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6 tips to help you save for retirement

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Many Americans struggle to understand the logistics of retirement and how to save. In fact, one in four Americans have no retirement savings and, in many cases, those who are saving aren’t putting away enough. Here are six practical tips to help you get ready for retirement.

1. Understand your current spending. Know how much you currently spend so you can compare it with your projected retirement spending. Managing your current spending can help you save for the future.

2. Plan your future lifestyle. Now’s the time to think about how you want to live out your golden years. Many people assume their retirement spending will amount to approximately 70 percent of their current spending (known as the 70 percent rule). This may not be realistic by today’s standards. Consider how you want to spend your retirement, and create a budget to match that lifestyle.

3. Expect inflation. Rising prices are inevitable. Be sure to keep inflation in mind when planning your retirement.


4. Save on auto-pilot. Setting up regular deposits into a savings account can help you build your nest egg without having to lift a finger.

5. Pay off your mortgage. Home expenses comprise a significant portion of your fixed costs. Paying off your mortgage before retirement can help eliminate this monthly expense.

6. Work with a financial adviser. Hire a good investment professional and work with them regularly to keep your savings on track. Ask friends and family members for recommendations if you don’t currently work with a financial adviser.

With proper planning and a little help, you can prepare yourself for the realities of retirement.

 

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NASA unveils plans to save earth from asteroids

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In 1998, Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, and other brave souls blasted into space and used oil drilling equipment to blow up an asteroid barreling towards Earth.

That same year, Elijah Wood discovered another asteroid bound for our planet. Fortunately, Robert Duvall blew that one up.

Of course, we’re talking about sci-fi movies, but asteroids are a real threat. Thankfully, NASA has plans (not involving movie stars) for dealing with them.

Over the summer, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released an 18-page report titled the “National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan” outlining steps to identify and deflect asteroids and how to react should one hit.


Currently, NASA’s plans for warding off asteroids center on smashing spacecraft into asteroids at high speed. The goal isn’t to destroy the asteroid but simply to redirect it. If an asteroid’s course can be changed even a tiny bit, it could cause it to harmlessly shoots past Earth.

The United States isn’t alone in defending Earth against asteroids. China has announced plans to use the moon as a planetary defense platform. The Chinese plan would involve installing telescopes on the Moon’s north and south pole, along with kinetic weapons. However, the prospect of placing weapons on the moon has drawn criticism.

Asteroids can travel over 15 miles per second (54,000 miles per hour). An asteroid just 500 feet in diameter could destroy a large city. An asteroid a quarter of a mile in diameter could cause mass extinctions. NASA, among other organizations, already scans for asteroids. However, experts estimate that only about 40 percent of larger asteroids have been mapped. Many smaller asteroids also haven’t been mapped but don’t pose as grave a threat.

Fortunately, FEMA’s National Response Coordination Branch has labeled the likelihood of a serious asteroid impact as unlikely but does note that such an impact would be of high consequence.

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Buy local in every industry

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When you think about buying local, you probably conjure up images of a friendly farmer selling vegetables and jams on a country road or a quaint farmers’ market with a friendly atmosphere. Although these examples illustrate one aspect of buying local, it goes much further.

Have you thought about these sectors?
Buying locally isn’t limited to specific industries. When it comes to supporting your local economy, various companies would be happy to do business with you, including:

• Telecommunications providers
• Banks
• Insurance companies
• Supermarket chains
• Big box stores
• Hardware stores
• Video game developers
• Engineering firms
• Furniture retailers

Why are these important?
Even if you don’t associate large companies with buying locally, they play a significant role in the economic vitality of your region. That’s why it’s essential to know where your products and services come from, whether you’re buying fresh fruits and vegetables or doing business with an insurance company, internet provider, or appliance store.

Front Royal Virginia

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Remembering the comic strip loved by millions

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If you are one of the millions of people who enjoyed the Peanuts comic strip and its star Charlie Brown, here are some odd facts you might not know.

