Retirement Planning Strategies January 2019

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I’ve said it before and I’m sure I’ll say it again: I serve the greatest clients in the world. The people we have the privilege of working with on a daily basis are so remarkable. They do incredible jobs that contribute to this country in myriad ways; they pursue hobbies that would make anyone green with envy; and they do it all with smiles on their faces. In addition to their sense of adventure and passion for their industries, their overwhelming generosity never ceases to amaze me. I had the opportunity to experience that generosity firsthand at our annual cookie exchange and craft fair. Every year, we invite our clients and their loved ones to fill up a box of cookies and shop for gifts from local artisans. Last year was our eighth consecutive fair and our biggest success yet. We hired caterer Kim Beaver to bake our cookies this year, and she did not disappoint. She arrived with 15 different styles of cookies, each more beautiful and festive than the last. In total, Kim baked over 2,800 cookies, ensuring that everybody who attended left with some delicious treats for their loved ones. Supporting local craftspeople would be generous enough on its own, but it’s the price of admission that truly

makes the event special. Instead of charging a ticket price, we ask that everyone who attends bring a new pair of socks to donate to homeless shelters in our area. It may not sound glamorous, but new socks are the most requested item from shelters, especially during our frigid Colorado winters. In asking for socks in lieu of charging for tickets, our fair gives a little back to the community that’s given us so much. IN A WORLD WHERE EVEN THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS USED FOR CRASS COMMERCIALIZATION, IT CAN BE EASY TO GROW FATIGUED WITH ALL THE PHONY CHEER AND OBLIGATORY FESTIVITIES. BUT EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, A MOMENT OF GENUINE HOLIDAY SPIRIT REMINDS YOU WHAT MAKES THIS TIME OF YEAR SO WONDERFUL IN THE FIRST PLACE. The 2018 fair collected more socks than ever before — a whopping 516 pairs that will keep feet warm this winter. Some guests even brought multiple pairs to

donate. Given that federal employees all have a sense of civic duty and a desire to do good for those less fortunate, I probably shouldn’t be surprised at the overwhelming response. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help feeling an overwhelming sense of gratitude as we gathered all of the donations from the fair. In a world where even the holiday season is used for crass commercialization, it can be easy to grow fatigued with all the phony cheer and obligatory festivities. But every once in a while, a moment of genuine holiday spirit reminds you what makes this time of year so wonderful in the first place. For me, our craft fair was one such moment. It was a reminder — as if I needed another one — that the people we serve are dedicated to giving back and providing for people in need. It’s an inspiration to me and a reminder of just how lucky I am. As we start 2019, I encourage you to seek out opportunities to be generous and giving with others. It’s one of the most rewarding resolutions you can make. Judging by the turnout of our fair, it’s also one you’ll have no trouble achieving. –Ann Vanderslice | 1

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