GCEFCU’s 71st Annual Meeting

Meeting Details

Date & Time
February 4, 2019 at 6:30 pm

Address
Pasadena Convention Center
7902 Fairmont Parkway
Pasadena, TX 77505

 

Nominating Procedures

At least 120 days prior to each annual meeting the Chairman shall appoint a nominating committee of not fewer than three members. It shall be the duty of the nominating committee to nominate at least one member for each vacancy, including any unexpired term vacancy, for which elections are being held, and to determine that the members nominated are agreeable to the placing of their names in nomination and will accept office if elected. The nominating committee shall file its nominations with the secretary of the credit union at least 90 days prior to the annual meeting, and the secretary shall notify in writing all members eligible to vote at least 75 days prior to the annual meeting that nominations for vacancies may also be made by petition signed by one percent of the members with a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 500.

The election will not be conducted by ballot when there is only one nominee for each position to be filled. There will be no nominations from the floor. A brief statement of qualifications and biographical data in such form as shall be approved by the board of directors will be included for each nominee submitted by the nominating committee with the written notice to all eligible members. Each nominee by petition shall submit a similar statement of qualifications and biographical data with the petition. The closing date to receive the petition is December 21, 2018 at 12:00 a.m. The credit union’s Board Nominating Committee announces the following members as Board Nominees for the upcoming Annual Meeting which will be held on Monday, February 4, 2019 at the Pasadena Convention Center: Jerry Dennis, Damico Bartley, and Richard Mills. The petitions are to be mailed to Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union; 5953 Fairmont Parkway, Pasadena, Texas 77505. To be effective, such nominations shall be accompanied by a signed certificate from the nominee or nominees stating that they are agreeable to nomination and will serve if elected to office. Such nominations shall be filed with the secretary of the credit union at least 40 days prior to the annual meeting and the secretary shall cause such nominations along with those of the nominating committee to be posted in a conspicuous place in each credit union office at least 35 days prior to the annual meeting.

An individual who wishes to be nominated must be a member of Gulf Coast Educators FCU (Owner of an account in his/her own name) in good standing and must be at least eighteen (18) years of age. The petition and application and agreement to serve are available at the Pasadena office.

 

Election Procedures

All elections shall be determined by plurality vote and shall be by ballot except where there is only one nominee for each position to be filled. Nominations shall not be made from the floor unless sufficient nominations have not been made by the nominating committee or by petition to provide for one nominee for each position to be filled or circumstances prevent the candidacy of the one nominee for a position to be filled. Only those positions without a nominee shall be subject to nominations from the floor. In the event of nominations from the floor, when permitted herein, result in more than one nominee for a position to be filled, and when nominations have been closed, tellers shall be appointed by the president, ballots shall be distributed, the vote shall be taken and tallied by the tellers, and the results announced. When only one member is nominated for each position to be filled, the chair may take a voice vote or declare each nominee elected by general consent or acclamation at the annual meeting.

 

Board Nominees

Jerry Dennis
Mr. Dennis has been nominated for Position 1 for a 3 year term.

Damico Bartley
Mr. Bartley has been nominated for Position 8 for a 3 year term.

Richard Mills
Mr. Mills has been nominated for Position 11 for a 3 year term.

Nominating Committee
Jim Rubach – Chairman
Rhonda Parmer
Lisa Nixon

From Teacher to Millionaire in 3 Steps

Becoming a millionaire can be more than just a pipedream, even on a teacher’s salary. Some people do have the good fortune to win the lottery; but for most, those chances are slim. If you want to be a millionaire, it really boils down to two things: commitment and strategy.

First, you must transform your perception and redefine your goals. Only with the proper mindset can your aspirations of becoming a millionaire can come to fruition. You’ve got to make it your number one goal and then formulate a plan to make it happen.

Teachers are typically strong in the planning department, but amassing wealth sometimes takes an extra push. After all, if it were easy, then everyone would be a millionaire. Here are three easy steps to get you from teacher to millionaire by retirement.

Invest in 403b

Teachers and other public sector employees are usually given the option to invest in a 403b plan. These are tax-deferred retirement savings plans that employers often match. Some of the biggest benefits of investing in a 403b plan are that the contributions are tax-deductible and the savings grow tax-free.

Since you pay taxes on distributions in retirement, many end up in a lower tax bracket before its time to pay Uncle Sam. For instance, socking away $10,000 per year for 20 years will give you $200,000. However, properly allocated plans tend to generate an average of about 7 percent return annually.

If your employer matches just 3 percent, which many do, you’ll end up with $436,540. That’s almost half a million right there.

