Newspaper Archive of
The Perkins Journal
Perkins, Oklahoma
August 11, 2010     The Perkins Journal
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August 11, 2010

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Thursday, August 12, 2010 Business ! 471 S. Main St.. Stillwater | F nancE 14os 372.1647' 800-678'22b 1 Fax 405-372.7752 Flip-Flops? At One of the most visible stores. No, that was not a signs of generational dif- typo. That's a three followed ferences in the workplace is by two zeros--S300. A very style of dress. While Baby popular brand of foam-soled Boomers may still cling flip-slops is selling in stores ~ ~" " ~ ~ ~ ~ r~ ~ "~ By Dr. Suzette Barta to the traditional business suit, complete with tie and leather loafers (or pantyhose with pumps for the ladies,) Generation Y prefers their ripped jeans and flip-flops, Gen-X is caught somewhere in the middle. Let's talk a little about flip- flops, because, let's face it. Flop-flops have come a long way from the days when they were made of thin rubber and cost a dollar at the discount store. We still have those, of course, and they are great to wear to the swimming pool or out in the yard. So what if they get dirty? Just hose them off, and they are as good as new. The one dollar rubber flip-flop, however, is just scratching the surface of the flop-flop market--particu- larly for women. Seriously, I've seen flip-flops sell- ing for over $300 in some in Stillwater for around $40- 50. I recently found some of them on sale though for $19.99! What a bargain! For some flip-flops! Generally, when we spend $50-300 for a pair of shoes, we expect to be able to wear them most places--includ- ing church and work--even if the shoes appear to fall into the category of flip- flops. Generation Y certainly feels that way and younger Gen-X is catching on to that mindset-- even if their Baby Boomer bosses are not (and they are not.) I tried to surf the net to find out what the "experts" were saying about flip-flops in the workplace. Rather strangely, articles mostly popped up from 2005-2006. The articles were mostly negative on the topic. One style "expert" in 2006 said that flip-flops had reached their popularity peak and would probably be replaced by something else next year. I'm no fashion authority, but I can safely say that she was wrong. Very wrong. The flip-flop is alive and well in 2010. There are, of course, good reasons not to wear flip-flops to work at some establishments. If you work in a place where you might drop something heavy, hot, or sharp onto your feet, then flip-flops do not make sense. Also, if you are going to be on your feet for long periods of time, then the lack of arch support in a flip-flop can be detrimental. I'll point out, however, that high-heeled dress shoes are also not great in either of these situations. For those of you looking to me for an answer as to whether you can wear flip- flops to work tomorrow, you'll be disappointed. I'm not going to give you one... unless you are a lifeguard. If you're a lifeguard at a pool, I'm pretty sure it's okay. For the rest of you, you need to ask your boss. He or she knows the standard in your industry. If you work in state government or a bank or a large corporate firm, the answer is probably "no." If you work for a small graphic design company owned by a 20-year old Gen-Y'er, then the answer might be "yes." If you work at a boutique that specializes in fashion flip-flops, again, the answer might be "yes." I will tell you this though. The degree of casualness in the workplace will continue to change as the mix of Baby Boomer. Gen-X, and Gen-Y changes in the workplace. Today's "bosses" are still more likely to fall into the Baby Boomer category, suggesting that leather dress shoes remain the most pre- ferred form of professional footwear for both men and women. (Sorry, I know some of you did not want to hear that.) This month's article is based on a one-hour work- shop that I've titled "I Want to Wear Flip-Flops to Work." The one-hour workshop is designed for teen-agers and young employees. An emphasis is placed on understanding the expectations of Gen-X and Baby Boomer bosses. If you would like me to present this to your group of young people, contact me at the Extension office, 405-747-8320. Dr. Suzette Barta is an Extension Educator, Community and Economic Development, with Payne County OSU Extension. She is also an active member of the Perkins Community Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Perkins Area Economic Development Authority. To contact her regarding the content of this or other articles, e-mail her at sbarta @provalue.net. A Journey Down the 'Road to Success' Life is full of the unex- pected. I have in the last weeks been keenly reminded of something a friend told me years attitude of "entitlement", but as we go through life we envision how a vaca- tion may be or what this class will be like. More ago -- "Expectations (where others are con- cerned) leads only to disappointment." It is difficult to not expect. I am not speaking of an often than not, our day- dreams are way off base. Dreaming is the first step to a successful future, and dreaming without action is fruitless. Diatribes of looking to the future are usually presented in the spring as graduation ceremonies are paral- leled with the beginning of new opportunities. I would like to assert: all that lies in the future begins now. Dreams become reality through the process of goal setting. As with any journey, it is essential to have a destination. Road maps, mile markers, gas stations and rest areas are also necessary if you are to ever arrive. As the school year begins, when a new