Online Banking

Username:
Password:
 
 

Latest News

Be More Diligent Than Ever January 13, 2022

Read More

Year-End Tax Planning Tips December 2, 2021

Read More

Watch Out for Fraud This Holiday Season November 19, 2021

Read More

60 Day Rollover Rule – What You Need to Know November 1, 2021

Read More

Mixed Signals on Inflation September 29, 2021

Read More

5 Ways a Roth IRA Can Help Minimize Your Taxes in Retirement August 4, 2021

Read More

Spotting Credit Trouble July 23, 2021

Read More

How Much are you Contributing to Your Retirement? May 28, 2021

Read More

Getting a Head Start on College Savings May 3, 2021

Read More

Rebalancing Your Portfolio April 12, 2021

Read More

Featured

Be More Diligent Than Ever

In April of 2020, I created a procedure to help GBFCU employees report fraud incidents with our members. As of December 31st, 2021, 228 claims and cases have been closed. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic began, I am glad that we started this initiative and finally created a department that can manage the tasks associated with managing fraud and preventing losses for both members and the credit union. There were plenty of people who lost their jobs during the pandemic and there were equally as many scammers promising financial help. As people began looking to social media for a way to stay busy during quarantine and stay connected with friends and family they could no longer visit, scammers took advantage of social media outlets too – looking for people who they could call their next victim.

About 85% of the reported cases internally have had to do with members falling for some social engineering scam – with romancing scams and job offer scams being the top two. I ask myself; why is it so easy for them to fall for it? Did they not see the red flags? But hindsight is always 20/20. I realize now that scammers use manipulating and convincing tactics such as threats, creating a sense of urgency, and by sweet talk and wooing their next victim. 

It is so important for all of us to think twice and trust our guts when communicating with people we don’t know.  As human beings, we’re brought up to empathize, be kind, and be helpful. These are all great traits but seeing more fraud than ever, we must remain aware and stay diligent as well. It is so important to take a pause and evaluate our decisions before making a move. We live in a world where it’s getting harder to determine what is real or what is not, and if we do that, we might just prevent a scammer from scamming us if we take a moment to evaluate what might really be happening.

Thanks to Jay, our Fraud Manager for sharing the insight and for keeping our members safe and alert! Be sure to follow us on social media for more tips to keep you – and your information – safe!

Year-End Tax Planning Tips

Everybody wants to save on their taxes. If you think tax-saving strategies are too complicated, you could be missing out on tax savings. There are a few simple tax-saving strategies available to nearly everyone. Tax planning is more than completing and filing your state and federal taxes. Year-end tax planning means going over potential tax deductions that you may have missed during the year. Use these planning strategies with enough time to take advantage of any potential deductions.

Defer Income

Rather than taking a bonus at the end of the year, consider pushing it to the beginning of next year. If you are self-employed, you can use a similar tactic by waiting to send year-end billings and invoices until the beginning of the year. For stocks you have capital gains on, rather than selling them in the current year, consider selling them in the next year. This will reduce your income in the current year and also reduce what you owe in taxes. This strategy will work if the additional income will push you into a higher tax bracket. If the extra income doesn’t change the tax bracket you’re in, you can refrain from deferring that income.

Tax-Loss Harvesting

Tax-loss harvesting is another strategy that can reduce the taxes you owe. Through tax-loss harvesting, the capital gains from one investment balance out the capital losses from another investment. It reduces the taxes you’re required to pay on the capital gains you receive from an investment increasing in value. Tax-loss harvesting won’t eliminate what you owe for this year’s taxes, but it can help offset what you owe on your taxable investment accounts.

Maximize 401(k) Contributions

If you have a 401(k) retirement account with your employer and haven’t made the maximum contributions for the year, the end of the year is a great time to do so. As contributions to your employer-sponsored retirement account are pretax, the more contributions you make, the lower your taxable income is. You can deduct the contributions you make to your 401(k) from your yearly taxes while also reducing your taxable income. Because 401(k) contributions come from your paycheck, you must speak with your employer to increase what you’re adding to your retirement account. Your HR team should be able to help you find out how much you’ve already contributed and how much you need to save to hit the annual limit. Increasing your retirement contributions will decrease your take-home pay but will help you reduce your taxable income and save more for your retirement.

