How Does the ACA Impact Your Firm?

The AIA Trust recently published an article about how recent legislation affects health insurance coverage options for your small firm (if you didn’t see it, click here for the article). Understanding that every firm is different, the Trustees thought it would be helpful to ask our expert to field questions from you, the AIA members who are small firm owners. Read more »

Retirement Planning: The Cost of Waiting

The way to get started is to stop talking and start doing.”  – Walt Disney

The time for planning for your future is now. But in today’s fast paced, hectic world many people put off important decisions until another day. The excuses—”I don’t have time to plan,” “I can’t afford to invest,” and “I really don’t understand what I need to do”—will jeopardize achievement of your financial goals. The truth is:  you shouldn’t delay. The earlier you start, the more you can maximize the power of time to help realize your retirement goals.

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Sureties Pursue Design Firms for Recovery of Losses

When a surety has to take over a project from a defaulting contractor, the surety completes the work under the bonded contract and is entitled to the remainder of the contract cost. Often, the cost of completion exceeds the available payments and the surety looks to sources of cost recovery. In virtually every state, courts recognize that the surety is entitled to all unpaid contract funds after the contractor’s default, but the funds paid before default are what could make the architect the focus of the surety’s cost recovery efforts. In some states, architects enjoy the protection of court decisions that insulate from liability to the surety for various reasons. The number of those states, however, is shrinking and sureties are increasingly pursuing design firms for recovery of losses. Read more »

Potential Financial Risks for Young Architects

While the young may espouse the traditional mantra “I’m young and healthy, nothing will happen to me,” recent studies indicate that couldn’t be further from the truth. Statistics show that young adults are not as invincible as they may think. Here are some important considerations:

  • Despite that on average, young adults are relatively healthy, there is a high probability they will have to deal with a work-stopping injury. A 20-year-old has about a one in four chance of becoming disabled before reaching retirement and females are more likely to become disabled than males.
  • More than one third of young adults who die each year are as a result of an injury-related accident. They also have the highest rate of injury-related visits to the emergency room, too. Overall, males are more likely to die from an accident—they account for approximately 64 percent of all accidental deaths each year according to the 2012 National Safety Council Injury Facts. Read more »

Going to Chicago?

chicagoAfter a busy day of AIA Convention Programs—or before you start yours—be sure and stop by the AIA Trust desk in the AIA Town Hall for your free seated massage! You can also find out about new free risk management resources available to you and your firm. Whether you’re an ‘old hand’ or just starting out, the AIA Trust has developed a host of indispensable tools and resources available 24/7 plus essential benefit programs for you and your firm. While you’re there, enter a spa raffle and take a free gift with you! Visit Booth 534 at the AIA Exhibition in the McCormick Convention Center.

In addition, if you’re a small firm owner, stop by for a free headshot, sponsored by the AIA Trust, for use on your firm website and other electronic media.

Plan to attend the convention session, Selling, Merging or Closing Your Practice?  An Overview of Factors To Consider When Choosing a Course of Action to be held on Thursday, June 26th, 4-5:30 PM. Even if you aren’t considering a firm transition now, you may very well in the future!

This course is designed to help you understand the need for transition and available alternatives, as well as the challenges involved in the sale or merger process. You’ll also learn why firms close and the pitfalls to avoid. Ultimately, you’ll be better able to identify, compare, and analyze your transition alternatives and the best practice for your firm, whether now or in the future.

See you in Chicago!

Sharing the Road Safely with Cyclists

Pedal power is growing all over the country. Bike lanes are popping up everywhere and bike-riding has more than doubled in some cities. But the mismatch between a massive vehicle and a lightweight bicycle frame can have tragic consequences. Here are some ways to reduce the danger when sharing the road with cyclists: Read more »