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Stay on Course with Smart Financial Choices at Each Life Stage

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Stay on Course with Smart Financial Choices at Each Life Stage

Provided By:  Lanny Joseph Ribes, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network

Whether you are just starting out or nearing retirement, you need money to fund your daily life as well as your hopes and dreams. The key to having what you need is to make good choices – all along the way.

Financial Security from Day One
Your day-to-day decisions on how you spend your time and money determine what your life will look like – from career accomplishments to material wealth. If you want to be financially secure, you need to take regular steps toward that goal. Here are some key considerations to help keep you on track at every stage of life:

  • Starting Out
    Choices you make as a young adult can have long-lasting financial implications for your future. Even when you are tempted to enjoy the fruits of your labors, be sure to track your income and expenses with a monthly budget and set aside at least 10 percent of your paycheck for future needs. Be sure to take advantage of all the employee benefits – such as a retirement plan or health insurance – that your employer offers.
  • Buying a House
    Be well prepared for this significant financial step by clearly understanding your long-term financial picture before you buy, and exploring financing options including first-time buyer incentives and tax credits. Be sure you have disability insurance to protect your income and an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.
  • Getting Married and Starting a Family
    From the start, set clear goals for your life together and create a financial security plan to reach them. Your financial representative can help with this, as well as with life insurance and other options to protect loved ones if something happened to either parent. It is never too soon to start saving for college as well as other future needs.
  • Building Wealth
    You need to save consistently, with disciplined commitment to your long-term financial security plan, to be truly prepared for retirement and beyond. Save early to take advantage of compounding interest, whether in a bank account, mutual fund or employer-sponsored 401(k). Your diversified asset base should include various options such as permanent life insurance, which offers guaranteed cash-value growth as well as insurance protection.
  • Managing Career Transitions
    An emergency fund with three to six months of living expenses will address your financial requirements if you experience a job loss or want to pursue a career transition. When you are considering a change, be sure to evaluate the various ways your life might be affected, such as adjustments in commuting time and expenses, lunches, travel costs or wardrobe requirements. Be sure to roll over your IRA from your prior employer’s fund to avoid taxes and penalties and pursue employer-sponsored retirement benefits available at your new job.
  • Retirement
    Americans are living longer and it’s never been more important to maximize your income, protect your assets from risk and ensure you have what you need for retirement.  Your financial representative can help you evaluate your assets and determine how best to protect against risks, such as long-term care, and convert your personal savings into retirement income.
  • Leaving a Legacy
    If you want to leave a legacy, whether for your loved ones or the broader community, estate planning will help you meet your goals and ensure that your assets are transferred as you wish. You need both an inventory of your assets and legal means to distribute them, including beneficiary designations and wills. As part of your financial security plan, your financial representative can help you choose the best way to meet your legacy goals, including life insurance and trusts.

A financial security plan can guide you in making positive financial choices throughout life. Developed based on your unique needs, hopes and dreams, your plan provides a roadmap to help you fund them and is adjusted from year to year to reflect your specific life stage. Contact your financial representative for help in creating the best plan for you.

Article prepared by Northwestern Mutual with the cooperation of Lanny Joseph Ribes. Lanny Joseph Ribes is a Financial Representative with the Northwestern Mutual Financial Network based in Glen Carbon, IL for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  To contact Lanny Joseph Ribes, please call (618) 791-0471, email him at lanny.ribes@nmfn.com or visit his web site at LannyRibes.nmnfn.com.

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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Domestic violence is prevalent in Macoupin County

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Dear Editor,

Domestic Violence within Macoupin County is prevalent. It is destructive and can be both physical and psychological. It can affect anyone of any age, gender, race, or sexual orientation. It may include behaviors meant to scare, physically harm, or control a partner. While every relationship is different – domestic violence generally involves an unequal power dynamic in which one partner tries to assert control over the other in a variety of ways. The following statistics are all according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

We can see domestic violence inside the home: through the use and control of household pets. In one study, 85% of survivors who experienced co-occurring animal abuse reported that the behavior of their pets had changed. An even higher percentage of survivors who reported partners had harmed or killed their pet, have also reported their partner for domestic violence. We can also see an increase usage of firearms within the intimate partner violence home. A survey of contacts by the National Domestic Violence Hotline found (of those with access to firearms):  

  • 10% said their abusers had fired a gun during an argument.  
  • 67% believed their abusers were capable of killing them. 

