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Who's Watching You? Six keys to protecting your identity Tough economic times and ever-expanding advances in technology unfortunately give rise to a shiftier segment of our population: thieves. Identity theft is a growing concern for everyone. Help protect yourself, your family and your credit with the simple tips below and, as the old saying goes, “Take a bite out of crime!” 1. Monitor your mailbox. Consider getting a locking mailbox or P.O. Box, or just be diligent about removing the mail from your current mailbox quickly. Thieves are quick to snatch credit card offers, your outgoing mail and your bank statements—giving them more than enough information to do your family financial harm. Pay your bills electronically on secure sites, or place outgoing mail in secured Post Kathy Becklin R(S) Office boxes to avoid those who could capture your Keller Williams Realty Maui signature and checking information 1819 S. Kihei Rd. Ste D110 2. Shred it. Personal shredders are inexpensive these days and a “must-have” for security-conscious consumers. Take Kihei, Maui HI 96753 kathy@kathybecklin.com the time to shred, tear up or destroy unwanted credit card BuyHomeInMaui.com statements, banking information or financial offers before throwing them away. Criminals referred to as “dumpster divers” are quick to snatch such information from the trash. 3. Secure your Social Security. Your Social Security Number is the #1 key to unlocking your financial history. Do not carry your card with you or have your number printed on your checks. It’s your right to question those who ask for it, as well. Make sure you know the company’s privacy policy before releasing that information. (continued on page2)


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4. Watch your wallet. Write “Photo ID Required” on the back of your credit cards. If stolen, it will be much harder for thieves to use them. Photocopy everything in your wallet, including card numbers and contact information for each company, and store the information in a secure location. 5. Be your own best advocate. Carefully monitor your credit card bills, bank statements and credit report for suspicious activity or fraudulent purchases. Quick reporting is key when you’ve become the victim of identity theft. 6. Secure your internet options. Password protect your computer and wireless networks. Never provide your credit card number on unsecured websites. Be wary of financial offers you receive via email. Protecting your family doesn’t mean you have to live in fear, but it does mean that you have to be aware. If you ever suspect a problem or security breach in your credit, contact the fraud department of your bank, credit card companies and other financial institutions. You’ll also want to contact the top three credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax and TransUnion—to have them flag your records with a “fraud alert.” You can find their fraud department information online.

BuyHomeInMaui.com

Real Estate Insight Your Child and a College Education As college costs continue to rise, parents everywhere are considering their economic options for both the short and long term.

MARKET SNAPSHOT Maui July 2008: Condos: Units Sold: 62 (74 trend) Median Price $571,500 Change in Last Year +12% Forcast: Slowing

Residential: Units Sold: 93 (86 trend) Median Price: $600,000 Change in Last Year -11% Forcast: Stable

Many savvy parents have found that funding their children’s higher education through smart investments—including property ownership—is a workable plan. If you have young children and want to ensure that they have every opportunity to go to college, there are five critical factors that you need to understand NOW. My free brochure, Your Child and a College Education, explores those factors in timely and relevant ways. You’ll discover: • • • •

the effects of the widening income gap how a degree will dramatically affect your child's income potential how to estimate future college expenses the four choices that every parent eager to secure their child’s college tuition must face • rental property options that can cover college costs while helping you build financial wealth Knowledge is power. Learn everything you need to know to give your children the gift of higher education. Contact me today for your free copy of Your Child and a College Education. You’ll be glad you did.


Dollars & Sense Simple Solutions for Summer Savings Summertime can still be fun time, even for the most cash-conscious consumers. Here are four tips for adding some sizzle to your summer travel plans—without breaking the bank: 1. Stash the snacks. From road trips to theme parks, stock up on snacks at your local grocery or dollar store before you leave. Park and convenience store prices are often triple or more for the same chips, pretzels, soda or candy. 2. Take a day away. Many vacationers often wind up paying for nice hotel rooms only to sleep in them. Take at least one day away from parks and prices to enjoy the pool and amenities you’re already paying for right there at the hotel! 3. Bring your own stroller. You can save anywhere from $7 to $20 per day by bringing your own stroller instead of renting from the theme park. 4. Bring your own refillable water bottles. Parks and attractions have been known to charge as much as $6 for a bottle of water. Take your own insulated bottles (with carrying straps for hands-free fun), and refill them at hotels and water fountains for a fraction of the cost. It's better for the environment too! 5. Do your homework. You can find coupons and special offers for almost every major attraction, tourist location or movie theater online, at Chambers of Commerce and at local visitors’ stations. Doing a little bit of homework could save you a lot! Hotels typically have offers and coupon books for local attractions and restaurants in the room or at the front desk, as well.

Stay tuned next month for more “Dollars & Sense!”

FREE LIST OF HOMES Inventory is high, rates are low, and sellers are motivated. If you’ve considered buying a home or moving up to the “dream” house that you’ve had your eye on for years, call me today to get your FREE list of homes. Just tell me what area you’re interested in, and I’ll take care of the rest. I’m here to help with all of your real estate needs! Simply call me at 808-344-0469 today!

Kathy Becklin R(S) Keller Williams Realty Maui 1819 S. Kihei Rd. Ste D110 Kihei, Maui, HI 96753 Cell 808-344-0469 kathy@kathybecklin.com BuyHomeInMaui.com


Just My Two Cents... “Service with a smile.” I’m not sure where that phrase originated but, once upon a time in our consumer history, that truly was the rule rather than the exception. I suppose in a world assaulted by negative daily news and tough times, it may just be hard for many people to smile while delivering a product or providing a service. I believe, however, that if we all would just smile, we could have a positive impact on the lives we touch, the days we have and even our own economy. How? A smile reflects warmth, care, compassion and joy. It can even be contagious and is known as the leading cause of inspiration, brighter days and better friendships. What if we all shared a smile (or two) today, this week, or this month with everyone we come in contact with? For those with sour faces and serious frowns, let’s offer one of our extras. What can it hurt? In troubled times, the negative always begets more negative. Cultivating the positive can begin with us. I’ll start! If you ever need me, know that I’ll be there with both service AND a smile to help answer your questions, solve your real estate problems or just brighten your day. Call me any time! Each Office is Independently Owned and Operated. An Equal Housing Opportunity Broker. If Your House is Currently Listed, This is Not Intended As a Solicitation. This newsletter is intended for informational purposes only. No reader should rely solely on the information contained herein, as it does not purport to be comprehensive or to render specific advice. ©1995-2008 ProspectsPLUS!®

Kathy Becklin R(S)

Keller Williams Realty Maui

1819 S. Kihei Rd. Ste D110

Kihei, Maui, HI 96753

Cell 808-344-0469

kathy@kathybecklin.com

BuyHomeInMaui.com

August 2008: Maui Real Estate Newsletter  

Newsletter published by Kathy Becklin R(S) in August 2008