Money Smart Week: It’s Never Too Early (or Too Late) to Save for Retirement

Judy Hucka, editor of the BetterInvesting Puget Sound Chapter Newsletter is our guest blogger today. BetterInvesting is a non-profit organization dedicated to investment education. On April 29 they will be hosting a program on Basic Investing at Central Library. The Newsletter is available for viewing at the Level 7 Business, Science and Technology desk also at Central Library.

If you’re in your 20s or 30s, retirement may seem like a long way off. And you may already feel financially stretched, paying off student loans, saving to buy a house, or starting a family.

But saving and investing even small amounts of money now can give you a much better chance of being able to retire comfortably in your 60s (maybe even earlier). Something as simple as cutting out that daily latte or packing your lunch rather than eating out every day can add up surprisingly fast.

Here’s an example of what saving and investing when you’re young can do. Let’s say you estimate you’ll need $1 million at age 65 to be able retire. Assuming you can earn a 10 percent rate of return by investing your savings:

  • If you start at age 25, you would need to save and invest only $158 a month.
  • If you wait until age 35 to start saving and investing, you’d need $442 a month.
  • If you wait until 45, you’d need $1,317 a month.
  • If you wait until 55, you’d need nearly $5,000 a month.

In this day and age, you’re on your own when it comes to ensuring financial security in retirement. Very few companies offer guaranteed pensions, but many allow you to save your money with a 401(k) plan (and some even contribute money to your savings plan). Social Security may be there to help, but for most people it will not provide enough money to live comfortably.

As part of national Money Smart Week, the Seattle Public Library is partnering with the Puget Sound Chapter of BetterInvesting to offer a free class:

Investing for Financial Independence: Steps to a great (and maybe early) retirement.

Saturday, April 29, 2-3:30 p.m., Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle. WA 98104

Instructor Gary Ball will discuss different ways to invest during your working years. He’ll show you how to set up an investment plan that you can use throughout the different stages of your life – 20-40, 40-50, and after 50. This plan will let you retain most of the investment returns and not pay a broker or financial advisor.

Money Smart Week®, April 22-29, 2017, is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. Organizations across the country, including many public libraries, are offering free programs to people of all ages and  income levels on all facets of personal finance. For more information about events, visit http://www.moneysmartweek.org/.

 

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Theater in the Library: The Dybbuk

Seattle Jewish Theater Company and The Seattle Public Library will present a performance of S. Ansky’s classic Jewish drama The Dybbuk on Sunday, April 30 at 2:00 p.m. in the Microsoft Auditorium at Central Library. The play is directed by SJTC artistic director Art Feinglass and will be performed in English. The performance will be followed by an audience discussion with the director and cast.

Seattle Jewish Theater Company has been performing classic and contemporary Jewish theater for seven years. SJTC describes The Dybbuk as “the story of a young bride in a Polish shtetl who is possessed by the spirit – a dybbuk– of her dead beloved. The bride, Leah, though betrothed by her ambitious father to a wealthy stranger, yearns for Chonnen, a troubled young scholar. Chonnen’s frustration at being thwarted in love drives him to the secrets of the Kabbalah, which he believes can unlock the hidden powers of the universe and enable him to marry Leah. But, as the plot unfolds, he finds there is a heavy price to pay for delving into secret things.” Visit SJTC’s website for more information about the play.

In addition to being a playwright, S. Ansky (1863-1920) was an activist, poet, journalist, and an ethnographer. Read more about Ansky’s fascinating life in Wandering Soul: The Dybbuk’s Creator, S. An-Sky. Find more of Ansky’s work in The Dybbuk and Other Writings. After witnessing SJTC’s performance, you might want to check out The Dybbuk: S. Ansky’s Immortal Folk Drama of Love and Redemption, a downloadable audiobook performance of the play by Hollywood Theater of the Ear. You may also be interested in reading Tony Kushner’s adaptation A Dybbuk.

~posted by Richard V.

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New Magazine Subscriptions: Part 1

We are excited to announce the start of several new print magazines subscriptions at the Central Library and at many branches! Thank you to all the patrons and staff who made suggestions over the last two years. You have helped our magazine collection remain current and a reflection of the many interests of our community. Here are some of Central Library’s most recent additions, with more to come in the near future:

Bicycle Times Whether you are a fair weather bicycle commuter or a cyclist serious about speed, terrain, or distance, you will likely find something to pique your interest in Bicycle Times. Check out helpful reviews of bicycles and gear, discussion of trends, trip recommendations, interviews, and more. Also available at the South Park Branch.

City Dog Seattle famously contains more dogs than children, so it’s no wonder that our city also offers an excellent magazine for the pooch-loving city dweller. If that’s you, City Dog is an excellent local source for information on training, socialization, gear, wellness, and a variety of dog-related local events.

