22 Jan

Retirement Planning: A How to Guide

retirement planning

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions when it comes to retirement planning. Many people think it’s too difficult to comprehend or that they are too old to start saving now and will have to play catch up. We’re here to debunk some of these common misconceptions and simplify the way you see retirement planning with a 2-step how to guide.

Step 1: Determine How Much You Will Need

The first step in planning for retirement is determining how much money you will need to do live the post-retirement life you desire. When you retire, you will no longer have the consistent income you have been used to for the past few decades, so having a “nest egg” is very important, as that is where your main funds will stem from.

So how much will you need? This varies from person to person and completely depends on what you see your lifestyle looking like. For example, if you are passionate about traveling, you will need to keep in mind the costs associated with this lifestyle and plan accordingly. Another aspect to keep in mind is your health. While it is impossible to predict your future health, you can still plan for what may come. It is always better to be on the safe side and keep some extra funds aside, in the unfortunate case that something arises.

A good rule of thumb to follow when planning what retirement funds you will need, is to expect to require about 70% of your annual pre-retirement income, depending upon what your expected lifestyle will be like. If you want to live more lavishly, planning for more than 70% is probably the way to go. There is no need to decide now, but it’s best to keep this idea in the back of your mind.

Step 2: Determine Where and How You Will Invest

Now that you have an idea of how much you will need, how are you going to go about funding it? This is where IRAs and 401(k)s come in. Currently, you can contribute up to $5,500 to a traditional or Roth IRA each year and up to $18,000 to a 401(k). You can contribute to both every year, but many people tend to choose one or the other. The main difference between the options is that 401(k) and traditional IRA contributions go in tax-free but then get taxed as income once used during retirement, whereas Roth IRA contributions are taxed before you put them in and withdrawals are not taxed later on. Decide which option is right for you and try to put as many funds as you can afford into them as soon as you can. The sooner you get funds into retirement accounts, the longer they have to accrue interest – which means more money for you down the road.

If we’re being honest, the hardest part about saving for retirement is committing to putting away the funds and not being able to use them today. We promise, it will all be worth it in the long run when you can rest easy and relax after all is said and done. Need more convincing? Talk to one of our certified financial planners and start planning for your future!

16 Jan

Mobile Deposits: Why You Should be Taking Advantage of Them

We all know how much of a pain it can be to go to our local credit union branch just to deposit a check. Well lucky for you, we have a solution to this problem that will save you a lot of time! Our mobile deposit tool is not only convenient and simple, but it is safe and secure as well. Read on to learn more about the benefits of DeposZip and how it works.

Benefits

The best part about mobile deposit is the convenience to do it from wherever you want. If you’re sitting at work thinking about all the errands you have to run afterwards, you can knock “going to the bank” right off that list in about 5 minutes without leaving your desk. This means no more sitting in traffic and waiting in lines just to get your hard earned funds into your account. Pretty great, right?

Another great perk of mobile deposits is the speed and accuracy in which they are processed. After submitting your deposit request in the mobile app, you will immediately receive an email confirming that your check has been received and has begun processing. The deposited amount should be available in your account shortly afterwards, but keep in mind that times may vary depending on the amount of traffic the mobile deposit app is receiving.

How it Works

We know you’re busy and don’t always have time to stop by your local RMLEFCU branch to deposit a check. Well, now you don’t have to! By using RMLEFCU’s mobile deposit tool, DeposZip, you can deposit a check into your account from anywhere. Here’s how it works.

Step 1:

If you don’t already, download the RMLEFCU mobile banking app from the app store. It is available for both iPhone and Android.

Step 2:

Take a picture of the front and back of your check, following the on-screen instructions. We suggest being in a well-lit area and placing the check on a flat surface to ensure the best picture. As always, make sure you sign the back of your check so it is valid.

Step 3:

Select the checking or savings account into which you want to make the deposit. Remember, you can always transfer funds from one account to the another after the deposit is complete.

Step 4:

Enter the check amount. Double check to make sure the amount you typed in matches the amount written on the physical check.

Step 5:

Verify that all information on the screen is correct, then hit “Submit”. We will confirm that the check has been received and will credit your account for the amount deposited once it is processed.

Read more about RMLECU’s mobile deposits here, and check out our informational video with step by step instructions.

08 Jan

Contactless Payments are the Safer Way to Pay

Contactless Payments

If you’ve been thinking about making the switch to contactless payments, the time is now. Many of us have probably heard about Apple, Samsung, and Android Pay but have always questioned their security. We are here to discuss why contactless payments are the safer way to pay and why you should start utilizing them ASAP.

What is a Contactless Payment?

First things first – what is a contactless payment? It is a quickly growing mobile payment service that was first introduced in 2014 that makes it possible to pay for goods and services with your smartphone. It uses a near field communication (NFC) antenna in your device to transfer funds from your account to a retailer when tapped against their contactless payment terminal. You simply store your debit or credit card information in your device, then authorize a transfer at the time of payment and wa-la – transaction complete.

Is it Safe?

People are skeptical about contactless payment methods mostly due to uncertainty about their security. Allow us to set your mind at ease. Your card and account details are never shared with merchants or even stored on your device. Instead, when you complete a transaction, contactless payment systems represent your account with a random transaction code, not your actual card information. This not only prevents fraud, but if the retailer happens to be the victim of a breach, it is much less likely that your information will be acquired.

Is There Added Security?

When utilizing contactless payment services, it is important to take all precautionary measures, even though the system itself is extremely safe. This can be done a number of ways. Ensure that your device’s lock screen is password protected, with either a pin, pattern, or fingerprint scan. This ensures that if your device gets lost or stolen, no one else can unlock your device and have access to your information. In addition to the lock screen precautions, your contactless payment app also requires a fingerprint scan or password to open and complete transactions, adding another layer of security to payments.

When you weigh the option of paying with a credit card or contactless payment service, it really comes down to security and ease. By not sharing your actual card information with merchants, you greatly decrease your risk of fraud and, since we all have our smartphones on us 99% of the time, paying with them is very convenient.

To learn more about device-specific contactless payments and find some helpful links, check out our website!