Columns/Opinions

Thu
11
Mar

PSA: Resilience is key to meeting financial goals

   In all walks of life, resilience helps – and that’s certainly true when it comes to achieving your financial goals. 
   But to be resilient, you’ll need to overcome obstacles. 
   For example, when investing in your IRA and 401(k), you may see your balances drop during periods of market volatility. 
   To show resilience, though, you should remain invested. 
   Building your IRA and 401(k) is one thing – but protecting them is another. 
   You may face situations in which you need a sizable amount of cash in a hurry, perhaps for a major car repair. 
   Dipping into your retirement accounts early could result in penalties, but you can help avoid this setback by building an emergency fund. 
   Here’s one more challenge: Creating a long-term investment strategy and having the confidence to keep following it. 
   Your resilience can be strengthened by getting regular guidance from a financial professional. 

Thu
11
Mar

"Reel Reviews: ‘Monster Hunter’ blew budget on CGI beasties, not enough on storyline" by: Jessica Shepard

   As a recreational videogamer, I was suspicious of this film from the moment I heard about it. 
   After all, anytime there’s huge monsters intent on tearing up their environment and the unsuspecting people that get in their way – it’s an expensive bit of computer graphics. 
   And, to be perfectly honest, usually, the monsters don’t translate well to the big screen. 
   However, that’s not the case this time; the beasts in “Monster Hunter” are stunning and terrifyingly beautiful. 
   But, that’s where the bulk of the money for the film seems to be spent. 
   Even a solid A-List of talent can’t save the scrap of a storyline that Anderson tries to pass off to audiences. 
   Hunter is a science fantasy action film produced, written, and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, based on the video game series of the same name by Capcom. 
   It’s rated PG-13 for sequences of creature action and violence throughout and lasts 103 minutes total. 

Thu
11
Mar

"A look at Texas Freeze" By Nicole Pilson Coastal & Marine Resources Texas A&M AgriLife Matagorda County

   Well once again we find ourselves up against a year throwing us a curveball.  
   As the saying goes, “there’s no rest for the weary,” and ain’t that the truth.  
   In the aftermath of a bizarre winter storm, we are finding so much devastation. 
   It was hard enough to survive through no power or water, go through boil water advisories, and deal with burst pipes - but the things that came after the storm have been the ones to break the camel’s back.  
   It seems like our farmers and ranchers have taken some of the biggest hits as a consequence of the Texas freeze.  
   Crops died and livestock suffered. Fish farmers, particularly of redfish, have sustained major losses.  
   Fish literally froze to death and sank to their watery grave and those who survived may not be at peak health.  
   There is only so much that can be done to prepare a fish pond for temperatures we don’t usually see in our part of the country.  

Thu
04
Mar

"Winter Storm Uri staggers Matagorda County agriculture"Aaron Sumrall, PhD Matagorda County Extension Agent Agriculture/Natural Resources Texas A&M AgriLife

   If you didn’t look at the calendar and just listened to the chatter and conversations about the widespread damage throughout Matagorda County and Texas, you would think folks were talking about the aftermath of a major hurricane. 
   This is Texas and we all know what they say about Texas weather. 
   Winter storm Uri brought damage and destruction to all of Texas that would rival any major hurricane. 
   During the multi-day event, it was not hard to find prolonged temperatures in the low teens and temperatures not getting above the freezing point throughout the extent of Matagorda County with snow on the ground hanging around for several days. 
   Social media was bulging with images and experiences families were facing during the event. Matagorda County agriculture was not exempted from the adverse effects of this “once in a lifetime” storm.

Thu
04
Mar

"Fair and Rodeo takes health serious during COVID times" by: Jessica Shepard

   Well, given the weather at press time on Tuesday, it definitely feels like fair and rodeo season around here.
   Chilly, drizzly, windy and still strangely reaching almost 70 degrees every afternoon.
   The weirdest part is that at this same time last year, we’d barely heard of the COVID-19 coronavirus and my sister and I were enjoying fair food with enthusiasm.
   Plus, the carnival was in full swing and rodeo events thundered in the arena at the Matagorda county Fairgrounds.
   But, things are different now – even after a year of masking, social distancing and maintaining stricter hygiene habits, we’re still being cautious.
   I commend the Matagorda Fair and Livestock Association for taking precautions to keep everyone healthy and safe.
   Granted, it’s a bit disheartening not to be able to see that dazzling Ferris Wheel from our back porch right now.

