Singularity concert series 12.1.22

The Singularity Concert Series: A Unique, Unscripted Musical Improvisation

MAYNARD: Possum Hall Music and Fugitive Productions are co-hosting this Singularity Concert Series on December 1 (7:30-9:30pm) at Sanctuary, 82 Main Street. Each concert is quite unique, with a line-up of cutting-edge musical performers and creators. No songs, no sheet music — music being made purely “in the moment” and showcasing the power and creativity of live improvisational performance. Come witness this unscripted musical magic of fantastic musicians with cool instruments (oud, djembe, bass guitar, clarinet, drums, percussion, keyboards, guitar, electronic...).

Featured musicians include Jerome Deupree (drums, percussion), Burcu Gulec (voice, electronic treatments), Todd Brunel (clarinet, bass clarinet), Carl Nickerson (drums, djembe), Todd Roach (percussion), Mac Ritchey (oud, guitar, electronic treatments), Duncan Watt (keyboards), and Sumner Thompson (bass guitar, voice).

For anyone on the fence, you might be thinking “can I listen to TWO HOURS of improvised music?” The answer is simple: yes, you can. You will hear SONGS being written right there in front of your ears, evolving themes, conversations, unexpected turns. It won’t be random music. It will be magical and it will showcase all the best features of music, community, and sharing a moment of creation and connection.

Tickets are $12 in advance / $15 at the door. Doors open at 7pm. There is a Full bar and you can order dinner in one of Maynard’s many fine restaurants and bring it with you. You can get your tickets and read the incredible bios on each of these musicians on the ticket page at www.eventbrite.com/e/singularity-music-improvisation-series-tickets-456159233547.
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Boxborough Author "Looked to the Sky"

BOXBOROUGH: Boxborough author, Francie Nolde, has written a biography-memoir about her mother who had a remarkable life as a pioneer aviator during WWII and the Cold War. Nolde will give a reading at the Boxborough Sargent Memorial Library on December 7 at 7pm. Bring a book from The Silver Unicorn Bookstore at 12 Spruce street, West Acton, for signing.

Nolde writes: "She dreamed of becoming an opera star. She did perform in a Gershwin musical with Fred Astaire, and she did become the star of a 1930s radio serial. But after Frannie married a wealthy textile manufacturer and became the mother of seven children on his Pennsylvania estate, she looked to the sky."

Frances Dean Wilcox Nolde became a pioneer pilot, World War II Civil Air Patrol (CAP) commander, winner of an early transcontinental all-women’s air race, and eventually a colonel in the CAP in charge of the women’s program. After moving to Washington, she became responsible for planning how America’s civilian airplanes would defend the country should the Cold War become hot. A glamorous, ambitious proponent of women aviators, Frannie challenged male dominance at a time when home, career, motherhood, and personal success created both joy and trials in her life and the lives of those she loved. Her public life demonstrated her capabilities while her personal life revealed her flaws.

In She Looked to the Sky, her youngest child, Francie Nolde, tells her mother’s story — and her own.
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Be Thankful for Our Planet: Recycle Event the Small Things Where You Can!

ACTON/LITTLETON: Thanksgiving may soon be over, but it’s never too late to be grateful for this planet, and for us to reduce our impact on it.  Whether that means driving less, weather-proofing our homes, or using less plastic, all of us want to have a clean planet and fresh air to breathe. There are small things that you probably toss in the trash – lip balm tubes, pens and  markers that don’t work any more, an old manual toothbrush –these items are actually recyclable through TerraCycle!  Please check the website https://tinyurl.com/littletonmarecycles to find out what other surprising items you can recycle right here in the Acton/ Littleton area, and then bring them to the wooden TerraCycle bin at the Acton or Littleton Donelan’s grocery store.  If you have a Littleton transfer sticker, there’s a yellow bin there, too, and a green one in the lower floor of the Reuben Hoar Library.

And THANK YOU for your help in keeping our blue-dot planet just a little more clean!

Terracycle gives points for each item which translate into cash for non-profits such as 4-H, schools, and libraries.  This recycling stream helps fund the Acton C.R.A.F.T. 4-H club’s community service activities. Still have questions?  Email littletonma.recycles@gmail.com

17 Massachusetts High Schools to Compete on Season 14 of GBH’s High School Quiz Show

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Highest-scoring teams from High School Quiz Show’s Super Sunday qualifying event advance to the televised and streamed academic competition, premiering February 4 on GBH 2 and YouTube

High School Quiz Show®, GBH’s televised academic tournament for Massachusetts high schools, has revealed the 17 teams that will compete for the Season 14 State Championship title. The qualifying schools received the highest scores at High School Quiz Show’s Super Sunday event on November 6, where 65 schools from across the Commonwealth took a written quiz at GBH’s studios in Brighton. On the bracket are four first–time competitors as well as defending Season 13 champion, North Quincy High School.

Following two seasons of remote production, High School Quiz Show’s fourteenth season brings its battle of the brains back to in-person competition. Emmy award-winning television and radio personality Billy Costa will host the tapings at GBH studios in Brighton in January 2023. Teams of four students will go head-to-head in the fast-paced bracketed tournament, with winners advancing round by round until the final championship showdown. Season 14 of High School Quiz Show will premiere on GBH 2 and High School Quiz Show’s YouTube channel on February 4 at 6pm. 

“After a successful Super Sunday, we are eager to welcome these 17 schools from across Massachusetts back to GBH for an annual academic showdown,” said GBH Executive Producer Hillary Wells. “High School Quiz Show remains a cherished showcase for the academic rigor, integrity and perseverance embodied by high school students from all corners of the state. We look forward to welcoming fans, families, friends and community members back to our audience as we challenge the Season 14 cohort to show off their smarts.” 

The 15 teams with the highest scores from Super Sunday automatically qualified for a dedicated spot on the competition bracket. The 16th and final spot on the High School Quiz Show bracket will be determined during the season premiere Wild Cardmatch. Two teams representing high-scoring schools that have not previously been on the show or haven’t competed in five or more years will compete for the final spot. This year, those teams are Concord-Carlisle High School and Melrose High School, both of whom are first-time competitors.

North Quincy High School will return to defend its title of Season 13 State Champion. Joining them are Season 5 champion Acton-Boxborough Regional High School; Seasons 7 and 8 champions, Lexington High School; Season 9 champion, Andover High School; and Seasons 10 and 11 champions, Boston Latin School. Four schools will make their High School Quiz Show debuts, including the two Wild Card teams, Concord-Carlisle High School and Melrose High School, in addition to the Commonwealth School and Saint Joseph Prep Boston. 

The full list of teams competing for the title of Season 14 High School Quiz Show State Champion is as follows:
 
  • Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
  • Andover High School
  • Boston Latin School
  • Brookline High School
  • Buckingham Browne & Nichols School (Cambridge)
  • Commonwealth School (Boston)
  • Concord-Carlisle High School
  • Hingham High School
  • Lexington High School
  • Mansfield High School
  • Melrose High School
  • Needham High School
  • North Quincy High School
  • Phillips Academy (Andover)
  • Saint Joseph Prep Boston
  • Shrewsbury High School
  • South High Community School (Worcester) 

High School Quiz Show is endorsed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education and the Massachusetts PTA. Major funding for High School Quiz Show is provided by Safety Insurance. Additional funding is provided by the Museum of Science, Massachusetts Teachers Association, Xfinity, UMass Amherst, Eastern Bank and Subaru of New England.

For more information, visit  highschoolquizshow.org and follow the show on  YouTubeFacebook,Twitter and Instagram.
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Artists' Holiday Shop at ArtSpace Maynard

MAYNARD: ArtSpace Maynard welcomes you to their Artists’ Holiday Shop—an Art Gallery and Gift Shop presented at their community gallery and satellite space at 63 Nason Street. They’ll be featuring a wide variety of original creative art including paintings, prints, sculpture, photographs, jewelry, and textiles from 20 ArtSpace studio artists! The Shop will be open on Fridays (4pm-8pm), Saturdays (10am-5pm), and Sundays (12pm-4pm) beginning December 2 and continuing through December 18. The storefront gallery space is conveniently located in Downtown Maynard across from Veteran’s Park. There will also be an opening reception on December 3 from 6–8:30pm at the Artists’ Holiday Shop! This special event will coincide with Maynard’s Holiday Sip & Stroll, hosted by the Maynard Business Alliance. Meet the artists and enjoy refreshments as you shop, for one night only! 
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Experience Christmas at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church with “O Holy Night: A Thrill of Hope!”

ACTON: Everyone in the community is invited to attend Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Acton for Christmas Eve services at 3:30pm, 6pm and 9pm for “O Holy Night: A Thrill of Hope!”. Usually, when our calendar turns to December, our first reaction is to start listening to our favorite classic Christmas carols, but have any of us stopped to think about the depth of the lyrics that we’ve been singing every year since we were little? Join Mt. Calvary for Christmas Eve as the stars will be shining brightly inside the sanctuary for three joyful worship services.

First, experience a Christmas Eve service for young kids with the whole family and make memories together while singing Christmas carols and experiencing the Big Give. After 3:30pm worship, join a joyful Christmas cookie reception.

Or, join Mt. Calvary’s spectacular and festive candlelight services at 6pm and 9pm with solo instruments, Joyful Praise Choir, bells and organ. Listen to talented musicians and celebrate Christmas together! Be sure to come early at 5:30pm and 8:30pm for special pre-service music in the sanctuary.

Mt. Calvary is located at 472 Massachusetts Avenue. Parking is available off Prospect Street. Handicap parking is available at the Massachusetts Ave. circle drive and the Prospect St. parking lot. Overflow parking is available in the Acton Funeral Home parking lot right next door. For more information, visit mtcalvaryacton.org, call (978) 263-5156, or send an email to info@mtcalvaryacton.org.
 