Check On HSA Contributions

Like making 401(k) contributions, adding money to your HSA reduces your taxable income for the year while reducing what you owe in taxes. And HSA contributions are tax-deductible. Also, like making 401(k) contributions, you may need to speak with your employer to change your HSA contributions. This will ensure these contributions are pre-taxed and decrease your taxable income. Additionally, many HSAs let you invest in various funds, which have the potential to earn income and increase the value of your HSA. While funds in an HSA can only go toward medical purchases, it never hurts to have a little more saved for medical expenses.

Use these tips in your year-end tax planning and make the most of your income! If you have questions about how you can reduce your taxes or need help applying these strategies, contact the office.

 

Steve Lindquist


Steve Lindquist

Steve Lindquist
[email protected]
Financial Consultant
295 Los Altos Parkway, Suite 105
Sparks, NV 89436
(775) 789-3140

www.gbfinancial.org/


Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Individuals cannot invest directly in an index.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2020 FMG Suite.

Watch Out for Fraud This Holiday Season

Vector Scams

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! But as you begin your holiday shopping and party prepping, scammers are ready to take advantage of the season by scouring the internet for ways to steal your personal information and make it…not so wonderful. Stay alert and watch out for these common forms of fraud as we head into the holidays.

Home Delivery Scams.

As more people shop online, scammers have been known to pose as companies like Amazon or FedEx and text or email unsuspecting shoppers asking for help delivering a package. Oftentimes, the message will come with a link that prompts victims to enter their personal information or, it will install malware on the device and steal the information in the background. 

Holiday Job Scams.

Many companies look for seasonal help this time of year. Some scammers will post fake job ads and ask for money upfront or ask you to deposit a check on their behalf. Legitimate companies will never ask you for money and will only ask for information (like your social security number) after you’ve been interviewed and hired. 

Charity Scams.

Less-than-honest groups will sometimes solicit people for money using the names of well-known and reputable charities. People will blindly donate to these fake “charities” in the spirit of giving without verifying any of the information provided. 

Tech Support Scams.

Shopping online and come across someone claiming to be tech support? It’s best you close your browser tabs and windows and ignore them. Victims of these phishing scams will unknowingly give them money through gift cards, prepaid cards, wire transfers, or P2P transfer apps (think Venmo or CashApp) with the belief that something is critically wrong with their device. Of course, nothing is, and the scammers will run off with the money before the victim even realizes they’ve been duped. 

Holiday Coupon & Gift Card Scams.

We all love a good deal, right? If you come across digital coupons that ask for your social security number and banking information, they’re fraudulent and should be ignored. Legitimate discount websites would never ask for this information. Likewise, some scammers may try to convince you to purchase gift cards in order to process a refund for an overpayment of non-existent goods or will act like they are contacting you on behalf of a loved one who is in trouble.

Holiday Getaway Scams.

Scammers will contact you claiming you’ve won an all-expenses-paid trip somewhere, but in order to claim your prize, you have to give the contest host several pieces of personal information like your banking information or social security number. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. 

While this list isn’t inclusive of every scam out there, many will follow similar patterns. Remember, your gut is your best friend. If something doesn’t feel right or something seems off, listen to your gut and ignore the email, hang up the phone, or close out your browser window. Our Fraud Center has plenty of resources and tools that help you understand the different forms of fraud that you may come across year-round.

 

Thanks to Jill, our Fraud Specialist for sharing these holiday scams. Be sure to follow us on social media – she’ll be sharing even more tips to keep you safe all year round!

 

Source: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/personal-finance/holiday-scams/; https://www.ftc.gov 

60 Day Rollover Rule – What You Need to Know

If you have a retirement account set up and you’re making regular contributions, that’s great! There may come a time when you need to move these retirement savings from one account to another, and there are rules that come with this transaction.

A common reason that people initiate a rollover is because they are changing employers. Rather than keeping any money in a 401(k) under a former employer’s retirement administrator, you can move your savings into a traditional or Roth IRA.

IRA Transfer Options

When you transfer your IRA funds from one financial institution to another, you have a few options.

There is a custodian/trustee to custodian/trustee transfer. This type of transaction leaves the transfer to the financial institutions and ensures that you, the account holder, don’t come into contact with any funds. It’s a straightforward method and avoids any penalties or tax scenarios.

IRA 60-Day Rollover Rule

You can also transfer funds using a rollover. In this case, as the account holder, you’re more involved with the transfer. In fact, it becomes your responsibility.

