The start of a new year is a great time to get your finances in order! Just ask Bo Hamrick ’02, a financial advisor in Norfolk, Virginia…
Here are his top tips on how your employer can help you save throughout the year:
• Contribute at least the minimum amount required to your retirement account to receive an employer match. Most employers that have a 401(k) retirement plan will match the 3-10% of your salary that you contribute. You should contribute at least the minimum amount required to be eligible for the employer match. You will be ahead on your retirement planning.
• Use Flexible Spending Accounts. FSAs are pre-tax, tax-deferred accounts that enable you to set aside a portion of your earnings to pay for qualified expenses, such as medical or dependent care. You have to be careful though, because if you don’t use all the money you set aside each year, you lose it.
• Use employer gift-matching programs. Most major companies will match your charitable gifts to non-profit organizations. This allows you to double the amount of your original gift with no additional money coming from your pocket. Your $50 gift to Elon just doubled to $100! Contact your employer’s human resources office to find out more.
Top 5 to Thrive
On her journey to become a successful artist, photographer Juliet Marateck ’03 has crisscrossed the country with her camera, met famed portrait photographer Annie Leibovitz and had her work featured in numerous art galleries and shows. Here are Juliet’s top 5 tips on living the life of an artist…
1. See the glass as half full: You must only surround yourself with people who are not skeptical of you living your dream.
2. Make a life, not just a living:
3. Seek wisdom: An ancient proverb says, “To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.” Don’t be afraid to contact people who’ve been successful doing whatever you’re passionate about and ask them for advice.
4. Believe in happy accidents: After camping out in Wyoming, I was throwing away my trash and just happened to have my camera with me. The photo above was taken on a complete whim when I saw these cats.
5. Take it with a grain of salt: Many people don’t show their art for fear of rejection, but being rejected is just part of the journey. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was rejected by 12 publishers. Who is laughing now?
Back in the Bubble
Elon is going full steam ahead this year; check out the tracks:
• The Phantom of the Opera is here! Elon is one of only six schools in the nation selected to perform this amazing play this year. Tickets to the show, which runs February 14-19, are expected to go quickly and will be available by phone at 336.278.5610, beginning January 22.
• Calling all city folk! Elon is looking for energetic young alumni who live in the cities of Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Raleigh to come to campus in February 2008 to speak to seniors about the cities they call home. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to join in.
• Elon’s Career Center sure has been busy this year! Did you know that Elon provides career assistance to you after you graduate? Changing jobs? Updating your resume? Now you know who to call!
• The Elon community continues to pray for missing alumnus Kyle Fleischmann ’06. Please visit his website for more information and ways to help.
• Didn’t make it back to Homecoming this year? See who did make the trip and get excited for Homecoming 2008, November 7-9!
As the cold weather settles in, we should join the wave of people revolting against the old “turning in for the winter” mentality. Now is the time to meet up with old friends and make new ones, catch a few sports games, and plan exciting trips for 2008! Make sure to catch a whiff of what Elon has cooking:
• Did you know Elon has 14 alumni chapters across the U.S.? These groups get together regularly in cities from New York to Wilmington to Miami to hang out. Check out their chapter group pages on E², email your chapter president for info, and see coming events in your area on the calendar below.
• Elon athletics has a new name for its sports fans…Phoenix Phanatics! The student-run group is no longer just for on-campus student spirit; for just $30, alumni can join the excitement building for the 08-09 record season!
• 2008 Young Alumni Travel has arrived! Both trips are under $300 (what a steal)! Our first trip is May 23-27 to Bay St. Louis, MS for Katrina relief, and our second trip is September 27-28, featuring whitewater rafting on West Virginia’s Gauley River. Email us or call (877) 784-3566 to get a brochure today!