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March 9, 2011     The Florala News
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March 9, 2011
 

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on Community Bankers Association of Alabama www.mychaa.com Older American Debt Many older Americans--defined as those 55 and over--face daunting financial challenges. As a result of the lingering recession, they have experienced unex- pected job losses, reduced income during what would have been their higher earning years, and dwindling retirement savings. In addition, many have incurred dangerously high levels of debt. The result has been a spike in bankruptcies among this group. While older Americans normally account for a smaller percentage of bankruptcy filings, they are continuing to grow faster than younger individu- als. Those 55 to 84 years of age accounted for 16.9 per- cent of filings in 2009, up from 14.3 percent in 2007, according to the Consumer Bankruptcy Project. Studies indicate that two primary factors contrib- uted to the escalating levels of bankruptcy. The one cited most often is credit cards. When we think of credit card debt, younger people-- those who grew up in a world of easy credit--come to mind. But, surprisingly, older bankruptcy tilers have about 50 percent more credit card debt than their younger counterparts. In 2007, for example, older til- ers had median credit card debt of $22,562 compared to $13,615 for younger tilers. The second reason for elderly bankruptcies is health problems and the burden of staggering medical bills. Almost a third of seniors who filed for bankruptcy stated that they had incurred out-of-pocket medical costs comprising more than 10 percent of their annual income. What does the future hold for this group? Unfor- tunately, the outlook for the immediate future is not good. Unemployment among seniors--7.2 percent in September versus 2.9 percent four years ago---is high and shows no sign of abating. And those who are em- ployed are earning less because hours have been cut and bonuses eliminated. And, most critically, when the economy recovers, many will not have time for their financial holdings to recover. and e in, 5tee/ Mr. and Mrs. Thalon P. Hobbs are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter, Amanda Earnestine, to Kevin Christopher Steele of Mobile, Alabama. The beautiful garden wedding took place at sunset on Friday, February 18, 2011 in Mobile. The bride was given in marriage by her father and was attended by her good friend, Jennie Weaver. The groom had the honor of having his sons Ethan, age 9, and Caleb, age 7, at his side. Many friends and relatives were in attendance to witness the joyful occasion. There will be a fall reception to honor the couple at the L&N Depot/Tyner Station on Saturday, October 15, 2011. The couple will continue to reside in Mobile. Florala Health and Rehab Feb. Resident of the Month Florala Health and Rehab Jan. Resident of the Month Florala Health and Rehab announces its Resident of the Month for February 2011, Mr. Willis Crutchfield. Mr. Crutchfield if from Roberts, AL, which is located near Brew- ton, AL. He was born in Brewton on November 4, 1924. He was a brick mason until he retired when he was 65. He served in the Army Air Corps as an Air Crewman during World War H in France and Germany. He is a member of Elim Baptist Church located in Roberts, AL. Willis was married to Mary Fuqua Crutchfield for over 55years before her death in 2006. He has two children, Gail and Gerald. Mr. Crutchfield also has 4 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. He was an avid fisherman and a pretty good hunter. If it was mechanical and broken, Wil- lis could fix it, and if it needed building, he could build it. Now, Mr. Crutchfield spends his day wheeling through the halls of the facility, stopping every now and then to bring laughter to someone's day. One day while sitting and look- ing out the window, Mr. Crutchfield saw some crows. He looked with amazement and shouted out, "Ya'll got some of the biggest crows that I have ever seen! They look like buzzards!" FH&R is honored and pleased to know that Mr. THE FLORALA NEWS- WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9, 2011 • PAGE 5 • Social Security electronic Florala Health and Rahab announces its Resident of the Month for January 2011, Mr. Clarence Bush. Mr. Bush has been a long-term resident of Florala Health and Rehab since 2007. He was born in Covington County on February 19, 1918. Mr. Bush is the proud father of 3, grandfather of 7 and great-grandfather to 10. He is a proud veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served 4 years. He was also a farmer and worked in the textile industry. Today, Mr. Bush spends his "time watching TV, playing games on his lap top, sit- ting in the day room observing the traffic of people coming Willis Crutchfield is part of their family. and going, participating in a number of activities within the facility, and last but definitely not least, Mr. Bush s favor- ite activity is visiting with his family. Mr. Clarence Bush is ] 8 ~z~l~Ual ~?~C~ti2)al O~ ~7~loH)e~,~ nothing less than a joy to have as part of the FH&R Fam- ily. SUTTLES FROM FRONT tles picture were handed ,: i .............. out to businesses along the Florida-Alabama line. In addi- ~e~i 1I:. i~t~ H~ AI Ttt.SPtlI.N~ The Largest Flower Show in the Southeast tion, the sheriffs office also placed numerous newspaper March 24-27, 2011. Providence Hospital • Mobile, AL Tickets: Toll-free 877.777.0529 ° www.festivalofflowers.com ads seeking Suttles' location. Hundreds of man-hours were spent in trying to appre- hend Suttles and he was considered one of the most highly sought after fugitives in Walton County before his arrest in Georgia. payments are by Kylle' D. McKinney Social Security Public Affairs Montgomery, AL Specialist must For years, Social Security has stressed the convenience, security, and safety of getting benefit payments electroni- cally. Soon, direct deposit (or Direct Express) will not only be the best way to receive Federal benefit payments -- it will be the only way. That's because the U.S. Department of the Treasury an- nounced a new rule that will phase out paper checks for Federal benefit and non-tax payments by March 1, 2013. Here is how the transition will work. Anyone applying for Social Security or Supplemental Se- curity Income (SSI) benefits on or after May 1, 2011, will receive their payments electronically, while those already receiving paper checks will need to switch to electronic pay- ments by March 1, 2013. Anyone already receiving their benefit payments elec- tronically will continue to receive their payment as usual on their payment day. People receiving benefits have the option of direct de- posit to a bank or credit union account (of their choice) or into a Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card account (a Treasury-recommended prepaid card option). Visit www. GoDirect.org to learn more. Social Security, SSI, Veterans Affairs, Railroad Retire- ment Board, Office of Personnel Management benefits, and other non-tax payments are included. For most people getting monthly benefits, this won't re- ally be a change; already 8 out of 10 beneficiaries receive payments electronically. Why the push for electronic payments instead of paper checks received in the mail? • It's safer: no risk of checks being lost or stolen; • It's easy and reliable: no need to wait for the mail or go to the bank to cash a check; • It saves taxpayers money: no cost for postage and pa- per and printing; • It saves you money: no check-cashing fees or bank fees; and • It's good for the environment: it saves paper and elimi- nates transportation costs. For those who still get your check in the mail, you don't need to wait for the new rule to go into effect to enjoy the benefits of electronic payments. Visit www.godirect.org to- day and begin getting Social Security and SSI payments the safe, easy, inexpensive, and green way -- electroni- cally. DeVaughn complete Army basic training Army Pet. Toi S. DeVaughn has graduated from Basic Combat Training at Fort Sill, Lawton, OK. During the nine weeks of training, the soldier stud- ied the Army mission and received instruction and training exercises in drill and ceremonies, Army his- tory, core values and tra- ditions, military courtesy, military justice, physical fit- ness, first aid, rifle marks- manship, weapons use, map reading and land naviga- tion, foot marches, armed and unarmed combat, and field maneuvers and tactics. She is the daughter of Sonia Brown of Tenth St., Florala. DeVaughn graduated in 2010 from Florala High SUBSCRIBE TODAY! School. Oh, no! It's the Love, Marvin, Hunter, Tasha, Jesse and Jeslyn Lakewood Community Church