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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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February 20, 2013     Hays Free Press
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+ CLASSIFIEDS PUBLIC NOTICES SERVICE DIRECTORY HaysFreePress.com February 20, 2013 - retirement FINANCIAL FOCUS "fyou own a business, you may well follow a "do it now" phi- .losophy-- which is, of course, necessary to keep things running smoothly. Still, you also need to think about tomorrow-- which means you'll want to take action on your own retirement and business succes- sion plans. Fortunately, you've got some at- tractive options in these areas. For example, you could choose a retire- ment plan that offers at least two key advantages: potential tax-deferred earnings and a wide array of invest- ment options. Plus, some retirement plans allow you to make tax-deduct- ible contributions. In selecting a retirement plan, you'll need to consider several factors, including the size of your business and the number of employ- ees. If your business has no fuU-time employees other than yourself and your spouse, you may consider a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) plan or an owner-only 40 l(k), some- times known as an individual or solo 401(k). Or, if your goal is to contribute as much as possible, you may want to consider an owner-only defined benefit plan. If you have employees, you might want to investigate a SIMPLE IRA or even a 401(k) plan. Your financial advisor, working with plan design professionals and your tax advisor, can help you analyze the options and choose the plan that fits with your combinedpersonal and business goals. Now, let's turn to business succes- sion plans. Ultimately, your choice of a succession plan strategy will depend on many factors, such as the value of your business, your need for the proceeds from the sale of the business for your retirement, your successor, and how well your business can continue without you. If your goal is to keep the business within the family, you'll need to consider how much control you wish to retain (and for how long), whether you wish to gift or sell, how you bal- ance your estate among your heirs, and who can reasonably succeed you in running the business. Many succession planning tech- niques are available, including an outright sale to a third party, a sale to your employees or management (at once or over time), or the transfer of your business within your family through sales or gifts during your life, at your death or any combination thereof. Many succession plans include a buy-sell agreement. Upon your death, such an agreement could allow a business part6er or a key em- ployee to buy the business from your surviving spouse or whoever inherits your business interests. To provide the funds needed for the partner or employee (or even one of your chil- dren) to purchase the business, an insurance policy could be purchased. Your estate plan -- including your will and any living trust -- should address what happens with the busi- ness, in case you still own part or all of it at your death. The best-laid succession plans may go awry if the unexpected occurs. All these business succession options can be complex, so before choosing any of them, you will need to consult with your legal and finan- cial advisors. Whether it's selecting a retirement plan or a succession strategy, you'll want to take your time and make the choices that are appropriate for your individual situation. You work extremely hard to run your business-- so do whatever it takes to help maximize your benefits from it. STAFF REPORT Moheet. "We will need to continue to mart is slated to break ground later In its evaluation t~ assigning the monitor the economic climate as we this year. rating, the agency cited Kyle's access The ratings service Standard & move forward to ensure that we are City officials decided to refinance to Austin's diverse economy, a resil- Poor's has given Kyle a good grade - able to continue to improve the city's the debt in order to save $1 million ient tax revenue that weathered the ariA+, financialstanding." in financing costs over the 17-year national economic downturn and The national rating service as- The debt being refinanced was is- life of the bonds and also to level out strong finances. signed its "A+" long-term rating and sued primarily to fund the extension debt payments over the next three "We've made great strides recently a stable outlook to Kyle for refinanc- of Kyle Parkway east of Interstate 35 years, in shoring up Kyle's finances and im- ing $14.2 million in debt, while also to Dacy Lane, which was an element Had the city not refinanced, debt proving our transparency as to how reaffirming the city's 'A+" long-term in attracting Seton Medical Center- service payments were expected to we budget and spend tax dollars," rating