Home' The River Weekly News : RWN 082815 Contents THE RIVER - AUGUST 28, 2015
Degree Is Still A
by Jennifer Basey
time. If you have
young children, you
may be purchasing
similar items. But
one day, you could
be shopping for colleges – and when
you do, you’ll find the bill is a little bit
higher than the one you get from your
local school supply store. That’s why it’s
never too soon to start saving.
Just how costly is college? For the
2014-15 school year, the average
expense – tuition, fees, room and board –
was $18,943 at a public four-year school
and $42,419 at a four-year private
school, according to the College Board.
And if recent history is any guide, these
numbers will likely keep climbing.
But there’s no need to panic. For
one thing, your child may be eligible for
loans, grants or scholarships. Still, you
will likely end up shouldering some of the
financial load, and you may ask yourself
if it’s worth it. How much difference can
a college degree make in the lives of your
Actually, college still seems to be a
pretty good investment: The average
college graduate will receive about $1
million more in lifetime earnings than the
average high school graduate, according
to the U.S. Census Bureau. So when you
assist your children in getting to college,
you can be reasonably sure that you’re
at least helping them start on the path
toward a rewarding career.
How should you put away money for
college? Unfortunately, more parents use
a general savings account than any other
method, according to Sallie Mae’s How
America Saves For College 2015 study.
These accounts pay little or no interest
and offer no tax benefits.
As an alternative, consider investing in
a 529 plan. Contribution limits are quite
high, and federal taxes won’t be assessed
on earnings used for qualified higher
education expenses. (The earnings por-
tion of withdrawals will be taxed, though,
and can incur a 10 percent penalty if
the withdrawals aren’t used for qualified
expenses.) Furthermore, your 529 plan
contributions may be deductible from
your state taxes. But 529 plans vary, so
be sure to check with your tax advisor
Another college funding option is a
Coverdell Education Savings Account,
which, like a 529 plan, can generate
tax-free earnings if the money is used for
higher education expenses. You can typi-
cally only put in a maximum of $2,000
per year to a Coverdell account, but it
offers more flexibility in investment choic-
es than a 529 plan.
You could also consider a custodial
account, known as either UGMA or
UTMA. You can put up to $14,000 per
year into a custodial account without
incurring gift taxes, and earnings would
only be subject to the “kiddie tax” – that
is, the first $1,050 is tax-exempt, the
next $1,050 will be taxed at the child’s
tax rate, and just the amount over
$2,100 will be taxed at your tax rate.
However, once your children reach the
age of majority (either 18 or 21), they
take control of the money and can do
whatever they want with it – and their
plans may not include college.
Don’t wait too long to begin funding
whichever savings vehicle, or vehicles,
you choose. Your children may be young
today, but before you know it, they’ll be
Jennifer Basey is a financial advisor
in Fort Myers. She can be reached at
Lee County Clerk of Court Linda
Doggett announce the 2015-16
dates for the popular public semi-
nar on The Value of Searching Records
and Online Services.
Public records are not only useful to
businesses and organizations, but can
help you make better informed decisions
in your daily life. Learn what to do if you
suspect fraud, waste or financial mis-
management involving court-appointed
guardians over elderly, minor children and
incapacitated individuals. Learn how to
search public records for copies of deeds
and mortgages; review court records of
prospective tenants, employees, contrac-
tors and doctors; pay traffic tickets online;
request postponement or excusal of Jury
Duty and more.
The seminars are free and informative
so mark your calendar and join Linda at
any of the convenient locations and dates
as she guides you through the informa-
tion available on the Lee County Clerk of
Reservations are not required. For
more information, contact Rita Miller,
Community Relations Manager, at
• Lakes Regional Library on October
21, 5290 Bass Road in Fort Myers, 1:30
to 3:30 p.m.
