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September 9, 2009     The Sun Newspaper
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September 9, 2009

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009 . Trenton Sun Page 7 - Local *!ilii iii~ili!iiii i!i!iiiii:ii!!!i:i! !!ii!i i:Έ .,il !Cili!iiiiiii!iCi ~ii!i,i!iiiiiiiii'iiii!i!i!i!ili,ii!ii Retirement Planning ii:i:!i, il !il Dear Savvy Senior, Quick Check: Offered by of retirement calculators. I've been searching on Fidelity ( the Internet for retirement plan) this site~ starts with SPECIFIC planning tools and calcula- a fun "Snapshot" introduc- CALCULATIONS tars and am not sure where lion that puts your retire- To get estimates or infor- to turn. Which sites can you ment reality in perspective, mat:on on specific areas of recommend that are easy to and will help you create a retirement, here are some use, provide good informa- plan to help you reach your additional resources that lion and don't charge a fee? retirement goals, can help. Calculating Carl • Social Security: To es- Dear Carl, OTHER RESOURCES timate your future Social When it comes to getting If you don't like the com- Security retirement ben- a handle on your financial pany sites, there are many efits at different ages using situation and gauging how others you can turn to for different future earnings much you'll need to retire, free retirement planning . projections see the Internet offers a buffet information and calcula- timator. Also see Metlife. of tools and calculators that tors, such as: com/individual/financial- can be very helpful. Here • Choose To Save: Cre- tools/social-security-tool/ are some good sites to help ated by the Employee Ben- index.html, which offers a get you started, efit Research Institute, this tool to help you decide when site ( of- to start drawing your ben- RETIREMENT TOOLS fers the Ballpark Estimate efits. Some of the best retire- retirement planning work- • IRAs: To determine ment planning tools and sheet, more than 100 online which type of IRA (Roth or calculators on the Web to- calculators, savings tips and traditional) is best for you, day, are offered through links to resources to help how much you can contrib- large financial service corn- you manage your finances ute and whether you should panics. While the purpose and plan your retirement, convert part or all of a tra- of these tools is to entice • CNN Money ( ditional IRA to a Roth IRA new business, most compa- see Morningstar's IRA cal- nies don't require you to be Provides a number of cal- culator at screen.morning- a client or purchase their culators that projects what products to use them. Here and how much you need to tor.html. are four dandy sites to use save for retirement, and • Immediate Annuities: (try several and compare), how you compare with oth- To calculate how much you all of which are free. er people in your age and can get with an immediate • WealthRuler: Avail- income level, annuity see Immediatean- able at TD Ameritrade, this • MSN Money: Has a "Re- tool charts your retirement tirement and Wills Center" • Life Expectancy: One of outlook and suggests ways that offers a retirement the key (and unknown) ele- to help you develop a plan planner and calculator and ments of retirement plan- to reach your goals. Go to gives tips and strategies for ning is how long you'll live. saving for retirement. Visit Log on to gretirement/wealthruler, to get your estimate. html and plug in your fi- sonal-finance- click on "Re- nancial information (taxes, tirement." FINANCIAL PLANNING planned fmancial events, • Yahoo Finance: Offers If you're looking for a de- yearly income, projected retirement information and tailed financial plan, there Social Security, IRAs and a variety of calculators at are several new Web sites other investments) to get that offer interactive tools your results: ment. to help you see your current • Retirement Income Cal- • AOL Money & Finance: financial situation and map culator: Provided by T. Rowe Provides financial and re- out your financial goals- all Price ( tirement calculators at wal- for free. The sites: SimpliFi. ric/public/, this tool net, uses the Monte Carlo meth- tirement, and ESPlannerBasic (Basic. odolo~g~l~O project' whether • Bank Rate: Go to, you,li,~rieed. and click on to plug in your incoi'h6' iI{:' "Retirement" for a variety formation expenses, debts, assets, insurance, savings and retirement accounts, and the sites will do the rest. your retirement-income needs will be met based on your savings, assets and age. • Vanguard Retirement Center: Provides retirement advice, along with different calculators depending on your needs and age: More than five years to retire- ment, less than five years to retirement, and already retired. See personal.van- cation/retirement. • MyPlan Retirement Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and au- thor of "The Savvy Senior" book. Senior Meal Menu September 14-18 MON: Beef Stroganoff, Carrots, Warm Apples, Beets TUES: Italian Chicken, Au Gratin Potatoes, Italian Green Beans, Apricots WED: Chili, Peanut Butter Sandwich, Celery and Car- rots, Applesauce Cookies TItUR: Cheesy Chicken, Rice Pilaf, Peas, Birthday Cake FRI: Pork Shop, Calico Beans, Salad, Fresh Fruit Seniors must call 224-9913 before 9 a.m. and leave a message. Look Good Feel Better program set "Look Good-Feel Better," a program designed for wom- en undergoing cancer treatment, will be offered from 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, September 22, in the Board Room at St. Joseph's Hospital in Breese. The program is hosted by St. Joseph's in Breese with the American Cancer Society (ACS), the Personal Care Products Council and the National Cosmetology Associa- tion. When cancer strikes, a woman has to deal with physi- cal and emotional trauma plus the effects of treatment on her skin, hair, nails and general appearance, an ACS rep- resentative said. Winning the battle to retain her physi- cal appearance and self-esteem can make the war against cancer seem a little easier. In a recent survey, 86 percent of women cancer patients say looking good helps them feel better and gives them more confidence to cope with their disease. For more information or to register (required), contact 526-5672 or Summerfield, IL Demolition Derby Summerfiled Park SAT., SEPT. 26TH Registration 3:00 p.m. Derby at 4:00 p.m. Rides, Food, Drinks, Games, & Music! 