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  • How Is Your Retirement Income Taxed?

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|May 22, 2024

    Once you’re retired, you will likely need to draw on several types of income for your living expenses. You’ll need to know where these funds are coming from and how much you can count on, but you should also be aware of how this money is taxed — because this knowledge can help you plan and budget for your retirement years. Here’s the basic tax information on some key sources of retirement income: • Social Security – Many people don’t realize they may have to pay taxes on their Social Security benefits. Whether your benefits will be taxed depe...

  • Lustre News

    Vivian Wall, For the Courier|May 22, 2024

    The Lustre Grade School held its spring concert on May 9, at 1 p.m. The program began with a piece by the teachers, joined consecutively by the classes scattered around the auditorium. It was energetic! The bands and choirs were under the excellent leadership of Mr. Dan Marasco. The young but good fifth-sixth grade band played "Sousa Spectacular," "March of the Royal Guard" with solos on clarinet by Hannah Pancratz and alto sax by Justin Schiller. Mr. Marasco explained the piece was too easy...

  • Righteous Rhubarb Recipes

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|May 22, 2024

    While in town last week, as I was letting myself be pampered with both a manicure and a pedicure, the marvelous lady in the next chair remarked that I should keep putting recipes in my column. I thank her for her comment as I sometimes wonder how much they are appreciated. I know they do pertain to gardening as we need to know what to do with our produce. Spring, of course, is prime rhubarb season. I have a couple new ways to prepare this delectable vegetable that we treat as a fruit. Oat and Brown Sugar Rhubarb Crisp Filling: Scant 5 C...

  • Should Estate Plans Be Equal Or Fair?

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|May 15, 2024

    When you’re creating your estate plan and thinking of where you want your assets to go, you also may be thinking about how to be fair to your loved ones — but is that the same as treating everyone equally? In estate planning, “equal” doesn’t always mean “fair.” If you have grown children with different financial needs, you might think it’s unfair to leave them the same amounts. Or if you have a family business, and one of your children is ready to assume control, you might want to leave the business to that child and compensate the other sibli...

  • Birbs!

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|May 15, 2024

    While we live far from the ‘burbs, we do seem to live in “birb” central. I believe all our feathered friends are back for the summer. I’m really glad I talked about getting the other two bird feeders cleaned in last weeks’ column. I set them out with fresh grape jelly plus a clementine cut in half a few days ago. Two days ago, a rosy-breasted grosbeak showed up to study those feeders, and to help himself to the regular bird seed. He tried to get through the living room window to the red blossoms on the geranium. Today (Mother’s Day) we had...

  • Lustre News

    Vivian Wall, For the Courier|May 15, 2024

    Flowers lined the hallway toward an arch where dorm students, dressed in black and white, waited to escort diners to their pleasantly decorated tables on Sunday, April 28, at 12:30 p.m. It was the Dorm Activity fundraiser and they presented a beautiful dinner, cooked by Tori Bell. Thank you for a very special Sunday! On Sunday, May 5, the faculty of the LCHS and parents gathered to honor students who were chosen to be inducted into the National Honor Society. They were Emeka Aniobi, Mason...

  • Wearing Hats

    Gwen Cornwell, For the Courier|May 8, 2024

    I must apologize as I intended to get this to the Courier before Easter, but I am going to plead old-age. Since it is still on my mind and something many of us will remember, I am going to do so today. Remember when most ladies wore hats when they went shopping or to church? I really thought of that at Easter time. Many of you will remember the song “Put On Your Easter Bonnet, With All The Frills Upon It, And You Will Be The Grandest Lady In The Easter Parade.” I decided to dig in my closet and see what I still had and did find a hat to wea...

  • Financial Freedom: A Gift To Your Family

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|May 8, 2024

    Here’s a sobering statistic: 72 percent of retirees say one of their biggest fears is becoming a burden on their families, according to a study by Edward Jones and the consulting firm Age Wave. If you are near retirement, how can you prepare yourself to become financially free, so you won’t have to depend on grown children or other family members? Here are a few suggestions to consider: • Keep adding to retirement savings. Today, with a greater awareness of healthy lifestyles, many people are spending two, or even three, decades in an activ...

  • Is It Really Spring?

