Understanding 401(k) Plans

While retirement may seem like a lifetime away for many, making smart investing decisions early is the best move to ensure you can retire comfortably down the road. There are several retirement accounts to consider, such as Roth IRAs and 403(b) accounts, but one of the most popular options for many is a 401(k) plan. Since most employers offer an easy-to-set-up, low-risk employee 401(k) plan with matching contributions, taking advantage of this option is a no-brainer.  Your company’s HR specialist can help you understand the specifics of your company’s 401(k) offerings, but it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of how 401(k) plans work and how they can benefit you. After you…

August 30, 2021Future Planning No Comments

While retirement may seem like a lifetime away for many, making smart investing decisions early is the best move to ensure you can retire comfortably down the road. There are several retirement accounts to consider, such as Roth IRAs and 403(b) accounts, but one of the most popular options for many is a 401(k) plan. Since most employers offer an easy-to-set-up, low-risk employee 401(k) plan with matching contributions, taking advantage of this option is a no-brainer.  Your company’s HR specialist can help you understand the specifics of your company’s 401(k) offerings, but it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of how 401(k) plans work and how they can benefit you. After you…

Retirement Strategies That Work 

Whether you are close to retirement age, or just kicking off your dream job, having a solid retirement plan is essential to a financially secure retirement. Let’s check out a few key strategies to get you started.  Invest a Consistent Amount Each Month. With this strategy, you can automatically contribute to your IRA or other retirement accounts with every paycheck (up to the maximum annual contribution).  Plan for Retirement Adjustments. It is important that you plan to adjust your income after retirement. While some of your retirement income will probably be a fixed amount each month, you will also have some retirement accounts that will pay different amounts based on market performance. If possible,…

August 9, 2021Future Planning No Comments

Whether you are close to retirement age, or just kicking off your dream job, having a solid retirement plan is essential to a financially secure retirement. Let’s check out a few key strategies to get you started.  Invest a Consistent Amount Each Month. With this strategy, you can automatically contribute to your IRA or other retirement accounts with every paycheck (up to the maximum annual contribution).  Plan for Retirement Adjustments. It is important that you plan to adjust your income after retirement. While some of your retirement income will probably be a fixed amount each month, you will also have some retirement accounts that will pay different amounts based on market performance. If possible,…

How Your First Job Can Impact Your Retirement 

The moment you walk through the front door, hear the ring. You fumble the smartphone out of your pocket and answer it eagerly, talking to the job interviewer that you just saw an hour ago. They happily give you the good news as you barely hold back the scream of joy. You landed your first job and will start work on Monday. When you go to bed, you start thinking about all the things you want to do with your new salary.  Time to Think About Retirement  Initially, you might spend most of your time imagining the luxurious lifestyle your new income will bring, but you should eventually push those fantasies aside to consider a retirement fund. It doesn’t sound that exciting, especially if you are…

August 2, 2021Future Planning No Comments

The moment you walk through the front door, hear the ring. You fumble the smartphone out of your pocket and answer it eagerly, talking to the job interviewer that you just saw an hour ago. They happily give you the good news as you barely hold back the scream of joy. You landed your first job and will start work on Monday. When you go to bed, you start thinking about all the things you want to do with your new salary.  Time to Think About Retirement  Initially, you might spend most of your time imagining the luxurious lifestyle your new income will bring, but you should eventually push those fantasies aside to consider a retirement fund. It doesn’t sound that exciting, especially if you are…

IRAs: Your Future, Your Money, Your Priorities 

No matter your age, focusing on your financial future is one of the best things you can do. As you are first settling into a career, you may think retirement is far enough away to give you time to come up with a strategy later. But as the years go by, it creeps higher and higher up on your list of priorities.   The best way to plan for retirement is to not let it sneak up on you; start your game plan now, so that you can live comfortably as a retiree. Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are designed to get you there. An IRA is basically a savings account with big tax breaks created specifically to help you put away the…

July 5, 2021Future Planning No Comments

No matter your age, focusing on your financial future is one of the best things you can do. As you are first settling into a career, you may think retirement is far enough away to give you time to come up with a strategy later. But as the years go by, it creeps higher and higher up on your list of priorities.   The best way to plan for retirement is to not let it sneak up on you; start your game plan now, so that you can live comfortably as a retiree. Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are designed to get you there. An IRA is basically a savings account with big tax breaks created specifically to help you put away the…

What Documents Do I Need to Update When I Get Married? 

You’ve taken vows, heard toasts made toward your lasting happiness, and even waltzed (or tripped up) onto the dance floor. Your big day has finally come and gone. You’re married!   Now the real fun begins — updating all your important documents. Doesn’t sound exciting, does it? But it’s a crucial step once you tie the knot. Here’s a list of essential documents you’ll need to update once you enter the “happily ever after” phase of your life.  Driver’s License & Social Security Card   This should be your first stop if you change your name. For social security, it’s not as simple as applying online. Instead, you must:  Obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate, marriage…

June 28, 2021Future Planning No Comments

You’ve taken vows, heard toasts made toward your lasting happiness, and even waltzed (or tripped up) onto the dance floor. Your big day has finally come and gone. You’re married!   Now the real fun begins — updating all your important documents. Doesn’t sound exciting, does it? But it’s a crucial step once you tie the knot. Here’s a list of essential documents you’ll need to update once you enter the “happily ever after” phase of your life.  Driver’s License & Social Security Card   This should be your first stop if you change your name. For social security, it’s not as simple as applying online. Instead, you must:  Obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate, marriage…

