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Remember our branches will be closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday in observance of Memorial Day!... Read More May 24, 2019
Looking for a smart student loan option for next fall? Check out the options we... Read More May 23, 2019
6 Tips to Prevent Fraud May 23, 2019

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Congrats to one of our Youth Month contest winners! She won a new Polaroid camera... Read More May 21, 2019
Now’s a good time to plan your next Disney vacation, with help and discounts from... Read More May 20, 2019
Blessing your timeline with a couple of cute, excited siblings ready to use their new... Read More May 16, 2019
Tomorrow is Let’s Talk – Make Your Move! RSVP and more information is available here:... Read More May 15, 2019
Toy loans are 1% off now thru July! Snag your discount with the promo code:... Read More May 14, 2019
Talking Finances with your Adult Children Read more: https://www.greatbasin.org/16351/talking-finances-adult-children/Talking Finances with your Adult Children Many... Read More May 14, 2019
Talking Finances with your Adult Children May 14, 2019

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Featured

6 Tips to Prevent Fraud

paying online with a credit card

6 Tips to Prevent Fraud

Fraud is on the rise, but you can protect yourself!

As a society, we have come very far in the last 50 years. As we look at the world today we have gas-less cars, smartphones, high powered laptops, artificial intelligence, smart homes, fingerprint and facial recognition and so much more. It’s an exciting time to be alive! Our knowledge and technology have advanced so much over the years which is a great thing. Unfortunately, not everyone uses these new advancements for positive things. As we advance, so do the fraudsters. stop fraud

Here are some ways you can protect yourself against fraudsters:

  1. Always research your purchases so that you know who you are dealing with.

    Sure their offer may look good but is it too good to be true?

    • If you are buying something online, be sure to check out their website.
    • Read the fine print there may be hidden additional fees or a subscription that you are agreeing to when you were only looking to buy something one time.
    • Look the company up on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website to see if you are dealing with a reputable company. If other consumers have filed complaints about this organization through the BBB you will be able to find this on their website.
    • Check online to see what kind of reviews the company and/or product has.
    • Be wary of companies that you aren’t familiar with.
  2. Protect your personal information.

    • Store your passwords securely (look into an encrypted password app such as KeePass).
    • Beware of companies asking you for information that they should already have on file.
    • Don’t provide your card information or bank account information unless you are sure you are making a purchase and you know who you are buying from.
  3. Be cautious of unsolicited emails.

    • If you are familiar with the company but no longer wish to be on their mailing list unsubscribe from their mailing list.
    • If you don’t recognize the sender or aren’t sure if the email you received was actually sent intentionally from someone you know, do not click on any links to external websites.
  4. Be cautious of companies that try to pressure you into making a split second decision.

    • Legitimate companies don’t have to pressure you. If you want to do business with them then you will.
    • Many scammers try to pressure you into making a decision quickly and will not take no for an answer. A common type of scam involving this tactic are debt collection scams where you are being informed that you must provide payment to avoid a case being file on your social security number. That simply isn’t how it works.
  5. Stay away from promises of easy money.

    • Have you ever received a letter stating that you won the lottery and all you have to do is send in the amount owed for taxes and the rest of the money is yours? This is a common scam
    • Be careful when selling items online (via Craigslist or Facebook etc.…). In a popular scam, sellers were being contacted buy potential buyers who were offering to send cashier’s checks to the seller for payment. After the seller receives the check, the buyer contacts the seller in a panic stating they sent the check for too much and need the seller to send them some money back. This is a popular ongoing scam!
  6. Beware of phishing calls.

    When you go fishing some essential items would include a fishing rod to reel in your catch, a hook, and bait. Well it’s the same idea for fraudsters when they go phishing for information.

    Fraudsters use emails, text messages, and phone calls to contact potential prey. The fraudsters pose as legitimate companies to bait you into feeling comfortable with speaking with them. Once they have hooked you, they will reel you in and start to ask for sensitive information such as personally identifiable information (SSN, address, mother’s maiden name, date of birth etc…), banking information, credit/debit card information, and passwords.

    • Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
    • They may pressure you to act quickly, this is a common tactic used by cyber criminals.
    • Be cautious of embedded hyperlinks. Hover of it to see if the URL that comes up matches the one that is on the email.
    • Don’t open attachments from people you don’t know or were not expecting to receive something from.
    • Be cautious of unusual senders. If it seems out of the ordinary, even if it’s from someone you know, don’t click on it.

 

Talking Finances with your Adult Children

3 young men

Talking Finances with your Adult Children

Many of my clients have asked for helpful tips they can share with their adult children on managing finances, estate planning, and particularly, what they need to know as beneficiaries. I know these conversations can be difficult to initiate, both for parents and children, and want to provide you with useful information to make it easy for you to engage your adult children both in understanding your finances and being aware of your estate planning.

