Posted on 8/2/2017 12:43 PM By First Bank
More than 70 percent of college graduates began their career owing more than $37,000 in student loans in 2016. Considering this debt load and other living expenses, young adults are delaying major life events like getting married or buying a home. It’s critical for new college graduates to focus on their financial future as they receive their diploma, says the American Bankers Association. ABA has highlighted six traps new college graduates should avoid to position themselves for financial success as they transition from the dorm room to the office.
“Student loans, housing costs and plenty of other living expenses come fast and furious after graduation, so it’s extremely important to start off on the right track with positive financial habits,” said Corey Carlisle, executive director of the ABA Foundation. “We can’t stress enough how vital it is to plan for the future.”
New college graduates should avoid the following six financial traps:
Posted on 6/15/2017 8:21 AM By First Bank
14 Tips for Stopping Elder Financial Abuse in its Tracks
Every year, millions of seniors fall victim to financial fraud. Studies show elder financial abuse costs seniors approximately $2.9 billion each year. In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, First Bank is urging older clients and their trusted caregivers to safeguard all personal information and stay alert to the common signs of financial abuse.
“Fraudsters often prey on seniors experiencing cognitive decline, limited mobility and other disabilities that require them to rely more heavily on others for help,” said Kelly Wiese, Senior Vice President/Director of Marketing. “Appointing someone you know and trust to handle your financial matters aids tremendously in the fight against these crimes.”
First Bank is offering the following tips:
Plan ahead to protect your assets and to ensure your wishes are followed. Talk to someone at your financial institution, an attorney, or financial ad ...
Posted on 6/7/2017 9:44 AM By First Bank
Summer vacation plans for many travelers have already begun. For many, this is the one week (or two) each year where everyone in the family is off from school, work, and team sports, so the desire to splurge is certainly understandable. Although enjoying your well-deserved vacation should be the primary goal, it’s also necessary to keep over-spending in check by having a reasonable budget in mind. Vacations can be expensive—the average American household spent approximately $1,800 per person on summer vacations last year, and that cost continues to rise in 2017. With over 44% of that budget going toward transportation, establishing an overall vacation budget is better done BEFORE the trip, not after the excitement has already begun. Not sure where to begin? Let’s get started!
1) Check with a trusted travel agent. Although there are many resources available online, checking with a travel agent before your trip may prove to be helpful. Often, agents have access to special offers and res ...
Posted on 6/1/2017 12:03 PM By First Bank
Though the internet has countless uses and advantages in our daily lives, it can also make users vulnerable to fraud, identity theft, and other scams. According to a recent survey, a staggering 12 adults become a victim of cybercrime every second.
We’d like to recommend the following tips to keep you safe online:
1. Keep your computers and mobile devices up to date. Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats. Turn on automatic updates so you receive up-to-date fixes as they become available.
2. Set strong passwords. A strong password is at least eight characters in length and includes a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.
3. Watch out for phishing scams. Phishing scams use fraudulent emails and websites to trick users into disclosing private account ...
Posted on 5/25/2017 12:46 PM By First Bank
The U.S. Department of Education provides more than $150 billion in financial assistance for education each year. However, if you want your child to have a chance at receiving any of this aid, you’ll have to fill out FAFSA. FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is one of the most significant determinants of how your child’s higher education will be funded. Administered by the Department of Education, FAFSA analyzes your income and other household financial information to determine your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which in turn determines how much financial aid your child is eligible to receive. Learn why it’s important to submit FAFSA and what you’ll need to do during the submission process.
Who should fill out FAFSA?
The short answer to this question is everyone that wants to pursue higher education. There is technically no income limit for who can receive federal aid, and FAFSA also makes you eligible for non-need-based aid, such as federal loans. There ...
Posted on 5/1/2017 11:59 AM By First Bank
It's May, also known as graduation season. Do you know of a graduating senior or do you have one in your household? Many new graduates find themselves in a new, more independent role, along with the financial independence that often comes along with living on their own. Although this is an exciting time, it can also be intimidating as money management is a big part of adulthood.
In order to help get students started on the path to financial independence, we wanted to offer the following tips:
Help your student learn the importance of creating a budget. The first step in managing your own finances is to create a realistic budget and sticking to it.
Watch spending. Keep all receipts and track spending. Pace all spending (even minor purchases) and increase saving by cutting unnecessary expenses, like eating out or shopping for new clothes, so that your money can last longer.
Use credit wisely. Understand the responsibilities that come with using cred ...
Posted on 4/1/2017 11:57 AM By First Bank
This year the deadline for individuals to file or request an extension is April 18 th. If you owe taxes, filing an extension does not mean you get an extension to pay.
With the tax deadline looming, individuals who gifted cash or goods to charity in 2016 may be able to claim a deduction on their federal return. Before you do there are some important facts to know before taking the deduction:
Qualified Charity - The donation must be made to a qualified charitable organization. Gifts to specific individuals, political organizations, social clubs and foreign organizations (certain Canadian, Israeli or Mexican charitable organizations allowed) are not deductible. Confirm with the organization their status. Beware of fake charities set up by scam artists.
Itemize Deductions - In order to deduct charitable contributions the taxpayer must itemize deductions.
Benefit in Return - If you get something in return for the donation, this may reduce the amount you are able to deduct. Taxpaye ...
Posted on 1/30/2017 10:15 AM By First Bank
Every year in the fall, the Internal Revenue Service announces the annual inflation adjustments for the next year. For 2017, the biggest news is there is very little change. Due to the low cost-of-living index, most of the figures did not meet the threshold to trigger an increase. Summarized below are a few highlights comparing 2016 and 2017:
The data contained in this article is for information purposes only and is not intended for legal, tax or accounting advice. The information was taken from sources we believe are reliable and may be subject to change.
Posted on 1/17/2017 10:48 AM By First Bank
We’re just a couple of weeks into 2017 – time to begin (or maybe make) those New Year’s resolutions. Mine happen to include a few healthful goals, devoting more of my personal time to charitable organizations with causes I hold dear, and, like so many others, to simply find more time in my day. Do these mirror any of your resolutions? Time and time again, my colleagues and I hear from our clients one resounding request, “How can you save me time?” Similar sentiments from leaders at all levels of organizations always include “the need for more time.” If this is also on your list of to-do’s this year, take comfort in knowing you are certainly not alone. Whether it’s time to implement new career goals, time to build or explore business expansion, more time for the things we enjoy, some time for quiet tranquility, or more time for family, there’s one thing we all want more of–time.
I’ve heard it said, time management is life management; ma ...
Posted on 10/11/2016 11:00 AM By First Bank
October is Financial Planning month and around the nation cities are hosting free Financial Planning Days. The events are a combined effort of four non-profit organizations: Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Financial Planning Association, Foundation for Financial Planning and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Local CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals volunteer their time to offer free advice in one-on-one sessions or workshops. If you cannot attend your local event or do not have one in your area, it is a good time to do your own financial tune-up.
Know Where You Stand
The first step is to evaluate your current situation. Just like using a navigation system to find the best route to your destination, you need to know your starting point. There are four keystones to a comprehensive financial review.
1. Goals and Concerns: Evaluate where you want to be and any potential road blocks along the way.
2. Net Worth: As the foundation of achieving your financial dreams, get an idea of ...