Invest in IRAs

The road to wealth is a much shorter trip with multiple savings plans. You can easily get half way to the millionaire mark with your 403b plan. An alternative IRA, specifically a Gulf Coast Educator’s Federal Credit Union’s Premium Market IRA, will take you the rest of the way.

This tax-privileged savings plan earns a higher dividend than other plans and doesn’t charge administrative fees. You can choose from a traditional or a Roth IRA, depending on your specific strategy.

Depositing a little less than $11 per day into an IRA will grow to a million dollars in 40 years. This amounts to little more than a snack and a cup of coffee, and it still doesn’t max out the contribution limit for the year.

Invest Even More!

Compounding interest is a beautiful thing in the world of finance, especially if you’re trying to build wealth. It basically amounts to earning interest on interest. For example, suppose you invest $1,000 into an account earning 10 percent simple interest. At the end of 10 years, that account will be worth $2,000.

However, suppose you invested that same $1,000 into an account earning 10 percent compounding interest. At the end of the same 10 years, that account will be worth $2,594.

When building wealth, you want to opt for investment accounts that offer compounding interest whenever possible. You’ll earn more money in a shorter period of time, meaning you may get to millionaire status even before retirement.

Design A Christmas Card Contest

Sandy Saver members, now is your chance to win big! Enter your drawing to win GCEFCU’s Design A Christmas Card Contest. The grand prize winner will receive $50!

You may submit your artwork by dropping it off at any GCEFCU location, or by mailing it to the address listed below. Please include the child’s name, parent’s name, child’s member number, and a good phone number. You can download and print the form here.

Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union
ATTN: Marketing Department
5953 Fairmont Pkwy
Pasadena, TX 77505

 

 

Credit union members age 12 and under are eligible. Must have a Sandy Savers account to enter. Please turn in by November 21, 2018.

Telemarketers Prey on Seniors

Jamieson Mackay

Jamieson Mackay, Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor

My mother called me recently to tell me that she had signed up for an extended vehicle protection plan that she thought was only $200 (first red flag: if it sounds too good to be true it is). A sales agent had called her and she agreed over the phone and gave her credit card information. She has since come to find out that the plan was $200 a month until it was paid off, totaling about $3,000. She knew better, but said she felt pressured and did it to get off the phone (second red flag: never give your payment information out over the phone unless you initiated the call). This is a common issue we hear about with our senior members and unfortunately sales people prey on the trusting nature of seniors.

The main problem in this case is that my mother had a stroke a year ago and hasn’t been driving, which means she was sold something she didn’t even need. We always reinforce the idea with our team members that we won’t sell something the member doesn’t need and only recommend things that will improve our members’ financial lives (see our service promises). Too many businesses out there don’t adhere to the same ideals and find seniors, such as my mom, an easy sale.

I have a power of attorney for mom to handle certain things for her, so I called the company and was put in touch with a supervisor who gave me cancellation instructions. Hopefully this is the last I write about this specific incident, but there are several take a ways that this example reinforces:

  • We must look out for our senior family members. My mom is a smart lady who I never thought would have done this. She usually calls me to discuss decisions like this. She felt really badly about the whole thing, but I assured her it was ok and that it was taken care of. Basically, we can’t make assumptions that our older family and friends won’t do these types of things.
  • A power of attorney (POA) can be a valuable instrument in helping our aging family members take care of financial and other issues. Without the POA, I would not have been able to help mom in this case. She would have had to deal with the entire issue herself, which would have been even worse and added to the bad feelings she already had from this instance.
  • Never give out payment information over the phone if you didn’t initiate the call. If someone calls you and you are interested in their product or charity, ask where you can pay online or where you can call back after checking into the business or charity further. We’ve seen too many incidents where members have been scammed into giving their payment information over the phone to scammers, businesses and fake charities.

In this case it was a legitimate product that was sold, but in a manner that I find repulsive. The sales person that sold this to my mom is the type that gives sales people a bad name.

Retirement Strategies That Work

Whether you are close to retirement age, or just starting out in your career, having a strong retirement plan is essential to a financially-stable retirement. Let’s review a few key strategies to get your started.
 

Invest a Consistent Amount Each Month. With this strategy, you may want to consider automatically contributing to your IRA or other retirement account with every paycheck (up to the maximum annual contribution allowed).
 

Plan for Retirement Adjustments. It is important that you plan for adjustments to your income after retirement. While some of your retirement income will likely be a fixed amount each month, you will also have some retirement accounts that will pay out varying amounts based on market performance. If possible, try to funnel your monthly retirement costs toward the retirement payments that are not variable. This will allow you some flexibility in good times as well as security and peace of mind when times may get rough.
 

