By- Marion SyversenHere is a useful and seemingly easy-to-use site about money. Individuals, parents and teachers could find this site useful. It’s a government site which is a portal to many other sites and their various tools, articles and resources pertaining to personal finance. From the Departments of Agriculture and Labor, to the Treasury, the FDIC and the Office of the Comptroller, this site connects them all in a fairly straightforward site.Mymoney.govWhat’s it got?On the left column it has a heading called ‘popular topics’ and those include Dealing with mortgages, debt and credit, planning for retirement. It has articles on getting a loan, consumers rights information and articles on insurance.A major heading includes calculators and tools. This area includes budgeting worksheets, a college preparation checklist- including how to file for student loans, and a timeline of things to know and do- and other checklists that include a series on 5 Tips forâ€¦getting the most from your credit card/ shopping for a mortgage. This also has a link for Money Smart and adult financial education program. Here I also found the Spending Plan Worksheet from the Department of Agriculture is an Excel spreadsheet of a simple income and expense table. But it’s already created for you to make it easy to use.Under My Resources there is an array of material by category: teachers, parents, military, women, researchers and plenty more. Once you choose a particular heading, say teachers, then there is a large list of curriculum called Money Smart or lesson ideas from Money Math. This is terrific site. I’ve been using these resources for years but this site has really streamlined the hunt for all these materials.Disclosure:Only securities and advisory services offered through Wall Street Financial Group, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wall Street Financial Group, Inc., Norumbega Financial and all other entities listed herein are separate entities, independently owned and operated.
A budget is the story of your money. So budgeting for a vacation is figuring out the future story and setting money aside for the fun. Destination- if you are planning a vacation to Europe, you won’t be able to drive, so airline costs will be a mandatory cost. Whatever your destination, you can make it less costly if you plan to go during more off-season times. You don’t need to go at the bleakest time, but if you travel on the edges of the destinations’ high season you may still enjoy a delightful time but with less costs.Travel + lodging- These will probably be the biggest costs, so hunting for deals could really help. Booking at the last minute, or far in advance may be the strategies you may employ to save money. Think creatively, read books on great ideas for saving money and do some online hunting for great deals.Food + fun- Plan ahead of time how many meals will beat the high-end restaurants or cooking on your own. Buy staples to feed yourselves for less when possible. Take part in a cooking class at your destination city for a great memory and yummy food.Cheap fun- Is being a tourist in your own region. Plan day trips to cool sights you haven’t visited before. Camp in the back yard or at State parks. Generally a great way to save for a destination vacation is to enjoy cheap vacations for a while and save.Taking breaks is important and the memories are terrific. Whether a destination vacation is on your annual calendar or it is a rare treat, remember you can have fun for little money when you use your imagination.Citations:
4 fresh peaches1/2 cup granulated sugar1/2 cup water2 tsp lemon juiceIn a small saucepan combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Syrup can be made a day ahead and refrigerated.Remove pits from peaches, peel and cut into chunks.Place peaches in a blender along with 3/4 cup of simple syrup and lemon juice. Puree until smooth.Pour peach puree into a bowl and place in freezer. After 1/2 hour remove from freezer and stir with a fork breaking up the ice crystals. Place back in freezer for one hour. Remove from freezer and using the fork, break up the ice crystals again. Put back in freezer and repeat until the puree is frozen and large ice crystals have formed.Keep frozen until ready to serve. Recipe Submitted by: Cathy Speronis
1 1/2 lbs. shrimp, 40-50 count, peeled and deveinedFine Sea Salt1 cup flour2 eggs2 tsp. water1 cup fine cornmeal1 tsp. ground cayenneOlive oil, to fry1 large loaf crusty French breadLettuce, shreddedTomatoes, slicedPickle slicesTartar Sauce (Recipe to follow)To prepare shrimp:Place shrimp in a colander. Wash shrimp under cold running water. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp. sea salt over shrimp and toss. Allow to sit in colander with salt for 30 seconds. Rinse shrimp under cold running water and repeat tossing with salt, resting for 30 seconds and rinsing two more times.Drain shrimp and dry with clean paper towels. Toss shrimp with 1/2 tsp. sea salt.Heat 1/4″ of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large sautÃ© pan until shimmering. Place flour in a pie plate. Beat eggs with 2 tsp. water in another pie plate. Combine cornmeal and cayenne in a third pie plate.Working in batches, toss shrimp into flour, then eggs and finally seasoned cornmeal.Fry in oil until opaque and golden on both sides, turning halfway through cooking time, about 3 minutes. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.To make Po’ Boys:Cut French Bread into 4 – 6 pieces. Cut each piece in half. Spread with tartar sauce. Top with shrimp, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. Serve immediatelyTartar Sauce1/2 cup mayonnaise1/2 tsp. hot sauce2 Tbsp. finely diced sweet gherkin picklesDash of ground cinnamonCombine all ingredients and refrigerate.Recipe Submitted by: Cathy Speronis
1/2 small cabbage, cored & shredded1/4 red cabbage, cored & shredded1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned1/2 cup golden raisins3/4 cup mayonnaise1/4 cup white vinegar2 Tbsp. Agave nectar1/2 tsp. kosher salt1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper1/8 tsp. ground cayennePlace cabbages, carrot and raisins in a large bowl. Set aside.In a small bowl combine mayonnaise, vinegar, Agave nectar, salt, black pepper and cayenne until smooth. Pour over cabbage mixture and refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve.Recipe Submitted by: Cathy Speronis
Staying hydrated in the heat it’s something we all need to do. TV5 Health Advisor Dr. Erik Steele joined Carolyn Callahan on TV5 News at 5 to talk about it.
