In the Spotlight
Did you know?
Regularly check your credit report.
Look at your credit report at least three times a year to make sure there are no errors on it. If you find incorrect information, contact the credit reporting agency and dispute it as soon as possible. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com to view your official, free credit reports from Equifax, Experian and Transunion.
Tech support scams
If you get a call from someone saying your computer needs an emergency update, hang up. Don’t fall for this tech support scam designed to steal your money or worse, install a virus or malware on your computer. Only allow people you know and trust access to your computer.
Start early for tax time.
Don’t wait until the last minute to get organized for tax time. Set aside an hour or two each month to gather and properly store receipts, cancelled checks, and other documents necessary to prepare your taxes. Take it one step farther by scanning your information.
Don’t take the bait, avoid phishing scams
If you’ve ever gotten an email saying you won a prize from a contest you didn’t enter or that a foreign prince wants you to cash a check, then it’s probably a phishing scam. Thieves hope to trick you into sharing personal and financial details. Spot the signs of a phishing attack. If the message seems weird, don’t click; delete it.
Save for education. Get tax breaks!
Coverdell Education Savings Accounts and 529 Plans allow tax-deferred growth of investments and experience no taxes when withdrawn for qualified educational purposes.
Big life changes? Time for an insurance review.
Have you recently gotten married or had a child? If so, you should review your insurance needs. Consider purchasing a Life Insurance policy or adding to what you may already have.
Car hunting? Shop smart.
Shopping for a car? Do a little research and hunt for the best deal possible. Don’t be afraid to walk away if you don’t like what the dealership is offering you. Visit multiple dealerships to be sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Or use a car buying service and leave the negotiations to a trusted source.
Make saving automatic.
Pay yourself first! Use automatic deductions from your payroll or checking accounts to make deposits in IRAs, mutual funds, or other savings and investment accounts.
Make your wishes known.
Leave clear instructions about medical decisions that need to be made on your behalf if you can't make them. A living will and a Healthcare Power of Attorney help make it easier for your loved ones to make tough decisions. Find out more about these important documents at Estate Planning Essentials.
LGFCU is a part of an international movement that puts people first
While our focus is North Carolina, we’re also a part of the worldwide credit union movement! That’s why in October we celebrate International Credit Union Day. This day is dedicated to member appreciation and the seven basic principles that make credit unions unique. See how LGFCU lives those values everyday.
Should you have a special needs trust?
If you have a disabled adult child receiving public benefits, a Special Needs Trust might be good to consider. This will help you gift money to your child upon your death while still protecting those public benefits. Talk to an attorney specializing in Special Needs Trusts to determine if this is right for you.
You’re a member AND an owner
One member, one vote is how LGFCU members equally participate in electing the leadership, setting policies and making decisions about the Credit Union. It’s what makes credit unions different from banks. We’re a financial cooperative owned and controlled by members.
Changing jobs? Roll over your retirement account.
If changing jobs, resist the temptation to access funds from your retirement account. Roll your funds into your new employer’s plan or into an IRA. This will save you taxes and penalties while bolstering your retirement funding.
Make your estate plan today!
Don’t wait until your hair begins to gray to plan for your estate. Secure your wishes and intents in the present by completing your will, your health care directive, and a durable power of attorney.
Strong passwords protect your devices
Whether you wear or carry your device, adding a strong password or passphrase can help keep devices secure anytime, anywhere. A strong password can’t easily be guessed, is longer, and uses a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
Review your will regularly.
If you created a Last Will and Testament several years ago, it might need to be updated. Pull it out, dust it off and read your will at least every three years. Remember to update it each time you have significant life changes such as marriage or starting a family. Find out how LGFCU can help you get it done with the Estate Planning Essentials Program.
Lock down your home network.
Got guests? Create another wireless network name and password on your home router specifically for visiting devices. You’ll improve the security of your wireless network since it’s separate from the family network.