Zest For 50+ living
Farming & family Einar Lundin was born on his grandparents’ farm and stayed to work the land. Now, his son runs the farm, selected as a Century Farm this year.
Senior expos planned for McLeod, Meeker counties
Volunteers needed to give McLeod caregivers a break
Nation recognizes role of grandparents as caretakers
CALENDAR OF EVENTS SEPTEMBER
An Afternoon Tea Litchfield Opera House will present two light-hearted one-act plays with tea and desserts to be enjoyed at decorated tables. Come as a participant or onlooker. Tickets are $5 each, or $40 for a table of eight. Groups and individuals can purchase a table and decorate it for tea; judging will be done by the audience, with prizes awarded for best tables. The fun starts at 2 p.m. Sept. 9. Carole Wendt will direct the plays. Order a ticket or table at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at 320-535-0829.
Litchfield Area Male Chorus Litchfield Area Male Chorus welcomes all men to join the 2017-2018 season. The male chorus practices from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Thursdays from September through November, and from February through May at Litchfield High School choir room. First practice is Sept. 7. There are two primary concerts — in the fall and spring — plus other events and activities. For more information, call Jay at 320-286-6195.
◆ Dassel Red Rooster Days will be Sept. 1-4, with a chicken barbecue Sept. 4 at Dassel Ball Park.
FAME at Opera House FAME, a band of four Mid-America/Minnesota Music Hall of Famers will perform Sept. 23 at Litchfield Opera House. An optional meal of pulled pork, pulled turkey, salads and dessert will be available at 6 p.m. Music will follow from 7 to 10 p.m. Enjoy dinner and then sit back and relax, or get up and dance to tunes primarily from the 1960s and ’70s. You can bring your own bottle; setups will be available for a free-will donation. Munchies and beverages available all evening, also for a free-will donation. Tickets for the show are $10; dinner tickets are separate and are also $10. Please R.S.V.P. for the meal and/or order show tickets at email@example.com, or leave a message at 320-535-0829. FAME is sponsored by the Greater Litchfield Opera House Association.
OCTOBER Fiber art exhibit, lecture and demonstration Litchfield Opera House will present “A View from the Top Quilt,” a fiber art exhibit by Sharon Rotz, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 7 and from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct 8. In addition, Rotz will give a lecture and demonstration, “From Grandmother’s Bed to Museum Wall” from 1 to 2 p.m. Oct. 8 at the Opera House, 136 Marshall Ave. N., Litchfield. Admission for the Sunday lecture and demonstration, followed by exhibit is $10. Admission both days for exhibit only is $5. Rotz’s quilts and books will be available for purchase.
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CONTENTS For 50+ living
In the news:
SEPTEMBER 2017 Vol. 9 No. 7
McLeod County Senior Expo in September to include workshops based on the theme,‘Balancing Life: Money, Time, Energy’
Litchfield Independent Review P.O. Box 307, Litchfield, MN 55355 320-693-3266 Hutchinson Leader 170 Shady Ridge Road NW, Suite 100 Hutchinson, MN 55350 320-753-3635
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Einar Lundin enjoyed life on the farm so much that he never left his childhood home. Purchased by his grandparents in 1917, the farm recently was named a Century Farm.
Juliana Thill, editor email@example.com 320-593-4808 Litchfield office 320-753-3644 Hutchinson office ADVERTISING
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8 Cover story:
In the news: About 7 million grandparents have grandchildren under age 18 living with them.The nation honors these older adults on Grandparents Day, Sept. 10.
