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Best wishes for his first ever marathon to Richard; Main Branch Manager, head ho... Read More February 28 2015
Wearing my new tie today and people are looking at me funny. Read More February 27 2015
Thanks much to Bonnie Drinkwater and Kerry Eaton for a great seminar! Next month... Read More February 27 2015
Why, color us flattered. #CreditUnionsFTW Read More February 24 2015
Why, color us flattered. http://t.co/OCkoUgyJZQ #CreditUnionsFTW Read More February 24 2015
Save lives with us! Plus, get a cool colored arm band and a good snack. Call to... Read More February 23 2015
Bermuda, Bahama, coooome on pretty mama... Key Largo, Montego, baaaaaby why don't we go... http://t.co/8zqRrJhrWo Read More February 20 2015
Bermuda, Bahama, coooome on pretty mama... Key Largo, Montego, baaaaaby why don'... Read More February 20 2015
Read More February 19 2015
Great turnout and great info at our First Time Home Buyers Seminar! Next month's... Read More February 19 2015

Featured

4 Things You Can Do Instead of Singing Economic Recovery Blues

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According to a recent Pew Research survey, U.S. consumers’ assessment of their personal financial situations has changed very little since the beginning of the economic recovery in 2009. One piece of explanatory data comes from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, which reported a meager 3.2 percent growth in per-capita disposable personal income (or your personal income after taxes) over the 5-year period. In fact, the current recovery’s disposable personal income growth rate is the lowest of any economic recovery in the U.S. since the 1960s.

Even if you are one of the many consumers whose financial (or career) expectations haven’t been met by the current economic recovery, plenty of opportunities still exist to take advantage of the time and hone your personal finances. Here are a few:

Continue to Pay Off Student Debt

The majority of young-adult (ages 20 to 40) households with student debt have less than $10,000 of it. However, the New York Times reports that at 4 percent in 2010, “the share of income that a typical student debtor has to devote to loan payments is only marginally higher than it was in the early 1990s.” Though you may not have a lot of money to devote to your student loans, even $50 or $100 each month would help establish the direction of your finances towards the elimination of debt (as opposed to its accumulation).

Finish Your College Degree

If you took out loans to begin college and walked away before receiving a degree, you may want to consider returning to finish the necessary coursework. The income gap is widening between those with a college degree and those without, and you could increase your employment opportunities and future earning potential by completing the degree.

Plan for a Financial Emergency

Even if you think you are in line to receive a raise or promotion, it is a wise idea to be financially prepared for a pay cut, layoff, or other monetary pitfall. Saving up three to six months’ worth of income in a bank account may seem tedious, but it is a healthy financial practice, and a great way to avoid having to take on emergency debt in an adverse circumstance. Checking your financial institution’s health, especially to make sure your funds are federally insured, is also a part of planning for an emergency. In some instances of bank failure, even if your funds are insured, it can take days and even weeks to receive them – it would be best to avoid the risk of those instances altogether with your emergency funds.

Pick Up a Side Job or Two

A weaker than expected jobs recovery has contributed to a host of creative employment ideas in the “sharing economy.” Uber, Instacart, and TaskRabbit are examples of companies that connect consumers in order to create mutually beneficial transactions, such as grocery delivery or car rides. Odd jobs abound in this economy, especially as full-time work becomes scarcer. Developing another source of income that would require minimal ongoing commitment is a great way to create your own financial recovery.

The current economic recovery may not be an automatic boon for you financially, but you should still take advantage of the many ways to improve your personal finances and set yourself up for future success. The above suggestions may also help you weather another economic downturn and prepare you to better take advantage of the next recovery.

This article was written by Patrick Russo.

