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As I look around my office at the quotes on my wall, I realize the wisdom shared by influential women. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” — Maya Angelou “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” — Eleanor Roosevelt I also...
Everyone has an interest or skill that could be put to good use by volunteering. Perhaps you have an interest in caring for animals, feeding the hungry, tutoring children, building houses for the homeless or responding to disasters around the U.S. or world. Whether you to choose to volunteer by giving of your time, talent...
When it comes to money matters, young parents who are just starting out have a lot to juggle. They might be paying off student loan debt and saving for their first home, all while raising kids. But it’s also a time when young families might be the most financially vulnerable should the unexpected strike. To...
A new nonprofit aimed at empowering and engaging local women got off to a resounding start earlier this spring. Nearly 100 women came to the first gathering of She Unites at the end of April at The Smokestack in Dubuque. The organization aims to bring together women from across the tri-state area to engage in...
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on all aspects of our lives and has resulted in significant changes to the way we work, live and think about money. These changes are especially true for parents and adult children who have combined once separate households, according to new data from New York Life. “It’s...
As I look around my office at the quotes on my wall, I realize the wisdom shared by influential women. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” — Maya Angelou “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” — Eleanor Roosevelt I also...
Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-states. In addition to this update from Dubuque, we will highlight additional developments in Tuesday’s edition. It has only been a matter of weeks since Nicole Powers launched her new organizing and decluttering business. However, the Dubuque resident can trace the origins of the company all the way...
Are you crafty? Do you like to build with your hands? We all have a creative side. It just shows in different ways. This past year my husband, John, found his hidden, creative talent — woodworking. He built me a standing desk, perfect for my height. Then, he created a quilt rack by reusing spindles...
With savings account rates at historic lows, many retirees and other savers are uncertain where to go to stretch their dollars while keeping their assets as safe as possible. Options include certificates of deposit, money market accounts, U.S. Treasury securities and fixed-deferred annuities. How do they compare? Here’s an overview Certificates of deposits (CDs): Issued...
With savings account rates at historic lows, many retirees and other savers are uncertain where to go to stretch their dollars while keeping their assets as safe as possible. Options include certificates of deposit, money market accounts, U.S. Treasury securities and fixed-deferred annuities. How do they compare? Here’s an overview Certificates of deposits (CDs): Issued...
Are you crafty? Do you like to build with your hands? We all have a creative side. It just shows in different ways. This past year my husband, John, found his hidden, creative talent — woodworking. He built me a standing desk, perfect for my height. Then, he created a quilt rack by reusing spindles...
According to the calendar, spring arrived a few weeks ago. The longer days, an abundance of birds in my yard and the fresh scent in the air have convinced me that we are moving in a warmer direction. They also have motivated me to take on another popular spring activity — spring cleaning. I prefer...
Most business owners want to grow their businesses and maybe pass them on to the next generation. But how many owners succeed? Relatively few, as it turns out. Studies show that only one-third of family firms make it to the second generation, and just a sliver get passed on to the third generation. A key...
The penultimate day of Dubuque’s annual film festival highlighted the work of women filmmakers, one of whom promoted her work with the help of a World War II reenactment. The Julien Dubuque International Film Festival, which began April 18, will conclude with its final showings and events today. The festival returned as an in-person event...
ASBURY, Iowa — For residents of the Forest Hills Estates neighborhood, the most popular place to grab a bite to eat Thursday night was right down the street. Amanda Kennedy, who lives near the center of the neighborhood, started inviting local restaurants with food trucks or trailers to park at her house last year, in...
A new nonprofit aimed at empowering and engaging local women got off to a resounding start on Wednesday. Nearly 100 women came to the first gathering of She Unites at the Smokestack in Dubuque. The organization aims to bring together women from across the tri-state area to engage in women-centric conversations and make new connections....
For Dubuque resident Anna Schuster, finding the time to volunteer is part of a broader effort to strike the proper balance. Schuster, a mother of two, already has her hands full with family and work obligations. However, she finds the time to give back to an organization she has come to appreciate immensely as a...
For Dubuque resident Anna Schuster, finding the time to volunteer is part of a broader effort to strike the proper balance. Schuster, a mother of two, already has her hands full with family and work obligations. However, she finds the time to give back to an organization she has come to appreciate immensely as a...
