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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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