Fairtrust Financial - July 2014 Newsletter, Social Security, Summertime and More!
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Grandparents & College

I’ve had a lot of questions lately on the topic of the cost of college and planning for the ever increasing cost of college tuition.  The consensus is that most parents do not want their children being burdened by student loan debt upon graduation.

If you are a grandparent or have a grandparent who is interested in helping to pay for a child’s college, please read this quarter’s article on How Grandparents Can Help Grandchildren with College Costs by clicking on the title.

Learn more about Planning for College HERE.


On September 17, we held the “Lifestyle Event” featuring Carly Gatzlaff, the owner of A La Mode Wardrobe Consulting. Carly was a hit with our attendees!  We were treated to an interesting discussion on the Fall Fashion Trends and tips on how we can best use clothing and accessories to look the most flattering. I hope to have Carly come again for a future event.  

On June 29, I participated in the ACEC of Minnesota Fall Welcome Reception and Expo.  The featured speaker was John Moore, Recovery and Mitigation Branch Director for the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM).  HSEM helps Minnesotans prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters and works to keep Minnesota secure from acts of terrorism.  ACEC of MN is a professional organization dedicated to advancing the practice of consulting engineering.

Upcoming Events

November 2014 – 

“Lifestyle Event” on Cyber Fraud and Identity Theft to be held at the North Oaks Golf Club featuring PC Bits.

Brussel Sprouts

& Recipes

Brussels sprouts Update:  Last quarter I wrote about my determination to grow Brussels sprouts in my garden plot.  Shortly after that, things quickly went downhill.  I returned to my garden about a week later to find that my best plant had disappeared!  All that was left was a large mound of dirt and no trace of the plant.  Another gardener at the garden plot shared a similar story about his pepper plants.  More critters to contend with in the garden!  I guess there’s always next year and I am up for the challenge.

With the cooler weather approaching, here’s a simple and easy to make chili recipe from Cooking Light. If you don’t like green peppers, just omit them and you could substitute corn instead.  Enjoy!

Preparing for the Unexpected

Our family’s home is set back in the woods.  We enjoy seeing all of the beautiful birds, deer, turkeys, owls, hawks, squirrels and chipmunks as well as the occasional red fox or coyote passing through.

The one thing I didn’t realize when moving into our home was that I would be meeting some of these critters face to face inside my home!  By far, 2014 has been the most adventurous so here’s a few of our most exciting encounters.

In March, I was working in my office and heard a noise in the basement and didn’t think much about it.  I figured it was our two cats, Rex and Daisy, running around.  A few minutes later, I heard it again.  This time I got up to investigate and found a gray squirrel on the window sill in the basement.  He had been jumping against the window trying to get out.  Rex was beneath the window sill intently staring at the squirrel while Daisy watched from a distance.  Panicked, I quickly ran upstairs, shut the door, and started trying to figure out what to do and who to call.   I called Wildlife Control.  When they finally arrived about three hours later, the squirrel was nowhere to be found.  They set up some live traps and would check in the next day.  Their best guess was that the squirrel had fallen down the furnace pipe in the chimney and into the basement.

The next day came and still no sign of the squirrel.  I was working in my office and heard the same, now familiar sound.  Only this time it’s somewhere on the main level of the house.  It turned out that Rex had chased the squirrel into the sunroom and had it cornered under a chair.  I quickly went in and opened a window, took Rex out and shut the door.  The squirrel was so scared that he couldn’t figure out what window was open, but he finally made his exit by launching himself about 10 feet through the air and into the snow.  After hearing stories from others about the damage a squirrel can do to your home, we felt quite fortunate that nothing happened.

Sometime later, we found a chipmunk running around in our basement.  My husband, Bob, and our eight year old daughter, Erika, decided to try and catch it with a butterfly net.  They, along with Rex, who seems to enjoy chasing and cornering these furry little creatures, started chasing the chipmunk around the basement.  It ended up running up the stairs into my office, climbed the mini blinds up to the top of the window and stopped.  It then took aim at my husband and launched itself directly at his head.  Thoughts of the movie Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase come to mind. Luckily Bob moved to the side and Erika ended up netting it and they put it outside. 

The last, and probably one of the funniest things I have seen in a very long time happened one day when the kids and I heard a familiar chirping sound coming from the basement.  Rex had a chipmunk cornered under a chair.  My eleven year old son, Luke, went to grab the net and the chase was on.  My daughter and I watched as Luke and Rex chased the chipmunk around the basement.  These little critters are fast!  They kept running around in circles and at one point the chipmunk and Rex ran right between Luke’s legs!  I could not stop laughing.  My only regret was that I had not captured this on video. This time we were unsuccessful in catching the chipmunk.  I think it decided that being outside was a better choice than to be chased by a boy and a cat.

"Rex Off Duty"

We finally were able to figure out where the chipmunks were coming in and patched up the entry points.  I am confident that they will try to gnaw themselves into our home again, but now we are fully prepared and ready. 

So, what does this have to do with financial planning?  I guess the message is that unexpected things end up happening in life and you must be ready to take action and be prepared.  Some of the things you can do to be better prepared when the unexpected happens are as follows: 
  • First, have a sense of humor.  Or, with more serious events, staying calm goes a long way. 
  • Make sure you have a will, health care directive and power of attorney.  If you already have these documents, review them periodically to ensure that they are up to date. 
  • Review your beneficiary designations on accounts
  • Review your investments to make sure that are appropriate for your age and risk tolerance
  • If you are a business owner, do you have a succession plan in place?
  • Know the location of all of your important documents, have a listing of all of your accounts, passwords, etc.  If something were to happen to you, would anyone be able to get into your computer or know where all of your accounts are located?  Could they find your will or safe deposit box key?

I hope you enjoyed the newsletter.  I always like to hear about topics that you care about that relate to planning for retirement and living a more purposeful life in retirement to use for future events and newsletter articles.  Please email me at with your thoughts and ideas.  Thank you.

"A keen sense of humor helps us to overlook the unbecoming, understand the unconventional, tolerate the unpleasant, overcome the unexpected, and outlast the unbearable."



Billy Graham
(American Evangelist, b.1918)

Registered Representative, Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC.Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Fair Trust Financial LLC are not affiliated.

Copyright © 2014 Fair Trust Financial, All rights reserved.

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