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Financial Focus: Lifetime Income: A great Mother's Day gift

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MAY 5, 2011 - Mother's Day will soon be here. If you're a mother, you will (hopefully) receive thoughtful cards and gifts. But there's one present you may eventually want to give yourself, and it's a gift that truly does keep on giving: a strategy for your retirement. Of course, it's important for everyone to build adequate financial resources for retirement -- but the challenge is even greater for women. Largely due to family responsibilities, women spend, on average, 12 years less in the workforce than men, according to the Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement. Less time in the workforce equates to lost earnings, missed promotions, smaller and fewer raises and reduced retirement plan benefits. In fact, men have, on average, about $91,000 in Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), including all IRA types and the amounts rolled over from other retirement accounts into IRAs, compared to just $51,000 for women, according to a recent report issued by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.


Financial Focus: Consider "tax-smart" investing

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April 28, 2011 - April 18 was the deadline for filing your individual tax return. But that wasn't the only event that occurred this tax season. Although you might not have been aware of it, Tax Freedom Day fell on April 12.

Tax Freedom Day, calculated annually by the Tax Foundation, is the day on which Americans have earned enough money to pay this year's federal, state and local taxes. Of course, Tax Freedom Day is something of a fiction, because most people pay their taxes throughout the year, via their paychecks. Furthermore, when you pay taxes, you help fund public education, the police, the fire department, highways, college scholarships and many other important elements of society. Nonetheless, you may want to use the concept of Tax Freedom Day to look for ways to reduce the taxes associated with your investments.


Business of the Week: Leonard ISD

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April 28, 2011 - The Leonard Independent School District is the center of learning excellence for the community and surrounding area. LISD strives to provide an atmosphere where local youth can find intellect, purpose, friendship, significance, and guidance on the way to their future responsibilities. The staff and faculty of LISD constantly endeavor to expand their knowledge, improve facilities, and provide a secure environment to make a child's educational experience the best it can be. The identity and future of a community largely rests upon its school district and LISD will proudly carry this banner with integrity.


Business of the Week: Summer House

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April 21, 2011 - Spring is here and everything is in bloom at the Summer House. The Summer House has been serving Leonard and the surrounding area with fresh flowers for 35 years. Eddie, Peggy, and Barbara are ready to make your event more spectacular with colorful floral arrangements. Don't forget that the Summer House is also your source for special gifts, antiques, and balloons. Come on up to the square and check out some of their newest decorative ideas to brighten your home.


Financial Focus: Are you an "environmentally conscious" investor?

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April 21, 2011 - On April 22, the 41st anniversary of Earth Day will be celebrated by millions of people around the world. As a global citizen, you may wish to commemorate this event by thinking of ways you can help the environment, such as boosting your recycling efforts and cutting back on your energy consumption. But you can also contribute to a "greener" world through your investment activities.

Specifically, you can take action in two related areas: reducing your paperwork and consolidating your accounts. Let's take a look at both of these possibilities.

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