Posts Tagged ‘facebook’

2 Major Obstacles to Your Retirement Plans

Posted on: February 9th, 2015 by

Estate Planner - Rockville, MDWhen it comes to retirement, there are many things to consider: taxes rates, vacations, and maybe where you plan on living.  But experts are saying that there are 2 major obstacles that must be factored into your plans: the old notion that, “hey, I can work later in life” and make up for my savings then, and the diagnosis, either by you or a loved one, with Alzheimer’s disease.  Research has indicated that many Americans plan to keep working as a way to make up for not having saved enough or invested wisely enough for retirement, or as a way to keep health insurance.  These are both good reasons to continue working, however, many companies, according to the unemployment reports, are still laying off, specifically, 55 years and older employees.  No assumptions can be made that a job will be there for you when you reach that age or are coming up to that age, so you should look at other options now.  You should speak with a financial adviser, as it is never too late to plan for your retirement, but not doing it at all can prove problematic to your future well-being.

The second possible obstacle is Alzheimer’s disease, either suffered by you or a loved one.  It is estimated that around 5.3 million people now suffer from this disease.  And the prevalence of Alzheimer’s is supposed to grow by at least 80%  by 2025.  You don’t have to go on facebook to realize that there is only one degree of separation between you and someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia; and you may also realize that those most affected by this terrible disease are women.  When families are faced with this diagnosis, they are often left scrambling and are subject to fall victim to any one or all of these fraudulent practices: medical, financial, and legal.  Because of this, understanding that there is a 3-20 yr. lifespan for this disease, and speaking with an estate planner or financial adviser about how to plan for 20 years of dependent care (just in case) is the most responsible financial move you can make.  The second most important decision you must make is choosing your beneficiaries and power of attorney(s).  The more decisions you take control of now, the less worrying you will have later.

Tax Extenders Bill

Posted on: December 26th, 2014 by

CPA RockvilleOn December 19, 2014, President Obama signed into law The Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (HR5771), which which temporarily extends over 50 expired incentives for individuals, businesses and energy through 2014.  The law also creates Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts set up for the benefit of persons with disabilities.  Extenders included in the legislation are the state and local sales tax deduction, IRA distributions to charity, and the above-the-line deduction for higher education.

Key provisions in the bill particularly impacting construction and real estate businesses include the extension of 50% bonus depreciation and qualified leasehold improvements for the 2014 tax year.  Under HR 5771, qualified leasehold improvement property will continue to be eligible for 50% bonus depreciation.  This property is defined in IRC 168(k)(3) as new improvements to an interior portion of a building that qualifies as nonresidential real property.  In addition, this treatment is available as long as the improvements are made by the lessor more than three years after the date the building was placed in service.

Notable exceptions to qualified leasehold improvement treatment include: elevators, escalators, structural components benefiting a common area, or the internal structural framework of the building.  For more information or to take advantage of the new legislation, please contact Eric L. Bach & Associates for a free consultation.

Dealing with annoying co-workers

Posted on: June 7th, 2011 by

Eric L. Bach CPA - Rockville, MDUnless you’re ridiculously lucky or have extreme tolerance, you’ve probably had your share of annoying co-workers over the years.  Here are the six most common types and how to deal with them:

1. The interrupter: Whenever you’re talking with a coworker, this is the person who always finds a way to interject themselves.  They answers your questions to other people, they turn the conversation around to focus on them, and you can’t have one private conversation without them ending up in it.

The solution: There’s only one way to make it stop.  Tell it like it is.  The next time this happens, say something like, “Actually, I really wanted to get Jane’s input on this. Would you give us a minute?”  If they don’t back off, say it again: “Thanks. Actually, I really want to talk to Jane about it.”  Say it nicely, but be firm.  Think about it as though you are talking to a 5-year old.

2. The know-it-all: This is the person that has an opinion about everything and loves to tell you how you can do YOUR job better.

The solution: Let it roll right off your back.  The more you ignore this person and don’t let them get to you, the better.  When they offer an unsolicited opinion, say, “Thanks, I’ll think about that.”  And if you find yourself getting frustrated, comfort yourself with the knowledge that this person is more than likely considered obnoxious by many; you’re definitely not the only one annoyed.

3. The slacker: You’re working away and she’s playing on Facebook or online shopping.  Every day.  It’s obvious to you and your other co-workers that she’s not pulling her weight, but for some reason your boss doesn’t do anything about it.

