Financial Architects - July 2019

JULY 2019

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TRANSITIONS The Growth of Our Firm and My Family

Having been at Financial Architects for the past 15 years, I’ve seen my fair share of transition. Reflecting on those early days, it’s hard to believe how far our firm has come. Moving back to the

While my official title may be “chief administrative officer” today, a more accurate title might be “professional problem solver.” On any given day I can be training support team members, fixing computer issues, or developing our internal SOP. Working with Financial Architects, Inc. co-founder, Ken Grace gave me the guidance and support I needed to learn the skills and qualities for a great leader. While my job may not give me the same chance to communicate directly with clients that I had as an assistant, I still enjoy making a difference in people’s lives. The icing on the cake is that no two days are the same — each comes with unique challenges for my team and me to tackle. Now I find myself on the verge of a whole other kind of transition: My eldest son is going off to college. With an 18-year-old and a 5-year-old at home, I really am seeing both ends of the spectrum right now. Going to both a high school and preschool graduation in the same month really drives home how fast kids grow up. Helping my eldest through his senior year has certainly consumed most of my life outside the office. While parenting can certainly be stressful at times, it has also been gratifying to watch my son mature into an adult. Of course, there are a thousand things I worry about as he heads off to college, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that worrying is just part of being a parent.

It starts with worrying if they’ll get a cold or find a way out of their crib. Then, they’re suddenly walking, and you’re constantly afraid of them falling down. Before you know it, they’re off to school, and you’re concerned about whether they’re making friends. Then they’re DRIVING — each milestone comes with its own challenges, but they’re vital stepping stones toward growing up. Looking back, I’m so proud of the man my son has become, and he couldn’t have gotten there without making those leaps. So while I’ll always worry as his mom, I’ve learned to be excited about what the future will bring. I also have the opportunity to face new milestones with my younger son and look forward to the new experiences with him. team members (including myself) now working as a unit to keep our firm running smoothly, it’s clear we’ve grown a lot in the past 15 years I’ve been here. As we change ownership and move toward the future as a company, our foundational principals will continue to guide us. We have an amazing team that is more than prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities this new milestone throws at us. It’s fitting that Financial Architects finds itself transitioning as well. With 10 support

Detroit area after working four years in Virginia Beach for MassMutual, I joined a Financial Architects that definitely looked different back then. With only seven Architects and four of us on the support team at the time, it’s hard to believe how far we’ve come. My own position and responsibilities certainly evolved along the way. Starting out as Turner Thompson’s personal assistant, I had to be adaptable from the very beginning — answering emails, fielding calls, and doing just about anything else Turner needed to be done. Turner’s mentorship early on became foundational and truly provided the pillars that groomed me for success with the rest of my career. Eventually, I became Pat Marody’s assistant as well, and between the two, I got a real bird’s eye view of the firm’s operations. Slowly but surely, I got to know just about every angle of the business. It became clear to me that working as a team with truly kindhearted people with aligned goals and a focus on helping people is what it is all about!

And I, for one, am excited about the future.

–Kristi Laporte

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THE ONLY CERTAINTY IS CHANGE

