Design A Christmas Card Contest

Design A Christmas Card Contest

design a christmas card contestSandy 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 20, 2021.

Speaker Series: Joshua Stamper

SPEAKER SERIES

Speaker Series: Joshua Stamper

We invite you to join us for this free webinar as Principal Stamper will inspire current and aspiring school administrators to enhance their leadership capacity using the A.S.P.I.R.E. model.

The A.S.P.I.R.E. Model

The focus of this session will be sharing a guide for aspiring leaders to enhance their leadership capacity through goal setting, creating a system of action steps, and using the A.S.P.I.R.E. model. Through the use of stories of past failures and successes, educators will be shown ways to transform their leadership journey and actively obtain the experiences and tools needed to enhance their leadership skills.

Objectives:

Joshua Stamper
  • Construct leadership goals
  • Understand the A.S.P.I.R.E. model
  • Design a system of action steps
  • Reflect on ways to impact a campus and/or a district

About the speaker: Joshua Stamper is a middle school Assistant Principal for a North Texas School District, where he’s had the amazing opportunity to serve at four campuses and in two school districts. Prior to Joshua’s current position, he was a classroom art educator and athletic coach for 6 years working with students in grades 6-8. In addition to his administrative position, Joshua is a podcaster, author, leadership coach, education presenter, and Podcast Network Manager for the Teach Better Team.

For more upcoming speaker series, click here.

 


Fraud Alert – Fake Fraud Alert Texts Verifying Zelle® Transactions

Fraud Alert – Fake Fraud Alert Texts Verifying Zelle® Transactions

fraud alert imageRecently some of our members have reported receiving fraud alert texts asking if they performed a Zelle® transaction for a large amount. This fraud alert is NOT from the credit union.

These messages are coming from fraudsters. Once the member responds to the fraud alert text, the fraudster will call the member pretending to be the credit union. They then ask to change/obtain the member’s online banking information. If successful, they begin sending money out of the member’s account to their account via Zelle®.

 

Here are a few things to remember if you receive a text that claims to be from GCEFCU:

🔹 We will NEVER ask for your PIN.
🔹 We will NEVER ask for your online banking password.
🔹 Don’t click any links or phone numbers in the text message. Instead, exit the text and call the credit union directly.
🔹 You can forward fraudulent texts to 7726 (SPAM) to report it to your phone carrier.
🔹 Remember to check your account daily and report any unusual activity.

If you ever feel like you may be a victim of a fraud scam, hang up, and call the credit union directly. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 281-487-9333.

GCEFCU’s 2022 Annual Meeting

Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union’s 2022 Annual Meeting

 

Save the Date!

Gulf Coast Educators FCU will hold its 2022 Annual Meeting on Tuesday, February 22, 2022. All members are invited to join us as we review the credit union’s success over the last year and discuss what is in store for our future.

Meeting Details

Date & Time:
February 22, 2022 at 6:30 pm

Location:
Pasadena Convention Center
7902 Fairmont Parkway
Pasadena, TX 77505

Nominating Committee

Andrea Wenke – Chairman
Jim Rubach
Lisa Nixon
 

Medicare Open Enrollment for 2022

Medicare Open Enrollment for 2022 Begins October 15

Open EnrollmentMedicare beneficiaries can make new choices and pick plans that work best for them during the annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period. Each year, Medicare plan costs and coverage typically change. In addition, your health-care needs may have changed over the past year. The Open Enrollment Period — which begins on October 15 and runs through December 7 — is your opportunity to switch your current Medicare health and prescription drug plans to ones that better suit your needs.

During this period, you can:
• Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan
• Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare
• Change from one Medicare Advantage Plan to a different Medicare Advantage Plan
• Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers prescription drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer prescription drug coverage
• Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer prescription drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that does offer prescription drug coverage
• Join a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D)
• Switch from one Part D plan to another Part D plan
• Drop your Part D coverage altogether

Any changes made during Open Enrollment are effective as of January 1, 2022.

 

Review plan options

Now is a good time to review your current Medicare benefits to see if they’re still right for you. Are you satisfied with the coverage and level of care you’re receiving with your current plan? Are your premium costs or out-of-pocket expenses too high? Has your health changed? Do you anticipate needing medical care or treatment, or new or pricier prescription drugs?

