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Bouman: President Reagan’s Secret 702(j) Retirement Plan

on November 14, 2017 - 2:51pm
By BEN BOUMAN
Alpine Financial Partners

Several times over the past few weeks I have been asked if I knew anything about “President Reagan’s Retirement Plan” and a 702(j)-retirement plan. I had never heard of such a thing, so I decided to investigate it. Here’s the deal folks. There is no such thing. This concept goes by many names. The 770 account, the 702(j), the 7702, The Presidents Secret Account, Invisible account, etc. It resurfaces every few years with a new name and new marketing approach from salesmen in the insurance business.

A 702(j) is not actually a retirement savings plan

Just One Thing To Do This Week: Use Resources

on November 9, 2017 - 6:25am

By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos

Do you know about Petfinder.com? It is like eHarmony or Tinder, only it matches a human up with a pet. The website includes fish, reptiles, barnyard animals, and rodents as well as cats and dogs. I am a dog person so when I browse the website I look at the dogs.

In my head I match up my friends and family with their next ideal dog-love. Sometimes I will send an email with an enticing photo of the lonely pup.

So far, no one has actually taken advantage of the leads I offer.

BOUMAN: What To Do About My Old 401(K)?

on November 2, 2017 - 8:49pm

By BEN BOUMAN
Alpine Financial Partners

Changing jobs can be a tumultuous experience. Even under the best of circumstances, making a career move requires a series of tough decisions, not the least of which is what to do with the funds in your old employer-sponsored retirement plan.

Some people choose to roll over these funds into an Individual Retirement Account, and for good reason. About 42 percent of all retirement assets in the U.S. are held in IRAs, and 85 percent of traditional IRA owners funded all or part of their IRAs with a rollover.

Generally, you have four choices when it comes

Home Country: Dud All Grins

on November 1, 2017 - 11:06am
Home Country
By SLIM RANDLES
 
Dud came in the Mule Barn truck stop all grins. Aha! thought the other members of the world dilemma think tank, Dud’s been up the road in deer camp three days now.
 
We know what that happy look means. Or maybe not …
 
“You fellas have GOT to come out to the camp with me and see what I’ve got!” Dud said. “You won’t believe it!”
 
“Got a nice buck did you, Dud?” Doc said.
 
“You just have to see for yourself,” he said.
 
So after another round of refills, the guys went out and got in two cars and headed off to camp.

Home Country: Halloween Fun

on October 27, 2017 - 9:05am
Home Country
By SLIM RANDLES
 
To look at Herb Collins, you wouldn’t think he was like that. A nicer, kinder guy you never met. But for one evening each year … one little slice of time … he’s downright diabolical.
 
Every small town has one, of course. There is always that one person who takes Halloween to its extremes of horror and fantasy. We have Herb.
 
Everyone knows about his penchant for decoration.

Scenes Of Last Outdoor Farmers Market This Season

on October 26, 2017 - 11:17am

The kettle corn is popping at today's final outdoor Los Alamos Farmers Market for the 2017 season. The Los Alamos Farmers Market is set up near the Mesa Public Library on Central Avenue. Photo by Nancy Ann Hibbs

Masa corn tortillas are under construction at today's Los Alamos Farmers Market ... get um while they're hot! Photo by Nancy Ann Hibbs

Christmas chile roasting today at the Los Alamos Farmers Market. Photo by Nancy Ann Hibbs

The produce stand is filled with fresh pickings at the Farmers Market today on Central Avenue. Photo by Nancy Ann Hibbs

A basket leaves the Farmers Market

Study: 2017’s Best Cities For Vegetarians & Vegans

on October 25, 2017 - 6:53am
WALLETHUB News:
 
With Nov. 1 being World Vegan Day and research showing that skipping meat can save the average person at least $750 per year, the personal-finance website WalletHub has released its report on 2017’s Best Cities for Vegans & Vegetarians.

To determine the best and cheapest places for following a plant-based diet, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 100 largest cities across 15 key indicators of vegan- and vegetarian-friendliness.
 
The data set ranges from the share of restaurants serving meatless options to the cost of groceries for vegetarians to salad shops per capita.
 

Home Country: Hunting Season

on October 24, 2017 - 1:50pm
Home Country
By SLIM RANDLES
 
Old Jasper Blankenship bought a deer license again this year, just as he’s done every year since Eisenhower was President. He sticks nickels and dimes in a jar all year long and smiles each time he contributes. By Fall, he’s saved up enough for a deer tag.
 
Jasper lives full-time out at the diggin’s with his dog, Arthur, of course, so he has only to walk about 100 feet from the cabin to do his hunting. That’s one of the marvels of it.
 
