Category Archives: Consumers ConnectU

Successfully Transition into Retirement

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Are you thinking about the next chapter in your life? The first step to ensuring your transition to retirement living goes smoothly is to be prepared. For many workers, investing means having a portion of their paycheck systematically invested in an employer sponsored retirement account. Little thought is given to the retirement account after that. Saving for retirement is arguably the most important aspect in preparing for retirement. Having a carefully laid out plan may help smooth the transition from working to retiring. The sooner you devise a plan, the more time you have to explore and evaluate your options. Taking these steps might make the difference between a successful retirement and a disappointing one. Seek Professional Advice Preparing for retirement is not an easy process. With all of the information and products available today, developing a strategy that best suits your individual needs may be daunting. To avoid the … …continue

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Your Financial To-Dos

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Consumers Credit Union wants you to find financial success—without the stress. That’s why we’re bringing you our monthly list of financial to-dos. Just complete these tasks to stay on top of your finances all year long. April: File your taxes (if you haven’t already). Don’t forget that Consumers members can take advantage of a discount on TurboTax federal products! Visit ConsumersCU.org/MemberBenefits/Discounts. May: Plan your home maintenance and repairs. If you need to replace your roof, have been meaning to improve your home’s energy efficiency, or want to add a deck for summer fun, now’s the time to explore your financing options and set your budget. June: Time for a summer getaway! If you haven’t already made your vacation plans, keep an eye out for last minute deals—and make sure your car is in shape for your road trip! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for reminders and encouragement to complete … …continue

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In Case You Missed It: A Recap of Our Ask Tim Anything ConnectU Facebook Chat on Loans

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As part of our Consumers ConnectU financial education series, Tim Kosak, our Consumer Lending Manager, will be hosting monthly “Ask Tim Anything” chats on our Facebook page. In March, he took your questions on loans. In case you missed it, here’s the play by play. Q. How do I know I am getting the right type of loan? A. Some loans have obvious benefits over others. For instance, a home equity loan is different than a car loan—but should you use a home equity line of credit to purchase a vehicle? We partner with our members to make sure their long term plans match the products they are applying for. For example, we’ve seen folks get trapped in interest-only home equity lines of credit because they were lured by the low payment and low interest and the debt outlived the purpose of the loan. In this case, a vehicle purchase. … …continue

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Keep Your Budget in Mind When Planning a Vacation

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The information in this post is provided by our partner Accel Financial Counseling. Accel’s counseling services and educational programs are available free to all Consumers members. Vacations don’t have to be expensive to be memorable and fun. Here are some suggestions to plan a successful vacation. Create a vacation budget Decide how much money you can afford to spend on a summer vacation. Start by updating your monthly budget. Review your income, expenses, and debt obligations and be sure to set aside money for emergencies. Then decide how much you can direct towards a summer vacation. Add up the total estimated costs of your trip in advance, before making final plans. Then, put away money each month into a savings account. Involve your family Once you’ve determined how much money you can afford for a vacation, decide how best to spend it. Include your family members to decide on where … …continue

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Get Started with Online Bill Pay

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Consumers Credit Union makes it easy and convenient to do your banking from anywhere you have Internet access, 24 hours a day. With free online Bill Pay, you can make payments to virtually anyone, anytime (business accounts receive up to five bill payments per month for free). Imagine paying all your bills without having to write a check or buy stamps! Watch the video below to get started. Looking for more tips like these? Visit our YouTube channel for educational videos, how-to tutorials, member success stories, and more!

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Vacations: Save Before You Set Sail

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Your mind wanders to crisp-blue skies and romantic sunsets, salty ocean breezes, and sand between your toes. Then your telephone rings and you snap back to reality. There are no blue skies or ocean breezes, just your computer monitor staring you down. Do you need a vacation? Budgets are tight, but with some disciplined planning and money-saving tricks, that dream vacation can become a reality. Be careful with plastic. Don’t finance your entire vacation on your credit card. That doesn’t mean it’s off limits, but relying solely on plastic will only lead to stress and heavy interest charges down the road. Save, save, save. Try to set aside some of every paycheck in a special savings account. Decide how much you want to have on hand to start your trip. Divide that total by the number of paychecks until vacation, then save that amount in your vacation account. If you … …continue

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What to Expect When You’re Buying a House

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Looking for your first – or next – home? You probably have many questions. How do you find the right house at the right price? What’s involved in making an offer? How do you apply for mortgage? Knowing what’s involved in the process and having someone you trust to guide you takes away the stress. This infographic gives you a detailed overview of what to expect. Have more questions? Our mortgage loan officers are here with answers. Give us a call at 800.991.2221.                                        

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March 25 Ask Tim Anything: ConnectU Facebook Chat on Loans

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As part of our Consumers ConnectU financial education series, Tim Kosak, our Consumer Lending Manager, will be taking your questions about loans on our Facebook page on Tuesday, March 25 from noon to 1 pm. Do you want to know what to expect when applying for a loan? The difference between secured and unsecured loans? Bring your questions! We’ll start the discussion with a post on our Facebook page. Comment on it with your questions, and Tim will respond as questions come in. Please remember that Facebook is a public forum. For your security and privacy, we ask that you never disclose any personal banking information online. Certain questions may require us to refer you to our Member Service Center for personal attention offline. If you have a question about your accounts with Consumers, please call us at 800.991.2221 for assistance.

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Research, Plan and Budget for That Special Vacation

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There are myriad ways to vacation, so to make the best use of your precious time and dollars, plan ahead. Start by deciding what you can afford, and then figure out what you want from the vacation. Do you want total relaxation? Intense sightseeing? Adventure? Something else? Then research likely destinations. You can do your own online research or try one-stop travel sites like Expedia.com, Travelocity.com, or Orbitz.com. You may consider consulting a professional travel agent. There’s no charge to you, and it could save significant time. If you do, make sure the agent is reputable. Ask family and friends for recommendations, and find out how long the agency’s been in business. After determining your ideal destination, consider these tips to get the most for your money: * Book your flight and hotel together as a package. The rates often are lower. * Search for airfare sales on Tuesday evenings … …continue

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Saving for the Future – Start Early

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The information in this post is provided by our partner Accel Financial Counseling. Accel’s counseling services and educational programs are available free to all Consumers members. The earlier you start saving, the more you will benefit from compounding interest. This is the interest earned on interest payments already built up in an investment fund. The earlier you begin, the larger your nest egg will grow. Here’s an example of two friends, Grace and Drew, who had different savings strategies. Grace saved $1,000 a year for 10 years, starting at age 25. Drew saved $1,000 a year for 25 years, starting at age 40. Both earned the same 8 percent return. Who ended up with more money at age 65? It had to be Drew, right? Wrong. Grace benefited from her head start and the power of compounding. Here’s the breakdown: Grace Drew Began saving at 25 Began saving at 40 … …continue

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