FINANCIAL FOCUS: When Should You Adjust Your Investment Mix?

November 15, 2022
 
There are no shortcuts to investment success – you need to establish a long-term strategy and stick with it. This means that you’ll want to create an investment mix based on your goals, risk tolerance and time horizon – and then regularly review this mix to ensure it’s still meeting your needs. In fact, investing for the long term doesn’t necessarily mean you should lock your investments in forever. Throughout your life, you'll likely need to make some changes.

Of course, everyone’s situation is different and there’s no prescribed formula of when and how you should adjust your investments. But some possibilities may be worth considering. For example, a few years before you retire, you may want to re-evaluate your risk exposure and consider moving part of your portfolio into a more risk-averse position. When you were decades away from retiring, you may have felt more comfortable with a more aggressive positioning because you had time to “bounce back” from any market downturns. But as you near retirement, it may make sense to lower your risk level. And as part of a move toward a reduced-risk approach, you also may want to evaluate the “cash” positions in your portfolio. When the market has gone through a decline, as has been the case in 2022, you may not want to tap into your portfolio to meet short-term and emergency needs, so having sufficient cash on hand is important. Keep in mind, though, that having too much cash on the “sidelines” may affect your ability to reach your long-term goals.

Even if you decide to adopt a more risk-averse investment position before you retire, though, you may still benefit from some growth-oriented investments in your portfolio to help you keep ahead of – or at least keep pace with – inflation. As you know, inflation has surged in 2022, but even when it’s been relatively mild, it can still erode your purchasing power significantly over time.

Changes in your own goals or circumstances may also lead you to modify your investment mix. You might decide to retire earlier or  later than you originally planned. You might even change your plans for the type of retirement you want, choosing to work part-time for a few years. Your family situation may change – perhaps you have another child for whom you’d like to save and invest for college. Any of these events could lead you to review your portfolio to find new opportunities or to adjust your risk level – or both.

You might wonder if you should also consider changing your investment mix in response to external forces, such as higher interest rates or the rise in inflation this year. It’s certainly true that these types of events can affect parts of your portfolio, but it may not be advisable to react by shuffling your investment mix. In the first place, nobody can really predict how long these forces will keep their momentum – it’s quite possible, for instance, that inflation will have subsided noticeably within a year. But more importantly, you should make investment moves based on the factors we’ve already discussed: your goals, risk tolerance, time horizon and individual circumstances.

By reviewing your portfolio regularly, possibly with the assistance of a financial professional, you can help ensure that your investment mix will always be appropriate for your needs and goals.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Alan Bell, Littleton, MA - EdwardJones.com/Alan-Bell. Edward Jones, Member SIPC.
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Friends of Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Mark 20th Anniversary

ACTON: The Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (FBFRT) will celebrate its 20th anniversary on November 20, 2pm at Pedal Power Bike and Ski, 176 Great Road. The group held its inaugural meeting in October 2002 at Pedal Power to discuss converting the unused railroad right of way in Acton, Concord, and Sudbury to a multi-use path. The group quickly expanded to include trail enthusiasts from Chelmsford and Westford, then Lowell, Carlisle, and Framingham.
 
The rail trail was named for Bruce Freeman, a state legislator from Chelmsford, who was an early legislative proponent of the rail trail. To date about 15 miles of trail have been constructed, from North Chelmsford through Westford, Carlisle, Acton and almost to the Concord/ Sudbury line.  Construction of approximately 4 1/2 miles of the trail in Sudbury is expected to be complete in 2025. Since its inception FBFRT has actively promoted and supported the trail. It has hosted three ground-breaking and three ribbon-cutting celebrations and attended numerous community events. It has donated funds for projects such as landscaping, road crossing signals, art projects, porta potties, signage and kiosks and raised funds for preliminary feasibility studies and trail design. The Friends also has worked with local and state officials to ensure support and funding for the trail.

Stop by on November 20 to commemorate 20 years of active participation to make the BFRT a reality.
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2022 Merrie Christmas Fair at UCCB

BOXBOROUGH: A major fundraising and community-building event for the United Church of Christ Boxborough is the UCCB Merrie Christmas Fair, held at the church every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. This year's event takes place November 19 from 9am to 1pm. This is a great opportunity to purchase gifts that will surprise and delight and allow you to get your holiday shopping done early!  Money earned will go to support the ministries and missions of the church. Come find handmade ornaments, seasonal greens, gifts and knits, jewelry, baked goods, a children’s table, handmade wooden crafts and “Attic Treasures.”

The Merrie Christmas Fair also includes an online Silent Auction for items to bid by visiting www.biddingforgood.com/UCCBSilentAuction. This Auction runs from November 9 at 8am through November 19 at 8pm. Silent Auction items range from vacation getaways to exquisite handmade items to items that will please every age and interest. Encourage your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers to join in the fun!

The fair will be held both inside and outside of the church at 723 Massachusetts Avenue, the Community Center and the Boxborough Town Hall. There will be musical performances by the Workingman’s Duo with classic rock oldies from the 50s and 60s with blues and jazz. To limit the handling of cash, we encourage exact cash, checks or payment by credit/debit card. You may park in the church parking lot or across the street at the Boxborough Town Hall.
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Rain Barrel Pre-Purchase & Distribution Program

MAYNARD: With the potential for climate change to cause severe droughts and significant rainfall events, take advantage of this upcoming rain barrel pre-purchase and distribution program. Rain barrels have numerous benefits for many climate change-induced weather impacts and will save you money on your water bill. Did you know for instance that the rainfall of one inch within a 24-hour period can produce more than 700 gallons of water that run off a typical house. When Metrowest residents purchase a discounted rain barrel (or two), residents can then use captured rainwater for outdoor irrigation purposes whether water restrictions are enacted or not.

Though not made for potable water consumption, rainwater harvesting can significantly offset lawn and garden irrigation needs when towns restrict outdoor water use. Need more reasons why you should purchase a rain barrel? Your Metrowest town may be able to delay water restrictions if enough rain barrels are installed by residents. And when less water is used, municipalities can save on operating costs and infrastructure costs with fewer new wells, pumping stations, and treatment facilities that need to be built. And when towns use less municipal water, the impact on the environment is reduced as well. Drawing water from an aquifer faster than it is naturally regenerated can adversely affect every living creature in the area.

Beyond droughts and water restrictions, rain barrels also provide benefits during significant rainfall events. This is especially important given the Concord, Sudbury and Assabet Rivers which flow through the region. Usually, stormwater doesn’t soak into the ground but instead flows over impermeable surfaces like roofs, pavement, bare soil, and sloped lawns into storm drains or directly into water bodies such as our area rivers. And as stormwater flows, it picks up soil, animal waste, salt, pesticides, fertilizers, oil and grease, debris, and other potential pollutants. In addition to reducing the number of pollutants that enter local rivers and waterways through stormwater runoff, promoting rain barrels can also help control local flooding and protect rivers and streams from erosion while also reducing the impact on aging stormwater infrastructure.

For these reasons and because we need water to enjoy gardening during the Spring and Summer, the Maynard Community Gardeners is partnering with The Great American Rain Barrel Co (TGARB) based in Hyde Park, MA to promote and distribute re-purposed BPA-free food grade plastic resin barrels that are modified to be used as rain barrels. Though rain barrels will be distributed to those who purchased them in Maynard, you do not need to be Maynard resident to participate. Residents of all local area towns are encouraged to participate. TGARB sells their re-purposed food grade BPA-free 60-gallon plastic resin rain barrels at prices that are significantly lower than retail outlets:

TGARB Rain Barrel prices (not including tax):
 
  • Painted Barrel in Green, Brown or Gray: $79
  • Unpainted Rain Barrel $74; and
  • Discounted Terra Cotta $70.
 
You can order yours by November 27, midnight online at www.greatamericanrainbarrel.com/community and selecting the state of Massachusetts  and the town of Maynard or by calling (800) 251-2352. Optional accessories are also available. All barrels come with a lid, screen, threaded spigot, overflow valve, and each barrel measures 24” diameter, 39” high, and weighs 20 lbs. empty.

Those who pre-purchase barrels by midnight on November 27 can pick them up on the evening of December 8 from 4:30–6:30pm at the distribution site in the Elks Lodge Parking Lot at 34 Powdermill Road in Maynard. You must pick your barrel up or have someone pick it up for you at the distribution time. Barrels cannot be stored overnight at the distribution location.

Proceeds from purchased rain barrels do not go to the Maynard Community Gardeners. The Maynard Community Gardeners have generously undertaken this opportunity to benefit area residents.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: COLA is Sweet for Social Security Recipients

October 24, 2022
 
If you receive Social Security, you’ve probably already heard that your checks in 2023 will be bigger – considerably bigger, in fact. How can you make the best use of this extra money? Here’s what’s happening:

For 2023, there’s an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits – the largest increase in 40 years. Also, the monthly Medicare Part B premiums are declining next year, to $164.90/month from $170.10/month, which will also modestly boost Social Security checks for those enrolled in Part B, as these premiums are automatically deducted.


Of course, the sizable COLA is due to the high inflation of 2022, as the Social Security Administration uses a formula based on increases in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). So, it’s certainly possible that you will need some, or perhaps all, of your larger checks to pay for the increased cost of goods and services. But if your cash flow is already relatively strong, you might want to consider these suggestions for using your bigger checks:

Reduce withdrawals from your investment portfolio. When you’re retired, you will likely need to withdraw a certain amount from your portfolio each year to meet your expenses. A boost in your Social Security may enable you to withdraw less, at least for a year. This can be particularly advantageous when the markets are down, as you’d like to avoid, as much as possible, selling investments and withdrawing the money when investment prices are low. And the fewer investments you need to sell, the longer your portfolio may last during your retirement years.