In the news: Meeker County Senior Expo set for October
13 Medicare: Enroll in Medicare or possibly pay a penalty 14 Recipes: Enjoy a tasty Beef Burrito with Pepper Jack Cheese & Black Beans, Protein-Packed Eggs in a Nest, Rainbow Fruit & Cheese Kabobs, and Cranberry Splash Punch SEPTEMBER 2017 | ZEST
A WARM WELCOME
’ve lived in Litchfield for almost 19 years. That’s the longest I’ve ever resided in one place. Yet, I know many of our readers have lived in their hometown their whole lives. But fewer of them are still living in the same home they grew up in years ago. Einar Lundin lives in the house he was born in, grew up in, and where he raised his own family. The two-story house sits south of Litchfield on a farm that his grandparents bought in 1917. The farm has stayed in the family all these years, and now Lundin’s son is in charge of operations. The Minnesota Farm Bureau and Minnesota State Fair recently recognized the Lundin farm and several others in Meeker and McLeod counties as Century Farm,s, and the organizations even recognized some Sesquicentennial Farms. You can read more about Lundin on Page 8, including why he never left, his family history on the farm, and the good memories that were made there over the years. Also in the magazine, we have information about the McLeod County Senior Expo coming up this month, as well as the Meeker County Senior Expo taking place in October. These two events include educational and fun-
filled activities, as well as vendors offering information about their services. If you have some free time on your hands, consider volunteering to give caretakers in McLeod County a break in their day. Lutheran Social Services needs people who can volunteer for about 10 hours a week. Read more on Page 5. Juliana Thill As some grandchildren go back to school or head off to college, our Editor Money Matters columnist offers ideas on how grandparents can help pay for some of their grandchildren’s education. That story is on Page 13. Finally, we have U.S. Census figures about the role some grandparents take on as primary caretaker of their grandchildren. Grandparents are special people, and we celebrate them on Grandparents Day, Sept. 10. If you are a grandparent, I hope you enjoy your day. You are loved and appreciated more than you know.
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IN THE NEWS McLeod County Senior Expo focuses on finding balance in life
Organization searches for volunteers to provide respite care for caregivers
Lutheran Social Services seeks volunteers to provide respite care for caregivers in McLeod County and surrounding counties as part of its Caregiver Support Program. LSS is enrolling volunteers through AmeriCorps. As an AmeriCorps volunteer, you provide an average of 10 hours a week of respite care so caregivers can get out of the house and have a break. Time spent with care receivers consists of responsibilities such as visiting, playing cards, possibly making a light meal, getting out in the community if the care receiver is able to do so. Volunteers do not provide medical or personal care. Training is provided on an on-going basis to ensure volunteers feel comfortable caring for people with multiple conditions. Benefits to becoming an AmeriCorps volunteer: ◆ Flexible schedule. ◆ Earn a monthly stipend of $200. ◆ Earn a $1,500 education grant, which can be used for your own college expenses or gifted to a child/grandchild if you are over 55 years old. For information about becoming a volunteer with the Caregiver Support Program in McLeod County, contact Sarah Doering, LSS Caregiver Support and Respite Program coordinator, at 320-221-4513 or email her firstname.lastname@example.org.
cLeod County Senior Expo will offer workshops that revolve around this year’s theme, “Balancing Life: Money, Time,
Energy.” The Senior Expo begins at 8 a.m. Sept. 26 at Hutchinson Event Center, with keynote speaker Doug Ohman talking at 8:45 a.m. about “Minnesota Byways.” The Kingery Family will provide musical entertainment, as well. The McLeod County Senior Expo includes education, opportunities and resources for people over 55. Workshop topics include “Eating Well on a Budget,” “What’s New in Medicare for 2018,” “Balance & Falls Prevention Strategies,” “Hearing Loss & Hearing Aids,” “Financial Strategies for Women,” “Facebook,” “Wild Foods From Your Childhood,” and “Oral Health for Seniors.” Tickets are $10 and are only sold in advance until Sept. 19. The ticket cost includes morning coffee, workshops, speakers, vendor booths and lunch. Tickets can be purchased at senior nutrition sites in McLeod County, Hutchinson Event Center, and First Lutheran Church in Glencoe, or call 320-854-1118.
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IN THE NEWS
Nation celebrates Grandparents Day
n 1970, Marian McQuade initiated a campaign to establish a day to honor grandparents. In 1978, President Carter signed a federal proclamation, declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. This year, Grandparents Day is Sept. 10. To honor grandparents, the U.S. Census Bureau presents statistics about their role in American society as caregivers of their grandchildren:
The number of grandparents whose grandchildren under age 18 were living with them in 2015.
The number of grandparents in the labor force responsible for their own grandchildren under age 18. Among them, 368,348 were 60 years or older.
$51,448 The median income for families with grandparent householders responsible for grandchildren under age 18. Among these families, where a parent of the grandchildren was not present, the median income was $37,580.
642,852 The number of grandparents who had a disability and were responsible for their grandchildren.
5.9 million The number of children under age 18 living with a grandparent householder in 2015. Nearly half or 2.6 million were under age 6.
