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PresidentsCornerPresident's Corner
The presidential election is over, and I feel like I've run two consecutive marathons. Election fatigue syndrome should be recognized by the American Medical Association. Credit union trade newspapers get a little too overheated about current events. There was actually an article discussing how the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series would affect credit unions (Hint: There's no effect.)

President-Elect Trump promised during the campaign to reduce regulatory policies and dismantle the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) which was created after the Great Recession. The CFPB's initial objective was to regulate bad behavior at the largest banks (Update Alert: Somehow, Wells Fargo fell through the cracks six years after the fact.)

However, the small banks and credit unions that did not cause the recession got swept into the regulatory morass. This has created more policies, more cost, and most unfortunately, more bank customers and credit union members are angrier than ever. While the regulations have been a modest benefit to those who have lost money from unethical banks, it has also created confusion and frustration with consumers who want to bank their way.

I certainly sympathize with how our members feel. It's frustrating for us to tell our members they can't do something because federal regulations forbid it. The fact remains that CFPB was created only to regulate financial institutions with assets in excess of $10 billion. Unfortunately, CFPB whispers in our regulators' ears; hence, all credit unions and banks are bound to follow virtually all of CFPB's regulations.

CFPB's corporate setup is odd. One man, Richard Cordray, runs the show and is appointed by the President without congressional approval. It was established this way to provide a separation between the new agency and the legislative branch of government. However, no one oversees their budget, which allegedly is created from civil money penalties charged to the bad actors. Other independent federal agencies, such as the NCUA which insures credit union deposits, have a board of directors overseeing agency management. The inclusion of a board would help give this agency some regulatory and financial oversight.

Discounting the media guessing at what may happen, nobody really knows for sure what will happen after January 20, 2017 when President-Elect Trump becomes President Trump. One thing is for sure: If the Cubs can win the World Series, anything is possible.

David M. Green
(925) 335-3802
tipsforteensTips for Teens 
A Life by What We Give.

In light of Thanksgiving, and the holiday season in general, we look back and thank all the people that have made a positive impact on our lives. We immediately think of our parents, grandparents, teachers, or siblings, but might overlook First Responders, Veterans, shelter workers, nurses, doctors, and the list goes on. This may be because their actions are only seen and felt by one person, but it does not mean that they are not important. I admit that I too am guilty of not thanking my community as much as I should so thank you for all your deeds that mostly go unnoticed but mean the world to someone out there.

-  -  -  -  - 

To many high school students, community service is just another roadblock towards graduation. In a world where money buys everything, they're faced with a dilemma: Why would I give my time away for free instead of getting paid and why should I care to help out the community? To that, Winston Churchill would have argued that "we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." The lack of community service enthusiasm is not a problem with the millennial generation, or that times have changed and the priorities of society have also changed, rather, I believe we simply need to be reminded of what it means to give back to the community.

Community service is an effort to help improve the quality of life for your community members, without expecting anything in return. My grandma wanted to celebrate her birthday by asking us to volunteer with her in Pleasant Hill's annual Community Service Day, specifically, in the Pleasant Hill Library. When I asked her why she wanted to celebrate her birthday in that way, she said, "I have reached a point in my life where I have everything. I think it's time to give something back." That day, all I did was nudge each book so they were lined up as close to the edge of the shelf as possible. That little action made the whole library look organized. Volunteering at the library that day gave me a sense of pride because I could see how my work improved the space for the rest of the community. Looking back to that day, I realize what a powerful thing it is when people unite for a common good, and I understand what Winston Churchill meant. We make a living by the money we make, but what we give changes other people's lives.

