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

Shred Day

SHRED DAY IMAGEWe have scheduled our Winter shred day! We will be holding a shred day on December 27th, 2024 at our Pasadena branch. You can find all of the details listed below.

  • 10lb limit per member
  • No paper clips
  • No hanging files

Drop off will be located on the left side of the building near the drive thru (see example image). We will have employees there ready to assist you with shredding your sensitive documents.

pasadenaFriday, December 27, 2024
9:00am – 12:00pm
Pasadena Branch
5953 Fairmont Pkwy
Pasadena, TX 77505



Sweeny Branch Grand Re-Opening


Sweeny Branch Grand Re-Opening

Please join us for the grand re-opening of our Sweeny branch! Stop by to celebrate with us on June 12 between 11:00am – 1:00pm. A special ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 11:30am.

Sweeny branch imageWhen: Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Time: 11:00am – 1:00pm (Ribbon cutting at 11:30am)
Location: 400 Elm St, Sweeny, TX 77480


RSVP To Attend

Please let us know if you plan to attend by filling out the form below.



How to get started with a retirement account

How to get started with a retirement account

IRA, ROTH, 401K Planning for retirement can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. There are 401(k)’s, 403(b)’s, IRA’s, Roth IRA’s, 457’s and more but where do we start. If you work for a private company, then you may have a 401(k) option or if you work for a school district then you may have a 403(b) or 457 option. Everyone with earned income can contribute to an IRA or Roth IRA, and that may be the quickest place to start if you are not sure how to begin.


It is easier than ever to get started with a retirement savings, here are some ways to start:


If your company offers a retirement account then that is the best place to start because a lot of them offer a contribution match to help maximize your money. For example, your employer may offer to match the first 5% at 100 percent meaning that if you put in 5% then they will match your dollar amounts essentially doubling your contribution. There may be additional rules within these plans so be sure to check with your employer to see how everything works.

403(b)& 457:

If you work for a school district or some hospitals then you may have either a 403(b) or 457 option. Most school districts don’t offer matching contributions, but you can put money away pre-tax to save for retirement like how a 401(k) would operate.


This would be opened outside of an employer plan and allow you to save money pre-tax like a 401(k) or 403(b). If your taxable income is below a certain level, then your contributions can grow tax deferred. These contributions would be tax deductible for the current year but there are contributions limits for this account depending on your income and age.

Roth IRA:

Like an IRA, the Roth IRA would be opened outside of an employer plan but would be made with after-tax money that would then grow tax-free for retirement. You won’t receive a tax-deduction on the money this year but there are additional benefits to the account like being able to pass the money to your heirs tax free.

The hardest part is knowing how to get started and fortunately Gulf Coast Educators is here to help. We have a financial advisor, Joshua Krakowiak, who can sit down with you and go over your current financial situation and your goals to find the best solution for you and your family. There is no cost or obligation to set up and appointment to see how we can help you make the most of your money.

Click here to get your retirement savings started!

Josh KPost Author:
Josh Krakowiak
Financial Advisor


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.

Realtor Drawing

Your Money Is Insured


Learn How Your Money Is Protected

Top 100 credit unions imageWith the recent headlines of several bank failures, you may be wondering how safe your own money is. Luckily you are in good hands at GCEFCU, so there is no need to start hiding cash under your mattress.

You’re in Good Hands
Gulf Coast Educators FCU is ranked in the Top 200 Healthiest Credit Unions by and in the Top 100 Best Performing Credit Unions by S&P Global Market Intelligence. Here, we take extra caution when it comes to ensuring your finances are safe and secure. We value your trust in us and don’t take this responsibility lightly.


Your Money is Insured, Just in Case

The “FCU” in Gulf Coast Educators FCU stands for “Federal Credit Union.” All federal credit unions are insured by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Deposits are insured up to at least $250,000 per individual depositor, per ownership account type, per NCUA insured credit union.