Grandparents who work could be eligible for Earned Income Tax Credit
he Internal Revenue Service wants working grandparents raising grandchildren to be aware of the Earned Income Tax Credit and correctly claim it, if they qualify. The EITC is a federal income tax credit for workers who don’t earn a high income ($53,505 or less for 2016) and meet certain eligibility requirements. Because it’s a refundable credit, those who qualify and claim the credit could pay less federal tax, pay no tax or even get a tax refund. Grandparents and other relatives care for millions of children, but are often not aware that they could claim the children under their care for the EITC. A grandparent who is working and has a grandchild who is a qualify-
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ing child living with him or her may qualify for the EITC, even if the grandparent is 65 years of age or older. Generally, to be a qualified child for EITC purposes, the grandchild must meet the dependency requirements. Rules and restrictions apply if the child’s parents or other family members also qualify for the EITC. Details including helpful examples can be found in Publication 596, available on IRS.gov. There also are rules, described in the publication, for individuals receiving disability benefits and members of the military. Working grandparents are encouraged to find out, not guess, if they qualify for this credit. To qualify for EITC, the taxpayer must have earned income either from a job or from self-
employment and meet basic rules. Also, certain disability payments might qualify as earned income for EITC purposes. EITC eligibility also depends on family size. The IRS recommends using the EITC Assistant, on IRS.gov, to determine eligibility, estimate the amount of credit and more. Eligible taxpayers must file a tax return, even if they do not owe any tax or are not required to file. Qualified taxpayers should consider claiming the EITC by filing electronically through a qualified tax professional; using free community tax help sites; or doing it themselves with IRS Free File. For more information, visit the EITC page on IRS.gov.
IN THE NEWS
Step up to the plate at the Meeker County Senior Expo
eeker County Senior Expo plans to hit one out of the park this year with the theme, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” The Senior Expo will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 10 at Church of St. Philip in Litchfield. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and vendors will be available for people to visit, with coffee at 9:30 a.m. Mike Max, sports reporter for WCCO-TV, will be the featured speaker, with a special guest appearance by Wally the Beer Man. The Kingery Family will provide musical entertainment at 11:30 a.m., with lunch at noon. Admission is $10, and tickets are only sold in advance. Tickets are available from Sept. 11 to Oct. 2 at the following locations: Home State Bank in Cosmos, Dassel History Center in Dassel, The Red Goat in Watkins, Grove City Area C.A.R.E., and in Litchfield at Mary’s Jewelry, Bikes by Bob, Emmaus Gift Shop, Litchfield Community Education office, and Meeker Council on Aging office.
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“It’s fun to work. I can’t ever recall saying, ‘I don’t want to work.’” — Einar Lundin
PHOTOS BY JULIANA THILL
Einar Lundin, who was born on the farm where he has lived and worked his whole life, inspects the wheat field on his 370-acre farm south of Litchfield.The farm, which has been in the family since 1917, was named a Century Farm this year by the Minnesota Farm Bureau and Minnesota State Fair.
Farming is in his blood, hard work is his way of life Einar Lundin was born on the family farm, grew up there, and raised his own family there. He enjoys life on the farm so much that he hasn’t yet retired. 8
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he saying, “home is where the heart is,” has never been more true than for Einar Lundin. The 89-year-old farmer, who lives south of Litchfield, was born in the farmhouse that his grandparents bought in 1917, and still lives there today. “The farm has been in the Lundin name since 1917, when my grandBy Juliana Thill parents came EDITOR there — my mother ’s folks. I was born in the house and I’m still there. Never moved. I never left,” he said. “I guess, I just liked it, you know.” Lundin grew up working on the farm, got married and lived there with his wife, Delores. Together, they raised three children there, Harold, Elaine and Judy.