Tax deferred- Investments in which taxes payments are postponed. This occurs with ‘tax-deferred accounts’ such as IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts) annuities and some bonds. Taxes are due under different circumstances depending on the vehicle, so check with your tax professional. Rollover- Retirement investments moved from one provider to another. The reasons for this may be job change or the consolidation of accounts to a new advisor. The change is reported to the IRS. Mont Carlo Simulation- This is a statistical calculation done by advisors to provide various scenarios to investors. Computer programs are generally used and it attempts to provide some degree of certainty about how long your income will last in retirement. For instance using Monte Carlo, withdrawing your assets at a 4% withdrawal rate per year provides a 90% certainty hat your will have income for your lifetime. The Monte carlo simulation expresses answers in probablilites. Annuitization- The process of converting a sum into a stream of payments. Particulars vary. You can have a flow of income for a certain amount of years (period certain) or a lifetime. Annuitization provides payments over a period of time.Citation:
The fields are ripe for the picking at Tate’s Strawberry Farm in Corinth.There are five varieties of strawberries, and Chelsey Anderson helped plant some of those in the spring.Chelsey- With all the rain we had this spring there wasn’t a sunny day to waste in May, so owner, Albert Tate got me going on the tractor. Albert- “That’s my pride and joy.”Albert- I’ll show you how to get it going.Albert- Push your foot in on the clutch and turn the key on. We’ll put this in fourth and put this in gear. Okay, and we let off the clutch and give it your gas pedal.Albert- Just let her out. Chelsey- Whoa! Whoa! Giver the gas. Oh my gosh! And I’m just going to follow the line? Albert- Follow the line. Giver the gas. Chelsey- Is that the right speed? Albert- Little bit faster.Chelsey- Can you do anything wrong here? Albert- Not really. Chelsey- Am I following at all? Albert- Yes you’re doing great.Now that the field was tilled it was time to gather all the planters together. It would take four of us just to plant, one to drive, and one to make sure the plants are covered. Thank goodness Tate’s Strawberry Farm is a family affair.Albert- That’s going to be 5th generation.Chelsey- I think he’s a better driver than I am.Albert- Here’s our planter.Albert- Alright these are our plants. Ok. There’s 25 plants to a bundle and what we’ll do is we’ll put that plant in the planter then we’ll get another plant and put that in the planter. These are the roots, you need to have the plant that far. We can’t have it in the ground too deep because it will smother it and if it’s out it will dry out and die. So it has to be ground level. 55-thousand plants go in the ground each spring.Albert- This is the red tab. This will be where the plant goes.Albert- You put your thumb on the base of the plant. Yep and then you want to put it right on the red tab. This will go through. Ok. You got the next red tab. Ok. That’s yours. Like that. Chelsey- Oh dear. Albert- Then I’ve got the next one. Now it’s yours.Albert- Sometimes the ground will have a little dip or a little ridge so the plant doesn’t get fully in the ground. We have somebody who walks behind just to check the depth.Chelsey- I missed one.Bev- Whoops you skipped one. I did.Albert- It happens. We get 10-12 plants on each row that need to be adjusted. But I wasn’t just skipping, I was adding.Chelsey- Well, see I planted 2 there since I missed one before. I’m just making up for it. Albert- You come next summer and you’ll see a nice wide row there.Chelsey- This is the slow gear and it was just too fast for me. Albert-This is a slow gear, but that’s fine.Albert- The hard part is when you skip over to get another bundle of 25. Chelsey- Oh dear. It gets harder. Albert-Yep.And Albert didn’t speak a moment too soon.Chelsey- Uh-oh. Uh-oh. Oh dear. Good thing I have Albert. Bev- You must be changing hands. Chelsey- I was attempting too.But I got a little better with time, and when you’re planting 35-hundred plants per hour you don’t have a second to waste.Albert- Little more gas. She’s a veteran now (laughter)After the tractor driving and all the planting would I be hired?Albert- You would most definitely be hired. Good news! Thank you.Chelsey- The berries I planted still have a long way to go. After some growing the hand hoe will be used, then the Tate’s will go pick the blossoms off, and check for bugs and diseases, and then in November they’ll be covered with hay to prevent winter kill. But If you go out to pick your own strawberries next year, you’ll be picking the one’s I planted.
