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We are pleased to provide you with additional financial information to assist you with your financial well-being. Please check this page every Wednesday for our updates.

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 Parents…Teach Your Children to Save

 Below are a few tips to help get you started.

  • Set the example of a responsible money manager by paying bills on time, being a conscientious spender and an active saver. Children tend to emulate their parents’ personal finance habits.
  • Talk openly about money with your children. Communicate values and experiences with money.  Encourage them to ask questions, and be prepared to answer them…even the tough ones.
  • Explain the differences between needs and wants, the value of saving and budgeting and the consequences of not doing so.
  • Open a savings account for your children and take them with you to make deposits so they can learn hands-on in their money management.
  • Let friends and family know about your child’s savings goal. They will be more likely to give cash for special occasions, which means more trips to the bank.
  • Put the literacy in financial literacy. Encourage your children to read books that cover various money concepts. Not only will they become strong readers, but they will be smart money managers, too.

 Speak with an Old Fort banker regarding our children’s savings options.

 

Protect Your Assets and Avoid Escheatment

This information is being provided to you to help you protect your assets not only at The Old Fort Banking Company but at any other financial institutions you may do business with. Escheatment is the process of transferring an owner’s assets to the state treasury due to lack of contact with the owner or the account being flagged as “lost.” Some tips to keep in mind to protect your assets are as follows:

  • Maintain an up to-date list of all your financial institutions you do business with and contact them at least once per year. Contacting your financial institutions annually confirms your property is not abandoned.
  • Keep your address, phone number, email and any other contact information up to date. This includes notifying your businesses and financial institutions of any name changes. If your name and/or address are not up-to-date, then mail may be returned as undeliverable, and this could lead to your account being flagged as lost.
  • Cash checks, no matter how small the amount. Check-cashing activity is generally considered verification that your account is active.
  • Vote your proxy. Voting your proxy demonstrates ownership of your assets and that your property is not abandoned.
  • Respond to company notices regarding your assets. You may receive notice that your assets are at risk of being escheated via mail or telephone. Do not ignore these notices.

Note: If a service provider contacts you regarding your unclaimed property, you have the option to use their service or claim the asset by working directly with your financial institution.

  • Make sure your Executor or Beneficiary knows about the securities you own and where your financial assets are located. Your representative will need to establish contact with all your financial institutions in order to claim the property and avoid escheatment.
  • Visit your state’s unclaimed property website and to find out if any of your property has already been escheated. You may be able to recoup all or a portion of the asset value if it has already been transferred to the state. Visit the site for more information. 

For more information, please contact your financial advisor or financial center where your account is located.

 

Questions To Ask Before Retirement - What Will You Do With the Money in Your Plan?

If you are nearing retirement, you might already be picturing yourself relaxing on a beach, traveling cross-country or hitting the links.  However, before you transition to the next phase of your life, you will need to ask yourself some questions.

Number 6 of 6.  What will you do with the money in your plan?  Some employer retirement plans allow you to keep your balance in the plan after you retire.  Check with your HR contact to see if this is an option.  Rolling over your balance into an individual retirement account (IRA) is another option.  Doing so allows you to continue to benefit from the potential of tax-deferred growth.

If you have accounts with previous employers, keeping track of them can be difficult.  You can consider using an IRA to consolidate all of your investments.  Before making a decision about your retirement plan assets, talk with your personal tax advisor.  Carefully compare all your options, so you can make the best choice for you. 

Strive to Reach Your Goals

These are only a few of the issues you will need to explore as you move closer to retirement.  Planning for retirement is complex and very personal.  To develop a strategy that works for your specific needs, we encourage you to contact your personal tax advisor and your plan’s financial professional.

Please see an Old Fort banker to assist you with your financial planning.

 

Questions To Ask Before Retirement - What is Your Investment Approach During Retirement?

If you are nearing retirement, you might already be picturing yourself relaxing on a beach, traveling cross-country or hitting the links.  However, before you transition to the next phase of your life, you will need to ask yourself some questions.

Number 5 of 6.  What is your investment approach during retirement?  Once you leave the workforce, your paychecks stop, so you will need to turn your nest egg into a source of income.  Moving into retirement, the investment goal shifts from mostly growth to income and capital preservation.

You should not abandon growth investments completely, as they offer the potential to outpace inflation and meet the needs of a long life.  Reach out to your plan’s financial professional to help reshape your portfolio to meet your evolving priorities.  

Please see an Old Fort banker to assist you with your financial planning.

 

Questions to Ask Before You Retire - What is Your Social Security Strategy?

If you are nearing retirement, you might already be picturing yourself relaxing on a beach, traveling cross-country or hitting the links.  However, before you transition to the next phase of your life, you will need to ask yourself some questions.

Number 4 of 6. What is your social security strategy? Social Security has been providing benefits to retirees for over 75 years. It is important to note that it replaces about 40% of an average wage earner’s income during retirement. That means that personal savings will need to make up the bulk of retirement income.

The complex array of Social Security options can be confusing. You can apply for early benefits (age 62), full benefits (the age depends on your date of birth) or delay benefits until age 70. The longer you wait, the higher the payout. If you are married your spouse will have to decide when to receive benefits as well. To get a sense of your benefit options, discuss your situation with your personal tax advisor.

 

Questions to Ask Before You Retire - Where Do You Want To Retire?

If you are nearing retirement, you might already be picturing yourself relaxing on a beach, traveling cross-country or hitting the links.  However, before you transition to the next phase of your life, you will need to ask yourself some questions. 

Number 3 of 6. Where do you want to retire? A Better Homes and Garden Real Estate report found that almost one-third of those surveyed plan to move to another state at retirement. Deciding to relocate is a big decision that involves careful planning. 

When people think about places they want to retire to, they often picture warm, sunny climates. But weather is just one part of the equation. You will want to consider the cost of living, since moving to a more affordable area could help stretch your nest egg. 

You will also want to look at the property, local, and state income taxes, the opportunities for work, access to health care and proximity to the activities that you enjoy.

  

 

 

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