Harold, 66, lives about two miles away and runs the farm for his father, but Einar still lives in the two-story farmhouse. Lundin’s daughters, Elaine Lenhard, 62, lives about five miles away, and Judy Walstad, 58, lives in Chanhassen. Lundin also has five grandchildren and six greatgrandchildren. “All he moved was from upstairs to downstairs — the northwest bedroom you were born in and grew up in, to clear across to the other side of the house,” Walstad said. The family farm has been his home and place of employment for nearly 90 years. Other than a few vacations, he never was away for too long. “I just stayed with it and kept working,” he said. “There was work to be done, so you go and do it, no matter what it was,” he said. Only one time does he recall that he had the opportunity to work elsewhere. “We were in this Ford dealer one day, and the foreman in there says, ‘would you be lookin’ for work?’ I says, ‘no, I think I’d stay home with Dad, give him a hand.’ That was the only one (job opportunity),” he said. This year marks the 100th year of the Lundins owning the farm. So, in the spring, the family applied for the farm to be recognized as a Century Farm by the Minnesota Farm Bureau and the Minnesota State Fair. The two organizations work together on the Century Farm program to honor Minnesota families that have owned their farms for at least 100 years, are at least 50 acres in size, and are currently involved in farming. Lundin’s three children accompanied him to the Meeker County Fair in August, when Farm Bureau staff presented him and other Century Farm families with a commemorative sign and certificate. “I think it’s very special having a century-old farm. We have a lot of pride in this farm,” Walstad said. To know that their great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents lived there, and that their father grew up there, holds special meaning to the grown Lundin children. “The older we get, the more we appreciate what we have,” Lenhard said.
Einar Lundin finishes building chairs for his twin great-granddaughters. “There’s not a screw. It’s all glued,” said Lundin, standing in the workshop that he also built. He enjoys making items for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren with wood from trees that grew on his farm. Before each holiday, he would spend hours in his woodshop cutting, sanding and creating holiday-themed place settings. “I would make 25 to 30 of them, to be set by each plate,” he said. And his late wife, Delores, painted each one with detailed faces or designs.
Coming from Sweden Lundin’s maternal grandparents, Ole and Maria Ahlstedt were born in the 1870s in Sweden. They were married there, “and they emigrated to America on July 6, 1896, with their first born son, Nels,” Walstad said. “Ole was 25, Maria was 24, and Nels was 1 1/2.” Lundin said he doesn’t know what prompted his grandparents to settle in the Litchfield area. “That’s kind of the way things went. This area, here, got to be a lot of Swedes and Norwegians, but there were quite a few Germans, too,” he said. His grandfather rented a farm about four miles from their current farm. “Grandpa ... heard about this farm getting up for sale, so they bought this. Then they moved over,” Lundin said. “I thought my mother said they walked the cattle over. They had hay on the hayrack and a neighbor on horseback,” he said. “I heard they bought it in 1916 and moved here .. but there’s no proof of it.
My uncle, he said he was over (here) plowing in the fall, so I thought it was 1916. We didn’t find that in the abstract. Nothing about it until 1917.” The earliest year that Lundin and his children could find a record of the farm being owned by his grandparents was 1917. So, they waited until this year to apply for the Century Farm status. Having his farm recognized as a Century Farm, “well, I thought that was important,” Lundin said. Lundin’s grandparents paid $21,710 for the farm, which covers more than 300 acres. “When they came here, my goodness, this house was more than 100 feet further back, and there was a hill across there. They scraped all that (hill) off and moved the house,” he said. Based on what others have told him, Lundin believes the house was built in the 1880s. Lundin’s mother, Myrtle, grew up in the house with her parents and eventually met Albin Lundin, who had emi-
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grated from Sweden to America in the 1900s. “Dad got into construction work. Then he enlisted in World War I, gets over to France and got into some action over there. He never talked about it (the war). He was a quiet man, Dad was,” Lundin said. After the war ended, his father left France, and “he had to come back here to get discharged. He never went home (to Sweden). He bought a house a couple houses or three from where my mother’s aunt lived,” Lundin said, and the two became acquainted.
