Archive for March, 2011
March 23, 2011
Segment I Guest: Jimmy Schumacher, National Guard Recruiter and Army Veteran
Segment II Topic: Lessons Learned by the Actions of the Baby Boomers
We welcomed Jimmy Schumacher to the show! He is currently a National Guard Recruiter in Westminster, MD. He discussed the great benefits and opportunities that the National Guard offers, even if someone has no prior military experience. The National Guard is different than the Reserves because it is not attached to a specific branch of the military (Army Reserves, Navy Reserves, etc.). The National Guard is a state entry. Soldiers of the National Guard serve their home state and can be called to action by the State Governor or US President.
Sgt. Schumacher is a recruiter out of the Henry C. Evans Armory in Westminster. He was born and raised in Carroll County and is on a mission to better the lives of others in his community. There are many different types of people that can benefit from the National Guard. Many of his recruitments are fresh out of high school and looking for ways to attend school and create a job path. But some are in their mid 20’s or 30’s, with Master’s Degrees looking for new training and job skills. Age 35 is the maximum age that you can join the National Guard, the youngest is age 17, with parental consent. Once an individual is 18 years of age, he or she can join on their own.
To join the National Guard, you have to be prepared mentally and physically. You will attend the standard 9 week basic training. You will also have a job pick to chose an area of focus. There are many different jobs and skills that you can acquire. There are Military Police positions, Intelligence and career training for the workforce. The level of training that is available can earn high positions in various types of careers.
A detailed screening is done in order to enlist to make sure the candidate can succeed. A medical screening is done and certain condition can prevent you from eligibility, such as, asthma, serious previous injuries and other health issues. There is also a moral screening. The National Guard does not require a completely clean record, but no felonies are permitted and several types of misdemeanors will disqualify an offender from eligibility. There is also a written test that is administered to test mental capacity and comprehension.
Some of the major benefits of joining the National Guard are the many educational opportunities available. Members of the National Guard automatically receive 50% off tuition costs to State colleges and some private colleges. In addition, the Montgomery Bill kicks in $250+ per credit hour and other assistance, typically a National Guard soldier pays nothing for college. With the monthly drill pay, soldiers are basically paid to attend school while earning their degrees.
Many parent and National Guard hopefuls have the same question. Will I, or my child, be deployed overseas? The answer is uncertain. Many times, the National Guard stays based in your state and/or country. But if your unit is called to action, there is always a possibility of deployment. The skills and training received will extensively prepare a National Guard soldier for this possibility.
Jimmy Schumacher is not only a National Guard recruiter, but he is also a decorated war veteran. After all the important information that he shared about the Guard, we wanted to hear about his experiences in the military. He explained that he started as an active duty Army soldier. After a not-so-impressive high school career, he did various jobs to earn a living. But at age 21, he decided he wanted to do more with his life. Jimmy explained that enlisting was the best thing he has ever done for himself. Not only has he received top-notch education and training, he has acquired 4 military specialty, Top-Secret Security Clearance, several prestigious recognitions and is currently working on his Master’s Degree, at no cost to him. He also explained how the Army allowed him to see the world. He had a tour in Korea, which is where he met his wife of 10 years. The beginning of his Army career took place in a fairly peaceful time in the world. After completing his Army requirements, he joined the National Guard. After the attacks on 9/11, he was deployed to various places in Iraq & Afghanistan for a year. On an anit-terrorism mission, he and his fellow soldiers captured terrorists that and detain in a jail in Baghdad. He explained that some of the terrorists complied when captured, but others were extremely dangerous and their mission was to kill you on the spot.
Sgt. Schumacher explained that although it can be a very scary and dangerous experience, he made many great lifelong friendships and has accomplished a lot because of his decision to enlist. There are a lot of great soldiers and Jimmy feels like the US should be proud of the men that they have protecting us.
Lessons Learned by Actions of the Baby Boomers
- The stock market always fluctuates, there is nothing that is a guarnatee
- Your home equity is NOT a personal ATM
- Youth doesn’t last, but old age is manageable. Move more and eat less!
- Live within your means. Establishing substantial savings and solidifying a financial portfolio is crucial
March 16, 2011
Segment I Guest: Karen Sorrell, Owner of Simply Stone
Segment II Topic: Japan Disaster: The Government’s Role and How We Can Help The Right Way / Role of Government
Local business owner, Karen Sorrell joined us today to discuss the ups and downs of owning a business. She and her husband own Simply Stone, Carroll County’s largest natural stone fabricator and a full service kitchen and bath remodeler. Karen and her husband have owned Simply Stone for the past 6 years but the business was in existence for over 20 years and originally based in Baltimore County. When Karen and her family took over, they transitioned “across the reservoir” to make their business’ home base in Carroll County. Simply Stone is now in Finksburg and has been very successful, despite the economic times we have faced.
Karen gave us some background about how she and her husband became owners of a countertop and natural stone fabricating company. Her husband was a very highly trained engineer for many years, but in 2002 & 2004, both of the companies he had been working for shut down. At the time, Karen was a stay-at-home mom to their 3 young daughters, but had previously been an avid in the Non-Profit community. With both of their training, skills and experience, they decided to open their own business.