I'm not alone in feeling a satisfaction in helping others. When I asked Denny Horack, president of the Rotary Club of Martinez, for his thoughts on community service, he agreed that there is a certain satisfaction in helping his community. He has willingly spent the last thirty years helping the people of Martinez and beyond. From scholarships to Meals on Wheels, Mr. Horack's efforts continue to benefit people. When I asked if he thought helping the community for more than thirty years was enough, he stated, "No. It is never enough. The work that the service clubs do is so important that I'm going to continue on helping out until I can't." I am astounded by his selflessness and I'm in awe of the many people like him around the world. This interview left me wondering: if everyone took a day to plant flowers at a park, help paint a mural, or even help feed the homeless, what a wonderful world it would be.

Luis Dominguez
Student Social Media Intern
1st Nor Cal Credit Union


retirementsolutions 10 Common IRA Mistakes
By Jason Vitucci, CFP & Gene A. Schnabel
You've worked hard to build your retirement assets. Let them work hard for you-throughout your career and your retirement years, and then for your family and heirs after you're gone. Investing in an IRA to help fund your retirement is a smart move, but IRAs have a lot of rules, some easy to understand, some more complicated.

Making the most of your IRA requires understanding certain guidelines set by the IRS. Listed here, you'll find 10 of the most common mistakes that people make with their IRAs, some that are easy to fix, and some that may require assistance. Either way, avoiding these mistakes can help you keep your retirement plans on track.
  1. Making common rollover mistakes
    Many people make mistakes when rolling over their funds. You have 60 days to put rollover money into an IRA or you risk losing the tax-deferred status of the investment. There are two types of rollovers: direct and indirect.
    • A direct rollover is when the financial institution that holds your old IRA directly deposits your funds into the financial institution that holds your new IRA.
    • An indirect rollover is when the financial institution that holds your old IRA issues a check made payable to you. You then deposit those funds into your new IRA.
    A direct rollover is the easiest way to ensure that your funds are transferred in a timely manner.
  2. Not considering a Roth IRA
    A Roth IRA is funded with after-tax dollars and all withdrawals are tax free, provided you hold the account for at least five years and have reached the age of 59½. Unlike a traditional IRA, Roth IRAs do not require owners to take a required minimum distribution (RMD) each year. However, there are income limits.

    If you earn more than those amounts, you may want to investigate converting your traditional IRA assets to a Roth IRA. Conversions are available to everyone, regardless of income, but you will need to pay income taxes on the amount converted.
  3. Forgetting catch-up contributions
    Once you turn 50 years old, the IRS lets you kick your retirement savings into high gear. Catch-up contributions allow you to increase annual contributions. For traditional IRAs or Roth IRAs, you can add an additional $1,000 per year to your account, which increases your total annual contribution from $5,500 to $6,500. Remember that catch-up contributions are also available for most employer-based retirement savings accounts, so be sure to consider all of your options.
  4. Failing to name a beneficiary
    It's important to know that when an IRA owner dies, the assets can pass directly to the designated beneficiary, avoiding the lengthy probate process. This makes it essential that beneficiary designations are accurate and up to date. The IRA beneficiary designation form could be one of your most important estate planning documents. It's also prudent to name a contingent beneficiary on your accounts. If the primary beneficiary is deceased and a contingent beneficiary is not named, the IRA custody agreement will generally invoke a default mechanism that will distribute the funds to your estate, where they will become subject to your creditors and lose many of the income-tax advantages of the IRA.
  5. Having an outdated beneficiary
    It's prudent to check your beneficiary designation forms periodically, especially if you've experienced any of the following life changes:

    - Gotten married, remarried, or divorced
    - Gotten a new job
    - Had an illness or become incapacitated
    - Had a baby (or a grandchild)
    - Established a trust
    - Inherited assets