Meet Your Ne-va-duh Legislators

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Everybody, meaning Nevada Everybodies, knows that Nevada is different and we take just a little pleasure in doing things…differently. Like the Ne-vah-duh versus Ne-va-duh thing. One of the coolest things unique to the Silver State is our civilian legislature and the fact they are really pretty normal folks. Our state legislators meet every other year for 120 days (yup, sometimes longer), but then they return to their day jobs to pay the mortgage. You’d be surprised just how little they get paid for the time they have to invest. Over the years I’ve gotten to know many of the Northern Nevada legislative candidates and legislators and I’m always appreciative of how accessible they are, even during the legislative session. It’s a very common thing to be able to walk right into their office in the Legislative Building and meet and talk to them about any concern or item of interest you may have. Over the past several election cycles, Nevada credit unions have sponsored Candidate Meet and Greets to allow our members to get to meet the candidates who will be dealing with the issues of the State. We are again inviting our members to meet the candidates running for Assembly and Senate seats around the Reno/Sparks area. It’s to be held at the Atlantis Hotel Casino 2nd floor Convention Rooms on Wednesday, August 22nd, from 6:00 to 7:30 PM. I invite you to meet your potential assemblyman or senator. You’ll be pleasantly surprised…they speak American and are really nice people who are very approachable and interested to hear from the voters they want to represent. This is a very cool thing we do in Nevada and I hope you appreciate it. Please come and visit.

 

 

 

 

 

Appetizers will be served. Free raffle entry.

Contact Anthony Rodriguez at 775.334.3151 to attend this no-cost event.

Something Smells “Phishy”

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We have had several members contact us in the last few days because they received a telephone call from “their financial institution” informing them their debit card has been compromised.  The caller asks our member for their card number and other identifying information explaining that they can help our member obtain a new card. As consumers, we all know not to give our information to just anyone, and in hindsight a scam like this seems so easy to detect. Certainly a caller from your actual financial institution would already have your card number and information, right? But these scams must be working on someone or the fraudsters would quit trying. The caller can sound very convincing: “Hello, this is Jennifer from your financial institution, and I am calling because we received a report that your card information has been compromised.  Can you please verify some information for me so we can cancel that card and send you a new one?”

Don’t worry – getting this type of phone call does not mean that your personal information has already been compromised.  You’ll notice that they generally use easy-to-obtain or generic information to lure you in. This is not an uncommon scam and it can happen with a phone call or an email.  For more tips on how to not get “hooked” by a phishing scam, visit http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/alerts/alt127.shtm.

We are so proud of our members!  Within a few hours, we had over a dozen members let us know that they had been contacted and NONE of them gave the information out!  That just means that our membership and our community is standing up to this type of crime.  Notice to fraudsters:  Take our members off of your call list!

Want to Retire Tomorrow?

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I tell members they ­might be able to, but it depends on how much money they want to live on.  Some people prefer to work longer so they can have a higher income; others are willing to live on less if they can retire earlier.  That’s why financial planning is such an individual process.

Setting goals is the first most important step.  I worked with one member who needed to retire for health reasons but didn’t think he could until all his debts were paid off.  I helped him design an income plan in which he had a higher income until his debts were paid off and then lowered it for future years.  Another member wanted to retire early and thought he would use his 401k to pay off his house so he could live less expensively.  I showed him that he would pay so much in early withdrawal penalties and taxes it would use up his whole account.  Instead, we set up a monthly automatic withdrawal to pay his house payment and invested the rest of the funds for future growth.  Many members want a higher income stream early in retirement while they still have to pay for health insurance or want to do a lot of traveling.

So do you have enough to retire tomorrow?  It depends on what your goals are.  Get the clearest idea you can about what is most important.    If you are not ready, you’ll have to decide whether you want to retire later, live on less, save more, or some combination of the above.

Join us for a complimentary workshop on avoiding the “10 Most Common Retirement Mistakes” on Wednesday, February 29th at 5:30 p.m. This workshop will be held at the Main Branch. Please click here for details and to RSVP.

Betsy Dart is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM for the MEMBERS Financial Services programs located in Great Basin Federal Credit Union.   For more information on Betsy and her services, please click here.

Great Basin Blog Switches Things Up

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Firstly, thank you to our loyal members and blog followers.  This blog is still in its infancy, but so far has been a lot of fun for us.  To this point, the blog posts have been provided by our Executive Team of three.  However, our employees have recently shown some interest in contributing as well.  With that said, we’d like to introduce our newly formatted and named “GB Blog”.  Posts will now include various topics and points of view from the executives to the tellers and employees that you deal with on a daily basis at our branches.  We hope you enjoy and feel free to interact!  Thank you!