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*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. Floor rate of 1.99% applies on auto loan terms up to 60 months and 2.24% on a 72 month auto loan term. Auto loan at 1.99% APR requires a minimum FICO® 680 Credit Score. 1.99% for 60 months is $17.53 per $1,000.00 borrowed. 2.24% for 72 months is $14.86 per $1,000.00 borrowed. Offer expires December 31, 2016.
PresidentsCornerPresident's Corner
Another upshot of this year's presidential election is the sudden rise in interest rates. Almost overnight, rates have significantly increased. There are various theories as to why this phenomenon is happening. Bond investors seeing more signs of coming inflation, OPEC's agreement to cut oil production, the incoming president's policy proposals causing higher budget deficits which are inflationary, the assumption of economic growth, and increasing employment if the largest multi-national companies move their operations back to the U.S. are all at least partially true. Of course, we won't know what actually will happen until the new president is sitting in the Oval Office and making decisions that will affect the economy.

The Federal Reserve has also gotten into the act by almost guaranteeing a one-quarter percent increase to the overnight federal funds rate in December. The Fed is cautious to a fault and usually waits until the longer-term rate changes are built into the yield curve which is currently steep. A steep yield curve means that the investor is well paid to go further out on the curve and invest for a longer term. For instance, an investor can receive an extra 0.3% to invest in a two-year U.S. Treasury Note from a one-year Treasury Bill and a full 1% into a five-year Treasury Note.

While that may sound attractive, not all investments move at the same rate. Many small investors opt to invest in bank certificates of deposit (CD) and credit union share certificates. Currently, even the best CD rates are currently less than the Treasury yields. This is unusual but not unheard of. Some financial institutions will catch up and pay a high rate to attract cash. However, most will not because gross margins at banks and credit unions have gotten so small that a small increase in CD rates can mean the difference between making money and losing money. Even when the Fed does increase the overnight rate, investors should not expect instant CD rate increases.

The downside of increased rates is that borrowers will have to pay more for their cars, homes, and credit cards. Banks wasted no time in increasing mortgage rates last month. When mortgage rates go up, home sales generally decline which means buyers aren't bidding up prices. The net effect is that it will be more difficult to sell a home, and its equity will likely decrease which will make it less attractive to sell. Buying cars has also gotten pricier even before factoring in the borrowing rate. The average median new car price is currently just under $34,000. As a point of reference, my parents paid $28,000 for their first house in 1958.

It is hard to say whether the Fed was pressured to raise the federal funds rate by investors and the media. Higher rates do not indicate happy days are here again. As with everything else, the pendulum will swing the other way and hit some of us right in the wallet. I'll be bobbing and weaving when that happens.

David M. Green
(925) 335-3802

Source: Weekly Relative Value, November 28, 2016 Newsletter published by Balance Sheet Solutions, A CUSO wholly owned by Alloya Corporate Federal Credit Union
*To qualify for a Convenience Package, a new or existing member must open a first time Checking Account with a Debit Card, set up Direct Deposit, and utilize 1st Line Overdraft Protection. $75 will be deposited into their account upon verification of first Direct Deposit and qualification of services. If member does not use 1st Line Overdraft Protection, they will receive a $50 deposit into their account. Offer limited to ONE (1) $75 or $50 bonus per member. 1st Northern California Credit Union reserves the right to terminate this offer at any time.
tipsforteensTips for Teens 
Holiday Activities

Once again, another year has come and gone. Instead of feeling the blues or stressing about your upcoming finals (although you should probably study for those), why not end the year by treating yourself and your friends to one of the following activities?

Go ice skating:
This is really fun to do since about half of the people there can't ice skate either! You'll blend right in and not look completely goofy when you fall or bump into someone. Check your city's website for ice rinks near you... or ask Google!

Have a cup of hot chocolate:
Meet up with friends at your local café for a hot cup of coco, coffee, tea, or apple cider. Anything to warm you up during this cold season!
Play Secret Santa with your friends:
Put all of your friend's names in a hat and have each person draw a name and keep it a secret. Encourage your friends to think of a gift that would bring joy to their secret person. You can put a limit on the dollar amount so one person doesn't end up with an iPad and another with a fruitcake. This way, everyone receives a nice, thoughtful gift from someone in the group, and you don't have to break the bank to buy a gift for each person.

Go see a light show:
Most people take less than a day of their time during the holiday season to decorate their homes with lights, which generally looks pretty cool. However, three cheers go to the people who take a whole week or more of their time to set up their homes with a ton of lights, projectors, music, and inflatable decorations. I found a website that lists what houses in the following counties have created a light show for you and your friends to enjoy. Make sure to leave a tip to show your appreciation for their hard work! 
Go skiing or snowboarding:
I've never been skiing or snowboarding, so you might want to ask someone else for advice on this one. I think black is the easiest slope... or was it green?

