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PresidentsCornerPresident's Corner
My wife and I spent Easter Sunday at home waiting for AT&T. We had been without landline phone and Internet service since Wednesday of that week. Our phone and computer outage corresponded with work being done on the street by AT&T technicians that week, so we were pretty sure where the problem originated. When the outage occurred, my wife walked down the street and asked if the technician could check if they accidentally disconnected our line. The technician's response was gruff and not service-friendly. "That's not my problem. Call for service."

We did call for service, and waited, and waited, and waited. Appointments were made and broken. We had lunch while sitting on hold. I jumped on my cell phone, which did work, and researched phone provider alternatives. Finally, on Monday, day five of our adventure, an obviously overworked technician showed up at our house and admitted his colleagues disconnected our line accidentally. At that moment, my wife and I felt somewhat vindicated. We both figured out the problem as customers, not as employees.

My research yielded a big (Easter) goose egg. Essentially, in our area, there are two major phone providers and a couple of small ones, all with reputations for very bad service. For the first time in my life, I felt stuck. There was nothing we could do. Moving from one provider to another would not gain anything other than more frustration and more meals listening to our phone stating, "Your call is very important to us" over elevator music.

I recall from my formal education days an entire unit on monopoly laws with regal sounding names like the Sherman Antitrust Act. Somehow, antitrust law seems to be falling out of favor. There appears to be no viable competition in certain industries with high infrastructure costs like telephones and electricity. The purpose of antitrust laws is to preserve a competitive marketplace to protect consumers from abuses. Clearly, this concept is eroding.

If certain members of Congress and employees of the Federal Reserve Bank had their way, there would be only five banks for consumers to transact business, the so-called "Too Big to Fail" banks. It is much easier to regulate five banks rather than 12,000 credit unions and community banks. A financial world of five banks would create the same type of oligarchy, which is simply a monopoly of several companies, as the telephone industry. If we don't fight local entities being taken over by mega corporations, consumers will hear more of "Your call is very important to us" and less "Yes, we would be happy to do that for you."

The only way to fight this is to support small institutions which are in many cases more capable than the major banks. The only disadvantage is a smaller branch network, but with all the remote services, there is almost no reason to visit a branch. Certainly, a Bay Area resident does not need a bank or credit union branch in Salina, Kansas. Consider that the next time you're on hold for two hours.

David M. Green
(925) 335-3802

Janet Yellen provided some relatively dovish statements that encouraged a stock market rally as well as a significant decline in interest rates. For some perspective on long-term interest rates, this month's chart illustrates the 116-year trend of the 10-year Treasury bond yield (thick blue line). It is worth noting that the yield on the 10-year Treasury bond has been declining since the early 1980s. More recently, the 10-year yield has dipped below 2%. Except for a brief stint during the 2012-2013 time frame, the 10-year Treasury bond yield is currently lower than anytime since 1900 -- a positive for the stock market going forward.

RetirementSolutionsIRA Rollovers for Lump Sum Pension Payouts
Give those dollars the opportunity for further tax-deferred growth.

By Jason Vitucci, CFP & Gene A Schnabel
A big payout leads to a big question. If you are taking a lump sum pension payout from your former employer, what is the next step for that money? It will be integral to your retirement; how can you make it work harder for you?

Rolling it over might be the right thing to do. If you do not have substantial retirement savings, that lump sum may be just what you need . The key is to plan to keep it growing.That money shouldn't just sit there.

Even tame inflation whittles away at the value of money over time. Most corporate pension payments are not inflation-indexed, so those monthly payments eventually purchase less and less. Lump sums are just as susceptible: if you receive $100,000 today, that $100,000 will buy 33% less in 20 years even with only 2% inflation.1,2

Putting it in the bank might cause you some financial pain. If you simply take your lump sum payout and deposit it, it will be considered taxable income by the IRS. (There are very few exceptions to that rule.) All that income may send you into a higher tax bracket.1

Moreover, you will not get the whole amount that way: per IRS regulations, your employer must withhold 20% of it. In addition, if you receive the lump sum before age 59½, there could be a 10% early withdrawal penalty per federal tax law as the federal government wants to encourage you to keep your retirement money in your retirement account until your sixties. In most cases, you need to leave your job (i.e., retire) before you can roll money out of a pension plan. 1,3

Want to postpone paying taxes on those assets? By arranging a rollover of your lump sum distribution to a traditional or Roth IRA, you may defer tax on those dollars. You can even defer tax on a distribution already paid to you if you roll over the taxable amount to an IRA within 60 days after receipt of the payout (and weekends and holidays are included in those 60 days). 1,3

In fact, through a direct rollover (also called a trustee-to-trustee transfer), you can avoid the 20% withholding and the larger tax bill that comes from receiving all that money. The funds can be transferred to an IRA this way, giving you many potential investment options and the ability to continue keeping those assets in a tax-deferred qualified retirement account.1

If you are considering taking a lump sum payout, make sure you position that money for additional tax-deferred growth. Talk to a financial professional who can help you with the paperwork and get your IRA rollover going. We can help you with that.

