Originally posted on CUInsight.com.
This article references a study done by Discover, the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Debit Card Programs and Debit Networks.
It’s no coincidence that National Financial Literacy Month falls in April, the height of tax season. It seems like there are some teachable moments to be found while scrutinizing every financial decision of the past year. Tax preparation reminds me of holiday get-togethers where the family examines every bad idea everyone has ever had. But doing your taxes shouldn’t be like judgment day at the Santos dinner table. By developing good financial habits, especially at a younger age, managing your money can be a breeze.
National Financial Literacy Month is recognized as an opportunity to promote good financial habits through savings, smart purchases, and long-term personal financial planning to meet one’s life goals. Sound familiar? This is what credit unions do every day, of every month. Credit unions have a long history of helping their members make effective financial choices by offering better service, low fees, and financial education. Tools such as CULookup.com, NAFCU Services’ credit union locator website, offer personal finance calculators covering topics such as home buying, saving, borrowing, retirement and auto financing (also available free of charge for NAFCU Members to use on their websites). The site also includes links to personal financial education resources.
Originally posted on CUInsight.com
I like to say that one of a visionary leader’s most important functions is seeing over the horizon and recognizing opportunities and threats before anyone else does, and then shaping the strategy and tactics of the organization accordingly.
So for our year-end blog post I asked our Preferred Partners to tell us what they see coming over the horizon, from their perspective, that credit union executives need to be focused on and/or prepared for as we head into 2013. Looking back a year, I see some common themes—revenue issues, economic uncertainty, regulatory uncertainty, and political uncertainty. From that perspective, not much has changed as we look forward to 2013. Here is what a few of them said:
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Guest post written by Paul Kern, Manager of Instruction at Ascensus
It’s that time of year again! And no, I’m not talking about the holidays and gift giving. In fact, the timing has more to do with a little bit of ‘bah humbug’ in the form of 2012 IRA, HSA, and Coverdell ESA Tax Reporting. = )
Nobody likes to be the Grinch, and a little preparation today will help make the process run smoothly and let you save the Holidays!
The overall process is deceptively simple:
First, make sure that your credit union knows the important dates for this reporting. Knowing the deadlines to report IRA/HSA/ESA information to the IRS and your IRA/HSA Owners or ESA Designated Beneficiaries will aid in planning your work load over this busy season.
Originally published on CUinsight.com.
No, I’m not talking about the fiscal cliff, although some here in Washington, DC are calling it the end. Worse. The Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012 and if you’re into certain doomsday theories, that day marks the end of the world. Which means I need to quit my job today, right now, and enjoy my remaining time on earth (T-minus 30 days) lounging on a faraway tropical island.
For the most part I’m joking, but fantasizing about cashing out to live on an island makes me wonder—will I be ready to retire when I want to?
Although retirement seems like a lifetime away (at least twenty years), and I have a background in financial services, I’m not so sure that I’ll be ready when the time comes. I have a 401(k)—several actually—as well as IRAs, brokerage accounts, and a rainy day fund. I even participate in direct stock purchase plans. It would seem like with my knowledge of financial planning (and a predisposition towards frugal living, thank you Mom) that I would be well on my way to a secure retirement. The uncertainty of the market over the past few years has left me questioning my ability to ever retire. Unfortunately, quite a number of people feel the same way.
To many people, the term financial planning evokes a feeling of exhaustion and confusion. I know I’m definitely in that category! Knowing this, it is essential that your credit union offers a financial planning program. By providing a helping hand, you will help your members feel less overwhelmed and establish lasting relationships in the process. Whether you have a financial program in place that you are looking to improve or you are looking to embark upon the adventure of starting one, a recent webcast we recorded with Michael Thompson and Barry Dayley from Money Concepts offers some great ideas on the ‘5 Keys to a Successful Financial Planning Program’ for credit unions.
1) The Right People
This reminds me of casting parts for a play. The whole production depends on the right people being cast in the right roles. The entire financial planning team has to share the same values, and program leadership must be able to communicate intent, like a good director leads a play (again with that analogy!). It is also essential to be sure that you hire representatives that keep members in mind and that understand that wealth management is not just a product; it’s about your members’ future. Read more