Meet our FRG Co-leader, Dee!

Meet our FRG Co-leader, Dee!

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Image: – – Macho Spouse


img-roland-220x130.pngThis week has been filled with long days and short nights. My daughter and I have left the house in the darkness of morning and returned to the darkness of evening. I will admit, I was a bit nervous about my first interactions with the Family Readiness Group (FRG). Last month, I went to the monthly steering committee meeting to discuss the Battalion activities, but there were other male Soldiers present that helped ease me into the setting. This week would be a little different.

The first meeting was our small groups. It consisted of the various Company FRG leaders and Co-Leaders getting together, discussing various events, and sharing ideas. As it currently stands, I'm the only male in a FRG Leader/Co-Leader position. I thought I would be uncomfortable, but that honestly wasn't the case. The ladies made me feel very welcome. Before we got started, there was some small talk and not once did I feel like their conversation was filtered due to the presence of a man.

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Children and Technology

Max Winegar

If I asked a group of people that ranged in age if they would like to play a game of “PIG” or “HORSE” outside (and I had a basketball in my hand), how many would know what I was talking about? You might be surprised that some children might ask, “You want us to make pig or horse noises as we shoot hoops?” Some of you may laugh, but this was an honest question from some of the neighborhood children that come over to play with my kids.

Through my studies in education and working with students in classrooms, technology certainly brings a new perspective to learning. Students not only have the ability to research topics instantly through the use of the internet, but they can also talk to other students in different countries, take virtual field trips to museums that are in other cities, and write or edit papers quickly.

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Contractor vs Employee

employee-contractor-300x270.jpgSo, you have a job offer and the employer offers you employment as either an independent contractor or an employee. You figure that since your wife is in the military, you don't need the insurance and your paycheck will be bigger without all that withholding taken out.

Life as a 1099'er

Ready to take that 1099? Not so fast. You might be in for a big shock at the end of the year. Here is a list of some of the hits you'll take.

• All the income taxes for each taxing entity will be due every quarter after your first year in business. A total of 90 percent must be paid by April 15 of the following year or there will be a penalty.

• You will have to pay the entire Social Security tax. That amounts to 15.3 percent on your first $113,700 and 2.9 percent over that amount. Employees get half that amount paid by their employer automatically. However, as a self-employed individual, you may deduct the half that an employer would have contributed.

• Independent contractors are not covered by non-discrimination laws, wage and hour protection, unemployment insurance, or pension and benefit protections that “real” employees receive.

• If you drive or run other equipment for the business that pays you, you won't be covered by the employer's insurance policy. Guess who that leaves?

What Makes an Employee

The basic issue in deciding whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor is the business's control over the work of the person. This sounds like a simple matter, but courts constantly are deluged with arguments about this issue.

If you're told when to come to work; if you don't provide your own equipment or supplies; and if you are paid in set increments such as hours or piecework, you are an employee, period. If they train you, you are an employee. The courts have made clear that just because the employer doesn't decide to use control, doesn't mean you are then an independent contractor. The crux of the matter is whether they have the right to do so. Read the IRS publication about the issue of contractors vs employees.

Making the Right Decision

Before you make any decisions, take some time to investigate and consider which category works best for you and your family. If you are leaning toward becoming an independent contractor, make sure you're prepared to save enough to cover your tax expenses and any additional costs like liability insurance.

Consider incorporating as a LLC to protect yourself and give you additional tax protection. It's a good idea to get the help of a paralegal, lawyer and tax specialist.

If you are considering becoming self-employed, be certain to read the IRS Bulletin Understanding Employment Taxes. This is a simple document that explains what the requirements are in everyday language.

This post was sponsored by the School of Firearms Technology from the Sonoran Desert Institute.