  6. Naming a trust as a beneficiary
    Estate planning attorneys frequently use trusts as beneficiaries of IRAs. However, if the trust is not structured properly and does not qualify as a look-through trust (a trust that allows distributions to be stretched based on the life expectancy of the oldest beneficiary), the IRA assets will most likely have to be paid out within five years after the owner dies. This eliminates the stretch option for beneficiaries and results in immediate taxation.
  7. Not knowing your distribution options regarding inherited IRAs
    Your distribution options will vary depending on your relationship to the person you inherited the IRA from. As the surviving spouse, you have the option to treat your deceased spouse's IRA as your own or you can roll the IRA assets into your own IRA. Nonspousal beneficiaries often liquidate their inherited IRA assets too quickly, resulting in immediate income taxes. Consider a stretch IRA, which allows you to prolong the tax-deferred or tax-free status over one or more generations, spreading the tax liabilities over your lifetime, and potentially your beneficiary's lifetime also.
  8. Overlooking income-tax deductions with inherited IRAs
    If the person you inherited the IRA from owed estate taxes, you may be able to use a deduction for income in respect of a decedent (IRD) to lower the taxes you owe. When estate taxes are paid based on IRD, the beneficiary may have the right to take an income-tax deduction equal to the amount of estate taxes attributable to the IRD.
  9. Not cleaning up old retirement accounts
    Having too many old retirement accounts is an easy way to make mistakes. While there are no rules regarding how many retirement accounts a person can have, trying to manage multiple accounts can lead to complicated recordkeeping, asset allocation mistakes, and inconsistent or contradictory beneficiary designations. Rolling over your old accounts into a single IRA can help you more effectively manage your assets and could lead to potentially lower fees.
  10. Trying to do it by yourself
    Don't be afraid to seek assistance and guidance from a financial professional. They have the experience to help you make the best decisions based on your individual needs, preferences, and goals.  
Keep your retirement plans on track. Talk to a financial professional.

At Vitucci Integrated Planning, we would love the opportunity to take a look at your current retirement plan.
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 at

Vitucci Integrated Planning  
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 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

These views should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation for you. Neither Vitucci Integrated Planning nor Broker/Dealer gives tax or legal advice to the general public. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. If expert assistance is needed in these areas, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. Please always consult a Financial Advisor prior to making any investment decisions.

Call (925) 335-3850 or Apply Online Now! 

1Annual 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 2.24% APR requires a minimum FICO® 680 Credit Score. 60 months term at 2.24% APR is $17.64 per $1,000.00 borrowed.
insurance10 Things to Do to Prepare
Your Home for Fall 
Fall is a wonderful time in California - if your home is ready for it.

Yes, this is the time of year to fix small problems before they become big, and big ones before they become catastrophic. Here are 10 tips to help:
  • Look up. Examine your roof closely. Remove moss, clear debris from your gutters and downspouts, and repair any damage.
  • Look down. Check for signs of animals and insects around your home and garage, including in the crawlspace. Bring in a professional to get rid of unwanted guests.
  • Keep things warm. Heat escapes through leaks around windows and doors, so seal up any drafty areas. Outside, put covers over faucets before temperatures drop.
  • Keep things dry. Drain outdoor hoses, faucets and irrigation systems. Look in the crawlspace for wet spots. And, make sure your water heater isn't leaking.
  • Clear the air (or vents and filters, at least). When's the last time you checked your dryer vent? You should take a look at attic vents and exhaust ducts, as well. And, change that furnace filter!
  • Take a walk. Cracks in your driveway or walkways will only get bigger, so get them fixed soon. If your deck has signs of wear, make repairs now.
  • Get a tune-up. You or a professional should clean and tune your furnace, and water heater, as well as your oven and range.
  • Don't play with fire. Before building your first fireplace fire of the season, check for soot or creosote build-up.
  • Don't play with fire extinguishers, either. But, check them to ensure they still have pressure. Don't have fire extinguishers? Put them on your shopping list, ideally one for each floor.
  • Don't forget those smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors. Replace batteries when needed, and test regularly that alarms are working.
Keeping your home insurance policy in tip-top condition is smart, too. Remember to check in with your agent at least once a year to update your policy so you're covered for your new remodel, additions or personal possessions.

As an added benefit of your 1st Nor Cal Credit Union 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.

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

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FinancialCounselingFREE Financial Counseling
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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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