When Should I Start?

Clients often ask when their adult children should engage in financial discussions and estate planning. Of course, you have probably tended to the financial education of your younger children, from allowances through college funding, but once your children become adults, it’s never too early to start discussing how your estate planning is set up. Communicating clearly now can help avoid problems in the future and help make sure your wishes are carried out.

What Do I Need?

You can start by reviewing the basic documents of your estate plan with your family. These will cover the most important aspects of your life, both financial and personal, and therefore make an excellent starting place for conversations with your adult children, as well as those named in the documents as your trustees, executives, or guardians. As a reminder, these documents should be updated any time you have a change in your life circumstances, such as family marriages, births, divorce, or the accumulation of additional property or other assets.

Last Will and Testament: This is the most basic estate planning document, which contains your wishes on how your property will be handled when you die. You can leave money outright to individuals or create a trust for the benefit of your spouse and children. It also allows you to name a trustee, who will oversee the management and distribution of your assets and appoint a guardian to care for your minor children. People who die without a will (“intestate”) are at the mercy of whatever the law dictates, which may distribute their assets or decide guardians for their children. Usually, the signed original is kept with your attorney, but you should retain copies at home or in your safe deposit box. If you do not have a will, I encourage you to contact me for a referral to an estate planning attorney.

Power of Attorney: This allows you to appoint a trusted family member or friend as an official agent who can manage your finances in the event of your incapacity or death. Injury and illness can strike anyone at any age, and a power of attorney means someone will be able to handle all your necessary financial business when you are unable to yourself. Be sure your adult children know who holds this power of attorney. This is particularly important in the digital age, as there may be no traditional paper trail to follow in the event of an emergency. Because this regular power of attorney covers only your financial life, I also recommend you have a power of attorney for healthcare, discussed below.

Living Will: This document, also called an advance directive, lets you document your wishes on how your physicians and medical caregivers are to care for you in the event you are unable to communicate with them due to illness. (Note: this is not a substitute for your last will and testament.) It can also indicate how much care you wish to receive should you have a terminal illness. In addition to being certain this document is readily available, you should discuss your wishes with your family in advance. Having this document close at hand can take the awkwardness out of conversations with family members who may not wish to think about the day you will no longer be there for them.

Power of Attorney for Healthcare: This document goes beyond the living will by letting you designate a trusted family member or friend to make medical decisions for you in the event you are incapacitated, even temporarily. Along with your legal power of attorney for your financial affairs, this is an essential estate planning document. Be sure the person you designate has a copy, as well as other family members, so they know who to contact in case it is needed. And again, this is a useful starting place to discuss your healthcare wishes with your family.

HIPAA Authorization Form: As you probably know, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is a federal law that dictates who can look at your medical records or receive your health information. Use this authorization to name your family members you wish to have access to your medical information. HIPAA rules about disclosing a patient’s condition are complex, and medical professionals often prefer to err on the side of caution when speaking with family members. Your medical care team members can help you be sure you have the form you need.

Investments and Financial Accounts: By giving your adult children an overview, you can avoid unpleasant surprises—for you or for them—if they need to make decisions, health or otherwise, that may affect your finances. No matter how much or little of your situation you wish to discuss with them, you can also inspire them to begin saving and investing to help ensure their own quality of life for years to come.

To help with these important considerations, I am available to meet with you to develop a plan for communicating with your grown children or other family members, or just review your investments and finances. Please call the office for an appointment.


steve

Steve Lindquist 
stevelindquist@peakfns.com 
Financial Consultant
9600 S McCarran Blvd
Reno, NV 89523 
(775) 789-3140

www.gbfinancial.org/

Steve Lindquist is a registered representative offering securities and advisory services through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC a Broker/Dealer and Registered Investment Advisor.  Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. Registered address: 9600 S McCarran Blvd., Reno NV 89523.

Investments are not deposits; not FDIC/NCUSIF insured; and not insured by any federal government agency.  No credit union guarantee.  May lose value.

This newsletter is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information on the subjects covered. It is not, however, intended to provide specific legal, tax, or other professional advice. For specific professional assistance, the services of an appropriate professional should be sought.

CEO Jennifer Denoo’s tenure marks 25 years at GBFCU

CEO Jennifer Denoo’s tenure marks 25 years at GBFCU

Meet Jennifer. In May, she has worked at Great Basin Federal Credit Union for 25 years! We asked her to take a minute out of her busy day as CEO to tell us all a little about herself.

Favorite movie: Hard to say. I generally fall asleep in movies, no matter how action packed they are!  But the first to come to mind is Sisters.

Favorite thing to snack on while working: All. The. Things.

Favorite book: The Judgement Detox

Favorite part about working at Great Basin: The people!  Not many people get to say they work with their best friends each day.  We seriously have the most kind, generous and hardworking team ever!

