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PV & Bettendorf Schools Texting Whlie Driving Awareness Program PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Thomas Gibbs   
Monday, 15 December 2014 10:56

The Bettendorf Bulldogs and the Pleasant Valley Spartans have united to heighten awareness regarding the dangers of using electronic devices while driving. Thanks to Bettendorf Police Chief Phil Redington and Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher several hundred T-shirts warning of the dangers of Texting While Driving will be given to the students and worn at the Bettendorf/PV basketball games on Friday, December 12, 2014.


During the past week, School Resource Officers Bruce Schwartz and Deputy Jayne Ruckoldt have been announcing statistics and displaying videos regarding the dangers.


On Friday, December 12, 2014, teachers will be asked to view with their students a 10 minute public service announcement regarding the dangers of texting and driving. The PSA was put out by AT&T and is presented from the perspective of people, especially teens, who have been impacted by the death or serious injury of someone who was texting and driving. Teachers are encouraged to discuss the video with students.


The three main types of driver distraction are: visual, manual and cognitive. Texting is the most alarming driver distraction because it involves all three types of distraction. According to the Iowa Department of Transportation texting makes drivers 23 times more likely to crash. This is not just a teen problem.


Drive Safe - It can Wait!

 
How to Do What You Really Want for a Living PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Saturday, 13 December 2014 10:52

(Fast-track to Your Retirement)
Math-Minded Financial Advisor Lays Blueprint for Rethinking Your Earning & Distribution Years

What does it take to be comfortable during retirement? Conventional wisdom calls it the 4 percent rule – withdrawing about that amount from your nest egg each year to live comfortably. And, for that, millions of Americans believe they need to stick to a job they don’t like during their earning years.

“Unfortunately, the kind of money retirees want to spend each year for a comfortable lifestyle tends to be about $60,000, which means someone’s nest egg would have to be $1.5 million for that rate of withdrawal to sustain for 25 years,” says financial advisor Dave Lopez, a mathematics and computer science major who applies his analytical mind to solving retirement challenges.

“Of course, there are additional sources of income during retirement, such as social security, but the program may not survive the coming decades. And, there are additional costs of retirement, including legacy interests and the likelihood of needing long-term medical care.”

The fact is that millions of retirees simply do not have or will not have the kind of income they’d like to have during retirement. Lopez, founder of ILG Financial, LLC (www.theilg.com), discusses an alternative approach to the golden, or distribution years.

•  Remember, Social Security is a welfare program. Before President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act in 1935, seniors worked. America was an agrarian culture, and many who were in their 60s and 70s usually continued duties on the family farm, albeit handling lighter tasks. Social Security is essentially a Socialist idea. A response to the Great Depression, its purpose was to move out older workers in favor of employing younger Americans, but times have changed.

•  You don’t have to remain stuck in your “earning” job. “The U.S. government is the biggest employer in the world, and I work with many of its employees,” he says. “They usually have high-stress jobs and usually want to retire as early as possible and, while leaning on their pension, start working on their own terms as government contractors.”

•  Consider retiring early and working the job you’ve always wanted. The model frequently followed by retired government workers can be replicated by millions of other retirees. You don’t need a $1.5 million nest egg when you combine Social Security with a smaller withdrawal amount and a fun job earning $20,000 a year. Retirees can be creative in how they earn this “fun money.”

“Let’s say your passion is water skiing – why not parlay this hobby into a career?” Lopez says. “You’ll likely have decades of experience and plenty of contacts. You might work for a ski shop or create a small business giving lessons. Doing something you love is a great way to stay active as an older person.”

•  No pension? – Create your own. The days of working 30 years for a single company and collecting a sizeable pension are mostly over. This means retirees need to get creative and rely on other sources of income, including IRAs and strategies for annuities – effectively creating their own “pension.” Annuities are contracts with insurance companies. The contracts, which can be funded with either a lump sum or through regular payments, are designed as financial vehicles for retirement purposes. The money used to fund the contract grows tax-deferred. Unlike other tax advantaged retirement programs, there are no contribution limits on annuities.

“Annuities provide plenty of opportunity,” he says. “Of course, creative options also yield the risk of complexity. You’ll want to be sure to know what you’re doing, or at least consult with an accredited professional.”

•  Consider lifestyle changes. Through the distribution years, you should consider moving to a place where the cost of living is cheaper than major metropolitan areas. Simply put, you’ll want your money to go further. Take a play from younger folks who are cutting their cable in favor of only Wi-Fi access. Learn how to cook delicious meals on a budget. For many, learning how to make one’s money work better for them, rather than working for their money, is a preferable lifestyle.

About Dave Lopez

Dave Lopez is the founder of ILG Financial, LLC and has been working with individuals and businesses in the Northern Virginia area since 1986. He specializes in strategies that enable his clients to potentially build a retirement nest egg that they can rely on and can never outlive. Lopez has his Bachelors of Science degree from James Madison University with a major in mathematics and computer science. He is an investment advisor representative of AlphaStar Capital Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor.

 
Loebsack Named to Powerful Energy and Commerce Committee PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Joe Hand   
Saturday, 13 December 2014 10:40

Committee includes jurisdiction over energy, trade, healthcare and technology issues

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack announced today that he has been named to serve on the House Energy and Commerce Committee for the 114th Congress. The committee has jurisdiction over a wide range of issues, including energy policy; healthcare policy; trade policy; telecommunications and the internet; environment and air quality; and consumer affairs and protection.

“Having a seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee will allow me to make a greater impact on job creation, growing the economy, making sound investments in renewable energy such as wind, solar and biofuels and growing the Middle Class in Iowa and across the country,” said Loebsack. “I look forward to this new opportunity that will benefit the state and will continue to work with anyone who is willing to come together and to find a way to move Iowa and our nation forward.”  

