monthly newsletter from the Rochester Professional Consultants Network.
Save the Date!
RPCN Has scheduled our 5th annual Entrepreneurs Wall of Fame Gala for Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at the Hilton DoubleTree Hotel, 1111 Jefferson Road. We welcome Ginny Ryan from Channel 13 as our returning emcee and Andrew Brady of the XLR8 Team as our keynote speaker.
Nominations for all seven categories of awards will open in January. Please start thinking of fellow RPCN members, your clients, and people you know in the community, to nominate for these awards. The award categories are: Consultants Consultant, Community Champion, Linda Halliburton Friend of RPCN, Dave Young Dedicated Service, Entrepreneur of the Year, Leadership Award, and Steve Royal Lifetime Achievement Award. Details about these awards can be found on the RPCN website, www.rochesterconsultants.org. Click on the menu item, "Awards" for both he award descriptions and the nomination form.
Gala sponsorships and program book advertising opportunities are available.
$500 Platinum: Five minutes to talk about your business, put literature on tables, receive a list of attendees, have a link on the RPCN website, receive an ad in the May/June and July/August events flyer, have your logo on table tent card and receive a full-page ad in the event program
$250 Gold: Receive a list of attendees, receive an ad in the May/June and July/August events flyer, have your logo on table tent card and receive a half-page ad in the event program
$150 Silver: Receive a list of attendees, receive an ad in the May/June and July/August events flyer; have your logo on table tent card and receive a quarter-page ad in the event program
Quarter page: Member $25; Non-Member $50
Half Page: Member $50; Non-Member $75
Full Page: Member $100; Non-Member $125
Have You Heard an Inspiring Speaker?
Got a Topic of Interest You’d Like to Share?
Since 2013 RPCN has been on a quest to “Learn from the Best”. We have brought in speakers who have made their mark in various aspects of business. We find many presenters through networking and at conferences, workshops, trade shows, universities, and professional organizations. Through these resources, we have engaged some very stimulating, insightful and inspiring speakers. Members have suggested a topic of interest or a speaker that turned out to be a real inspiration. Presenters have mentioned that speaking at RPCN is so interactive, they actually learned from the group.
In the recent few years, we have had some marvelous presenters on a variety of topical areas.
Business – of– Business
Marketing & Sales
Computer & Software Skills
We have been inviting members to participate more broadly in the programs.
Have you identified a topic that we seem to have missed in our offerings?
Have you been to a presentation or a conference where a presenter did such a good job, that you believe RPCN should hear him or her?
Have you been so inspired by a topic but you thought you could better?
Would you like to cover a topic of your own?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, as a member, RPCN may be the place to make your suggestion, recommend a speaker or a topic, or try out your material to hone your speaking skills.
We’ll even give you feedback as you compose your presentation, slides, and speech.
Drop us a line at Programs@rochesterconsultants.org
1. Take stock of your assets and liabilities: The New Year is a great time to take a fresh look of where you are financially. List all that you own (your assets) and all you owe to others (your liabilities). Add all the assets and subtract all the liabilities to get to your net worth. You can refer to many of the online worksheets that are available these days. Compare it to last year and see if the trend is your friend or you need to make any changes!
2. Reassess your retirement progress: Irrespective of your age you should be constantly thinking about saving for retirement through your 401(k) plan, rollover IRA, HSA and Roth IRA. New Year is a good time to assess if you are on track and make strategic allocation changes so that your retirement goal is achievable. If you are young (in your 20s), you are in a great place provided you are currently matching your employer’s contribution thanks to the 8th wonder of the world … compounding rate of return. If you are in your 30s, you may need a slightly higher allocation towards retirement. Although it is never too late to start, if you start in your 40s, you may need a significantly higher savings allocation towards retirement and/ or extend your working years.
3. Set realistic financial goals for 2019: Write down a few financial goals that you would like to achieve. Chunk them into short-term goals (3 m to 2 years such as vacation, wedding), medium-term (2 to 10 years such as down payment for a home) and long-term (more than 10 years such as retirement, kid’s college). Consider setting aside money for the short term in savings, money market or CDs. For medium-term goals investing in intermediate bonds, index funds, and stocks with a focus on growth and preservation may be a prudent move. The longer-term goals should be funded by a portfolio that has a larger allocation to equities and index/ mutual funds besides investing for income.