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|May 8, 2024

    My spring’s work has been going in fits and starts. Every time I start, Mother Nature throws a fit! At least it’s mostly actual rain now and not snow piling up. The grass is greening up. The trees are leafing out. Perennials are shooting up lots of green in the flowerbeds. That green can be hard to see in the beds I haven’t gotten around to clearing. There are still lots of dead leaves from last fall embedded in the lawn. I’ll eventually get around to mowing and maybe by that time those leaves will be dry enough the mower can annihil...

  • Lustre News

    Vivian Wall, For the Courier|May 8, 2024

    The Music Department of the LCHS, under the direction of Mr. Dan Marasco, gave a well-put-together concert at the EMB church May 1. Before opening in prayer, he reminded those attending that "the purpose of playing music and having a music program is to give glory to the Lord." The concert was excellent. It began with the six-member choir singing hymns by Keith Getty and Stewart Townsend, in "Resurrection Hymn" and "The Perfect Wisdom of our God" in intricate harmony, accompanied by Dan on bongo...

  • Lustre News

    Vivian Wall, For the Courier|May 1, 2024

    The Spring Concert for LCHS is scheduled for May 1 at the Lustre EMB Church, 7 p.m. It includes music from the grades five through eight of the Lustre Grade School, all under the direction of Dan Marasco. The Lustre Grade School is presenting their Spring program at 1 p.m. on May 10th in their gymnasium under the direction of Prince Agbisit. May 11 is the District Track meet to be held at Wolf Point. May 19 is LCHS graduation and May 22 is the eighth-grade graduation of Lustre Grade School....

  • Vintage Furniture

    Gwen Cornwell, For The Courier|May 1, 2024

    I have been thinking of some vintage furniture we will never see any more. Does anyone remember Murphy beds? I did decide to Google this item and was very surprised to see that I can still find several for sale. For those of you that have never seen a Murphy bed, it could be described as a vertical wall-bed. Many times, they had drawer storage on the sides. These were great for people with limited room space, a drop-down bed for family or maybe an extra bed for company. The other vintage item on my mind is an item that both my husband’s f...

  • Younger Workers Must Balance Financial Priorities

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|May 1, 2024

    If you’re a younger worker just starting out in your career, you’ve got tremendous personal and professional opportunities ahead of you. But this is also when you will need to make some key decisions — especially about your financial priorities. When considering your priorities, you may find it helpful to look at these three areas: • Paying off debts – If you’re like many young working people, one of your biggest debts may be your student loans — and paying these down is, by necessity, a priority, because falling behind on your student loan...

  • Term Vs. Perm: Which Is Right For You?

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Apr 24, 2024

    If you’ve been thinking about life insurance, especially if you have family, loved ones, or anyone who depends on you financially, you might be curious about the different kinds of policies available. Which type is right for you? Essentially, you can look at two main categories of life insurance: term and permanent. Term insurance is a pay-as-you-go option that covers a specific amount of time, usually 20 years or fewer. Term insurance benefits are paid to your beneficiaries free of federal income taxes if you pass away during the coverage p...

  • Lustre News

    Vivian Wall, For the Courier|Apr 17, 2024

    LCHS students senior Ifeanyichuwu Aniobi, juniors Mason Hilkemann and Rachel Pew, sophomore Emeka Aniobi and freshman Prestyn Klatt attended the Academic Olympics on March 20 at Glasgow, accompanied by Debbie Catel. Hilkemann placed first among the Juniors in all categories: Math, Science, English, Social Studies. The team took first place in both written exams and oral exams. Congratulations on a task well done! Thirteen seniors returned to campus on Thursday evening of Easter week from their...

  • Financial Literacy: It's Important For Everyone

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Apr 17, 2024

    April is National Financial Literacy Month — a good reminder that all of us can benefit from boosting our financial knowledge. But what is financial literacy? There’s no one single definition, but the term certainly covers these areas: • Saving – Most of us would probably agree that saving money is important, but actually doing it can be challenging given all the expenses of modern living. Still, techniques are available that everyone can follow, such as having money automatically moved each month from a checking or savings account to a finan...

  • Spring Time In Florida

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Apr 17, 2024

    As you know, if you read this column or are one of my Facebook friends, I'm once again in Florida. I've never been here at this time of year before. It's very unlike a Montana spring. Here there is green grass, blooming flowers, palm trees, and virtually no chance of snow. (We did have torrential rains the other afternoon.) It's pretty nice that way. My trip getting here was fraught with difficulties. The first of those was the last several miles driving into Billings on the interstate. Dennis...

