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*1% Cash Back on all purchases, up to $10 per month, when using a 1st Northern California Visa Credit Card. Excludes cash advances and balance transfers. Rebate applied monthly to Visa Credit Card account balance. Rebate cannot exceed $10 per month and/or $120 per year. Terms are subject to change without notice.
PresidentsCornerPresident's Corner
A Southern California woman has to walk away from her house, not because of the economy, her employment status, or wanting to live somewhere else. This homeowner borrowed $50,000 from a lender, not a credit union or bank, but a private company that is supposed to fund energy and water-efficient projects, such as solar panels and air conditioners. The contractor who contacted this woman led her to believe the loans were part of a government program.

"They did mention a government program and that's when you hear 'government' and think it's an awesome deal," the homeowner said.

Except that this really isn't a government program, per se. Even one of the primary lenders states in their salespeople guidelines, "Don't say Hero (the lender) is a government program because it's not."

Many Californians, including seniors that are being specifically targeted, are in fact being told that it is a government program, which implies the government (which government are they referring to?) is somehow underwriting this program. These loans are paid back through property tax assessments. If the homeowner sells their house or refinances their first mortgage, these loans must be paid off first, creating obvious cash flow issues with many homeowners.

The Southern California homeowner who borrowed $50,000 for a new air conditioner and a paint job paid an above-market interest rate of 10% and owed $6,000 annually which she could not afford. These private lenders are not required to ensure the borrower is qualified to make the payments, nor until very recently even had to give the borrower truth-in-lending disclosures or a three-day right to cancel. Last month, the governor signed AB 2693, which was endorsed by California credit unions, which will require the same disclosures as with any loan and a three-day right to cancel with no penalty.

That only solves part of the problem. The loans are still paid through property taxes and must be paid off when the house is sold or mortgage is renegotiated. I assisted, along with other credit union executives, in lobbying the state legislature to eliminate these issues, but so far no luck. However, there is a simple resolution. Credit unions have loaned for what we have always called home improvement loans for decades at lower rates and more favorable terms. More importantly, our loans don't adversely affect any additional loans on the property. But for this homeowner, her life will be changing, and not for the better, for being misled by an unscrupulous salesperson.

"My whole life, my children's birthdays and just everything, my childhood," she said, wiping away tears.

David M. Green
(925) 335-3802

For some perspective on the stock market, this chart presents the Dow's average performance for each calendar month since 1950. As the chart illustrates, it is not unusual for the stock market to underperform during the May to October time frame with a brief counter-trend rally occurring in July. It is worth noting that the worst calendar month for stock market performance over the past 66 years has been September.



"October. This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August and February."

- Mark Twain
updates1st Nor Cal Updates
NEW Expanded Hours!

Monday - Wednesday:  9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thursday:  9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Friday:  9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Disneyland Tickets

Disneyland has discontinued their corporate ticket discount program as of September 15th, 2016. There's a great selection of other discounted theme park tickets still available to our members. Visit our Member Discounts page to learn more.

DMV Titles

In an effort to have all Californians comply with the required Electronic Lien for vehicle titles, DMV will no longer accept a paper form to release a title. Titles must be released through DMV's electronic system. What does this mean to you? When you pay off your car/truck loan, our DMV specialist will put in an electronic request, and you will receive your title in 5 to 7 days. Your title will no longer be available at the Credit Union. It will come directly from DMV.
tipsforteensTips for Teens 
10 Halloween Tips

Halloween is just around the corner. Personally, I'm content with all the pumpkin spiced goodies out there to the point that I have probably consumed more than the legal limit would allow, if there was one. However, if you're planning to go Trick-or-Treating or to a Halloween party, then consider these 10 Tips for Teens on Halloween.
  1. Make sure your costume has a pocket for your phone. If it doesn't, make sure you don't lose it.
  2. Have a cell phone power bank with you just in case you use up your battery catching Pokémon.
  3. Be sure to check what the weather will be that night. Most likely, it will be cold, so bring a sweater.
  4. If you're going to be trick-or-treating to Thriller, which everyone should, make sure to only have one earbud in your ear so you can listen to the road while you're walking.
  5. If the porch light is off, do not disturb the residents.
  6. Make sure your candy has not been tampered with before eating.
  7. If you're driving, be extremely careful. Not only do you have to watch out for little ghouls, but you also have to watch out for intoxicated boogeymen who thought it was a good idea to drive while under the influence.
  8. If you're going to a party, watch your drink and never leave it unattended. You don't want any surprises there.
  9. I'm a night owl. I stay up late doing homework, watching Netflix, or listening to music, and when morning comes, it's horrible waking up. This year, Halloween is on a Monday. Make sure you get enough sleep or you'll look like a zombie by night and day!
  10. Last, but not least: Don't forget to have fun!
Luis Dominguez
Student Social Media Intern
1st Nor Cal Credit Union