At Bay Area Retirement Solutions, we are happy to take a look at your current financial plan and any pension rollover opportunities. As a valued credit union member, we invite you to contact us for a complimentary financial planning meeting. We also invite you to attend any of our Retirement Planning workshops that we hold. For more information about our practice, our workshops, or to make an appointment, please call us at (925) 370-3750 or visit our website

Bay Area Retirement Solutions
1330 Arnold Drive, Suite 249
Martinez, CA 94553

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 Northern California Credit Union, Bay Area Retirement Solutions and First Allied are all separate entities. Gene A. Schnabel CA Insurance Lic.: 0663016, Jason Vitucci CA Insurance Lic.: 0F59894 

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note - investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

1 - [3/13/15]
2 - [4/26/13]
3 - [9/7/14]
4 - [3/13/15]
tipsforteensTips for Teens
The Seven Deadly Misunderstandings
About Credit Cards

Credit cards can be confusing with so much talk about credit scores, APRs, and rewards. Here, we will discuss the seven deadly misunderstandings about credit cards, according to
  1. I don't have to worry about credit at my age.
    For the most part, teenagers don't have to worry about credit since they can't open a credit card until they are 18 or 21 years of age. However, it is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with what credit is and why it is important for your future. Your credit score can help you get a loan with a low annual percentage rate (APR) or a credit card with a low APR.
  2. All lenders offer the same rates. Interest rates usually depend on your credit score, and not all financial institutions offer the same rates. For example, some financial institutions offer credit cards at 21% APR. (1st Nor Cal's current loan rates:
  3. All credit cards are alike. All credit cards are similar in that they allow people to purchase goods or services at any time and pay for them later. The differences are vast from one lender to another and include rates, credit limits, and the type of rewards you can earn by using the card.
  4. It's OK to just make the minimum payment on a credit card. If you only make the minimum payment on your credit card each month, the balance will inevitably build up over time and it will become harder and harder to pay off your debt. You should only use a credit card if you know you can pay off the full balance within a short amount of time.
  5. Paying late occasionally won't hurt my credit. Paying late will absolutely hurt your credit and your wallet! By paying late, you accumulate more interest, which is added to the amount due along with a late fee in most cases. Your financial institution will most likely report the defaulted loan, which will affect your credit score. In some cases, the APR will also be raised due to a late payment and you'll be charged more interest each month.
  6. Fine print isn't important. The fine print is actually the most important text on an advertisement or contact. Be sure to read the entire document and know the facts before you sign.
  7. Young people don't have credit scores. This is, for the most part, true. There are two possible ways a teenager may have a credit score:
    1. Their parents included "their child as joint account holder or list[ed] the child as an authorized user on one of their accounts"* or
    2. A family member could have used their SSN to get a loan or credit card, which is a mistake that should be corrected.
Here at 1st Nor Cal Credit Union, we want you to be knowledgeable about your finances and the pros and cons of having a Credit Card before you make the choice to open an account. If you do decide it's the right option for you, be sure to check out our rates and rewards! Visit 
Luis Dominguez
Student Social Media Intern
1st Nor Cal Credit Union

aggettaCar Accident Claim Tips 
Driving is probably the most dangerous thing most of us will ever do. Although you do your best to drive responsibly and defensively, it's still smart to know what to do just in case you end up in a collision. Crashes can be very scary, but here are some tips if one happens to you: 
  1. Remain calm and focused
  2. Check for injuries in all vehicles involved and dial 911 for police, fire and ambulance if there are any indications of injuries or fire.
  3. Stay with the vehicles until the police arrive. (A less serious accident rarely requires police on site.)
  4. If you are unable to move your vehicles from the flow of traffic, use hazard lights and flares to alert traffic around you - otherwise move to the safety of the shoulder.
  5. Do not admit fault or require others to admit fault. This will be determined by the police report and the insurance companies.
  6. If you have a phone with a camera, take pictures of both vehicles showing the state of damages, the other driver's insurance card and driver's license and get the other parties phone numbers. If you do not have a camera, make sure to copy down the driver's name, driver's license numbers, insurance policy number, agency phone number, license plate number and phone numbers of all other drivers involved in the accident.
  7. If there are any witnesses also get their names and phone numbers.
  8. Sketch the accident as best as you can showing the traffic flow on the road and how the cars collided.
  9. Most important, do not discuss the accident or sign anything that does not come from your insurance company or a law enforcement officer. Your insurance company will provide you with legal representation as part of your liability coverage.
This is a lot to remember, but it is easy to print this out or copy and put in your glove box. It is also part of the accident packet that many insurers provide their clients; however it rarely gets read at the time of the accident. Take the time to do it correctly and your claim will be processed more quickly.
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 me today to schedule your free review.
Denia Aggetta Shields
Lou Aggetta Insurance
2637 Pleasant Hill Road
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
(925) 945-6161
Like us on Facebook at Lou Aggetta Insurance  
Follow us on Twitter @LouAggetta
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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