Hong Kong's top official has offered a controversial defense of Beijing's plan for elections in the financial capital, telling foreign media that an open nomination process would give the city's poorest residents greater influence over the political system.
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I dread the beginning of school, because I know that means I start hearing the statement, “I need money for…………….” On a weekly basis there is something that my children need (or think they need) money to buy or do something at school. Usually I grumble a little bit and then one of them will say, “Just get the money at the bank.” Convenient that I work at a bank and they have all the money I need, or so my children think.
When do we decide to teach our children about money, hopefully before it is too late. When I started working at 16, I lived at home and had very few expenses. So every week I cashed my check and had my weekly spending money. Like most youngsters, cash in the pocket meant I must spend it as soon as possible. I know that if I would have saved ½ of my paycheck from ages 16 to 22, I would have had a pretty decent savings to either buy a car, down payment on a house, pay down school debt, etc.
There will always be a debate on whether to give children an allowance or pay for chores and while we do not currently do either at home, maybe we should. How will our children learn how to save, to be charitable, or make financial decisions if we do not train or equip them? One of the reasons we are in the economic crisis today is that we all were spending more than we made. Spending more than we have is definitely one trait that we must not pass down to our children.
The reality is, waiting until our children get a job at 16, 18, 22 or at whatever age, may not be the right answer. By then, it might just be too late. We all must learn that we must budget and make decisions on each of our priorities. While we expect our children to learn a lot at school, we must also make the decision to teach our children along side with the schools to make our communities better.
It’s back-to-school time. Early August, really? Back in my day (aka “old geezer comment coming next”), we didn’t start school until after Labor Day! What is it with the here and now – it’s changing faster than ever, and it is simply hard to keep up! (Especially for us geezers, right?)
I’ve shared with you that we have a teenager in the house. She will be actively driving come next spring. She is polishing up her defensive driving skills in the meantime. I am asking my teen to put some money away to purchase a car at some point. I will help, but I certainly won’t be buying that Porsche she has a photo of on her smart phone.
Chances are good, that if we become a three-car family, there are some options we will look at – saving money for an old clunker (after all, I drove a 1963 VW bug back in 1979), seeking out a car loan for a little newer vehicle (also possibly translated as a “safer” vehicle), and my lender recently even enlightened me that I could roll a vehicle loan into my mortgage loan – for convenience, of course. I have a little time to consider the options, and see how well my teenager is saving money for her future transportation.
College expenses are going to be hefty, also, though we have a few more years. Finding money to set aside to help our daughter – go get those scholarships, young lady! – is tough. The 529 College Savings Plan is there to help us, help her. She will also need to have some “skin in the game” for school – it’s no longer “like it was, back in the old days.” But we will do what we can, by taking advantage of setting aside some money, and planning – for her future.
Also creeping up on me is my own retirement. While it is off on the horizon just a bit, I need to be accountable to have set aside enough money so I can live a retirement lifestyle I’ve dreamed of – you know, traveling with spouse, family, and friends! I want to live that dream, and so I have to prepare. I do my best to set aside money and contribute to my employer’s 401(k) plan. By putting some money there, my company matches me, in essence, giving me “free” money on top of my own contributions. But is it enough? That’s hard to say, so I, on occasion, I also talk to a financial adviser.
I encourage my spouse, who works in a small family business, to set aside some money in an IRA. We cannot rely on Social Security, if it will even be there, and so, it is important we spend time planning for our financial future. The future. It will be here before we know it. My goal is to be a financially prepared, old geezer.
We have seen an increased number of customers who have had their email accounts hacked…in other words someone has gained unauthorized access to an email account and may attempt to commit fraud using your email account.
Signs that your email account might be hacked:
What to do if you suspect your email account is hacked:
Steps to protecting your email account:
Remember, you can call us anytime. Let us know if you have questions or concern for your bank accounts. Call 800-382-8031or email email@example.com.
Do you have a smartphone? According to this blog I stumbled upon, there are 91.4 million smartphones in the United States.
Advantages of a smartphone include:
Mobile apps are the key to accomplishing those three things. There is a mobile app for everything from banking to calorie counters. There are apps for helping you identify the constellations and even for finding the cheapest gas near you.
So if there is an app for nearly everything, wouldn't you want an app for your favorite reward program?
Need a last minute gift, but want to use your UChoose points? Go to the app, redeem your points for an eCertificate, then redeem the eCertificate in the store!
