Cybersecurity, keeping your passwords protected, maintaining the security of your personal information

Chances are, you’ve probably heard about the importance of cybersecurity, keeping your passwords protected, maintaining the security of your personal information, using secure internet connections, and so much more. As always, First Bank makes your data security a top priority. However, it takes the concerted efforts of everyone to help combat this growing global issue. That said, we wanted to share five brief reminders on our top “Best Practices to be Secure.” 1) Although ...

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We have a heart for our Clients, Community, and History

If you’ve watched any news programs or viewed any popular social feeds lately, you know there’s certainly no shortage of commentary regarding presidential topics from both sides of the platform. While I’m not here to voice opinions or raise discussions on debatable issues, I do wish to commemorate our proud American heritage and democracy. Since President’s Day is tomorrow, I felt it would be a good time to reflect–not on policies or viewpoints –but, simple ...

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7 Tips to Help Prevent Tax ID Fraud

As Americans begin the process of filing tax returns, identity thieves are scheming to get their hands on that money. Tax identity theft has been one of the most common forms of identity theft reported to the Federal Trade Commission in recent years. We’d like to help raise consumer awareness and provide tips to help prevent tax ID fraud. Identity thieves look for every opportunity to steal your information, especially during tax season. Consumers should be on high alert and take every ...

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Get Ready Now to Buy a Home Later

As with the beginning of each year, nearly half of all Americans typically make at least one resolution. Some may include weight loss and getting in shape, while others may have made the resolution to get their finances in order and to start saving for a new home. Whatever your resolution this year, make a plan and stick with it. Although less than half of us carry our resolutions through year’s end, it’s estimated we’re 10 times more likely to achieve it if we explicitly de ...

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Be Alert — Many IRS Scams are Targeting Taxpayers

As April 15 approaches, many taxpayer scams are already surfacing in a fraudulent attempt to gain access to private data. We wanted to share a few helpful tips from Scott Pogue, First Bank’s Information Security Manager, to help keep you—and your information—safe. Although vigilance is required from each of us all year, it’s especially important during tax filing season, keep the following in mind: • File your return early or as soon as you are able to do so. I ...

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Last Minute Change May Have Left Some Taxpayers in a Bind

On December 23, 2016 the IRS quietly issued a notice that may have left some taxpayers counting on a charitable deduction in a pickle. The IRS deemed syndicated conservation easement transactions as a “listed transaction”. Which doesn’t sound so bad but a “listed transaction” is essentially IRS terminology for tax avoidance strategy. What is a Conservation Easement? At a very high level, the basic mechanics of the strategy starts when a landowner voluntarily p ...

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2017 ESTATE PLANNING RESOLUTIONS

Estate planning is a necessity too often overlooked. Knowing that your affairs are in order provides peace of mind for you and your family the whole year round. A checklist to help you get your estate planning started.  Get Organized – Inventory all items of your financial life.  Visit your financial/wealth planner. (Retirement, Estate, College, Tax planning)  Create/Update Estate Plan. (Will, Trust, Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare Directive, HIPPA Form) ...

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Tax Updates for 2017

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 informati ...

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Is Saving Time One of Your New Years Resolutions?

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 ...

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Capital Markets Update – 2016 in Review

First Bank Wealth Management The past year was a wild ride for investors with several twists and turns along the way, yet for those who were able to stay the course, the U.S. stock market as defined by the S&P 500 turned in a very healthy 12% return for the year.  This despite starting the year with its worst opening week ever in the history of the stock market with a decline of around 6% after the first five trading days.  The rest of January wasn’t much better and by ear ...

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All First Bank blog information and content is strictly informational. It is not intended to be specific investment, tax, or legal advice. If you need detailed financial, investment, or tax advice, please contact a First Bank qualified professional. Please note, First Bank occasionally shares third-party content we find to be relevant and helpful to our audiences.