According to the calendar, spring arrived a few weeks ago. The longer days, an abundance of birds in my yard and the fresh scent in the air have convinced me that we are moving in a warmer direction. They also have motivated me to take on another popular spring activity — spring cleaning. I prefer...
Most business owners want to grow their businesses and maybe pass them on to the next generation. But how many owners succeed? Relatively few, as it turns out. Studies show that only one-third of family firms make it to the second generation, and just a sliver get passed on to the third generation. A key...
Have you ever heard that imitation is the highest form of flattery? Do you have any mini-mes at home who have mastered imitating you? Are you flattered? I have seen my children imitate my words, my tone of voice, even my cooking and cleaning habits. Sometimes, I am flattered and proud. Other times, I am...
Marie Lourdie Pierre-Jacques still breaks down when she recounts the phone call that pulled the rug out from under her. One of thousands of hotel workers placed on temporary layoff at the start of the pandemic, she thought the October call with her employer was to discuss health insurance. Instead, she said, she was told...
When interest rates are low, you might have questions about how this affects your financial strategy. Low interest rates often make investors worry about lagging returns. Investors might consider adding income annuities to their retirement portfolio. How to compare income-generating solutions when interest rates are low When looking at ways to achieve financial security in...
Have you ever heard that imitation is the highest form of flattery? Do you have any mini-mes at home who have mastered imitating you? Are you flattered? I have seen my children imitate my words, my tone of voice, even my cooking and cleaning habits. Sometimes, I am flattered and proud. Other times, I am...
Marie Lourdie Pierre-Jacques still breaks down when she recounts the phone call that pulled the rug out from under her. One of thousands of hotel workers placed on temporary layoff at the start of the pandemic, she thought the October call with her employer was to discuss health insurance. Instead, she said, she was told...
When it comes to Social Security payouts, the “when” can be as important as the “how much.” Americans in retirement, or nearing it, have multiple options as to when to start collecting Social Security benefits. The attractiveness of each option depends on a myriad of factors, including income need, health and career/retirement status. Make no...
If someone wanted to show you their undying love for you, what should they do? Would you want gifts or a kind touch or compliments? Maybe you would prefer this person to do something for you or with you. Gary Chapman labels these options as our love languages. Our preferred way to be loved falls...
When COVID-19 came and changed everyone’s lives in March, it took down engaged couples’ original wedding and honeymoons plans along with everything else, making many soon-to-be newlyweds postpone their nuptials to later in the year, or even into 2021. Since the way we navigate life has changed due to the pandemic, it only makes sense...
If someone wanted to show you their undying love for you, what should they do? Would you want gifts or a kind touch or compliments? Maybe you would prefer this person to do something for you or with you. Gary Chapman labels these options as our love languages. Our preferred way to be loved falls...
When it comes to Social Security payouts, the “when” can be as important as the “how much.” Americans in retirement, or nearing it, have multiple options as to when to start collecting Social Security benefits. The attractiveness of each option depends on a myriad of factors, including income need, health and career/retirement status. Make no...
Have you put off making a will? If so, you’re not alone. According to a 2020 survey conducted by Caring.com, only 32% of American adults have estate planning documents, such as wills and living trusts, in place. While preparing a will might not be the most pleasant way to spend an afternoon, it could be...
Have you put off making a will? If so, you’re not alone. According to a 2020 survey conducted by Caring.com, only 32% of American adults have estate planning documents, such as wills and living trusts, in place. While preparing a will might not be the most pleasant way to spend an afternoon, it could be...
As Americans, we can take pride in the fact that we are a nation of givers. And as the economy improves, charitable giving is on the rise. In fact, according to the National Philanthropic Trust, in 2016, total charitable giving from U.S. individuals, corporations, foundations and bequests exceeded $390 billion, with 72% coming from individuals....
I admit, I am a Hallmark Christmas movie junkie. I am addicted to the happy feeling that I have when a movie is over, even though I shed some tears. I know that the movies are predictable and unrealistic, but that is part of the enjoyment. The movies are so pure and innocent. My mom...
