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March 2013 | Volume 10 | Issue 3

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Pay People With Popmoney

Send or Request Money Right from Your Bank Account

Have you ever needed to pay someone for your portion of the lunch bill but find yourself short on cash? Or how about forgetting to send a birthday card and gift to your nephew? We have a solution: Popmoney! First Community Bank and Trust recently introduced Popmoney, the personal payment service that allows you to send or receive money with just an email address or mobile phone number. It is an extremely safe way to transfer money between bank accounts even if they are at different banks. View the Popmoney tutorial

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First Community Investment Center News

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO WITH THAT REFUND?

A few possibilities to consider

Presented by Clint Squier & Jim Ulman, Registered Representatives - Prepared by MarketingLibrary.Net Inc.

Will you be receiving a tax refund this year? If so, you might want to think about the destiny of that money. Here are a few options to consider:

Start (or add to) an emergency fund. Do you have a dedicated rainy day fund? Consider setting this money aside for a tight spot you may find yourself in at another time.

Invest in yourself. You could put the money toward education, career training or personal improvement.

Use it for a down payment on a vehicle or real property. Real property may represent a better financial choice, but updating your vehicle may have merit - cars do wear out.

Put it into an IRA or workplace retirement account. If you haven’t maxed out your IRA this year or have a chance to get an employer match, it may be worth considering.

Pay down debt. Almost always a wise move.

Get your home ready for the market. Spruce up the yard, exterior, or interior of your residence or hire a professional who can assist you with staging it.

Improve your home with energy-saving appliances. Or windows, or weather-stripping, or solar panels – just to name a few options.

Create your own food bank. What if a hurricane or an earthquake hits? Where would your food and water come from? Worth thinking about.

See a doctor, optometrist, dentist or physical therapist. If you haven’t been able to see these professionals due to your insurance situation or your personal cash flow, why not do it now?

Pay for that getaway you’ve been dreaming about. If you’re debt-free and feel financially confident, perhaps you should consider rewarding yourself.

Pay it forward. Your refund could turn into a charitable contribution (deductible on next year’s federal tax return, if you itemize deductions).

By carefully considering how to use your refund in advance, you may be able to avoid asking yourself, later, that age-old question … “Where did it all go?”

Jim and Clint

Clint Squier and Jim Ulman may be reached at First Community Investment Center located at First Community Bank and Trust, (708) 946-2246.

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Securities and insurance products are offered through Cetera Investment Services LLC (doing insurance business in CA as CFGIS Insurance Agency), member FINRA/SIPC.  Cetera is not affiliated with the financial institution where investment services are offered. Investments are: * Not FDIC/NCUSIF insured * May lose value * Not financial institution guaranteed  * Not a deposit  * Not insured by any federal government agency.

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.

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2013 Customer Appreciation

We LOVE our customers! Each and every day we strive to show you just how much by offering high-tech, high-touch products and services coupled with unbeatable customer service. We know you expect an exceptional banking experience each and every time you visit, which is why we go above and beyond in our efforts to exceed those expectations. Throughout the year we will have giveaways and events for our customers to celebrate just that.

Pictures with the Easter Bunny! Get a free 5x7 photograph with the Easter Bunny at the bank on Saturday, March 23, between 9:00-11:00 a.m.

There will also be a raffle for a Wet n' Wild insulated cooler filled with water toys to keep you cool on those hot summer days. Also included with the raffle prize is a $10 gift card to Aurelio’s Pizza in Beecher!

Easter Pic 2012

View the entire 2013 Customer Appreciation Calendar

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Gold Club News

Upcoming Casino Trip

Last chance to sign up for Horseshoe Casino!

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.

What a Glorious Feeling

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.

Gold Club Dinner

The Spring Gold Club Dinner is planned for Wednesday, May 22. Save the date on your calendar. More details will be provided in upcoming newsletters.

View First Community Gold Club Web Page

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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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VA Loans Serve Those Who Have Served

Government-backed Loans Make Home Purchase Attainable for Veterans

U.S. Service Members and Veterans may be able to purchase a home with lower monthly payments, $0 down and interest rates comparable to those of conventional loans. Backed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), VA loans allow lenders to provide loans with more favorable terms to eligible veterans. The loans may be used to purchase a new home or to refinance an existing loan.

