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Connections eNewsletter
Budgeting Basics
The Budget Fortune Teller teaches Jenn some budgeting basics.
 
 
autoloansCar Buying Tips
Check out these car buying tips before you start shopping!
  • Do your research before you walk into the dealership.
  • Used cars have a Kelley Blue Book value. Visit www.kbb.com before you go to the dealer.
  • Use Autocheck or CarFax to check out the car.
  • Negotiate on the value of the car/truck, not the monthly payment.
  • For the best value, instead of a new car or truck, buy used with low mileage.
  • Never pay "sticker price". Everything is negotiable!
  • Know your credit score and demand the best interest.

*Annual Percentage Rates (APR) are subject to change. Rate, maximum term, maximum loan amount and advance amount are based on credit qualifications. Maximum terms vary based on loan amount. We reserve the right to determine collateral value based on industry recognized guidelines or full appraisal. Must be 18 years old or older to apply for a loan. Loans are subject to all Credit Union policies and procedures. Auto loan at 2.75% APR requires a minimum FICO® 750 Credit Score. 72 months term at 2.75% APR is $15.09 per $1,000.00 borrowed.
PresidentsCornerPresident's Corner
Last month, my niece graduated from college. She attended a small college in the northeast with classic brick buildings and ivy-covered walls. As I was walking the campus and meeting her fellow graduates, I felt a feeling of renewal and experienced a sense of newness, not unlike many people feel on New Year's Day. I've always felt the "out with the old and in with the new" on Graduation Day when students magically become adults by looking for jobs and figuring out their future road to life. It is not so much making promises like losing weight or being nicer to people but more of looking at the world with a new set of eyes and imagining how to make the world around me better.
 
Wells Fargo seems to be feeling a renewal with their new promotion, "Established 1852. Re-established 2018 with a recommitment to you." I guess when a company has been fined almost $1 trillion for earning billions of dollars for cheating their customers for years, it may be time for a renewal. The bank has a four-point plan to recommit to their customers: 1) Building a better bank, 2) Putting service first, 3) Upgrading the banking features, and 4) Increasing community impact.
 
According to Wells' website, building a better bank means they will act quickly to make things better and will create a dedicated 24/7 toll-free number for their customer to voice concerns about their account. For putting service first, they say they will end product sales goals in branches and call centers as well as improve employee ethics training and compensation and performance management plans. Upgrading the banking features appears to just add turning a debit card off if it has been misplaced. Finally, the bank will commit to donating an additional $80 million annually to nonprofits and getting more employees engaged in community service.
 
It seems implausible that a company that large and sophisticated did not have a toll-free number for their customers to discuss their account. How did those customers get their questions answered before? It seems equally farfetched that they have to improve ethics training and employee performance plans. Even our little Credit Union's (little by Wells Fargo's standards) Board of Directors and federal and state regulators ensures we have updated programs. Is it possible that Wells' entire senior management team was asleep at the switch while branch staff was running wild setting up fake accounts and charging fees on those accounts without the customer's knowledge? This should be a horrifying thought to all Wells Fargo's customers.
 
But even with the slick advertising campaign, professionally-produced TV commercials, and well-paid public relations agencies attempting to resurrect Wells Fargo's tarnished image, they forgot to use the two words many of us are taught from our parents from the time we can first understand speech. These two words could be the most powerful words, in any language, in the world and may have resulted in fewer disputes between friends, families, and maybe even countries. And Wells Fargo with all their money and all their expertise, both in-house and outside consultants, forgot those two little words.
 
"We're sorry."
 
 
David M. Green
President/CEO
(925) 335-3802
statofthemonthStat of the Month
Non-Food Retail vs. Restaurants and Bars: 1992 - 2016

Sources: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis 
 
Americans appear to be shifting their spending habits from retail services, such as clothing stores, to food services. In 2016, more money was spent in restaurants and bars than at grocery stores.1 Will self-driving cars bring consumers back to malls?
 
1: Thompson, Derek, "What in the World is Causing the Retail Meltdown of 2017?" The Atlantic, April 10, 2017. 
newbranchNew Branch Coming Soon!
We are pleased to announce that we will be opening a new Pittsburg/Antioch branch this Summer in the Pittsburg Century Plaza, next to Target. In the interim, please feel free to visit our branch at 1870 A Street in Antioch, or any of our other branch locations.

