You're Invited! Social Security and Your Retirement

SS seminar header

You're Invited!

Social Security and Your Retirement

Know the rules of the road to help make the most of your benefits

Join us for an Educational Seminar

Regardless of when you plan to retire, Social Security will likely be an important part of the road ahead. Join us for a no-cost, no-obligation seminar that will answer your Social Security questions and discuss routes you can take to help get the most out of your benefits. Find out how to set a clear direction on your road to retirement.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.
Superior Choice Credit Union
Administrative Building Board Room
1320 Grand Avenue, Superior, WI 54880

Hosted by:
Mike Mason
Regional Director MEMBERS Insurance and Investments

RSVP:
Click here to RSVP online, call Anthony Bye at 715-398-8918 or email [email protected]

Space is limited. Call today!

Wendy Otterness, Financial Advisor
SCCU Retirement and Financial Advisors

 

MEMBERS Insurance & Investments and MEMBERS are marketing names for the products, services and programs offered by CMFG Life Insurance Company (CMFG Life), MEMBERS Life Insurance Company (MEMBERS Life) and other leading carriers. MEMBERS® is a registered trademark of CMFG Life. CUNA Mutual Group is the marketing name for CUNA Mutual Holding Company, a mutual insurance holding company, its subsidiaries and affiliates. Not NCUA/NCUSIF/FDIC insured, may lose value, no financial institution guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution. Representatives are not tax advisors or Social Security experts. For information regarding your specific tax situation, please consult a tax professional. To discuss your specific Social Security benefits, please contact the Social Security Administration office in your area.

Securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. (CBSI), member FINRA/SIPC, a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution to make securities available to members. Not NCUA/NCUSIF/FDIC insured, May Lose Value, No Financial Institution Guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution.

MGA-840147.3-0117-0219

 

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Celebrate National Credit Union Youth Month with us!

youth month 2018 header

Every child dreams about their future. Some of those dreams may require money to come true. How do you help your children achieve their dreams?
One way is to help them learn how to save their money.

In April, Superior Choice Credit Union is celebrating Youth Month, which is a program that helps teach and encourage kids to develop good financial habits.

The theme this year is “The Science of Saving,” showcasing fun, sci-fi-inspired characters. Science has proven that if you start with small goals, saving your money can become a regular habit. This year’s Youth Month inspires children to begin saving the money they earn so they can attain their dreams of a happy future.

Superior Choice Credit Union will celebrate Youth Month from April 2, 2018 through April 30, 2018 with the following activities and promotions:

  • Stop by your nearest branch of SCCU to get a $5 coupon for opening a new youth savings account
  • Kids age 10 and under can participate in the SCCU Youth Month coloring contest. Click here to download a printable PDF coloring page, or stop by your nearest branch of SCCU to pick up a coloring contest sheet.
  • SCCU is offering $500 college/tech school scholarships to members who are graduating high school this spring. Click here for details and a printable application. Applications are due no later than Friday, April 27, 2018.
  • Members will get a $15 Kwik Trip gift card for opening a Teen Checking account during the month of April1.
  • Join us Friday, April 20 for a Youth Month open house at all SCCU branches. We’ll serve cookies and refreshments, handout Youth Month goodie bags for kids, and more.

 

1Membership eligibility required. Promotion available April 2-30, 2018 but is subject to change or discontinue at any time. Kwik Trip gift card will be mailed to new account holders in early May 2018. Account opening gift card APY = 0.00%. Bonus will be reported on IRS-1099 and member will be responsible for tax filing and reporting.

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Get your credit report and score for free May 11!

credit scoreSuperior Choice Credit Union will host April Sanderson, a Certified Credit Counselor with LSS Financial Counseling, on Friday, May 11 at the Denfeld branch (4125 Grand Avenue in Duluth) for a Credit Check Clinic. Members and their partner/spouse may sign up for a 15-minute consultation to find out what's on their credit report; learn their credit score; learn quick tips on how to improve or maintain their credit score; correct any errors; detect and stop identity theft; and more. Thanks to SCCU's partnership with LSS Financial Counseling, these consultations are completely free!

While the consultations are completely free, members should register for a time slot. To register for a free consultation, call 1-800-569-4167. Appointments are available between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, May 11. All time slots have been filled! Stay tuned for future opportunities, or click here to learn more about free one-on-one financial counseling for SCCU members.

