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January 18th, 2019

MLK Day: A time to serve

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”
— The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. devoted his life to equality, social justice, economic advancement and opportunity for all.
He challenged Americans to build a more perfect union and taught that everyone has a role to play in making the nation what it can and should be.

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Getting starry-eyed over a lunar eclipse

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Views from the Boathouse
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Clear skies are expected tonight, making this sky watcher a happy man.
It’s time for a blood moon.
The first — and only — total lunar eclipse of 2019 is happening — Sunday, Jan. 20 — and North and South America will have a front row seat to the whole bloody show. During the eclipse, the moon will turn an eerie shade of red, the reason these events are often referred to as “blood moons.”

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NFL players should do their talking on the field

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BENCHMARKS
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 Many of my friends believe that I know a ‘little bit” about the sports world.  Both of them might say only “little.”
To read some truly expert comments, look for the only real expert in the sports world whose name has ever graced these pages, Buddy Davis.  His experience and talent are incomparable. I believe that Buddy would agree with some of today’s thoughts.

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Stocks climb as hopes for U.S.-China trade deal rise

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks in the U.S. and Europe jumped Friday as renewed hopes for progress in trade talks between the U.S. and China helped the markets finish the week with another strong gain.
Indexes jumped after Bloomberg News reported that China’s government offered to buy more goods and services from the U.S., potentially eliminating its trade deficit by 2024. For investors, the encouraging news on trade builds on recent positive signs for the U.S. economy and indications from the Federal Reserve that it will be patient when considering future interest rate hikes.

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Lawsuits ramp up pressure on family that owns opioid company

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The legal pressure on the prominent family behind the company that makes OxyContin, the prescription painkiller that helped fuel the nation’s opioid epidemic, is likely to get more intense.
The Sackler family came under heavy scrutiny this week when a legal filing in a Massachusetts case asserted that family members and company executives sought to push prescriptions of the drug and downplay its risks. Those revelations are likely to be a preview of the claims in a series of expanding legal challenges.

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When to start taking Social Security

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Question: When should I start taking Social Security? I turn 62 next week and I’m not sure if I should take them sooner or later. I’ll probably work till I’m at least 70 if my health holds out.
Answer: Last week we looked at the benefits and limitations of taking your Social Security benefits early before the so-called “normal retirement age.”
I don’t think it’s helpful to view the decision of when to take your Social Security benefits as either a contest you are trying to win, or a ticket to escape a bad job.

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Compounding: The potential power of time

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Why is time of the essence? The sooner you begin saving — even small amounts — the better your chance of reaching your retirement goals.
Consider the following example that shows how much waiting to invest can cost.
Put time on your side.

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Review your fixed-income strategy as interest rates rise

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When interest rates rise, the value of your fixed-income investments, such as bonds, will typically fall.
If this happens, how should you respond?
First of all, it’s important to understand this inverse correlation between interest rates and bond prices.
Essentially, when interest rates rise, investors won’t pay you full price for your bonds because they can purchase newly issued ones that pay higher rates.
So, if you sell your bonds before they mature, you could lose some of the principal value.

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Craft beer taps squeezed as shutdown delays new releases

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — The nation’s craft beer taps are being squeezed by the government shutdown, which has put new releases on hold, prevented new breweries from opening and stopped shipments of some suds across state lines.
The partial shutdown halted operations at the federal agency that regulates alcohol production and distribution. That means government employees can’t issue the permits needed for the beer to flow.

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Geezer Bowl would be fun to watch

The Press Box
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I believe all of you know who I’m rooting for in today’s NFC Championship game.
Undeniably, I’m a hardcore Who Dat.
But I have to admit to having mixed feelings about the AFC.
The Kansas City Chiefs have always a team I’ve liked. But I also find the thought of a “Geezer Bowl” on Super Sunday very intriguing.

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