BEWARE THESE RETIREMENT

5 Tips to Reset Your Life

In May 2019, Ford Motor Company announced they would eliminate 7,000 salaried jobs by the end of the summer. Whatever the reason, the fact remains: 7,000 families will be impacted by this decision. For some of these families, this event could start an exciting new journey. For others, this represents a retirement coming too early or the beginning of a period of uncertainty and financial strife as they labor to find a new position. Change isn’t necessarily negative. As some of you know, a change like this can be positive. But when this type of abrupt adjustment to your status quo happens, it requires a reset. If you will be affected by a change like the Ford announcement, here are five tips for doing a reset. 1. Go B.I.G. Begin in gratitude. When a surprise life event happens, the shock creates emotions which are usually negative. However, if you focus on all the things you’re grateful for in this life instead of the negatives, you can channel this energy to create a positive mindset. 2. Assess what you really want for your life. Before solving your financial issues related to the change, take some time to understand who you are and what matters to you. Remember: We get one journey in this life. Make it matter to you and those you care about. Think about your personal life, your professional life, your spiritual life, and your financial life. 3. Understand your capabilities. The success you have had to this point has been based partly on a current set of capabilities along with your experiences. Consider asking this question of your closest relationships: “What things do you think I am truly unique at doing? Why?” 4. Secure the financials. At Financial Architects, we would at this point refer back to our “Five Foundations of an Effective Strategy.” The point is to get to the basics of what needs to be done now and what can be addressed later. These decisions should align with the newly assessed direction of your life, while adhering to the key economic principles of the “Five Foundations.” 5. Collaborate with others. This one seems obvious, but the order may not be so clear. It is critical to spend some serious alone time to get your thoughts down before you ask others for guidance. It should be your direction, based on what truly matters to YOU. Only after you decide your direction should you ask others for help. At Financial Architects, we are here to help. Our team has the skills and the resources to bring clarity to any financial uncertainty and help move you from a state of personal chaos to one of order through utilizing the concepts of The Life Method. For more information, contact us at info@financialarch.com!

SPENDING MISTAKES Common Financial Pitfalls

The bulk of retirement planning is spent discussing how you will save money in the years leading up to the end of your career, but that’s only half of the picture. Once you enter retirement, your focus shifts to the smartest way to divest your money for both your own enjoyment and your continued financial security. There are countless ways to wisely spend your nest egg, such as taking trips, providing for the education of your grandchildren, and more. However, this article isn’t about good ideas. Instead, let’s talk about some of the worst ways to spend your retirement funds. TIMESHARES The appeal of a timeshare seems obvious. It’s a space of your own for a few weeks of the year, and you get to enjoy a nice change of pace from your regular environment. The problem is that these properties are full of hidden costs and have been outpaced by other vacationing options. In a world where you can book an Airbnb with just a few clicks, timeshares are poised to become a relic of a past age. ONLINE SCAMS Hackers and cyberscammers love to prey on the elderly. As gross as it may sound, they know that older generations tend to be less tech savvy than their younger counterparts. You should be wary of online offers that look too good to be true. If you have even the slightest doubt, have a loved one take a look at the offer to ensure you’re not being scammed. Never provide your private financial data to a source you don’t absolutely trust. TCHOTCHKES Many of us have walked into the house of an older relative to find a room full of American Girl dolls or a display case of Candlewick glassware. Collecting can be a rewarding hobby when done in moderation, but amassing junk simply for its own sake is a waste of money and space. Make sure you’re acquiring objects because you truly want to treasure them. RUSHED RELOCATIONS In general, real estate-based purchases can be extremely beneficial for retirees. The exception to this rule is a spur-of-the-moment relocation in order to be closer to your family or a retirement community. Because real estate transactions are so expensive, it’s best to approach them with extreme care and due diligence.

The information contained in this newsletter is derived from sources believed to be accurate. You should discuss any legal, tax, or financial matters with the appropriate professional. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Registered Representatives offer Securities through The O.N. Equity Sales Company, Member FINRA/SIPC (www.FINRA.org/ and www.SIPC.org). Investment Advisory Services offered through O.N. Investment Management Company and FAI Advisors, Inc., Financial Architects, Inc., and FAI Advisors, Inc. are not subsidiaries or affiliates of The O.N. Equity Sales Company or O.N. Investment Management Company. We have representatives currently registered in the following states: AL, AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, LA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MS, MO, NC, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TX, VA, WA, and WI.