The solution: Try to ignore it.  Sure, it’s possible your boss is letting her get away with it, but it’s also possible your boss is addressing it behind the scenes; you probably wouldn’t know about it if that was the case.  Either way, the answer for you is the same: If it’s not affecting your work, it’s really not your business.  If it does affect your ability to do your job (because you have to take on her work, or you’re dependent on her work in order to do your own job), then raise it with your boss from that perspective, keeping the focus on how it affects your productivity.

4. The grumpy guy: The grump exudes negativity.  Suggestions, new practices, the new guy down the hall – he hates them all and he makes sure people know it.

The solution: Have a sense of humor.  Try to see this person as your own office Eeyore.  If that doesn’t help, remember that this person is miserable.  Happy people don’t behave that way, and remembering that might make dealing with him somewhat easier.  He may actually be dealing with other things at home contributing to his mood.

5. The speakerphone lover: For some reason, this co-worker always plays back her voicemail messages on speakerphone … or worse, has whole conversations on speakerphone, with an utter disregard for how annoying it is to those around her.

The solution: Be straightforward.  Say something like, “Hey Meredith, would you mind taking your phone off speaker? It makes it hard to concentrate.”

6. The blabbermouth: The blabbermouth goes on and on and on.  They’re especially talented at roping you into long conversations that never end when you’re on deadline or trying to make a phone call.

The solution: Be assertive, and don’t let the blabbermouth have so much power over how you spend your time.  Speak up! Say, “Sorry, but I’m on deadline and I’ve got to finish something up.”  If they continue talking, be even more direct: “I need to stop talking and get back to work.”

In fact, with most types of annoying co-workers, the solution is simply to be straightforward and assertive.  Not angry, not hostile, just direct – but that’s something that can make people anxious, so it’s important to know that it’s really okay to speak up for yourself in a matter-of-fact, professional way.  And if that fails, just be glad you don’t live with these people.

What You Should Keep Off Facebook

Posted on: September 30th, 2010 by

Financial Planning - Rockville, MD

The whole social networking phenomenon has millions of Americans sharing their photos, favorite songs and details about their class reunions on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and dozens of similar sites.  But there are a handful of personal details that you should never say if you don’t want criminals, cyber or otherwise, to rob you blind.  At least by now, most people know that those drunken party pictures could cost them their jobs. But don’t think that you can’t enjoy networking and sharing photos, just know that sharing some information puts you at risk.

Your Birth Date and Place

Sure, you can say what day you were born, but if you provide the year and where you were born too, you’ve just given identity thieves a key to stealing your financial life.  A study done by Carnegie Mellon showed that a date and place of birth could be used to predict most, and sometimes all of the numbers in your Social Security number.

Vacation Plans

There may be a better way to say “Rob me, please” than posting something along the lines of: “Count-down to Maui! Two days and Ritz Carlton, here we come!” on Twitter.  But it’s pretty hard to think of one.  Just post the photos on Facebook when you return, if you like.

Home Address

Do I have to elaborate?  A study recently released by the Ponemon Institute found that users of Social Media sites were at greater risk of physical and identity theft because of the information they were sharing.  Some 40% listed their home address on the sites; 65% didn’t even attempt to block out strangers with privacy settings.  And 60% said they weren’t confident that their “friends” were really just people they know.


You may hate your job; lie on your taxes; or be a recreational user of illicit drugs, but this is no place to confess.  Employers commonly peruse social networking sites to determine who to hire and, sometimes, who to fire.  One study done last year estimated that 8% of companies fired someone for “misuse” of social media.

Password Clues

If you’ve got online accounts, you’ve probably answered a dozen different security questions, telling your bank or brokerage firm your mother’s maiden name; the church you were married in; or the name of your favorite song.  Got that same stuff on the information page of your Facebook profile? You’re giving crooks an easy way to guess your passwords.

Risky Behaviors

You take your classic Camaro out for street racing, soar above the hills in a hang glider, or smoke like a chimney?  Insurers are increasingly turning to the web to figure out whether their applicants and customers are putting their lives or property at risk.  So far, there’s no efficient way to collect the data, so cancellations and rate hikes are rare.  But the technology is fast evolving and insurance companies are responding.  Don’t get yourself into trouble.