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5 strategies to consider for singles heading into retirement

Photo:Tima Miroshnichenko/Pexels
(StatePoint Media) -- Planning on retiring single? You aren’t alone.

Nearly 22 million Americans age 65 and older were unmarried in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, representing 41.5% of those in that age category. And for women, it’s more likely to be the case. According to the Administration on Aging, 54% of older women are unmarried, as compared to 30% of older men.

In a study published in the "The Gerontologist", one-third of men and women between the ages of 45 and 63 who responded to the survey were single, most were never married or they were and now divorced. A small number were widowed.

Unmarried Baby Boomers face greater economic, health, and social challenges compared to their married peers in their later years.

"Retirement planning can be especially challenging for singles, who need to prepare without the decision-making and income support of a partner," says Scott Pedvis, financial advisor, Wells Fargo Advisors.

For those setting a course for solo retirement, Wells Fargo Advisors offers these five tips:

1. Create a fallback plan. Retirees commonly discover a gap between what they thought they’d need for retirement and what’s actually needed. And if you’re single, you may not have a second income stream to rely on should finances become unexpectedly disrupted. Periodically review your investment portfolio and build backup plans. Such contingency planning could involve more emergency savings and more robust disability and long-term care insurance protection than couples. You could also choose to take a part-time job for extra income.

2. Build a network of advisors. With autonomy sometimes comes a reluctance to seek advice. Consider forming a team of trusted professionals, including a financial advisor, accountant, attorney and healthcare providers.

3. Count on loved ones—to a point. Friends and family can be a lifeline in good times and times of need. However, ensuring they don’t take advantage of your independent status or create serious financial burdens for you is essential. For example, you should take extreme care before turning over financial matters to others. Stay actively involved and work with a trusted team to help make decisions in your best interests. Evaluate the possibility of engaging a corporate trustee to manage finances, should you become incapacitated.

4. Prepare key documents. According to Caring.com, more than half of American adults don’t have estate planning documents such as a will or trust. Don’t wait. Even if you’ve put some documents together, they may not ensure your wishes are carried out. Here are the key documents forming the foundation for most estate plans:

• Will
• Power of attorney (POA) for financial matters
• Durable power of attorney for health care
• Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) release authorization
• Living will
• Revocable living trust

To prevent confusion and misdirected bequests, carefully designate beneficiaries of IRAs, employer-sponsored retirement plans, insurance policies and annuities. Lay out clear directions for the distribution of remaining assets. Also, don’t forget about digital assets and accounts. Will your executor or trustee have proper authority to access and manage those items? Talk to your attorney about keeping digital planning secure and up-to-date.

5. Plan for change. Entering into a committed relationship could mean making adjustments. Look at your insurance coverage, emergency fund and future income plan.

Think about having a frank discussion with your new partner about how you’ll divide assets in the event of divorce or death. If ex-spouses or children are in the picture, consider managing finances and estate plans separately. With the assistance of your financial advisor and estate-planning attorney, you can establish a basic estate plan, and, as appropriate, discuss other strategies for preserving wealth.

"Planning for retirement is part of the financial journey. Key planning strategies can help you feel confident as you approach your golden years solo," says Pedvis.

For more information and guidance in planning your retirement, visit wellsfargoadvisors.com.

Create a healthier home: 4 tips for your new multi-purpose space

Photo: Avelino Calvar Martinez/Burst
(Family Features) -- Even after receiving their COVID-19 vaccination, There are a lot of people not ready to throw caution into the wind and resume pre-pandemic behavior. Individuals and families, vaccinated or not, are planning to continue to spend more time at home until they feel their communities and the places they frequent are much safer to visit.

The additional time at home provides a unique opportunity to make changes to create a healthy living environment.

In many homes spaces traditionally used for socialization and relaxation have evolved into classrooms, gyms and workout space, voice and video production studios, comfortable office space, restaurants, and more.

In fact, a majority of Americans (54%) report being more concerned about having a healthy home since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent online survey of 2,000 adults conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Carrier Global Corporation, a leading global provider of healthy, safe and sustainable building and cold chain solutions.

The survey also found that of those surveyed who were 18 years of age or older last August, since the COVID-19 pandemic began:

  • 49% are more concerned about maintaining heating and air conditioning filters to reduce dust, pollen and other indoor pollutants.
  • 42% are more concerned about fire safety precautions in their homes, such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
  • 39% are more concerned about having dangerous levels of carbon monoxide (CO) in their homes.

According to the survey, 1,381 of the participants were homeowners.

