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PresidentsCornerPresident's Corner
One of my mentors died a few weeks ago. I thought very much about Gene's influence on me and the legacy he left on the credit union industry. As I get older, I also think about the financial legacy the deceased leaves and what beneficiaries do with the money. Gene left a wife, who had her own career and retirement plan, and two adult children who also have thriving careers. Based on what I knew about how Gene handled money, his wife will not have to worry. In this case, the family patriarch is gone, but it is likely the family will continue to thrive and live happily ever after.

But how often is there a happy ending when a loved one dies? Sadly, it's few and far between. The fights between beneficiaries and those who think they are beneficiaries of their deceased family's assets reminds me of a recurring promotion by some minor league baseball teams that hire a helicopter to drop money onto the field and have the fans pick up as much of the currency as they can.

We've experienced many situations on a Monday morning in which someone, usually not a member, comes into our office and says their Uncle Charlie, whom they assume is a member, died over the weekend but promised on his death bed he could have the muscle car in the garage and all of Uncle Charlie's savings. In order to protect our members' money, we don't go on the word of an individual, especially one we don't know. Based on the situation, we wait for instructions from the surviving trustee, executor of the estate, or the probate court. It's not a game of whoever shows up first gets the money.

The sad reality is that families break apart because of money. In some cases, family members accuse the trustee or executor, many times a sibling, of not distributing the money evenly. When it comes to non-liquid assets such as jewelry and furniture, some of the deep-seeded resentment family members have toward each other come to the surface. And for what? Because Mom allegedly said 35 years ago I could have the living room table with the chocolate stains on it? Is a chunk of wood that Mom paid $10 for in 1953 worth throwing away a lifetime relationship?

The other disturbing issue is that when beneficiaries get their share, the money is gone almost instantly. In the eyes of many, Mom and Dad's money is free, so why not spend it on a powerboat with the four-stroke outboard engine and notched transom design? When I think of a financial legacy, I think sending my grandchildren to college or making a down payment on their first house, and, if there is anything left over, donate to a favorite charity or foundation.

While death is inevitable, a little bit of upheaval, even in the best of families, is expected. The best thing we can leave to our children is not money and things but self-sufficiency. The great dancer Isadora Duncan once said, "The finest inheritance you can give to a child is to allow it to make its own way, completely on its own feet."

David M. Green
(925) 335-3802

The stock market is about to enter what has historically been the weakest half of the year. This chart illustrates that investing in the S&P 500 during the six months of November through and including April accounted for the vast majority of S&P 500 gains since 1950 (see blue line). While the May through October period has seen mild gains during major bull markets (i.e. 1950-56 & 1982-97), the overall subpar performance during the months of May through October is noteworthy. Hence the saying, 'sell in May and walk away.'

RetirementSolutionsSaving for Retirement When Single
Give yourself the best opportunity to thrive in retirement.

By Jason Vitucci, CFP & Gene A Schnabel
Across the board, everyone from singles to married individuals face challenges when it comes to saving for retirement -from financing their nest egg to planning for long-term and other medical care costs. Single adults tend to be less prepared for retirement than their married counterparts, studies show. In fact, only 43 percent of single men and 42 percent of single women even have retirement savings accounts at all, according to the Economic Policy Institute.1

Single or unmarried individuals face a different set of retirement planning challenges. For instance, they may have a lesser need for life insurance without dependents but a higher need for long-term care coverage. There is also the factor of saving on a single income as compared to married individuals with potentially two income sources.

Planning for retirement when single is not an impossible endeavor. Here are some tips to get the ball rolling on your saving strategy:
  • Save early and often - Let's be honest - saving takes work, regardless of whether an individual is single or married. However, one of the most beneficial aspects of being financially savvy as a single is that you call the shots when it comes to saving your money, compared to couples that may have differing perspectives on their family finances.
  • Stay healthy - Individuals without dependents have a lesser need to purchase life insurance; however, they will need to focus on saving for a secure and happy retirement, which might include the purchase of a long-term care plan. The best advice is to start taking care of your mental and physical health to dodge potentially avoidable and expensive healthcare costs, while keeping more of your savings in the bank.
  • Understand Social Security benefits - If a retiree is unmarried, their Social Security benefits will be paid out based on their personal income record. However, if you are widowed or divorced, you may have the opportunity to accept benefits based on a current or former spouse's lifetime earnings record, which could bring you higher Social Security payments when you hit age 67 (for those born after 1960). Remember, taking benefits before retirement age (as early as 62) may reduce your overall benefits -so hold out on taking your benefits as long as you can to maximize your payments.
Contact our office if you'd like to discuss your personalized retirement savings plan to ensure your nest egg is bountiful for the remainder of your golden years.