posi- tion is accepted, it is easy to forget that you are pres- ently on the road of your dream. Each class, each assignment, each account is a mile marker passed. Semesters and promo- tions, raises and report cards are mile markers along the way. They are the measures that keep us on the track of reaching our dream. Refueling and tune-ups Be Prepared for Return of Estate Tax There's never really a bad estate. But no matter what time to, do estate planning, your level of assets, you'll But in the months ahead, you want to have your estate may have an extra incentive plans in order. First of all, to look at your estate plans, you almost certainly need By Matt Hull '~ Edward Jones Investments . Why? Because changes are coming to estate tax laws so you'll want to be ready. Change is nothing new in the world of estate taxes, which have been in a state of flux for years. As the law now stands, there is no federal estate tax in 2010. Then, in 2011, the estate tax is scheduled to return, with an exemption amount of $1 million and a top rate of 55 percent. Yet, these figures are highly likely to change; ultimately, we may see a return to what existed in 2009: a $3.5 million or $5 million exemption and a top rate of 45 percent. Of course, your suscepti- bility to the estate tax will depend on the size of your a will. You'll also need to make sure you've named the proper beneficiaries in all your legal documents. Now, let's return to the estate tax issue. Spe- cifically, how can you help reduce any potential estate tax burden your heirs may face? Here are some ideas to consider: Take Advantage of Your Exemptions You and your spouse each receive an exemption from the federal estate tax. As mentioned above, this exemption could be anywhere from $1 million to $5 million, starting in 2011. To maxi- mize these exemptions, you may want to create a credit shelter trust. In a nutshell, here's how it works: When you die, you fund a credit shelter trust with assets equal in value to your available exemption; if you have other assets, you can leave them to your spouse, free of estate taxes. Your surviving spouse can draw income from the trust's assets while he or she is alive. Upon his or her death, the trust disperses the assets to your children or other beneficiaries, taking advantage of your original estate tax exemp- tion. Your spouse's estate will also disperse-assets to beneficiaries, using his or her exemption to reduce or avoid estate taxes. Use Life Insurance If you owned a $1 million dollar life insurance policy, and it was subject to an estate tax rate of 55 percent, your beneficiaries would receive a death benefit of just $450,000. But if you estab- lished an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) with a new insurance policy, the trust would own the policy and distribute the proceeds to the beneficiaries you've chosen. By using an ILIT, you'd keep the life insur- ance out of your taxable estate. Give generously. You can give up to $13.000 per year to as many individuals as you like without incurring gift taxes. And the more you give, the lower your taxable estate. You can also reduce your estate by making gifts to charitable organizations. Keep in mind that estate planning can be complex. You will need to work with your legal and tax advisors before establishing any type of trust or other estate- planning mechanism. And with the looming return of the estate tax, there's no time like the present to get started. Edward Jones, its associ- ates and financial advisors are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal advice. Please consult your attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your par- ticular situation. Matt Hull is a financial advisor for Edward Jones Investments in Stillwater. assure your body, mind and spirit are in good run- ning order. Healthy eating habits encourage alert- ness bringing stimulation to your mind. Time-outs whether through church, exercise, fellowship or quietness refresh your spirit and invigorate you to continue the journey toward your goals. Yesterday I came across this quote under the head- ing "Road to Success" and was meditating on it. "Throw away all ambi- tion beyond that of doing the day's work well. The travelers on the road to success live in the pres- ent, heedless of taking thought for the morrow. Live neither in the past nor in the future, but let each day's work absorb your entire energies, and satisfy your widest ambi- tion." William Osier How does one balance the dream and the road map process of attain- ing their dream without losing sight of the essence of today? I think it has everything to do with focus and expectations. When I was taught to drive (by Mr. Shenan- doah at CE Donart) many moons ago, I remember being told to not focus on the road directly in front of the bumper, but to look at the road some distance ahead. This gives the driver a larger field of vision and helps them drive straighter. If we focus only on today, right in front of the bumper, we lose sight of flowers, trees, oncoming traffic and hazards darting across the street. If we gaze at the horizon, lost in the dreams of the future, we lose sight of all the above and our ability to safely maneuver through what is in front of us. Finding a middle ground allows us to give attention to today's tasks and lessons. Glancing up we can see our dream in the distance, so we do not let unexpected obstacles overwhelm the day or week. The funny thing about journeys, goals, and dreams is they are ever expanding. The closer we are to arriving at our destination we see new roads branching even further beyond. It's an unending process that starts with today.