If you’re looking to improve your living space, consider these tips for making your home the healthiest it can be:

Create an ideal sleep environment . . .
Most people sleep most comfortably when the air is slightly cool, so target a room temperature between 65-70 F. If this is cooler than you keep the home during the day, consider using a programmable thermostat that automatically lowers the temperature at bedtime. Also, remove distractions that may keep you awake and, if necessary, use a white noise device for uninterrupted sleep.

Improve indoor air quality . . .
Maintaining heating and air conditioning filters is a concern many homeowners reported. According to the survey, 49% of respondents are concerned about reducing dust, pollen and other indoor pollutants as part of their filter maintenance.

In addition to changing air filters on a frequent basis, air purifiers and humidifiers can help make the air inside homes fresher, cleaner and more comfortable. For example, third-party testing has shown the Carrier Infinity Whole Home Air Purifier inactivates 99% of the select viruses and bacteria trapped on the filter, such as those that cause common colds, streptococcus pyogenes and human influenza. The purifier was also tested by a third party against the murine coronavirus, which is similar to the human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19. In that testing, the purifier inactivated 99% of coronavirus trapped on the filter.

Also look at your home's air exchange rate, also known as Air Change Per Hour (ACPH). ACPH or ACH is a measurement that looks at how many times the air within a defined space is replaced each hour with fresh, ideally outdoor air. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends homes and offices have a certain number of air changes per hour. For example, bedrooms should have five to six, kitchens seven to eight, and laundry rooms around eight to nine exchanges per hour.

If your home is older and not as tightly-built or weatherized, air exchange can occur through leaks in the exterior envelope, which may not be enough to keep mildew and mold growth under control. With newer, well-sealed constructed home, homeowners may want to consider upgrading your home's ventilation system to remove stale air and pull in more fresher air from outdoors.

Update fire protection . . .
Since the pandemic began, people are also more concerned about fire safety precautions in their homes, such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers. Smoke alarms should be installed on each level of your house and inside each bedroom. Test smoke alarms monthly and replace batteries as needed. Additionally, you should have a fire extinguisher on each level and consider one for the kitchen, as well. Make sure to check extinguishers routinely and replace them every 10-12 years.

Install carbon monoxide alarms . . .
Another cause for concern amid COVID-19 is the potential for dangerous levels of carbon monoxide (CO) in homes. CO alarms should be installed on each level of the home and outside sleeping areas, and it’s important to test them monthly. Consider installing alarms with a 10-year battery, such as the Kidde Wire-Free Interconnect 10-Year Battery Combination Smoke & CO Alarm for less hassle. It offers wire-free interconnect capability, a voice warning feature that accompanies the loud alarm tone and verbal announcements such as “replace alarm” at the end of the alarm’s life.

To learn more about creating a safer, healthier home, visit carrier.com/healthyhomes.

Photo Gallery | Spartan softball team post opening victory

St. Joseph-Ogden sophomore Maggie Ward winds up for a pitch during the Spartans' season opener last. The Spartans rolled to a 12-7 victory to start the 2020-21 season. Ward threw 64 pitches during her five innings in the circle to earn her first win of the season. The sophomore hurler struck out three and gave up three runs and four hits in her varsity debut.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
SJO softball team greets Acton at home
Audrey Short, Peyton Jones, Kaylee Ward and the rest of team wait to greet teammate Alyssa Acton at home plate after her two-run homer.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Alyssa Acton smiles after her 2-run homer
First base player Alyssa Acton is all smiles after hitting her first home run of the season. The two-run shot extended the Spartans' lead over the visiting Chargers, 10-4. The sophomore, who crossed the plate twice during the contents, also finished the game with two hits and two RBIs.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Starter Sophia Martlage winds up for a pitch during the opening inning of the game. Martlage tossed 40 pitches giving up three hits and four runs during her two-inning appearance for SJO.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Kaylee Ward gets fist bump from head coach Larry Sparks as she heads to the dugout after her 1-out two run homer down the right field line. The senior tallied six RBI thanks in part to her long ball and a double.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

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Food | Start your day with a slice of bacon banana bread for brunch

(Family Features) -- Warmer spring weather makes the season a perfect time for families and out-of-town guest to enjoy a relaxing brunch together.

From classic combinations like bacon and eggs to more extravagant offerings, a brunch spread offers a blank canvas for creativity and opportunities to enjoy your loved ones’ favorite morning noshes.

For your next brunch celebration, whether it’s a special occasion or just an excuse to spend time together, consider adding what may become a new family favorite to the menu. This Bacon Banana Bread recipe combines two morning meal classics in one easy-to-enjoy bite.

