Identifying the emotional states that cause us to spend beyond our means
Everyone can use some help getting their financial affairs in order, especially senior citizens who may face special challenges and decisions involving money management later in life. Here are some ways everyone, regardless of age, can get a grip on record-keeping and avoid chaos if a crisis arises:
Simplify your life: Have your paycheck, Social Security benefits, pension payments and other income automatically deposited into your bank account each month. Direct deposits are safe, reliable and convenient. You can also have automatic withdrawals from your bank account to routinely put a certain amount of money into a savings account, a certificate of deposit (CD), a mutual fund or Savings Bonds.
Telephone banking allows you to use your touch-tone phone to confirm that checks or deposits have cleared, get your latest balance or transfer money between different accounts at the same bank. And if you own a home computer, consider banking and bill paying quickly and easily over the Internet, 24 hours a day, seven days a week with First eBanc, our free Internet banking service and First ePay, our bill pay service. Paying your mortgage, utility bills, insurance premiums and any other recurring charges with First ePay takes the hassle out of making scheduled payments and helps avoid late charges or service interruptions. You also save money on postage.
Presented by Jim Ulman & Clint Squier, Registered Representatives | Prepared by Cetera Financial Group
As we head into 2013, we believe three key issues will have the greatest impact on investment returns.
Mixed Recovery in Spending - We believe a recovery in private spending, especially in the housing market, moderate growth in business investment, a reduced drag from the decline in government spending, and sustained growth in exports, add up to a year of moderate growth in 2013, with the potential for faster growth in the second half of the year. This outlook, of course, is contingent on an end to the uncertainty associated with the “fiscal cliff” early in the year.
Absence of Inflation - Concerns that inflation would be re-ignited briefly arose in 2011 as commodity prices rose and headline consumer price inflation reached 3.8% in August of that year. Those concerns abated soon, however, when weakness in the global economy drove commodity prices down and headline inflation with it, to an annual rate of 2.2% in October of this year. Inflation is likely to remain low for some time to come because the economy is operating at substantially less than full employment.
Europe's Debt Crisis - A healthy Europe, with a population and aggregate GDP greater than that of the United States, is crucial to the economic well-being of the rest of the world. The Eurozone’s biggest problem is getting through the transition to a fiscal stance that provides a more solid foundation for growth. Europe is in a recession that appears to be deepening, and the austerity needed to reduce the region’s debt overhang makes it hard to achieve fiscal targets. Progress on resolving Europe’s debt crisis is likely to require further bailouts of some of the heavily indebted countries, more fiscal austerity, and — possibly — further debt reduction agreements. A consensus is building, meanwhile, that a long-term solution to Europe’s crisis will require a fiscal union — with budgetary policies determined and enforced centrally — and a banking union to ensure uniform prudential supervision across the Eurozone. Agreement on a fiscal union is tantamount to forging a new constitution for a united Europe, which is unlikely to be a quick or smooth undertaking.
Looking past the “fiscal cliff,” the global economic outlook today is one of slow but gradually improving growth. The massive monetary stimulus being provided by central banks around the world will, in our view and that of the consensus, eventually reflate the global economy. It is important to emphasize that adverse political and economic developments are still a possibility on both sides of the Atlantic. This is not the time to take on large, risky exposures, in our view. It warrants instead an asset allocation that will provide a substantial income cushion against volatility while benefiting from what we believe will be an improving economic climate in the year ahead.
To meet these goals for the year ahead we recommend an asset allocation that can be summarized as follows:
- Within Equities: Overweight large-cap relative to small- and mid-cap stocks. Favor domestic to foreign stocks, growth over value stocks, and maintain a bias toward fundamental- and dividend- focused investments.
- Within Fixed income: Overweight spread product relative to Treasuries, and bonds with lower duration than those with greater interest rate sensitivity.
- Use Alternatives: Stay diversified in this asset class whose managers have the latitude to respond to a variety of market conditions.
This information compiled by Cetera Financial Group is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The information has been selected to objectively convey the key drivers and catalysts standing behind current market direction and sentiment. No independent analysis has been performed and the material should not be construed as investment advice. Investment decisions should not be based on this material since the information contained here is a singular news update, and prudent investment decisions require the analysis of a much broader collection of facts and context. All economic and performance information is historical and not indicative of future results. Investors cannot invest directly in indices. This is not an offer, recommendation or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security and investment in any security covered in this material may not be advisable or suitable. Please consult your financial professional for more information.