Unlike conventional loans which require a down payment of anywhere between 5% and 20%, no down payment is required for a VA loan as long as the sales price doesn't exceed the appraised value. And, because the VA guarantees these loans, no monthly private mortgage insurance (PMI) premium is required, helping to lower the monthly payment.   Other advantages include a limit on the amount charged for closing costs and no penalty fee if the loan is paid off early. The VA may also be able to provide assistance if the borrower runs into difficulty making payments.

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Equal Housing Lender An Equal Housing Lender | Member FDIC

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Shred Any Possibility of Identity Theft

Document Disposal Days Scheduled for May and September

On Saturday, May 18, we will host our popular Document Disposal Day in the parking lot at our Beecher location, from 9:00-11:00 a.m. This free event is open to individuals and businesses who have unneeded confidential papers that they would like destroyed.

Destroying confidential information is not only a good idea for security purposes; it may also be legally required for many individuals and businesses. According to the FTC’s DISPOSAL RULE, added in 2005 as part of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) “any person who maintains or otherwise possesses consumer information for a business purpose must properly destroy discarded consumer information”. The FTC’s FACTA DISPOSAL RULE further states that every person and/or business, “must properly dispose of such information by taking reasonable measures to protect against unauthorized access to or use of the information in connection with its disposal.” Shredding is one of the recommended ways to dispose of sensitive information.

All types of office papers are accepted, including file folders, green bar paper, carbonless paper, letterhead, envelopes, etc. Staples, paper clips and rubber bands do not have to be removed, however paper should be removed from metal-type binders such as 3-ring binders or metal fastener folders. For more information, please contact the bank at 708-946-2246 or 708-258-0530.

First Community Bank and Trust will hold another Document Disposal Day on Saturday, September 14 at our Peotone facility.

Press Release

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Eco Challenge #30

Precycle: The Next Generation of Waste Management

The time-honored mantra of waste management - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - has brought awareness to the need to make more mindful decisions regarding how we shop and live. Whether for economic or environmental purposes, the Three R's have emphasized that our resources are not unlimited and that we all need to make better choices in order to preserve and protect them.

The three Rs now have a new partner and it begins with a P - Precycle, which is basically stopping waste before it happens or producing less garbage. Precycle emphasizes the first two R's - reduce and reuse, which in turn lessens the need to recycle. Although recycling plays an important role in waste management by reducing the amount of material added to landfills, it still requires energy to transport materials, melt them down and then re-manufacture those materials into new products. In addition, products made from recycled material almost always require new material to make up for loss due to downcycling (the loss of some of the original material in the recycling process). Precycling addresses these issues by using less material in the first place, so less has to be recycled.

Ways to precycle include buying in bulk/avoiding individually wrapped items; buy items that come in reusable packaging; use reusable containers instead of foil, plastic bags or wrap; avoid junk mail by removing your name from mailing lists; use electronic media (i.e. computer or e-reader) for your reading material, especially newspapers and magazines or borrow from a friend or the library; use "real" utensils rather than disposable ones; use cloth handkerchiefs, napkins and towels instead of paper ones. Of course, one of the most obvious ways to precycle is to bank electronically. Online statements and online bill pay greatly reduce the paperwork involved with banking tasks.

Establishing a precycle mentality require¬s 4 steps in order to achieve a less wasteful and more sustainable way of living:

1. Educate yourself. Learn about reducing, reusing, and recycling.
2. Prepare yourself. Think about your consumer habits and your waste habits.
3. Enact! Put what you've learned into action!
4. Spread awareness. Tell your family. Tell your friends. Tell your boss. You can even 
make suggestions to manufacturers regarding ways to make their products less wasteful.

Obviously, there are times when disposable items or buying in bulk are not as practical, such as traveling or picnics. The trick to all this, is to identify those old wasteful habits we can change and make new, more responsible habits a part of our daily lives. Precycling may take a little more work in some cases...but by starting small and being aware of our choices we can make a change for the positive.

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