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Teach your teen paycheck savvy

by Dex Hubbard

(Money Magazine) -- Congrats! Your kid landed a summer job in this tight, tight economy.

Now, of course, he'll have that $7.25 an hour burning a hole in his pocket. That's where you step in: "Parents have a real opportunity to help teens learn to manage that first paycheck," says Mari Adam, a Boca Raton, Fla., financial adviser. "I can't think of a better learning experience." Share some solid financial strategies with your teen now, and your child may even have some cash left over come September.

Better explain the harsh realities of gross vs. net before your teen gets any big ideas about what she'll spend her wages on. She may not yet understand that taxes will be withheld from every paycheck. So sit down with your child to go over that first pay stub, explaining how and why taxes are taken out, as well as the difference between income taxes (which most teens are likely to get back when they file tax returns) and FICA taxes (which they won't). "This will be a real shock to them," says Adam.

Take it to the bank

Help your kid open two bank accounts -- one savings, one checking. Spend time together comparing fees and rates online, looking specifically for a no-fee checking account meant for teenagers. You'll have to co-sign the accounts, but it's worth it so your kid can start learning to use an ATM card and keep his balance in the black. (Just don't forget to mention the exorbitant costs of using another bank's ATM.)

Your child may balk at an analog check register but might enjoy tracking expenses online via To motivate him, explain about the $30 overdraft fees the bank will rapidly bestow if he messes up budget calculations. And remind him that at minimum wage, it would take most of a day's work to recoup that expense.

Share the savings secret

Deferred gratification is an important lesson. Your teen may not be inspired to stash cash for retirement but may be swayed to the savings habit with a near-term goal, like an iPod Touch or a limo for homecoming. Help her do the math so that she'll know how much to set aside per paycheck to afford her prize by summer's end. Show her how to have that automatically transferred from checking to savings every pay period. As an incentive, offer to match your child's contributions.

Avoid micromanaging

Blowing that first paycheck on shoes that will be out of style before the next check arrives is a rite of passage, isn't it? It's also a "very good lesson," says Rob Gordon, a Coconut Grove, Fla., financial adviser. So let kids have space to make spending decisions, even if they'll end up with buyer's remorse.

There's nothing like having wasted your own hard- earned cash to make you more careful with your money next time.


George Steinbrenner Beats Uncle Sam On Estate Taxes

by Dexter Hubbard


Found this article very reminds me of the song by Kenny Chesney..."Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to go today"...well as far as estate taxes would be a good time (I know...kinda morbid).  With all of the money saved on estate taxes, they could really take hold of some great real estate deals here in Murphy, NC!  Call me with any real estate questions you might have, I'll be glad to help.  Dex Hubbard 828-361-4710 or


George Steinbrenner Beats Uncle Sam On Estate Taxes

By Jill Schlesinger | CBS Jul 13, 2010


George Steinbrenner died today at age 80 — an amazing bit of timing for his heirs. Like Texas billionaire Dan L. Duncan, death comes in the one year when no estate taxes are due. You see, the 2001 Bush tax cuts included a peculiar twist: in tax year 2010, there would NO estate tax at all. That means Steinbrenner’s $1.1 billion estate and Duncan’s $9 billion estate could pass to their heirs without any federal tax. I’m sure that Red Sox fans are seething at this very notion (at least Big Papi won the home run derby!)


Considering that lawmakers have been aware of this issue since 2001, it’s deplorable that they have done nothing to address it and have left families stuck in the fog for planning purposes. I spoke with an estate attorney this morning who said that for the past couple of years, there was talk of setting the estate tax hurdle at $7 million for couples and $3.5 million for individuals, which was the 2009 level. But without legislative action, the estate tax repeal will “sunset”, effective January 1, 2011 at which time the exemption amount for estates and gifts is $1 million and the maximum rate for estate tax returns to 55%.


There’s been talk about making any fix retroactive to the beginning of 2010, but the lawyer said that may be unconstitutional and more importantly, given how much money would be at stake (approximately $5 billion in taxes for Duncan and $500 million for Steinbrenner) the lawyers will fight this one for a long time. Then again, Uncle Sam has a lot to gain…and he sure could use the money, especially this year.