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Online banking login box changes

We recently made some changes to the online banking login box that is featured on our home page. In order to increase compatibility with It's Me 247 Online Banking, we had to make some upgrades to our online banking login box. This renovation creates added security against would-be identity thieves by making it even more difficult to access member accounts using software that targets member usernames.

Previously, you just had to type your online banking username in the online banking login box, then click the "Login" button to proceed to the online banking page where you would enter your password and answer your security question.

Now, you will type your username and password into the online banking box and then click the "Login" button to proceed to the online banking page where you will answer your security question to access your online banking account.

Please see the photos below demonstrating the old login box vs. the new login box.

Old login box:

Current Online Banking

New login box:

New Online Banking

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Dairyland State Bank joins Superior Choice Credit Union

Dairyland State Bank joins Superior Choice Credit Union

Acquisition allows SCCU to grow to $480 million credit union serving more than 35,000 members with 12 branches throughout northwestern Wisconsin and northeastern Minnesota.

Superior, WI — Superior Choice Credit Union and Dairyland State Bank announced today that the acquisition agreement between their two financial institutions has been finalized. Pending regulatory approval, the acquisition will create a combined financial institution with more than $480 million in assets.

Closing is expected to occur in the third or fourth quarter of 2018. After closing, the two financial institutions will legally become one entity, which will operate under the Superior Choice Credit Union name and charter. Existing employees of both organizations will be retained. The acquisition allows Superior Choice Credit Union to offer expanded services to its soon-to-be 35,000 members with 12 branches throughout northwestern Wisconsin and northeastern Minnesota.

SCCU President/CEO Gary Elliott, who has been with the credit union since 2005, will continue to lead the combined organization. Elliott views the acquisition as an opportunity to expand SCCU’s footprint in northwestern Wisconsin.

“We are ecstatic to welcome Dairyland State Bank to our credit union,” said Elliott. “As a locally-owned community bank, we know that the values of Dairyland State Bank are already closely aligned with the values that we champion as a member-owned credit union. While SCCU will grow in numbers and in branch locations, we will remain committed to serving our membership by offering low loan rates, high deposit rates, and member-focused services.”

By joining SCCU, Dairyland State Bank customers will become SCCU members and will have the added benefit of access to more branches, expanded use of technology, and member-ownership. Dairyland State Bank President Robert Hegeholz says SCCU’s community roots makes the credit union a perfect fit for Dairyland State Bank’s customers.

“Dairyland State Bank has taken immense pride in serving our local area,” Hegeholz said. “Superior Choice Credit Union is going to do an outstanding job in furthering the work we’ve done, while adding new products and services that Dairyland State Bank customers are going to really appreciate.”

The next step for the newly combined financial institution will be to fully integrate operations, products, services, policies, technology, and more. All Dairyland State Bank offices, located in Bruce, Exeland, Sheldon, Gilman, Holcombe, and Hayward in Wisconsin, will be converted to Superior Choice Credit Union branches in the coming months.

Both financial institutions have a long history of serving residents in northwestern Wisconsin. Superior Choice Credit Union was first chartered in 1932 and was located in the Superior Co-op Store at Belknap Street and Tower Avenue in Superior. By 2015, SCCU expanded to operate six branches in five cities: Superior, Ashland, and Mellen in Wisconsin along with Duluth and Hermantown in Minnesota. Dairyland State Bank was chartered in 1902 and was known as Lumberman’s State Bank at that time.

SCCU is represented by Michael Bell from Howard & Howard Attorneys, PLLC and Dairyland is represented by Randi L. Osberg of Ruder Ware, LLSC.

About Superior Choice Credit Union
Superior Choice Credit Union operates six full-service branch locations around the Northland offering a full line of financial products and services. Since 1932, SCCU has been serving the financial needs of its member/owners. As a member-owned cooperative, members have a say in their financial institution. Please visit www.superiorchoice.com for more information. Superior Choice Credit Union is federally insured by NCUA. Equal housing opportunity.

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SCCU Retirement & Financial Advisors: Keeping this Correction in Perspective

After 20 months of relative calm, this volatility needs to be taken in stride.

Provided by Wendy Otterness

Are you upset by what is happening on Wall Street? It may help to see this pullback within a big-picture context. Corrections have become so rare as of late that when one occurs, emotion threatens to influence investment decisions.