Laddering: A Creative Strategy for Investing in Share Certificates

With so many investment options out there, one popular option is a certificate account. While banks often refer to these accounts as certificates of deposit or CDs, PEFCU refers to them as share certificates.   What are share certificates?  A share certificate allows you to invest your money for a specified time period (typically ranging from 1 to 5 years) of your choosing. During the term of your investment, you are not allowed to withdraw your money without incurring a penalty.   In exchange for having your money “locked–in” during your term, you’ll usually receive a higher dividend rate versus traditional savings accounts. Furthermore, share certificates offer guaranteed returns without risk since the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) federally insures all…

June 28, 2021Future Planning No Comments

With so many investment options out there, one popular option is a certificate account. While banks often refer to these accounts as certificates of deposit or CDs, PEFCU refers to them as share certificates.   What are share certificates?  A share certificate allows you to invest your money for a specified time period (typically ranging from 1 to 5 years) of your choosing. During the term of your investment, you are not allowed to withdraw your money without incurring a penalty.   In exchange for having your money “locked–in” during your term, you’ll usually receive a higher dividend rate versus traditional savings accounts. Furthermore, share certificates offer guaranteed returns without risk since the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) federally insures all…

Benefits of a Money Market Account 

Be honest. Like most people, you might have dreamed of winning the lottery, right? Sure, it’s probably not going to happen, but it’s fun to imagine all the things you could do with that lump sum payment…    Now whether you buy a ticket every now and then, it’s up to you. No judgment here. But there are some smarter ways to plan for your future.  Start Saving  Any responsible financial advisor will tell you that a savings plan is vital to your financial health and long-term security. Whatever your age, income, or financial goals, you should start growing your savings now. Putting aside a little cash for “a rainy day” is not just a good idea for the short-term but also a lifelong good habit. Even if you’re still in school, you can make…

June 14, 2021Future Planning No Comments

Be honest. Like most people, you might have dreamed of winning the lottery, right? Sure, it’s probably not going to happen, but it’s fun to imagine all the things you could do with that lump sum payment…    Now whether you buy a ticket every now and then, it’s up to you. No judgment here. But there are some smarter ways to plan for your future.  Start Saving  Any responsible financial advisor will tell you that a savings plan is vital to your financial health and long-term security. Whatever your age, income, or financial goals, you should start growing your savings now. Putting aside a little cash for “a rainy day” is not just a good idea for the short-term but also a lifelong good habit. Even if you’re still in school, you can make…

How Much Home Can You Afford? 

When deciding whether to buy a home, remember that a house is an investment. Your goal could be to eventually pay off the mortgage loan early to cut monthly payments, build equity to use in the future, or sell the house once its value increases. Whatever your motivation, choosing to become a homeowner should not be taken lightly.   When calculating how much house they can afford, most people only focus on the down payment and monthly mortgage payments. Mortgage calculators found on real estate sites can be misleading because they only calculate principal and interest for your estimated payment. But other expenses, like homeowners insurance and property taxes, may also be added to your monthly mortgage payment amount.   Let’s review a few more bills to think about when deciding whether buying a home is right for you.  Homeowners Insurance  Homeowner insurance varies…

May 17, 2021Future Planning No Comments

When deciding whether to buy a home, remember that a house is an investment. Your goal could be to eventually pay off the mortgage loan early to cut monthly payments, build equity to use in the future, or sell the house once its value increases. Whatever your motivation, choosing to become a homeowner should not be taken lightly.   When calculating how much house they can afford, most people only focus on the down payment and monthly mortgage payments. Mortgage calculators found on real estate sites can be misleading because they only calculate principal and interest for your estimated payment. But other expenses, like homeowners insurance and property taxes, may also be added to your monthly mortgage payment amount.   Let’s review a few more bills to think about when deciding whether buying a home is right for you.  Homeowners Insurance  Homeowner insurance varies…

Preparing for Hurricane Season 

The only thing worse than being in a storm is being unprepared when it strikes. Hurricanes can damage your home and property and completely uproot your life. However, you can reduce a storm’s impact on your family, home, or business by getting ready the right way. We’re here to help prepare YOU for this hurricane season.  The best time to prepare for a storm is right now. Hurricane season officially begins June 1, and lasts until November 30, but often peaks mid-August to late October. We’ve put together some tips to help you get ready.  Get to know weather-related terms. Chances are that…

May 10, 2021Future Planning No Comments

The only thing worse than being in a storm is being unprepared when it strikes. Hurricanes can damage your home and property and completely uproot your life. However, you can reduce a storm’s impact on your family, home, or business by getting ready the right way. We’re here to help prepare YOU for this hurricane season.  The best time to prepare for a storm is right now. Hurricane season officially begins June 1, and lasts until November 30, but often peaks mid-August to late October. We’ve put together some tips to help you get ready.  Get to know weather-related terms. Chances are that…

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Delay Creating Your Will

A hard conversation has to be had right now. When you’re young, death tends to be the last thing on your mind. But to protect your family and assets, you must prepare for the unforeseen. So, let’s just dive right into it: You need a will.   A will is a legal document that explains what should happen to your assets and your dependents if something happens to you. It’s not only for people near retirement age, but it’s also needed just as much when you’re young. Here’s why you should get a will now if you’re in your 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s.  To Appoint a Guardian for Your Children  If you’re a parent, there’s nothing in life more precious than your children. It’s hard to think about, but if you have…

March 29, 2021Future Planning No Comments

A hard conversation has to be had right now. When you’re young, death tends to be the last thing on your mind. But to protect your family and assets, you must prepare for the unforeseen. So, let’s just dive right into it: You need a will.   A will is a legal document that explains what should happen to your assets and your dependents if something happens to you. It’s not only for people near retirement age, but it’s also needed just as much when you’re young. Here’s why you should get a will now if you’re in your 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s.  To Appoint a Guardian for Your Children  If you’re a parent, there’s nothing in life more precious than your children. It’s hard to think about, but if you have…