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December 2012 | Volume 9 | Issue 5

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The Underlying Emotions of Overspending

Identifying the emotional states that cause us to spend beyond our means

We've all done it - spent more than we should have on an item we probably didn't really need. Poor purchasing decisions are made by even the savviest of shoppers, especially during the holidays. But when these decisions become the norm, rather than the exception, it may be helpful to examine some of the underlying emotional states that often drive people toward this financially hazardous habit in order to break it. Read Entire Article

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Customer Appreciation Events

Final Customer Appreciation Raffle Nets Big Win for Dolores Gregg

Our last raffle of 2012 was in November for a 40" Toshiba HDTV. The winner was Dolores Gregg of Peotone. Thank you to everyone who participated in our 2012 Customer Appreciation events. We look forward to more fun in 2013.

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First Community Investment Center News

Women, Money and The Long-Term...Are you too focused on the short-term?

Presented by Jim Ulman & Clint Squier, Registered Representatives

Prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc.

How many short-term financial decisions do you make each week? You probably make more than a few, and they may feel routine. Yet in managing these day-to-day issues, you may be drawn away from making the long-term money decisions that could prove vital to your financial well-being.

How many long-term financial decisions have you made for yourself? How steadily have you saved and planned for retirement? Have you looked into ideas that may help to lower your taxes or preserve more of the money you have accumulated?

In a 2010 Prudential survey of 1,250 American women, 86% of those polled felt that they lacked knowledge when it came to choosing investment or insurance products, yet 95% of the respondents identified themselves as the financial decision-makers in their households.1 Does this describe you? Perhaps it's time to work toward gaining more confidence and control over your financial picture.

Start by taking inventory. Look at your investments and savings accounts: their balances, their purposes. Then, look at income sources: yours, and those of your spouse or family if applicable. Consider your probable or possible income sources after you retire: Social Security and others.

This is a way to start seeing where you are financially in terms of your progress toward a financially stable retirement and your retirement income. It may also illuminate potential new directions for you:

  • The need to save more (especially since parenting or caregiving may interrupt your career and affect your earnings)
  • The need for greater income (negotiate for a raise!) or additional income sources down the road
  • Risks to income and savings (and the need to plan greater degrees of insulation from them)

Devoting even just an hour of attention to these matters may give you a clear look at your financial potential for tomorrow. Proceed from this step to the next: follow with another hour devoted to a chat with an experienced financial professional.

For a no-obligation consultation, call one of our Registered Representatives today. Jim Ulman and Clint Squier may be reached at (708) 946-2246.

This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

1 – www.prudential.com/media/managed/wm/WM-women-step-up-to-the-financial-challenge.html [1/18/12]

Jim and Clint

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This material was prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.

PrimeVest Financial Services, Inc. is an independent, registered broker-dealer and registered investment adviser. Member SIPC/FINRA. Securities and insurance products offered by PrimeVest: - Not FDIC/NCUSIF insured - Not financial institution guaranteed - Not a deposit - Not insured by any federal government agency - May lose Value. See the advice of your tax advisor for your personal tax obligations/benefits. Neither PrimeVest, nor any of its representatives may provide tax advice.

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Benefits of Buying a Home During the Winter Months

For SaleAs the cold, wet winter approaches, the thought of house hunting may not be high on your list. But if you are seriously contemplating a move, purchasing a home during the winter has some advantages.

1. Less competition: There are fewer buyers in the winter months, which means fewer competing offers for that perfect home.

2. Motivated Sellers: Sellers know there will be fewer buyers wiling to brave the elements and may be more inclined to negotiate, especially if they are in a hurry to sell due to a job transfer or similar situation.

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Equal Housing Lender An Equal Housing Lender | Member FDIC

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Gold Club News

Banish Cabin Fever with a Trip to Horseshoe Casino!

Join us on January 24 for a trip to Hammond, Indiana and the Horseshoe Casino. What better way to brighten the winter season than with a day of fine dining and gaming? We will depart from our Peotone facility at 9:00 am and from Beecher at 9:30. The adventure includes round trip transportation, buffet lunch and a $10 gaming voucher. Cost is $24.00 for Gold Club Members; $26 for non-members. Call 708/946-2246 or 708/258-0530 to reserve your seat on the bus. All reservations must be paid in advance no later than January 7, 2013. Unpaid reservations will be removed from the list.

Contact Irene Brothers for more details at (708) 946-2246 or ibrothers@firstcbt.com.

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Keep on Your Toes This Winter

Foot and ankle fractures among older individuals happen more frequently in the winter than any other season, most likely due to the icy surfaces. Last winter proved to be pretty mild in terms of the weather, however, that's no guarantee that this winter will follow suit. Taking a few precautions can ensure that this beautiful time of year remains that way. Read Entire Article

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Our Gold Club is for those customers who are 55 years of age or better and have at least $1,000 in any combination of accounts with our bank. Members receive increased rates on CDs, free check offers, two free dinners per year, and much more. First Community Caravan is open to anyone and can be enjoyed by customers and non-customers alike. If you are interested in signing up for our Gold Club or for one or more of our trips, contact Irene Brothers today at 708.946.2246.

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Eco Challenge #27

Use Brainpower, Not Batteries, to Fuel These Toys

Tis' the season to start thinking of the perfect gift for the kids (young and old!) in your life. The latest electronic items will undoubtedly top the list, however there are many alternatives that don't require a power source other than a few brain waves and perhaps some muscle.

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that about 40% of battery sales occur during the holiday season. Unfortunately, most of these batteries end up in landfills, potentially releasing harmful toxins that wreak havoc on the eco-system. Rechargeable batteries are an alternative as they reduce the amount of potentially harmful materials thrown away, and can save money in the long run. However, they still require an external power source in order to recharge them.

An even better idea is to give toys that require brainpower not battery power. An added bonus is the mental boost the recipient will receive from being an active participant. (Here's an interesting article about battery-free toy advantages).

Some low-tech, high-reward toys include (click on the links for more information about the benefits of each): Puzzles; Arts & Craft Kits; Board games; building blocks; Sporting equipment (sleds, ice skates and snowball/block makers are great for the snowy months ahead and help to burn off accumulated energy from being inside); books, magic kits, puppets, dress-up costumes, coloring books and play dough.

The imagination is a very powerful tool that only gets better the more it is used. The excerpt below, from Robert Louis Stevenson's "Block City", serves as a reminder of the simple joys of simple toys:

What are you able to build with your blocks?
Castles and palaces, temples and docks.
Rain may keep raining, and others go roam,
But I can be happy and building at home.

Let the sofa be mountains, the carpet be sea,
There I'll establish a city for me:
A kirk and a mill and a palace beside.
And a harbour as well where my vessels may ride

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Christmas is a Time of Giving

Make a Deposit of a Different Kind This Season

First Community Bank and Trust (Beecher and Peotone locations) will have boxes in the lobbies throughout the month for donations of canned/non-perishable goods to help make the holidays a little brighter for those who are struggling. The donated items will be given to the local food pantries in Peotone and Beecher. Please pick up an extra can or two the next time you are grocery shopping and deposit them with us. The return on your investment will be greater than you will ever know. We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday filled with good health and happiness.

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Festival of Lights Parade

It's a Country Christmas! At least it was on our float for this year's Festival of Lights Parade. This annual event, sponsored by the Beecher Chamber of Commerce, took place on Saturday, December 1. After the parade, everyone was invited to Fireman's park for some hot chocolate and to see the decorated trees, including the entry from First Community Bank and Trust.

View the pictures of our Festival of Lights Float on Flickr

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