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Free educational event for SCCU members: Student Loans 101

Being a Senior in high school (or parent of one) can be a very exciting time. But if you're headed off to college or a technical school after graduation, it can also be a little confusing – FAFSA, SAR, family contributions, and most daunting of all – student loans. LSS Financial Counseling Student Loan Counselor, Tasha, will help to explain all the things that come after filling out the FAFSA and help to explain the different payment options when it comes to post-secondary education.

Join us on Tuesday, March 6 at 5:30 p.m. for a free informational session thanks to our partners at LSS Financial Counseling. This event takes place at the SCCU Administrative Offices, located at 1320 Grand Avenue in Superior. We have a limited amount of space available, so be sure to RSVP as soon as possible!

Click here to register online.

 

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Changes to It's Me 247 Online Banking passwords

Attention It's Me 247 Online Banking users! If you receive a login message that your password is longer than 10 characters, enter only the first 10 characters of your password to proceed with login. Options for creating much longer passwords are coming soon!

Our online banking will undergo an upgrade! Starting March 11, 2018, this exciting change will expand the limit on the length for your online banking password from 10 to 256 characters. This is great news for your online banking security!

However, this change may require you to update your password if you are currently in the habit of typing more than 10 characters for your password. Beginning March 11, those characters will now be counted and your password will be incorrect (remember, passwords must be between 8-10 characters now, but some of you are typing extra characters!)

A password longer than 10 characters that is entered on March 11, 2018, will not be able to access Online Banking and must be changed on that date. Prior to the change, you may notice a message in It's Me 247 letting you know there's an issue with your password length. If you see this message and must change your password on March 11, use the "I forgot my password" link in It's Me 247 Online Banking and follow the prompts to create a new password. If you need assistance changing your password, please contact the credit union.

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LSS Financial Counseling: It’s Almost Tax Season and It’s Time To Make a Plan

This article is courtesy of our partners at LSS Financial Counseling. You can read this article, and more, over on their Sense & Centsibility blog.

The new year brings up thoughts of resolutions like eating better, paying off debt, exercising, and more. But the new year also brings with it tax season…again. Don’t wait until April 14th to work on your taxes; be proactive this year.

Get Organized

Find a drawer, folder, or manila envelope to gather all of your tax documents, such as W-2s. I get most of mine electronically now so I create an electronic folder and keep them there. Use the method that works best for you to keep everything together.

Determine How You Will File

Are you going to file online, do you have a tax professional, or can you get free tax preparation help? Figure out your method for filing. Be cautious of anyone charging high fees, especially if you don’t have a complicated tax situation. If not, check out free or relatively cheap and safe online options. If your household earned less than $66,000, you are eligible to file taxes for free via MyFreeTaxes.com.

Plan for Your Refund

If you get a tax refund, be strategic with it by prioritizing your needs. If you’re behind on any bills, get caught up on those first. Do you have an emergency fund? If not, use half of your refund (or as much as you can afford) to establish savings. If you already have savings, put 1/4 in savings and deposit half (or more) into retirement savings. You can never have enough money set aside for the future.

Make Saving Automatic

The IRS gives you the option of depositing your refund in up to 3 different accounts. A great way to ensure you save that money is to set up an automatic deposit into a separate savings account.

Be Prepared for Possible Refund Delays

This year, the IRS is required to hold any refund that includes the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) or the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC) until at least February 15th. So keep in mind you may have to wait a little longer for your refund if it includes either one of those tax credits.

Think Ahead About Repayment

If you know or think you will need to pay in for taxes, start setting aside money now. That will help you be more prepared to pay in. Also, you can check into IRS repayment plans or your state’s department of revenue if you owe on state taxes.

Beware of Scams

There are a lot scammers out there that prey on people, especially during tax season. The IRS will never call you and ask for your personal information. Tax fraud is also a concern…for more info check out the Taxpayer’s Guide to Identity Theft.

Author Elaina Johannessen is a Program Director with LSS Financial Counseling.

*IF YOU NEED ADDITIONAL HELP, SEEK ADVICE FROM A REPUTABLE ACCOUNTANT / TAX PROFESSIONAL.

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SCCU Retirement & Financial Advisors: The Dow Dropped — Don't Panic

Provided by Wendy Otterness of SCCU Retirement and Financial Advisors

This week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped in a way that it never had before. Monday, the benchmark fell 1,175 points, taking the greatest tumble in its long history. At one point, it was down 1,500 points during the trading day.1,2

While Monday’s Dow loss was indeed severe, it was not as catastrophic as certain headlines trumpeted.