retirementsolutions What the Olympics Can Teach
Us About
Retirement Planning 
By Jason Vitucci, CFP & Gene A. Schnabel
If you had the opportunity to watch the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, you saw the incredible feats accomplished by the athletes and how an intense drive and steadfast dedication towards their goal helped Olympians push the boundaries of athletic achievement. The games are over, but we find some similarities between the training athletes undergo for their events and the planning we need to do for retirement. The key traits of focus and determination that Olympic athletes embody are just the ones needed to achieve a retirement worthy of a gold medal.

Here are some important "training" tips for successful retirement planning: 
  • Start early. Top athletes often start training for their sport at an early age. When preparing for retirement, the goal is to start early and save often. It takes long-term dedication and unwavering focus. While the future can seem distant, the sooner fiscal control is exercised, the more confident you can be that your retirement years will truly be golden, thanks to the rewards of compounding growth.
  • Commit to the goal. Once you've committed to a retirement saving plan, stay the course. Olympic athletes are deeply focused on performance, spending years-upon-years of training in hopes of earning a chance to compete with the world's best athletes. They may encounter bumps along the way, such as injuries or life events that may detour them temporarily but they find a way to reach their goal. When it comes to saving for retirement, there are no short cuts; you have to stay the course. You may endure financial hardships that could derail your plans, however keeping your focus on the long-term is key.
  • Push hard when it counts. You may have come off the block a little late when it comes to saving for retirement, however look at this as an opportunity to push harder to achieve a fruitful retirement. Some of the most impressive moments in the Olympics are those that catch up to the pack in Olympic track and field events! The same can happen in retirement planning! Just hone your inner Usain Bolt and with hard work, you can catch up. Those with a shorter timeline to retirement may have to work harder to ensure their savings will be ready when they cross the finish line at work and step into retirement.
  • Sacrifice where needed. Olympians sacrifice many comforts to achieve their dreams. Many don't have financial support, and must take jobs to live and fund their training. Consider yourself an Olympic hopeful when it comes to retirement planning and sacrifice where needed to get more money into savings. Giving up an expensive morning coffee routine or limiting family dinners out could help finance a more comfortable retirement. Worst-case scenario, you consider taking a second job. In the end, it's worth the sacrifice.
Take these training tips to heart and you are likely to be standing on that podium once you reach the finish line of your career and embark on your next journey into retirement. 

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.
insuranceTips on Reducing Your Car Insurance
The price you pay for Auto insurance can vary dramatically based on where you live, what car you drive and how much coverage you need. Most insurers offer a variety of policy discounts that can translate into significant savings - without endangering the level of protection.

In California, what you pay for car insurance could increase significantly even with one minor moving violation. If you are convicted of this violation, it will have an impact on your rate for a period of 3 years. If you are eligible and you complete an approved California Traffic school, this ticket may be dismissed.

Annual mileage also plays an important factor in your rate. Are you driving less? Compare the miles that you are driving vs what your insurance company is basing your rate on.

If you own an older car, it might make sense to drop comprehensive and collision coverage. Before considering such a move, know the value of your car. One resource is If your car is damaged or stolen, your insurance will only cover up to the "actual cash value" of your vehicle, less your deductible. Weigh the value of your car against the costs of carrying comprehensive and collision coverage.

In most instances it makes sense to purchase your Auto and Homeowners coverage from the same insurer so that you have the multi-policy discount.

Did you know that your 1st Nor Cal CU membership will give you an additional discount with CSE Safeguard Insurance?

Be proactive and call us today!

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

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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