Using an IRA rollover, the original custodian sends you a check for the total amount you’re withdrawing from your IRA. You’ll then send the check to the new custodian. You have 60 days from when you receive the funds from the previous financial institution to when the new financial institution receives the funds.

Should the new financial institution not receive the check within the 60-day window, you could incur income tax on your funds and have to pay penalties.

One key component of a rollover is that the check from your former IRA institution is made payable to you. If you’re moving your money via transfer, the check is payable to the receiving institution for your benefit.

To qualify for the 60-day rule, the two accounts must be the same type of IRA – Roth or traditional IRA. The original custodian will send a tax form called a 1099-R, which you will file with your yearly income taxes. The custodian will also submit a Form 5498 to the IRS showing the contributed/transferred amount.

One Year Waiting Rule

You’re allowed one rollover per year. Any additional rollovers will count as a distribution, and you will have to report those funds as income on your taxes. If you decide to have a custodian transfer the funds instead, there isn’t a limit to how many transactions you can make.

If you plan to rollover or transfer your retirement funds, it’s crucial you follow all the rules, as the IRS is strict about people following this process correctly. If you’re thinking about moving your retirement funds, contact the office to find the simplest and most effective way to transfer your money.

 

 

Steve Lindquist


Steve Lindquist

Steve Lindquist
[email protected]
Financial Consultant
295 Los Altos Parkway, Suite 105
Sparks, NV 89436
(775) 789-3140

www.gbfinancial.org/


Distributions from traditional IRAs and employer sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income and, if taken prior to reaching age 59½, may be subject to an additional 10% IRS tax penalty. A Roth IRA offers tax free withdrawals on taxable contributions. To qualify for the tax-free and penalty-free withdrawal of earnings, a Roth IRA must be in place for at least five tax years, and the distribution must take place after age 59½ or due to death, disability, or a first time home purchase (up to a $10,000 lifetime maximum). Depending on state law, Roth IRA distributions may be subject to state taxes. 

Before rolling over your retirement account, consider all available options, which include remaining with your current retirement plan, rolling over into a new employer’s plan or IRA, or cashing out the account value. When deciding between an employer-sponsored plan and IRA, there may be important differences to consider – such as range of investment options, fees and expenses, availability of services, and distribution rules (including differences in applicable taxes and penalties). Depending on your plan’s investment options, in some cases, the investment management fees associated with your plan’s investment options may be lower than similar investment options offered outside the plan

Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Individuals cannot invest directly in an index.

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2020 FMG Suite.

Mixed Signals on Inflation

Are you having a tough time keeping track of inflation’s mixed signals? You’re not alone.

Consumer prices in July climbed at their fastest rate since August 2008. Worse, producer prices, which can be an indicator of future price changes at the consumer level, rose at the highest rate since tracking began.1

However, in recent weeks, the stock market has shrugged off the inflation news, believing that the worst is over and rising prices will moderate in the future.

It’s important to remember that the stock market is a discounting mechanism, which means it’s always looking forward. Put another way, the stock market’s price today represents all available information about current and future events. How far forward is the stock market looking? Most would agree it’s “discounting” activity six to nine months into the future.2

Does that mean inflation will be lower in six to nine months? That’s what the stock market is suggesting. But the stock market also has a less-than-perfect record as a discounting mechanism, largely because the future is somewhat unknowable.2

Inflation is just one factor to consider when making adjustments to a portfolio. But if you’re unsure, thanks to the mixed messaging I’ve seen lately, please reach out. We’d welcome the chance to hear your perspective

 

Steve Lindquist


Steve Lindquist

Steve Lindquist
[email protected]
Financial Consultant
295 Los Altos Parkway, Suite 105
Sparks, NV 89436
(775) 789-3140

www.gbfinancial.org/


1. CNBC, August 11, 2021

2. Investopedia.com, April 28, 2021

Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. The S&P 500 Composite Index is an unmanaged group of securities considered to be representative of the stock market in general. Index performance is not indicative of the past performance of a particular investment. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Individuals cannot invest directly in an index.

 

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG, LLC, is not affiliated with the named broker-dealer, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. Copyright 2020 FMG Suite.

 

X

 

Apply in 3 Steps

Already a member?

You can use your Online Banking login credentials for a simplified application process:

Not a Member Yet?

Or not enrolled in Online Banking yet? No problem! Our loan application is still quick and easy: