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ICBA and First Community Bank and Trust
Offer Financial Tips for 2012 Graduates

Beecher, Illinois (May 30, 2012)—As students graduate from colleges and universities across the country and begin to plant the seeds for their financial future, the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and First Community Bank and Trust offer tips to help graduates manage finances in the "real world."

"Graduation is an exciting time for students who are often anxious to gain financial independence," said Terry Jorde, ICBA senior executive vice president and chief of staff. "It's important to remember that the financial decisions you make now will affect your future for years to come, so take a moment to outline your short- and long-term financial goals and come up with a monthly budget that will work for you. Believe me, this is one simple exercise that will be well worth any recent grad's time. You'll thank yourself a few months and a few years down the line."

Jorde suggested that students who don't already have their own individual bank accounts (not cosigned by mom and dad) open one immediately. "Look to a community banker who can work with you one-on-one to make a financial plan that suits your individual needs," said Jorde.

Adds Greg Ohlendorf, president and CEO of First Community Bank and Trust, "One of the best things you can do for your financial success is to learn as much as you can about money management. Things like regularly contributing to a retirement account, starting an emergency fund, and obtaining health insurance, while not very exciting, are crucial to establishing good money management skills that, once developed, will help to ensure a secure future."

Other tips from ICBA and First Community Bank and Trust include:

  • If you don't have strong financial literacy skills, take some time to educate yourself on money matters, such as credit and ways to save for retirement. There is an abundance of resources available from programs such as FDIC Money Smart.
  • Understand credit, how to build it and what hurts it.
  • Set up online banking to help you manage your finances from anywhere.
  • Start saving for retirement now even if it does seem like a long way away. Many employers offer investment matching plans to help you get started.
  • Set up an automatic savings account that pulls from your account every month as soon as you get your paycheck. Some employers also allow you to defer savings to another account. If you don't see it, chances are you won't miss it so much. Having a safety net in your savings account will help you stress less.

About First Community Bank and Trust
First Community Bank and Trust is a privately owned bank. Established in 1916 First Community Bank and Trust has been serving Beecher, IL, Peotone, IL and the surrounding communities for over 95 years. Our commitment to providing the best banking products and services is matched only by our outstanding customer service. We offer traditional community banking services, including mortgage, consumer, and commercial lending, as well as state of the art electronic banking services.

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Press Contact:
Steven D. Koehn, VP
First Community Bank and Trust
(708) 946-2246