Life on the farm Albin and Myrtle Lundin married and had four children, John, Einar, Janet and Karl. Einar was born Oct. 6, 1927. “I’ll never forget Karl’s (birth year in 1941) because we had a terrible storm that came through here in ’42,” Lundin said. “The clouds start rolling around up there and turning colors. They (my parents) had a table up against the window sill, I leaned on it to look outside, and all of a sudden it was moving. Uff da. Trees down, three of them blown over. Silo laying there, windmill doubled right over,” he said. Lundin helped rebuild the farm along with doing his other farm chores. Lundin’s parents purchased the farm from his grandparents around 1945, he said. The farm was roughly 350 acres, and his dad bought another 20 acres from the neighbors in 1947. Of that, Lundin has about 312 tillable acres. His grandparents and parents had dairy cows, grew corn and small grain. Through the years, Lundin has seen plenty of changes on the farm. His grandparents had 15 work horses at one time. Today, tractors provide the muscle in the fields. His grandfather bought his first tractor in 1936. A tractor with a cab came in the 1970s. They made their own butter at times, did butchering at home, smoked meat in their smokehouse, and coldpacked it on the farm. The farm didn’t have electricity until his mother was pressed on the subject. “I can remember a guy from the power plant in town come out and
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Honoring Century, Sesquicentennial Farms Minnesota Farm Bureau and Minnesota State Fair work in conjunction on the Century Farm program to honor Minnesota families who have owned their farms for at least 100 years for Century Farms and at least 150 years for Sesquicentennial Farms.The farms also must be at least 50 acres in size and currently involved in farming. For more information, go online to www.fbmn.org. State Fair and Farm Bureau honored 165 Century Farms and 33 Sesquicentennial Farms in 2017, including: Century Farms Atwater — Darren Amdahl, 1892 Glencoe — Mathews Farm, 1916 Grove City — The Berg Family, 1917 Hutchinson — Daniel Gensmer and Karen Gensmer, 1882 Hutchinson — Joseph Vacek, 1887 Hutchinson — Steven Radtke, 1894 Litchfield — Einar and Delores Lundin, 1917 Litchfield — Vernon and Wanda Mortenson Farm, 1914 Sesquicentennial Farms Hutchinson — Jerome and Judith Kadlec, 1866
asked her to hook up to the line. ‘Oh, no, we get by,’” he recalled her telling the power plant worker. They had kerosene lamps that worked just fine, she reasoned. “He came back again sometime after, and ‘Nope,’” his mom told the man again, Lundin said. “Finally in 1938, she hooked it up (to electricity),” he said. Lundin used to cut wood for the wood stove, and haul it home on a sleigh or wagon, he said. “We worked all the time. Hand work, all of it.” It looked like Lundin would leave the farm when he was drafted in 1945 for World War II. “My mother gave me an envelope when I went in to go, and I have no idea and never asked her what was in the envelope. But anyhow, the guy who was in charge, he opened it up, and he looks at me, and he looks again and said, ‘you can go home.’ And I never asked my folks what was in there,” Lundin recalled. He said it’s possible the envelope contained a letter from his doctor stating Lundin had pneumonia when he was in third grade. “I had hot mustard packs on me. If I heard right, they didn’t know if I would make it overnight. My mother
sat there, I don’t know if she was reading the Bible or what, by the kerosene lamp,” Lundin said. He recovered, though, “and after that, I never missed a day in school.” He enlisted in the National Guard in 1947, and again was deferred. “Two neighbor boys here, they were going in, so I went with. We enlisted and then I re-enlisted. Then the Korean War broke out,” he said. At the time, his father was terminally ill, Lundin’s older brother, John, had moved off the farm, and the two younger siblings were still at home. “Well, the whole unit went, see, and I got deferred. Dad only lived a month after,” Lundin said.
More generations While he worked hard, Lundin did have some free time. He met his future wife, Delores Johnson, when they were in their early teen years. “They (Delores and her family) were neighbors to my uncle and aunt (who had three girls),” he said. “She came over and played. She was over there when we were over there visiting. That led to the two meeting, but they spent time together, away from their parents, as well. “My brother and I went roller skat-
ing, and of course, she was roller skating, see. We went roller skating a lot at the (Litchfield) Opera House,” he said. When pressed about his budding romance with Delores, he said she stood out among the other girls roller skating. “Of course you change partners, you know. Ya, sure. There were opportunities with more than one girl,” he said. But there was something special about Delores that made her stand out. “Good looks, I suppose. A companion,” he said. “You get visiting. And I asked her if I could take her home, and that was all right. So ... .” They wed June 25, 1950, at First Lutheran Church, the same church where he was baptized and confirmed. The farm kept the young couple busy, and as their family grew, they put their kids to work. “We had our chores on the farm, and we always found things to do. We picked rock, regular farm stuff. I don’t think we were ever bored,” Lenhard said. “My job was to bring the wood up from the basement,” Walstad said. “I did it before you,” Harold interjected. “My job was to carry it up. Elaine’s job was to take out the ashes. I still have the apron I used,” Walstad said. While the men were in the barn, Delores and her girls were busy with other chores. In addition to baking and gardening, Delores enjoyed working in the field. “We didn’t have to drive the tractor; that was Mom’s job. Mom liked being out in the field. We did chores so Mom could be out in the field,” Lenhard said. “Mom and Dad had a very close relationship. If Mom was going to town, you could bet Dad was going, too. Back in that time, wives didn’t work off the farm. They were in sync with each other and knew what the other was going to do. They both were hard workers and took pride in their farm,” Lenhard said. The Lundins were married 65 years, before Delores died of a brain aneurism two years ago at the age of 84.