Control Your Plan. Too many people cede control of their entire retirement plan to someone they don’t know really well, and more importantly, who may not know them. Be an active participant in your investment plan. Ask questions. Go to every seminar or webinar you can find, especially if it is tied to your employment. It’s never a bad idea to remain educated.
 

As you take the time to get involved in your retirement planning and develop strategies that benefit you and your family, you will start to see a brighter future. If you would like to learn more about the different retirement accounts and options available to you at Gulf Coast Educators, you can click here or call 281-487-9333 to speak to one of our financial advisors.
 

Sources:

  1. http://www.thestreet.com/story/13269223/1/here-are-the-3-most-effective-retirement-strategies.html
  2. http://www.investopedia.com/articles/retirement/09/counterintuitive-retirement-strategies.asp?header_alt=c

 

New Digital Banking System

We have selected a new digital banking provider to improve online and mobile banking for our member-owners. The change will take place in January 2019, and we will keep this page updated with the latest information available regarding the change until then. We believe this decision will ultimately provide our member-owners with a more robust digital banking platform and best in-class user experience.

Last updated: 10/10/2018

 

 

Online Banking

Online Banking Conversion Updates

Last updated: 10/10/2018

Online banking will continue to be accessible from every page on our website by utilizing the same login box in the top right portion of the page. We recommend members log in from the website instead of bookmarking the URL for online banking. That way, you will always access the latest version of online banking. If you have bookmarked online.gcefcu.org, the URL will change to secure.gcefcu.org on the go live date.

Members who currently use online banking will continue to use the same username they currently use to access online banking and will not need to change it. Once the new system is live, members will use their existing username and a temporary password, which will be the the member’s birth year plus the last four of their SSN (Example: Member with birthdate of 01/01/1999 and SSN of xxx-xx-1234 would enter a one time password of 19991234).

You will then create a password with at least one capital letter, one lower case letter, one number, and at least 8 characters in length. In addition to setting the password, members will also need to create new security questions and add a mobile number to be used for text confirmations, instead of questions for authentication. The same login credentials will be used across online, mobile, and app banking, so this will only need to be done once. 

Mobile Banking

Mobile Banking Conversion Updates

Last updated: 10/10/2018

Mobile banking will continue to be accessible from every page on our mobile website by utilizing the same drop down currently used. We recommend members log in from the mobile website instead of bookmarking the URL for mobile banking. That way, you will always access the latest version of mobile banking. If you have bookmarked online.gcefcu.org, the URL will change to secure.gcefcu.org on the go live date.

Members who currently use mobile banking will continue to use the same username they currently use to access mobile banking and will not need to change it. Once the new system is live, members will use their existing username and a temporary password, which will be the the member’s birth year plus the last four of their SSN (Example: Member with birthdate of 01/01/1999 and SSN of xxx-xx-1234 would enter a one time password of 19991234).

 

You will then create a password with at least one capital letter, one lower case letter, one number, and at least 8 characters in length. In addition to setting the password, members will also need to create new security questions and add a mobile number to be used for text confirmations, instead of questions for authentication. The same login credentials will be used across online, mobile, and app banking, so this will only need to be done once. 

Mobile App

Mobile App Conversion Updates

Last updated: 10/10/2018

Android users will need to download a new app from the Google Play Store on or after the go live date.

Apple users will need to do an update to their app on or after the go live date and will not need to download a new app.

 

 

 

Billpay

Billpay Conversion Updates

Last updated: 10/10/2018

Billpay history and payees will be converted over to the new system, but there will be some nuances that will need to be addressed. As we work through those, we will communicate directly with our Billpay users to make them aware. One major upgrade for Billpay will be full integration and full capability in online, mobile and the app. Currently there are limitations on the mobile and app side.

 

 

Remote Deposit

Remote Deposit Conversion Updates

Last updated: 10/10/2018

Members will no longer need a separate login for Remote Deposit (RDC). We also anticipate near real-time posting of deposits with the new upgrade.

 

 

 

 

A2A & P2P

Account to Account & Person to Person Payment Updates

Last updated: 10/10/2018

At this time, it looks like we will not be able to transfer the existing information from DPXPay, including external bank accounts and people set up. Members will need to re-enter that information on the new platform once we go live with the new system. We recommend logging into DPXPay and saving or printing the information, such as the history, account information, and P2P people set up so you can reenter them in the new system.