Whatever you decide to do, remember to have fun like you did when you read this article! 

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


retirementsolutions Important Birthdays Over 50 
By Jason Vitucci, CFP & Gene A. Schnabel
Most children stop being "and-a-half" somewhere around age 12. Kids add "and-a-half" to make sure everyone knows they're closer to the next age than the last. 

When you are older, "and-a-half" birthdays start making a comeback. In fact, starting at age 50, several birthdays and "half-birthdays" are critical to understand because they have implications regarding your retirement income.

Age 50
At age 50, workers in certain qualified retirement plans are able to begin making annual catch-up contributions in addition to their normal contributions. Those who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans can contribute an additional $6,000 per year in 2016.¹ Those who participate in Simple IRA or Simple 401(k) plans can make a catch-up contribution of up to $3,000 in 2016. And those who participate in traditional IRAs can set aside an additional $1,000 a year.²

Age 55
If you separate from service with your employer during or after this year, you can receive amounts from that employer's retirement arrangement without the 10% federal additional tax for early withdrawals.

Age 59½
At age 59½, workers are able to start making withdrawals from qualified retirement plans without incurring a 10% federal income-tax penalty. This applies to workers who have contributed to IRAs and employer-sponsored plans, such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans (457 plans are never subject to the 10% penalty). Keep in mind that distributions from traditional IRAs, 401(k) plans, and other employer-sponsored retirement plans are taxed as ordinary income.

Age 62
At age 62 workers are first able to draw Social Security retirement benefits. However, if a person continues to work, those benefits will be reduced. The Social Security Administration will deduct $1 in benefits for each $2 an individual earns above an annual limit. In 2016, the income limit is $15,720.

Age 65
At age 65, individuals can qualify for Medicare. The Social Security Administration recommends applying three months before reaching age 65. It's important to note that if you are already receiving Social Security benefits, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospitalization) and Part B (medical insurance) without an additional application.³

Age 65 to 67
Between ages 65 and 67, individuals become eligible to receive 100% of their Social Security benefit. The age varies, depending on birth year. Individuals born in 1955, for example, become eligible to receive 100% of their benefits when they reach age 66 years and 2 months. Those born in 1960 or later need to reach age 67 before they'll become eligible to receive full benefits.

Age 70
If you have not started receiving Social Security benefits, waiting longer will not increase your benefit.

Age 70½
At age 70½, participants must begin taking required minimum distributions (RMDs) from traditional IRAs and qualified retirement plans, such as 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans. RMDs are based on your account balance and life expectancy.

Understanding key birthdays may help you better prepare for certain retirement income and benefits. But perhaps more importantly, knowing key birthdays can help you avoid penalties that may be imposed if you miss the date. 

You need more than just a birthday card at these important milestones. 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

1: The catch-up limit is adjusted in $500 increments.
2: If you reach the age of 50 before the end of the calendar year.
3 : Individuals can decline Part B coverage because it requires an additional premium payment.

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

The content is developed from sources believed to be providing accurate information. The information in this material is not intended as tax or legal advice. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. This material was developed and produced by FMG Suite to provide information on a topic that may be of interest. FMG Suite is not affiliated with First Allied, state- or SEC-registered investment advisory firm. The opinions expressed and material provided are for general information, and should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of any security. 
insurance5 Tips to Help Prevent
Christmas Tree Fires 
Christmas trees are a beloved holiday tradition but they can pose a fire risk. On average, says the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments across the country respond to more than 200 blazes related to holiday trees each year.
Despite how much we support our local firefighting heroes, we hope they won't have a reason to show up at your doorstep this holiday season. So, here are our common-sense suggestions for enjoying a Christmas tree safely:
  • If you opt for an artificial tree, be sure it has a flame retardant label or certification. If you're picking out a live tree, forgo the one with brownish needles that are falling out - it's too dry. Instead choose one with fresh, green needles that don't fall out even when you shake the limb.
  • Place your live tree in water as soon as possible, using about a quart of water per each inch of stem diameter. Before you do, however, make a fresh cut from the stem bottom - straight across - to help the tree get water. Replenish the water regularly.
  • Situate the tree so you can still access the exits in the room, and keep it at least 3 feet away from open flames or heat sources, such as your fireplace.
  • Now it's time for the best part - trimming the tree. Choose lights and other decorations labeled as flame retardant, and make sure your lights don't have frayed or worn wires. Leaving the house or going to sleep? Be sure to unplug those lights.
  • It's always a chore - and somewhat of a bummer - to take down the tree each year, but do so sooner rather than later, especially with a live tree. Otherwise you prolong your risk of a fire. Check for tree recycling options in your area for responsible disposal.
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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(925) 228-7550 Ext.824

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