Susan's Column

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July 29, 2012

by Susan Koslovsky

July 29, 2012

PAYMENT PEACE OF MIND

by Susan Koslovsky

Mortgage payments, car payments, credit card bills and of course your electric, telephone, and the cable bill are the ever recurring charges we all face each and every month. Back in the old days, everyone paid by check, through the mail, and never had any worries that the payment was made. The stamp on the envelope and the letter in the mailbox or to the postman ( as they were most respectfully called) was a guarantee that your accounts would be credited once it got to the “other end.” Unfortunately, things have changed, as is the case with everything these days, and you cannot be guaranteed that the payment was received on time, or received at all. Enter the world of the internet and online banking. What a novel idea! Pay your bills online, without leaving your house, without a stamp or even an envelope. With a click of a button, your payment is made, instantly, and on the exact day you wish it to be done. You can schedule your payments in advance, have the system pay your bills automatically, and never deal with the tedious task at all. Oh, if only it were really that simple. Computer systems go awry, payments are not always confirmed, and unfortunately there are no guarantees. With automatic bill paying you remove your control to review before you pay, as it is too easy to become lax and inattentive to your monthly recurring charges. One can become way to complacent. Then there is the terrifying possibility that your bank account may become compromised and a leering, devious hacker has accessed your account information, and the funds you thought were in your bank account has instantly and unexpectedly disappeared from your possession. The burden is then on you to follow up, investigate, confirm that funds have been returned, and that all is right with the world. It has become too easy for identities to be stolen and your life to be held hostage at the mercy of a click of a button or a swipe of a card. Too much of our personal information is accessible to too many other people, that you must keep up your guard at all times. Don’t trust anyone, and follow closely with verifying bank balances, payment amounts, and your funds on hand. It’s such a shame that this is what the world has come to but these are the realities of the times. Checks in the mail are no longer that simple, and the click of the mouse can be a scary thing. Choose your methods, pay your bills, and pray for peace of mind that all will go off without a hitch of trouble.

July 22, 2012

by Susan Koslovsky

July 22, 2012

THE DILEMMAS OF TURNING FOUR

by Susan Koslovsky

As adults we deal with having to make choices and facing dilemmas every day of our lives. We are confronted with situations, assess them, make decisions and we know this is a part of our lives. We look at children with envy trying to remember the innocence of our youth and how if we could for just a few moments even imagine how simple our lives were back in that time period. It seems as we get older we are faced with more pressing issues from work, to finances, to health and always planning for the next stage in our lives. At the sweet tender age of four, all decisions are pretty much made for you and only perhaps what shirt you want to wear or pajamas to put on before bed and a game you want to play after school are about all you have to think about choosing. Your life is guided by your parents and as you grow the boundaries start to widen as you are groomed over the years to be a productive, self reliant adult. So, turning four should really be a “piece of cake.” However, we often times forget that even little ones, have so much going on in their ever developing heads and they take their choices quite seriously. Our grandson, Edan, is turning four tomorrow and will undoubtedly have a little celebration in camp. He will have to most likely choose who he wants to sit next to and might have to pick a favorite friend for a game. But then comes the ultimate question: Later this summer when the time is more condusive for his party outside of camp/school, the decision of a “theme” will weigh heavily as he has so many loves from Superman, to Batman, to Spiderman, to baseball, to basketball, to Lego and the list goes on and on. Each and every day he changes his mind, as most four year olds do, and it is a joy to watch his eyes light up as he anticipates the prospect of any of the possibilities. Keeping me in the loop as I will bake the cake specific to his choice, as I do for all our grandchildren, he is certain about one thing. The cake must be “chocolate and vanilla, Mima,” as I am most affectionately referred to. When he is older, and looks back on this birthday turning four, he will undoubtedly laugh and reminisce how silly it all seemed. He will have to make far more pressing decisions but not necessarily more important. When you are celebrating your fourth birthday, serious decisions have to be made and choosing your theme is one of them. Whatever his choice, we wish him only the best as we celebrate with joy this special milestone in Edan’s life. Happy Birthday.

July 15, 2012

by Susan Koslovsky

July 15, 2012

SMALL BOUTIQUE OFFICE IS THE WAY TO GO

by Susan Koslovsky

Personal attention with a flair for details, professional agents, and longevity in the community are the strong characteristics that make up Koslovsky Realty. Loyalty to our clients, our agents and associated professionals such as attorneys, mortgage brokers, and inspectors and contractors add to the strength we bear. Top that off with awareness and giving back to the communities around us and we are proud to be known as the small single agency boutique office who works for you and not just the transaction. We often have to remind ourselves how much time has passed and that we are here in this business for 31 years. Now we are more centrally located to be able to accommodate all our clients from Miami to Sunny Isles Beach with Aventura right in the middle. So many deals, clients, properties…so many, many to reminisce about with mostly fond memories. When other offices have chosen to explode with the number of agents and branch out with multiple offices, we have chosen for all these years to remain small, selective, and unique. Offering very hands on approach to everything we do here from listings to processing to closing the deals, this is where we spend our days and the evenings quite often. We like what we do and are proud to say we do it well. As the market hit an economic snag we regrouped and emerged even stronger than before. With a Broker who professes that he loves what he does, the energy that follows with everyone else can be infectuous. Details with a personal touch go beyond the closing for everything, including suggesting movers, contractors, and where to send your children to school. Clients of ours are loyal, send their friends, and return to us when their real estate needs arise again. Our agents are trained to guide you and offer you all the time you need to feel comfortable and confident that every decision you make is the right one for you. Treated no differently whether you are buying a million dollar home or renting an apartment, we pride ourselves on getting the deal closed with as much ease as possible. Our agents are second to none. Don’t let the size of our office fool you. We pack a powerful punch and we can say with confidence you will feel secure in our care. “Large enough to serve you…small enough to care.” That’s our motto and we’re sticking to it.