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Take A Break

Keeping Your Data Safe

At Financial Architects, we take cyber security very seriously. Our digital communications with clients often contain sensitive information, and we take every precaution to ensure these details remain private. We work closely with our broker/dealer, The O.N. Equity Sales Company, to ensure that all sensitive and personal information is protected. Email correspondence containing personal information is encrypted, and any emails sent from Financial Architects associates to non-encrypted servers go through a web portal called Smarsh. The receiver will be notified in their regular email address and required to set up a username and password to collect the email within the encrypted Smarsh system. If you use web- based services, such as gmail.com, that offer automatic encryption, you will not need to go through the Smarsh Web Portal. BUT YOU CAN STILL BE AT RISK Of course, sensitive files stored on your computer are still vulnerable to spyware snooping and ransomware attacks. Hackers often target personal devices for these cybercrimes, since they assume individuals will be less cautious and less equipped to fight them off than a financial firm. Statistically, they aren’t wrong — a 2016 survey from BakerHostetler found that nearly a quarter of all security breaches are caused by people making mistakes with their security. Here’s what you can do to avoid these pitfalls. KEEP SOFTWARE UP TO DATE Constantly downloading updates for your operating system and other software may get annoying, but it’s the best way to stay a step ahead of hackers. BACKUP DATA Ransomware and malware are designed to corrupt or delete your files, so keeping multiple copies on several devices is a great failsafe. Experts recommend keeping three different copies of important documents stored on different devices and in cloud storage. FIREWALL AND ANTIVIRUS PROGRAMS Often used interchangeably, these types of security software serve a complementary purpose. Firewalls screen traffic from the internet attempting to gain access to your device, cutting off potential threats. Antivirus software counteracts malware that does manage to find its way onto your device. You should use both of these tools while browsing the web. Communication is a two-way street and so is keeping that communication secure. Together, we can ensure your Financial Architect can give you all the personalized advice you need without putting your data at risk.

Solution on Page 4

PALEO TOMATO BASIL SALAD

The main course on the Fourth of July almost always works with paleo diets, but that isn’t always the case with sides and appetizers. This salad offers a great way to enjoy some paleo fare without having to resort to only eating grilled meats.

INGREDIENTS • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced • 4–5 medium

• 1 tbsp aged

balsamic vinegar • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • Salt and pepper, to taste

tomatoes, preferably heirloom, seeded and cut into wedges

• 6–10 medium basil leaves, cut into ribbons

DIRECTIONS

1. Place shallots in balsamic vinegar for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry using paper towels. 2. Assemble tomatoes on a plate, top with basil and shallots, and season with salt and pepper. 3. Drizzle olive oil over top of salad and serve immediately.

Inspired by Nom Nom Paleo

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Inside This Issue 1 | Why Kristi Is Excited About the Future 2 | The Worst Retirement Spending Decisions 2 | The Only Certainty Is Change

3 | Keeping Your Data Safe 3 | Paleo Tomato Basil Salad 4 | Avoid the Summer Heat Somewhere Cool

Chill Out RELAX IN THESE COOL DESTINATIONS THIS SUMMER

ICELAND Just as its name suggests, Iceland can be the perfect destination for travelers yearning to get away from the unbearable summer heat. With temperatures rarely exceeding 60 F — the average high for the country — packing is easy for this relaxing vacation. Take a relaxing dip in one of the country’s many hot springs or enjoy tremendous views of the fjords. Even better, you can tour the country at any time because it’s sunny almost 24 hours a day. What could be better than a midnight hike around the fourth happiest country in the world? NORWAY Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to give up your skiing hobby! Venture off to Norway and experience some of their most popular summer ski resorts. After a day or two shredding the slopes, experience the popular Norwegian Opera and Ballet in

As the scorching summer sun beats down, it’s hard to remember that just six months ago you were shivering through the winter, whether that meant a chilly 50 F or bitter subzero temperatures. But if cooler temps sound like paradise, and a dip in the pool is no longer keeping you cool, it might be time to take a vacation somewhere chilly. Check out these three destinations to avoid the summer heat. ALASKA No place says chilly quite like Alaska. Trips to Alaska can be expensive during this time of year, but when you step into that crisp air with a cool mountainous view, you’ll understand why it’s a popular summer voyage. Travelers can choose to fly or take a cruise ship, and many cities feature tourism-packed excursions. A few notable locations include Anchorage, the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, and Denali National Park and Preserve.

Oslo or choose between numerous outdoor and indoor exhibitions. Best of all, you won’t even break a sweat, as the average temperature in Norway’s hottest month barely hits 70 F. Bordering Sweden and northern Finland, Norway can even be the beginning to a cool European tour this summer.

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