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firstalerts1st Alerts
  • If you have @ccessOnline Home Banking with us, simply transfer a payment to your Visa card. Setting up a regular payment using Bill Pay in @ccessOnline Home Banking will generate a check and that will delay your payment. Instead, you can set up a single or recurring transfer. A transfer is immediate.
mycardrules
community1st in the Community
Animal Shelter Donation Drive   

Now through June 29th, we're hosting a donation drive benefiting the Animal Services of Contra Costa County.

If you would like to participate, check out the Shelter's Wish List and drop off your donation at any of our branch locations.
 firstline
tipsforteensTips for Teens
Goal Setting 

I took Art during my senior year of high school, not because I didn't meet the art requirements (I took Orchestra freshman year) but because I needed an elective to meet my schedule requirements. To some, an hour of art and Pandora may sound like a dream. Meanwhile, I can't draw a decent stick figure to save my life! But between art and drama, art was the lesser of two evils. It was a mixed grade class and each grade naturally gathered together. It worked really well since there were four 'islands' in the class. My island was full of graduating optimists. There was the Robotics Engineer, the Marine, the LA Devotee, and of course, the Dispensary Owner. I later found out that three of these four classmates actually set off to do what they said they would do.
 
These 'Islanders' had goals and worked towards achieving them. Goal setting is the art of creating a list of reasonable tasks to complete. It seems like a simple task in itself, figuring out what one needs to do and then doing it. Yet, how many goals have you set for yourself today? This week? This month? I think the problem that people face with goal setting is confusing goals with ambitious projections of where they see themselves in the future. Effective goals are realistic, fairly easy to achieve, and will get you one step closer to where you want to be in the future. This includes routines you may take for granted, like getting a full eight hours of sleep, or self-improvement, like reading a new book every month. The desired end result would be to feel awake in the morning or to expose yourself to more literacy. On the other hand, setting a "goal" to be at the gym at 5:00am every day or to know all of Steven King's writings by heart by next month, probably won't end with the results you want. From a financial standpoint, hoping to strike gold overnight likely won't happen, but you could come close with a lot of work, patience, and most importantly, baby steps.
 
It's also important to periodically reevaluate these goals and consider whether or not they're still worth pursuing. Desires for the future evolve over time and so should your goals. Give yourself the freedom to change. Ideally, you would replace a goal with a different one or modifying it a little bit, but if you no longer find joy in the activity or the results aren't what you expected, it's okay to abandon it.
 
Congratulations Class of 2018! You've officially done it. Off you go to find your own voice, fail, and rebuild. Go better the world, maintain the peace, or find a unique path. Remember that even though it might feel like you're behind your peers, you and everyone else are on a different path with different twists, dips, and ends. Set yourself some reasonable goals and baby step your way through everything you set out to do. Don't give up! Get up and try again.
 
Enjoy your graduation, Grad Nite, and whatever life throws at you. 
 
Luis Dominguez
Student Social Media Intern
1st Nor Cal Credit Union

   
  youthmemberships  
insuranceInsurance Tips 
Does Earthquake Coverage Make Sense? 
 
If your home was seriously damaged or destroyed in an Earthquake, could you afford to repair or rebuild your home? Would you be able to continue paying your mortgage and taxes while your home was being rebuilt? An Earthquake can be financially devastating to a homeowner, yet in California less than 15% currently have Earthquake coverage. Certainly part of the reason is the cost, since the premium can easily exceed what your Homeowners premium is. The other reason is that in the past, the lowest deductible you could find was 10%. We now have an Earthquake policy that can be tailored to your individual needs.
 
Some of the highlights of this policy are:
  •  Deductibles as low as 2.5%
  • Choose your limits for Other Structures, Contents, and Additional Living Expenses
  • Rates apply separately for each coverage, so you only pay for the coverage you need
  • No age restrictions
Serious earthquakes will happen in California, often with disastrous results. Even if you currently have coverage through the CEA or another insurer, it is worth your time to have us requote your coverage. If you do not have Earthquake coverage, get a quote so you can make an educated decision about your coverage needs. Preparing for the next big one is not always enough! Insurance provides security and peace of mind.
 
As an added benefit of your 1st Nor Cal membership, we at Lou Aggetta Insurance will help you review the things that are important to you and provide you with options for reducing risk in your life. We are an independent insurance agent and can provide you with home, auto, life, health, business, and many other types of insurance coverage.

Contact us today to schedule your free review.

