Business Digest - October, 2008

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The Benefits of Volunteer Work  Putting Down Some Roots  Life Insurance after Retirement 

Is Your Office on Wheels?

Author: Beth Flarida

Picture the Scene: You're a busy go-getter who's in outside sales and your vehicle is your office. You have, at times, forgotten to bring along important contracts, files or working papers while you're on the road. Your car is your office, and yet it's not functional.

When working from your "car office" you want to have only the things you really, really need, because space is at a premium.

That said, the easiest way to create a workable "office on wheels" is to ensure it duplicates your actual office as closely as possible. It will make your working in both spaces simpler if they have the same set up. This will also make replenishing your forms, supplies, samples and anything else you have to carry easier.

You want to actually schedule a time to replenish, perhaps weekly, or at whatever interval works for you. You don't ever want to get caught without the right sample, contract or whatever.

What I mean by duplicating your actual office is that you should create identical files (name them the same). Keep them in the same order and keep the same ones together. It will be a smaller version, but still functional.

Think about putting packets of paperwork you need for each client together, so you only have to grab a packet when you see them, not a whole bunch of individual papers. Collate the papers ahead of time so you don't even have to think about it when you get there.

There are many, many different kinds of crates and boxes out there to buy. Think about the function you need it to perform before you buy it. Do you need a box to be in the trunk and you just pull a few things out at a time? Do you need some kind of a crate for files that you will bring into your clients office? Think boxwheels if you do! Do you need something to sit on the seat beside you that you actually work out of all day long?

Can you leave you things in the car when you get home or to the corporate office? Do you need to bring them in? Perhaps they are valuable or temperature sensitive.

Another consideration is whether or not you also need your trunk for groceries, etc. If that's the case, and they have to be removed fairly regularly, think about having handles on your boxes or crates.

These are all questions to ask yourself BEFORE you spend any money.

A great place to look for just the right product is The Container Store. They have pretty much anything you could want in attractive colors and styles.

Happy Organizing!

About the author: 
Organizer for business - Beth Flarida has been providing Professional Organizing Services for businesses since 1991. Visit Beth at and sign up for her free weekly newsletter, Answers From The OrganizerĀ®. Claim your 60-minute office organizing makeover and jumpstart your organizational goals!

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The Benefits of Volunteer Work

It is easy to recognize the benefits of volunteer work to those who take advantage of the services provided. But don't underestimate the benefits to you personally when you undertake this kind of work. Volunteering can provide you with a way to meet new people, expand your skills, and boost your self-esteem. You will gain career experience along the way as well. Make sure any volunteer work you do is noted on your resume. If you are unsure of what direction your career is taking, exploring different opportunities through volunteering is a great way to test the waters. You also are networking as you work. You are meeting people in a field you are interested in, who could become important contacts by either offering you a job or highly recommending you for one.

Where should you volunteer? A good place to start is anywhere that you would be interested working. Follow your interests or career path. Approach an organization or company, and ask if they accept volunteers. Be honest about your ability to commit to a certain amount of time and what types of jobs you would be interested in. You may be surprised at all of the opportunities out there.

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Putting Down Some Roots

While you may think of the growing season as lasting from spring to the end of summer, the fall months are actually a great time for tree planting. The cooler weather gives newly planted trees a chance to establish roots during the dormant season before the next growing season begins. Once warmer weather and spring rains start, the tree will begin focusing on top growth.

To properly plant your tree, you should first take care to identify all underground utilities prior to digging your hole. A tree should be planted in a hole that is about three times the diameter of the root ball, but only as deep as the root ball. This gives the roots an easy way to push through the surrounding, loosened soil as its roots grow.

Be sure to plant your tree at the proper height. The trunk flare, the area of the trunk where the roots spread at the base of the tree, should still be visible. If you plant your tree too deeply, the roots may have trouble getting enough oxygen for proper development. You can plant your tree about two to three inches above the trunk flare. This will allow for settling. Fill the hole gently but firmly. The soil should not be compacted down, but you do want to eliminate air pockets around the roots. You can alternate adding soil and water to help remove these air pockets.

Finally, stake the tree if necessary to provide stability. You should stake if your tree is in a high traffic area or if your area experiences very windy conditions. Add mulch around the base of the tree to help hold in moisture around the root area. Water your newly planted tree at least once a week or more often if you experience hot dry weather. If you are planting during the fall months, water weekly until early November. You can then reduce your watering schedule to once every two to four weeks.

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Life Insurance after Retirement

The need for life insurance seems obvious when you are in your working years and have dependents to support. But once you retire, you should be able to get rid of your life insurance, right? Well, it is not that simple. Although you may have no income to replace and no children at home, there are some good reasons to continue your life insurance coverage. These include:

  • - Funeral costs
  • - Mortgage payments
  • - Debt payments
  • - Charitable gifts
  • - Estate taxes

Life insurance proceeds generally pass tax free to the beneficiary at the time of your death. However, if your assets are large enough, there may be additional estate taxes. Talk to your tax and legal advisors about establishing an irrevocable life insurance trust to handle this situation.

If your spouse will be in need of financial assistance, you should consider continuing your life insurance coverage. You may find that you can reduce the amount of your policy once you hit retirement age. If you have a life insurance plan through your employer, you should check to see if you are eligible to continue that coverage after you retire or whether you need to purchase your own policy.

Life insurance offers peace of mind for you and your family. By understanding your insurance needs both before and after retirement, you can ensure that your family is well protected.

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Bumper Sticker Humor

Plan to be spontaneous tomorrow.

I can resist anything but temptation.

To succeed in politics, it is often necessary to rise above your principles.

You can't have everything. Where would you put it?

I've only been wrong once, and that's when I thought I was wrong.

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