   But you can prepare yourself for life’s tough spots by building an emergency fund containing six to 12 months’ worth of living expenses.
   One more lesson from the Titanic: Give yourself time to reach your destination. 
   The Titanic’s captain wanted to break speed records – with tragic results. 

Thu
18
Apr

"It takes believing in God to realize your transformation" by: Betsy Monico

   The word “transformation” is flashing across my mind today. 
   When I was a little girl and my Dad owned Andy’s convenience store in town, he had a blinking sign out front. It lit up with individual light bulbs. 
   If I remember correctly too, there was an arrow pointing towards the building and black letters that he manually changed. 
   The main message I recall for some odd reason is… “Come on into Andy’s and Gas UP. We have beans today!” 
   Maybe there was a crock pot going in the back full of pinto beans? I am not sure. 
   I was too busy eating Pillsbury cookie dough and playing Pac-Man to care much about the real food or the real business taking place. 
   To him, it was a job, but to me - it was my playground. 
   Back to my word…I consciously made a decision to leave the sink full of dishes a bit ago and come outside to write my column. 

Thu
18
Apr

"We aren’t justified before God for our works, but by our faith" by: Caleb Gibson

   Christ’ resurrection is our divine receipt. This receipt is the result of the payment. 
   There is something amazing about the Resurrection of Jesus! After he took all of our punishment, judgment, and sin, He cried out, “It is Finished!” (John 19:30). 
   Because we believe in Christ, we are no longer under fear of punishment. 
   Why? Because at the cross, 
   He stood in our place. He made one payment for sins forever. 
   When Christ paid for our sins, God was pleased with the payment. 
   When you owe a large debt of money to a friend, it will be hard to keep in good standing because you will always have that on your conscious. 
   If you see him at the store, you may want to avoid him because you do not have enough money to pay. 
   Yet when you are free of debt, the stress is gone! No longer is that weighing you down. 

Thu
18
Apr

"Reel Reviews: ‘Hellboy’ reboot features more comic source material than previous films" by: Jessica Shepard

   As a fan of the previous “Hellboy” movies directed by Guillermo del Toro, I figured that I owed it to myself to see the newest one.
   After all, this reboot draws the majority of its inspiration from the Hellboy comics: Darkness Calls, The Wild Hunt, The Storm and the Fury, and Hellboy in Mexico.
   Directed by Neil Marshall, the film stars David Harbour in the title role, alongside Milla Jovovich, Ian McShane, Sasha Lane, Sophie Okonedo, Daniel Dae Kim, and Thomas Haden Church.
   My favorite part about Harbour taking the reins as Hellboy is that he’s been quoted describing his take on the character as a mix of “Wolverine and Deadpool,” which is awesome!
   That also means that there’s plenty of swearing, gore and grossness – all scored with awesome 80s songs!
   Though it’s only ranked third at domestic box offices, Hellboy could rake in more worldwide.

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