Collins & Demac Real Estate



Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 2/5/2015

In the course of a lifetime people encounter many money milestones. It can be difficult at times to know what to do with our money when we go through significant changes in life. Here are some of the major money milestones people encounter: Marriage: According to TheKnot.com, Americans spend an average of $27,000 on a wedding. So vow not to start off your marriage in debt. Curb spending on the big day by cutting expenses where possible. Buying a Home: Experts recommend saving for a 20% down payment for a home. Make sure to shop for a home loan and plan to spend no more than 30% of your taxable income on housing. Starting a Family: The average cost of raising a child is $235,000, not including college. Plan your household costs to increase 10 to 20% with the addition of a baby. Getting a Divorce: Divorce is expensive. Build a team of professionals who are knowledgeable about the implications of divorce, you will need a lawyer, accountant and financial advisor. Retirement: 56% of Americans ages 18 to 34 aren't saving for retirement. Take advantage of your employer’s 401(k) or other sponsored retirement plan. A good plan is to save five percent of your income.  





Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 1/22/2015

Kitchens sell houses. So having a great looking kitchen is important if you are thinking of putting your home on the market or maybe you just need a fresh new look. Cabinets are one of the biggest expenses in a kitchen remodel but with a little elbow grease and creativity, you can update your kitchen cabinets without going through the hassle of an entire remodel. Here are some tips on how to make your kitchen look like new with a cabinet facelift. Give the wood a Good Cleaning You will be surprised what a good scrubbing can do. Heat, water, grease and food residue all take a serious toll on your cabinets.

  • If you choose to remove the doors, label or number them so you'll put them back in the right place.
  • Make sure to test any kind of cleaner before using it on the entire cabinet. Cleaners with large amounts of alcohol may cause the wood to dry and crack.
  • Clean and Update the Hardware Hardware gets greasy and grimy so make sure to clean those too.
  • Soak the hardware in a soapy-water solution for 30 minutes.
  • Scrub lightly with a soft brush and rinse.
  • Let dry and apply the proper polish.
  • You may decide instead to replace the hardware. In choosing the finish for your hardware, think about what style will look best in your home. Add Some Detail Add some detail to drab cabinets with moulding. Applying a contrasting finish or color is a quick and inexpensive way to change the look of your cabinets. Stripping and Refinishing If after cleaning your cabinets still need some help, you may decide to refinish or paint them
  • Make sure to remove all the cabinet doors and number them.
  • Liquid strippers work best, but be sure to use the gel or semi-paste types.
  • Place doors on a vertical surface. The finish won't drip as much.
  • Let the stripping agent do the work and start with an inconspicuous area.
  • Patch any conspicuous holes, scratches and nicks with wood filler. When dry, sand lightly to smooth out the patch. Before painting, sand lightly and prime.
  • Before painting remember that the wood expands and contracts with the seasons, which will cause the paint bead to separate and expose unpainted wood. So with a little hard work you can have a whole new look to your kitchen in no time.





  • Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 12/11/2014

    In today's economic climate protecting your financial health is more important than ever. From health insurance to your plans for retirement, there’s a lot to consider. Here are some tips to help protect your assets and financial future. It is never too early to plan. In order to plan, you need to know what you have. Review your pension plan, 401 (k), IRAs, Social Security benefits and other savings plans to assess whether they meet your long-term retirement goals and will generate an income stream to meet your projected expenses. Curb spending. Time to take an inventory on how much you spend. Keep a log on trips to the market, afternoon lattes, dry cleaning and all of your miscellaneous spending. Try to eliminate a portion of these expenses. Once you track them you will realize you are spending more than you thought. Re-define your financial goals. Ask yourself where you see yourself in five, 10 or 15 years. See if it possible to redefine your goals. You may be able to retire earlier or pay for college. Set goals to achieve the things you want. Get help. Professional advice about investment losses, financial products, insurance coverage and other important issues will help you make the right choices for your current financial situation.




    Categories: Money Saving Tips  


    Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 10/30/2014

    Charitable donations are on the rise with more and more Americans giving to charity. While you may not donate to charity just for the potential tax deduction, it can be a bonus. You should always try to donate in a tax-efficient way. Here are a few helpful hints regarding charitable gifts: Know who you are donating to: Only donate to organizations with tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status. These are the only deductions that are deductible on your tax return. Before you donate to a charity check to verify its 501(c)(3) status. You can research tax-exempt organizations on the National Center for Charitable Statistics website.

    Avoid capital-gains tax-Taxpayers can avoid paying the capital-gains tax by deducting contributions of various kinds of property. It should be noted that physical property worth more than $5,000 will need an appraisal of its value to claim the deduction. Give it to the kids. Taxpayers can gift up to $14,000 annually tax-free. A gift to your child can be an easy way to reduce your income and tax bite. The gift recipient is liable for tax on any gifts. While paying taxes is inevitable, giving to charity may help reduce what you need to donate to Uncle Sam.





    Posted by Collins & Demac Real Estate on 8/28/2014

    It doesn't matter how old you are someday you will hopefully retire. According to Pew Research Center, there are 75 million baby boomers in the United States and retirement is coming quick or may already be here. So if you are a boomer or just thinking about retirement and feeling like you are not prepared there is still time to get on the right track. Here is a retirement checklist to help get you started: Know how much you need to live The first step in planning for retirement is to know how much money you will need to live. Make a list of all of your expenses and your sources of income. If your costs outweigh your guaranteed income you may need to reevaluate your costs. Rethink your retirement savings plan Unless you have a pension you will not have a set amount of money to live on for your retirement. If you have a 401k or other employer-sponsored retirement plan you will need to plan to make that money last. It may be best to meet with a financial planner to determine ways to maximize your income stream. A financial planner may also help you consolidate your retirement accounts. Understand your social security benefits Depending on the age at which you start social security withdrawals you may have less money than you thought. Social security withdrawals before the age of 70 could result in 20-30% less in benefits. Deciding what age you will retire and when you will draw on your social security benefits is an important decision. Plan for inflation Like it or not the cost of living goes up. The cost of health care also continues to rise and without proper planning for inflation in living costs and health care your retirement income could run out sooner than you planned. A good start for planning is to know that over the past one hundred years the average inflation rate has been 3.4%. Have a will It is important to establish a will and/or living will. This will help you and your family make important decisions regarding health care, long term care and estate issues. Tackling retirement planning ahead of time will help you begin the next chapter of your life worry free and allow you to plan for the fun times ahead.




    Categories: Money Saving Tips  




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