Funniest thing that ever happened at work: Too many things to count!  A prank on Veronica comes to mind.  I will share more details in exchange for fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.

When I was little, I wanted to be: A mommy.

Favorite pastime: Camping with my family was so fun when I was little.  Now that I have kids of my own I love sharing in the adventure of the outdoors with them.  

Little known fact/fun fact about me: Our family is in the process of adopting a sweet little girl which will make us the Denoo party of six!

Jennifer has accomplished so much as CEO, including answering over 130 member questions personally through #JustAskJennifer.

Aren’t we lucky to have a gal like Jennifer.

Congratulations to Jennifer on this huge accomplishment! Here’s to 25 more great years!

Earth Day, every day

Young woman enjoying nature, arms raised

Did you celebrate Earth Day this year? It is the time to plant more trees and think about ways we can cut down on our own footprint on our planet. Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22nd and was first celebrated in 1970. Worldwide it is celebrated in more than 193 countries and various events are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection and is coordinated by the Earth Day Network.

Many of us are looking for easy ways that we can make a big impact. Did you know that going paperless saves trees and helps to reduce Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions? A tree can only on average produce 17 reams of paper, they take 100 years to grow large enough to produce that amount, and 110 lbs of CO2 is released into the atmosphere during production. Americans generate roughly 85 million tons of paper yearly into the waste stream and the U.S. pulp industry is the 2nd largest consumer of energy in our country (Source https://paperlessproductivity.com/eco-impact/).

 Let’s look at the environmental impact on just 10 million pages of paper:

  • Cuts down 2,500 Trees to make. If those trees grew consecutively, they would take 2,500 years to grow!
  • 56,000 gallons of oil is used for the machinery to produce the paper
  • Waste takes up 450 cubic yards of landfill space and
  • 595,000 KW of energy is used

(Source www.epa.gov)

Think about your account with Great Basin, do you have paper statements mailed to you? On average, monthly statements have 2 pages or more of printed information, plus the envelope is another piece of paper, that would mean a minimum of 3 pieces of paper per statement per member. Each member gets 12 statements a year for their checking account, which is roughly 36 or more pieces of paper per year per account. If we take that number, compared to how many members we have that is a minimum of 60,000 pieces of paper each year just for printed checking statements alone! Imagine if we all switched over to e-statements, they offer the environmental benefit of not using paper, but they are also available for your convenience whenever you need them and can be downloaded, shared, and when necessary printed from anywhere you need to. It’s easy, a free service, gets you your statements faster, and keeps your information secure!

Another way you can make a big impact on our environment and your carbon footprint is to update your home to make it more energy efficient. Most everyone already knows that by replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs like Halogen, CFL’s, and LEDS can reduce your electric bill as well as helps the environment. There are other things you can do beyond your light bulbs and it doesn’t have to break the bank to accomplish improvements and we are here to help! Were you aware that Great Basin offers Energy Saver Loans? These loans can be used towards home improvements on your home like:

  • Replacing doors, skylights, furnaces, air conditioners, coolers, heat pumps, or attic fans with energy efficient products
  • Sealing energy leaks and adding insulation
  • Purchasing energy-efficient/Energy Star appliances such as refrigerator, freezer, washer/dryer, stove, oven, and microwave
  • Xeriscape conversion

It is said that 35% of all heating and cooling is lost through the roof of your home and more can escape through the walls, windows, doors and other air leaks. By replacing your existing appliances and taking the steps to sufficiently insulate and seal air leaks you can reduce your heating and cooling bills by up to 20 percent (Source: Great Basin Energy Saver Loan).

Another great place to make an impact on your bills as well as the planet is by converting your yard or portions of your yard to xeriscape. For those who don’t know what xeriscaping is, it is when your landscaping requires minimal to zero water irrigation. It is a popular choice in Nevada already and is a natural and aesthetically pleasing choice for our climate. There are few areas in the US where grass grows with rainfall alone, and most lawns require supplemental watering throughout different seasons. American households on average use 320 gallons of water each day and 30% of that water is used on watering lawns and gardens. As much as 50% of the water used on lawns is wasted due to run off, wind and evaporation. We are all familiar with droughts, low water tables, and record high temperatures that our beautiful state of Nevada can offer, and every little bit helps to conserve our water resources for when we really need it. Xeriscaping also reduces pollution due to pesticides and other chemicals used on our lawns to maintain their lush green appearances but offers the additional bonus of being low maintenance and will save you the time of up-keeping your property as well as save you the money it takes to maintain ( source: https://greengroundswell.com/the-american-lawn-environmental-impact-of-turf-grass/2013/07/25/).

