Upcoming events and news about the sounding area of Rocky Mount North Carolina Eastern North Carolina, promoting the New Belmont Lake Community and Golf Club.

Even workers who love their jobs have dreams of a happy retirement, but giving up the daily grind is easier said than done. The transition from employee to retiree is a daunting one in the best of circumstances, but a lack of preparation can make things much worse.

Whether you are planning your exit from the workforce next year or a decade from now, it is important to be as prepared as possible. Hopefully, you have been diligently saving for your post-work life, socking away money in your 401(k), fully funding your IRA each year and building a balanced portfolio you can rely on once those paychecks stop.

Even so, it never hurts to be overly prepared, and few retirees fret that they saved too much or spent too much time getting ready for life after work. As your chosen retirement date approaches, it is time to ramp up your preparation, not slack off. Here are six essential steps you should be taking before you sign that resignation letter and pick up your gold watch.

  • Track your spending. Knowing how much you are spending now is an essential first step to determining how much you might spend once you retire. As your retirement date approaches, take the time to carefully track your spending for at least six months. You may be surprised at what you find.
  • Categorize your expenses. Tracking your current spending will give you a baseline to work from, but you need to delve deeper to create a realistic post-retirement budget. Categorizing your current spending is important, since some expenses will go away once you retire, while others will increase. Once you are done working, you will likely spend less on clothes and commuting but more on hobbies and leisure activities. Quantifying these changes will help you develop the spending discipline you will need to make your money last.
  • Review your health insurance options. The cost of health insurance looms large for most retirees, and you need to be prepared for these new expenses. If you are retiring early, you will need to review your health insurance options and assess the cost of an individual policy. Even if you are 65 and eligible for Medicare, you will still need to budget for a Medicare supplement plan. The government health insurance  program for the elderly pays just 80 percent of eligible expenses, so you will need a supplement to cover the rest.
  • Assess your portfolio. The transition from worker and saver to retiree and spender can be a difficult one, and it will almost certainly involve a rebalancing of your portfolio. Now is the time to review your investment choices, including how much you have in the stock market and how much is in income-producing vehicles like bonds and certificates of deposit. Since you will be relying largely on the income your portfolio produces, getting this right will be critical to your retirement success.
  • Seek out new forms of income. When you are working, you rely mainly on a single source of income, namely your regular paycheck. When you retire, you will need to replace that income, but you do not have to put all your eggs in one basket. Developing multiple streams of income will give you extra flexibility in retirement, so that should be one of your biggest priorities. If you are eligible for a company pension or plan to sign up for Medicare when you retire, that can be one stream of income. You can develop other income streams through investments in dividend-paying stocks, holdings in bond funds, bank CDs and so on. You may also choose to work part time, start a home-based business or do some freelancing. Taken together, these additional streams of income can help you stretch your portfolio further and give you more flexibility throughout your retirement years.
  • Build flexibility into your post-retirement spending plan. Flexibility is the watchword when planning for retirement, but you will need to remain flexible as you enter your retirement years. Developing multiple streams of income can enhance your flexibility, as can changing your withdrawal rate in response to market conditions. If your goal is to withdraw 4 percent of your portfolio per year, you could adjust that to 5 percent when your portfolio has a good year but cut it back to 3 percent or even less when the economy, and the market, hits a rough patch. Building flexibility into your portfolio and your post-retirement spending is one way to make your money last and give you additional peace of mind.

Whether you love your job or hate it, retirement is likely one of your biggest goals. How you prepare for your post-work life can make all the difference in the world, and the sooner you get started, the better off you and your finances will be.

The Parks and Recreation Department will be celebrating Valentine’s Day by sponsoring not just one Rocky mount Holiday Event, but three separate dances. The department will recognize the bond between mother and son with the its first ever Mother & Son Dance from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday at the Booker T. Theater in downtown Rocky Mount.

“As we thought about what we wanted to do for our community for Valentine’s Day, we knew we wanted something different,” said Heather White, recreation supervisor for the city of Rocky Mount. “Many of us are parents, or hope to be parents, and we recognize how important the mother and son relationship is for a young man. We thought this would be a great way to highlight that.”