As Americans, we can take pride in the fact that we are a nation of givers. And as the economy improves, charitable giving is on the rise. In fact, according to the National Philanthropic Trust, in 2016, total charitable giving from U.S. individuals, corporations, foundations and bequests exceeded $390 billion, with 72% coming from individuals....
In years past, have you enjoyed the hustle and bustle of Black Friday shopping? Getting up at 4 a.m. just to stand outside in the cold, dark morning, waiting for the store’s doors to open? Or, in recent years, have you enjoyed Thanksgiving Thursday shopping? Enjoying your Thanksgiving meal in the early afternoon and get...
Among other things, Cardi B’s song about women and money empowerment (Bodak Yellow, explicit) speaks to (very much paraphrasing): “You are out spending money in the club, and I am up here singing, using the same venue to make money.” Most of the remainder of the song would not be fitting to print in this...
In order to better understand how people in the U.S. are experiencing the emotional and financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, New York Life asked 2,200 adults in late March and again in early and late April, a range of questions about how their emotions connect to their financial outlook. Data was broken out by...
Investing in the stock market provides you with an opportunity to put your money to work. Historically, the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index has returned close to 10% on an average annual return. Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future results. But most investors fail to take full advantage of this opportunity. In...
One hundred years ago (on Aug. 18, 1920), the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, and women were given the right to vote. In 1942, women were allowed to join the military. In 1948, the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act was signed into law, allowing women to serve as full members of any military...
The ultimate act of self-care is not just taking a luxurious bath. While it might help in the moment, the long-term best outcome for you is investing your time and focus into your goals — the ones that keep you on track to where you want to be. Get proactive and and start with your...
A young Dubuque entrepreneur has made her dreams come true with a unique business venture that she opened in August. Sarah Knabel, 24, runs Bob & Lou’s, a mobile coffee shop, out of a 1968 Forester hard shell camper. In just a few months, the business — named for Knabel’s java-loving grandparents — has proven...
As the parent of a special needs child, you know how rewarding —and how challenging — caring for your loved one can be. And even though you’ve got it all under control right now, you can’t help worrying about the future. After all, someday your child will have to go on without you, and you...
Mothers, sisters, daughters and friends: Pour a glass of your favorite beverage, and let’s talk. It matters that you are living a responsible and smart financial life. It matters as much as eating well, movement, mental stimulation and having those oh-so-necessary friendships. Here is a truth (take a gulp of that beverage first): Women have...
Do any of your childhood memories revolve around food? Do any memories revolve around the dinner table? I remember always eating meals with my family every evening at the kitchen table. If it was volleyball season, the meals would be later in the evening. If Mom had to work nights, then we ate with Dad....
What does it mean to be pampered? For some, it means to indulge — to enjoy your favorite food or activity or to do something that is not common in your daily routine. My indulgence is ice cream. After all, it is my favorite food group. For my birthday, my family enjoys an evening of...
An estate plan is not just for high-net-worth individuals. It’s for everyone who is single, has a spouse, has a partner, has dependents, owns a business, has investments, has retirement funds, owns property or has material possessions of value, such as a car. An estate plan could reduce estate taxes and shield your beneficiaries from...
According to brainmadesimple.com/left-and-right-hemispheres, the right hemisphere of the brain coordinates the left side of the body and performs tasks that have to do with creativity and the arts. I must not have much in the right side of my brain. I have never considered myself a creative person. For example, I am not good at...
Have you ever come down with a case of shingles, needed a knee replacement or undergone emergency surgery? Let’s hope not, for the sake of your finances. Many people don’t realize just how much an illness can impact their financial lives. Independent contractors, business owners and even employees who need to miss work due to...
You might think that you don’t need to worry about life insurance until, or if, you have children. After all, there’s no one who relies on you to feed, clothe and educate them. Remaining uninsured, however, could prove to be a big financial mistake, even without dependents. Here’s why: Life insurance can shield your surviving...
If you have employees, you know that the loss of a key player can have a profound impact on business operations. When an employee leaves, customers who dealt directly with that person might worry about receiving their goods or services in a timely manner. Suppliers might be concerned about getting paid for their deliveries. And...
There is not a better confidence booster to a young, teenage girl than to receive invitations from beauty pageants and modeling agencies. I was pushing 6 feet before high school. There were plenty of awkward moments, as I stood out in any crowd. I was flattered that some people in this world think that my...
