Living The Dream

Mortgage free in 10 years, with no closing costs and no down payment…I must be dreaming! 

After reading our latest promotion, I thought perhaps I was daydreaming!  Can this be true?!  Quickly, I learned, yes, this is very true!  Hopewell Federal Credit Union is celebrating 50 years of saving you money with the 50th Anniversary No Closing Cost Mortgage Sale. 

As we reflect on the past 50 years, we are looking forward to the future.  Make your future a little brighter and become mortgage free in 10 years!  This new & improved Penny Pincher Mortgage Loan can help you:

  • Lower your current first mortgage interest rate and term
  • Enjoy a fixed rate 3.375% APR
  • Take advantage of no closing costs
  • Benefit from an application fee of only $299
  • You can be mortgage free in 10 years!

Start living the dream today.  Visit www.hopewellfcu.org or call 740.522.8311

 

Mark These Key Birthdays in the Coming Years

If you’re in the middle years of life, you remember reaching Sweet 16, turning 21, and enduring over-the-hill jokes on your 40th birthday. When we approach 50, we look ahead to key birthdays–or half-birthdays–related to our retirement planning. At specific ages, we can or must take certain actions.

Age 50: At 50, it truly hits us that retirement is around the bend. This is a good time to consider long-term care insurance, as it will be more costly when you’re older. Also, pay down debts and begin to think about how you’ll take your pension plan payouts.

Age 55: You can withdraw funds from your 401(k) or other qualified plan at 55 without paying a 10% penalty tax for early withdrawals–if you’re leaving your current employer. You’ll pay taxes on withdrawals.

Age 59½: At this age, you can withdraw funds from your regular IRA, 401(k), or other qualified plan without paying penalties. Again, you pay taxes on withdrawals.

As with 401(k) or other qualified plans, you can take early penalty-free withdrawals from your regular IRA, too. But the rules are more complicated.

You must take those IRA withdrawals–which can begin at any age–as “substantially equal periodic payments” that continue over a five-year period or until you reach age 59½, whichever happens later. Beginning withdrawals at 57, for example, means you’d have to keep taking them until 62, or face penalties.

Early withdrawals from IRAs or qualified plans are best reserved for emergencies. In fact, don’t rush to withdraw funds just because you reach age 59½. The longer you leave that money tax-deferred, the better.

Age 62: Now is the time to decide whether to take early Social Security benefits. Doing so will mean smaller monthly checks—for the rest of your life-than if you waited until full retirement age. But you likely will get checks for more years by starting early. What’s the best move? It depends on your health, expected life span, and finances.

Ages 65 to 67: This is the full-retirement-age spectrum for Social Security benefits, depending on when you were born. Or you could wait until age 70 to start taking benefits and get bigger monthly checks.

Whenever you’re retiring, sign up for Medicare three months before you turn 65. Signing up late means you’ll pay higher premiums for Medicare Part B.

Age 70½: This is when you must begin taking required minimum distributions from your regular IRA, whether you’re working or not. If you’re in a 401(k) or other qualified plan and you’re still working at 70½, you can wait to take your first minimum distribution in the year you retire, if your employer allows that.

Failure to take your distribution results in a hefty penalty: 50% of the difference between what you should have taken and what you actually took. You must take your first required minimum distribution by April 1 in the year after you turn 70½. From then on, the distribution deadline is Dec. 31 each year.

JUST THE FACTS: International Year of Cooperatives

A cooperative is a member-owned and controlled business that operates for the mutual benefit of its members. Cooperatives operate across all sectors of the U.S. economy and include agriculture, food distribution and retailing, childcare, credit unions, purchasing, worker-owned, housing, healthcare, energy and telecommunications cooperatives. Cooperatives promote the fullest possible participation in the economic and social development of all people, including women, youth, older persons, persons with disabilities and indigenous peoples.

Cooperatives are a major economic force in developed countries and a powerful business model in developing ones. Worldwide, over 800 million people are members of cooperatives. The economic activity of the largest 300 cooperatives in the world equals the 10th largest national economy.

The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 64/136 proclaims the year 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives (IYC). The Resolution encourages all member States and all relevant stakeholders to take advantage of the IYC to promote cooperatives, to raise public awareness of the contribution of cooperatives to social and economic development and promote the formation and growth of cooperatives.

The theme of the International Year of Cooperatives is “Cooperative Enterprises Build a Better World.”