 

Cyber Security Awareness

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

No such thing as too much security when it comes to online

Michael Barry GCEFCU Security Officer

Michael Barry
GCEFCU Security Officer

“Why do we have to have all those security questions and passwords on our accounts?” A question we get asked all the time. “It’s so time consuming and we have so many passwords to remember.” Yes, we know. “What’s the big deal?”

Well, you may think it’s all a hassle… until you get hacked. If you aren’t utilizing all the security features available and don’t keep your anti-virus software up to date, then you may be a prime target for attackers. And these “hackers” may not be in some foreign country across the world. They might be as close as a next door neighbor, or even a relative.

How many of you have a wireless network at home that isn’t password protected? Not sure? I bet your neighbors know. It’s so easy for someone to drive by and see what wireless signals that can be picked up and accessed. Check with your Internet Service Provider to make sure that your internet router is password protected so hackers can’t tap into your home network and access your personal files.

So your internet is secure, now what? Do you have an antivirus program on your desktop or laptop? And more importantly, is it up to date? Hackers can put all sorts of Trojans and viruses on your computer to capture data while you are typing and send it to a third party. Make sure you have an anti-virus program and malware program that can prevent, detect and eliminate any threats. Don’t have money to buy a program? Search online, there are many free anti-virus programs and malware programs available.

So, internet secure, anti-virus program up and running, what’s next? What about your passwords? Are those secure? Make sure you aren’t using easily identifiable information (birthdays, anniversaries, pets name, the word “password”) These passwords are the first guessed, along with any other information you may have in a public profile on a social website account. Choose phrases that don’t go together, like “dog sleep loud date.” Add spaces, uppercase letters and special characters. Secure, for example could become “S3cuR3.” Pick a long phrase and choose the first letter of every word. The cow jumped over the moon and the dish ran away with the spoon could become a password of “Tcj0tmatDrawtS.” Change passwords regularly and don’t increment the last character or number by 1. I know that’s easy to do, but if it’s easy for you, it’s easy for a hacker.

Setup login notifications. Did you know that the credit union can alert you to over 15 different events? (And that’s just events, by the way, I didn’t include account specific alerts or reminders) We can tell you if your account has been locked out, your PIN changed, you logged in outside the US, a specific state, city or even if you log in from another IP Address. Check out all the alerts we can send you through text, email and secure messages from online banking. After logging in, choose Accounts, then Account Alerts from the drop down menu. Perhaps you want to create an alternate login for your account, so you aren’t typing in your member number. You can do that by selecting Member Info under Options. Want to change your authentication questions, maybe create your own? Try Options, then Authentication Questions.

Some other easy things to remember… don’t share your password… to anyone, kids included. I know we all think our kids can do no harm, but it turns out a lot of fraud is initiated by someone you know. Be very careful when using Internet cafes or public internet access. None of that is secure, and if you start logging into your account, someone could easily be “watching” everything you do. If you must use one of these free internet services (hotel, airport, restaurants) don’t do anything you wouldn’t want someone else to see. Make sure you log out of any account you are logged into and close all your browser windows. Don’t have your browser remember any account passwords for you. It may be easy for you, but it’s also easy for anyone that may get a hold of your laptop, tablet or desktop.

With so many new technologies available, security is something that we should all be concerned with. I don’t want to scare you away from anything, but you should always make sure you are staying up to date with security and using any security features that are available to you. If you would like help setting up additional security on your online credit union account, give us a call, we’d be happy to help!

Is It Too Late to Begin My Retirement Fund?

Many people, for one reason or another, have put off planning and saving for retirement until retirement age is just around the corner. Getting a late start with your retirement fund doesn’t exclude you from participation, but it may require you to do a little extra to enjoy the retirement you have always dreamed about.

Whether you choose to open a Roth IRA or participate in your employer’s 401(k) or 403(b) plan, you should start putting money into a retirement fund today. While the amount you contribute may not be great, something is better than nothing.

Next, you should focus on paying off your debt and avoid gaining new debt. Start by eliminating your smallest amounts of debt and then use the extra funds you’ll have to work on the next loan. This particular step may require you to make some painful lifestyle changes, but your new found discipline, and financial resources, will put you on a path to a more secure retirement.

You should also take advantage of any available tax breaks. For example, after age 50, the IRS allows “catch up” contributions to an IRA. This basically allows you (and your spouse) to pay more into IRA accounts than the standard annual amount. These additional contributions can add up quickly as the years roll by.

Another strategy you may want to consider is supplementing your income. If you can manage to earn extra funds by taking on a part-time job, adding more shifts or working overtime, you’ll be able to put more money toward your retirement.