Creator Charles Schulz, who started the strip in 1947, originally called it Li’l Folks. But when the strip was syndicated in 1950, the name was changed to Peanuts. Schulz didn’t especially like it.

Charlie Brown’s beloved beagle Snoopy was modeled after Schulz’s pointer dog, Spike. Snoopy had five siblings from the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm. All of them made appearances during the years the strip ran.

One character was so unpopular with readers that she had a short run. The brash Charlotte Braun, the counterpoint to soft-spoken Charlie Brown, appeared in only ten strips and disappeared without explanation.


Another character was frequently mentioned as the love interest of Charlie Brown. She was called the Little Red-Haired Girl. She was never given a name or seen in the strip. She appeared in silhouette in one of the strips in 1998. She was based on Schulz’s unrequited love for a real red-haired woman.

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Apple orchards make fun outings

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Does anything taste better than a crisp, ripe apple fresh from the tree? Not really, and unless you have trees in your backyard, the only way to get a just-picked apple is to visit your local orchard and do it yourself.

Decide when you should plan your visit. Earlier is better — many orchards are picked clean before the official end of the season because it’s such a popular activity. You should also consider when different varieties will be available. Call your preferred orchard or visit their website to see if they have that information available. Most orchards are only open to the public on weekends, so don’t count on stopping by on a weekday.

Before you bring home more apples than you can possibly eat, consider how much you really want and what you might do with them. Are they all destined for lunch boxes? Is there an apple pie recipe or three you can try? Do you plan to cook a bushel down to make homemade applesauce?

When you head to the orchard, visit only the designated rows of trees that have been opened for picking. Look at apples closest to the outside of the three — those ripen first. The right color depends on the variety, and the orchard may provide pictures for reference. If not, just look them up on your phone.


When you start picking, lift the apple away from the branch and give it a little twist to release it. Don’t pull — you want the stem to remain on the fruit to help it last longer. Inspect the apple for any nicks or bruises, then place it gently (don’t drop it) into your basket or bag. If you pick an apple and then accidentally drop it on the ground, it’s still fine to pick up, but don’t collect any apples that were already on the ground.

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A beginner’s guide to wild turkey hunting

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If you’re interested in taking on the challenge of wild turkey hunting, start off on the right foot with these proven tips.

• Study up. Get acquainted with the hunting regulations in your area, such as permit requirements, hunting hours, and authorized equipment.

• Get to know your calls. You can purchase many different turkey calls, including the slate pan, swing-lid box, or diaphragm. However, you don’t need them all. It is important to practice with them and rely on the one you use best.

• Practice shooting. Pulling off a fatal shot on a turkey is not always easy. Therefore, it’s best to practice on life-size models.


• Observe. Watch for turkeys at the end of the day. They roost in trees, which can help you locate them at dawn. Feathers and droppings under mature trees are excellent clues as to where you can find them.

• Use decoys. Two or three decoys are ideal for attracting turkeys. They can give you the window of opportunity you need to take your shot.

• Blend into the background. Turkeys have remarkable vision and hearing. Consequently, show as little skin as possible, and keep still. Hiding in a bird blind with a camouflage pattern should work well.

• Have patience. Don’t change your location too quickly if your calls don’t get a response. The silence may not necessarily mean there aren’t turkeys nearby.

Best of luck on your hunt!

In the U.S., wild turkey hunting is regulated by individual states. The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) provides a guide to wild turkey hunting in each state and updates it annually. Visit nwft.org to learn about season dates, bag limits, license costs, and other details.

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The first day of autumn is September 22

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Autumn is an invisible bridge that begins with the fading delights of summer and slowly reaches into the world of winter.

It’s when most crops are harvested and when the days grow shorter and cooler, especially in northern latitudes. September is the month of the Harvest Moon, a full moon that allows farmers to work later and have more time to bring in their crops. Gardens are ripped up, but rows of turnips, potatoes, and onions are planted.

Children have strapped on their backpacks and trekked back to school but take time out to select pumpkins, carve their Jack-o’-lanterns and throw themselves into the adventure of Halloween.