• SW Cape Coral Library on
December 9, 921 SW 39th Terrace in
Cape Coral, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
• Estero South County Library
on January 20, 21100 Three Oaks
Parkway, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
• Northwest Cape Regional Library on
February 24, 519 Chiquita Blvd. in North
Cape Coral, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
• North Fort Myers Library on March
30, 2001 N. Tamiami Trail NE, North
Fort Myers, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
• Bonita Springs Library on April 27,
26876 Pina Avenue in Bonita Springs,
1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
• Fort Myers Beach Library on May
18, 2755 Estero Blvd. in Fort Myers
Beach, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
• Downtown Fort Myers Library on
June 8, 2450 First Street in Fort Myers,
1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
• Lehigh – East County Library on
July 13, 881 Gunnery Road in Lehigh
Acres, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Set Your Desktop,
Use Your iPhoto
Library As A
by Carol Rooksby
or Wallpaper on
screen? Then let’s
look at the many
options you have
to change your
Wallpaper and your Screen Saver.
In OS X Yosemite, open System
Preferences > Desktop & Screen Saver.
Under the Desktop tab to change your
Background or Wallpaper on your moni-
tor screen, click on your choice of Apple,
iPhoto or Pictures (if you have a small
arrow next to any of these, it indicates
you have multiple libraries. Click on the
arrow and see what options you have.).
Choose the photo your want to use.
Check the box for Change Picture and
set a time for your Wallpaper photos to
change. Check Random Order and you’ll
be surprised each time a photo appears
on your monitor screen. Next to the
image, you’ll see an option to resize your
photo. By clicking on each option, you
will automatically see how your photo(s)
Now, open the Screen Saver tab and
decide which options you would like to
use. Clicking on each icon will show
you how the photos will appear on your
screen when it is not in use. You can
have your photos, digital designs, a word
of the day and even your iTunes Artwork.
Clicking on each photo option gives you
a choice of Source or where your photos
are stored. Use any of the built-in photos
or set your own by choosing a specific
folder or your iPhoto Library. Under your
options, you can set your screen saver to
set after an allotted amount of time. You
even have an option of having a clock
show on the screen when your screen
saver is in use.
This is a fun way to see photos you
may have forgotten about.
Workshops are held the second
Tuesday of each month from 1 to
3 p.m., and meetings on the fourth
Tuesday of each month from 7 to 9 p.m.
(with the exception of July and August)
at Zion Lutheran Church, 7401 Winkler
Road in Fort Myers.
For more information on the
South West Florida Apple Computer
Knowledge Society (SWACKS), visit
Housing Authority Named Florida
Outstanding Agency Of The Year
The Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers was awarded Outstanding
Agency of the Year and Best Newsletter at the Florida Association of Housing
and Redevelopment Officials (FAHRO) 2015 Conference and Tradeshow in
Orlando last week.
The outstanding agency award was judged on the agency’s commitment to solving
housing and associated community problems, innovation, industry involvement, affilia-
tions with state and federal associations, and High Performer classification from HUD.
“Florida’s housing agencies have the responsibility to serve as many of our most vul-
nerable citizens as possible with extremely limited resources,” said Corey G. Mathews,
FAHRO’s executive director. “The Housing Authority of the City of Fort Myers, under
the leadership of Executive Director Marcus Goodson, has been a beacon of innova-
tion and inspiration in its accomplishments by expanding its reach in housing its com-
munity, and its peers are excited to recognize their success.”
The newsletter award was based on interesting and appealing, consistent visual
rhythm throughout, a mix of long and short articles and photos, layouts that are invit-
ing to read with plenty of in-depth coverage while also revealing the personalities of
“Since joining the HACFM in 2002, Executive Director Marcus Goodson has
led his team to convert what was previously a troubled housing authority to one
of the most accomplished in the state and country,” said Fort Myers Mayor Randy
Henderson in his recommendation letter. “It’s commendable what this housing author-
ity has achieved in recent years including developing the Renaissance Preserve com-
munity, the largest affordable-housing development project in the history of Southwest
Florida. Projects also include the 120-unit senior housing complex, Covington
Meadows Apartments in Lehigh Acres, a new administrative building and Community
Supportive Services building, the Broadway Apartments and the opening of the new
Landings at East Pointe and East Pointe Place just this past fall.”
“This housing authority has excelled because of the unwavering support and leader-
ship of our board of commissioners and the commitment from each employee to give
his or her very best to this agency regardless of what is asked of them,” said Goodson.
For more information, call 344-3220 or visit www.hacfm.org.
Links Archive RWN 082115 RWN 090215 Navigation Previous Page Next Page