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SCCU Retirement & Financial Advisors: How the Tax Reforms Will Take Effect

How the Tax Reforms Will Take Effect

Some of the impact of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act will be felt later than January 1.

Provided by Wendy Otterness 

 

President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act into law on December 22, and on January 1, some key details of the Internal Revenue Code will abruptly change.1

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Superior Choice Credit Union announces winners of Great Debt Pay Down challenge

GDPD winners
After nearly a year of attending financial counseling sessions, group financial workshops, and working hard to pay down debt, four participants were awarded winners of Superior Choice Credit Union’s Great Debt Pay Down program in partnership with LSS Financial Counseling.

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Get your credit report and score for free February 16!

credit scoreSuperior Choice Credit Union will host April Sanderson, a Certified Credit Counselor with LSS Financial Counseling, on Friday, February 16 at the Tower Avenue branch for a Credit Check Clinic. Members and their partner/spouse may sign up for a 15-minute consultation to find out what's on their credit report; learn their credit score; learn quick tips on how to improve or maintain their credit score; correct any errors; detect and stop identity theft; and more. Thanks to SCCU's partnership with LSS Financial Counseling, these consultations are completely free!

While the consultations are completely free, members should register for a time slot. To register for a free consultation, call 1-800-569-4167. Appointments are available between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, February 16. All time slots have been filled! Stay tuned for future opportunities, or click here to learn more about free one-on-one financial counseling for SCCU members.

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SCCU donates more than $13,000 to area food programs

food donations collage

Superior Choice Credit Union celebrated the holiday season with donations of more than $13,000 to area food banks and food access programs.

“Credit unions exist to help all people, including those of modest means,” said Gary Elliott, President/CEO of SCCU. “We know that helping our members succeed includes making sure that they have consistent access to nourishing meals. The food banks we support do to so much to help so many in our membership area – either through direct food access or by supporting other food pantries and food access programs.”

A total of $13,610 in donations were split between several food banks and other food access programs:

  • $2,500 was awarded in sponsorship of the annual Thanksgiving Day Buffet at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, serving more than 5,000 Twin Ports people in need. SCCU’s management team also helped with preparing the Thanksgiving meal.
  • $7,750 was donated to the Northwest Wisconsin Community Services Agency Food Bank helping those in need from Douglas, Bayfield, Ashland, Iron, and Price Counties in Wisconsin
  • $1,160 was donated to Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, helping with distribution to 180 northeastern MN and northwestern WI non-profit agencies such as food shelves, soup kitchens, youth programs, senior nutrition sites, and more.
  • $1,550 was donated to the BRICK Ministries food shelf in Ashland
  • $650 was donated to the BRICK Ministries food shelf in Mellen

Organizations were chosen based on proximity to SCCU branches and service areas, and the total impact that each organization has on area communities. Donation totals for each organization are calculated based on nearest branch membership.

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Join us Thursday, February 22 at Barker's Island Inn for SCCU's 85th Annual Meeting

Superior Choice Credit Union's 85th Annual Meeting will be held on Thursday, February 22 at the Barker's Island Inn Conference Center, located at 300 Marina Drive in Superior, WI. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Please plan to arrive a few minutes prior to 7 p.m. to sign up for attendance prizes, grab a giveaway, and enjoy some refreshments.

The sole candidate for the Board of Directors vacancy is incumbent board member William Anderson. The Board of Directors recently voted to reduce size of the Board of Directors from a nine-person board to a seven-person board. One board seat is to be re-elected instead of three as previously planned. Because the number of members nominated by the nominating committee equals the number of vacancies on the Board, the Chairperson shall declare the nominee elected by acclamation at the Annual Meeting and there shall be no election by paper or online banking ballot.

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Start 2018 on the right foot with financial help from LSS Financial Counseling

With the dawn of a new year comes lots of New Year's resolutions. While losing weight, eating healthier, and other lifestyle changes are often the most popular resolutions, financial goals are often top-of-mind around the New Year.

Thanks to a partnership between Superior Choice Credit Union and LSS Financial Counseling, SCCU members can get free one-on-one financial counseling services all year long. Whether your goal is to save money, spend less, raise your credit score, or pay off debt, LSS Financial Counselors can help you set realistic goals and timelines while taking a look at your entire financial picture.

Click here to learn more about LSS Financial Counseling for SCCU members.