50% Payback for Derby Winners $20 entry fee Show *N* Shine at 3:45 p.m. Over & Under table Contact: Mike or Sherry 618-980-1345 $4.50 ALL EVENING SHOWS 7 Only$3,00 All Shows Before 6pro Ends 7"burs DISTRICT 9 6:45 R HeM Over IMAGINE THAT Daily 6:30 Fri/Sat Late 9:10 Sun Mat 2:00 PG # Starts Fri THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE Daily 6:45 Fri/Sat Late 9:20 Sun Mat 2:15 PC 13 # Boom or Bust? KYLE R. JONES While recent articles have focused on local issues, this week's article will revert back to economics and the state of the national econo- my. In articles written months ago, we discussed the threats of rising taxes, inflation, and the long term impact they would have on our economy. Previous articles have warned about government largess and rising deficits. Previ- ous articles have warned about the short and intermediate term potential for deflation and faltering GDP. Even afLer staring into the face of a massive rally in stock markets around the world and particularly here in the United States, I still have a very bearish outlook for our economy. While the short term (three months) and in- termediate term (one to two years) is seemingly going to be bumpy, the long term prospects for growth are still strong. The very nature of that growth is currently being discussed among economists. While everyone would like rapid growth and a strong and resilient economy, slow growth is much more likely. Sharing an opinion regarding financial markets is akin to being a weather forecaster and is a fool's game. Instead of predicting where stock prices will be in the future, we will discuss my personal the- sis regarding this recession. My research has revealed an extremely high likelihood for what is known as a double-dip recession. A double-dip recession essentially means that we have declining gross domestic prod- uct numbers for a period of time, followed by a brief period of growth in the economy, im- mediately followed by an additional economic slowdown. Obviously we just came through a very rough period of economic uncertainty and now the pundits and talking heads are firmly entrenched that we are going to rally our way right out of this recession. In normal circumstances I would agree with the pundits, but they were wrong as to the sell off and they will be wrong regarding this recession. Recent and forthcoming growth is a mirage, nothing more. The federal government is the reason for growth in the economy, nothing more. Stimu- lus checks, first time home buyer packages, and cash for clunkers are direct examples of how the federal government has propped up our economy over the past few months. This growth will likely continue as long as the gov- ernment continues to artificially create growth, • Looking back we were in a very deep recession** a few months ago andnow we are emerging into what appears to be a slow growth position. How long will our federal government be able to maintain these massive levels of market in- tervention and stimulus? Unfortunately, the side effects of stimulus has been large deficits. rapidly falling U.S. dollm; and the potential for tax increases to pay for the stimulus. The reason I believe we are likely going to see another recessionary period in the near future is the government will run out of programs that taxpayers will be willing to fund. The pas- sage of the recently proposed health-care bill will result in further deficits quickly and will hamper any further attempts to stimulate the economy. If the federal government does not continue to stimulate the economy, growth will sputter and the recession will continue. If the government quits stimulating the economy we will move back into negative growth. If deficits continue to "expand, inflation will return with higher interest rates and negative growth. If taxes increase across the board, we will slide back into a recession. In addition to these ba- sic arguments, various economic data points indicate trouble ahead for the consumer. Cur- rently, the federal government, and financial media are ignoring critical data points. While the government and financial media outlets which have political bias in both direc- lions, are spewing completely bullish opinions about financial markets. They are ignoring the following economic data points. Unemployment numbers continue to rise as many families are losing their unemployment benefits. Capacity utilization, or the maximum production capac- ity of manufacturing corporations is at all time lows. Housing appears to be bouncing off lows, but the majority of activity has been fueled by government stimulus and that program is nearing completion. Will housing continue to stabilize without government intervention? It could be years before construction around the country normalizes and there are massive amounts of commercial real estate which have no tenants and few prospects going forward. Finally, mix in a cash strapped consumer and prospects for growth become muted, if not de- pressing. In closing, I will leave you with the muse of famed economist Nouriel Roubini, "Trying to rebuild public finances at a deflationary mo- ment, a time when unemployment is rising, and private demand is still contracting, could be catastrophic, turning recovery into renewed recession." Kyle R. Jones is a financial advisor for Cam= munity Bank of Trenton. To comment on this - column Or to receive the author's free weekly e- mail newsletter discussing financial markets, send an e-mail to Don't be left out - ,d Get your ticket today! Jerry Brefeld winner of our 1st Earl IOPM at TrentonFest for $100! Citizens for Trenton Benefit Fund Tickets available at: Community Bank of Trenton; FCB Trenton Bank; Tempo Bank; & Trenton Processing. Or by calling Jim Rakers 224-9355 or Dan Kohlbrecher 224-7336. There will only be one more early bird drawing on Oct. 15th for $60. Dinner/Dance is November 14tb at the Aviston American Legion, Music by Souled Out, Dinner catered by Trenton House Restaurant. Proceeds will be used for community improvements. make it • When residents set personal G~ for their This resident dreamed rehabilitation of walking down we go the extra mile the aisle at her to make sure granddaughter's wedding, those goals are We helped her achieve that dream. h h