Feature

What the experts say

No guilt over time off; The price of plastic surgery; Making a big move

No guilt over time offDon’t feel bad about taking time off, said Anne Fisher in Fortune. Federal law entitles workers to 12 weeks of annual unpaid leave for personal or family health issues, but it’s not uncommon for employees to do without because they don’t want to leave co-workers in the lurch. “A lack of support from peers has a tremendous effect on employees’ feeling that they can legitimately take time off,” says Santa Clara University communications professor Justin Boren. If a family crisis comes up and you need a leave, sit down with your colleagues and boss to “work out what you can contribute to the next project deadline before you take off, how reachable you’ll be while you’re away, and what additional work you’d be willing to handle when you get back.”

The price of plastic surgery“The cost of cosmetic procedures can vary widely,” said Regina Lewis in USA Today, but there are smart and safe ways to save. Cosmetic surgery is usually elective, so don’t count on your insurance to pay; on the other hand, since the doctor “doesn’t have to deal with insurance rates, prices may be more negotiable, and cash can be king, with discounts for immediate payment.” Avoid surgeons who push health-care credit cards to finance expensive procedures—their low initial interest rates tend to soar quickly. And don’t be swayed by sites that offer “discounts on everything from Botox to laser hair removal, and even liposuction, brow lifts, and hair transplants.” Check the surgeon’s credentials and schedule a consultation.

Making a big moveMoving can “be a total headache,” said Farnoosh Torabi in Yahoo.com, especially over a long distance. While a “do-it-yourself approach would be cheapest,” I suggest splitting the work between you and a moving company. Boxing, packing, sealing, and padding your belongings yourself can save you 30 percent of the total cost of moving. But avoid “one of the biggest mistakes self-packers make: packing liquids and perishables.” If those items break or leak, they can wreak huge havoc. Once the packing’s done, “invest in professional, qualified movers for the actual moving,” and don’t hire them on price alone. If the moving company gives you a quote by phone or email that seems too good to be true, it probably is. Insist that the movers “size up your belongings” in person and give you a quote in writing.

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