The Energy and Commerce Committee is the oldest standing committee in the House and is an exclusive committee, meaning members of the committee may only serve on other House committees with a waiver from leadership.

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U.S. Coast Guard's notice of proposed rulemaking on cruise ship terminal security published in Federal Register PDF Print E-mail
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Written by U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters Public Affairs   
Saturday, 13 December 2014 10:36

WASHINGTON — The Federal Register Wednesday published the U.S. Coast Guard’s notice of proposed rulemaking amending its regulations on cruise ship terminal security.

This proposed rule would standardize screening activities for all persons, baggage and personal effects at cruise ship terminals while also allowing an appropriate degree of flexibility that accommodates and is consistent with different terminal sizes and operations.

This flexible standardization ensures a consistent layer of security at terminals throughout the United States. This proposed rule builds upon existing facility requirements in 33 CFR part 105, which implements the Maritime Transportation Security Act, Pub. L. 107-295, 116 Stat. 2064 (November 25, 2002), codified at 46 U.S. Code chapter 701. The Coast Guard consulted with the Transportation Security Administration during the development of this proposed rule.

The Coast Guard also proposes to remove 33 CFR parts 120 and 128 because provisions in those parts requiring security officers and security plans or programs for cruise ships and cruise ship terminals would be redundant with the provisions in 33 CFR subchapter H. Section 120.220, concerning the reporting of unlawful acts, would also be removed because it is obsolete and existing law enforcement protocols require members of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) to report incidents involving serious violations of U.S. law to the nearest Federal Bureau of Investigation field office as soon as possible. The Coast Guard will consider issuing additional regulations on this subject in a separate rulemaking pursuant to the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 (CVSSA), Pub. L. 111-207 (July 27, 2010).

This proposed rule does not address the screening of vessel stores, bunkers or cargo. Requirements for the delivery of vessel stores, bunkers and cargo exist and may be found in 33 CFR 104.275, 104.280, 105.265 and 105.270.

This NPRM may be viewed at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-12-10/pdf/2014-28845.pdf.

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3 Ways to Start Considering Gold Investment PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - General Info
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 10 December 2014 13:12
The Public Has Been Sold a Very Limited
Narrative, Says Veteran Financial Strategist

Gold has made headlines in recent years, but it remains arguably the most misunderstood investment resource, says gold financial strategist William A. Storum.

“The conventional narrative is that people ran to gold in the panic of the 2008-09 economic crash, and that the price eventually plummeted by 28 percent from the 2012 close – from $1,675 an ounce to about $1,200 in 2013 – but there was no context or national discussion as to what that really meant,” says Storum, author of “Going for the Gold,” (www.goldandtax.com).

“What most in the media failed to emphasize was the fact that this drop was the first since the year 2000. Such a long-lasting bull run should not have been overlooked, and despite the 2013 setback, gold remains a valuable investment.”

The reasons to own gold have not changed, he says. Many, however, simply don’t know that there are many ways in which to invest in gold – not just owning the metal. Storum reviews those options.

•  Along with coins and bars, a well-established way to invest in gold is to invest in the shares of a company that mines gold. As long as the price of gold increases, gold-mining firms are likely to show higher profits, which will increase their share prices. Gold producers are also valued on their production volume. Higher profits can generate ample dividends to investors, but lower gold prices or other circumstances, such as unrest in a host country, for example, can result in losses. So, investing in mining stocks and funds is, in many respects, like any other stock market investment. Many gold mining stocks are publicly traded, and several mutual funds hold a diverse collection of these stocks. Stocks and funds rate high for convenience and profit potential, but investors are exposed to market swings.

•  Of course, don’t forget about actual gold … which comes in the form of coins and bars. This is the most direct investment, readily at hand and free from fraud, which many folks prefer due to market volatility. However, you’ll need to minimize dealer markups and find a practical mode of storage. Bullion is a good form to start with; it’s a term referring to a gold item that’s valued solely by its weight and purity. Generally, you’ll pay a premium of nearly 2 to 3 percent when you buy and take a discount of the same magnitude when you sell. If premiums and discounts are much higher when buying and selling, you’re probably being ripped off. As gold has been shown to be a good long-term investment, these premiums and discounts will likely be marginal costs.

•  Among the new forms of gold exchange-traded funds, bullion ETFs (exchange-traded funds) have become the most popular. They offer a direct pay on the price of gold, but they don’t provide direct access to gold you can touch and trade. Funds holding a variety of mining stocks are known as open-ended mutual funds, whereby investors buy shares from a fund company and sell shares back to the same company. ETFs have emerged in recent years to rival mutual funds. Bullion ETFs are among those with the highest visibility and, for investors, bullion ETFs provide a practical way to profit from gold price increases without worrying about dealer markups, storage, insurance and other concerns. The advent of bullion ETFs permits institutional investors to buy gold and include it in their asset allocation.

“These are just some of the ways you can invest in gold,” Storum says. “It’s important to note that there are different types of tax implications for these investments. For example, whereas gold stocks are taxed like regular stocks, bullion ETFs are taxed as collectibles with different rates and rules.”

About William A. Storum

William A. Storum, JD, is a member of the California Bar Association (inactive) and a licensee (inactive) of the California Board of Accountancy. He has extensive experience in individual, corporate, real estate and partnership taxation and has represented clients in tax audits and other tax matters with the IRS. As an investor, Storum came to understand the need to own gold in order to preserve wealth from our government’s reach. He wrote “Going for the Gold,” (www.goldandtax.com), in an effort to clarify widespread confusion about investment in and taxation on gold. Storum graduated cum laude from the University of Santa Clara with a bachelor’s degree in accounting with a minor in economics, and from the University of Santa Clara School of Law, cum laude.

 
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