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ABLE Accounts: A New Savings Tool for Individuals with Disabilities

If you or a family member has a disability that began before the age of 26, you may be able to benefit from a new type of savings account called an ABLE account. This savings option was made available through the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 that was signed into law in December as part of the tax extenders bill. The ABLE Act authorized the establishment of private tax-advantaged savings accounts that can help you save for long-term expenses without sacrificing eligibility for public benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

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Are stock dividends reliable as a source of income?

Dividends can be an important source of income. However, there are several factors you should take into consideration if you'll be relying on them to help pay the bills.

An increasing dividend is generally regarded as a sign of a company's health and stability, and most corporate boards are reluctant to cut them. However, dividends on common stock are by no means guaranteed; the board can decide to reduce or eliminate dividend payments. Investing in dividend-paying stocks isn't as simple as just picking the highest yield; consider whether the company's cash flow can sustain its dividend, and whether a high yield is simply a function of a drop in a stock's share price. (Because a stock's dividend yield is calculated by dividing the annual dividend by the current market price per share, a lower share value typically means a higher yield, assuming the dividend itself remains the same.)

‘Double Up Food Bucks’ Returns to Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market on July 4

‘Double Up Food Bucks’ Returns to Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market on July 4

 

The popular Elmwood-Bidwell Farmers Market, featuring nearly 40 vendors selling fresh, seasonal and local produce and products, continues on Saturday, July 4. Hours at the open-air market, a program of the Elmwood Village Association, are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday, rain or shine, through November. 

The “Double Up Food Bucks” program is back for a second season and will be available at the market from July 4 through the end of October. The program provides low-income individuals who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits with a $1 for $1 match (up to $20) to purchase fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables. Please visit the Elmwood Village Association table at the market for details. 

Local High Schools to Host Visiting Drums Along the Waterfront Drum Corps

Local High Schools to Host Visiting Drums Along the Waterfront Drum Corps

 

Drums Along the Waterfront Tour of Champions is excited to bring the top eight drum corps in the world to Western New York. The event will be held from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, and all of the corps will be staying at local high schools as they prepare for the big event.

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How important are dividends in the S&P 500's total returns?

In a word, very. Dividend income has represented roughly one-third of the total return on the Standard & Poor's 500 index since 1926.*

According to S&P, the portion of total return attributable to dividends has ranged from a high of 53% during the 1940s--in other words, more than half that decade's return resulted from dividends--to a low of 14% during the 1990s, when the development and rapid expansion of the Internet meant that investors tended to focus on growth.*

And in individual years, the contribution of dividends can be even more dramatic. In 2011, the index's 2.11% average dividend component represented 100% of its total return, since the index's value actually fell by three-hundredths of a point.** And according to S&P, the dividend component of the total return on the S&P 500 has been far more stable than price changes, which can be affected by speculation and fickle market sentiment.

Cheektowaga Native Rose Rustowicz Receives Prestigious Fulbright Award

Cheektowaga Native Rose Rustowicz Receives Prestigious Fulbright Award

 

Rose Rustowicz, a member of the Maryvale High School Class of 2011 and Rochester Institute of Technology Class of 2015, has been offered a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant to Iceland in physical sciences. This announcement was recently made by the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Fewer than 2,000 students in the nation receive this prestigious award each year.

 

PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY PLAYER PLEADS GUILTY FOR ROLE IN GAMBLING RING

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announces that Nathan Paetsch, 28, of Spencerport, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. to transmission of wagering information and structuring transactions to evade reporting requirements. The charges carry a maximum penalty of seven years in prison, a fine of $750,000 or both. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Paetsch will be sentenced to probation, eight months home confinement, and. 400 hours of community service.