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Archive - Sep 12, 2010 - Article

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Celebrate Grandparents Day by saving for child

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National Grandparents Day is today. If you’re a grandparent, this day is meant to honor you — but you can also celebrate by investing in your grandchildren’s future.
Of course, much of their future success may depend on their ability to receive a college education, but college is expensive. In fact, according to the College Board, for the 2009-10 school year, the average cost (tuition, fees, room and board) for an in-state student for one year at a public, four-year school was more than $15,000, while a student at a private, four-year school paid, on average, more than $35,000.
Furthermore, in recent years, college costs have risen considerably faster than the general inflation rate, so if your grandchildren are still quite young, their college bills may easily eclipse the numbers shown above.

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Parish school bash a big success

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With the slightest hint of fall in the air, this community once again helped the Lincoln Parish School District kick-off its academic year with an unbelievable bash on a Thursday night in the Ruston Civic Center. And with another record-breaking crowd, we feel even more empowered for success this year.
For the fourth year, the feedback has been absolutely amazing. And just as we have with each previous event, we’ve grown and grown.Attendance easily surpassed last year’s mark of 3, 400 and the enthusiastic crowd represented a marvelous cross-section of our community.
Energy was high as folks arrived early and stayed late. For more than two hours, families crowded into a room bustling with community and school booths, complimentary food and drink, exciting contests and giveaways and a lively soundtrack that helped power the evening along. But that’s what the Lincoln Parish District is all about this year—“Empowered for Excellence!” And certainly this community has embraced that goal with its participation in the annual bash.

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Establish oil and natural gas institute

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If you have poled a bateau through the roseau, if you have sailed down the little Cocodrie Bayou into the Gulf, if you have waded in the fresh and salt water marshes, you know how much Louisiana has sacrificed to produce so much oil and natural gas for our country.
This has finally been brought to the attention of everyone with the worst environmental disaster in our nation’s history by the explosion of the Deep Water Horizon Oil Platform and the explosion of the Mariner Energy Inc. Oil Platform south of Vermillion Bay.
We have been astounded by the revelations of safety violations, lack of preparation and confusion that accompanied these and other disasters in the oil industry. Surely oil companies could learn something about building a culture of safety from the nuclear industry.

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IRD tax eats in to IRA beneficiaries’ lump sum

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Question: I am fortunate enough to have a lot of money in my IRA. Is there a tax on the IRA when I die? My wife died a few years ago and I intend to leave my IRA to my children. I would like them to enjoy my money, not just look at it. Can’t I do that?
Answer: No problem.
But don’t labor under the illusion that (a) there are not taxes on your IRA at death, or that (b) 100 percent of your IRA will go to your children.

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Help keep recycling alive

Many environmentally conscious residents were met with surprise last week when recycling bins disappeared from all over Lincoln Parish.
The blue bins were located at businesses, schools and other sites throughout the parish, as well as in hubs at the parish dumpster megasite and in the parking lots of the Police Jury Complex and Super 1 Foods. Residents used the bins to dispose of newspapers, office paper, aluminum cans and telephone books to be recycled through Ruston-based Trailblazer Resource Conservation and Development, a nonprofit organization.
But because Trailblazer’s $95,000 federal grant for recycling in an eight-parish area was not renewed this fall, the organization does not have sufficient funding to continue its recycling program.

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Investment strategies for those with money to invest

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While there are many individuals who have plenty of money to invest, more than a few hesitate to do so because they are unsure of exactly how or where to invest their money. And while it may seem a logical conclusion that the more money you have the more complicated your investment picture becomes, that is not necessarily the case. Financial investment strategies can still be broken down into simple, easy-to-understand terms.
• Asset allocation — One of the most important elements of a successful financial strategy is proper asset allocation. This refers to the mix of investments you have in your portfolio, and it’s important to keep a good balance of different types of investments — like stocks, bonds and cash, for example — diversified across a range of industry groups or sectors. Your ultimate financial objectives, the amount of time you have to invest and your own risk tolerance should all be taken into consideration as you decide exactly how to divide up your funds and where to invest them. Although asset allocation will diversify your portfolio, it will not protect against fluctuating prices or uncertain returns.
• Equity investment strategies — When investing in stocks, a good rule of thumb is to diversify your stock portfolio across a number of sectors; you may also want to overweight industry sectors whose stocks you believe are likely to benefit from the current outlook for the economy. Once you have identified these sectors, you can begin to select specific stocks from within them.

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