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Couples may be losing $250,000 in social security benefits

By David Guttery A typical American couple may be leaving up to $250,000 on the table in Social Security earnings because they do not know the best strategy for when to take benefits. Recent surveys conducted by Financial Engines, an independent investment adviser, have shown that 75 percent of the respondents taking an eight-question test about Social Security received a “C” grade or less when tested about ...

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A little idea to save big money for Alabama taxpayers: Switch fonts

By Slade Blackwell Earlier this year, I read about sixth-grader Suvir Mirchandani from Pittsburgh who found that his local school district could save thousands of dollars each year simply by switching font styles. What started as about $21,000 in savings at the local level quickly ballooned to more than $136 million each year when applied to the U.S. federal government. It seems like such a good idea, why n ...

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Inside the Statehouse: A familiar face pulls upset, wins 1994 governor race

By Steve Flowers When Guy Hunt won the governor’s race over Bill Baxley in 1986 it was well publicized that he was a part-time Primitive Baptist preacher. He was also billed as a part-time Amway salesman. These common man vocations appealed to the average Alabama voter. It was Hunt’s calling as a Baptist preacher that resonated warmly with his constituency. Alabamians are very religious and very Baptist. Hu ...

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Downsizing to live small in my house, Part 2

By Dave Parrish This time, I’ll continue my downsizing/rightsizing efforts (see the Sept. 3 column for the starting points). I discussed that after years in the acquisition mode, I have arrived, as have many, to a place where more isn’t better. I discussed the fullness of my closet, and how I got rid of things I no longer needed. Next, we moved to the kitchen, no less daunting of a task. First, the easy stu ...

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Inside the Statehouse: 1990 governor race becomes a fray

By Steve Flowers When Guy Hunt took office as the first Republican governor in January 1987 not much was expected of him. After all, he’d been elected only because of the backlash resulting from the handpicking of Bill Baxley over Charlie Graddick by the Democratic Party leadership. Few people voted for Hunt because they thought he was the better choice or that his credentials rendered him more qualified. H ...

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Inside the Statehouse: 1986 governor’s race won by unlikely candidate

By Steve Flowers The 1986 governor’s race will be remembered as one of Alabama’s most amazing political stories. In 1978 Fob James sent the Three Bs -- Brewer, Beasley and Baxley -- packing. Brewer and Beasley had been permanently exiled to Buck’s Pocket, the mythical destination for defeated Alabama gubernatorial candidates. However, Bill Baxley resurrected his political career by bouncing back to be elect ...

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A divided America remembers 9/11

By Scott Buttram TRUSSVILLE -- Our world and our psyche irrevocably changed 13 years ago today. The Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center towers marked the beginning of a time with no foreseeable end. As Sept. 11, 2014 dawns, we find ourselves very much in the same situation. Still at war with terror. Still shocked by the atrocities. Still, at least somewhat, living in fear. Following th ...

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Obama targets Alabama’s economy for political reasons

By Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn The Burger King Corporation’s recent decision to relocate its headquarters to Canada, where tax rates for large companies are substantially lower, offers us chilling proof that the dangerous and destructive anti-business policies implemented by President Barack Obama and D.C. Democrats are harming the U.S. economy. Rather than calling for a top-to-bottom review and possible lowerin ...

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Inside the Statehouse: Someone not named Wallace begins time as governor

By Steve Flowers As George Wallace presumably faded into the sunset, Fob James took the reigns of Alabama state government in January 1979. James’ inauguration was a somewhat strange event, as Alabamians were used to a Wallace being sworn in as governor every fourth January since 1963. It had been 20 years since someone other than George or Lurleen Wallace had taken the oath on the steps of the Capitol wher ...

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Downsizing to live small in my house, Part 1

By Dave Parrish After years in the acquisition mode, I have arrived, as have many, to a place where more isn’t better. I’ve spent considerable energy lately to consider next steps and invariably I return to the conclusion that there is much to be said for downsizing. Downsizing isn’t nearly as simple as it may seem, although in the end it offers a simpler, more focused existence. It’s definitely a change in ...

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