In a matter of minutes, you can manage it all!
Download the app today! It's free! The app is available for iPhones and Android models. Simply go to iTunes or Google Play and download the
UChoose Rewards app today!
I asked several friends, both FaceBook and non-FaceBookers, if they use electronic banking, bill pay, &/or electronic bank statements. Many of the FaceBookers do – not surprising. Some of my other friends don’t, and a few suggested they worry about having identity stolen or a lack of ‘trust’ for the internet.
Is the security of hard copy checks, in-store credit or debit purchases, and mail better? I wonder if my friends use their debit/credit cards in stores, where others have access to them. The only times I have had anything manipulated or stolen, was in a restaurant where a shady waitress evidently swiped my credit card twice, and had a nice meal. The credit card company took that charge off when I called them – they were accommodating. The second time, someone may have looked over my shoulder while I was shopping in Chicago. The bank evidently electronically noticed that my card number was trying to be used in a fraudulent manner, called me (I had just walked in the door from the Chicago trip), and together we blocked the charge, and the bank closed down that credit card, and reissued me a new number. That was a really proactive, positive example of my community bank in action.
So my ‘bad’ experiences toward fraud or identity theft have been out there in retail establishments, rather than via the internet. Do I use my credit card electronically for internet purchases? Just ask my poor husband. You bet I do - for everything from airline tickets to concert tickets, shoes, purses and crafting supplies. We use one credit card for online purchases, and I reconcile that bill every month, just before I pay it through my bank’s electronic bill pay feature.
One of my best friends from college, Nancy, says she likes her bank statements mailed ‘just in case.’ Just in case of what? What if your mail is stolen from your mailbox? What if your mailman is Newman (from the Seinfeld show) and chucks his bag full of mail out a window, along with your bank statement? Some identity theft comes from ‘dumpster diving’ criminals who access paper records from the trash as well as stealing mail from mailboxes, looking over shoulders at the ATM or in a retail establishment.
Nancy told me that she has those “annoying to-be-filed piles” of paper in her home. She also wrote that one of her children’s schools is ‘paperless’ and she loves it – “I can always find what I need on my Blackberry.” Her other children’s school is not paperless, and she “constantly has papers coming home and I’m going through their binder to find what I need.” Nancy’s last sentence sums it up, “Hmmmm.”
The dilemma Baby Boomers are experiencing is being born on the tail end of a paper-filled society and the infancy of the internet. Change. It’s hard.
Memorial Day is one of those holidays that mean different things to different people. To some it is the time to remember those that have given their lives to serve our country. To others, it’s a time to remember those we love who have passed on. To most of us, though, Memorial Day weekend is a long weekend and one that indicates the beginning of summer. Whatever reason you celebrate this holiday, it’s a good time of year to think of your financial health and future plans.
As you water-ski, you might not be thinking about your 401K or the bank CD in which you have invested. But half way through the calendar year is a good time to make an appointment with someone that can give you a “check-up” on your money and how it is working for you.
Here is a short checklist of things to take with you as you discuss your financial future:
What does that last one mean? Have you ever tried to reach a destination without directions? It’s not easy. Similarly, your financial goals need a compass and the compass is you. It’s important to think about and discuss your future. Most people spend more time planning their vacation than they do their retirement. So, if you want to retire in 10 years or in 30, your advisor will need to know that so they can design a plan that works for you.
Memorial Day weekend is certainly a fun weekend, but can also be a profitable one if you use it as a milestone towards your financial future!
At MutualBank we offer our customers many different ways to communicate with us regarding the products and services offer. One of those methods is email and we would like to focus some attention to helping you keep your email accounts safe.
We have seen an increased number of customers who have had their email accounts compromised…in other words someone has gained unauthorized access to an email account. From there someone can attempt to initiate fraud using your email account. However, by following some easy steps you can secure your email account to make it less likely to become compromised.
Steps to securing your email account:
MutualBank does not endorse the products listed below, but are provided as examples of free anti-virus/malware detection and removal tools.
Remember, you can call us anytime. Let us know if you have questions or concern for your bank accounts. Call 800-382-8031or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
An important part of a successful business is meaningful, regular communication with your banker. This dialog centers around a budget and first quarter review. Why, you ask? Let me share a quick analogy.