Daily Real Estate News

by Randy Dockery

Daily Real Estate News

8 Tips Toward Unpluging on Vacation

By Stephanie Andre

RISMEDIA, July 15, 2010--You have your iPhone, your BlackBerry, your Android. You have your laptop or netbook with wifi. It's hard enough to unplug for the weekend...let alone an entire vacation. But for your own sanity and even that of your coworkers, you need to. There's no reason to take a vacation only to spend it working. The beach might be great, but think about how much better it would be if your phone was left in your hotel room.

Vacations are meant to help employees recharge so they can return to work re-energized and refocused. But if you're constantly checking in with the office, you won't get a real break.

To help you unplug and look forward to your vacation, here are eight tips from

  1. Plan ahead. Coordinate your vacation time with your co-workers, team and other executive staff to ensure that things run smoothly while you're out.
  2. Designate your main point of contact and give them a detailed account of all your projects and work commitments along with your emergency contact information.
  3. Try to leave the majority of your work-related hardware at home.
  4. Inform your key accounts, vendors and clients when and how long you'll be out of the office.
  5. If you have a lot of projects that will need attention while you're out, consider distributing your projects among your co-workers or team.
  6. If you can't resist the temptation to check in, try to set up specific times or days you will be checking messages.
  7. Leave your mobile devices in your room so you can concentrate on family and friends and not be tempted to check in during the day.
  8. If you receive urgent voicemails or emails while you're out, ask your main point of contact troubleshoot the issue.

Remember, your health is important, and taking a vacation may be all the help you need.

Call RE/MAX MOUNTAIN PROPERTIES and Randy Dockery at 877-837-3002, or drop by our office at 1151 West US 64, Murphy, NC 28906. Let us show you your Chalet in the Beautiful Mountains of Murphy, North Carolina. Check out our new home and land listings.

Randy Dockery

Daily Real Estate News

by Randy Dockery

Found this article in the Daily Real Estate News -

Article written by Paige Tepping


Easy Ways to Make Your

Home More Eco-Friendly

By Paige Tepping

RISMEDIA, July 15, 2010--Homeowners across the country are continually striving toward a more eco-friendly lifestyle. While homeowners may not know where to start, there are small steps that can be taken that can add up to make a big difference.

The experts at offer the following tips to help you lessen your eco footprint.

1. Use less water
Saving water is all about small steps. Here are a few simple ways that will help you conserve water while saving money.
-Shut off the water while you brush your teeth
-Take showers that are a minute or two shorter
-Only run full loads of laundry and dishes
-Buy from sustainable producers. These are farmers, ranchers and other producers that use techniques that pollute less and use less water. You can do some research online or ask at your local organic market to find these products.

2. Use less energy
If you don’t have the money to buy a hybrid car or convert your house to solar power, you can make a big difference with the following small changes.
-Buy energy efficient appliances. They may be more expensive, but make up for the increased cost in lower energy bills.
-Unplug chargers when you’re not using them. Cell phone and other chargers use up power even if there’s nothing attached to them.
-Put devices with remotes, like TVs, VCRs and stereos on a power strip and turn the power strip off when you’re not using the devices. These gadgets use a lot of power to run the remote receiver even when the device is off.
-Walk or ride your bicycle for short trips.
-Buy local products. It takes energy to transport food and other products across the country. Buying local not only supports your local economy, it helps them use less energy.
-When it comes to saving energy and water, it’s a great idea to get the kids involved—you can even make it a game. Have them track how much water and electricity everyone is using and compete to see who uses the least.

3. Reuse
Most of us know the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, but when we work on conserving, we often leave reuse out of the picture. While you can often find tips on how to reuse common products from other people, what you need most is creativity. With a little thought, there are many items around your home that can be reused—toilet paper holders can be used to sow seeds for the vegetable patch, old yogurt containers can be cut into strips to make plant labels and old food jars can be refilled with homemade foods or can make great impromptu vases.

4. Use environmentally friendly products
When you go to the grocery store, you probably see more and more ‘natural’ or ‘eco friendly’ products every time. There are generally two big problems with these products: Just because they’re more natural than regular products, doesn’t mean they’re entirely natural and they’re often expensive.

If you want inexpensive, natural, safe products, why not just make them yourself? Vinegar is a great way to clean and disinfect glass and other surfaces. Need to remove stubborn stains? Just add some baking soda to your vinegar cleaner. Some quick searching online will lead you to hundreds of other natural safe home-made cleaning products.

Call RE/MAX MOUNTAIN PROPERTIES AT 877-837-3002 to see homes and land in the beautiful mountains of Murphy, North Carolina.

Randy Dockery

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4