Help build your cash reserves. When you’re retired, it’s a good idea to maintain about a year’s worth of the amount you’ll spend from your portfolio in cash, while also keeping three months’ of your spending needs in an emergency fund, with the money kept in a liquid, low-risk account. Your higher Social Security checks could help you build these cash reserves. (Also, it’s helpful to keep another three to five years’ worth of spending from your portfolio in short-term, fixed-income investments, which now, due to higher interest rates, offer better income opportunities.)

Contribute to a 529 plan. You could use some of your extra Social Security money to contribute to a tax-advantaged 529 education savings plan for your grandchildren or other family members. 

Contribute to charitable organizations. You might want to use some of your Social Security money to expand your charitable giving. Your generosity will help worthy groups and possibly bring you some tax benefits, too.

While it’s nice to have these possible options in 2023, you can’t count on future COLA increases being as large. The jump in inflation in 2022 was due to several unusual factors, including pandemic-related government spending, supply shortages and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It’s quite possible, perhaps even likely, that inflation will subside in 2023, which, in turn, would mean a smaller COLA bump in 2024.

Nonetheless, while you might not want to include large annual COLA increases as part of your long-term financial strategy, you may well choose to take advantage, in some of the ways described above, of the bigger Social Security checks you’ll receive in 2023. When opportunity knocks, you may want to open the door. 

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Gerald Breen, Acton, MA - EdwardJones.com/Gerald-Breen
Edward Jones. Member SIPC.

Boxborough To Host Meet and Greet for New Town Administrator

Boxborough
BOXBOROUGH: The Boxborough Select Board will be hosting a Meet and Greet for all Town employees, volunteers and residents to introduce the new Town Administrator, Mr. Michael Johns, at Boxborough Town Hall at 29 Middle Road on Monday, November 7, from 8:30-10:30am. Mr. Johns is the former Assistant Town Manager and Human Resources Director for Foxborough, MA. Prior to his promotion to that position, he served Foxborough as their Veterans Services Director.

When told of the planned event Mr. Johns said, “I am humbled, as well as incredibly excited, to work in the Town of Boxborough, and look forward to working with and meeting the many members of the community and the Town team.” Mr. Johns is a veteran in the armed services (Navy) and has earned his Masters of Public Administration from Suffolk University, a Masters of Arts from UMass Boston and a Bachelor of Science from Norwich University.

Ms. Jennifer Campbell, Chair of the Select Board said, “The selection of Mr. Johns was unanimous based upon not only his education and recent work history in Foxborough but his prior volunteer service on his Town’s Finance and Economic Development Commission, and his private sector experience.” She went on to say, “We hope all who can will come to this event at some point during the time we have set aside.”
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Donate a Thanksgiving Dinner Basket to a Maynard Food Pantry Family

MAYNARD: The Maynard Food Pantry will once again be providing Thanksgiving dinner baskets to families in need within our community this holiday season. In the past, families, organizations, groups and companies have generously donated dinner baskets consisting of a frozen turkey or canned ham together with a combination of bagged potatoes, fresh squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, canned or fresh vegetables, apples, oranges, fruit juice, packaged rolls and packaged desserts. Thinking about a family of six when putting together the basket is a good guide.

The Pantry would greatly appreciate similar donations this year so that they can provide these wonderful gifts to our client families.  In previous years, they have been able to provide approximately 85-90 dinner baskets to local families in need. If you would like to donate a Thanksgiving dinner basket or a quantity of one of the above-referenced items, please contact Mary Brannelly by email at mjtbrannelly@comcast.net no later than November 13, 2022 for drop off instructions.  Also feel free to send along a note if you need additional information.

The Maynard Food Pantry is always appreciative of cash donations that are used to purchase food to keep the Food Pantry stocked, especially at this time of the year when we consistently see an increase in the number of families in need of our services.  Checks can be made payable to the "Maynard Food Pantry" and may be sent c/o PO Box 55, Maynard, MA 01754.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Avoid Becoming a ‘Burden’ on Grown Children

October 24, 2022
 
Here’s an interesting statistic: Some 72% of retirees say one of their biggest fears is becoming a burden on their families, according to a 2021 survey by Age Wave and Edward Jones. Both before and during retirement, what steps can you take to avoid burdening your loved ones in the future? Here are a few suggestions:
 
  • Build your retirement savings. The greater your financial resources, the less likely it becomes that you’d ever have to count on your grown children for financial support. You may have access to a 401(k) or similar retirement plan at work, so take advantage of it. Even with an employer-sponsored plan, you also may be eligible to contribute to an IRA. In addition to offering a variety of investment options, a 401(k) and IRA provide potential tax advantages. And once you do retire, be careful about how much you withdraw each year from your retirement plans and other investments.
  • Plan for health care costs. Once you are retired, health care costs will be a significant expense. You may have Medicare, but you'll also want to consider your need for supplemental health insurance to cover traditional medical costs. And you’ll want to consider another potential health-related expense: long-term care. You may never need the services of a home health aide or a stay in a nursing home, but no one can predict the future.
Medicare does not cover most costs for long-term care, which can be quite high. In 2021, the annual national median cost for a private room in a nursing home was over $108,000, while the median cost for a full-time home health aide was nearly $62,000, according to a survey by Genworth, an insurance company. You may want to consult with a financial professional on strategies for protecting yourself from these costs.
 
  • Create necessary legal documents. If something were to happen to you, and you didn’t have the appropriate legal documents in place, your loved ones could be placed in a bind, both financially and emotionally. That’s why it’s a good idea to create documents such as a durable financial power of attorney, which lets you name someone to manage your finances if you became incapacitated, and a durable power of attorney for health care, which allows someone to make medical decisions on your behalf if you can’t make them yourself. You’ll want to work with a legal professional to develop the documents appropriate for your needs.
  • Evaluate your housing needs. As you enter retirement, you may want to evaluate your living situation. Could you downsize to a smaller home, or perhaps a condominium or apartment? Not only might you save money with such a move, but you could also end up relieving your grown children of the responsibilities and hassles involved in clearing out and selling your home should you become unable to do so yourself during the later years of your retirement.

By taking these measures, along with others, you can go a long way toward maintaining your independence and putting yourself in a place where you won’t burden your grown children.  And that’s a good  place to be.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Alan Bell, AAMS ® - (978) 486-1059. Edward Jones, Member SIPC
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Acton Garden Club Honors Winners of “Acton’s Looking Good” Contest

ACTON: Every summer the Acton Garden Club conducts the “Acton’s Looking Good” Contest in order to acknowledge Acton businesses whose landscape enhances the Town’s beauty. At the Acton Garden Club monthly meeting on November 1st , the 2022 winners of the contest were honored. The recipients of award plaques were:
 
  • The Bee’s Knees, Best Curb Appeal;
  • West Acton Villageworks, Best Retail Plaza;
  • Great Road Dunkin, Best New Innovative Garden;
  • The Silver Unicorn, Best Stand-alone Business;
  • Kitchen Outfitters, Best Use of Containers;
  • Acton Pro Tech, Best Intersection
PHOTO: Christine Haufler & Lucinda Sears representing the Bee’s Knees; Lucy Goldstein representing West Acton Villageworks; Megan & Mark Pesce representing Great Road Dunkin; and Paul Swydan representing The Silver Unicorn.
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"Cultural Nepal"  at Acton Woman's  Club's November Meeting

ACTON: Join the Acton Woman's Club at 504 Main Street for its monthly meeting on November 9 at 11:30am for a light luncheon, a short business meeting and at 1pm special guest Aruna Sharma of the Cultural Nepal Foundation. Sharma will  share samples of typical Nepali food, and show some of her cultural art, including her Native dress! Born and raised in Kathmandu, Aruna's unique background, blending her professional science and technology experience with her deep understanding of Nepali culture and arts, allows her to nourish cross-cultural relationships.

Also, celebrate Mary Westcott's 90th birthday at the meeting. Remarkable Mary has had several careers - Westford Academy guidance counselor, antiques appraiser and  she has assisted with private auctions, including those for Oprah and Martha Stewart.  Mary is active and effective in everything she does from raising a family, being a Friend of the Acton COA, to our Club and many more.

Any woman who lives or works in Acton or a surrounding town may join the
Acton Woman’s Club for society and good works. For an invitation, please call Posy Dyer at (978) 369-1295; or Jane Bungard at (978) 263-7260. Interest groups now include Bridge, Mah Jongg, Book group; Antiques and Museum Goers; Wine & Dine group. Masks are optional.  New air filters will be running to help keep everyone extra safe. Folks can eat inside
or outside (weather permitting).
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Concord Piecemakers Quilt Guild Host Quilt Show

ACTON: The Concord Piecemakers Quilt Guild is pleased to announce their Quilt Show will take place on Friday and Saturday, November 4 and 5 at St. Matthew’s Church, 435 Central Street. Hours on Friday are from 9am-6pm, and Saturday from 9am-4pm.  Over 150 quilts will be displayed, and there will be shopping at their Boutique and Vendors, a mini Guild yard sale, and their famous cookie tins, in addition to chances for a Raffle Quilt. Watch some member demonstrations of quilting techniques, and the kids can enjoy a scavenger hunt of motifs found in the quilts’ fabrics.

Please be prepared with masks if the church requests them, otherwise they are optional and encouraged in more crowded spaces. Admission is $10 for those 12 and older.

 
The Concord Piecemakers Guild are a 501(c)(3) charitable organization serving Concord and the surrounding communities with members from all over the area and even as far as Maryland. As a non-profit organization, they are dedicated to preserving, promoting, and advancing the art of quilt making through educational programs, workshops and outreach activities such as providing quilts for local hospitals, cancer treatment centers, shelters, and other community groups. Visit www.concordpiecemakers.org for more details.