Denia Aggetta Shields
Lou Aggetta Insurance, Inc.
2637 Pleasant Hill Road
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
(925) 945-6161
 
License #OK22281

Like us on Facebook at Lou Aggetta Insurance
Follow us on Twitter @LouAggetta


retirementsolutionsRetirement Solutions 
5 Ways to Save on Healthcare Costs in Retirement   
 
By Jason Vitucci, CFP® & Gene A. Schnabel

Determining how much to set aside for health care costs in retirement is complicated and will differ from one person to the next. That's because many variables must be considered from your personal and family medical history to an unforeseen illness or injury, and the likelihood that your health will decline as you age. However, what you can rely on with some certainty is that the decades-long trend in rising medical costs will continue well into the future.3
 
The Employee Benefit Research Institute's (EBRI) most recent estimates for health care cost in retirement support this upward cost trajectory. In 2017, the EBRI estimated that a 65-year-old couple with median prescription drug expenses would need to have $273,000 set aside for health expenses (not including long-term care expenses) to be 90% certain that they'd have enough to pay for their health care costs in retirement.4 That's an increase of $8,000 from EBRI's 2016 estimate.5 And for a couple with prescription drug expenses at the top percentile throughout retirement who want a 90% chance of having enough money saved for health care expenses in retirement by age 65, targeted savings would be $368,000, up from $349,000 in 2016.4,5
 
While there's little you can do to stem the rise in medical costs, there are ways to help curb the amount you pay out-of-pocket. Below are five ways that may help to help save money on medical expenses in retirement:
  1. Do your homework before selecting the Medicare options that are right for you. For example, Medicare Advantage Plans can charge different out-of-pocket costs. They can also have different rules for how you get services, including whether you need a referral to see a specialist or if you must go to doctors, facilities, or suppliers that belong to the plan for non-emergency or non-urgent care services.
  2. If you have Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) or a Medicare Advantage Plan, use your insurance company's online tools to find in-network providers.
  3. Compare prices. Some medical facilities charge hundreds more than others for tests and procedures, including X-rays, MRIs and lab work. Healthcare Bluebook® shows the price range by zip code for thousands of procedures and the "fair price," which is a reasonable amount you can expect to pay for the procedure in your area.
  4. Ask your pharmacist about the lowest price available for each prescription. Many people are surprised to find that their "cash" out-of-pocket cost is the least expensive option for certain drugs.
  5. Consider joining GoodRx or a similar program offering free drug cost-comparison tools and cost-saving coupons for certain medications.
If you have concerns about how you'll pay for healthcare costs in retirement, including long-term care expenses please feel free to contact us. We help our clients navigate through the confusing maze of financial issues as it relates to retirement planning. If you feel that we may be a good fit to work together, please don't hesitate to contact our office. As a valued 1st Nor Cal member, we invite you to contact us for a complimentary financial analysis. We also invite you to attend any of our Retirement Planning workshops that we hold. For more information about our practice, or to make an appointment, please call us at (925) 370-3750 or visit our website at www.vitucciintegratedplanning.com.

Vitucci Integrated Planning  
2890 N. Main Street, Suite 201
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
info@vitucciplanning.com 
 
Securities through First Allied Securities, a registered broker dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through First Allied Advisory Services, Inc. Registered Investment Advisor. Investments not FDIC or NCUA/NCUSIF insured, not insured by Credit Union, may lose value. Products offered are not guarantees or obligations of the Credit Union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal.  1st Nor Cal CU, Bay Area Retirement Solutions and First Allied are all separate entities. Jason Vitucci CA
Insurance Lic.: 0F59894, Gene A. Schnabel CA Insurance Lic.: 0663016

3: https://www.aarp.org/health/health-insurance/info-2017/retiree-health-care-costs-rise-fd.html
4: https://www.ebri.org/publications/notes/index.cfm?fa=notesDisp&content_id=3525
5: https://www.ebri.org/publications/notes/index.cfm?fa=notesDisp&content_id=5527
FinancialCounselingFREE Financial Counseling
Are you in need of financial counseling?
1st Nor Cal is here to help. Timely and honest debt advice is available to our members at no cost or obligation. Learn how to manage your finances.

Make your appointment TODAY!

Just a reminder, you can annually request FREE Credit Reports from all 3 credit reporting agencies online by going to:
For FREE Financial Counseling, don't hesitate to contact:

Shelley Murphy
Senior Vice President of Lending & Collections
(925) 228-7550 Ext.824


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