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January 11th, 2014

Consider retirement plan when leaving job

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When you leave a job — whether due to layoff or for any reason — you are often faced with a decision about your 401(k) or other retirement plans. Over time, you may be in the same position as many other employees who have accumulated substantial balances in these employer plans that are designed for tax-advantaged retirement savings.
If so, you may find yourself having to make a decision about whether to keep your 401(k) funds with your former employer, roll them over to an IRA, or pay the taxes and cash out.

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Are you prepared for the unexpected?

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When you’re working to achieve your financial objectives, you will encounter obstacles. Some of these can be anticipated — for example, you won’t be able to invest as much as you want for retirement because you have to pay for your mortgage. Other challenges can’t be easily anticipated, but you can still plan for them — and you should.
Obviously, the word “unexpected,” by definition, implies an unlimited number of possibilities. However, at different stages of your life, you may want to watch for some “expected” unexpected developments.

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Debt: The good, the bad and the ugly

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Question: My boss has offered me the opportunity to buy into our business, but it will cost me some upfront money. I know you say never to go into debt, but how else will I get the money to buy into this business?
Answer: Ouch! I feel like the guy who just got asked when he stopped beating his wife!
Go find as many of my old columns as you like (hint: they are often used as tablecloths at crawfish boils!). You will never find a single instance where I advise “never to go into debt.”

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‘Aladdin’ to be presented

Louisiana Tech University’s Stone Theatre is proud to present its version of “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp,” directed by Paul B. Crook, associate professor of theatre, and featuring Tech theatre students and children from throughout north central Louisiana.

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32nd annual Ag Expo set to open Friday

Ag Expo, the region’s premier event for all things related to agriculture will present its largest show ever on Friday and Saturday at the Ike Hamilton Expo Center in West Monroe.
More than 175 exhibit booths hosting 135 exhibitors from all over the U.S. will present the newest offerings in products, services and equipment for farm and rural consumers.
New this year, a Master Farmer University for producers will be conducted by LSU Ag Center on Thursday and Friday just before the show opens. The popular Forestry Forum and Master Gardener Programs will return.

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Remembering Christmases from the past

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I’ve spent this week with Susan and Jonathan and enjoyed every minute of it. Great-grandbaby Sydney still had unopened Christmas presents, so although New Year’s has come and is moving on, we had another Christmas tree celebration. It reminded me of when my son had his second Christmas — his first with his dad who was overseas in World War II for the first one.
Wesley’s second we spent in Virginia with my husband’s family. It was exciting for me. Things were quite different for this Louisiana girl who’d never seen a truly white Christmas that I could remember.

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Still time to sign up for health coverage

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If you’re uninsured, there’s still time to sign up for health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace and avoid the penalty.
The Affordable Care Act requires that most Americans obtain health insurance by 2014 or pay a tax penalty. The penalty will be applied to your annual taxable income for each month you don’t have health insurance after March 31, 2014, the last day to enroll.

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Church News

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Assembly of God
First Assembly of God
“Living in the Spirit” class is at 9:45 a.m. Sundays. Children’s church is at 10:45 a.m. Nursery through age 3 is provided at 10:45 a.m. Sundays, by request on Sunday night and at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
Baptist
Calvary
Bible study classes begin at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Worship is also held at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Choir rehearsal begins at 4 p.m. today.
Men’s prayer breakfast begins at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday. Wednesday evening’s prayer services at 6:30 p.m.
Cook
Cook currently offers a Sunday morning pick-up. Call the church office at 255-1318.

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January 10th

Apartments burn in Ruston

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Brazzel: Sprinklers would have helped
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At 1:53 p.m. Thursday a structure fire began at 620 Henderson St. in the Drew Apartment Complex.
Eric Brazzel, public education officer for Ruston Fire Department, said on arrival, heavy smoke was coming from the center gable of the building.
“This building had eight units in it, and it was attached to another building with eight more units,” he said.

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Bus crash Thursday on Garr Road

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LSP: Four children received treatment for minor injuries
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Louisiana State Police Troop F responded to a Lincoln Parish School bus overturned on Garr Road Thursday.
Trooper Albert Paxton said there were four children on the bus and one driver.
“Everyone was transported to the Northern Louisiana Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries,” Paxton said.
According to driver statements, Paxton said the bus was traveling around the curve when a Dodge Dakota was heading in the direction of the bus and crossed the center line.

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