Acton Native Guslicia Fallah Named to The School of Nursing Dean's List at MCPHS University

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ACTON: MCPHS University in Boston is pleased to announce that Guslicia Fallah has been named to the Dean's List for the Summer 2022 semester. Guslicia is a native of Acton and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Guslicia will graduate from the Boston, Massachusetts campus in 2024.

The Dean's List recognizes those students with a full-time course load who have achieved outstanding scholarship with a 3.5 GPA or higher for the academic term.

The mission of MCPHS University is to prepare graduates to advance health and serve communities worldwide through excellence, innovation, and collaboration in teaching, practice, scholarship, and research. Founded in 1823, MCPHS University is the oldest institution of higher education in the City of Boston. In addition to the original Boston campus, the University has campuses in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Manchester, New Hampshire, as well as robust online learning options. The University currently offers more than 100 unique baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral degree programs and certificates covering a variety of health-related fields and professions.

Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club Halloween Game Night & Potluck!

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ACTON: Nashoba Valley Neighbors will hold its popular Game Night and Potluck dinner on Saturday, October 29 at The Village of Nagog Woods Clubhouse, 102 Nonset Path, from 6-9pm. Have some fun in costume and bringing along your favorite food and games to share with your Neighbors! Nashoba Valley Neighbors will provide beer, wine, soda and water to quench your thirst. There will be music, games and a whole lot of fun!

Start with a usual "ice breaker game," other popular games include Telestrations, Exploding Kittens, Codenames and Blokus. Don't see your favorite?! Bring it along! Please RSVP to info@nashobavalleyneighbors.org including what type of dish you will be bringing. Choices are appetizer, main dish, side dish or dessert. Newcomers and guests are welcome! As with all events, feel free to bring donations for a local food pantry.

The Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club is a non-profit social organization open to new and established residents from our communities. Celebrating over 50 years, they were originally known as the Welcome Wagon Newcomers Club of Acton. More recently, they have been known as the Acton-Boxborough Newcomers & Neighbors Club. Discovering that established residents in surrounding communities are also looking to explore new interests and to make connections with new friends, they became the Nashoba Valley Neighbors Club in 2014.

The Club is excited to invite community members to join us in a variety of activities including Men’s Night Out, Ladies’ Night Out, Book Group, Wine Tasting, Lunch Bunch, dining in and out events, and special events to start and finish the membership year. Visit www.nashobavalleyneighbors.org for more information on this and other events, as well as information on how to become a member.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Here’s Your ‘Recession Survival’ Checklist

October 17, 2022

It’s unfortunate, but recessions are a fairly normal part of the economic landscape. When a recession occurs, how might you be affected? The answer depends on your individual situation, but regardless of your circumstances, you might want to consider the items in this recession survival checklist:
 
  • Assess your income stability. If your employment remains steady, you may not have to do anything different during a recession. But if you think your income could be threatened or disrupted, you might want to consider joining the “gig economy” or looking for freelance or consulting opportunities.
  • Review your spending. Look for ways to trim your spending, such as canceling subscription services you don’t use, eating out less often, and so on.
  • Pay down your debts. Try to reduce your debts, especially those with high interest rates. 
  • Plan your emergency fund. If you haven’t already built one, try to create an emergency fund containing three to six months’ worth of living expenses, with the money kept in a liquid account. 
  • Review your protection plan. If your health or life insurance is tied to your work, a change in your employment status could jeopardize this coverage. Review all your options for replacing these types of protection. Also, look for ways to lower premiums on home or auto insurance, without significantly sacrificing coverage, to free up money that could be used for health/life insurance. 
  • Keep your long-term goals in mind. Even if you adjust your portfolio during times of volatility, don’t lose sight of your long-term goals. Trying to “outsmart” the market with short-term strategies can often lead to missteps and missed opportunities.  
  • Don’t stop investing. If you can afford it, try to continue investing. Coming out of a recession, stock prices tend to bottom out and then rebound, so if you had headed to the investment “sidelines,” you would have missed the opportunity to benefit from a market rally.  
  • Revisit your performance expectations. During a bear market, you will constantly be reminded of the decline of a particular market index, such as the S&P 500 or the Dow Jones Industrial Average. But instead of focusing on these short-term numbers, look instead at the long-term performance of your portfolio to determine if you’re still on track toward meeting your goals. 
  • Assess your risk tolerance. If you find yourself worrying excessively about declines in your investment statements, you may want to reevaluate your tolerance for risk. One’s risk tolerance can change over time — and it’s important you feel comfortable with the amount of risk you take when investing. 
  • Keep diversifying. Diversification is always important for investors — by having a mix of stocks, mutual funds and bonds, you can reduce the impact of market volatility on your portfolio. To cite one example: Higher-quality bonds, such as Treasuries, often move in the opposite direction of stocks, so the presence of these bonds in your portfolio, if appropriate for your goals, can be valuable when market conditions are worsening. (Keep in mind, though, that diversification cannot guarantee profits or protect against all losses in a declining market.) 

A recession accompanied by a bear market is not pleasant. But by taking the appropriate steps, you can boost your chances of getting through a difficult period and staying on track toward your important financial goals. 

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Mandy Calouro, Chelmsford, MA  - EdwardJones.com/Mandy-Calouro, Edward Jones, Member SIPC
Everyone'ssuperhero

Scarecrow Contest in Acton

ACTON: Enter the “Stand Up to Stigma” Scarecrow Contest to benefit the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Central Middlesex. Bring your $25 donation to Cucurbit Farm at 32 Parker Street and pick up your scarecrow starter frame. Then drop off your family friendly scarecrow at the farm stand. Individuals, organizations, and businesses are invited to participate. The scarecrows will be on display for the month of October, and the public is invited to cast their vote for the winning entry. The goal is 100 scarecrows along the fence and many conversations about mental health! Additional info at namicentralmiddlesex.org.
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LWV Hosts Candidates Forum

The League of Women Voters Acton-Area, Concord-Carlisle and Chelmsford will host a Candidates Forum for the 14th Middlesex District State Representative. The 14th Middlesex District Representative represents residents in portions of Acton, Concord, Chelmsford and all of Carlisle.
 
The forum will be held at the Harvey Wheeler Community Center, 1276 Main Street in West Concord on October 11 at 7pm. It will be recorded and available on public access channels in the 14th Middlesex District as well as League YouTube channels: lwv-acton-area.org and lwvcc.org.
 
The League of Women Voters is eager to help voters learn more about the candidates running in the November 2022 Election and provide a non-partisan forum for all candidates to be heard. The event is part of our mission to encourage the active and informed participation of all citizens in government and the electoral process. The forum is free and open to the public.
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Acton Woman's Club Pie Sale!

ACTON: It's time! The ovens will be baking soon! The Acton Woman's Club is looking forward to another successful annual fall pie and baked goods sale on October 15 starting at 9am at The Clubhouse, 504 Main Street. Proceeds support high school scholarships. During the sale, you can get a tour of the antique Clubhouse building [ask for Margie or Brenda]. Not only can you experience a gracious living room furnished with antiques. Meet some Club members to talk about possible membership, especially if you like to bake pies and/or organize events. It's a great way to make new friends! More information: www.theactonwomansclub.org.

FINANCIAL FOCUS : How Should You Pay for Short-term Financial Goals?

October 3, 2022

As you go through life, you will likely have long- and short-term financial goals. But how will your strategies for meeting your long-term goals differ from those needed for your short-term ones?

If you’re like most people, your biggest long-term goal is achieving a comfortable retirement. And for this goal, a common strategy is putting away money in tax-advantaged retirement vehicles, such as your 401(k) and IRA.

So, how should you go about preparing for shorter-term goals, such as a family vacation, home renovation, wedding or major purchase?

For starters, determine what your goal is, how much you can spend on it and when you’ll need the money. Even if you can’t pinpoint a precise amount, you can develop a good estimate. Of course, the sooner you start this process, the better off you’ll be, because you’ll have more time to save.

Your next decision involves the manner in which you save for your short-term goal. Specifically, what savings or investment vehicles should you use? The answer will be different for everyone, but you need to make sure that your investments align with your risk tolerance and time horizon. And you’ll want to ensure, as much as possible, that a certain amount of money is available for you at the specific time you’ll need it.

If you aren’t able to save enough to reach a short-term goal, you have other options — you can borrow what you need, or you can potentially sell investments to cover the cost. How can you decide which choice is best?

To help make up your mind, you’ll first want to consider some of the most common borrowing options: credit cards, home equity loans, personal loans and margin loans. (A margin loan lets you borrow against the value of investments you already own). How might each of these loans fit into your overall financial strategy? Will the repayment schedule work with your cash flow and budget?

You’ll then want to compare the costs and benefits of borrowing, in whatever form, against selling investments. For example, if you can borrow at a lower interest rate compared to the return you think you can get from your investments, borrowing might be a reasonable choice. You’ll also need to consider other factors, such as your credit score, taxes, fees associated with selling investments and time needed to repay debts. If, for instance, selling investments will trigger a large amount of taxes, borrowing might be preferable. You’ll also want to consider whether there’s a penalty or high costs associated with selling investments. In addition, if you have a long time horizon for a loan, you may want to sell investments to avoid paying interest for a longer period of time, and thus driving up the overall cost of borrowing.          Finally, keep in mind that you may have built an investment mix designed to align with your goals and risk tolerance. If you were to sell any of these investments to meet short-term needs, you would want to consider the need to rebalance your portfolio to maintain your desired asset allocation.
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to paying for short-term goals. But by carefully evaluating your options, you can make the choices that are right for your needs.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor Alan Bell, Edward Jones, Member SIPC.

