SEFCU News

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SEFCU Wealth Management Services Presents - Marriage: Entering a New Investment Life

SEFCU Wealth Management Services Logo

There are a lot of issues that couples need to think about when tying the knot – wedding preparations, family, and, of course, finances. Addressing personal finance and investment issues before the big day may help improve your odds of being together years later. Keep reading for some financial issues that you might consider when embarking on a matrimonial journey.

Aimee Moore, Why I Care Employee Recipient

Aimee-Moore-Employee-Recipient

It’s hard for Aimee Moore to pinpoint her favorite volunteer memory, but most recently she participated in Stand to Honor, an event that was part of SEFCU’s Operation Fitness that raises money and awareness for fallen soldiers.

SEFCU Sets Up Camp with Metropolitan Community Group

Earlier this week, SEFCU President & CEO Michael Castellana presented The Metropolitan Community Group Minister of Community Life and Outreach Michael Poindexter with a $15,000 grant check to provide aid for the organization's summer Camp program. This grant is part of a 3-year $45,000 commitment from SEFCU.

SEFCU Presents Royalties to the Palace Theatre's Summer in the City Program

On June 17, 2019 SEFCU joined area business leaders and the Mayor of Albany Kathy Sheehan to announce the Summer in the City movie lineup at the Palace Theatre in Downtown Albany.

“For the fifth season in a row, the Palace will provide free summer movies, open to the public every Tuesday afternoon during the months of July and August. Thanks to this program, more than 8,000 families and children participated in this program last year,” said Billy Piskutz, Managing Director for the Palace Performing Arts Center.

SEFCU extends helping hand to Equinox's Transitional Living Program.

The SEFCU Community team is helping homeless youth get back on their feet and ready for positive steps forward. 

Last month, SEFCU presented a $25,000 grant fund Equinox’s Transitional Living Program (TLP), which provides housing and a variety of support services to homeless youth. The grant will assist with funding dinners and providing bus passes to help youth attend school, work, job interviews, and medical appointments. 

SEFCU helps build brighter futures by supporting the Shelters of Saratoga

On March 4th, SEFCU’s community team delivered a $10,000 grant to the Shelters of Saratoga (SOS), an organization that offers a full-continuum of support to those in Saratoga County experiencing homelessness. SOS is taking strides toward providing these individuals with the necessary resources to assist them in finding employment, permanent housing and ultimately building brighter futures for themselves.

SEFCU Monopoly Tournament Video 2019

SEFCU's Monopoly Tournament benefits the Center for Disability Services. Their Mission: To enable and empower people, primarily those with disabilities, to lead healthy and enriched lives.

Operation Fitness Video 2019

SEFCU's third annual Operation Fitness event was a very special one. Through the event close to $60,000 was donated to local organizations that support military veterans.

2018 Impact Study

In 2018, more than 5,000 individuals attended a learning event across New York State. Attendees were surveyed and reported favorably on both the classes and their instructors. Are you ready to change your financial future and attend a free session?

View 2018 impact report

View current seminars

Chris McNeil, Why I Care Employee Recipient

Chris McNeil, Employee Recipient

Most members know Chris McNeil as the Member Service Leader of SEFCU’s Amsterdam branch, but you may not know he is also skilled with using power tools and he’s been putting those skills to good use helping to renovate a number of spaces at non-profits throughout the areas SEFCU

Beware of Callers Saying Your SSN is Suspended

From time to time you probably receive phone calls from someone you don’t know, but what happens if the caller tells you your Social Security Number (SSN) has been suspended and asks you to provide confidential information to reactivate it? The Federal Trade Commission has received reports about scammers trying to trick people into providing their confidential information by calling and saying their Social Security Number has been suspended. The problem? Social Security Numbers don’t get suspended. 

SEFCU Initiatives

The local communities that our members call home are the heart and soul of SEFCU. We've dedicated ourselves and our resources to helping your community grow and thrive. At SEFCU, we back our community spirit with active support for the local causes and initiatives that matter to our members. Here you can learn more about SEFCU's community spirit - and how it makes an impact every single day for our members and their communities.

Wealth Management Services* - Retirement Account Distributions After Age 70 ½

Many people begin withdrawing funds from qualified retirement accounts soon after they retire in order to provide annual retirement income. These withdrawals are discretionary in terms of timing and amount until the account holder reaches age 70½. After that, failure to withdraw the required minimum amount annually may result in substantial tax penalties.

