County News

May 31, 2017

If I retire today, I have access to accumulated funds in an employer managed retirement fund. I can transfer the money to a private IRA and put it under the management of a financial advisor I select. I could also purchase an annuity; a contract that is offered by an insurance company that operates similar to a pension and would pay me regular monthly income.

May 24, 2017

I am sure there are many that have heard me say, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”  We are all looking for a good deal. So, how do we know when a good deal is too good to be true?

I was looking for a piece of technology that usually sells for a little more than $400.  I found a used one for sale on-line, and I looked up reviews for that product. There were some who did not like this item because the feature they wanted came with a monthly fee. Because of this one reason, several had returned the item for a full refund. I was not interested in those features so the thought of picking up a used one for less cost was appealing.

May 8, 2017

The 2017 ISU Herbicide Research Program Field Day will be held on June 22 at the Curtiss Farm located on South State Street in Ames, IA.

May 2, 2017

“Words on Wellness,” a monthly newsletter that promotes a healthy lifestyle for Iowans. In each issue, you’ll gain reliable, research-based information about nutrition, exercise, and food safety, and explore the power of incorporating healthy practices into daily living for you and your family.  Click Here for the June issue.

May 2, 2017

Graduation includes new financial responsibilities and changes in family roles. This publication includes financial tips for parents regarding insurance, credit, banking services, and taxes.  It is not intended to be inclusive of all the financial decisions families will face, but should start you on the road to making the necessary adjustments that will avoid costly omissions and unexpected bills.   Click Here for the publication.

May 1, 2017

It is now simpler for Iowans to submit insects and plants for identification and diseases for diagnosis.

May 1, 2017

I love Honey Crisp apples…but not the premium price. I love to visit family for holidays…but not high plane ticket costs. I love fresh vegetables but settle for canned during the winter months because the price of fresh produce during that time of the year can be expensive.

May 1, 2017

Making the decision on when to leave a child home alone can be challenging. Parents should consider their child’s maturity level as well as the neighborhood environment and their own flexibility, says Malisa Rader, a human sciences specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

April 11, 2017

When a sudden event results in the loss of personal property, will the loss help lower your income taxes?

March 9, 2017

It’s not surprising to read that college students tend to have more bank overdrafts than the average consumer.  After all, they’re often managing money on their own for the first time.  Add to that the fact that they have limited resources, and that in many cases they receive their funds in one sum at the beginning of a semester, and then have to carefully stretch that money throughout several months. It takes a while to learn the skills required to manage effectively and avoid overdrafts.

March 6, 2017

As an adult child who happens to be in the field of family finance, I knew it was necessary to start the conversation with my parents about their end-of-life wishes. I also needed to know where the essential papers were located in case of a crisis.

March 1, 2017

It is wise to plan ahead and anticipate situations our aging parents may face. As an adult child, it may be emotionally difficult to talk to our parents about death, disability, chronic illness and incapacity, but making financial decisions before a crisis has benefits:


March 1, 2017

The Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium today released a statewide strategy to support monarch butterfly recovery in Iowa and North America, available at

February 20, 2017

Richard Jauron

Winter 2017 has been unusually mild in Iowa, with daily high temperatures in the 50s and 60s and approaching record highs. This is good news for those who dislike snow and icy conditions, but it can confuse spring-flowering bulbs and lead to early growth.

February 20, 2017

If your employer matches your contributions to a retirement plan, then it is smart to contribute at least that much.  For example, if your employer matches your contributions up to 3%, then it’s smart to contribute at least 3% of your income. If you don’t, you’re turning down part of your paycheck.

February 6, 2017

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Associate Dean John Lawrence and Iowa farmer Larry Buss of Logan yesterday announced the release of the Iowa Pest Resistance Management Plan

January 30, 2017

Montezuma, Iowa ― Emotions often limit the ability of farmers to market their corn and soybeans at profitable levels. The next Lynnville Ag Marketing Club meeting will feature the topic, “Selling Grain Based on a Plan: Not Emotions.” The date is Tuesday, Feb. 14 at the First State Bank, 413 East Street, Lynnville, Iowa.  Click here to see flyer.

January 30, 2017

There are just two basic ways to deal with clothing clutter:  1) get rid of it, or 2) organize it. Most people need to do some of both when it comes to their closets.

January 23, 2017

If stepping up your retirement planning is part of your new year’s resolution, one key is to understand the pros and cons of traditional tax-deferred accounts in comparison with Roth accounts.  Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) come in both “flavors,” and many employer accounts have both options as well.

January 19, 2017

In the last ten days I have received year-end statements from all three of my retirement accounts.  The arrival of these financial statements presents great reminder to do a retirement check-up.  Now is the time to do a calculation to see whether your retirement investments are on track to give you a comfortable retirement.

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