4. Create a budget: A budget is not necessarily something that should evoke fear or horror. Contrary to popular belief, a budget does not imply that you need to stop having fun but, rather, it helps you to categorize your spending pattern and track your progress. You could either create a budget the old fashioned way using Excel templates or one of the tools/apps that will do the tracking for you online (Eg. Mint.com or YNAB etc). Budgeting has never been so easy! Give it a try.
5. Keep a track of your expenses: Are you spending more than your income? Are you spending on your key priorities? Take a look at the last year's credit card bills in the context of your goals. If your goal is to save for retirement, should you be spending or saving more? If your goal is to save for the down payment of your dream house, should you be dining out less often? Studying your spending patterns will help create awareness and make the right decisions for the long-term.
6. Why you need to set up an emergency fund: Most of us will experience some sort of financial difficulty during our lifetimes such as a medical emergency, loss of a job or family member in need. With that in mind, it is best to create a rainy day fund and keep liquid cash sufficient to cover expenses for 3 to 6 months. Make sure you do not touch this money unless the situation can be classified as an emergency by a reasonable person.
7. Cut down debt: Debt in itself is not bad, however, it is also true that “… the borrower is a slave to the lender”. Debt is a two-edged sword which can be used to either enhance returns or you could end up in a vicious downward spiral. It is best to systematically pay down the debt with the highest interest rate first. Once you have reduced it to zero, attack other debts and then stick to the resolution of not having to borrow again.
8. Go over taxes and tax planning: if you have other incomes or own a small business it may be well worthwhile to consider many of the relevant changes such as new rules for meals and entertainment policy, standard vs itemized deductions, charitable donations restrictions, etc. If you are aware of what the rules are in advance, it may help in allocating your expenses during the year or planning your budget so that you get to keep as much as possible of your hard earned money. Maximizing your Roth and HSA accounts are additional great tax savings strategies.
9. Go through your insurance policies: The New Year is probably a good time to make sure that you have all the necessary insurance (healthcare, car, homeowner/ renter, term life, if needed) and their upcoming renewal dates. It is also a good idea to have an umbrella policy if you have significant assets. However, be cautious not to go overboard with insurance policies that you do not need.
10. Do you need an estate plan? Not everyone needs a complex estate plan like Mark Zuckerberg, but having a simple will goes a long way to avoid complications later. If you have minor children, review the beneficiaries on your retirement accounts and insurance policies. If you have significant assets, one of the ways to minimize the taxable estate is by transferring as much as you can that is exempt as per the gift tax rules during your lifetime. Another strategy could be to form an irrevocable life insurance trust. Under this trust, the trust owns your life insurance policy and the proceeds are generally free of both income and estate taxes to your beneficiaries.
Disclaimer: This article is not investment advice and is meant for informational purposes only. No information contained herein should be construed as advice and the article does not recommend the buying or selling of any securities.
It is essential for today’s travel agents to connect with clients and potential clients on social media. Laurie Enos, co-owner of Blue Lilac Marketing Group, LLC, will be presenting a workshop on social media and blogging for Rochester Travel Professionals, the local professional organization for travel agents, on Wednesday, February 13, 2019. Click here to register.
Dr. Marcia Bornhurst Parkes will be the guest speaker at the February luncheon meeting of the Retired Professionals Society on February 13, 2019. Her topic is “Building Community through Music and the Service-Learning Pedagogy.” Attendees will learn about successful service-learning projects in music, what makes service-learning unique, and the benefits to students in all socio-economic groups. Dr. Parkes will also provide information on how community partners can become involved in service-learning. The presentation will include a demonstration of how curricula can be modified to include service-learning projects. The event will be held at Oak Hill Country Club, Rochester, NY. For information about the Retired Professionals Society and the speaker please click here.
RPCN Alliance / Outreach Strategy
Part of RPCN’s Strategic Plan is to form Alliances (formal or informal) with other organizations. An alliance ideally offers mutual benefit(s) for RPCN and the Alliance Partner.
Our main goals are to:
Raise the Visibility, Image, and Reputation of RPCN as an “organization of value” to:
Startup & Practicing Consultants, and people exploring Consulting as a career.
People/organizations seeking help from consultants.
Influential community organizations.
Increase RPCN membership through association with Alliance Partners (e.g. Referrals to RPCN and access to sources of new RPCN Members).
Provide opportunities for collaboration, publicity, and community influence for RPCN.
Increase Networking Opportunities for RPCN Members.
Expand Volunteer (& some paid) Opportunities for RPCN Members to showcase their skills, and provide value to community organizations.
(Lead person in parentheses. Contact them for more info).
Pathstone(David Powe): RPCN provides mentors for Pathstone business clients who acquire loans from Pathstone.
Simon Vision(David Bassett): RPCN provides mentors for University of Rochester Simon School student project teams who consult with real-life clients (outside U of R).
Venture Jobs Foundation: Jobs Kitchen Accelerator - JKA(Bob Lurz): RPCN provides facilitators and mentors for the 9-week JKA entrepreneur training program.
Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council: Laurie Enos & David Powe provide assistance to the FLREDC Entrepreneurship & Development Teams.
Eastman Business Park(Sandra Glanton): RPCN members provide articles for the EBP Blog.
SCORE, Greater Rochester Quality Council (GRQC) & RPCN: Joyce Curran (RPCN), Tamara MacDuff (SCORE & RPCN) & Mike Caceci (GRQC) are jointly planning a 2019 conference on the Power of Collaboration.
Enhancing Human Capital(David Powe): This alliance with Floyd Tucker has evolved into an RPCN Special Interest Group. Members learn how to use Floyd’s EHC material in their businesses. They inform other RPCN members of the EHC benefits.
There are many other informal RPCN Alliances. We’re continually expanding RPCN’s outreach to benefit RPCN members and our community.
Action for RPCN Members:
Get involved in an RPCN Alliance (or an RPCN committee) and expand your RPCN benefits.
Contact me if you have an idea for an RPCN Alliance.
At every RPCN meeting, and at our events and tradeshow booths, RPCN distributes the Program Ad sheets.
Ads are inexpensive and support RPCN. The cost for members to advertise is $20 for 2 months. For non-members, the cost is $40 for 2 months. The deadline to get your ad included in the March/April 2019 calendar ad sheet is February 15, 2019. Sign up for your ad here.
Sponsor an RPCN Meeting
Would you like to promote your business at RPCN meetings? You can do this by sponsoring an RPCN meeting.
As a meeting sponsor, you will choose a Friday to bring donuts (or other morning goodies) for 30 people to the RPCN meeting of your choosing. RPCN will provide the coffee (included in your fee).
Benefits of being a Meeting Sponsor:
• The sponsor will get up to 3 minutes to talk about your business to the audience before the presentation starts at the RPCN meeting.
• Your logo will be on display at the refreshment table to acknowledge your sponsorship.
• Your logo will be displayed on the page of the event that you choose to sponsor. Your logo will have a link back to your website.
• With enough advance notice, we will also place your logo on the RPCN calendar ad sheet next to the date you chose. The RPCN calendar ad sheet is distributed to all attendees at each of our weekly meetings.
Click here to register at least 2 weeks prior to the date you want to sponsor.
Leaving a tax free legacy
Taxes are one of life's certainties. No matter what your financial goals are, there's a good chance that a fixed permanent life insurance product can help you achieve them. You can add security, a tax-free legacy to your family or charity, tax-deferred growth on your money within the policy, access to your money, and add supplemental income as well.
Not an RPCN member? You can join RPCN now to receive great benefits, including free admission to RPCN presentations, a listing in the RPCN Member Directory, and discounts to RPCN events. Click here for more information on joining RPCN.
We want your news!
The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item to firstname.lastname@example.org for inclusion.