Cornerstone Thrift Shop Reopens

ACTON:The Cornerstone Thrift Shop has reopened after taking a summer break. The summer clothing is gone, and in its place there is fall and winter clothing for women, children and men. There are shirts, pants, sweaters, and outerwear, as well as shoes for children and adults. The shop is now taking donations of good quality clothing and shoes in excellent condition for all sizes, particularly more children's clothing. They are also accepting dishes and housewares. Please check your donations to make sure they are in excellent condition. The Cornerstone is located in Acton Congregational Church at 12 Concord Road in Acton center. The shop is run by volunteers, and all of the proceeds go to support the missions and ministry of the church. They are open Mondays and Fridays from 10am-2pm, Wednesdays from 3-5:30pm, and Saturdays from 10am-noon. The Shop will be closed on October 8 and 10 for Columbus/ Indigeonous Peoples Day weekend.

Autumnal — Photography by Julie Smith L’Heureux and Ceramic Sculpture by Patrick Brennan

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MAYNARD: 6 Bridges Gallery is pleased to present an exhibit of new works by photographer Julie L’Heureux and ceramic sculpture by Patrick Brennan titled,  Autumnal. The exhibit will be on view at 6 Bridges Gallery, 77 Main Street from October 5-November 12. Gallery hours are Wednesday-Saturday 10am-–5pm. The exhibit will also be hosted online at 6Bridges.Gallery/Autumnal. A reception will be held October 22 from 5–7pm.
 
In this exhibit, the essence of autumn is expressed literally and abstractly through Julie L’Heureux’s photography and Patrick Brennan’s ceramic sculptures. L’Heureux’s photography captures the autumnal theme through the New England landscape and seasonal food, as well as via abstract images. Brennan’s ceramics embody the energy and color of autumn.
 
L'Heureux subject matter is still life, landscapes and portraits. The images she creates go beyond what the viewer sees. She interjects her ideas of what is important through the use of light, shadows, color and clarity. Rather than presenting a factual reality, an illusion is fabricated to conjure the realms of our imagination. She creates an image that may be different from what the viewer might have observed when looking at the same subject matter. L’Heureux creates this new reality with her camera, through the use of light, and with digital creativity using Lightroom and Photoshop. Her images have been accepted to numerous art exhibits in the Boston area and have been added to personal collections including the Federal Reserve Bank. She has also published photographs on-line and in numerous magazines and newspapers. More of L’Heureux’s work can be seen at www.jlheureuxphotography.com

PHOTO:
Yellow Leaves in Monochrome by Julie L’Heureux
 
Patrick Brennan is a Boston-based LGBTQ artist and MFA student at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. He often imagines what it would look like if a hypothetical God or a being as intelligent in relation to us as we are to an insect would see if it looked down on our plane of existence. In essence that is what his art is meant to portray, how we would be seen by something so far beyond us that we are nothing more than a beautiful but stupid little microbe spinning around chasing our own flagella in a sea of endless memetic iterations of ourselves. In addition to his art practice, Patrick is also an art educator, previously employed by the education department at the Institute of Contemporary Art, and Museum of Fine Arts, and currently employed by Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Brennan’s work can be seen at  https://www.fineartsculptor.com
 
For more information, please visit 6Bridges.Gallery, Facebook and Instagram.
Savers 2021

Maynard Emblem Club Clothing & More Fundraiser

MAYNARD: Maynard Emblem Club #205 is holding their annual Savers Fundraiser soon.  They are collecting used clothing, purses, shoes, accessories, backpacks, bedding, linens, curtains and other textiles such as decorative pillows. Call Kim at (978) 897-9907 or email kim.lalli@comcast.net to schedule drop-off or pick-up. Items will be collected until October 28. All money raised will be used to help local charities.

Alexandra DePalo Named Open Table Executive Director

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CONCORD/MAYNARD: Open Table, the Concord and Maynard charity dedicated to fighting hunger and building healthy communities, announced that Alexandra DePalo will take over the role of executive director leading the 33-year-old non-profit organization whose mission is to end hunger in the local community by providing healthy food in ways that respect the dignity and diversity of those served. DePalo replaces Jeanine Calabria who helped establish Open Table as an area provider of food pantry services and mobile meals programs over her 10-year tenure.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, DePalo will provide vision and dynamic leadership to Open Table as well as supervisory oversight for a staff of 13 and over 500 volunteers. She will oversee the strategic and operational efficiency of the non-profit’s programs and staff and will help define the role of the new 3,000-square-foot annex.

“As executive director at  Open Table, I’ll have the opportunity to make an impact on the health and wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable members of the MetroWest community,” said Alexandra DePalo, executive director, Open Table. “I’m looking forward to building on the strengths of this already impressive organization and advancing that work  to end hunger in our communities.”

Alexandra DePalo brings over 20 years of experience in public and community health to Open Table. She has worked in academic, philanthropic, government and community-based organizations to improve access to health and wellness across Massachusetts. Most recently Alex was the Director of Public Health for the City of Framingham where she provided personnel and budget management for the department, worked with a wide variety of community partners, and coordinated many of the City's COVID-19 responses including emergency food programs, free testing sites and vaccine clinics.

Previously she worked for the Hudson Health Department on regional community health programs including food access and healthy eating initiatives. Earlier in her career she managed grant programs to promote healthy eating and reduce health disparities at the MetroWest Health Foundation. DePalo holds an undergraduate degree in Economics from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in public health from Boston University.

“Open Table is excited to welcome Alexandra DePalo as its new executive director. Her experience in creating and running public health programs is exactly what Open Table needs,” said Mary Siegel, chairman of the board of Open Table. “She will be a driving force in helping  Open Table move closer and closer to meeting the needs of our clients in the communities where they live.”

Currently Open Table distributes bags of groceries, which include fresh produce, proteins, dairy, baked goods, and shelf-stable produces, to over 300 households each week and provides over 1000 prepared meals to clients that hail from the Metro West suburbs.  Open Table has received incredible support from the communities it serves through donations of food and funds, making it possible to continue to address food insecurity in the MetroWest area.

Theatre Opportunity for Neurodiverse Adults

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ACTON: Theatre with a Twist, a not-for-profit theatre organization, and the Northeast Arc Adult Autism Support Center, a not-for-profit organization that helps adults with Autism become full participants in the community, are participating to bring theatre to neurodiverse adults in a unique theatrical experience. If you, or someone you know, is a neurodiverse young adult that would love the opportunity to participate in a theatre experience to help gain confidence, build social skills, and just have some fun, visit www.theatrewithatwist.org for further information.

Mary Spinosa, director of the theatre is a drama therapist, educator, case manager and experienced psychiatric nurse. She will be working with Andrea Green, music therapist and playwright of Philadelphia, to develop a unique therapeutic program and fun experience for neurodiverse young adults ages 18-35. The show is called, The  Same Sky, and we are so lucky to have Andrea Green come to the theatre the week of the performance to conduct her own individual workshop for participants, along with regularly scheduled rehearsals and performances of the group in early February.

Auditions are in mid-October and weekly rehearsals will be held at their Blackbox theatre in Acton. If you are interested in, or know someone that is interested in participating, please complete the registration form and tuition payment online at www.theatrewithatwist.org. Registration is now open. If you need
financial assistance to cover the expense of registration, please reach out to Daphne Thompson at dthompson@ne-arc.org.  Further questions may be sent directly to Mary at theatrewithatwist@gmail.com. Rehearsals will begin the first week in November.
Bee gegear

Acton Garden Club Hosts October Meeting

ACTON: The Acton Garden Club’s next monthly meeting will take place on October 4 in Room 204 of Town Hall with a program at 10:15 titled “The Bee-cology Project; Native Pollinator Decline and Conservation”. The presenter, Dr. Robert Gegear, is the Director of the New England Bee-cology Project and an Associate Professor in the Biology Department of UMASS Dartmouth.

Why is ecological pollinator conservation so important? Dr. Gegear will help us understand this question and how the Bee-cology Project can speed up the process of identifying major stressors before threatened species become extinct.

The Bee-cology Project aims to provide information needed to develop effective conservation and restoration strategies for threatened species by recruiting citizen scientists from across the region to digitally collect and submit ecological data on native pollinator species using the
project’s freely available smartphone and web apps.

The public is invited to join the meeting in person or via ZOOM. If the latter is your preference, please visit www.actongardenclub.org and leave a message for the webmaster. You will be contacted with the information needed to log into the meeting.

Maynard Cultural Council Seeks Funding Proposals

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MAYNARD: Would an arts and culture grant help you or your organization? Consider applying for the Maynard Cultural Council Local Grant program. Proposals for community-oriented arts, humanities, and science programs are being accepted from now through October 17. These grants can support a variety of projects and activities in Maynard -- including exhibits, festivals, field trips, short-term artist residencies, performances, workshops, lectures, etc. The Maynard Cultural Council is part of a network of 329 Local Cultural Councils serving all 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth. The LCC Program is the largest grassroots cultural funding network in the nation, supporting thousands of community-based projects in the arts, sciences and humanities every year. The state legislature provides an annual appropriation to the Mass Cultural Council, a state agency, which then allocates funds to each community.

Typical grants range from $50 to $1500, to support arts, humanities, and science programs benefiting the Maynard community. Some highlights from last year’s funding include: Butterfly Fairy Frolic installation at ArtSpace, Stone Carving Symposium at Contemporary Arts International, Origami Club, Pollinator Meadow Identification Cards, and Free Summer Concerts in Memorial Park. Application forms and more information about this Local Cultural Council Program are available online at www.mass-culture.org.

Priorities will include projects that activate our downtown – primarily the area that makes up the Maynard Cultural District. This priority reflects how hard hit the pandemic has been on our downtown and the need to support projects that reactivate those public spaces. This ties to a current goal to facilitate more cultural offerings and to better communicate to the public about the cultural endurance of Maynard. All events should also be publicly listed on discovermaynard.com.

