11-21-18 Columns

Thanks-4-Giving community service project provided Thanksgiving dinner baskets to 61 recipients On November 17, 2018 the Berrien County Farm Bureau and the Berrien County 4-H Youth Development program partnered to provide Thanksgiving dinner baskets for individuals/families in need. Over 11 Berrien County 4-H clubs participated in the community service project, helping to put together a total of 61 baskets for residents in need throughout Berrien County. During the event there were 29 youth and adult volunteers between the collaborative organizations that came together to assemble and distribute the baskets.

Each bushel basket was overflowing with enough food for a family to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving feast, including a turkey grown by Berrien County Farm Bureau Board Member Tim Ames, potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing mix, canned vegetables, cranberry sauce, fresh baked dinner rolls, a pumpkin pie, and vouchers for milk and butter from local grocery stores. Each basket contained at least 35 pounds of food and a total of 2,170 pounds of food was distributed!

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Share your financial abundance with your family Thanksgiving is almost here. Ideally, this holiday should be about more than turkey, football, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. After all, the idea behind Thanksgiving is to share what we have with our loved ones. But if you want your family to take part in your abundance, you will want to look beyond one day in November. To help ensure you leave the type of legacy you desire, you will need to follow a detailed plan of action, including these steps: Review your estate plans. If you haven’t done so already, take this opportunity to review your plans for managing your estate – and if you haven’t yet drawn them up, it’s never too soon to start. You may want to work with a legal professional to create a will, living trust and other documents essential to your plan. Preserve your financial independence. If your financial independence were to be jeopardized, your adult children might be forced to use their own resources to help support you – an outcome you obviously would never want. How can you protect yourself and your financial assets? For one thing, it’s a good idea to work with your legal professional to create a power of attorney, which would enable someone – possibly a grown child – to make financial decisions for you, should you become incapacitated. Also, you may want to guard yourself against the devastating costs of long-term care, such as an extended nursing home stay. Consider this: The average annual cost for a private room in a nursing home is more than $97,000, according to a survey by the insurance company Genworth. Furthermore, Medicare typically pays very little for these expenses. Consequently, you may want to consider protecting yourself in advance by purchasing long-term care insurance or permanent life insurance with a long-term care provision. A financial professional can help you evaluate your options and recommend which ones might be appropriate for your needs. Share your wishes with your family. It can take some time to put your plans in place – and, even then, you may need to make changes periodically, based on altered circumstances in your life, such as changes in your marital status, new family members, new property, etc. In any case, as your estate- and legacy-based plans evolve, you’ll want to communicate them to your family – because, by doing so, you can help spare them some potentially unpleasant surprises when it’s time to settle your estate. Also, by making your wishes known to your family far ahead of when any action needs to be taken, you’ll help prepare the right people for the roles you wish them to assume – power of attorney, executor of your estate, and so on. You’ll also want to acquaint your family with the legal, tax and financial professionals you’ve selected to work on your estate and legacy plans. By introducing these professionals early on, you can provide your family members with a greater degree of confidence in the overall estate-planning process. Thanksgiving goes by in a blur. But by taking the steps described above, along with others, you can demonstrate the spirit of sharing with your family for years – and possibly generations – to come. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.

Much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Thanksgiving is a time to gather together with family and friends and give thanks for our many blessings. We have much to be thankful for as Americans. We are blessed to live in the greatest nation on Earth, where everyone has the chance — through hard work and determination — to achieve the American dream. A lot has changed since the first Thanksgiving in 1621, yet the holiday is still rooted in the foundations of family, friends and freedom.

As Southwest Michigan families enjoy turkey and honor other enduring traditions, I encourage everyone to recognize the true spirit of Thanksgiving. In a world where we are constantly connected and seemingly always busy, Thanksgiving is a rare moment to cast aside the worries of our everyday life and relax with our loved ones. It is a moment to take the weight of the world off our shoulders, take time to warmly express our gratitude to our family and friends for their love and friendship throughout the year, and to remember that we are all truly blessed to live in the land of the free. I also encourage everyone to give thanks for the brave men and women who protect our liberty, especially those who are unable to be with their families as they serve our country.

As we give thanks, I want to thank you for the honor of serving as your state senator. I am truly grateful for the trust you have bestowed on me to be your voice in the Senate as we worked to improve our state. Happy Thanksgiving!

As always, I look forward to hearing your comments and feedback on the important issues facing Michigan. You can contact me at 517-373-6960.

Lakeland Hospital, Watervliet to offer wellness events in December Learn to live well with heart failure Lakeland Health will offer “Living Well with Heart Failure,” a free class for community members about congestive heart failure (CHF), a chronic condition characterized by the heart’s inability to meet the blood flow needs of the body. The program will take place on Tuesday, December 4, from 1:00