Understand These Five Ways to Get the Most Out of College Savings Plans

You may know them as 529 plans, Qualified Tuition Programs, or QTPs. Whatever you call them, what they amount to is a way for you to help a son, daughter or grandchild pay for college. In short, 529 plans are investment tools designed to help families pay for future expenses associated with college or other qualified post-secondary training for a designated beneficiary, such as a child or grandchild. The fund can be used to help pay for such expenses as tuition, books, supplies, fees, and computer equipment. The plans are…

Read More

Planning for Social Security Retirement

While Social Security Retirement benefits are the cornerstone for many individual retirement plans, it is important for individuals to understand the basics of the program and the importance of planning relative to the timing of the benefit payments.  Social Security benefits are payable as early as age 62 to individuals who have worked and paid in to the system for a minimum of 10 years.  The actual benefit payments are computed using 35 years of earnings.  If an individual does not have 35 years of work, zeroes are added in…

Read More

“Snakes and the California Boy” by Nils Skudra

Before coming out to Greensboro for graduate school at UNCG, my Virginia-born god-mother sat me down and painted a vivid picture about what to expect in NC: different social traditions from those of the West Coast, a phenomenon famously known as “southern hospitality”, food the likes of which I’d never heard of: pulled pork, vinegar-based fried chicken, and  chocolate chess pie. I would be greeted by the slow drawl of speech mixed with expressions of gentility (‘bless your heart”) and life would be infinitely slower and simpler.  At every turn…

Read More

Economics of Industrial Hemp

Industrial hemp has been grown in the United States since our forefathers founded the country.  The first drafts of the Declaration of Independence were written on paper made from hemp.  Hemp is easy to grow, requires very little maintenance and no harmful chemical treatments, and it can be used for a number of things. Hemp’s downfall in the United States can be traced back to the 1937 Marihuana Act, which imposed taxes and bureaucratic burdens on farmers. The culprit was the First Federal Bureau of Narcotics commissioner, Harry Anslinger, whose…

Read More

Help Send a Kid to Camp … Majestic Floor Covering Golf Tournament

If you talk to any expecting parent and ask them if they are hoping for a boy or girl, most will tell you that the gender of their child doesn’t matter as much as the child being born healthy with “ten fingers and ten toes”.  Fortunately, most children are born exactly this way.  But, as we know, for some life begins with the challenge of having a chronic illness.  And, even though most children are born healthy, they might develop a chronic illness, like cancer, later on down the road. …

Read More