This year we have also elected to participate in the “direct grant” program rather than the reimbursement model previously utilized. It is our hope that this will lower the barrier to entry for many applicants. The process is the same except that funds are distributed to grantees at the outset.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who can apply?
Individuals, organizations, agencies, schools, and non-profits may apply for grants that support activities in culture, humanities, arts, and sciences publicly benefiting the local community. Projects must take place between January 1, 2023 and be completed by December 31, 2023. All applicants must reside or be located in Massachusetts.

How do I apply? Applicants must be submitted online via the MCC website https://www.mass-culture.org/lcc_public.aspx. The application is currently open for applications

What makes a good application? Each year we receive more requests than the funds that are available. The success of your grant may rely on careful planning and thorough preparation. Clearly identify dates, times, and locations. Include all costs in your budget, including in-kind donations (free use of space or donated services). If permits or extra permission are needed, please identify them. If this is a collaborative project, please identify the stakeholders and spell out agreements. Potential applicants are welcome to discuss ideas with Council members at our next meeting on October 13 at 7pm. The meeting will be publicly posted on the Town website or email culturaldistrict@townofmaynard.net to be included in the agenda.  
Monarch

Garden As If the Earth Matters: Planting for Biodiversity and Climate Resilience

ACTON: Do you care about monarch butterflies? On October 13 from 7-8:30pm, join Anna Fialkoff, from the Wild Seed Project in Portland, Maine, as she explores how gardening with native plants helps foster biodiversity and creates more resilient landscapes. It may seem strange to think of gardening in October, but many native plant seeds, like the milkweed needed by monarchs, should be sown in late autumn because they need winter cold in order to germinate.

Formerly of the Native Plant Trust in Framingham, Anna helps us see the wonderful ecological connections that can happen next year in our own backyards and public spaces when we focus on native plants. Without sacrificing beauty, we can create extraordinary, vibrant habitats for the insects and birds who are essential to a healthy ecosystem. Anna shares many concrete suggestions for planting and for landscape care (including different approaches to autumn clean-up), all designed to enrich our soils and to help mitigate the stresses of climate change. Instead of taming nature, find ways to cooperate with nature and create a beautiful community in your yard.

This is a hybrid event with an in-person option at the Acton Town Hall, Room 204, and with a virtual option.  In either case, we ask that you pre-register through the zoom link below, as we may need to communicate with you about last-minute adaptations in case the public health situation changes. Register HERE.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Should you Stick with Index-based Investments? 

September 21, 2022
 
You may have heard that you can simplify your investment strategy just by owning index-based or passive investments. But is this a good idea? You’ll want to consider the different aspects of this type of investment style. 
 
To begin with, an index-based investment is a vehicle such as a mutual fund or an exchange-traded fund (ETF) that mimics the performance of a market benchmark, or index — the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and so on. (An ETF is similar to a mutual fund in that it holds a variety of investments but differs in that it is traded like a common stock.) You can also invest in index funds that track the bond market. 
 
Index investing does offer some benefits. Most notably, it’s a buy-and-hold strategy, which is typically more effective than a market-timing approach, in which individuals try to buy investments when their prices are down and sell them when the prices rise. Attempts to time the market this way are usually futile because nobody can really predict when high and low points will be reached. Plus, the very act of constantly buying and selling investments can generate commissions and fees, which can lower your overall rate of return. Thus, index investing generally involves lower fees and is considered more tax efficient than a more active investing style. Also, when the financial markets are soaring, which happened for several years until this year’s downturn, index-based investments can certainly look pretty good — after all, when the major indexes go up, index funds will do the same.
 
Conversely, during a correction, when the market drops at least 10% from recent highs, or during a bear market, when prices fall 20% or more, index-based investments will likely follow the same downward path. 
 
And there are also other issues to consider with index-based investments. For one thing, if you’re investing with the objective of matching an index, you may be overlooking the key factors that should be driving your investment decisions — your goals and your risk tolerance. An index is a completely impersonal benchmark measuring the performance of a specific set of investments — but it can’t be a measuring stick of your own progress.
 
Furthermore, a single index, by definition, can’t be as diversified as the type of portfolio you might need to achieve your objectives. For example, the S&P 500 may track a lot of companies, but they’re predominantly large ones. And to achieve your objectives, you may need a portfolio consisting of large- and small-company stocks, bonds, government securities and other investments. (Keep in mind, though, that while diversification can give you more opportunities for success and can reduce the effects of volatility on your portfolio, it can’t guarantee profits or prevent all losses.)

Ultimately, diversifying across different types of investments that align with your risk tolerance and goals — regardless of whether they track an index — is the most important consideration for your investment portfolio. Use this idea as your guiding principle as you journey through the investment world. 
 
This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor: Marshall-Ben Tisdale,Westford, MA  - www.EdwardJones.com/Marshall-Ben-Tisdale, Edward Jones, Member SIPC
Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.

Great Road Church Offers Free Classes for Fall'22

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ACTON: Great Road Church is offering three FREE English classes for their Fall 2022 session, beginning the last week of September:
 
  • Level One English (Online, Tuesdays, 7-8:15pm) - a traditional, textbook-style course for beginners. It will meet online on Zoom from 7:00-8:15pm on Tuesday evenings, beginning on September 27. New students will need to purchase a $25 textbook for this course. Scholarship is available if you cannot pay for a textbook. 
  • English Conversation Course (Online, asynchronous) -- a course for speaking and listening practice. It will meet online with flexible scheduling. Each student will be paired with a fluent English speaker for weekly 1-on-1 conversation practice, using provided materials. This course is usually best for intermediate or advanced level students, or for beginners who want to focus on speaking practice.
  • English Conversation Course (In-person, Wednesdays 7-8:15pm) -  a course for speaking and listening practice. It will meet beginning  September 2. Each week, students will hear a short presentation and be paired  1-on-1 or in small groups with a fluent English speaker for Conversation Practice on a weekly topic. This course is usually best for intermediate or advanced level students, or for beginners who want to focus on speaking practice. Childcare and light refreshments will be provided.

Registration is required for all classes -- visit https://greatroadchurch.org/ell for registration and more info. Email ell@greadroadchurch.org with any questions. 
Exchange hall (3)

Tuttles, Jones & Wetherbee: A Family Dynasty

ACTON: The Acton Historical Society is pleased to present the story behind South Acton's Exchange Hall. The program chronicles the development of a small general store in a remote village and follows its transformation into a many-faceted operation with a four story-department store and other associated buildings. The goal was to provide the ultimate shopping experience.The program will be presented on Zoom on October 2 at 4pm. To register, please  email jenkslibrary@verizon.net. Registration will close September 29.  For more information, visit www.actonhistoricalsociety.org.
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Rock Against Cancer October 1

MAYNARD: Join Dawn's Dream Fund on October 1 from 5:30-11pm for Rock Against Cancer at the Sanctuary, located at 82 Main Street. This is a benefit concert for Dawn’s Dream Fund, which helps Emerson Hospital Cancer Center patients and their caregivers ease the burden of cancer by providing financial assistance for medicine, food, transportation to and from the hospital on treatment days, and various related expenses. Already, the fund has paid for “comfort” bags for new cancer patients containing lip balm, hand sanitizer, blankets, and water as well as a therapeutic powder to reduce inflammation risk during chemotherapy, and oxygen therapy. The concert will feature local bands Birch Hill and the MCats Band, in addition to a raffle. Tickets are available in advance through the Sanctuary at www.eventbrite.com/e/rock-against-cancer-benefit-concert-for-dawns-dream-fund-tickets-417531186017 for $25, and are $30 at the door. Enjoy an evening of good music and fun for a great cause! 

Acton Water District Fall Water Main Flushing 2022

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ACTON: The Acton Water District will begin its fall water main flushing program on October 3, and will continue through the month. There will be no flushing on October 10 due to the Indigenous People’s Day holiday. Flushing water mains will take place southeast of Route 2/Route 111, and east of Main Street/Route 27 (South Acton) to the Maynard town line including High Street, School Street, Parker Street, and interconnecting streets throughout that quadrant of town.

Flushing will occur between the hours of 8am and 8pm, Monday-Thursday.  Discolored water and periods of low pressure may be experienced on, or in the general vicinity of, any of the streets being flushed.  Road signs will be placed in the vicinity prior to initiating flushing on any street.  Areas outside of the flushing zone may also experience some of these conditions, although the program is designed to minimize widespread impacts.  It is advisable to draw and store some drinking water prior to when flushing activities commence in your neighborhood.  Any customers experiencing discolored water should not launder light-colored clothing or run their dishwashers, as the minerals in the water may cause staining.

This process is necessary for improving water quality in our distribution system, exercising valves and hydrants, and removing mineral deposits from water mains to minimize future incidents of discolored water. For updates on areas being flushed, please refer to the Water District website at www.actonwater.com, or call (978) 263-9107, Monday-Friday from 7:30am4pm.  You may also follow  on Twitter @Actonwater.
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Open-Air” Tap Room at the Faulkner Homestead

ACTON: After a two-year absence, the Iron Work Farm’s popular annual fundraiser, the Open Tap Room, has returned as an outdoor gathering: the “Open-Air” Tap Room at the Jones-Faulkner Homestead, 5 High Street. A 4pm salute by the Acton Minutemen will open the event at the oldest house in Acton on October 1 from 4-8pm. Join friends of the Iron Work Farm for music by Ward Hayden & the Outliers, home brews by True West Brewery and Pony Shack Cider, and good company! Enjoy lawn games, stroll along the 1890s carriage drive, and watch the sunset from Faulkner Hill.  $30 admission covers three drink tickets. (Children are free). Meals will be made to order on-site by True West, or you may bring your own picnic. Parking is available in the nearby commuter lots. Visit www.ironworkfarm.org for reservations and more information.