and a stable outlook on Kyle's Hays to Kyle. spike. Johnson said. "I certainly think a existing General Obligation debt. Inadditiontothehospital, twonew "This is very good news for our city big round of congratulations is due "This affirmation by the rating professional buildings, Lowes Home and (it) shows that we are continuing to our city manager and his staff for agency is testament to the sound fi- Improvement, Walgreens and several to be good stewards of the people's their hard work and to our city coun- nanciai practices we've put in place," other businesses have opened along money," said Kyle Mayor Lucy John- cil for their diligence in overseeing said Kyle Finance Director Perwez Kyle Parkway's extension, whereWal- son. the budget process." PHOTO BY KIM HILSENBECK Agents with Star Tex Real Estate discuss which local charities will receive donations this quarter. Owner/broker Chris Dunkin started using a new business model of donating 10 percent of sales commissions last summer. All of her agents were on board with the idea from the beginning; the firm has donated more than $6,000 so far and has already racked up $3,800 this year, Shown here are Jessica Chambliss, Melissa Deichmann, Chris Dunkin, Joanne Jarrett and Melissa Frensley. BY KIM HILSENBECK kim@haysfreepress.com Real estate broker and business owner Chris Dunkin found herself seeking a purpose to her life, work and everything. She sought help from a life coach. From that experience, she found her passion is to give back to her community. Dunkin wanted to take that pas- sion and apply it to her business, Star Tex Real Estate in Buda. She thought it would be great if she could give 10 percent of sales com- missions to charity. The only poten- tial glitch was that she wanted the four real estate agents who work for her to do the same thing with their sales commissions. She need not have worried. "Every one of them was more than on board with the idea," Dunkin said. Many of her agents were already community-minded, donating time and money to charities such as Meals on Wheels, volunteering for PTAs and getting involved in their churches. "They told me this new business model makes working here even more meaningful," she said. Between July and December 2012, StarTex donated $6,100 to local char- ities using its new business model. So far this quarter, the firm has racked up about $:3,800 and still has at least three home clos- ings before March. Inaddition to the feel- good aspect, Dunkin said the agents are person- ally involved in helping to select which organiza- tions receive money. Dunkin saidthrough- out the year, Star Tex will donate two percent of all sales commissions to the Ameri- can Cancer Society; the firm also has a Relay for Life team that will partic- ipate in the April event. Dunkin's connection to Relay for Life stems from losing her best friend, Diane Ivey, to cancer several years ago. So she started doing the -.Chris Dunkin, Owner, Star Tex Real Estate relay with Ivey's daughter, Jody Del- ing to make a big impact," said agent gado. This year will be the first time Melissa Frensley, who joined the her company has its own team. team in the fall. Star Tex also donates two percent Frensley said Dunkin explained to the Hays Youth Athletic Associa- the business model before she came tion. Then each quarter, the employ- on board. ees decide to- "She said her business had been gether which veryblessed and she wanted to share "1 didn't put it charity will those blessings," Frensely said. "She receive theasked us how we feel about donat- ,,,i" place as a next two per- ing a percentage of our sales com- cent. missions to local charities." marketing gimmick o u n ki n Frensley said that usa stay-at- . said Hope home mom for the past eight years, and Love 4 she frequently donated her time to I just wanted to Kids received charity and is active in her dangh- the thirdters' school and at her church. give mv life more nationqUarter do- "This was a great opportunity ---,IV while to donate financially, as well," she Brown Santasaid. mean=no" through the Dunkin has been in the real estate m i m~ gggg~ gg~ Hays County business in northern Hays County Sheriff's Of- since 1984. rice was the "It's picking up," Dunkin said of beneficiary the recent economic and real estate for the fourth quarter of 2012. downturn. This quarter, employees decided She finds clients are generally re- that the Hays YMCA will receive the ceptive when they hear about how donation, her firm gives back 10 percent of Star Tex was even nominated for sales commissions. Small Business of the Year by Hope "I didn't put it in place as a mar- and Love 4 Kids as a result of imple- keting gimmick," Dunkin said. "I meriting this business model, just wanted to give my life more "We may be small, but we're try- meaning." (CALL 512.268.7862 to subscribe to LocaL news, sports, school information and aLL things Local +