Thu
04
Mar

"The potential impact of increasing interest rates" by: John Sample

   Moved into a new month and things look good for investors. The growth in the economy seems imminent. Last week gave me pause, however, as interest rates on Treasury bonds climbed higher. 
   This is significant as I invest in dividend-paying stocks. If inflation becomes a factor, then rates will rise and compete with stocks for investors’ dollars. 
   Why would someone risk market fluctuations if they could obtain a government-backed return? 
   We are at low levels, but should rates go up, it will capture investor dollars.
   Of significance is how rising rates impact certain sectors of stocks. Utilities are traded much like bonds. They pay a significant dividend and have somewhat limited growth. 
   As such, as rates go up the actual stock price may drop in value. This also happens to Master Limited Partnerships. The dividend doesn’t drop, but has to compete with interest rates. 

Thu
04
Mar

How can women overcome obstacles to financial security?

   On March 8, we observe International Women’s Day, a celebration of women’s achievements.
   Of course, even in the United States, women still tend to encounter more obstacles than men in the pursuit of financial security.
   As a woman, you should recognize these challenges – and take steps to overcome them.
   Many women take time out from the workforce to raise children or become caregivers to elderly parents.
   These duties can reduce their income and retirement savings.
   So, if you’re still working, put in as much as you can to your 401(k) or similar plan, and increase your contributions whenever you get a raise.
   Also, consider your Social Security options.
   You can start collecting benefits when you’re 62, but if you can afford to wait, you’ll get bigger monthly checks at your full retirement age, which is likely between 66 and 67.

Thu
04
Mar

"God will continue his good work within you until Jesus returns" by: Betsy Monico

   This is a mix of old and new…Back in 2016, my son asked his little sister to play basketball. 
   She gave him some lame excuse. 
   I heard the whole thing from the other room, dealing with a mountain of laundry. 
   I immediately knew what to do…leave the laundry, put on my Brooks running shoes, and head outside to play ball with him. 
   Jesus nudged me in that direction. 
   So often I ignore these simple promptings from the Lord. On this particular night though, I got it right! 
   Now back to an even older one blog from 2012. 
   This particular kiddo is now 21. The vague memory of it takes me way, way back and urges me to keep working on things here currently. 
   I know why I then would beg and plead with the Lord daily to help me get it right, not miss it, and to make the most of every single day with my family. 

Thu
04
Mar

"Believe God will repay you for all years the enemy stole" by: Caleb Gibson

   In the Bible there are 12 Minor Prophets. 
   These prophets are not minor in their time period, they are minor because of the length of their books. 
   During their time they made great work for the Lord. 
   The book of Joel is one of the Minor Prophets who has three chapters in his book. 
   This book was probably written around 835-800 B.C. 
   This minor prophet has some major messages. 
   He reminds us to be a legacy warrior. 
   Their nation had just gone through a huge devastation from a horde of locust. 
   I can hear Ricky Ricardo saying, “Ay, caramba!” just thinking about what they went through. 
   These creatures destroyed all of their land and left many people in need because their crops were gone. 
   Joel 1:3 tells us, “Tell your children about it, and let your children tell their children, and their children the next generation.” 
   God has called us to teach the next generation. 

Thu
04
Mar

"Reel Reviews: Classic enemies ‘Tom & Jerry’ dials up the nostalgia, seems to fall flat" by: Jessica Shepard

   Cartoons have always been my jam ever since I actually maintained an attention span to sit through and entire episode.
   I mean, it hasn’t stopped yet and I’m watching everything from Japanese Anime to the latest Disney animated flick – and anything in between.
   I caught the re-runs of classic cartoons like “Looney Tunes” and “Tom & Jerry” original shorts.
   When the “Tom & Jerry” movie trailers flooded the internet, I tried to give the film the benefit of the doubt.
   After all, the original source material was so old and it seems like the movie executives were trying to be at least half as successful as last year’s “Sonic the Hedgehog” movie.
   I struggled through this film and the old gags that were hilarious in the animated world, felt flat and lame.

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