Plus, it’s made using Coleman Natural Bacon so you can feel confident you’re feeding your family all-natural pork sourced from American Humane Certified family farmers who raise their animals the way nature intended – 100% crate-free without antibiotics or added hormones. The preparation is simple (just 10 minutes in the kitchen) so you can put this dish together and catch up with loved ones while baking a sweet and savory snack.

Bacon Banana Bread

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 70-80 minutes
Servings: 6-8

Nonstick cooking spray
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
3 medium bananas, mashed
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 slices Coleman Natural Bacon, cooked and cut into 1/4-1/2-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 325 F. Lightly grease 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, baking soda, baking powder and sugar. In separate bowl, combine mashed bananas, canola oil, eggs and vanilla extract.

Add banana mixture to dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.

In small bowl, toss bacon and remaining flour until bacon is lightly coated.

Fold flour-coated bacon into batter. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake 70-80 minutes, or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Cool in pan on wire rack 20 minutes before inverting bread onto wire rack to cool completely.

Cut and serve.

For more brunch recipe ideas, visit ColemanNatural.com.

Guest commentary: A country in crisis, we need a plan from our government

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

How do we solve the mass shootings? Do we take away all the guns? Or, do we require that every American carry a gun and be prepared to shoot back? Do we eliminate the assault rifles? Or, do we have more security guards at malls, grocery stores and work places carry assault rifles?

We have a crisis in America with gun violence and mass shootings. What will Joe Biden and Congress do about this problem? Will they even attempt a solution? Mr. President and members of Congress, we need a solution.

How do we solve the ongoing Covid-19 crisis?

Many have resumed life as though the problem is solved but in too many states people are still dying from the virus. A great effort has been made to solve this world pandemic. The creation of vaccines that seem to be working and an all-out effort to protect people with mask and distancing has made for an unforgettable year. But, what do we do now? It’s not over. The virus and different strains of the virus are still very alive.

Common sense is critical. The world must go on. The government cannot spend the next year printing off stimulus money and paying people to stay home with nice unemployment checks. This mess is not over and we need a good game plan from our President and Congress.

The previous paragraph leads us to another crisis in this country. Businesses are trying to get back into business but the workers are few.

Restaurant owners across the nation are crying because they can’t find enough cooks and servers.

Many of the former workers are collecting unemployment. They are collecting as much or more than they made showing up for work and thus we have a shortage of willing workers.

Unemployment and the stimulus were a shot in the arm for the country but not one with lasting favorable results. Unemployment eventually ends and people must go back to work. In the meantime, many businesses in America are facing a crisis of trying to come back to life with very little help.

We need a get back to work plan from our President and Congress. Everybody cannot do their jobs at home. The factory worker, the restaurant worker, the medical community, public workers, and much more have to be able to safely leave their homes and do their jobs.

America has been filled with tension and pain this year over the senseless killing of George Floyd. We have viewed too many other senseless police shootings on national television. We don’t need racial tension in this country.

Most of the people in this country are good people and we can’t let these incidents destroy our American family. However, we need a plan from Biden and Congress. What is your idea?

And then there is our crisis on the border. Our government needs to send a stronger message to those people south of the border. What will Congress do?

What would you do? Let your representatives and senators know.


Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of American Issues, Every American Has An Opinion and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.


This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Sentinel. We welcome comments and views from our readers. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to editor@oursentinel.com.


3rd inning rally secures Spartan baseball victory

St. Joseph-Ogden's Hayden Brazelton puts the ball during Monday's home baseball game against Oakwood. SJO (4-0) remains undefeated after knocking off the Comets, 7-1. Later, in the bottom of the fourth inning, Brazelton hit the games only home run. The junior also finished with two runs and one RBI after four trips to the plate in the non-conference game held at the Glenn Fisher Athletic Complex.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Remember to protect your skin this spring and summer

Photo:Jeff Denlea/Pexels
(StatePoint Media) Whether you are getting outside to start planting flowers for this spring and summer or heading out to enjoy watching kids play their spring sports, don't forget that sunscreen. Like most people we tend to prioritize skin protection when spending time outdoors, but skin damage from UV rays and free radicals can occur inside too.

Consider these tips and insights this summer:

Indoor and Outdoor Hazards
If you’re already taking measures to protect skin while outdoors, that’s great. The sun is responsible for up to 90% of visible skin changes commonly attributed to aging, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. But you don’t have to be at the pool or beach to be susceptible to sun damage.

Whether you’re driving your car or you’re inside your home, it’s important to keep in mind that your skin can be exposed to free radicals from the sun’s rays through windows. What’s more, blue light from digital screens -- ubiquitous these days -- can also be harmful to skin. Additionally, damaging free radicals can be generated by pollution, certain foods, like those with a high glycemic index and red meat, exercise, alcohol and more.