We can see domestic violence inside our schools: as partner violence is not exclusive to the home. There are many instances of violence between dating partners that begin in high school. Nearly 1.5 million high school students in the United States are physically abused by dating partners every year. Within those relationships, 13.4% of male high school students report being physically or sexually abused by a dating partner.  

We can see domestic violence inside our community: Macoupin County provides a specific set of needs for those victims and survivors of domestic violence. There are several complex concerns within a violent relationship that come to light once action has been taken. Safe Families sees a few main re-occurring concerns within the county:  

  • Survivors have fewer financial resources, making them more financially dependent on an abusive partner.  
  • The lack of rental units or other affordable housing options makes it more difficult for survivors to leave spouses or co-habiting abusers.  

The Macoupin County Safe Families program provides support for residents as they journey the emotional endeavors to leave behind domestic violence. As a contributor to that experience, we will be hosting a Domestic Violence Awareness Walk on October 7th on the Carlinville Square. An event shirt will be included with a ticket sale. The online tickets will close 09/29 at 5pm. Tickets will be sold at 9am day-of event at the Safe Families booth. More information about the Awareness Walk can be found on our website at mcphd@mcphd.net. We urge Macoupin County residents to join us and rally against domestic violence together.  

Juliet Wooldridge and Lilly Booth

Domestic Violence Advocate Coordinators
Community Health Worker
Macoupin County Safe Families

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Letters to the Editor

Letter: National Health Center Week is week of August 6

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Dear Editor,

Community Health Centers are the backbone of our nation’s primary health care system. We design innovative, integrated primary care based on what services communities need most — ensuring access to affordable, quality healthcare for over 30 million people. In addition to creating jobs and saving lives, collectively we save American taxpayers $24 billion a year in health care costs by preventing and managing chronic diseases.

Community Health Centers are not ordinary medical clinics; we are also problem-solvers who reach beyond the exam room to care for the whole person by providing access to necessities like food, transportation, and housing. Community Health Centers care for everyone, regardless of insurance status. Nationwide during hurricanes, floods, and fires, and locally during the pandemic, Community Health Centers are first on the scene and are vital to keeping America healthy.

The 2023 theme of National Health Center Week is ‘The Roadmap to a Stronger America.’ Community Health Centers serve as the beacon of strength, service, and care in their communities. In moments of pain and loss, we offer support and love. In moments of triumph, we offer hope and a vision for the future. This year’s National Health Center Week theme takes us on a virtual road trip across America, highlighting the achievements and amazing work being done at Community Health Centers in every state and territory. Celebrate the uniqueness of our community and get to know others as we journey across the U.S. together!

Each day of National Health Center Week is dedicated to a particular focus area. We will be working with community partners to recognize and celebrate each of the following focus groups in our community.

As part of National Health Center Week 2023, we invite you to support Macoupin Community Health Centers, Inc. to celebrate our mission and accomplishments.

Christy Blank
CEO/Public Health Administrator
Macoupin Community Health Centers, Inc.
Macoupin County Public Health Department

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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Drobney family thanks the community

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To the great people of Macoupin County.

Although several months have past, the family of Bridget Drobney would like to extend their deepest gratitude for the overwhelming love and support that we received during the recent attempt to secure the release of one of Bridget’s rapist/murderers. We are truly grateful for the numerous letters that were written and sent to the Governor of our state, the Illinois Prison Review Board, and the personal outreach to our family; all of which demonstrated your unwavering love and support. Your efforts were instrumental in persuading the Governor and members of the Prison Review Board to deny clemency for Bridget’s murderer.

While it remains a possibility for the individuals involved in Bridget’s kidnapping, rape and murder to annually petition for clemency, The Drobney family takes solace in knowing that the exceptional people of Macoupin County will steadfastly oppose any such requests and stand ready to fight should the matter of clemency arise again. We are particularly grateful to retired Macoupin County State’s Attorney, Vincent Moreth, as well as the current members of the Macoupin County State’s Attorney’s Office, under the leadership of State Attorney, Jordan Garrison. Their unwavering dedication and support was evident as they traveled to Chicago to represent Bridget and the Drobney family during the clemency hearing.

Once again, we express our sincerest appreciation for your profound support and unwavering commitment to justice. Your solidarity has been a source of strength for us during these difficult years. We will keep you in our prayers and will be forever grateful to the people of Macoupin County.

Sincerely,
The Drobney Family

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