Enjoying the farm The Lundin children have fond childhood memories of growing up on the farm.
Elaine Lenhard, left, Harold Lundin and Judy Walstad, join their father, Einar, in August at the Meeker County Fair, where members of the Minnesota Farm Bureau presented him with an outdoor sign recognizing his farm as a Century Farm and a commemorative certificate.
“We had every animal on the farm — dairy cows, beef cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens, hens, ducks and geese, one horse, a goat, and rabbits. We had everything. It was awesome. It was like Old MacDonald’s Farm,” Walstad said. “Now, it’s just down to cattle,” and a few cats, Harold said. Harold has continued the family farm, like his father did before him. “I always liked farming. Like my uncle says, ‘I’ve got dirt between my ears,’” Harold said with a chuckle. His sisters still help, too. Lenhard goes over and mows for her dad, and Walstad “sits and will talk with Dad and get him to tell stories. She takes him on little trips, and weeds the flower bed,” Lenhard said. Even after all this time, “we each have our own jobs.” Harold grows corn, hay, soybeans and wheat on the family farm. The wheat is the first crop out, and then it’s time for John Deere Day on the Lundin farm. It’s an event the Lundins created 20 years ago that brings together family and friends who drive their old, twocylinder John Deere tractors over to plow the wheat field.
“Dad leads the tractors out, and he starts the first row, and then they stagger, and it’s really neat to see. Then they get to the end and come back and switch drivers or someone rides along. One year, we had about 80 people and quite a few tractors. But, it’s dwindled down to six, eight, 10 tractors,” Lenhard said. “We’ve had pretty good luck with the weather, but if it rains, we just sit in the garage and socialize, relax and enjoy being together. Dad loves having his family around.” Lundin uses a walker now to get around, but “he’s pretty self-sufficient. He fixes his own stuff and builds his own stuff, and repairs his own stuff,” Walstad said. Even though he’ll turn 90 in October, he isn’t ready to retire. “No, I haven’t done that, yet,” he said. “I enjoy this work.” He still does some field work with Harold. “You can see it in his eyes; it’s where he wants to be. You can’t take the farmer out of him. I’m pretty proud of my dad,” Lenhard said. “I’ve got to do something,” Lundin said. “It’s fun to work. I can’t recall ever saying, ‘I don’t want to work.’” ■
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Brighten your grandchildren’s future
other’s Day and Father’s Day might get more attention, but National Grandparents Day, observed on Sept. 10, has gained in popularity. If you’re a grandparent, you might expect to receive some nice cards, but if you want to make the day especially meaningful, you might want to consider giving some long-lasting financial gifts to your grandchildren. What might come to mind first, of course, is helping your grandchildren pay for college.
529 savings plan You can choose from several college savings vehicles, but you might be especially interested in a 529 savings plan. With a 529 plan, your earnings accumulate tax free, provided they are used for qualified higher education expenses, such as tuition, books, and room and board. (Keep in mind that 529 plan distributions not used for qualified expenses may be subject to federal and state income taxes and a 10 percent IRS penalty on the earnings.) You might be eligible for a state income tax incentive for contributing to a 529 plan. Check with your tax advisor regarding these incentives, as well as all tax-related issues pertaining to 529 plans. One benefit of using a 529 plan is contribution limits are quite generous. Plus, a 529 plan is flexible: If your grandchild decides against college, you can transfer the plan to another beneficiary. Generally, a 529 plan owned by a grandparent won’t be reported as an asset on the Free Application For Federal Student Aid, but withdrawals from the plan are treated as untaxed income to the beneficiary (i.e., your grandchild) — and that has a big impact on financial aid, a much bigger impact than if the plan were listed as a parental asset. Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year, however, FAFSA now requires families to report income from two years before the school year
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Grandparents can help their grandchildren pay for college through a 529 plan or by giving them shares of stock.
FINANCIAL FOCUS By Edward Jones
starts, rather than income from the prior calendar year. Consequently, it might be beneficial, from a financial aid standpoint, for you, as a grandparent, to start paying for college expenses from a 529 plan in the year in which your grandchild becomes a junior. Contact a financial aid professional about the potential financial aid impact of any gifts you’re considering.