Topical Care
Be sure to apply a topical SPF daily to your face and body. Keep in mind that some fabrics don’t offer complete protection, so wearing sunscreen even on areas of skin that are not directly exposed to sunlight is a good idea. You can offer additional protection to sensitive areas like your scalp by wearing a hat. And of course, take good care of your eyes with sunglasses featuring UV blocking.

Double Up
Ultimate skin health comes from a combination of defensive layers. Double down on your skin’s health from the inside out with a daily supplement, such as Heliocare Daily Use Antioxidant Formula.

Eighty-seven percent of U.S. dermatologists recommend taking Heliocare to help protect skin from free radicals, like those produced by the sun’s UV rays. Dermatologist-recommended, this natural, dietary supplement contains 240 milligrams of a powerful antioxidant formula derived from the extract of Polypodium leucotomos (PLE), a tropical fern native to Central and South America that’s been used for centuries as a remedy for skin-related conditions.

Unlike other skincare supplements that contain PLE, Heliocare has a clinically-established, proprietary antioxidant formula, Fernblock PLE Technology, which aids in eliminating free radicals in the body.

"Ultimately, no one is immune to skin damage. Taking a supplement like Heliocare each day is an excellent precaution to help your body protect itself from the damaging effects of free radicals," says New York-based dermatologist, Rachel Nazarian, MD. "By neutralizing the outcome of these harmful atoms, it can help to promote a healthy appearance of skin."

To help keep skin healthy and radiant, avoid free radical damage in the first place and prioritize a comprehensive skin care routine, even when indoors.

To learn more and to access additional skin care information, visit heliocare.com.

SJO dedicates athletic complex to long-time supporter

Former St. Joseph-Ogden Athletic Director and head football coach Dick Duval speaks during the dedication of school's athletic complex to district long-time employee and volunteer Glenn Fisher. A close and respected friend of Fisher for 32 years, Duval regaled stories of his extraordinary dedication in the caretaking of school's athletic fields, scoreboards and facilities.

"He has wired every scoreboard here, inside and out, and the controls and the power for them. He installed play clocks. He installed locker room clocks. He installed the lights around the basketball backboards," Duval told spectators before the start of SJO final home football game of the 2020-21 season. "Glenn has done it all because he loved SJO. He loved doing things to benefit the kids, no matter what it took."

Fisher passed away at the beginning of the year on January 7.

Duval also underscored Fisher's humility.

"Glenn is up there in heaven shaking his head at us because he did not want this," he said, relating a story about the moment he and the group shared with his old friend the school board's decision to name the facility after him. "In my 32 years of knowing Glenn, I never heard him swear until that day. He swore at me. He didn't think he deserved it. He didn't want it."

"I told him tough," Duval said. "It's already done. It's gonna happen."

The athletic complex includes the track and football field, the football practice field and the gym as well as both the softball and baseball fields located on the school grounds.

SJO FFA plant sale coming soon

The St. Joseph-Ogden High School FFA plant sale will be April 29-May 1, May 6-8, and May 13-15.

"We chose to push it back a week from last year to allow us to get a little closer to our Illinois frost free days, and because I have students this year that are working the greenhouse," wrote FAA faculty advisor Darcy Nekolny on Facebook. "We look forward to seeing everyone in two weeks!"

Photo by Amir Esrafili/Unsplash
This will be the organizations third installment of the plant sale. It is a chance for students at SJO to get practical horticultural experience. Proceeds from the sale is to support the school's greenhouse operation help expand students practical knowledge on agriculture and growing practices.

Vegetables that will be available include San Marzano Roma tomatoes, Better Boy tomatoes, a yellow tomatoes, jalapeno peppers, cucumbers, broccoli and cauliflower. There will also be a selection of herbs including red basil, basil, rosemary, thyme, and spearmint.

Decorative flower and ornamental for sale include coneflowers, daylilies, hostas, begonias, impatiens and more.

Credit card only pre-orders will be taken via the same ChedderUp platform used last year. Shoppers can purchase plant in-person with cash or check only.

More information will be available on the FFA's Facebook page.

SJO wins! Spartans undefeated at Dick Duval Field

St. Joseph-Ogden linebacker Xander Rieches celebrates after sacking Bloomington Central Catholic quarterback Jadyn Ellison for a loss during the Spartans' last home football game of the 2020-21 season. The Spartan (2-3) defense held BCC to just 10 rushing yards and allowed just 165 yards passing on the way to a 22-3 victory on Friday. SJO plays their final game of the season this Saturday at Monticello. Game time is slated for 2pm.
(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

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