 

Cook’s Country This visually appealing, highly accessible, and tantalizing newcomer is ready to give its older sibling, Cook’s Illustrated, a solid run for its money! In addition to recommendations and product reviews, Cook’s Country offers fascinating “Cooking 101” classes to instruct readers in “core techniques behind classic American dishes.” Also available at the Southwest Branch.

Military History is one of the most popular magazines devoted to military history, and covers warfare from ancient times to present with engaging articles and plenty of photographs and illustrations. The March issue alone features articles about Iran’s 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy, Athenian generals in the Peloponnesian War, and photographer Horst Faas’ coverage of war in Southeast Asia.

Mindful If you’re interested in ‘taking time for what matters’ and seeking hope during difficult times, Mindful is for you. This month, features on the value of sadness, the link between power and kindness, and how to deal with feeling ‘meh’ at work.

 

Premier Guitar Photos, reviews, and discussions with musicians about guitars, pedals, amps, capos, and more. It’s not all about the fancy stuff, either; February’s issue includes a lengthy article about punk legend D. Boon of the Minutemen, and his penchant for low-cost, ad-hoc gear.

 

Wonderland Haute couture. Provocative photography. Debbie Harry in Gucci, Maisie Williams in Chucks. This is Wonderland. With each glossy issue weighing about as much as a newborn baby, you’ll want to take a seat and take your time. This magazine does not skimp on gorgeous, full-page visuals accompanying interviews across the world of fashion, art, music, and film.

Our collection continues to evolve. If you have a great idea for a magazine that we do not yet have, please let us know! You can make suggestions through our Ask a Librarian email form, or just let your neighborhood librarian know. We’ll look at all suggestions during our next review period in 2018.

Stay tuned for New Magazine Subscriptions: Part 2, coming soon!

~ posted by Lindy G. and Anne C.

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Money Smart Week: Free Student Loan Advice

Tony Leahy is our guest blogger today. He is the Education Subgroup Chair of the Washington Attorney General’s Student Loan Workgroup, and Executive Director at CENTS (Consumer Education and Training Services Program) – a financial literacy organization. On April 22 he will be co-hosting a program on Student Loan Repayment and Options. For more information on student loan debt, check out this resource list.

It’s time we talk openly about student loans. Almost everyone knows an adult burdened by student loan debt.  An article in the August 2016 edition of Consumer Reports magazine reported 42 million people owe $1.3 trillion in student debt and nearly 1 in 5 borrowers is in default. In other words, student loan debt is a national epidemic. We are seeing this play out locally as well.

“Many of Washington’s current and former students struggle under a heavy burden of student debt,” Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said. “There are many resources available to help these borrowers manager their loans.”

One such resource is the free community workshop on student loan repayment and options put on by members of the Education Subgroup of the Washington Attorney General’s Student Loan Workgroup.

The April 22 event will include a presentation, Q&A session, and offer one-on-one consultation with an attorney to help borrowers create a strategy to deal with overwhelming student loan debt. A limited number of one-on-one attorney consults will be assigned on a first come / first served basis. Those not able to talk with an attorney at the event may provide contact information at the workshop to set up appointments after the event.

The presentation will cover:

  • Types of loans, and how to find out what type you have
  • Defaulted loans and options to deal with default
  • Finding an affordable payment plan to stay out of default; how to change plans
  • Loan forgiveness options for Federal student loans based on
    • Public service work
    • Disability
    • Closed school or wrongdoing on the part of the school
  •  Dealing with collection activity, including:
    • Lawsuit
    • Wage garnishment
  • Rights and risks of co-signers on student loans
  • Specific issues related to Private student loans
  • What filing for bankruptcy can and can’t do for you
  • Scams and frauds that take advantage of student loan borrowers

Resources for self-help and further assistance

If you have a student loan question or want help on how to come up with an effective repayment plan, I encourage you and your friends to come to this event.

 DATE:            Saturday, April 22
TIME:              2 – 4:30 p.m.
LOCATION:  Seattle Public Library, Central Library Level 4, Room 1
1000 Fourth Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104
COST:             This program is free-of-charge

You can also check out this resource list created by librarians at The Seattle Public Library for further information on student loan debt.

Money Smart Week®, April 22-29, 2017, is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. Organizations across the country, including many public libraries, are offering free programs to people of all ages and  income levels on all facets of personal finance. For more information about events, visit http://www.moneysmartweek.org/.

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Money Smart Week 2017

If you’re starting to feel fretful about this time of the year (end of March, beginning of April), you’re not alone. Tax deadline is near. Have you done what you promised your new year’s resolution you’ll be doing? Have you put your financials in order for the upcoming year?