Picture this . . . its summer vacation. A family heads off to French Lick (after all, they are good Hoosiers and want to keep their money here in the state!) to enjoy all that vacation has to offer them once they arrive. As they begin the trip they realize that their primary route is closed due to construction. The family has no GPS, no paper map, and due to a dead iPhone, they can’t even rely on that technology. Without any of those tools, they are unsure how to handle the numerous detours, and unforeseen circumstances. Businesses are just like this family; issues arise that may change the planned course or destination. Without a good map or GPS (a budget and a plan), the business may become unsteady or lose focus on how to reach their destination (business goal).
What is the business’ plan? As one of my colleagues says, those who are living off the bottom line will continue to succeed, those that are living off the top line . . . well, it isn’t as pretty. So, what can a business person do? Consider the following steps:
At the end of the first quarter you may be saying, “Chris, it’s too late, we already are three plus months into the year, we can’t do that now.” Or maybe the statement is “we put our budget in place, we are one-fourth of the way through the year and we are ‘knocking it out of the park’ we don’t need to worry.” My response to the first statement is this - it is NEVER too late to budget and plan. My reaction to the second statement is, “Congratulations! Now, what else can you do to enjoy your trip and ensure you remain on course?”
It is never too late to plan your trip and it is never too late to plan for unforeseen circumstances. Is your trip a bottom line or a top line trip? If it is the latter, now is the time to consider changing direction and switch to a bottom line perspective. And if you have questions, make sure that you include your banker in that discussion. We want to help you live a better life and succeed, because when our clients do well, MutualBank succeeds too.
Yes, it’s the familiar question many of us get in today’s world of technology…‘Have you changed your password lately?’ Recognizing that it can be challenging to change passwords often it is however something that is necessary to help prevent financial fraud.
MutualBank is taking steps to help you protect your financial records accessible online. In October of 2012 MutualBank Online Banking customers will be required to change their Online Banking passwords every 180 days.
Please consider changing your password now in order to get used to this new process. As you change your password we ask that you follow the guidelines listed below in crafting your new password.
Online Banking Password Requirements
If you need further assistance with changing your password please
call us at 800-382-8031.
At the end of 2011 the Bank had quite a year. Taking a look back we celebrated 122 years in business – dating back to helping people live better lives since 1889. Since that time a lot has changed – even in 2011 we saw several changes. Outside of celebrating our 122 years, here are a few highlights of 2011. We unveiled our mobile banking application – MutualMobile. We upgraded to an improved electronic statement delivery, and offered a new checking account offering that provides customers with choices to build an account best suited for his, her, or their family’s lifestyle.
The hidden pieces that make all of this happen? The employees. Many employees have dedicated their entire career to MutualBank. In December of 2011, we held our annual years of service breakfast recognizing employees who have worked 5 through 40 years at the Bank.
I started at the bank in 1999 as a part-time teller finishing my degree at Ball State in Telecommunications. I moved to accounting after being a teller for a year. Then, I moved to the loan operations department where I processed loan paper work. Next, I began closing loans. Who knows, I may have even helped you sign the paperwork for your first home!
After closing loans I began using my education and skills learned from previous positions in the Marketing department, communicating in a variety of ways with customers like you. After a couple of years in Marketing I became Manager of the Call Center. I had never been a manager before, but MutualBank believed in me and gave me a chance – a chance many organizations would not have given. This is a testament to MutualBank’s ability to help people grow. As a company that fosters employee development, my part-time teller position took me to where I am today in the organization. As head of training and development I am fortunate to have the opportunity to welcome all new employees.
I tell new employees in orientation, “MutualBank is a great place to work. While I believe that to be true, you’ll have to find out for yourself.” As orientation continues, new employees begin to see exactly what the company really is about. Visiting with a variety of employees, including our President who treats new employees to lunch, employees begin to see a company who cares about its employees.
You, your family, and your friends have the same opportunity. MutualBank is always looking for customer service driven individuals who want to be a part of a great team. I would encourage you to take a look at our open positions and see if there is a career that awaits you. As a college student looking to make it big in the film industry I ended up finding my calling - who knew it would be working at a bank. It is without question, had I not worked at MutualBank, my career would not be what it is today. Similar career opportunities are available for others! If you’re looking for a great place to work, then take a minute to see if you might find a job opportunity with MutualBank. Who knows, maybe you'll be our next 40 year employee!