Steve Oliver, Why I Care Member Recipient

Steve Oliver, Member Recipient

When Steve Oliver joined the Navy in 1980 he pledged to serve and honor his country. While he is no longer considered active military, he still plays a major role in his community, recently retiring so he could pursue his passion of helping veterans full time.

Chad Majewski, Why I Care Member Recipient

Chad Majewski, Why I Care Member Recipient

Chad readily admits that much of what happens in life is beyond our control. But, he believes that by volunteering your time you can control where and how you make a difference in the lives of others.

Tracie Killar, Why I Care Member Recipient

Tracie Killar

Tracie recalls being a seventh grade student when one of her teachers started a Social Action Club. At that point in her life she hadn’t volunteered, but her involvement with the club opened her eyes to what it meant to be a giver, not just a receiver.

SEFCU Facilitates Summer Youth Employment Programs

What can I buy with my first paycheck? Should I open a checking account? Why should I start saving for college, or a car, now? Why is everything I want to buy so expensive? Those are just some of the questions typical teenagers ask as they start thinking about a first job. The concepts of managing money through budgeting, saving, and making wise decisions on spending are often a big unknown for most youth. But, with a direct correlation between financial well-being and success in school, eventual careers, and life, it's important to start understanding these concepts early.

01/2018 - SEFCU's Institute for Financial Well-Being helps “Change the World”

SEFCU's Institute for Financial Well-Being had a unique opportunity to exhibit at the Girls World Expo. Offered in partnership with iHeart Media and sponsored by SEFCU, GirlsWorld Expo is a national movement of one-day events for teenage girls. The Albany Expo was diversely designed to connect young women with their community, empowering them to discover their potential and find their best path to personal and professional success.

02/2018 - College Freshmen Learn About Managing Credit

Recently, 50 Russell Sage College students participated in a session called "Understanding and Managing Credit" that helped them understand their attitudes about money and discover a system of prioritizing wants and needs.

5 Tips for Smart Saving and Spending

How will you spend your money in the next few months, or the next year and beyond? It's a good idea to put your goals in writing and create a spending plan that will give you enough money for every day expenses, while helping you save for your goal. Check out five tips for smart spending and saving.

calculator with a bunch of shopping icons

07/2018 - SEFCU Honored with Financial Education Award

SEFCU's Institute for Financial Well-Being was honored with the New York Credit Union Association's 2018 Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award, an award created to recognize model credit union efforts to provide personal finance education concepts and skills to individuals under age 18.

Creating Positive Financial Habits

Developing positive habits related to saving and spending money is an ongoing process. Not understanding your habits – especially during the holiday season – can create added expenses and stress. On average it takes about 60 days to change or create a habit, so it’s important to think carefully about what you spend your money on, especially this time of year. By following some simple tips, you can keep your holiday spending in check and develop healthy financial habits.

SEFCU’s Institute for Financial Well-Being Jumps into Summer

Since its inception, SEFCU’s Institute for Financial Well-Being has provided financial education opportunities for youth each summer, educating more than 1,500 students since 2016 about saving, budgeting, understanding paychecks, and other financial topics. 

SEFCU is bringing this program to life again this summer, with plans to deliver various education sessions throughout the state. Organizations and agencies in Albany, Schenectady, Saratoga, Rensselaer, Onondaga, Tioga, and Erie counties have committed to providing education to the youth they serve.

Freezing your credit

Security freezes, also known as credit freezes, restrict access to your credit file which makes it harder for fraudsters and identity thieves to open new accounts in your name. Now, you can freeze and unfreeze your credit file for free. 

Improve Your New Computer’s Security

Did you receive a new computer this holiday season? It’s important to properly configure your home computer before connecting it to the internet to keep it, and your information, secure. Because we input and view so much personally identifiable information on computers, it’s very important to maintain computer security.

The following are important tips that can help to make your computer more secure. When used together, these practices will strengthen your computer’s security and help minimize threats:

Creating Positive Financial Habits

Habits aren’t something that form overnight. It usually takes about 60 days to change a behavior and create a habit. Last month SEFCU’s Institute for Financial Well-Being provided tips for healthy holiday spending live on Facebook, but the tips can actually be used year-round to help you develop healthy spending habits.