And finally, use automatic withdrawals to fund your various retirement and investment accounts. It is significantly easier to save your money when it never actually gets into your hands.

Saving for retirement can seem overwhelming, but it is not the mountain it appears to be. Begin today, gain momentum, and watch a more secure future unfold.

Sources:
1. http://www.forbes.com/2010/03/16/retirement-planning-401k-ira-personal-finance-late-start.html
2. http://www.cfinancialfreedom.com/late-start-retirement-investing-tips-catch/
3. Southwest Strategic Marketing, LLC

Is a Roth IRA the Right Choice for You?

A Roth IRA is a special type of retirement account where you pay taxes on what you contribute to the account, and then all future withdrawals are tax-free. Investment advisors usually tell their clients that a Roth IRA is designed to benefit younger people — but a Roth IRA can be a good choice for people of all ages. Consider the following to see whether a Roth IRA is right for you.

If you want to take distributions tax-free during retirement, a Roth IRA is the right choice for you. If you’re eligible to open a Roth IRA, you’ll be able to make contributions to your account, get taxed now for those contributions, and then withdraw your funds without paying taxes on that money when you need it in retirement. A traditional IRA gives you the ability to deduct the interest on your taxes now, but you’ll pay taxes on your withdrawals later.

If you expect that your tax rate is going to be the same or higher than it is now, a Roth IRA is probably a stronger choice for you. A traditional IRA is a better option if you expect your tax rate to be lower in retirement because you’ll be able to take a tax deduction when it benefits you most. With either choice, your earnings in an IRA grow tax-free.

If you want flexibility in contributing to your IRA and taking distributions, you’ll likely choose a Roth IRA. Once you turn 70-1/2 years old, you must stop contributing to a traditional IRA and are forced to take distributions and begin paying taxes on your money. On the other hand, a Roth IRA has no required minimum distributions. Plus, if you’re still working after you’re 70-1/2, you may contribute to your account (as long as you stay within the income limits of the account).

To learn more about Roth IRAs or to speak with a financial advisor, click here, or give us a call at 281-487-9333.

Information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author.

Sources:
• https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/investing/roth-or-traditional-ira-account/
• Southwest Strategic Marketing, LLC

IRA Investing for Beginners

Although many employers offer 401k and other retirement options, it’s a good idea to set aside personal funds as well to ensure you can enjoy retirement the way you want to. A great place to start is to invest in an IRA (or Individual Retirement Account).

What is an IRA?
An IRA is a personal savings account set up specifically for retirement. Employees under the age of 50 can contribute up to $5,500 a year into an IRA – after age 50, you may contribute up to $6,500 a year. Because it’s designed for use during retirement, there are specific rules and penalties for withdrawal.

IRA and Tax Benefits
One of the most appealing attributes of an IRA is its tax benefits. The two most common types of IRAs are Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs. The interest and earnings of both IRAs grow tax-free within the account; however, each varies in the way it’s taxed on contributions and distributions. You should talk to a financial planner and/or tax advisor to determine which IRA is right for you.

IRA Security
Typically, you can open an IRA with a low minimum balance requirement (sometimes there is no minimum requirement) – it all depends on your financial institution. One of the downsides of an IRA is that it’s a savings account. It earns less interest than investing in stocks or bonds, but it provides safety and stability. At Gulf Coast Educators, we offer a different type of IRA, called our Premium Market IRA. This IRA earns a higher dividend that fluctuates with the market, without risking your money in stocks and bonds. An IRA is federally insured so you can be certain your future is safe.

IRA Distributions
With a Traditional IRA, you must make a distribution after age 59-1/2 and before you’re 70-1/2. For Roth IRAs, a distribution may be made after the account is five years old and the individual is at least 59-1/2. In both instances, there are some exemptions for distributions of up to $10,000:
• Buying your first home
• Paying for higher education (e.g., college, trade school, etc.)
• Paying for major medical expenses

Discuss any IRA distribution you’d like to take with your tax advisor to be sure it’s in your best interest.

It’s important to save now for your future. An IRA is a great way to put money aside today so you can enjoy the retired life you want tomorrow. To learn more about IRAs available through Gulf Coast Educators FCU, click here, or give us a call at 281-487-9333.

Information is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author.

Sources:
http://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/032715/best-ira-accounts-beginners.asp
http://money.cnn.com/retirement/guide/IRA_Basics.moneymag/
http://www.bankrate.com/finance/investing/ira-investing-for-beginners-1.aspx