Stocks A 529 plan isn’t the only financial gift you could give to your grandchildren. You might also consider giving them shares of stock, possibly held in a custodial account, usually known as an UTMA or UGMA account. One possible drawback: You only control a custodial account until your grand-
children reach the age of majority, at which time they can use the money for whatever they want, whereas distributions from a 529 savings plan must be used for qualified higher education expenses. Still, your grandchildren might be particularly interested in owning the stocks contained in the custodial account — most young people enjoy owning shares of companies that make familiar products. And to further interest your grandchildren in a lifetime of investing, you might want to show them how a particular stock you’ve owned for decades has grown over time. You’ll also want to let them know that stocks can move up and down in the short term, and there are no guarantees of profits. However, the long-term growth potential of stocks is still a compelling story. You’d probably do whatever you could for your grandchildren — and with a smart financial gift, you can make a big difference in their lives.
Failure to enroll in Medicare when eligible, means waiting until General Enrollment Period and likely paying a penalty
Dear Marci, I turned 65 a while ago and I didn’t enroll in Medicare Part B. I instead kept my Marketplace plan. How can I enroll in Medicare? — Noah Dear Noah, In general, if you do not enroll in Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period, you must wait for the General Enrollment Period to sign up for Medicare. The GEP runs Jan. 1 through March 31 of each year, and if you enroll during this period, your Medicare benefits will start on July 1. This means that you may experience gaps in coverage. You also will likely have a late enrollment penalty for not signing up for Medicare when you were first eligible. You likely will have to use the GEP to enroll in Medicare if (a) you kept your Marketplace plan and did not enroll in Medicare when you were first eligible, or (b) you enrolled in premium-free Part A and kept your Marketplace plan when you became eligible for Medicare. You might be able to request time-limited equitable relief to enroll in Part B outside of the GEP. Time-limited equitable relief is a process you can use to enroll in Part B and/or eliminate a Part B late enrollment penalty. You might be eligible to request time-limited equitable relief if you delayed Medicare Part B enrollment while you had a Marketplace plan. Time-limited equitable relief is a limited process that allows you to either (a) enroll in Medicare Part B without penalty, or (b) eliminate or reduce your Part B LEP if you are already enrolled in Part B but had delayed enrollment when you had a Marketplace plan. In order to qualify for time-limited equitable relief, you must be enrolled in premium-free Part A and (a) have an Initial Enrollment Period that began April 1, 2013 or later, or (b) have been notified of retroactive premium-free Part A on October 1, 2013, or later. To request time-limited equitable relief you need to contact the Social Security Administration or visit a local Social Security office and ask to use time-limited equitable relief to enroll in Part B and/or eliminate your Part B LEP. Bring proof that you are enrolled in a Marketplace plan, like a recent premium bill. If you received a letter about being enrolled in Medicare and a Marketplace plan, you also can bring that letter as proof. The opportunity to request time-limited equitable relief lasts until Sept. 30, 2017. For more information, contact the Medicare Rights Center’s national helpline at 800-333-4114 for assistance. — Marci “Dear Marci” is a service of the Medicare Rights Center, the largest independent source of Medicare information and assistance in the United States.
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SEPTEMBER 2017 | ZEST
FOOD & FUN Beef Burrito with Pepper Jack Cheese and Black Beans
1/2 pound ground beef sirloin 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 cup chunky salsa, divided 2 cups cooked brown or white rice 6 whole-wheat tortillas (9 inches each) 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed 1 can (11 ounces) corn kernels, drained 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese sliced green onion, including green tops In medium, nonstick skillet, brown ground beef and garlic over medium heat (break beef mixture up into smaller chunks with spatula). Drain fat and stir in 1/2 cup salsa; set aside. Spread 1/3 cup rice on center of tortilla, leaving 1/2-inch border. Scatter about 2 tablespoons beans and 1 1/2 tablespoons corn over rice. Spread 1/3 cup beef mixture and 1/4 cup cheese over corn. Top with 2 teaspoons salsa and a few slices green onion. Fold in two opposite edges of tortilla 1 inch each and roll up. Place seam-side down on
microwave-safe dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Place burritos in microwave oven and heat 1 minute, or until heated through. Serve with remaining salsa.