10 Tips for Healthy Spending

Don’t Fall Victim to a Phishing Scam

Phishing scams can take many forms. Sometimes scammers use fraudulent emails or texts or mimic websites that you trust to get you to share confidential, personal information – like account numbers, Social Security Numbers, or usernames and passwords. Phishing scammers usually give their targets a false sense of security because they make the text message, email, or website look like one the victim is familiar with. Worst of all, they usually make the message seem extremely urgent or there will be negative consequences.

Protect yourself by following the tips below:

SEFCU’s Institute for Financial Well-Being Makes BIG Impact in 2018!

In 2018 more than 5,000 people attended one of SEFCU’s free financial education sessions covering topics like saving, budgeting, and reducing debt. If you’re struggling with one of these topics or others, we want to help you build confidence and learn practical methods for financial improvement. Individuals can click the button below to view upcoming sessions. If your organization would like to offer free sessions to your employees, complete the Financial Request Form at sefcu.com/financial-education.

SEFCU Fights Hunger in Non-traditional Ways

According to Feeding America: Map the Meal Gap 2018, 10.4% of adults and 13.5% of children in the Capital Region are food insecure which means those individuals don’t know where their next meal is coming from. SEFCU is committed to not only meeting immediate food needs by making monetary donations (last year for our year end giving program $300,000 was donated to food pantries and rescue missions), but also investing in sustainable programs which will allow communities and organizations to provide food for those living right in their neighborhoods.

Protecting Yourself from Elder Abuse

To con artists, down-on-their-luck relatives, or opportunistic acquaintances, older individuals are a goldmine, and here’s why. People over the age of 50 control 70% of the country’s wealth, and seniors between the ages of 65 and 74, with an average net worth of $1.06 million, have more assets than any other age group. Dementia, disability, and decline can make it even easier for criminals to con older adults out of their money, which is also known as elder abuse. There are many types of scams, unethical businesses, and unscrupulous individuals preying on seniors all the time.

SEFCU’s Institute for Financial Well-Being Visits Cairo-Durham School District

Students in kindergarten, first, and second grade at Cairo-Durham Elementary School learned about saving, budgeting, and spending through innovative programs offered by SEFCU’s Institute for Financial Well-Being. In addition to the sessions being fun and informative for the students, one teacher commented how well the content aligns with grade-level curriculum.

What is the Best Use of Your Tax Refund?

For many, tax season equals refund season and there is a temptation to spend the refund on something that falls into the “want” category. However, with more than $3.86 trillion in student loan, auto loan, and credit card debt combined, it’s pretty easy to see that there are more impactful ways a person can use the annual “windfall.”

Experts advise to pay down debt, begin a savings fund, or invest toward retirement as ways to use a tax refund for long-term benefit potential.

Institute Facilitated Sessions at Women’s Opportunity Center

SEFCU’s Institute for Financial Well-Being recently facilitated a four-part financial education series with clients at the Women’s Opportunity Center in Syracuse where they touched on a number of financial topics. 

The clients, who were 35-70 years old, were active participants in sessions focused on creating a personal spending plan, understanding credit reports and credit scores, finding the meaning of payroll deductions and payroll forms, and developing an effective pay down strategy.

SEFCU’s Institute for Financial Well-Being Earns National Recognition

During its annual Government Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. last week, the Credit Union National Association recognized SEFCU’s ongoing effort to deliver free, dynamic financial education to young people with its Desjardins Award for Youth Financial Education in the more than $1 billion in assets category.

SEFCU’s Institute for Financial Well-Being Earns National Recognition

Make Your Passwords Simple and Secure

Establishing strong passwords is one of the best ways to keep your account information safe. If you aren’t sure how to create secure passwords or need help keeping track of all the different passwords you have, read these tips.

 

Thinking About a Career in Cybersecurity?

If you’re a recent graduate have you considered a career as a cybersecurity professional? There is currently a huge demand for people training in cybersecurity and you can work almost anywhere in the world. Keep reading to find out if this career is right for you.

Enjoy a Green Vacation

Piggy bank on a beach

It’s no secret that getting away can be very expensive when it involves hotel stays, meals out, theme parks, tourist attractions, and other activities. If your vacation checks some of those boxes then read these tips for reducing the financial strain of getting your summer fun in the sun and keeping it “green” with your cash.

Make Sure Your Vacation is Scam Free!

 


Security Tips article header with surveillance cameras


As you start to count down the days until you hit the beach or travel abroad for your summer vacation, make sure you are taking steps to ensure that your dream vacation doesn’t become a nightmare.

 

Do some research