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Features Business & Finance

The new year is a great time to get yourself pointed in the right direction financially.

“Making small improvements at the beginning of the year is a lot easier than trying to play catch-up,” says financial planner Rick Rodgers, author of “The New Three-Legged Stool: A Tax Efficient Approach To Retirement Planning” (www.TheNewThreeLeggedStool.com).

“Just as you would embark on an exercise program to lose weight and get physically fit, there are simple steps you can take that will lead to being financially healthy and fit.”

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The folks at the yarn shop on Main Street have been very busy spinning and dyeing lately, and have unveiled their own, unique line of yarn.

According to Silver Threads and Golden Needles owner Virginia Murphy, PEAKS is a culmination of a love of fiber and color, brought together by Western North Carolina artisans. Virginia’s partners, Kristin McDougall and Amy Murphy, are “so excited to share this new yarn with the knitting and crochet community. It has a handspun look and a beautiful feel that is just perfect for handwork.”

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John Becker of Bald Head Realty announces that Kathy Clifton is celebrating the New Year by taking a new direction in her real estate career that spans 25 years.

As of Jan. 1, Clifton has joined John Becker, Kelly Dee, Kristin Green, and Melissa DeLorenzo White on the Bald Head Realty team located at 411 E. Main Street in Franklin.

“Clifton is a veteran agent/broker and has been my real estate and personal mentor since 2006,” says Becker. “We are so blessed to receive Kathy as she will enhance all of us with her high level of integrity, service and professionalism.”

Contact Clifton direct at (828)226-1074 (cell) or at the Bald Head Realty office (828)369-0000, or visit her website www.FreeFranklinSearch.com.

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Anyone who's bought groceries, filled their gas tank or paid insurance premiums recently would probably be surprised to learn that, according to Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U), the rate of inflation is relatively flat – only 1.2 percent from September 2012 to September 2013.

That's bad news for people who were hoping to boost their contributions to an IRA, 401(k) plan or other tax-advantaged retirement savings accounts, since the IRS uses the CPIU's September year-over-year performance to determine whether or not to make cost-of-living adjustments to many of the retirement contributions you and your employer can make in the following year.

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