Crossword puzzle Across 1. Big ape 6. Be hopping mad 10. Blocks 14. Kitchen counter? 15. Baptism, for one 16. Cut, maybe 17. Poets' feet 18. Misfortunes 19. Icelandic epic 20. Phews (2 wds.) 22. ___ du jour 23. ___ song 24. Haunt 26. Homebuilder's strip 30. Engine speed, for short 31. ___ v.Wade 32. Small buffalo 33.Type of palm tree 35. Chip dip 39. Loop for riders feet 41.A fortified place 43. Spanish language symbol 44. "___ on Down the Road" 46. Give off, as light 47. Show ___ 49. "___ any drop to drink": Coleridge 50.Welfare, with "the" 51. Plunder 54. H.S. class 56. "Not on ___!" ("No way!") 57. Rubber organizer
Crossword puzzle answer on Page 15 63.Actor's goal 64.Arch type 65. Pond buildup 66. "___ quam videri" (North Carolina's motto) 67. Brio 68. Lush 69. Caught in the act
ZEST | SEPTEMBER 2017
70. Gossip 71. Lieu
Down 1.Auditory 2. 100 dinars 3. BBs, e.g. 4. Beaks
5. "Good ___!" 6. Common wood pipe 7.Wick holder 8. "___ be a cold day in hell ..." 9. Someone who grants a lease 10. Firmly established 11. Befuddle 12. King with a golden touch 13. Sports figures 21. Bony part resembling a horn 25. Big cheese 26. Bringing up the rear 27.The "A" of ABM 28. Drudgery 29. Stubborn (2 wds.) 34. Capable of absorbing 36.Airport pickup 37. Earth 38.A chip, maybe 40. Curb, with "in" 42. Cliffside dwelling 45.Aardvark nickname 48. Focused in on one thing 51. Plunders 52. Belittle 53.As such 55. Ground cover 58. ___ fruit 59. Smudge 60. Chill 61.Astronaut's insignia 62.Act
FOOD & FUN Protein-Packed Eggs in a Nest Nonstick olive oil spray 4 cups frozen shredded potatoes, defrosted 3 large eggs 3 large egg whites 1/4 cup fat free milk 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1/3 cup cooked, lean ground turkey sausage, crumbled 1/3 cup green bell pepper, diced 1/3 cup tomatoes, chopped WWW.CULINARY.NET spinach mushrooms 1/3 cup part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded Heat oven to 400 and spray a 12-well muffin tin with nonstick olive oil spray. Place a scoop of shredded potatoes into each muffin hole, pressing around edges to create “nest”. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove pan from oven and using spoon, gently press any fallen potatoes back up against sides of each muffin hole. Turn oven down to 350. In a bowl, add eggs, egg whites, 1/4 cup milk, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine and place in fridge while preparing green pepper, tomatoes or additional vegetables. Stir cooked meat and vegetables into the bowl with egg mixture and pour equally between all “nests.” Sprinkle a pinch of cheese over each nest. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until egg is set. Remove from oven and serve with remaining 8-ounce glass of milk. Makes six servings, two nests per serving. Note: Nests, once cool, can be stored in airtight bags in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, and be reheated for an onthe-go breakfast.
Answer to Crossword Puzzle published on Page 14
Rainbow Fruit and Cheese Kabobs 8 wooden skewers 6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, cut into 18 cubes 1/2 cup strawberries, halved 1/2 cup cantaloupe, cut into 3/4-inch cubes 1/2 cup pineapple, cut into 3/4-inch cubes 1 kiwi, peeled and cut into 6 pieces 1/4 cup blueberries 6 purple grapes Thread each skewer with one piece of cheese, one strawberry half, one cantaloupe cube, one pineapple cube, another piece of cheese, one piece of kiwi, two blueberries, one grape and another piece of cheese. Repeat pattern with remaining skewers.
Cranberry Splash Punch 4 cups cranberry juice 3 cups pineapple juice 1/2 cup cherry juice 2 cups puréed strawberries or raspberries (fresh or frozen) 6 cups ice cubes 2 lemons, sliced 2 limes, sliced 3 cups orange soda or ginger ale Mix all juices and puréed berries WWW.CULINARY.NET and chill thoroughly. To serve, put punch in handsome container and add ice and fruit. Slowly stir in orange soda. Makes eight servings.
SEPTEMBER 2017 | ZEST
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Published on Sep 28, 2017