If he sees a nice buck, he might shoot it. Hey, he enjoys venison like everyone else, of course.

How The Hen House Turns: Some Thoughts On The Anthropocene

on October 23, 2017 - 4:52am
DeeDee and Scooter. Courtesy photo
 
How the Hen House Turns
By CARY NEEPER
 
Have we arrived in the new Anthropocene Age for Mother Earth? Have we humans left an indelible mark on our planet, one that has changed the planet for all time?
 
I think of the huge rafts of plastic waste on Earth’s oceans, the threat to giraffes and so many other beings close to extinction. Then I read about New Mexico’s former Gov. Bill Richardson and his work with The Humane society to “…end all experiments on chimps … to outlaw cockfighting, and to end all horse slaughter in North America.”
 

Wiemann: Put Retirement Week Lessons To Work

on October 20, 2017 - 8:06am
Information provided by
Shelly A. Wiemann
Edward Jones

To raise public awareness about the importance of saving for retirement, Congress has designated the third week of October as National Save for Retirement Week. What lessons can you learn from this event?

First of all, save early – and save often. Too many people put off saving for retirement until they are in their late 40s – and even their 50s.

Just One Thing To Do This Week: Thank You For Your Service

on October 19, 2017 - 4:29pm
By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos

In Spring 2000 I went on a bit of a shopping spree at the Dillard’s 70 percent off end-of-season sale. I bought new North Face ski jackets for the whole family—two adults and three teenagers. I spent hundreds of dollars, but I saved over a thousand dollars and I thought it was a great deal -- and we would no longer have to sport our trendy ‘80s color-block ski gear we had been wearing for years (yeah!).

Giddy with excitement, I hid the new jackets in the back of the coat closet until I had an appropriate moment to share the joyous news of my tremendous

Inspirational People: Keeping Magic Intact For Teen

on October 19, 2017 - 6:48am
By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post

With Christmas arriving month after next I am reminded of an incident I encountered last year in the checkout line at Smith’s.

A teenage boy whose eyes sparkled with that Christmas Eve magic was emptying his cart onto the conveyor belt. Gifts for the family, snacks and a holiday cake moved toward the checker. I remember thinking how excited and proud he appeared. I wondered if this was his first year working, making money to treat his parents and siblings to a Christmas celebration.

He beamed as he inserted his shiny new

Family YMCA Gets New Exercise Equipment

on October 19, 2017 - 5:39am

Technicians work on essembling new exercise equipment Wednesday at the Los Alamos YMCA including three new treadmills, two AMT machines and two elliptical machines at the Y on Iris Street. Courtesy photo

One of the new AMT machines now at the Y. Courtesy photo

One of the new elliptical machines now availble for use at the YMCA. Courtesy photo

Two of the new treadmills now at the Y. Courtesy photo

Home Country: Successful Business

on October 18, 2017 - 7:34am
Home Country
By SLIM RANDLES
 
Ran into Herb Collins the other day down by the school. He volunteers there, from time to time, helping kids with their math homework, and trying to recruit future members of The Great World of Business.
 
He loved business, back in the days when he lived in the city and ran the pawn shop. For years now, ever since he hung up his jeweler’s loupe, he’s told us that there was an excitement to making the right deal.
 
“It has to be right for the customer and for me, or it isn’t right at all,” Herb always says.

Scenes From Farmers Market Thursday

on October 14, 2017 - 6:21am
A local mail delivery man enjoys a break to buy fresh produce at the Farmers Market in downtown Los Alamos. Courtesy Photo
 
Beautiful produce at Thursday's Farmers Market. Courtesy photo
 
Local farmers display their goods. Courtesy photo
 
Matt Romero, left, gives service with a smile. Courtesy photo
 
This pair sells roasted chile. Courtesy photo

Smart Design With Suzette: Fireplace Design

on October 13, 2017 - 7:43am
Fireplace with a glass wall. Courtesy photo
 

By SUZETTE FOX
Los Alamos

While each person has his own vision of the perfect home, there are certain design elements that leave everyone equally stunned. If I had to choose an item that suits every home and is always welcomed by people with various interests that would certainly be a fireplace!

Fireplace design ideas aren’t easy to find. Many of my clients need help with their fireplace whether updating it, redesigning it or adding one to suit their taste, wants and needs.  

Why are fireplace designs so special?

Just One More Thing To Do This Week: Look Around The Room

on October 12, 2017 - 7:44am
By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos
 
I think I have an addiction. I have tried avoiding the temptations, weaning myself, and even going cold turkey, but nothing seems to help.
 