Boxborough Grange Educates Visitors at Free Bee Market

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BOXBOROUGH: Recently, at the Free Bee Market/Harvest Fair, the Boxborough Grange table distributed information about raising backyard chickens and how to sign up for a plot in Boxborough’s Community Gardens. A display featured  photographs of over a half-dozen breeds of chickens and information about raising them as well as information about the Boxborough Grange. The table drew many visitors. 

Over 25 cartons of organic eggs from Boxborough chickens were given away. The Grange recognizes and thanks Arden & Niki Veley of Winterberry Farm and Richard Hilton of Littlefield Farm for donating the eggs. The Grange table also had information about Boxborough’s two Community Gardens. The Flerra Field Garden on Stow Road is completely organic and does not allow any insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers or fungicides made from synthetic chemicals.. Organic horse manure is available at no charge from the Veley's Winterberry Farm. The Community  Garden on Middle Road is not required to be organic. Information about renting a garden plot is available on the Town’s website, Boxborough-ma.gov. or contact Owen Neville, chair of the Agricultural Commission at 978-263-3285. 

Many Massachusetts State Grange magazines and brochures were given to the visitors to the Grange table. The state Grange Mission is: “to create opportunities for leadership and community improvement through commitment to expand agricultural education in order to raise the quality of life for all.” The Boxborough Grange table at the Free Bee Market in Boxborough helped implement that mission. The Grange welcomes all who share this mission. For more information about the  Boxborough Grange, contact President Owen Neville at 978-263-3285.  New members, young and old, are always welcome.
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Local Residents Named to Simmons University Dean's List

ACTON/CONCORD: The following local students were named to the 2022 spring semester dean's list at Simmons University in Boston.

* Laura Gaynor, Acton
* Emma Bethel, Acton
* Celia Morse, Acton
* Olivia Palmer, Concord
* Amanda Tong, Concord
* Emma Wilcoxson, Concord

To qualify for dean's list status, undergraduate students must obtain a grade point average of 3.5 or higher, based on 12 or more credit hours of work in classes using the letter grade system.

Located in the heart of Boston, Simmons is a respected private university offering more than 50 majors and programs for undergraduate women and graduate programs open to all on campus, in blended formats, or entirely online in nursing and health sciences, liberal arts, business, communications, social work, public health, and library and information science. Follow Simmons on Twitter at @SimmonsUniv, and on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/school/simmons-university/.

Open Table Expands Capabilities with Purchase of Adjacent Building on Main Street in Maynard

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MAYNARD: Open Table, the Concord and Maynard charity dedicated to fighting hunger and building healthy communities, today announced that it has purchased a building at 39 Main Street in Maynard that is adjacent to its existing pantry and offices. The new annex space will enable Open Table to keep more food onsite and, in turn, better support its growing client base with both on-site food distribution as well as its prepared meals and its growing mobile programs.

A standalone building located directly behind the Open Table food pantry at 33 Main Street, the annex has a 3000-square-foot main floor with high ceilings  as well as  an additional 1500 square feet of storage on the second floor. The building’s combination of size and proximity offer numerous advantages and allow for the possibility of a best use Open Table complex on Main Street in Maynard.

“The new space allows Open Table to be more flexible and adaptable in our programming and use of our existing facilities at 33 Main Street,” said Jeanine Calabria, executive director of Open Table. “For instance, with more food on hand, Open Table can increase the number of people we are serving via partnerships to provide both prepared meals and mobile pantry services. And, for those clients who opt for in-person shopping, we’re also able to offer a wider selection of food and prepared meals.”

Specifically, the new Open Table annex will enable the organization to support:
 
  • In-person shopping at the Maynard pantry, which had been suspended during Covid, will be able to resume;
  • More choice for shoppers who will have a wider variety of produce and other groceries to include in their weekly pantry pick-ups;
  • Expanded mobile programs with dedicated storage and distribution space in the new facility.

With an eye to reaching the estimated 66% of food insecure households in the Metro West area who are not currently accessing a food pantry[1], Open Table hopes to provide more pantry hours during the weekend and early evening hours when more low income and immigrant working families can be served as clients or serve as volunteers.

Currently Open Table distributes bags of groceries, which include fresh produce, proteins, dairy, baked goods, and shelf-stable produces, to over 300 households each week and provides over 1000 prepared meals to clients that hail from the Metro West suburbs.  Open Table has received incredible support from the communities it serves through donations of food and funds, making it possible to continue to address food insecurity in the MetroWest area.

Open Table is a 501(c)(3) established in 1989. Open Table’s mission is to end hunger in our local community by providing healthy food in ways that respect the dignity and diversity of those served. For more information, visit: www.opentable.org.
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Discovery Museum Offers a Month of 1982 Prices

Visitors pay just $2.50 admission from October 1 through 31, 2022
 
ACTON: Discovery Museum announced today that from October 1 through 31, the cost of admission will be $2.50 per person, as the Museum wraps up the celebration of its founding in October 1982 to thank the community for four decades of support. During “Pay and Play Like It’s 1982,” existing discount programs that offer deeper discounts—including $1 admission for EBT/WIC and ConnectorCare Card to Culture card holders, and free admission for active duty military families, teachers, and children under 1—will continue to be honored. Standard admission prices are $15.50 for adults and children ages 1 and up; $14.50 for seniors 60+.  Advance reservations are required to visit and can be made 10 days advance through the Museum’s website www.discoveryacton.org.

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Look Closely at Open Enrollment Choices

September 6, 2022

Once again, it’s the season for football games and back-to-school activities. And if you work for a medium-size or large employer, it will soon be open enrollment season – the time of year when you can review your employee benefits and make changes as needed. What areas should you focus on?

Actually, it’s a good idea to pay close attention to all your benefits. Some of the offerings may have changed from last year — and you might have experienced changes in your own life, too, which might lead you to look for something different from your existing benefits package.

You may want to start with your health insurance. If you’re satisfied with your coverage, and it’s essentially the same as it’s been, you may well want to stick with what you have. However, many employers are increasingly offering high-deductible health plans, which, as the name suggests, could entail more out-of-pocket costs for you. But high-deductible plans may also offer something of benefit: the ability to contribute to a health savings account (HSA). Your HSA contributions are made with pre-tax dollars, so they can reduce your taxable income for the year. Also, your earnings grow tax-free, and your withdrawals are tax-free, provided the money is used for qualified medical expenses. (Withdrawals taken before age 65 that aren’t used for qualified medical expenses are taxable and subject to a 20% penalty; once you reach 65, the penalty no longer applies, although withdrawals are still taxable as income if not used for a qualified expense.)

Your next benefit to consider: Life insurance. Your employer may offer a group life insurance plan, but you’ll want to evaluate whether it’s sufficient for your needs, especially if you’ve experienced changes in your personal situation over the past year, such as getting married or adding a new child. There’s no magic formula for how much life insurance you need — you’ll need to consider a variety of factors, such as your income, family size, mortgage and so on — but it may be necessary to supplement your employer’s coverage with a private policy.

Your employer may also offer disability insurance as a benefit. Some employers’ disability policies are fairly limited, covering only short periods of time, so you may want to consider a private policy. 

Beyond the various insurance policies your employer may offer, you’ll also want to closely look at your 401(k) or similar retirement plan. Typically, you can make changes to your 401(k) throughout the year, but it’s important to make sure your investment selections and contribution amounts are still aligned with your risk tolerance and goals. Also, are you contributing enough to earn your employer’s match, if one is offered? And if you’ve already receiving the match, can you still afford to put in more to your plan if such a move makes sense for you? 

Your employee benefits package can be a valuable part of your overall financial strategy. So, as open enrollment season proceeds, take a close look at what you already have, what’s being offered, and what changes you need to make. It will be time well spent.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor 
Financial Advisor, Alan Bell, Littleton, MA
Edwardjones.com/Alan-Bell
Edward Jones, Member SIPC

Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.
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Gardening Tips from The Acton Garden Club

ACTON: Ordinarily, September is a good time to plant and transplant perennials, trees and shrubs, but the extreme drought situation persists and planting is questionable. It may be that these activities will have to wait until spring:
 
  • Deadleaf daylilies, astilbes, ferns and other perennials that may have dried out in the extreme heat of August. Keep up with weeding in the garden beds.
  • No longer apply fertilizer to your plants so that they can harden off before frost.
  • Shop now for spring bulbs to get the best selection. They may be planted this month. Discard soft bulbs. Follow planting directions that are provided.
  • Rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks love tasty tulips. Use a sprinkle of blood meal or the repellent of your choice when planting to deter them. For particular pesky critters, a bit of chicken wire to fence the area works. Daffodils, alliums and hyacinths are deer and rodent resistant.
  • Dig up summer bulbs, tubers or rhizomes of plants such as gladioli, tuberous begonias, dahlias, caladiums and cannas. Allow them to dry, cut off the leaves and store in mesh bags in a dry, cool, airy space. Most unfinished basements will work well.
  • Check for yellow jackets and bald-faced hornet nests before pruning or shearing. Strike the hedge with a long-handled rake and carefully watch for flying wasps. Ground wasps can also be a problem. Spray in the evening when wasps return to their hole.

In the event that we get adequate rainfall, plant, divide or move early blooming perennials. The general rule is to:
 
  • Divide spring blooming perennials in the fall and fall bloomers in the spring. Divide Hosta (funkia), Hemerocallis (daylily), Dicentra (bleeding heart), Heuchera (coral bells), Pulmonaria (lungwort) and Paeonia (peony) now. Late summer flowering shrubs may be pruned after blooming is complete. Transplant evergreens until the end of the month. Water these plants regularly until Thanksgiving so they have an opportunity to establish themselves.
  • Cut down and dispose of plants that are infected with powdery mildew. The fungus which causes powdery mildew overwinters on infected leaves. Disposing of those plants now can help lessen recurrence of the disease next year. Do not compost infected leaves.
  • Bring houseplants back indoors as nighttime lows start to approach the mid-40’s. Before bringing houseplants inside, check carefully for pests. Aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites are all common pests that may hitchhike indoors where they will eventually become a problem.
 