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Superior Choice Credit Union fundraiser generates $1,775 for Honor Flight Northland

Honor Flight Northland Donation photo

Thanks to generosity from Superior Choice Credit Union members, employees, and community members, Honor Flight Northland received a $1,775 donation from SCCU’s November Honor Flight fundraiser.

In honor of Veterans Day, from November 1 through November 30, all branches of Superior Choice Credit Union accepted donations for Honor Flight Northland. Members and community members who made a donation could write their support message on a red, white, or blue Honor Flight Northland slip of paper to decorate branches. SCCU offered to match up to $2,500 in donations.

“With Veterans Day falling in November, we wanted to do a fundraiser that would impact veterans in our service areas — from northeastern Minnesota all the way down to the area around our branch in Mellen, Wisconsin,” Gary Elliott, SCCU President/CEO said. “Honor Flight Northland was the perfect fit. They serve veterans all over our service area, and have made a personal impact on some of our employees’ family members. We’re thrilled that our members and community members rallied behind the cause to make such a large donation.”

Honor Flight Northland Organizer Karin Swor (pictured center) joined Ben Altonen (pictured left) and Gary Elliott (pictured right) of SCCU’s executive management team on Dec. 20 for a check presentation and photo opportunity. 

About Honor Flight Northland
Honor Flight Northland is a non-profit organization created solely to honor veterans living in Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin for all their sacrifices. Honor Flight Northland transports veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect on their memorials. The next Honor Flight Northland trip is slated for April 2018. Visit www.honorflightnorthland.org for more information.

About Superior Choice Credit Union
Superior Choice Credit Union operates six full-service branch locations around the Northland offering a full line of financial products and services. Since 1932, SCCU has been serving the financial needs of its member/owners. As a member-owned cooperative, members have a say in their financial institution. Please visit www.superiorchoice.com for more information. Superior Choice Credit Union is federally insured by NCUA. Equal housing opportunity.

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Important information regarding paper statement charges for online banking users

Starting with the January 2018 month-end statements that are mailed out in early February, members who are enrolled in It’s Me 247 Online Banking but are NOT signed up to receive eStatements will begin to receive a $2.00 paper statement fee. To avoid paying statement fees, simply enroll in eStatements! To enroll in eStatements:

1.) Log in to It’s Me 247 Online Banking.

2.) Click “eStatement Options” under “My Preferences” in the “Info Center” menu in It’s Me 247 Online Banking.

3.) Read through the terms and conditions on the eStatements Enrollment screen. Then, select the “I would like to receive my statements electronically” statement.

4.) Verify your eStatement email address. This must be a valid email address.

5.) Hit the “Accept” button.

Click here for these step-by-step instructions with photos. For further assistance with enrolling in eStatements, please call 1-800-569-4167.
The $2.00 Paper Statement Fee for Online Banking Users is disclosed in the fee schedule documents you received when opening your account, as well as the Online Access Request form. To view an online version of our fee schedule, please visit https://www.superiorchoice.com/fees

eStatements are faster, more secure, and reduce paper waste. Thank you for enrolling in eStatements with your Superior Choice Credit Union online banking account.

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Form 1099-INT Instructions

This message is to alert members who receive electronic statements (eStatements) that the tax information that is being provided to the IRS will be reported on your December 2017 electronic account statement. No paper copy of the 1099-INT tax form will be mailed.

If you are signed up for eStatements, your tax information can be viewed after January 1, 2018, by accessing your December statement in online banking as usual. 

Below is the "Instructions for Recipient" information from the back of a standard 1099-INT form.

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SCCU's 2017-2018 Holiday Hours

All branches, administrative office, and call center of Superior Choice Credit Union will be closed in observance of Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. Please see our holiday hours below:

Thursday, Nov. 23: Closed for Thanksgiving

Friday, Nov. 24: Open for regular hours

Saturday, Dec. 23: Open for regular hours

Sunday, Dec. 24: Closed

Monday, Dec. 25: Closed for Christmas

Saturday, Dec. 30: Open for regular hours

Sunday, Dec. 31: Closed

Monday, Jan. 1: Closed for New Year's Day

For after-hours lost/stolen credit or debit card contact information, please click here. Thank you for your patience and understanding while we close SCCU facilities so that our employees may enjoy the holidays with their friends and family members. As always, SCCU is available to members 24/7 using online banking and the SCCU mobile app.

Happy holidays from SCCU, and we wish you a prosperous new year!

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