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December 2nd

Personalize your Social Security payout strategy

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Only you can decide if claiming Social Security at age 62 or waiting to claim later makes more sense.
Lifestyle and philanthropic intentions, marital and employment status, and gender are all factors.
When do you claim?
If you’re in a position to think through your Social Security claiming schedule, do it. It could mean thousands or tens of thousands to your annual retirement income.
Here’s your choice: You can start receiving monthly payouts at the qualifying age of 62 like many people. Or you can hold out for a bigger payout down the road.

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Can you really afford to retire early?

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Some people dream of retiring early. Are you one of them?
If so, you’ll need to plan ahead — because a successful early retirement can’t be achieved through last-minute moves.
So, if you’re determined to retire early, consider taking the following steps:
Pick a date. Early retirement means different things to different people. But it’s important to pick an exact age, whether it is 60, 62, 64, or whatever, so you can build an appropriate retirement income strategy.

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CHRISTMAS IN LINCOLN PARISH

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Top Left: Nola Costanza, 2, concentrates on coloring and angel during Ruston’s Kickoff the Christmas on Friday night.
Top Right: Kaye Houck, left, and Susan Houck visit with vendors Mary Claire Smith, third from left, and Jill Boling during Saturday’s Dubach Country Christmas arts and crafts fair at the Scott Hamilton Warehouse.
Bottom Left: Above, Katie Reppond gives ice skating a try at the downtown ice skating rink Saturday.
Bottom Right: David Kitishian, 6, shows off a Christmas card he made during Ruston’s Kickoff the Christmas on Friday night.

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PARISH CELEBRATES CHRISTMAS SEASON

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Left: Santa amidst a crush of young admirers during Ruston’s Kickoff the Christmas on Friday night.
Right: The all-light, 33-foot-tall city Christmas tree in downtown Ruston’s Railroad Park.

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LINCOLN PARISH RESIDENTS ENJOY HOLIDAY EVENTS

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Top Left: Gina Stokes, with the Dubach Restoration and Beautification Organization, places a bow atop the Mickey and Minnie Mouse float as she prepared for Saturday’s Dubach Country Christmas parade.
Top Right: Annasyn Gipson, left, and Tniyah Clemons, right, design their snowflakes during the Sprout Hour at the Historic Ruston Fire House during the Holiday Arts Tour Saturday. Children were invited to create several different art pieces while at the event.

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Tech: Taking it to the top

We weren’t surprised when the press release came across our desk telling us Louisiana Tech University has earned yet another round of favorable rankings from a national organization.

Using averages of graduation rate, net price, acceptance rate, and 20-year net return on investment, BestValueSchools.com ranked Tech No. 1 in Louisiana for value.

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North Korea situation presenting quandary

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Where do we go from here?
Like it or not, it looks like North Korea has become a nuclear power after last week’s successful missile launch flew in a trajectory long enough to show that it could reach the East Coast of the United States.
The good news is that a majority of military analysts feel North Korea remains unlikely to actually strike the U.S. with a nuclear missile given the severe response such an attack would provoke.

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December 1st

Lincoln Lights Up the Pines

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Ruston’s only drive-through Christmas lighting display opened Thursday at the Lincoln Parish Park. Residents can pay $5 per car or $10 per bus and drive through the park to see thousands Christmas of lights and decorations. The event will continue from 5:30 to 10 p.m. today and Saturday.

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Bank of Ruston presents Holiday Art Show

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The Bank of Ruston will continue its holiday tradition with the Annual Holiday Art Show.
This year the staff will honor the North Central Louisiana Arts Council by displaying an exhibit by local artists — “Mapping Out A Future For The Arts.”
These pieces will be on display for the month of December from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at Bank of Ruston’s downtown office location, located at 505 North Vienna St.
Local artists were commissioned to create art by using old Ruston maps, Angie Biscomb, vice president, employee and community engagement for the Bank of Ruston, said.

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University holds first tree-lighting ceremony

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Christmas came to the Louisiana Tech University family Thursday night in the form of a 15-foot Balsam Hill Rockefeller Pine tree set up in Centennial Plaza and a visit from Santa Claus.
Approximately 600 people, mostly students, watched as Champ, the university’s mascot, flipped an oversized switch that turned on the tree lights and its twinkling star topper.
“What is a family during December without a Christmas tree?” Student Government Association President Ben Rice asked those gathered for university’s inaugural tree-lighting ceremony.
The lights will be on nightly until Christmas.

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