There is not a better confidence booster to a young, teenage girl than to receive invitations from beauty pageants and modeling agencies. I was pushing 6 feet before high school. There were plenty of awkward moments, as I stood out in any crowd. I was flattered that some people in this world think that my...
If you have employees, you know that the loss of a key player can have a profound impact on business operations. When an employee leaves, customers who dealt directly with that person might worry about receiving their goods or services in a timely manner. Suppliers might be concerned about getting paid for their deliveries. And...
Has your family discussed money concerns? Clinical psychologists note that when kids don’t have enough information, they might become anxious, make up explanations or seek information from potentially unreliable sources. They recommend talking to your children about financial concerns. Preschool and elementary age Experts suggest limiting financial discussion with very young children to the basics....
Once upon a time, wedding registries were created so newlyweds would have all the basic essentials to establish their first home. But as technology has evolved, so too has the registry. Gone are the days where registries only include dishware and candlesticks. Couples can now incorporate modern must-haves, like connected light bulbs, voice assistants and...
When a loved one passes away, it often is an emotional and chaotic time. It’s also a time when you might be called upon to make a number of weighty financial decisions. Would you know what to do if you found yourself in that situation? If you’re not certain — or would just like to...
Ashley Ayala, owner of Soul Revolution — a yoga, cycling and fitness studio in Dubuque — cranks up the heat anytime she steps foot in her yoga studio. She calls herself a “heat junkie” when it comes to her hot yoga practice. But Ayala wasn’t always this way — coaching people through Warrior 3 poses....
Many of us are familiar with the expression, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” As an Agent with New York Life, I can assure you that when it comes to financial goals and objectives, this old adage rings true. In fact, it might be more relevant than ever. It isn’t always easy for some...
Ashley Ayala, owner of Soul Revolution — a yoga, cycling and fitness studio in Dubuque — cranks up the heat anytime she steps foot in her yoga studio. She calls herself a “heat junkie” when it comes to her hot yoga practice. But Ayala wasn’t always this way — coaching people through Warrior 3 poses....
Many of us are familiar with the expression, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” As an Agent with New York Life, I can assure you that when it comes to financial goals and objectives, this old adage rings true. In fact, it might be more relevant than ever. It isn’t always easy for some...
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has a list of 23 common fraud schemes on its “Scams and Safety” web page, including credit card theft. How does this happen? The thief makes small purchases with your stolen credit card number and sees if they go through. If they do, they hit your account for bigger purchases....
The holidays can be a great and joyous time for students returning home to see family and friends. Final exams are over, and students do not have to worry about schoolwork. This also can be a very stressful time. Coming home to a parent’s home after months of freedom leads to adjustment and required flexibility...
At some point, people with retirement or employer-sponsored investment accounts will be faced with the decision of what to do with rollover funds. This can happen when you change jobs or when you retire. In any case, it’s important to think through your options. Ideally, it’s best to choose a strategy that meets your retirement...
Why wait until the new year to begin a hobby, like yoga, art or cooking? The holidays are an excellent time to include gear on wish lists or put together a gift package for someone special — even yourself. Pair tangible gifts with a workshop, and an experiential adventure awaits. Here are suggestions from local...
While a white Christmas is never guaranteed, we can contribute to a greener holiday season by engaging in eco-friendly gift-wrapping practices. As December quickly nears, tri-state business owners shared creative ideas for sustainable alternatives to traditional wrapping paper. Kristina Beytien, owner of Upcycle Dubuque, described the holiday season as “notoriously wasteful.” She pointed to the...
They say that to raise a child, it takes a village. But according to local leaders, the same can be said of empowering women to step up and make a difference in their communities. The theme of “help” was a common thread that ran through Oct. 9’s Salute to Women Awards breakfast at Diamond Jo...
Amanda Reeves was about as prepared to have a baby boy in late August as any 20-year-old woman could be after immersing herself in the Clarity Clinic Pregnancy Center of Dubuque. She took educational classes ranging from birthing to safe sleep in what is called First Steps. She also was referred to classes offsite for...
Have you ever heard of the three-legged stool of retirement? If you have, it probably was a while ago. Once considered the ideal retirement model, the three-legged stool has fallen out of favor because one of the legs — defined benefit pensions — is not as stable as it once was, and the future of...
