Consumers, which began operations in 1951, currently serves more than 60,000 members in West Michigan with 16 offices and over $600 million in total assets. Two of our offices are now in Grand Rapids. We offer all of the same services at these new locations, including Investment Services.
Mike Smeenge is our CFS* financial advisor for the Grand Rapids area. He can assist you with retirement planning and accounts, educational planning, and managing investment accounts.
About his career as a financial advisor, Smeenge says, “I’ve been passionate about retirement planning for as long as I can remember. I enjoy helping members design and build a solid financial plan and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having a financial coach to help them along the way.”
Stop in at our Grand Rapids locations, in Gaines Township (1673 68th St. SE, Caledonia, MI 49316) and Cascade (5597 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512) and make an appointment to meet with Mike today! Call us at 800.991.2221 or visit our website to find out more.
To celebrate the opening of our Grand Rapids locations, any member can enter to win a 70” Smart TV! Entries are online here. Stop in any of our 16 offices to enter to win. Drawing takes place June 30, 2015.
One in five adults admits to being a chronic procrastinator. Among college students, the number may be as high as seven in 10, which might explain those all-nighters.1 In the “real world,” you can’t always cram for finals.
Procrastination can have far-reaching effects on important activities and decisions, such as completing tasks at work, obtaining medical treatment, and saving for retirement. A study of more than 22,000 people suggests that chronic procrastinators tend to have lower salaries and a higher likelihood of unemployment.2
Academic research provides some insights into procrastination that may be helpful if you or someone you know has a tendency to put off important tasks.
Repairing Your Mood
Procrastinators often feel anxiety about a task, so they try to make themselves feel better through “mood repair” — by doing something more enjoyable, such as surfing the Web, walking the dog, or making another pot of coffee.3 If this sounds familiar, you may be able to modify your behavior by doing some of the following.
Imagine your future self. One study found that people who viewed a digital image of themselves as they might appear in old age would contribute more to their retirement accounts than those who viewed a current image.4 On a more immediate level, try to imagine how good you might feel when you complete a project compared with the less pleasant feelings you might have if you don’t.
Take the plunge. Although a big project may seem daunting, getting a start — any start — could reduce the anxiety. Depending on the project, this might be a small first step or jumping in and preparing an outline, rough draft, or initial research, knowing you can polish and improve it later.
Forgive yourself. If you’ve postponed a task, don’t waste time feeling guilty. In most cases, “better late than never” really does apply.
Living in the Present
Procrastinators tend to be “present biased” rather than “time consistent” in their decision making, which means they tend to over-value immediate rewards and delay tasks whose rewards may be in the future. They might intend to take action tomorrow, but when tomorrow comes they postpone the task again, because tomorrow is now the present and they don’t want to act in the present.5
This tendency also affects the response to reminders, such as an email that a bill is due or a note that pops up on your calendar. If a reminder is regular and expected, a procrastinator may treat it as another present event to be pushed into the future. On the other hand, unexpected reminders tend to be more effective.6 It may be difficult to set up random reminders for yourself, but most calendar programs allow you to set up two separate reminders, and the second one might catch your attention. For some bills, you might set up automatic payments.
Whatever you decide to do to control procrastination, here’s one piece of advice:
Do it now!
1–3) The Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2014
4) usnews.com, January 14, 2013
5–6) National Bureau of Economic Research, 2014
The information in this article is not intended as tax or legal advice, and it may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. You are encouraged to seek tax or legal advice from an independent professional advisor. The content is derived from sources believed to be accurate. Neither the information presented nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. This material was written and prepared by Emerald. Copyright 2015 Emerald Connect, LLC.
Find more information about investing here. Call our Member Service Center at 800.991.2221 0r stop in at any one of our offices and find out how you can set up a complimentary meeting with a Consumers Credit Union Investment Services Representative.
Click here to view dates and register for one of the many complimentary seminars Consumers Credit Union offers to its membership.
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How about an introduction to how Consumers can make your life easier and set you on the road to financial success? Click the Download Link button to view our interactive Welcome eMagazine.
401(k)s. IRAs. At first glance, comparing your retirement savings options seems to require decoding an alphabet soup! “Let’s break down your retirement savings options to the basics,” says Tim Kosak, Consumer Lending Manager at Consumers Credit Union. Listen to learn the difference between employer funded retirement accounts, individual retirement accounts, and other retirement savings options.
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 headache of trying to tackle this task alone, seek the advice of a trained professional. Your credit union is staffed with experienced financial professionals who may be able to help identify investment goals and develop and implement a well-structured investment plan.
Define Your Retirement
It’s important to decide how you want your retired life to look. This is your chance to define the next stage in your life. Will you continue working in some regard? Most baby boomers are interested in a rewarding second act. Discover what you’re passionate about and incorporate that into your retirement.
Test-Drive Your Budget
One of the most important steps in analyzing your retirement picture is being aware of your total household expenses. Unfortunately, many of us may not be aware of what our current lifestyle costs. In retirement, you may find it necessary to live on a smaller portion of your pre-retirement income. For example, if you plan on retiring on 85% of your current income, consider carving out 15% of your current income and investing it in your retirement account. This strategy may help you in preparation of living on a reduced income, potentially boost your overall retirement account balance, and possibly reduce your taxable income.
Who Can Help Me?
As there often seems to be an insurmountable number of variables in navigating your retirement picture, the aid of an experienced financial professional can be an invaluable resource. Please visit your credit union branch today so that we may assist you in answering many of these difficult questions.
*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. Consumers Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.
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:
|Began saving at 25||Began saving at 40|
|Saved for 10 years||Saved for 25 years|
|Age now is 65||Age now is 65|
|Total saved: $10,000||Total saved: $25,000|
|Savings grew to $157,435.17||Savings grew to $78,954.42|
Totals assume $1,000 savings is made at the beginning of each year.
Need to talk to a financial counselor about saving money? As a member of Consumers Credit Union, you can take advantage of the Accel program, a free financial education and counseling program. Accel counselors are available Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 12 a.m. (EST), Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. To use this service, simply call 1-877-33ACCEL (332-2235) or visit them on the web at www.accelservices.org
401(k)s. IRAs. At first glance, comparing your retirement savings options seems to require decoding an alphabet soup! “Let’s break down your retirement savings options to the basics,” says Tim Kosak, Consumer Lending Manager at Consumers Credit Union.
Watch our video, the fourth in the Consumers ConnectU October retirement series, to learn the difference between employer funded retirement accounts, individual retirement accounts, and other retirement savings options.
Have more questions about retirement planning? Watch the other videos in the series:
Our CFS* Financial Advisors can assist with an IRA rollover by helping you develop an investment plan that meets your needs; assist with the paperwork for your 401(k) rollover; and, if needed, contact your retirement plan sponsor to move your eligible retirement plan assets.
If you would like to learn more about a 401(k) rollover or have other retirement plan questions, please contact a CFS* Financial Advisor at Consumers for a complimentary consultation.
*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. (Consumers Credit Union OR “The credit union”) has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members. For specific tax advice, please consult a qualified tax professional.