While diversification may help reduce volatility and risk, it does not guarantee future performance. Additional risks are associated with international investing, such as currency fluctuations, political and economic instability, and differences in accounting standards.
Affiliates and subsidiaries and/or officers and employees of Cetera Financial Group or Cetera Investment Services LLC may from time to time acquire, hold or sell a position in the securities mentioned herein.
Securities and Insurance products provided by Cetera Investment Services, LLC. Member SIPC. Investment products are: - Not FDIC insured - Not financial institution guaranteed - Not a deposit - Not insured by any federal government agency - May lose value. Seek the advice of your tax advisor for your personal tax obligations/benefits. Neither Cetera, nor any of its representatives may provide tax advice.
By Katie Bryan, America Saves Communications Manager | (Source: America Saves)
Happy New Year! Now is a great time to give your finances a checkup and discover if you need to make saving your New Year's resolution. You may discover that you have debt you need to pay down or that you are ready to take the next step in savings. Helping yourself and your family save successfully for the future should be near the top of your resolution list – and it's one resolution you can't afford to break! Remember, you don't have to make a lot of money to save successfully. Start Small. Think Big.
1. Get Out of Debt
The best investment most borrowers can make is to pay off consumer debt with double-digit interest rates.
How to do it: Find places to cut your spending so that you can pay down your debts faster.
2. Save for Emergencies
Having an emergency savings fund may be the most important difference between those who manage to stay afloat and those who are sinking financially. In a recent survey, only 49% of families said they had extra funds (not including lines of credit) available to pay for an unexpected expense of $1,000. Don't find yourself unprepared in 2013.
Thursday, May 16, 2013 | Theatre at the Center, Munster, IN
Inspired by true events, this dance musical brings to life the tempestuous love triangle behind the scenes during the filming of the beloved movie musical, Singin' in the Rain. The star and co-director (Gene Kelley) is in love with his assistant, who happens to be the ex-wife of his co-director. The show features great songs and dance routines from the film. Important real-life figures are also part of the fun - young Debbie Reynolds and producer/songwriter Arthur Freed. Cost is $65 per person and includes transportation, lunch (Roast loin of pork or lemon chicken breast) and snacks on the bus ride home. Bus departs from Beecher at 11:30 a.m. Reservations must be made by April 15th. Payment must be made with the reservation.
Upcoming Casino Trips
Last chance to sign up for Horseshoe Casino!
Reservations for the January 24th trip to Hammond, IN and the Horseshoe Casino are only being taken until January 7th. If you have not yet signed up, or if you have reserved a seat but have not yet paid, please do so by January 7. After that date, unpaid reservations will be removed from the list. If you have any questions, please call Irene or Marcia at 946-2246.
Another trip is being planned for April 25 to Four Winds Casino. Enjoy a day on Lake Michigan's Gold Coast and experience the excitement of the games, shopping and dining at Four Winds Casino. We will have two pick-up/drop off locations, departing from our Peotone facility at 9:00 a.m., and from our Beecher location at 9:30 am and return at 4:00 and 4:30 pm. The cost is $30 ($2 discount for FCBT customers) and includes transportation, refreshments on the bus, a $10 food voucher and a $15 instant slot credit.
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.
Many municipalities within Will County specifically direct their contracted collection company to take trees separately from the garbage and recycle them as landscape materials. They may be chipped for fresh pine mulch or set in a lake or pond for small fish to find shelter. Regardless, they continue to provide great value to our world. For trees to be collected in this manner, they must be free of all tinsel and ornaments.
If you do not live in a municipality with Christmas tree recycling or you are a business without access to landscape collection service, please consider using the Forest Preserve District of Will County for your tree recycling needs. The Forest Preserve will be accepting trees at:
Were you the lucky recipient of a warm winter coat for Christmas? If your old coat is in good condition, consider donating it to help someone else stay warm in the cold months ahead. New or gently used coats, scarves, mittens and gloves can be given to local organizations that will distribute them to those in need. Many local churches also collect these items for distribution.