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

These are the views of Cassie Dono, a freelance financial writer and news commentator, not the named Representative or the Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation. Neither the named Representative nor Broker/Dealer gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If expert assistance is needed in these areas, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. Please consult your Financial Advisor prior to making any investment decisions.

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 

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tipsforteensTips for Summer Teens
With summer just around the corner, many teenagers face a difficult question: What do I do with my newly found free time? Do I do nothing for two months and twenty days? Do I hang out with my friends in the city or at the beach? While it's definitely nice to slow down and enjoy life, you might want to consider using your free time to your advantage. Below are some ideas on how to get the most out of your summer.
  • Get a Job
    I don't mean to sound like your parents, but they do have a point. Think about it - by getting a job, you'll have money to spend all summer long! Just don't spend it all at one place ;)
  • Get an Internship
    An internship is a great way to make business connections as well as provide insight to what a particular career looks like. They can be either paid or unpaid, but the purpose is to gain experience instead of cash. If money is what you seek, you'll be better off getting a job. If experiencing a career for a summer sounds more interesting, check your school counselor's office for internships available to high school students.
  • Volunteer
    Most high schools require a certain amount of volunteer hours to be met. Why not do them over the summer? You can volunteer at your local library, pet shelter, hospital, or local event, just to name a few. However, you might want to check with your school counselor for a list of places that you can volunteer to receive high school credit.
  • Take a Summer Course
    While some of us can't bare the idea of more time in school (stay with me on this one), taking a summer course can accelerate your high school career (assuming you pass the summer class, of course) and looks amazing on your transcript. For example, during my freshman year of high school, I took a geometry course at DVC (Diablo Valley College) and passed. That fall, I was able to take Algebra II at my high school instead of Geometry since I already took it in the summer. This allowed me to take a higher math courses throughout high school than I was previously allowed to. You may be thinking, how much is this going to cost me? Fees might vary slightly, but I only had to pay the student union fee and the textbook rental fee. UC Berkeley has a similar program, which is harder to get into and a little more costly, but is equivalent to gold on your transcripts.
For more information on the programs I mentioned above, talk to your school counselor, or check out the following links:

Summer is still a couple months away so you have plenty of time to decide how you want to spend it. Just remember to apply sunscreen at the beach because you will get burned.
Luis Dominguez
Student Social Media Intern
1st Nor Cal Credit Union

Most homeowners don't realize that they are responsible for the repair or replacement of the underground piping and wiring, such as sewer lines, electrical lines and data communication lines that run between their home and the public connection. The cost of repairing or replacing the underground service lines is not covered by most homeowners policies. This can be quite costly when you have to include not only the repair or replacement, but also the excavation and repair costs to damaged outdoor property.

Service line failure is defined as physical damage that results in a leak, break, tear, rupture, collapse or arcing of a covered service line. The damage can be caused by external events or environmental conditions such as tree root invasion, deterioration, freezing and electrical wiring.

The great news is that we have coverage available as an option through two of our preferred Homeowner carriers at under $25 per year. 
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
creditcornerCredit Corner - Book Smart, Bank Smart.
As your "child" graduates from high school or college, we probably all feel assured that they are prepared to step out into the world.  Properly raised and educated, off they go.

The one area of their lives that may have been neglected is personal finance. Even though 100% of us use money, only 17% of schools require a personal finance class. Before graduation, everyone should know about the difference between a bank and a credit union, how to maintain a savings and checking account, budgeting, how and when to use credit, how to buy a car and car insurance and how to file state and federal taxes. They need to know how compounding interest on a credit card is a bad thing, while compounding interest on an investment is a good thing.

Check with your graduate and if they give you a blank look about any of the items listed above, please have them come to us and we will give FREE financial advice and we'll explain why we are the best financial institution for them. You have our promise that we will not push a credit card or any other product that does not benefit him/her.

Our industry mantra is "People Helping People" and that's exactly what we do! Unlike banks, we are a not-for-profit organization, so we do what's best for our members.

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

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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