Shelby Duggan was just 11 years old when she was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. But what began as a simple newspaper delivery route of which she could take ownership found a fitting niche as she grew older and became a fan of the popular TLC reality television series, “Say Yes to the Dress.” From...
Deb Winter had inspiration strike when she launched Deb’s Brewtopia in Elkader, Iowa. Creating her dream was a leap of faith, and the business is becoming a unique feature of the community. “The funny thing is I never intended to open a taproom,” Winter said. “I have never been fond of ‘bars’ and the shenanigans...
You’ve decided that’s it’s time to buy your first home. Congratulations. You are on your way to fulfilling your dreams. Before you start house hunting though, you should have a number of things in place. You should be saving for the down payment (a down payment can be about 20% of the price of the...
Sheri and Robert Willmers’ love story came full circle this year without them even realizing it. At the heart of their tale: Coffee and donuts. The couple met at a quaint Italian bakery in Seattle 23 years ago. Every morning, Sheri went for coffee, and Robert went for donuts. Even though Sheri was getting ready...
Just a couple of decades ago, when it came to technology, the average student could slide by with a calculator and a wristwatch. To make the grade these days, your kids likely will need a full suite of mobile devices. With the skyrocketing cost of new devices, you might be unwilling or unable to outfit...
Retirement planning can be confusing. 401(k), 403(b), SEP, and who the heck is IRA anyway? The following thoughts are intended to help get you involved, on track and engaged in a productive conversation about your retirement plan. What to know What do you want your retirement to look like? Is it drinking expensive wine in...
The other day, I was walking through the store, and there was a lady trying on a few dresses to find the perfect outfit for a wedding. She had a group of friends for support and input. With so many colors, cuts, styles, trends she wanted input to make sure she was making a good...
Empower women. Enable breastfeeding. This is the theme of World Breastfeeding Week, Aug 1-7. This week is set aside to highlight breastfeeding and its vital importance to women, infants and the community. Communities across the country, including those in the tri-states, will host events to recognize breastfeeding and empower the mothers who dedicate themselves to...
The coffee shops and restaurants in Dubuque are frequent meeting spots for people running for office and for their supporters. But even beyond these meeting places, something’s abuzz across Iowa and the U.S. During primary season, residents in Iowa brace themselves for the arrival of politicians because the state has long been considered a pulse...
Patrons of the Galena (Ill.) Food Pantry can find many essentials, from food to used clothing. For years, though, one type of item has been notably absent: Feminine hygiene products. Now, a local charitable group hopes to remedy that. Women and Friends Making a Difference, of Galena, has launched an initiative to gather feminine hygiene...
Have you ever had one of those months where you get paid, but you don’t know where all your money went? Most Americans are in debt due to soaring college costs, credit card debt and the need to keep up with the Joneses. I recently heard of people purchasing a family pet on a payment...
It takes just minutes to fill an online cart, do a quick cost comparison and click to complete the order. But if the items aren’t necessary, why is it easy to make purchases without much thought? Erin Lowry knows. “I think money often gets discussed as a rational thing and it’s not,” she said. “We...
Similar to picking a good house, you need to have a good foundation, otherwise you can unknowingly put the rest of your assets at risk. Here are five tips: 1. Build an emergency fund What would happen if you were stuck with an unexpected bill? If you aren’t sure what you would do or your...
DYERSVILLE, Iowa — Last spring, Jennifer Recker took the leap and opened a boutique in downtown Dyersville. J & R Fashions — named after Jennifer and her daughter, Rayne Hollenback — opened in May at 248 First Ave. E. The 1,400-square-foot retail space represented a new challenge for Recker, who previously sold items online and...
Whenever I send out a resume, I am skeptical about what the words “overnight camp counselor” might mean to the person reading it. What do people who have not gone to summer camp think my five summers as a counselor communicate about me? Do they find it silly I even included it? To me, it...
The evening of Dec. 19, 2018, is one that 23-year old Shelby Melssen will never forget. After her registered nurse pinning ceremony, she and her boyfriend, Kaizer Gukeisen, stopped back at their apartment before joining family for dinner. It was there, in their living room, where he proposed to her. “He had a big bouquet...

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