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Out and About – Week of March 24th

I spent about twenty-five years working and living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. I was very familiar with the area near O’Hare Airport, and, at that time, had no plans of ever returning to Three Rivers to live. A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I spent a weekend in the O’Hare area. She was attending a Lions Leadership Seminar, and I spent the weekend relaxing at the hotel. The reason I mention this, is because I had some difficulty recognizing the landmarks around O’Hare Airport. There had been considerable construction over the past twenty or thirty years, so finding our way around was a bit difficult. The same thing happened when I used to return to Three Rivers, while still living in the Chicago area. Things were constantly changing here, yet those living here wouldn’t notice the change that much. There isn’t much we can do about change, except to try our best to adapt to it. Hopefully, the changes are for the better. It would be difficult parking downtown, if we had to worry about the hitching posts for the horses and buggies being in the way. We just need to make sure we’ve made the right decisions, when it comes to making changes.

There’s a new barber in town. Actually, this barber has been here for more than several months, and she has been made to feel quite welcome. That’s correct, I said “she” has been made to feel quite welcome. She is not a beautician or hair stylist. She is a barber and proud of it. At one time, Three Rivers had more than its share of barbers. Now there are only about two or three including Carrie.

A year or two ago, I was concerned about what I was going to do when my barber, Doug, retired. I hope that Doug sticks around for a long time, but when he finally does hang up his clippers, I’ll feel confident knowing that Carrie will still be there. I strongly suggest that the “Good Old Boys”, who at one time proclaimed that they’d never let a woman cut their hair, give Carrie a chance to make them look presentable. They might be surprised. Welcome, Carrie, to the Three Rivers business world.

During the winter months, it’s difficult to find a garage or yard sale in the Three Rivers area. Now that the weather is warming up, there will be plenty of outdoor sales every weekend. Truly a “Sale Shoppers” dream. This Saturday, March 29, from 9 AM until 1 PM, you’ll be able to find some terrific deals at a “Mom to Mom” sale. Located on Water Street, in Three Rivers, the Corey Lake Christian Children Center will host the event. I’m not sure if there will be any items of interest for the guys, but it might not be a bad idea to stop in and check it out. If you have items that you think others might be interested in, the doors will open at 7:30 AM for those moms wishing to sell their goods. There is a $10 table charge, plus a $1 entrance fee. Remember, “One person’s junk, is another person’s treasure.”

Next month is when we must deal with the tax person. If we’ve watched our debits and credits, we shouldn’t have any problems. Here is a tax trap that you might want to be made aware of. IRS-required annual distributions from a 401-K plan usually start the year you turn 70 ½. You can defer that first payout until April 1 of the next year, but watch out. The next distribution is due by December 31, and the double payout could put you in a higher tax bracket.

One final word about 401-Ks. If you take money out of your 401-K, IRA, or other tax-deferred retirement account before you’re 59 ½, you may be hit with a triple whammy: income tax, a 10 percent penalty, and reduced growth in your account. I received the information mentioned in these last two paragraphs from an AARP publication. I’m in no way a tax consultant, but I do not enjoy wasting my hard-earned money.

To end this week’s column on a happy note, here are several more of Life’s Little Instructions:

Over tip your breakfast waitress.

Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yards.

Wear polished shoes often.

See you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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