This Rocky Mount Holiday Event  is for women with boys ages 5 to 15. Tickets are available in advance or at the door for $20 per couple. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served. Music will include a live DJ and solo artist Evan J.

“We are very excited and look forward to all the memories that will be made,” White said.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Summer Scholarship Fund. For more information, call 252-467-4925.

The department also will sponsor a Rocky Mount Holiday Event with Valentine’s Day dances for students in middle and high school.

The dance for high schoolers will be from 8 p.m. to midnight Friday and the middle school dance will be from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Feb. 14. Both dances will be held at the South Rocky Mount Community Center at 719 Recreation Dr.

Community Center Supervisor Duane Ashmon said each Rocky Mount Holiday Event and all these dances are about celebrating the holiday and having fun.

“We want to give our students a safe environment where they can enjoy the event with their friends, listen to some music and have a great time,” Ashmon said. “We are excited about being able to offer these events to our community.”

A live D.J. will be playing music and refreshments will be available for purchase. Tickets to the events are $5 for high school students and $3 for the middle school dance. Students are strongly encouraged to dress to impress as there will be a best dressed contest with prizes.

Backpacks and bookbags are prohibited. Security will be provided by the Rocky Mount Police Department. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Summer Scholarship Fund.

For more information, call 252-972-1169.

Rocky Mount Children's event

Ringing in the new season, this Friday, June 17, Braswell Memorial Library will host its Summer Reading Kick-Off Party, marking the start of their a Summer Reading Club with the annual Rocky Mount Children’s Event taking place just minutes from your new home at Belmont Lake Preserve.

The Rocky Mount Children’s Event, which is held every June, will start at 10:00 a.m. and run until 1:00 p.m. on the back lawn and pavilion area of the library located at 727 North Grace Street. The “Summer Reading Kick Off Party is aimed at encouraging the children to sign up for the Reading Club, which this Summer is following the theme of “On Your Mark, Get Set…READ!”

This Friday’s Rocky Mount Children’s Event will feature much more than just sign-ups, however, with games, snacks, and fun activities for the kids throughout the day. Several special guests will also be on hand to greet the kids, including, the Chik-Fil-A Cow, Sparky the Firedog, McGruff the Crime Dog, the “Balloon Lady, a stilt walker, and a magician.

The Summer Reading Club at Braswell Memorial Library kicks into full gear immediately following the Kick Off Party on this upcoming Tueday, June 21 and will run throughout the remainder of the month and for the entire month of July as well. For those who sign up for the club, there are prize giveaways for five different age groups ranging from toddlers to adults, where each member and age group has goals set for them to reach, goals earns the prizes once they have reached their different goal throughout the program. A full schedule for the Summer Reading Club can be seen here.

The five different groups for the Summer Reading Club are:

  • Read-to-Me Group– This group consist of toddlers and preschool age children whose parents, older brothers or sisters, or caregiver reads to them. Once they have had 30 books read to them this Summer, they receive a prize book of their choosing.
  • Elementary Reader Group– This is the first age group that reads by themselves. They get to choose their prize book once they have finished 15 books this summer.
  • Young Adult Group– This group gets into reader longer and more advanced books and once they have finished seven of these, they get to select their prize.
  • Adult Group– Adults are encouraged to get in on the reading club as well. By turning in their “Reading Record Sheets” weekly, they earn a small prize and are entered into the grand prizes drawing to be held on the club’s final day, July 30.
  • Genealogy/History Group– Another group for the adults, this one focuses on those readers interested in their family lineage and history. These members will also earn a small prize for turning in “Reading Record Sheets” each week and in doing so will be entered in the grand prizes drawing as well.



Rocky Mount Mills 5K

Advertised as “Not Your Run of the Mill 5K,” the Rocky Mount community will come together just minutes away from your new home at Belmont Lake Preserve to enjoy a day combining active lifestyle, with great local music, and some delicious local food, all to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis as a part of the Rocky Mount Mills 5K on Saturday, June 4.