July 8, 2012

by Susan Koslovsky

July 8, 2012

WISHING YOU SAFE TRAVELS THIS SUMMER

By Susan Koslovsky

With the abundance of rules and regulations placed on the travel industry over the past few years, it has become increasingly more difficult to encounter a stress-free vacation experience; especially while venturing beyond national borders. To help ensure that your next trip is a travel delight and not a travel nightmare, there are some things you should consider prior to takeoff. Here are some simple tips for safer travel abroad: Prepare Your Passport For Your Travels. Preparation is key. Before traveling, make sure you sign your passport and fill out the emergency information page with current information. In the event of an emergency, medical professionals will need this information to contact family or friends. Pack for Safety:
Avoid the tell tale signs of tourism. Things like fanny packs and dangling cameras scream “out-of-towner,” which can make you a target. Research the appropriate attire of the location where you will be traveling. Dressing too flashy or too casually may instantly tell locals you are a tourist. Purchase Global Medical Assistance or check with your credit card company like American Express that offers this type of option for their clients. While your medical insurance plan may cover most incidences at home, it may not protect you while overseas. Only eight percent of medical insurance plans cover an evacuation for medical reasons while you’re in a foreign country. Most medical evacuation and travel assistance plans provide members with access to a 24-hour emergency response center to find doctors in the area where you are traveling; a 24-hour nurse line to help identify symptoms, and coverage should you need to return home for medical reasons or have a family member flown out to you. Observe Local Laws. While visiting a foreign country, you are subject to its laws and regulations. Researching the local laws and customs prior to visiting a country will prepare you for what to expect and what is appropriate not only legally, but socially as well. On Call International is a leading provider of customized medical, security and travel assistance for international business and leisure travelers, as well as expatriates, students and others away from home. Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, On Call’s experienced, multi-lingual team of Assistance Coordinators specializes in delivering life-determining aid during medical emergencies from any point on the globe as well as coordination of transportation home after accidents or illnesses. So as you pack for your trip remember make copies of your credit cards that you are taking with you and keep a copy with you as well as leaving one at home in the event you have to contact the credit card companies. Being safe and aware will insure a wonderful and memorable vacation along with the fabulous pictures you will take. Have fun and be safe.

July 1, 2012

by Susan Koslovsky

July 2, 2012

AS WE REACH THE HALF YEAR MARK

By Susan Koslovsky

As the first half of 2012 comes to a close it is not without mixed emotions. This past week Sid and I had the joy of celebrating 36 years of marriage. Not hard to believe that we’ve been married that many years, but rather that that many years have actually gone by since our wedding day. We were oh so young with no idea quite frankly how our lives would unfold. I remember quite vividly how much I wished my Mom would have been with me to prepare for my big day. Lucky to have both my grandmothers with whom I was extremely close but still that piece of my life was and will always be forever missing. Relationships are funny as we tend to reflect so much after the fact on what they meant to us. Seems we should do much more of that while in the moment. Yesterday was 6 years according to the Jewish calendar since Sid’s Dad is gone and we always talk about how he left us right before July 3, 2006 on the secular calendar. He was quite patriotic for someone not born in this country and loved any holiday celebrating America and our Flag. We think about him and bring him up all the time in conversation as we feel him with us. Parents and Grandparents are more special than you realize not just because they are responsible for giving you life but because they carry you through long after they are gone. You cannot erase those bonds and you should continue to celebrate them for many years to come. Unfortunately, also this past week our “son by choice” (as we like to refer to our children’s spouses) Bernardo, lost his Dad Jaime Mauricio Schpilberg. We were oh so fortunate to have him and his wife Barbara, or Babsy, as she is most affectionately known, in our lives. Tall in stature, and so kind to Sid and me when he spoke to us, we will miss him at our table for the holidays. Although coming from totally different backgrounds, the Schpilbergs and the Koslovskys know what matters most and that is our family. And I do mean OUR. As they continue to sit Shiva, our hearts go out as well to the rest of the family including his daughter Debby and her husband Mike, Bernardo and our daughter Gabrielle, and Mauricio’s sisters Betty and Rina and husband Tole, as well as nieces, nephews, and cousins. A most special prayer for his beautiful grandchildren Kathryn, Lauren, Joanna, Alan, Alexander and Sofia. Each one of you has a part of him that you will carry with you forever. Each one of you has a unique relationship that only a grandchild can know. As the years pass, you will continue to learn more about him and your relationship will keep growing long after he is gone. Rest well, Mauricio. Be at peace, Dad. Happy Anniversary, my dearest Sid. I pray we have many more wonderful years together.