If your current plan doesn’t meet your health-care needs or fit your budget, you can switch to a new plan. If you find that you’re satisfied with your current Medicare plan and it’s still being offered, you don’t have to do anything. The coverage you have will continue.

 

Information on costs and benefits

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that the average monthly premium for Medicare Advantage plans will be $19, and the average monthly premium for Part D prescription drug coverage will be $33. CMS will announce 2022 premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts for the Medicare Part A and Part B programs soon.

You can find more information on Medicare benefits in the Medicare & You 2022 Handbook on medicare.gov.

 


Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, LP (“CFS”) a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS:are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal.Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. The Credit Union has contracted with CFS for investment services. Atria Wealth Solutions, Inc. (“Atria”) is a modern wealth management solutions holding company. Atria is not a registered broker-dealer and/or Registered Investment Advisor and does not provide investment advice. Investment advice is only provided through Atria’s subsidiaries. CUSO Financial Services, LP is a subsidiary of Atria.

Prepared by Broadridge Advisor Solutions Copyright 2021.

Tips for Saving Money Post-Pandemic

Tips for Saving Money Post-Pandemic

Try writing down some of your savings goals to help you get on track.

The pandemic changed the lives of everyone one way or another. Financially, many people took hits: some either lost their job or took pay cuts. However—with the pandemic nearing its end—we should begin to prepare for a life of normalcy once again. Let us first look at how to save money. Below are some helpful tips for saving money post-pandemic.

Open a Savings Account

A savings account is a great option if you are looking to save money. The credit union has various saving accounts that cater to your different needs and assist you with life changes such as retirement or health costs. Additionally, we have special savings accounts as well. Our best recommendation for those that view saving as a challenge, is our Dollar Up Account. This account allows you to easily save a little bit of money each time you use your debit card. Click here to find out more about this savings account and others.

Plan Ahead for Having Fun

Many people have been confined to working from home and are slowly readjusting to what their lives were like before the pandemic. As businesses begin to open at full capacity again, it can be easy to get carried away with spending sprees at stores and eating out at restaurants. Some may also want to purchase cars, clothing, or travel the world. This is totally okay as long as you are aware of your spending. Don’t go crazy by having a good time.

Shop Small

Go in person and shop small! By purchasing small and in person, you can limit the amount of money you spend. This also helps support local businesses that may have taken a financial hit during the pandemic. If accepted, trying using cash instead of your debit card and only bring so much so you don’t overspend. With online shopping, it is easy to get carried away with purchasing more than you need or budgeted for.

Review Your Pandemic Habits

The pandemic caused many people to grow accustomed to using services such as using delivery food apps or signing up for various subscriptions that grew popular during these times. However, we need to remember that these cost money. Take some time to identify which ones are meaningful and useful to you and which ones you can do without. This can help to reduce some of the reoccurring monthly expenses that you may not necessarily need but use only out of convenience.

Continue to stay safe as we navigate through this post-pandemic phase and remember to keep saving!

Rolling Over Your Old 403(b)

What do I do with my old 403(b) when I switch jobs?

If you are an educator, changing jobs means you must decide what to do with the money in your 403b retirement account. Leaving the money in an old 403b may not be the best option since it is not growing and there will be no new contributions. Withdrawing the money makes it taxable income and Uncle Sam wants his fair share.

The best thing to do may be to roll that money over into a retirement account that earns money and will help the balance grow. An old 403b plan can be rolled into a traditional or Roth IRA, tax-free, giving you access to limitless investment options. It can also be transferred to a current employer’s 401k or 403b retirement plan where contributions can continue to be made up to annual federal limits.
 

Traditional or Roth IRA

financesOne of the most popular options for rolling over an old 403b plan is to put the money into a Traditional or Roth IRA account. An IRA account is an independent account that is typically not offered by the employer. Basic IRAs typically have lower interest rates, but your money is completely safe and insured. If you opt to go with a financial advisor and open an IRA that is tied to stocks and bonds, you may earn more at a faster rate, but you also put your money at risk.

A good in-between option is a Premium Market IRA. With this type of IRA, your funds are completely secure, but you earn a higher rate that is tied to the market. It is tax-privileged, earns higher dividends, and your money is insured and safe, so you won’t have to worry about losing money because of the market.