  • Adjust plants slowly to the new conditions. Avoid overwatering after the plants return indoors.


Submitted by Judy Dembsey for the Acton Garden Club. For information about the club, go to www.actongardenclub.org
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Working Parents Fall Playgroups at First Connections

ACTON: In this playgroup for children age 12-36 months, parents will have the opportunity to connect with other working parents, to talk about challenges of balancing parenthood and work, and to learn about resources in the community for them and their children. Much of the group time will be free play for the children, where they can explore age-appropriate toys and simple activities, interact with other children and investigate new toys and activities. Each meeting will end with a circle time with songs and a book.

This group will be facilitated by Rachael Morris, First Connections volunteer, Concord Public Schools elementary school teacher, and experienced working parent.  This group will meet 7 times between September 17 and November 12, from 9:30-10:30a, at First Connections.  
Masks required for adults, subject to change during the session. Younger siblings in carriers welcome. Group limited to 10 families or 20 people. One or both parents are welcome.

First Connections also has space in three parent-child playgroups this Fall for 2-5 year olds. Groups are free of charge and open to anyone living in Acton, Bedford, Boxboro, Carlisle, Concord, Harvard, Lincoln, Littleton, Maynard, Sudbury, Westford and Hanscom AFB.
 
  • Preschool Social-Emotional Playgroup will meet on Thursdays from 10-11 at our playspace in Acton. The facilitator will help kids (ages 3-5) identify and name feelings, take turns, recognize others' feelings, and participate in collaborative play. This indoor group requires masks for ages 3+.
  • Nature Playgroup is an outdoor exploration group that will meet at the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge Maynard entrance on Wednesdays, 1:30-2:30. Families with children age 3-6 will explore the trails and wetlands, and observe Fall changes, along with a new book each week!
  • A Mandarin Storytime will meet in Concord this Fall on Wednesdays, 10:30-11:15.  Children with a parent or caregiver are welcome to join this program of read aloud stories, introduction to Chinese characters, and language exercises. Jasmine Wang is a seasoned children's Mandarin language instructor and dynamic story teller. This is a Mandarin immersion experience. Siblings outside the 2-5 age group are welcome.

Masks policy will follow host facility  (currently mask optional). To register for any playgroup email lmatthews@jri.org

FINANCIAL FOCUS: Prepare Yourself for a Long Retirement

August 29, 2022

We all want to live long lives. We all expect to live long lives. But are we financially prepared for this longevity?  Before we get to the issue of preparation, let’s look at a couple of interesting findings from a 2022 survey by Age Wave and Edward Jones:
 
  • The surveyed retirees said, on average, they expect to live to 89, and they said the ideal length of retirement is 29 years.
  • When asked if they want to live to 100, nearly 70% of the respondents said “yes.” The main reason for this desire for long life? To spend more years with their family and friends.

Of course, none of us can see into the future and know how long we’ll be around. But with advances in medical care and a greater awareness of healthy lifestyles, these aspirations have a real basis in reality.

However, if you’re going to enjoy a longer lifespan, and the extra years with your loved ones, you need to ensure your finances are also in good shape. How can you make this happen?  Here are some basic steps to follow:
 
  • Save and invest early and often. This may be the oldest piece of financial advice, but it’s still valid. The earlier you start saving and investing for your retirement, the greater your potential accumulation. Consider this: If you began saving just $5,000 per year at age 25, and earned a hypothetical 6.5% annual rate of return, and didn’t take any early withdrawals, you’d end up with $935,000 by the time you reached 65. But if you waited until 35 to start saving and investing, and you earned the same hypothetical 6.5% return – again with no early withdrawals – you’d only end up with $460,000. And if you didn’t start saving until 45, you’d end up with just over $200,000, again given the same 6.5% return. 
  • Be mindful of debt. You may not  want to be burdened with certain debts when you enter retirement. So, while you’re still working, try to reduce unwanted debts, particularly those that don’t offer the financial benefits of tax-deductible interest payments. The lower your debt load, the more you can save and invest for the future.
  • Keep reviewing your progress. It’s important to monitor the progress you need to make toward achieving your goal of a comfortable retirement. Over the short term, your investment balances may fluctuate, especially in volatile financial markets such as we’ve seen in the early part of this year. But you’ll get a clearer picture of your situation if you look at long-term results. For example, have your accounts grown over the past 10 years as much as you had planned? And going forward, do you think you’re in good shape, or will you need to make some changes to your investment strategy? Keep in mind that, if you’re 50 or older, you can make “catch-up” contributions to your IRA and 401(k) that allow you to exceed the regular limits. You may also want to adjust your investment mix as you near retirement to potentially lower your risk exposure.

Hopefully, you will enjoy many years of a healthy, happy retirement. And you can help support this vision by carefully considering your financial moves and making the ones that are right for you. 

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor
Financial Advisor, Mandy Calouro, Chelmsford, MA
Edwardjones.com/Mandy-Calouro, Edward Jones, Member SIPC
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Discovery Museum Welcomes New Board Member Sahana Purohit

ACTON: Discovery Museum is pleased to welcome Sahana Purohit to its Board of Directors. Sahana Purohit is an active member of the Acton community, having served in leadership and volunteer positions for many town committees and projects. She most recently served as a member of the Acton Finance Committee.  Sahana also served on the Acton 2020 Comprehensive Community Planning Committee and on the Town Manager Search Committee in 2018. She has been a key player in several successful, major outreach projects, securing $17M dollars from the state for the Kelley’s Corner Infrastructure Project and $11M from the town for the North Acton Fire Station project. Sahana was on the Steering Committee for The League of Women Voters in Acton for 12 years and served as both the League Co-Chair and Education Committee Chair. She has also successfully organized the League’s famous Civics Bee for nine years, a community building activity involving both students and community leaders.

In 2020, Sahana was awarded the Commonwealth Heroine Award by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women, recommended by Senator Jamie Eldridge.

Sahana holds a BS in Math and Economics and an MS in Statistics from Bangalore University in India. She has extensive work experience as a software engineer and as a real estate analyst in both residential and commercial real estate.  
 
“We are thrilled to add Sahana to our Board as the Museum both celebrates its 40 years in the community and begins to plan for the next 40 years,” said Harry Hollenberg, Board Chair. “She will be an impactful addition to our Finance Committee, and her public policy perspective will be invaluable as we continue to look for new ways to serve our wide community.”

Sahana and her husband, Srini, have been Acton residents for close to 17 years and their son is a proud graduate of Acton-Boxborough Regional High School. Sahana and her family have been strong supporters of the Discovery Museum for many years, with her son volunteering at the Museum throughout high school.
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Acton, Roche Bros. Pave Way for Kelley's Corner Block Party

ACTON: The Town of Acton and Roche Bros. are paving the way for the Kelley’s Corner Block Party on September 10 from 2-4pm. at the intersection of routes 27 and 111. The focus is on the small businesses located there and getting the local community excited about supporting them. Party festivities will include the following: face painting, a foam party, and other children’s activities; interactive tables hosted by businesses and local groups; discounts; live music; raffles; and much more.

Free parking will be available at the former Kmart lot, from where attendees can walk a short distance to Acton Plaza, where a Roche Bros. supermarket is located. Once at the event site, where admission will be free, attendees can enjoy all of the Block Party's fun attractions.
 
Town Hall is preparing for its big construction project in Kelley’s Corner - at the 27/111 intersection. As a result, the town's Economic Development Office wants residents to continue shopping at the numerous businesses located there.
 
The Economic Development Office is hosting the Kelley’s Corner Block Party with generous support from the Rotary Club of Acton-Boxborough. The Town will apply every dollar received to events to support the local economy. While the Block Party offers free admission to the public, all the costs to organize the event are funded through sponsorships and donations. This community-building event's success depends on local businesses, whose time and commitment are what make exciting events like this possible and Acton such an amazing place to live, shop, dine, and have fun!
 
For more information, contact Julie Pierce Onos, director of Acton's Economic Development Office, at either (978) 929-6611 or jpierceonos@actonma.gov.
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River Clean-up Volunteers Needed!

ACTON: OARS needs volunteers to help spread out across the Sudbury, Assabet and Concord river watershed to clean up rivers, streams, ponds and trails! This year marks the 36th Annual River Clean-up which will be hybrid and take place September 16 thru 18. Every year OARS relies on the support of volunteers and local businesses to keep our rivers clean. Local business owners are also encouraged to reach out and find out how company teams can get involved in this year’s clean-up. Visit www.oars3rivers.org to find out how to join in!

OARS is a nonprofit, science-based organization whose mission is to protect, improve and preserve the Assabet, Sudbury and Concord River watersheds for all people and wildlife. The watershed includes: Acton, Ashland, Bedford, Berlin, Boxboro, Billerica, Carlisle, Concord, Framingham, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lincoln, Maynard, Marlboro, Northborough, Lowell, Saxonville, Stow, Southborough, Sudbury, Tewksbury, Wayland and Westborough.
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Maynard Emblem Club Clothing & More Fundraiser

MAYNARD: Maynard Emblem Club #205 is holding their annual Savers Fundraiser.  They  are collecting used clothing, purses, shoes, accessories, backpacks, bedding, linens, curtains and other textiles such as decorative pillows. Call Kim at 978-897-9907 or email kim.lalli@comcast.net to schedule drop-off or pick-up. They'll be collecting items until October 29. All money raised will be used to help local charities.