ly took this job because I could work part-time while finishing graduate school. Then, as the end of my graduate degree came, I couldn’t see my future without TSN. I planned to stay a few more months, but over and over again I found myself unable to picture my life without Toledo Streets Newspaper. I have realized that working here is as much about helping the vendors shape and imagine new futures as it is about shaping mine. If you are a loyal reader of the paper, you are probably tired of me saying that TSN has changed my life in ways I could have never imagined. But it has and it still does and I hope to have it continue to do so in the future. Toledo Streets Newspaper is action. Our staff and our vendors don’t have the luxury of sitting around hoping for goals and future plans. We act. Not only are we working to create a future filled with less homelessness, but we are working towards a future of worthiness. A future in which we all have a seat and a voice at the proverbial table. A future that removes the isolation, guilt, shame, and loneliness that being without creates. That is my future and my focus. I am just lucky that I get to work at a place where I get to be part of creating that future one increment, one moment of hope, one paper sold at a time. And you get to be a part of it too, maybe without even knowing the brick you laid in building our path to a better future. I could not tell you where I will be a year from today. This job has taught me that trying to predict the unpredictable is not a good use of my time. But what I do know? We will continue. I will continue. Vendors will continue. You will continue. Continue to work towards a future that we can all be a part of. Future Focused By Lauren Webber Have you ever heard this saying? “The best time to plant an oak tree is 50 years ago. The second-best time to plant an oak tree is today.” We can’t change the past, but we can start to think about the future today. When I think about my future, financial security certainly comes to mind today. There are many questions to consider when saving for your future. How much money might I need every year to live comfortably in retirement? When do I want to retire? Will I have excess savings to share with my children or grandchildren? Will I still be able to make a charitable donation to Toledo Streets Newspaper every year? These questions can build up (compound, if you will), and quickly become overwhelming. This is where the miracle of compounding interest comes in to ease your troubled mind and save the day! Compounding interest is the idea of earning interest on interest. Rule of thumb to always remember: A dollar saved today is worth more than a dollar saved tomorrow. Here’s an example of compounding interest in action. Suzy Spender loves to live in the moment. Suzy is not thinking about her life 30 years from now. Instead, she’s online shopping every paycheck, treating herself to five-dollar gourmet coffees twice a day, and trading in her vehicle for the newest model every year. Over the next two decades, Suzy becomes more successful at work, but her spending tendencies have remained the same, and she has not contributed to a retirement account. Suzy realizes she should start to catchup her savings, so she contributes about as much as she can per year for ten years. For Suzy, this means foregoing that second vacation home she had her eye on and adding $1,000 per month to her retirement for the next ten years. After ten years of future-focused living, Suzy will have personally contributed $120,000 to her retirement account. Let’s assume she earns an interest rate of 8%. At the end of 10 years, Suzy will have about $183,000, so she has earned $63,000 on her retirement. Sounds good right? Well, wait until you hear about Prudent Penny. Prudent Penny is just getting her career started. She packs her lunch for work every day to save those few extra dollars. Penny is also working hard to pay off her car, which she plans to keep as long as possible, and she loves her local second-hand store. Styles are just cyclical after all, right? Since Penny has her eye on a comfy future with minimal stress, she’s decided to make retirement contributions a priority today. Penny can afford to add $200 to her retirement each month. She’s a consistent lady, so Prudent Penny ends up sticking with a $200 monthly contribution for the next 30 years. At the end of this period (keep in mind this is the same length of time Suzy Spender lived frivolously and then caught up her savings at the end), Penny has personally contributed $72,000 to her retirement. At the end of the period, with the same 8% interest rate, Penny now has over $298,000. Moral of the story: Start saving today rather than tomorrow! There’s plenty of other strategies to consider when planning for your financial future but recognizing the benefit of compounding interest is a must as far as I am concerned. Where Do We Grow From Here? By Candace Bishop Looking back over the past nine months there have been many unanticipated outcomes of this year. So many new entrepreneurs have been established this year, and so many businesses have been challenged with hard times. The events of this year have challenged professionals to work remotely from a home, the one place that many of us established to separate us from our work. Direct service workers are working above and beyond a typical work week because they are essential. For many students, they have quickly adapted to new learning styles, which has altered the daily routines of many parents throughout our community. So many topics have been in the forefront of discussion this year such as racial equality/equity, housing stability, unemployment, COVID-19 and many more. 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