 

403b

Sometimes, rolling over an old 403b means putting the money into a new 403b plan. If a new employer offers a plan with investment options you are comfortable with, then this may be right for you. It is important that you first familiarize yourself with the investment options and potential constraints of the new plan. However, many people enjoy the benefit of growing their nest egg quickly by keeping the bulk of their retirement in a 403b plan. An employer-sponsored 403b plan typically offers low administrative costs, making it an affordable option. There are no tax penalties for rolling money over into a new 403b plan, and you can still make tax-free contributions.
 

401k

If your new employer offers a 401k, then the IRS allows you to roll your old 403b retirement savings into that new account. This is known as a tax-free conversion. There are no tax penalties for this conversion, and you can still make tax-free contributions, subject to annual limits. Many employers also match contributions into a 401k plan, up to a certain percentage, allowing savings to grow quickly. As with the 403b option, the contribution limits are higher, and there is a catch-up provision for people over 50 years old. If you happen to max out your annual contributions, some employer-sponsored 401k plans have provisions that allow participants to make after-tax contributions as well.

Aside from growing your money quickly, a 401k plan offers a certain amount of asset protection, too. First, plan administrators must abide by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, also known as ERISA. This means that they must comply with a set of fiduciary standards that put your best interest first, instead of pushing investments that may maximize profits. Plans are subject to full disclosure of historical performance and administrative fees. Assets are also protected from creditors and can’t be garnished, with a few minor exceptions. Many employer-sponsored 401k plans offer payroll deductions, making it easier to save for retirement.
 
 


The opinions expressed on this page are for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views expressed are those of the author of the article and may not reflect the views of the credit union.

Be Prepared for Hurricane Season

Be Prepared for Hurricane Season
Preparation for any natural event is key in reducing the amount of damage done. If you have lived along the Gulf Coast, you know how important it is to prepare for hurricane season. We want to share some tips on the essentials needed to be ready for hurricane season. Our hope is that this will help you and your families if/when the time comes.

Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union has a history of being prepared for natural events and providing our members with essential updates. Members can access all the updates online. Additionally, the credit union provides emergency updates on our Facebook Page, Twitter Page, Instagram Page, and online banking or mobile app.

Prepare at Home
If ordered to evacuate or shelter, you should always prepare the necessary goods and items for at least a week without needing to access a grocery or convenience store. These five items are an essential part of the packing list: bottled water, nonperishable foods, batteries, bags of ice, and a first aid kit. I also suggest looking at The National Hurricane Center website to be aware of future events.

Prepare to Leave
When hurricane season arrives, you should always be ready to leave your current home or area. At any moment, there could be mandatory emergency orders to evacuate the premises as soon as possible. And in this case, it is important to be ready. Know where you will go, how you will get there, and what you should bring beforehand.

Prepare for the Aftermath
With hurricanes, it is difficult to predict what exactly may happen as a result. You may lose power for an extended period, or you may experience severe flooding. In any case, it is important to keep all your insurance contracts and documents safe and readily available. Be ready to handle anything that may come your way, especially when it comes to your assets.

The key is to be prepared and ready for anything.

Additional Resources:
Developing a Family Plan
Creating a Disaster Supply Kit
Having a Place to Go
Having a Pet Plan

Scam Alert – Fake Fraud Alert Text & Calls

Scam Alert – Fake Fraud Alert Text & Calls

Some members have reported receiving fraud alert text messages that appear to be from the credit union. The message asks if the member conducted a transaction and to reply with YES or NO. While the credit union does send fraud alert texts similar to this, fraudsters have copied the same message and are using it as a way to contact members to get more information from them.

In the cases that we have investigated, the fraudster calls the member after sending the text message and proceeds to ask for identifying information, such as your card number, pin, or online banking login information. GCEFCU will never ask for this information.

Here are a few things to remember if you receive a text that claims to be from GCEFCU:

🔹We will NEVER ask for your PIN or online banking password.
🔹Don’t click any links or phone numbers in the text message. Instead, exit the text and call the credit union directly.
🔹You can forward fraudulent texts to 7726 (SPAM) to report it to your phone carrier.
🔹Remember to check your account daily and report any unusual activity.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 281-487-9333.

Here is an example image of the fraudulent text: