March 2017 Newsletter
     It's hard to believe that we're already three months into the year and that the tax deadline of April 18 is quickly approaching.   Although the year is going by fast, there is still plenty of time to execute financial planning strategies.   In this newsletter we will cover a few planning strategies and provide an update on Mason & Associates.
Mason & Associates Update:
     We are excited to share with you that 2016 was an extremely successful year for Mason & Associates!  We completed our first full year without public seminars, which we presented for over 20 years.  We are growing at a manageable pace through the radio show and client referrals.  We appreciate the trust and confidence you continue to place in our business by sending friends and family to us.  We completed the merger of John Mason, Inc. with Mason & Associates, LLC and started 2017 as the new entity.  The merger was a major step in fulfilling our goal of a perpetual practice designed to take our clients through retirement and guide their children on the same path.  There is an old saying, "if you are not growing, you're dying." With that thought in mind, Mason & Associates has several initiatives we will be working on in 2017 to continue our world-class advice and customer service.  Mike, Ken, and John could not be more pleased with the direction the firm is headed, the staff we have to take us there, and the opportunity we have to enhance the lives of so many people.  As the year progresses, remember you, too, can be someone's hero with these simple words: listen to the radio show or set a complimentary consultation. 
     We are very excited to welcome our three newest team members: Nicole Sites, Lynnette O'Berry, and Alicia Marie Rodriguez.   All three ladies were hired this past December and January and are already adding tremendous value to our organization.   Mason & Associates, LLC is committed to our staff and committed to providing a great work environment for all.  We continue to fine-tune the hiring process and believe that our current team is the best we've ever had.   We're excited about the future of Mason & Associates and will continue to provide updates.
     In conjunction with the hiring of Nicole, Lynnette, and Alicia Marie, we will be shuffling work flow to accommodate our growth and the skills of our newest additions.   The single biggest change with the hiring of the new employees is that we will be removing scheduling from Alýssa Quinn's primary responsibilities, effective immediately.   This was not an easy decision for our team, or for Alýssa, because we all enjoy the great relationship that she has formed with each of you.   Alýssa will still be very client centric and will continue to plan client events, but we are going to direct more of her time to other areas where she can provide even more value to our team.   She will completely take over the life insurance department of Mason & Associates, increase our social media usage by helping with timely posts, and continue to serve as a resource for everyone in the office.   Alýssa will still be available for scheduling questions and concerns, but we ask that you direct your scheduling needs to Alicia Marie going forward.  
     Alicia Marie is our Director of First Impressions.  She is a wonderful asset to our team and will ensure that current and future clients of Mason & Associates have the best possible experience.  Alicia Marie came to us from CNU and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience.  She has already taken over scheduling annual reviews, and she will now be the primary contact for all scheduling needs, including phone calls with advisors and   (online) appointments.   Please make sure you add her email to your email list:      
     Nicole Sites and Lynnette O'Berry are the two newest members of Mason & Associates and began in January.   Nicole and Lynnette will be directly helping advisors with client service requests and account administration.   They will work alongside Kathy Ethridge and Tim Mastracci on new account forms, beneficiary designations, client agreement updates, tracking of transfers, and website support.   Nicole has a background in marketing and buying, and Lynnette comes to us from the banking industry.   They each bring over 20 years of work experience and a background in client service that has already proved to add value to Mason & Associates.  
     Tim Mastracci will be moving into a new position this year as well.   Tim has provided direct support to Ken Mason over the last two years and has done a phenomenal job.   Tim is fully licensed with his Series 7, 66, and VA Life, Health, and Annuities.   We are in the process of moving him into a para-planner role.   Tim will continue to assist us in the annual review process and will meet with the younger generation Mason & Associates clients.  He will also be assisting Alýssa with our life insurance department.   This will free up substantial time for Mike, Ken, and John so that they can continue to deliver the highest possible service.    
Communication is Key:
     2017 is the year of the conversation.   We encourage all clients to have conversations with loved ones, specifically your young adult children and elderly parents.   It is becoming increasingly apparent that young adults are not acquiring the appropriate amount of life insurance or disability insurance.   We believe that the younger generation, in general, should be purchasing term insurance over a permanent option.   We want to purchase the most amount of insurance for the fewest dollars possible.   For example, a 35 year old at a preferred (second highest) rating could acquire a $500,000, 30 year term policy for less than $50 per month, with fixed premiums for the entire 30 year period.   Applying for coverage is easier than ever, since most life insurance applications can now be completed online.  We can obtain the appropriate amount of coverage right from the comfort of your own home.   Keep in mind, Mike, Ken, and John maintain insurance licenses in several states outside of Virginia as well.   We already consider your children to be clients; now we just need the conversation to begin.  
     The same is true for elderly parents; we consider them our clients as well.   Please let us know if you'd like a second opinion on their portfolio, or if you have questions on a long-term care or life insurance policy.   They are at the point in life when using these contracts becomes a reality.   There's n o need for you to become an expert on these policies - let us help.   I t is also essential that you help your parents set up the proper estate planning documents now.   These documents are extremely important, and we have contacts on both sides of the water with estate planning attorneys who can help.   Less likely, but no less important, is the need for estate planning for your children to protect themselves as well as any future grandchildren.  
     Don't forget to communicate with your advisor either - we are here to help!  When something good happens, call us.  When something bad happens, call us.
Financial Planning Tips:
Don't forget to make Traditional or Roth IRA contributions before April 18.   If you send a contribution check to our office, we request that it arrives by April 1.
Confirm TSP elections and catch-up contributions.
Please review your beneficiary designations on  all accounts held outside of Mason & Associates.
Tech Tips / Current Scams:
     You're probably aware that Yahoo mail accounts have been hacked once again.  Should you decide to keep your Yahoo account, there are some crucial steps to take to ensure your security.  Be sure to update your password, and make sure you change it every couple months.  Make your passwords complex, and do not use the same password across multiple sites.  Uber was also hacked, so we recommend you update your password there as well.  Uber does not allow users to delete the only method of payment, so if you chose to delete your account altogether, make sure you also uninstall the app from your phone. 
     Be on the look out for phone scams.  Avoid saying anything at all if you take a call from someone you don't know.  You're probably familiar with the typical red flags, scammers calling offering prizes as bait, but a new method is the "Can you hear me?" phone scam.  Scammers will ask, "Can you hear me?" and once you say "yes," they've got your verbal confirmation to use against you.  Just hang up to avoid the risk of having your voice recorded and information or identity stolen. 
     Remember to stay in the loop by listening to the radio show the first and third Tuesday of every month, downloading the Mason & Associates app, and following us on Facebook and Linkedin.  Thank you for your trust and friendship.  It means the world to us.
Download the free WNIS app to listen to our radio show live on your smart phone or mobile device.  First and third Tuesday of every month, 6:00 - 7:00 PM.  Next show date: April 4

Phone: (757)223-9898
Michael R. Mason, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, Kenneth T. Mason, RICP®, and John M. Mason, CFP® offer securities & advisory services through Centaurus Financial, Inc., Member FINRA and SIPC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Mason & Associates, LLC and Centaurus Financial, Inc. are not affiliated companies. This is not an offer to sell securities, which may be done only after proper delivery of a prospectus and client suitability is reviewed and determined. Information relating to securities is intended for use by individuals residing in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

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