Have no worries. We’re here to help.

The Seattle Public Library is offering the three following programs in conjunction with Money Smart Week, which takes place from April 22-29, 2017. Money Smart Week is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. Organizations across the country, including many public libraries, are offering free programs to people of all ages and income levels on all facets of personal finance. For more information about events, visit http://www.moneysmartweek.org/.

Student loan debt affects millions of Americans and is now the second-largest sector of household debt at more than $1 trillion. In partnership with CENTS and the Attorney General’s Office of Washington, The Seattle Public Library will host a presentation on student loan repayment at the Central Library. The Student Loan Debt program will take place on Saturday April 22, 2017, 2-4:30 pm in Level 4, Room 1.

The second program in the series will focus on Basic Estate Planning. This seminar provides a general overview of basic estate planning issues including the use of will and trusts. Discussion includes the proper way of titling of assets, the importance of updating estate documents as well as planning for incapacity. Various techniques and options will be presented to maximize the proceeds and the dispositions of the estate to its beneficiaries. The program will take place on Monday April 24, 2017, 6-7:30 pm, BECU Trust Basic Estate Planning on Level 4, Room 2.

Our last and final program will assist you in Investing for Financial Independence. The instructor from BetterInvesting Puget Sound Chapter will walk you through step by step to a great and maybe even early retirement. This program will takes place on Saturday, April 29, 2017, from 2-4 pm, on Level 4, Room 2.

 Check out our posts on Money Smart Week in the past three years as well as a few recent posts by our Seattle Public Library librarian about retirement and investment.

Stay tuned for guest posts from our partners this year as Money Smart Week approaches.

~ posted by Huong

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Gene Luen Yang: National Storyteller

If we were to conjure a favorite high school teacher, one who’s smart, funny, innovative, caring, honest, and ever so talented, Gene Luen Yang would fit to a T. So personable a speaker, he can reach you through his website videos. Most writers share their deepest thoughts and ideas through their books, but to also be able to speak eloquently and touch audiences of children, teens or adults, well, Gene is in a rock star category all his own. As an award-winning cartoonist, author, and the Library of Congress’ fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, he is proudly a teacher first. His inspiration as a writer is firmly rooted in his 17 year teaching experience as a high school computer science teacher. About that, he declares, “…honestly, I miss it. I miss my students, and my co-workers. I miss having to put on pants to go to work.” A very funny guy to boot.

He burst onto the literary scene when American Born Chinese was the first graphic novel ever to be nominated for a National Book Award and first one to win the Michael L. Printz YA Award. He addresses cultural identity and faith, in a most disarming way. Another graphic novel in 2 volumes, Boxers and Saints, was equally stunning as historical fiction and honored with a National Book Award nomination and 2013 LA Times Book Prize. Teens and adults both are big fans.

Children and teens certainly know the comics but may not know of Yang’s huge part in them. He is associated with the very popular series Avatar—the Last Airbender, as well as the writer of some titles in DC Comics’ most famous superhero series, Superman:  Superman Vol. 1:  Before Truth, Superman Vol 2:  Return to Glory, and still to come in 2017 New Superman 1:  Rebirth. Currently, he is working on a book series called Secret Coders, which makes coding simple and fun by following the adventures of three friends in an elementary school full of secrets and mysteries to be solved by using one’s head. He also has written especially for teens: The Shadow Hero, Level Up, The Eternal Smile, Animal Crackers, Prime Baby, and more.

When he accepted the role of National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, he concluded his talk by saying, “Let me … encourage you to read without walls. Find a book with someone on the cover who doesn’t look like you or live like you. Find a book about a topic that you don’t know much about. Find a book that’s in a format you’ve never tried before: a graphic novel, a words-only novel, or a novel in verse. Read without walls and see what happens.” Since then, he has a blog devoted to the concept, with lots of incentives and challenges for all ages, so start here to join the throng: READING WITHOUT WALLS.

~ posted by Diane C.

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Spring into Pacific Northwest Food

Never have I ever been so excited for spring! Each sliver of sun has me beaming as blooms burst forth from their winter burrows. And with spring sprung, all I can think about is our delicious PNW food.

Image courtesy of Gemma Billings via Flickr

Now, let’s be clear: I don’t actually enjoy cooking… My husband is the chef in our house. I do the dishes, so it’s perfect. But I just can’t stop drooling over our abundant CSAs and citywide farmers markets, our butcher shops and charcuterie masters, and all of the upcoming amazing food events. Most recently, I’ve been tempted to eat out even more at women-owned, POC-owned, and immigrant-supporting restaurants. Every time I turn around, there’s a delectable new way to taste the beauty of our region. Continue reading

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