Cooperatives in the United States…

  • More than 29,000 cooperatives operate in every sector of the economy and in every congressional district; Americans hold over 350 million co-op memberships.
  • U.S. cooperatives generate 2 million jobs and make a substantial contribution to the U.S. economy with annual sales of $652 billion and possessing assets of $3 trillion.
  • The majority of our country’s 2 million farmers are members of the nearly 3,000 farmer-owned cooperatives. They provide over 250 thousand jobs and annual wages of over $8 billion.
  • Over 7,500 credit unions provide financial services to 91 million U.S. consumers.
  • More than 900 rural electric co-ops deliver electricity to more than 42 million people in 47 states. This makes up 42 percent of the nation’s electric distribution lines and covers 75 percent of our country’s land mass.
  • Approximately 233 million people are served by insurance companies owned by or closely affiliated with co-ops.
  • Food co-ops have been innovators in the areas of unit pricing, consumer protection, organic and bulk foods and nutritional labeling.
  • More than 50,000 families in the U.S. use cooperative day care centers, giving co-ops a crucial role in the care of our children.
  • About 1.2 million rural Americans in 31 states are served by the 260 telephone cooperatives.
  • In the United States, more than 1.2 million families of all income levels live in homes owned and operated through cooperative associations.

This fact sheet was produced by the National Cooperative Business Association, which represents America’s cooperatives and has a mission to develop, advance and protect cooperative enterprise. To learn more, visit www.ncba.coop

The Home Search Process Simplified

Once you’re preapproved at the credit union for a home loan, you can start the fun part of the home-buying process…looking for a home! Let’s break down the process:

1. Document what you need—and want—in a new house.

2. Select a real estate agent—ask for personal recommendations from family or friends, and interview agents before choosing the best fit. Once you’ve selected an agent, meet face to face to review the criteria defined in step one.

3. Once your real estate agent sends you listings to review, select up to five houses for your first showing.

4. Take good notes after visiting each property…it’s hard to remember which is which afterward.

5. Once you find a property you like, revisit and ensure it’s what you want.

6. When you’re ready to make an offer, sit down with your real estate agent to define your offer terms.

7. Wait for a response.

8. Counteroffer if necessary.

9. When you’ve agreed on terms, schedule an inspection within three days.

10. Visit Wendy Bussa at Hopewell Federal Credit Union. We have great rates, and she will walk you through all your mortgage options step by step.

11. Wendy will walk you through the loan process. Note: You’ll need to find and pay for your first year’s homeowners insurance at this time.

12. On closing day, take time to read the documents you’re signing. Don’t feel pressured to hurry.

Walking through the home search methodically makes the process of buying a house much more enjoyable. Hopewell Federal’s are here for you along the way.

Copyright 2012 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.

A Long, Cold Winter? Simple Energy Projects Can Save You a Bundle

With heating prices up, it’s time to consider saving energy with programmable thermostats, insulation, weatherstripping and upgrading windows and doors.

Programmable thermostat …Electronic thermostats that lower the temperature while you are in bed or away from home are the fastest, easiest way to save energy. In a cold climate, you can save about 5% for a 5° setback that lasts for eight hours. Most of these thermostats sell for less than $100, and they’re ultra-easy to install.

Insulation

Floor of unheated attic: Check recommended insulation levels, and lay new insulation at right angles to the old.

Basement or crawl space: Fasten foam or fiberglass panels to the walls and cover with drywall. Either glue panels to the wall or fasten them to furring strips.

Heating ducts: Insulate in unheated attic or basement by wrapping with fiberglass insulation.

Weatherstrip… Weatherstripping is a flexible sealer for the moving parts of windows and doors. Many new windows and doors require a specific type of weatherstrip, which you may locate in hardware stores or on the Web. The generic “V-strip” adapts to many doors and windows and can even be applied in cold weather. The weatherstrip at the threshold often needs replacement. If the door bottom is still leaky, add a door sweep to seal against the floor or threshold.

Caulking… Caulking seals exterior cracks around windows, doors, pipes, and vents. Scrape away old caulking and dirt, then squirt caulking into the crack.

Replace windows… Jamb kits are an easy way to update double-hung windows, with a product that can be installed and cleaned from the inside. You can install a jamb kit in less than an hour without touching the storm window, jambs, or casing molding. Order a kit to match the size of your window. Nail the vertical tracks inside the side jambs and insert the replacement sash.

Replace storm door… Battered storm doors are easy to replace on a standard-size door opening. A wooden door has better durability and will insulate better. Strip off the old door and follow directions while screwing the new one to the jambs, using a drill and other basic tools.

Copyright 2006 Credit Union National Association Inc. Information subject to change without notice. For use with members of a single credit union. All other rights reserved.