If you look up “Christmas and World War 1” or “Christmas Truce of World War 1” on the internet you will find a variety of stories about the 1914 Christmas Truce when thousands of British, Belgian, French and German soldiers put down their rifles, stepped out of their trenches and spent Chris…

Here are some things to consider as you weigh potential tax moves before the end of the year.

So COVID was interesting. After the first four days of energy-draining, life-sucking misery I began to feel human and got restless. My body was telling me get up and move so that I didn’t get pneumonia or something equally dreadful, while experts were telling me to take it easy or I’d have a…

They endure the harshest of living conditions — the sweltering heat of summer and the bitter cold of Oswego’s winters — all in a pitch-black, windowless environment. Yet, they have survived in these extreme conditions, some for over 40 years. But for one month every year, they come out of hi…

Ever since masks were mandated throughout winter I have been healthy as a horse and vowed to keep up the practice, especially in large crowds. But somehow I managed to catch a cold this week before masking became my seasonal habit. It started with a slightly scratchy throat and runny nose th…

Withdrawing taxable funds from a tax-deferred retirement account before age 59-and-a-half generally triggers a 10% federal income tax penalty, on top of any federal income taxes due. (Distributions from Section 457(b) plans are generally not subject to an early distribution penalty; and the …

We all look forward to the day when we can finally call it a career! That is the time to kick back, relax, and collect our carefully planned and hard-earned retirement savings. But rushing into withdrawing your retirement funds without the best distribution method can prove costly.

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The next big holiday is Thanksgiving, which has become known as “Turkey Day” in our overly informal society.

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While it’s natural to look ahead to a leisurely retirement, it’s prudent to prepare for expenses that catch many retirees by surprise. In a recent survey, nearly one-third of retirees reported they faced at least four unforeseen expenses during retirement. Some of the most common include:

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A Shop Hop is where quilt shops in a drivable area band together for a good time. You buy a “passport” at one of the shops, then each shop you go to will check off the name on the passport and put you into a drawing, plus give you a free item (this year it was a fat quarter of the fall varie…

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They say that everything old is new again. Recent news proves that prophecy.

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November is national Long Term Care Awareness Month. So, if you’re thinking about buying a stand-alone long-term care insurance (LTCI) policy, you might have another option. An increasing number of states are permitting the sale of long-term care hybrid products that allow you to obtain long…

Clearly we like to celebrate birthdays around here, and this month was Sam’s turn, so his mother planned a small get-together at their home.

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A few years back, in this space, I wrote about the old corner grocery stores that dotted neighborhoods in every small town in America during the ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s. We older folks fondly recall those kinds of neighborhood stores. Most of them had a couple of aisles of canned and dry goods,…

The U.S. stock market had a banner year in 2021, with the S&P 500 index up almost 27%. Unfortunately, stocks turned downward on the second trading day of 2022 and kept sliding into a bear market.

If you worry about your retirement investments during market downturns, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, emotions are often the enemy of sound investing. Here are some points to help you stay clear-headed during periods of market volatility.

Columbus Day is still a celebrated holiday, at least where school is concerned, but not necessarily for moms and dads. Thus I was asked to “hang out with Henry,” which is always a pleasure because he is a great kid. He’s full of 5-year-old energy with ideas to match, and you’d think he was t…

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“The time is fast approaching when all Oswegonians can point with pride to their city’s active present and hopeful future.”

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My granddaughter and I were hanging out one day when I started singing that song about having a million dollars. It’s adorably cute and I sometimes wonder what I would do if I ever came upon that much money.

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The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2023-2024 school year opens on Oct. 1, 2022. Here are some things you should know.

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During my long and varied career, I had the opportunity to teach political science at five different universities over a 14-year span. I thoroughly enjoyed the give and take with my students, and seeing the occasional light bulb go on in their heads. On the first day of class, I always wrote…

One of my pet peeves is the ridiculous “celebration” of national days that someone has concocted. Every day seems to be a different day of silliness like National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day (April 16) or National Peanut Butter Lovers’ Month (November). 

I walked past an open window the other day and there it was — that smell. The delicious aroma of fresh winds blowing across amber leaves tells us that the end of summer is imminent. That same smell always takes me back to my childhood backyard where the hazy days of idleness would soon be fi…

While creating an estate plan is a common part of a financial plan, creating a family legacy is equally as important when thinking about how you want the wealth you’ve built to be distributed. In addition to including your family in financial discussions early on, you can also discuss what’s…

Index funds, which try to match the performance of a particular market index, have drawn increasing interest from investors, but traditional actively managed funds still hold more assets. There is ongoing discussion in the financial media about which approach is most effective, but there may…

As a former high school English teacher, I can’t let another Banned Books Week go by without calling attention to the absurdity of banning books.  

I love babies. Who wouldn’t? Well, I guess there are some people who don’t, but I’m here to talk about the rest of us. And technically, I love to hold babies, just not all night long when I should be getting my beauty sleep. And I love to smell babies — until they poop their pants. Then I pa…

I just read an interesting article on the effects of placebos versus drugs. There have been many studies proving they work as well as drugs, at the cost of what … a billion dollars worldwide? They could have saved a lot of money if they had just taken the time to talk to me.

Inflation, roller-coaster markets, global events, and life circumstances can test anyone’s fortitude. You may not feel ready to handle these pressure-filled times and might worry about the potential effects on your financial well-being. Fortunately, you can take steps to build the resilience…

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Any town of sufficient size invariably has a favorite “greasy spoon” diner, frequented by locals and visitors alike. I remember one diner that hung a plaque on the wall that said, “Order what you want. Eat what you get!” That is never the case at Wade’s diner in Oswego, where they always get…

September is National Life Insurance Month. Life insurance is one of the most fundamentally important resources in all of financial planning. Many people don’t recognize how versatile a tool life insurance can be within a typical financial plan. And it’s not just the policies themselves that…

I was talking with some friends recently about birthday, anniversary, and reunion celebrations from this past summer, and though my family had plenty of each this year, none were big milestones or noted an even-numbered year. But I realized that September of 2022 does mark an event 40 years …

I got roped into doing something I didn’t particularly want to do. My guild is heavily involved in the Oswego County Fair in Sandy Creek and they needed helpers in the Domestic Arts building. It’s a bit of a drive for me, but I was willing to give them one day.