This Earth Day, and every day, we ask that you join us in trying to make our planet a better place by making little or big changes to your life and home. Each of us is important in this mission to ensure that our planet survives and thrives. If we all take these steps imagine what a happy and healthy environment we could create and enjoy for generations to come. if you are interested in getting help setting yourself up with e-statements or applying for an energy builder loan come into a branch or give us a call at 775-333-4228, we would be glad to help!

Market Volatility: 3 Steps to Keeping Calm

stocks

It is well known that the stock market goes up, and the stock market goes down, but investors are supposed to keep their wits about them and focus on their long-term goals and hold steady. 

But it can be hard to sit idly by and watch volatility in the markets—and in your portfolio—without thinking this may jeopardize your financial future. 

Market volatility is, in fact, normal and it’s not the markets’ ups and downs you need to worry about—it’s your reaction to them. Making emotional decisions during times of market volatility can have negative effects on your portfolio in the long run and even potentially impact your taxes. It’s easy to say, “keep calm,” but it’s much harder to do. Even if your stomach drops with stock prices, here are three concrete steps you can take to keep calm and carry on. 

  1. Investigate the Market Indexes
    Looking at the long-term performance of investments can help make today’s volatility less worrisome. In the past investors who did not panic and stayed in the market are the ones who reaped the biggest rewards for their patience. 

But stocks aren’t the only asset class you should be looking at. Bond prices and interest rates have their own stories to tell, too. Because there’s no centralized “brand name” bond tracking index like the Dow Jones Industrial Average, most bond investors look to the U.S. Treasury yield curve to help determine how bonds are doing.

About half of all U.S. households own stock shares, according to a 2017 Gallup report.You may own stock directly through a brokerage account, but it’s also likely that you own stocks, and possibly other investments, through your 401(k), 403(b), or other employer-sponsored retirement account. Check your account online (or request printed documents) to learn the mix of investments in any mutual funds and make an appointment with your financial advisor to discuss the pros and cons of any changes you think might benefit your future. And if you’re not already contributing the maximum allowed to any retirement plan you have, that’s one action you can take immediately that will benefit you in the years to come, regardless of where the market is today.

  1. Celebrate Your Successes and Look to the Future
    It’s likely that when you started investing, whether individually or through contributions to your employer-sponsored retirement plan, you had considerably less than you do today, even if it’s a day when the market is down. This can give you perspective on the benefits of looking at your investments as a long-term project, rather than riding the day-to-day anxiety of the markets. As for the future, just like with anything else—work projects, vacations, even meals—planning ahead is the best antidote to worry. Plan for how you want your money to support you in the coming years, such as retirement, college tuition, a second home, or travel. Your financial professional can assist you in current budgeting for future success to support your vision for a financially healthy future. 

  2. Consider Your Portfolio’s Asset Allocation
    Your investment portfolio’s mix of stocks, bonds, and cash is something to investigate and discuss with your financial advisor as part of your long-term strategy. Conventional wisdom suggests the closer you are to retirement, the more conservative your portfolio should become. There are several factors to consider carefully to get the right mix:
  • Your target retirement age and how close you are to that date
  • Your life situation, including any dependents and how old they are 
  • Your need for ready cash (i.e., liquidity)
  • Your tolerance for risk 

Investors usually take these factors into account by using strategic asset allocation, which sets targets for asset classes and re-balancing portfolios regularly to the original allocations.

Riding the Storm
Remember, when the market starts jumping, the more you know, the calmer you will be. Following these three steps, you have the tools to see a clear, realistic view both of your financial situation and your future that can keep you from reacting to inevitable market movements. If you have questions about the current market situation, strategic allocation, or any other questions about your investments or future goals, please contact my office today to schedule time.


steve

Steve Lindquist 
stevelindquist@peakfns.com 
Financial Consultant
9600 S McCarran Blvd
Reno, NV 89523 
(775) 789-3140

www.gbfinancial.org/

Steve Lindquist is a registered representative offering securities and advisory services through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC a Broker/Dealer and Registered Investment Advisor.  Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity. Registered address: 9600 S McCarran Blvd., Reno NV 89523.

Investments are not deposits; not FDIC/NCUSIF insured; and not insured by any federal government agency.  No credit union guarantee.  May lose value.

1https://news.gallup.com/poll/211052/stock-ownership-down-among-older-higher-income.aspx

Investors cannot invest directly in indexes. The performance of any index is not indicative of the performance of any investment and does not take into account the effects of inflation and the fees and expenses associated with investing.

The return and principal value of bonds fluctuate with changes in market conditions. If bonds are not held to maturity, they may be worth more or less than their original value.

Distributions from traditional 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.

Asset allocation, which is driven by complex mathematical models, cannot eliminate the risk of fluctuating prices and uncertain returns. Re-balancing may be a taxable event. Before you take any specific action be sure to consult with your tax professional.

All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. There is no assurance that any investment strategy will be successful. Past performance does not guarantee future results.