Eventually I am once again, back on the couch, falling victim to another HGTV home renovation show. I love these shows, and I love home renovation. I have lived with ongoing remodeling project chaos for years at a time. As long as there is the slightest bit of improvement, I can wait it out. As soon as one effort is complete, I am jonesing for another, usually bigger, project.
 
My husband, not so much.

John Bretzke Of Los Alamos Finishes 50th 1/2 Marathon!

on October 12, 2017 - 7:36am
John Bretzke of Los Alamos gave himself a 12-year goal to run a half marathon in every state in the U.S. and he completed that goal in 11 years, Sept. 24 in Annapolis, Md. Courtesy photo 
 
John Bretzke of Los Alamos with family and friends at the finish line of his 50th 1/2 marathon Sept. 24 in Annapolis, Md. Courtesy photo 
 
By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post

John Bretzke of Los Alamos set a 12-year goal to complete a half marathon in every state in the nation. He accomplished that goal in 11 years, Sept.

Home Country: Gates Of Heaven

on October 9, 2017 - 9:08am
Home Country
By SLIM RANDLES
 
The food’s awfully good down at the Gates of Heaven Chinese Restaurant. The valley’s other Delbert, Delbert Chin, has been putting on a decent feed there since he came to this country many years ago.
 
We like that lunch buffet. All you can eat, of course, and he makes this pink sauce that’s out of this world. You can put it on everything. And you want to. He asked me once why I used so much of it, and I told him if I had enough of that sauce, I could live on cardboard boxes and bedding straw.
 
But there’s something else about Delbert, too.

Just One Thing To Do This Week: Dream On...

on October 7, 2017 - 2:54am

By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos

I was going to write a light-hearted column this week. However, between the natural and unnatural disasters that have recently occurred, my head is filled with such sadness that I find very little humor in anything.

Every time I sit down to write, my feelings of helplessness and heartache fill the page. Not very entertaining I am afraid. But let me share my thoughts on how we can make a difference and contribute to improving the situation.

Regarding hurricanes and flooding - send money.

Study: 2017’s Fastest-Growing Cities In America

on October 3, 2017 - 8:06am
WALLETHUB News:
 
With economic growth expected to slow in the short term after a devastating hurricane season, the personal-finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2017’s Fastest-Growing Cities in America.

To determine where the most rapid local economic growth occurred over a period of seven years, WalletHub’s analysts compared 515 U.S. cities across 15 key metrics. The data set ranges from population growth to college-educated population growth to unemployment rate decrease. In addition, we produced a separate ranking by city size.

 
 
Fastest-Growing Cities in America
 

Birth Talk Los Alamos Meets Monday At FSN

on September 29, 2017 - 9:04am

Birth Talk Los Alamos meets at 6:30 p.m. Monday and invites those who have suffered pregnancy and infant loss to attend. The meeting is at Family Strengths Network at 3540 Orange St. Courtesy/BTLA

BTLA News:

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. Approximately 1 in 4 women will lose a pregnancy at some point in their lives, and in the US approximately 5 in 1,000 infants are stillborn or do not live more than a month.

Loss is a difficult and often taboo subject, but it is an important conversation to have.

Just One Thing To Do This Week: Honor Your Bette

on September 29, 2017 - 8:09am

By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos

For many, many years Bette was my best friend. We were together during a particularly drama-filled era of our lives.

We were going through angst-filled ups and downs, as both of our marriages fell to pieces while we were trying to meet the never-ending demands of raising children. We took turns holding each other up and holding each other together when necessary. On the day Bette’s divorce was final she found out she had advanced-stage breast cancer.

I was at home with her when the doctor’s office called wanting her to come in so they could discuss her biopsy

An Open Book: A Lucky Day

on September 28, 2017 - 7:23am

By DAVID IZRAELEVITZ
Los Alamos

The house had sold, most things were packed, and we had a place to live in faraway Los Alamos. Remaining on our to-do list was to finally visit those tourist sites we had always postponed for some time later. On our list was the Lowell National Historical Park, so we packed up the kids, 4, 6, and 8 years old on a beautiful fall morning in New England, and made the short drive to the shores of the Merrimack River, where some of the earliest textile mill buildings of the American Industrial Revolution had been restored.

My first exposure to a National Historical

Just One Thing To Do This Week: Go To The Dogs

on September 23, 2017 - 6:13am

By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos

I am always interested in reading, researching, and sharing ways to become healthier.

Sometimes, I even try to implement these healthy strategies into my own life, with varying degrees of success. When an email from Dr. Andrew Weil entitled “Dogs Can Help You Sleep” showed up in my inbox I was intrigued and skeptical. As a mom of three dogs I know they provide many benefits, however, contributing to a good night’s sleep is not one of them.

According to the study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, results showed that sleeping with a dog in the room did help some

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