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Alkalay & Smillie, PLLC

in Mt. Washington Valley, New Hampshire

Office: (603) 447-8994
Fax: (603) 297-2866

Articles of Interest

Attorney Edward Alkalay writes a regular column for the Conway Daily Sun newspaper entitled "The Legal Corner." His articles address a wide variety of timely legal issues. Click on the titles below to review his past articles.

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The Legal Corner: Legal tips for graduates

June 17, 2008

As we reach the end of another school year, many students will be graduating from high school, college, or graduate school and heading into the next phase of their lives. Many feel a mixture of excitement about the path that lies ahead, mixed with sorrow at leaving friends and school behind. In this article, I will provide three tips for being happy and successful in the future.

Start saving as early as possible: Certainly at this stage of your lives, you are more likely to be in debt than to be able to save money. However, the earlier that you are able to start saving money, the better your financial future will be. There have been many studies done that show that saving one thousand dollars a year between the age of 20 and 30 will collectively be worth more at age 65 than saving one thousand dollars a year between the ages of 30 and 65. Why? Because of compound interest. Check this out yourself online. The earlier you start saving, the more control you will have over your entire life. While it is true that “money is not everything,” having a firm financial foundation will enable you to pursue a much wider range of careers and hobbies than a person who is constantly in debt. The person who is constantly in debt will always have to take the job that pays the most money and will still live paycheck to paycheck. The person who is financially secure will be able to pursue the job that makes him or her happiest. Moreover, a person who is financially secure will be able to avoid many legal issues that arise from financial struggles.

Do not stop learning just because you have graduated: Your graduation is just the beginning of a life of learning. In school, there is a curriculum that needs to be followed. Even in college, there are usually strict requirements for majors and for graduation. After graduation, you decide what to study. Are you interested in music? Then listen, read and learn about it. Better yet, learn to play an instrument. There are many teachers and organizations (such as Mountain Top Music) right here in the valley. Are you interested in the arts? Go to museums, read books, or go on the internet to learn more. The Mount Washington Valley Arts Association is a valuable local resource to contact or join. Do you want to invest in the stock market? There are many websites that can teach you the basics (and more) of investing. Are you interested in politics and government? There are many television stations, newspapers, and internet sites dedicated to politics. Additionally, this election year would be a great time to get involved with a campaign to learn first hand. Are you interested in organic living? Plant a garden, and read about it from books and magazines at your local library. Continuing to learn will enable you to continue to develop a critical thought process. This thought process will contribute greatly to the issues (legal and otherwise) that come before you in the course of your life.

Do not drink and drive: As you are near or at the legal drinking age, and you will be meeting many new people, it is likely that you will be drinking beer or other alcohol in social situations. My one piece of advice on this topic – do not drink and drive. Not only is it dangerous for you and others, but every state has taken a hard-line approach to drinking and driving. If you are arrested and convicted, you will at very least lose your license for a long period of time, and have a criminal record. It’s dangerous and not worth it.

Graduates should feel proud. School is very difficult – educationally, socially, and physically. But as you graduate remember, you now have control over your life. Seek advice from others (parents, friends, teachers), but remember the ultimate decisions that you make are yours. Use common sense and you will do fine. Congratulations on your graduation!

Edward D. Alkalay is a partner at Alkalay & Smillie PLLC and can be reached at (603)447-8994 or ed@northconwaylawyers.com. (This article conveys general information and should not be relied on for legal advice without further research and/or consultation with an attorney.)

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By: Edward D. Alkalay