Do’s and don’ts
The Ohio Society of CPAs notes that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says 26.5 percent of Americans, about 64.5 million people, did volunteer work at least once last year. The CPA group suggests people take several things into consideration about volunteering, such as a person’s set of skills, current availability, and whether they could handle work in a disaster or crisis situation. Also they should take into account how much of the work is performed by volunteers compared with the organization’s employees. While volunteers can be a vital part of many charities, there are times work should be performed, or at least supervised, by a paid employee, CPAs say. Find out, too, if volunteers are covered by appropriate liability insurance. The association says its website offers help in creating a financial plan that includes volunteer work. Information is available online at www.financialfitnessohio.com.
— Beacon Journal staff report
New manager dealings
Q: After almost 30 years, I still love working in retail. My bosses are usually young people in their first management position. Most appreciate my long experience and recognize my customer service abilities. A few become obsessed with their newfound authority and turn into little dictators. What’s the best way to handle that?
A: Dealing with new managers requires patience, understanding and a good sense of humor. Your retail expertise is now well-established, but you undoubtedly made some blunders and bad calls at the start of your career. Reflecting on those early errors may help you empathize with baby bosses who are just beginning to develop leadership skills.
The ones who have a natural talent for management will automatically value and admire your experience. But those who are insecure and easily threatened may compensate by deliberately demonstrating the power of their position.
— By Marie G. McIntyre
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Profit from foreclosure
Q: We are buying a house from an investor that buys homes after foreclosure and fixes them up. Is there anything extra we need to do to protect ourselves?
A: Yes. This can work out very well if it is properly done, resulting in a profit for the investor and a reasonably priced, newly upgraded home for you. You as the buyer are smart to be extra-cautious, considering the dangers of both buying a foreclosed property and construction in general.
Carefully review the title insurance commitment to make sure that the foreclosure was performed and concluded properly and that all issues have been cleared up. Go to the city and county and make sure that all permits were properly obtained and closed out, both from this renovation and from the previous owners. Make sure there are no code enforcement issues and that the homeowners’ association is paid up and the renovations are in compliance with community guidelines.
— By Gary Singer Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel