We want to thank our loyal members for choosing Superior Choice Credit Union as their financial partner! We're hosting some summer fun at our Ashland and Shoreline branches.
Money Habits That May Help You Become Wealthier
Financially speaking, what do some households do right?
Provided by Dennis Archer
Why do some households tread water financially while others make progress? Does it come down to habits?
Sometimes the difference starts there. A household that prioritizes paying itself first may end up in much better financial shape in the long run than other households.
Superior Choice Credit Union will be closed Monday, July 4 in observation of Independence Day. We will resume normal operating hours on Tuesday, July 5.
Online banking is available 24/7. Just click here to log in. For after-hours help, please use the contact information below.
After Hours Contacts
To report a lost or stolen debit card after hours, please contact our processor directly at: 1-800-535-8440
To report a lost or stolen credit card after hours, please contact our processor directly at: 1-800-411-8498
To change the PIN number for your debit card: 1-866-985-2273
You can report any lost or stolen Visa card directly to Visa by calling: 1-800-VISA911
Have a safe and fun Fourth of July weekend!
Looking for some fun ways to celebrate the Fourth of July? There are plenty of great activities happening in and around the Superior Choice Credit Union communities of Superior, Duluth, Hermantown, Ashland, and Mellen. Check out all the fun stuff below!
Doing the right things at the right time may leave you wealthier later.
Provided by Dennis Archer
What can you do to start building wealth before age 35? You know time is your friend and that the earlier you begin saving and investing for the future, the better your financial prospects may become. So what steps should you take?
Reduce your debt. You probably have some student loan debt to pay off. According to the Institute for College Access and Success, which tracks college costs, the average education debt owed by a college graduate is now $28,950. Hopefully, yours is not that high and you are paying off whatever education debt remains via an automatic monthly deduction from your checking account. If you are struggling to pay your student loan off, take a look at some of the income-driven repayment plans offered to federal student loan borrowers, and options for refinancing your loan into a lower-rate one (which could potentially save you thousands).1
You cannot build wealth simply by wiping out debt, but freeing yourself of major consumer debts frees you to build wealth like nothing else. The good news is that saving, investing, and reducing your debt are not mutually exclusive. As financially arduous as it may sound, you should strive to do all three at once. If you do, you may be surprised five or ten years from now at the transformation of your personal finances.
Save for retirement. If you are working full-time for a decently-sized employer, chances are a retirement plan is available to you. If you are not automatically enrolled in the plan, go ahead and sign up for it. You can contribute a little of each paycheck. Even if you start by contributing only $50 or $100 per pay period, you will start far ahead of many of your peers.1
Away from the workplace, traditional IRAs offer you the same perks. Roth IRAs and Roth workplace retirement plans are the exceptions – when you “go Roth,” your contributions are not tax-deductible, but you can eventually withdraw the earnings tax-free after age 59½ as long as you abide by IRS rules.1,2
Workplace retirement plans are not panaceas – they can charge administrative fees exceeding 1% and their investment choices can sometimes seem limited. Consumer pressure is driving these administrative fees down, however; in 2015, they were lower than they had been in a decade and they are expected to lessen further.3
Keep an eye on your credit score. Paying off your student loans and getting started saving for retirement are a great start, but what about your immediate future? You’re entitled to three free credit reports per year from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. Take advantage of them and watch for unfamiliar charges and other suspicious entries. Be sure to get in touch with the company that issued your credit report if you find anything that shouldn’t be there. Maintaining good credit can mean a great deal to your long-term financial goals, so monitoring your credit reports is a good habit to get into.1
Do not fear Wall Street. We all remember the Great Recession and the wild ride investments took. The stock market plunged, but then it recovered – in fact, the S&P 500 index, the benchmark that is synonymous in investing shorthand for “the market,” gained back all the loss from that plunge in a little over four years. Two years later, it reached new record peaks, and it is only a short distance from those peaks today.4
Equity investments – the kind Wall Street is built on – offer you the potential for double-digit returns in a good year. As interest rates are still near historic lows, many fixed-income investments are yielding very little right now, and cash just sits there. If you want to make your money grow faster than inflation – and you certainly do – then equity investing is the way to go. To avoid it is to risk falling behind and coming up short of retirement money, unless you accumulate it through other means. Some workplace retirement plans even feature investments that will direct a sizable portion of your periodic contribution into equities, then adjust it so that you are investing more conservatively as you age.