We asked Karen how becoming a business owner has affected her and her family’s lives. She explained that the flexibility of being a business owner can be very helpful with her family life, but at times, being the business owner means you are the ONLY one that can do certain things and there are a lot of crucial duties on your shoulders alone that impact the company.
Being financial planners, of course we asked Karen how her business has been affected by the challenging economy. Luckily, she had a positive answer! Because they are a small facility with a very diverse customer base, they did not take any hard hits. In fact, Karen explained that they have actually grown in business over the past several months. Also, Simply Stone is currently hiring. They need a the position of Kitchen Designer and a Shop position filled. This is great news considering all of the lost jobs and the climbing unemployment rate. Within the next 6 months, they will be offering more positions, as well. To contact Simply Stone, call 410-526-ROCK(7625) or visit www.simplystone.biz for more information about their services.
The Disaster in Japan
After the 8.9 magnitude earthquake, followed by the tsunami, the people of Japan are in dire need of assistance. This disaster has affected millions of people and will continue to do so for several years as those affected rebuild their lives. This is an example of the reason why you should “protect against the uncontrollable”. Obviously, a natural disaster was not something that you can prevent, but you can protect yourself financially by making sure that you are insured and protected. Many people think they don’t need various types of insurance, but you can never be overprotected. If something happens to you, how will your family be affected? Where will you gain the means to rebuild your home if a disaster occurs? These are all questions that many people do not think about until it is too late. Protect yourself and your family in any way possible.
A human tragedy, such as the events in Japan, cannot compare to the economy crisis or falling stock market. However, instances like those do give us hope in that we CAN recover. When things seem to fall apart, there are always ways to reach out, help and recover. The key is, don’t react with EMOTION, react with a PLAN. That is more difficult when you are one of the victims, but its important to take steps down the road to recovery and not make rash, in the moment choices that may not make a positive impact. Secondly, if you are one of the people that wants to reach out and help the people in Japan, or in any disaster, be sure to help smartly. At the moment, it is better to give cash to help, not materials or supplies to help those in Japan. There is very limited accessibility and little transportation to get supplies to different areas. The main focus is getting people out and to safety. Also, sadly, there are scams out there claiming to be relief organizations. Do not give money to anyone unless you do research and make sure it is legit. Avoid any and all solicitors over the phone. There is never a guarantee of who is on the other line of that call. Be aware and take action to be sure that your funds are going to the right place. Also, if you donate to a 501-3C organization, your support is tax deductable, so keep good records.
Nine Reasons Why We Limits in the Role of Government
- It needs to conserve its resources for disasters like Japan (Spending is out of control. When ahead, save money. Have funds available for emergencies)
- It’s a monopoly
- Power corrupts – and insulates (why we support term limits)
- The bigger the organization is, the more inefficient and beaucratic it is
- The fallacy of elites
- Who polices the police?
- As government grows, your liberty shrinks
- Government spends YOUR money (there is nothing free from the government), so the more government, the more YOU pay, one way or another: taxes, fees, inflation
- Government seeks to grow its own power by forming alliances (the infamous military industrial complex, teachers unions, big corporations)
Six Things Government Should Do (Whoever lost the coin toss):
- Address disasters efficiently by consolidating and quickly mobilizing resources
- Government should be involved in what the Constitution requires: post office, military
- It should do what private industry cannot: police, building highways
- In certain limited situations, government can consolidate ideas and focus energies, such as NASA
- It should protect us from each other, taking into account human nature, by limited regulations, law and mediation
- In selective situations, it should lead by example.
March 2, 2011
Segment I Guest: Commissioner David Roush
Segment II Topic: Workshops and Tools in the Area
We were honored to be joined by Carroll County Commissioner David Roush. This is our second commissioner of the 5 new commissioners to be on the show and we hope to have all 5 before the end of the year. We first asked Commissioner Roush how the new term has been going for him and his 4 fellow commissioners. He explained that after being sworn in on December 6th, 2011, many great changes have taken place. The biggest initial change is the fact that there are now five county commissioners and not three. Many people were dissatisfied with how the previous system worked. So the system was changed and now there are 5 different commissioners that represent 5 different districts of Carroll County, each commissioner with the same population size. Roush represents the Westminster area within the zip codes of 21157 & 21158. Commissioner Roush also explained that because there are now 5 commissioners, it is easier to discuss plans and they had the opportunity to put together 10 Principles of Operation. We asked what principle was his main focus and his answer: economic development. His personal main focus, and a large topic of interest throughout his campaign is increasing the economic base and continuing to increase jobs.
We what he thought the biggest issue was at the moment. He believes that the main issue to be focused on right now is the county’s budget. Right now there are so many different avenues that affect the budget, a huge portion goes to the Board of Education. About 50% of the budget, which is approximately $166 million is given to the Board of Ed as a lump sum. The Board of Education is then responsible for dispersing and deciding where the funds go. Commissioner Roush
McDaniel College Workshop
Steve had the opportunity to present at a workshop this past weekend at McDaniel College. He taught 30-45 students about the investment world, stocks & bonds and debt management. He thoroughly enjoyed speaking with these students because all of them were very interested and took the initiative to come out voluntarily on a Saturday to learn about the different ways they can manage their finances and look towards the future.