  • We've Been Sprung

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Apr 10, 2024

    Maybe my constant complaints about the weather have brought the results I've been wanting. And maybe Mother Nature is busy planning another blitz attack on us all after this week of warmth has sufficiently softened us up enough that it will be extra cruel when she hits us again with some misplaced winter. She does so enjoy dashing our hopes. We aren't the only beings that are now filled with dreams of summer. The robins have returned in force. There are flashes of red all through the yard....

  • What Should You Know About Long-Term Care?

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Apr 10, 2024

    We all hope to remain healthy and independent throughout our lives – but life can be unpredictable. If you were ever to need some type of long-term care, would you be financially prepared? Long-term care encompasses everything from the services of a home health aide to a stay in an assisted living facility to a long residence in a nursing home. You may never need any of these kinds of care, but the odds aren’t necessarily in your favor: Someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70 percent chance of needing some type of long-term care ser...

  • To Spring Or Not To Spring....

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Apr 3, 2024

    The weather just cannot make up its mind, can it? This last bout with trying to defeat winter brought us an icy rain. The farther north we drove last Thursday night, the more winter won. We had about two inches of heavy wet snow before arriving home. Our yard is a casualty of that battle. It's definitely wintry. There are a few nice things about this newest snow cover: 1) it covers all the dead leaves on the lawn; 2) it sparkles in the sunlight; 3) it's full of much needed moisture; and 4) it...

  • Slow And Steady: A Smart Way To Invest

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Apr 3, 2024

    You’ve probably heard stories about fortunate investors who “get in the ground floor” of a new, hot company and quickly make a fortune. But while these things may happen, they are exceedingly rare and often depend on hard-to-duplicate circumstances — and they really don’t represent a viable way of investing for one’s goals. A far more tried-and-true approach is the “slow-and-steady” method. To follow this strategy, consider these suggestions: • Start small — and add more when you can. When you’re first starting out in the working world, you ma...

  • When Should You Take Social Security?

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Mar 27, 2024

    One of your important sources of retirement income will likely be Social Security — but when should you start taking it? You can start collecting Social Security benefits at 62, but your checks will be considerably bigger if you wait until your full retirement age, which is likely between 66 and 67. You could even wait until you’re 70, at which point the payments will max out, except for yearly cost-of-living adjustments. But if you need the money, you need the money, even if you’re just 62 or any age before full retirement age. However, if yo...

  • 2024 Schmeckfest

    Vivian Wall, For the Courier|Mar 27, 2024

    The 2024 Schmeckfest was held March 22, at the LCHS gymnasium on a 60 degree day. The walls were lined with displays of buffalo, LGS school kids’ beautiful art, quilts in honor of McKenna Bell, a student who completed her chemo treatments, and LCHS Basketball team pictures with their trophies and team ball. It is always wonderful to see the family heritage quilts brought to show, and new ones made for the occasion. The mild evening with good roads were all part of making it successful with an attendance of 744. The theme of the evening was “God...

  • Peeves and Bugbears

    Mary Honrud, For the Courier|Mar 27, 2024

    This past week, while in conversation with a friend, we talked about pet peeves. I volunteered to air hers. She really wants everyone to have their headlights on at all times while driving. The lack of visible headlights in oncoming traffic, especially during snow and fog events, is not only annoying, it’s downright dangerous. You may feel you don’t need your headlights to see what you’re driving into, but they are definitely needed by the people you meet. Light-colored vehicles blend into that snow or fog. Even dark-colored vehicles can be ha...

  • Time For Financial Spring Cleaning?

    Edward Jones Financial Advisor CFP Arron Franzen, For the Courier|Mar 20, 2024

    Spring is almost here, which means it’s time for some spring cleaning. This year, in addition to tidying your home and surroundings, you might want to consider sprucing up your financial environment, as well. Here are some suggestions for doing just that: • Improve your vision. Once the days are warmer and longer, you may want to get outside and clean all the winter grime and smudges from your windows, allowing you to see the world more clearly. And you may want to bring more focus to your financial vision by asking some key questions: Is my...

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