NOISE AND MENTAL HEALTH: Is chronic noise more than just a nuisance? HEALTH WATCH â€“ July 5, 2011David Prescott, Ph.D. â€“ Acadia HospitalWhy Worry About Noise? In much of Maine we are thankful for our ability to step outside of our homes and hear almost nothing. The peace and quiet of the majority of Maine communities is a benefit of living here. But, for many people across the nation and the world, chronic noise is not only a nuisance but a significant hazard to mental and physical health. The World Health Organization recently reported that over 1 million health years of life are lost each year due to ill health, disability, or early death due to traffic related noise. While most research has been done on the impact of noise that is difficult to control, like traffic or airplanes, there is mounting evidence that trying to reduce the amount of everyday noise in our lives can have important health benefits. How much noise is too much? Noise is measured in weighted decibels. The recommended noise level in a bedroom to help with good sleep is no more than 30 decibels. In a classroom, the ideal level of noise for learning is less than 35 decibels. Standing next to a vacuum cleaner is usually rated at about 70 decibels. While studies of American cities are still not completed, recent research found that about 40% of people in Europe live in a place where traffic noises are at an average of 55 decibels. Noise and Mental Health: The impact of chronic noise on mental health is not quite direct, but not hard to follow. Our bodies react to chronic high levels of noise with responses such as: â€¢ Increased production of hormones that are released in response to stressâ€¢ Decreased sleep. â€¢ Increased blood pressurePoor sleep and chronic stress response are clearly tied to increased risk for depression, anxiety disorders, and a variety of mental health disorders. Also, being in an environment with chronic stress, such as high noise levels, make it harder to recover from health and mental health problems. For example, preliminary research suggests that high noise levels in acute care hospitals is associated with slower progress in recovering from an illness. Noise and Development in Children: Exposure to high levels of chronic noise appears to slow the cognitive and learning development of children. Naturalistic studies of children who live near airports shows a decline in reading levels and long term memory associated with chronic noise. Interestingly, a group of children who had chronic noise removed, due to relocation of airports, showed improvement in the same tests of reading and memory. Are there any simple steps that can be taken to reduce the impact of noise? Obviously, people have limited ability to control things like where airports and roads are built. However, becoming aware of noise levels that you can control may have important health and mental health benefits. Some examples might be: o Consider turning off televisions and stereos in your home that are on â€œall the time.â€ o Be sure to reduce noise levels in the house when children, and adults, are sleeping. o If you work at home or your children study at home, consider setting aside agreed upon times for quiet, when radios, movies, and television are turned off. o Simply being aware of reducing your voice level may help, particularly if someone in your home is recovering from illness or mental illness. For More Information: American Psychological Association: www.apa.org/monitorWorld Health Organization: www.euro.who
Summer in Maine is delightful. But have you ever considered the affect weather has on the stock market?! Researchers have given this topic quite of bit of study and here are some of their results.Warmth affects subtleties such as your first impressions of people. In an experiment people whose hands were warmed by holding a cup of hot coffee were more lickly to have positive impressions of others compared to those who had not handled the cup.That same tendency of positive feelings are found in investors on warm days. Research has demonstrated a strong link between sunny days and higher stock market returns. Another study has shown a link between warm, sunny days and investors’ choices of riskier investments.In contrast, cold, cloudy days on Wall Street correlate in many studies, though not all, to lower stock market returns.Believing that only logic and financial statements are what drives investment performance would be missing the mark on the research into the nuances that cause changes in the stock market.Another study on the market and our health found that for some, stock market volatility can be difficult on one’s health. In several studies, researchers have found a connection between the percentage change in the stock market and the rate of investor heart attacks. Extreme volatlity. One study noted in the Wall Street Journal article, studied 2006 through 2008 and found that changes up and down in the market of 1% could result in increased cardiac deaths of 2%. The study is backed by others with similar finds.What do these studies mean to you? I think it means to let go of too tight a belief that you can predict how stocks will behave. Let go of too intense a relationship with your joy and your investments since you can’t control the future or the behavior of others as they trade. And make a good plan, and work your plan the best you can. Citations:Sunshinehttp://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304520804576349213528554824.htmlMarion R. Syversen, MBA – PresidentNorumbegaFinancial207.862.2952Marion@NorumbegaFinancial.com