The Rocky Mount Mills 5K race itself will begin at 9:00 am, following a 90 minute period that starts at 7:30 where any entrants can come to pick up there packet for the day. The actual running/walking portion of the days events at the rocky Mount Mills 5K will start and finish at The Rocky Mount Mills. The course is set to honor the deep rooted history and scenic beauty of the city of Rocky Mount, as participants will begin by heading down Falls Road and over the Tar River. Heading next to the scenic greenway, which features both wooden paths and paved trails, all who are ”running the course” will enjoy a spectacular view of the Tar River on this route.

From the greenway, the race heads to most major points of historic and scenic value across city limits, as the Rocky Mount Mills 5K takes its runners through or past such local iconic landmarks and sights as City Lake, Sunset Park, and eventually back to Mill Village. There will be awards for the top three finishers in age categories ranging in five year increments, from under 13 years old all the way through 70 plus. The race to the finish line however will only be the beginning of the days festivities at the Rocky Mount Mills 5K, as great food, beverages, live music, and fun awaits once the run is completed.

In case the run at the Rocky Mount Mills 5K worked up anyone’s appetite or thirst, upon return, there will be a Food Truck Rodeo going on from 9:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., featuring a wide variety of both food and beverages. The participants at the “rodeo” will be: Bull Durham Beer Company, Chirba Chirba Dumpling, Chick-N-Que, Chick fil A, Healthy Grill Food Truck, JAM Ice Cream, Koi Pond Brewery, On the Square, and Sweet Taters Brewery and Restaurant.

On top of all of the great exercise and then the scrumptious tatstes of the food truck offerings, there will also be the grooving sounds of a band with local roots right in Rocky Mount and the Wilson area, Matty Begs. Described as having a “funky beach jam sound,” Matty Begs has played at colleges, taverns, and beaches across the southeast and will be providing the live soundtrack on Saturday, June 4, for the great time being had by all at the Rocky Mount Mills 5K.

The Rocky Mount Mills 5K will start at the “Mills,” located at 1151 Falls Road in Rocky Mount. Although not directly affiliated with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, due to many personal connections to friends and family of those involved with the event battling this awful ailment, all proceeds will be donated to the charity. For further information on signing up for the Rocky Mount Mills 5K or any other details on the event, visit mill5k.com.

Rocky Mount Paws in the Park

Minutes away from your new home in the premier North Carolina golf and retirement community,  Belmont Lake Preserve, at Rocky Mount’s beautiful “Best Friend’s Dog Park,” pet owners are welcome to come out on Saturday, April 9 and take part in “a day for the dogs” at the 6th annual Rocky Mount Paws in the Park event featuring a day full of free family fun showcasing “man’s best friend.”

The all-free Rocky Mount Paws in the Park event promotes responsibility in pet ownership and the humane treatments of dogs, with a full day of contests and special events. Kicking off the day’s festivities at 10:00 a.m. will be the Grand Opening ceremonies for the new Agility Park (Phase 2 of the Best Friend’s Dog Park.) Following this, at 11:00, the dogs will take center stage, as contests taking place at the Dog Park, located at 480 Lee Street, adjacent to Sunset Park are scheduled to include, a Pet Fashion Show, as well as Pet Costume and Look-a-Like Competitions, in addition to a wide array of vendors, food trucks, and music to keep all entertained throughout the day.

The very special Masters of Ceremonies at the Rocky Mount Paws in the Park will be the popular deejay from “Rock City” 99.3 FM, David Perkins, and ABC 11 Eyewitness News’ Gloria Rodriguez. Also, back by popular demand at this years’ Rocky Mount Paws in the Park event will be the acrobatic and incredible “K-9’s in Flight” Frisbee dogs. Described as the “premier K-9 sports entertainers in the world,” these dogs and their trainers are sure to provide some high flying fun that the entire family is certain to enjoy.

There will also be the opportunity for those in attendance to adopt a dog at the 6th Annual Rocky Mount Paws in the Park, for anyone interested in leaving the event with a brand new pet. The sponsors for the event include, Pet’s Best Friend, Rocky Mount Telegram, Life Exposed (Photos by Lindsey), Crossdogs, Target, Rocky Mount Parks and Recreation Department, and radio stations, 98.5 FM “The Big Dawg,” Power 95.5 FM, and 99.3 FM Rock City.

For more information on this and all other upcoming Summer Family Events in Rocky Mount, visit rockymountnc.gov.