Bonnie Meibers / Forum News Service
Seniors can start taking Social Security the first month they turn 62. But is that always the most financially sound choice? Experts say there are several factors to consider before doing so. For those born between 1943 and 1954, the “full retirement age” is 66 years old. The full retirement age goes up two months every year after 1954 until 1960 when it is age 67, said Patty Hoffman, a public affairs specialist for the Social Security Administration. For example, the “full retirement age” for someone born in 1956 is 66 years and four months.
Monday is the best day of the week to get gas, according to a new study. GasBuddy found that Mondays offer the lowest average gas price in 30 states. That’s true if you’re filling up in North Dakota or South Dakota, but not true if you’re in Minnesota. “If you’re in North Dakota on Monday, pick up some fuel, but if you’re driving toward Minnesota and can wait a day, pick it up on Tuesday there,” said Dan McTeague, a senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.
WASHINGTON — Are you a millennial looking to move out of your mom's basement? Then Minnesota or North Dakota may be the state for you. A recent study by personal-finance website WalletHub ranked Minnesota and North Dakota as two of the best states for millennials.
GRAND FORKS - Gas prices in North Dakota and Minnesota have increased about 8.5 cents per gallon the past week, a trend experts say will continue into late spring. Prices at the pump usually start to increase after Valentine’s Day and continue to climb until April or May, according to Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for fuel price tracking company GasBuddy. “Last year, prices peaked around Memorial Day weekend, but it may be closer to April this year,” DeHaan said.
HALLOCK, Minn. — The Gateway Motel and Museum in Hallock has 10 rooms. During pipeline construction, each room is filled and the workers are outside on the patio between the motel and museum grilling food bought from the grocery store, talking with locals or drinking a beer at the bar down the block. Mikey Totleben is the owner of the motel. He said he caters to construction workers and was depending on the work on the pipeline coming through town this summer.
GRAND FORKS - Because of the incoming severe weather, Xcel Energy has released a list of winter weather safety tips. "We understand how inconvenient it can be to lose power, and that's why we monitor the forecast," said Troy Browen, senior director of control center operations for Xcel in a release. In the release, Xcel advises customers to stay away from downed power lines, build a home emergency kit and to use a space heater with caution. Never leave a space heater unattended, the release said. Other tips in the release include:
GRAND FORKS - As tax season approaches, many are just now thinking about tax preparation, but some experts say that is already too late. “It’s more about planning than anything else,” said Cathi Feeley, a financial adviser with Alerus. People need to start thinking about their taxes as early as September, Feeley said. “At that point there is actually something you can do to change how much you get back,” Feeley said. “You can actually take action then, if you notice you’re being over-withheld or under-withheld.”
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- What happens to your 401(k) when the market is volatile? For investors, the constant ups and downs can be seen as cause to worry, but experts say this is not the case. Senior retirement adviser for Alerus Rob Woytassek said that investors are affected little day to day and in the long term by market volatility if they are invested within their means. “If you’re investing too aggressively you could see your retirement date pushed back (because of market volatility),” Woytassek said.
GRAND FORKS — North Dakota is nationally known for its oil and gas production, which are both at all-time highs. The state is also abundant in renewable energy resources, contributing more than $170 million in economic activity to the state, according to a North Dakota State University study. Renewable energy pays more than $7.7 million in property taxes in North Dakota, the study found. Minnesota doesn’t produce fossil fuels, but has significant renewable energy resources. Renewable generation supplied about a quarter of Minnesota’s electricity in 2017.