Invest regularly; stay invested. When you keep putting money toward your retirement effort and that money is invested, there can often be a snowball effect. In fact, if you invest $5,000 at age 25 and just watch it sit there for 35 years as it grows 6% a year, the math says you will have $38,430 with annual compounding at age 60. In contrast, if you invest $5,000 each year under the same conditions, with annual compounding you are looking at $596,050 at age 60. That is a great argument for saving and investing consistently through the years.5
Dennis Archer may be reached at 715-398-8917 or [email protected]
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.
Superior Choice Credit Union recently underwent a three-day upgrade process to our Online Bill Pay services, available for free for SCCU members. Upgraded features of the new Online Bill Pay services include full integration within online banking, full mobile functionality for your smart phone or tablet, ability to configure email alerts, real-time access to checking account balance, reminders if balance isn’t sufficient to pay bills, and a more intuitive, user-friendly experience.
One of the best ways to ensure your children grow up financially fit is to give them practice managing money with an allowance.
But what’s the best way to do an allowance? There are many theories on that.
Ashland, WI — May 18, 2016 — The BRICK Ministries’ Board of Directors is pleased to award the May 2016 BRICK Builder Award to Superior Choice Credit Union’s (SCCU) Ashland and Mellen Branches. This rotating award was presented to SCCU to honor them for their significant contributions and dedication to The BRICK’s mission “to live Christ’s message to compassionately love and respect those in need.” Superior Choice Credit Union is a member-owned non-for-profit financial institution. Annually, both the Mellen and Ashland Branches donate a portion of members’ dividends to The BRICK Ministries to help serve the local community through the Food Shelf and Benevolence Programs.
In an effort to continually serve our members and provide them with the best services available, Superior Choice Credit Union is excited to announce that we will be launching a new, enhanced online bill pay system. Our new system will include features that will make this valuable tool even better, including:
- Full integration within online banking
- Full mobile functionality for your smart phone or tablet
- Ability to configure email alerts
- Real-time access to checking account balance
- Reminders if balance isn’t sufficient to pay bills
- A more intuitive, user-friendly experience
We’re so thrilled to offer this enhanced online bill pay system to our members! To make sure this conversion process goes as smoothly as possible, we wanted to give you a bit of a heads up about what you’ll need to know through this process.
Volatility Is Not Risk
The two should not be confused.
Provided by Dennis Archer
What is risk? To the conservative investor, risk is a negative. To the opportunistic investor, risk is a factor to tolerate and accept.
Whatever the perception of risk, it should not be confused with volatility. That confusion occurs much too frequently.
Learn what YOU can do to protect yourself and the older adults you know from abuse. Join us at the Twin Ports Elder Abuse Awareness and Prevention Conference and Community Forum on Tuesday, May 24 at the University of Wisconsin-Superior.
For many of today's young adults, the weakest link lies in learning the basics.
According to a 2014 survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Junior Achievement USA (2014 Teens and Personal Finance Survey), 40% of teens do not have a savings account, checking account, or debit or credit card, and 59% of teens do not have money management classes offered at their schools.
Achieving economic prosperity is difficult, and it's especially hard for young people who've never learned how to manage money.
Superior Choice Credit Union is ideally positioned to respond because we believe in the power of education. We're here to help you launch the youth in your life toward financial independence, and here’s how:
Join. For starters, open a credit union savings account for each child in your family. As soon as your children can write, have them fill out deposit and withdrawal slips. Guide teenagers through using a debit card and tracking transactions.
Share. Include your children in household money discussions. Show them how you budget income and expenses. As their skills improve, give them challenges—such as finding a better cell phone plan, calculating the total monthly cost of owning a car, or sticking to a budget for back-to-school or holiday spending.
Coach. Remind your children to ask for help when they need it. And turn to your credit union when you want help. Our tradition of service and philosophy of self-help make Superior Choice Credit Union and all credit unions a natural partner in pursuing financial security.
We're here to help. For more information, contact us by calling 800-569-4167 or visit www.superiorchoice.com
Superior Choice Credit Union is celebrating National Credit Union Youth Month April 25-29! We've planned a few activities to celebrate our youngest members:
- Each branch of SCCU will host a Credit Union Strong coloring contest for kids up to age 12. Stop by your nearest SCCU branch to pick up the coloring contest page or click here to download the printable coloring page PDF. Each branch will randomly select the winner of a $25 VISA gift card after April 29.
- All students who make a deposit at the SCCU school credit union during April 25-29 will be entered to win a drawing for a $25 VISA gift card. A random winner will be selected after April 29.
- From April 25-29, SCCU will deposit the first $5 into new accounts that are opened by anyone 18 years of age and under. (Membership eligibility required. Federally insured by the NCUA. Special is only available 4/25/2016-4/29/2016. Offer is subject to change or discontinue at any time.)
- College scholarships are available to SCCU members. The application period ends April 30, 2016. Click here for information.
Our April 25-29 youth celebration is focused on the theme of Credit Union Strong.
Young people face a bewildering financial landscape in their immediate future—one where technology has made spending as easy as breathing and the cost of higher education continues to skyrocket. That’s why we believe it’s more important than ever to ensure our youth possess strong money management skills.
As a not-for-profit financial cooperative, our core values include member education and social responsibility. We care about the community where we live and work, and the people in it. We look forward to watching the next generation grow and make it even better.
Building a College Fund
Do it smartly, without the all-too-common missteps.
Provided by Dennis Archer
According to Sallie Mae, U.S. families with one or more college students spent an average of $24,164 on tuition, housing, and linked expenses in 2015. That was 16% more than in 2014.1
Statistics like these underline the importance of saving and investing to fund a university education, but that effort has become optional to many. In its annual How America Saves for College survey, Sallie Mae found that only 48% of U.S. families with at least one child younger than age 18 were saving for college at all. Among those that were saving, the average 2015 amount was $10,040 – the lowest figure in the 7-year history of the survey. It is little wonder that 22% of college costs are covered by either parent or student borrowing.1,2
If you want to build a college fund, what should you keep in mind? What should you do? What should you avoid doing?
Superior Choice Credit Union is so proud of our SCCU business member Derek Medved of the Gary Milk House for his nomination for the Emerging Entrepreneur Award! All of the Joel Labovitz Entrepreneurial Success Awards nominees and winners were honored at a luncheon at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center on Wednesday, April 20.
The Joel Labovitz Entrepreneurial Success Awards program recognizes entrepreneurs and business owners from throughout the Twin Ports and Northeastern Minnesota. Award categories include Micro Entrepreneur, Emerging Entrepreneur, Established Entrepreneur, Mature Entrepreneur and Environmentally Engaged Entrepreneur.
Financial literacy is a crucial life skill for young people, but it’s one that too few are learning. That’s why in April, Superior Choice Credit Union is focusing on helping youth become more financially fit. April 25-29, Superior Choice Credit Union will be hosting events that will help local youth strengthen their money skills and pump up their savings.
Examining a long-held retirement planning assumption.
Provided by Dennis Archer
A classic retirement planning rule states that you should retire on 80% of the income you earned in your last year of work. Is this old axiom still true, or does it need reconsidering?
Some new research suggests that retirees may not need that much annual income to keep up their standard of living.
Today's retirees must be more self-reliant than their predecessors.
Provided by Dennis Archer
Decades ago, retirement was fairly predictable: Social Security and a pension provided much of your income, you moved to the Sun Belt, played tennis or golf, and you lived to age 70 or 75.
To varying degrees, this was the American retirement experience during the last few decades of the previous century. Those days are gone; retirees must now assume greater degrees of financial self-reliance.
Our Hermantown branch grand reopening celebrations start today with a fundraiser! For every new checking account that is opened at our Hermantown branch on Thursday, April 7 and Friday, April 8 we will donate $10 toward the Hermantown High School All Night Grad Party. Help us reach the goal of donating $500 toward the All Night Grad Party!