What Unretirement Means for You

Today’s baby boomers are unretiring. The result is an aging workforce that is bringing on a societal shift in America. This generation:

* Is healthier and more educated than their counterparts in any previous generation
* Craves the socialization that comes from working
* Considers the skills, knowledge, and experience they’ve gained as a big part of who they are

Here’s what you’ll be seeing, today and in the near future:

* New small businesses being formed by people between the ages of 55 and 64 who work at home or use work-sharing spaces
* Employment agencies formed by retirees, for retirees
* Companies recognizing that retirees have a lot of knowledge and skills and can be tapped as consultants
* Preretirees thinking about “what do I want to do next,” rather than about retiring to a life of leisure.
* Phased retirement programs created by companies that view retirement as a long-term event rather than an end-date
* Millennials and Gen Xers knowing that they have time to pursue more than one, or even more than two, career paths

If you’re considering an encore career, think about what you want to get out of your new profession. Here are some of the reasons retirees report working, according to a report by Merrill Lynch:

* A desire to achieve more. Sixteen percent of retirees feel ready to tackle bigger projects, such as opening their own business.
* They want to give back. Of these working retirees, 33% want to pursue charitable work or humanitarian causes they care passionately about.
* Because work is enjoyable. While they may need the money, 24% say they are simply happier when they are working.
* It keeps them sharp and active. Many report that working keeps them mentally and physically healthier.

If you need help sorting through your retirement-plan options, consult with a financial adviser at Hopewell Federal Credit Union. We can find a successful strategy for you and recommend retirement products that can protect your investment.

Tax Time is Not about Luck

Don’t let tax time be a mystery that’s out of your control. As your circumstances and tax rules change, review and tweak your tax situation:

Review your withholdings

If you’re employed, at some point you used form W-4 to tell your employer how much tax to withhold from your paycheck. When filling out a W-4, the more allowances you claim, the bigger your paycheck will be, since fewer taxes are deducted. But what you don’t pay during the year, you’ll owe when you file your tax returns.

Conversely, if you have too much tax withheld, you’re giving the government a free loan. You’ll get a refund— without interest—at tax time.

Fortunately, you can Google the IRS withholding calculator and use it to make sure you’re on the right path. If you decide you want to make changes, complete and submit a new W-4 to your employer.

Pay your estimated taxes

If you expect to owe more than $1,000 in taxes, you might need to pay estimated taxes four times a year, usually the 15th of January, April, June, and September. If you don’t make those payments, you could face penalties.

Meet the Affordable Care Act requirements

The Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have health insurance. If you are purchasing your own health insurance plan from the marketplace and are receiving advance payments of premiums, you must keep the marketplace updated with life changes that would affect those payments.

If the marketplace decides you are receiving more assistance than needed, you will have to pay it back when you file your tax return.

At tax time, there’s no such thing as luck. Plan ahead, talk with your tax adviser, and prevent surprises on your next tax return.

Help and resources are available at irs.gov.

Chip Cards Help Cut Credit Card Fraud

The new credit card you’ll soon be receiving from Hopewell Federal Credit Union looks a little different than the one you currently are using. You’ll notice a small “chip” embedded in the plastic. Old cards that don’t have the chip use a magnetic strip on the back to permanently store your financial information, making it an easy target for data thieves. Forty-seven percent of the world’s credit card fraud occurs in the U.S. As more consumers use the new chip cards this percentage should decrease.

The chip in an EMV (Europay, Mastercard, and Visa) card creates a unique transaction code that can’t be used again. So if a hacker should steal the chip information from a transaction, it would be useless because the transaction code is only valid for a single use.

Here’s what you need to know about the new cards, according to the consumer engagement editors at the Credit Union National Association:

• The new debit and credit cards work exactly the same, but now they come with an integrated microchip that helps protect your financial information at chip-enabled terminals.

• Chip cards are the new security standard worldwide.

• When you receive an EMV card, you’ll also receive information about how it’s different than your old card, its enhanced security, and how to use it. Card issuers have discretion about whether they’ll require you to use a signature when making payments or to use a PIN (personal identification number).

• The transaction process will be slightly different. You’ll insert your EMV card in a POS terminal, wait for it to be authorized, and remove it. You’ll either sign a sales draft or key in your PIN to complete the transaction.

• Other countries likely will stop accepting mag stripe cards after a certain date. You’ll need an EMV card when traveling abroad, and international travelers in the U.S. will have the additional protection against counterfeit that EMV cards afford.

• It’s possible that some merchants and card issuers may choose not to convert and will continue to use mag stripe technology for a time. Your card still will work at the checkout and consumers will continue to be protected from fraud liability.