This is when tourists hit the road to find, photograph, and enjoy the color palette of fall foliage. These wanderers are often referred to as “leaf peepers.”


Apple trees are heavy with fruit, apple cider stands begin to pop up, and apple pie is a staple on many menus. Family outings to the nearest orchard are common, and kids can pick their own apples and even watch apple cider being made. Getting a taste of the fresh cider is part of the fun.

Tailgate parties hail the arrival of football season. Bonfires proliferate, with some of them turning into traditional hot dog roasts, complete with toasting marshmallows to make s’mores and augmented by a singalong.

Corn mazes offer a scary but exciting escapade, and hayrides are enjoyed by all ages. Scarecrows and cornstalks become part of decorating while squirrels scurry around burying nuts.

It’s autumn. Breathe deeply and enjoy the precious days. As Albert Camus said, “Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower.”

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

National Media Services

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

St. Luke Community Clinic

Studio Verde

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Vetbuilder.com

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

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White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

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Upcoming Events

Sep
25
Sun
10:00 am Abram’s Delight @ Abram’s Delight
Abram’s Delight @ Abram’s Delight
Sep 25 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Abram’s Delight @ Abram’s Delight
Abram’s Delight 5th Annual French and Indian War Weekend Experience a French & Indian War era living history encampment of Colonel George Washington’s Virginia Regiment. Captain George Mercer’s Company and others will offer demonstrations and[...]
Sep
28
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Sep 28 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Sep
30
Fri
4:30 pm Fall Bazaar @ FRUMC Fellowship Hall
Fall Bazaar @ FRUMC Fellowship Hall
Sep 30 @ 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Fall Bazaar @ FRUMC Fellowship Hall
Fall Bazaar will be held Friday, Sept 30th, from 4:30 – 6:30 pm, and Saturday, October 1st, from 8 am – 2 pm, in the Front Royal United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. Baked goods, jewelry[...]
6:00 pm Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
Sep 30 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Fire Pit Fridays @ Shenandoah Valley Golf Club
 
Oct
1
Sat
8:00 am Fall Bazaar @ FRUMC Fellowship Hall
Fall Bazaar @ FRUMC Fellowship Hall
Oct 1 @ 8:00 am – 2:00 pm
Fall Bazaar @ FRUMC Fellowship Hall
Fall Bazaar will be held Saturday, October 1st, from 8 am – 2 pm, in the Front Royal United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. Baked goods, jewelry and accessories, Silent Auction, holiday decorations, and apple dumplings[...]
11:00 am Fall Farm Days: The Nature of Sk... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Farm Days: The Nature of Sk... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 1 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fall Farm Days: The Nature of Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. During Fall Farm Days’ Nature Weekend, get in touch with nature and explore a managed landscape rich in biodiversity. Discover native flora and fauna, learn the craft of beekeeping, the importance of various[...]
11:00 am The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 1 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
The Farmer’s Forge @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. The forge is fired up and the blacksmiths are hard at work in the Historic Area. Members of the Blacksmith Guild of the Potomac have set up shop and are ready to show[...]
5:00 pm WATTS 3rd Annual Fundraiser @ Bowling Green Country Club North
WATTS 3rd Annual Fundraiser @ Bowling Green Country Club North
Oct 1 @ 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm
WATTS 3rd Annual Fundraiser @ Bowling Green Country Club North
WATTS 3rd Annual Fundraiser – An Evening of Caring & Sharing Come out to support WATTS homeless shelter (Winchester Area Temporary Thermal Shelter) and help us fundraise for our upcoming overnight shelter season! A fun[...]
Oct
2
Sun
11:00 am Fall Farm Days: The Nature of Sk... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Fall Farm Days: The Nature of Sk... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Oct 2 @ 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fall Farm Days: The Nature of Sky Meadows @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. During Fall Farm Days’ Nature Weekend, get in touch with nature and explore a managed landscape rich in biodiversity. Discover native flora and fauna, learn the craft of beekeeping, the importance of various[...]