If you and your family have $250,000 or less in all of your share deposit accounts at the credit union, your money is fully insured. A member can still have more than $250,000 and be fully insured, provided the accounts meet certain requirements and are properly structured.


If I have more than $250,000 at GCEFCU, how can I make sure all my money is insured?

You may qualify for more than $250,000 in coverage if you own share accounts in different ownership categories. The four categories are:

  • Single Accounts (owned by one person with no beneficiaries): $250,000 per member-owner
  • Joint Accounts (two or more persons with no beneficiaries): $250,000 per owner
  • Revocable Trust Accounts (owned by one or more person(s) with beneficiaries): Each member-owner is insured up to $250,000 for each eligible beneficiary named.
  • Retirement Accounts (IRAs): $250,000 per member-owner


Calculate Your Insurance

If you are unsure if all your funds are fully insured, you can use NCUA’s Share Insurance Estimator. This estimator can be used for personal, business, or government accounts. If you have trouble navigating the Share Insurance Estimator, a video guide is available here.


How can I get more information?

NCUA created a special site called that provides information about everything credit union and share insurance related. You can also view a list of frequently asked questions by clicking here, and view the video below illustrating NCUA’s share insurance coverage.

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.

Online Shopping tips to stay safe!

Online Shopping Tips to know to stay Safe:

Author: Angelica Garcia

It’s that time of year where our bellies are full, and the wallets are definitely a LOT lighter. Shopping is in full swing and naturally we try to stretch our buck as far as we can by finding the best deals.
In recent years online shopping has advanced to where even most social media platforms have some form of marketplace for individual sellers to advertise their products. Now though this is a cheaper and more convenient alternative, there are also risks that come with the territory of shopping online.Online Shopping

Most Social media sites that carry this option have a Purchasers policy that generally states to avoid any type of scams by sticking to purchasing through the website checkout. What many scammers will try to do is lure buyers away from the site by claiming there is an issue with receiving payment on their end or that it is just simpler to go through another method. This could be through an instant transferring app, or the most common one I see is through Gift cards. They are untraceable so naturally this is a go to method for Scammers, all they need to do is just wait for the victim to mail them out. As for the buyer, they are waiting for a product that will not ever arrive.

For another type of Scammer, they won’t be looking for a Gift Card payout, what they go for is information. Avoid providing personal information, even if it seems out of simple conversation. This can escalate from questions like how many kids do you have to where you bank, birthday, and social security number in a matter of moments. Scammers will then use this information to try and access your bank account by posing as you or opening loan accounts using your information. Online banking information is often compromised in these situations as well, the scammer will convince a buyer to provide their login information and send themselves money before the Victim is even able to think that this was a mistake.

Let’s move on to just a regular website, where you do not have to speak with a private seller and all you must do is enter in your card information. In some cases, the checkout process is where buyers are asked to input their personal information like their date of birth and social security so be wary on what information is being asked.
So, what do you need to be looking for to ensure the website you are shopping on is legitimate?

  • Look at the details, does the website have any spelling or grammatical errors
  • Look to see if there is contact information listed for the company, if not how do they expect their consumers to report order issues? A customer service contact should be available.
  • Reviews are always a big indicator, many times you will see past consumers comment issues they may be having with the “merchant” regarding not receiving their purchase. If you see a large number of these, that is a definite sign to stay away. (In some cases, positive reviews are posted by the scammer to create a false sense of security for buyers.)

It is peak shopping season; everyone is looking for the best deal. This also is the time when scammers are on the hunt, looking for the quickest cash out. When shopping online stick to the golden rule: If the deal is too good to be true, that’s because it is. And if you are not sure, run it by us, our employees are trained and have the experience to identify red flags in these situations.

Your Credit union is only a call, text, or chat away so let us be your helper this Holiday Season!

Call/Text: 281-487-9333
Toll Free: 800-683-3863


Sleigh the Gift Giving Season

Sleigh the Gift Giving Season

The holidays are approaching, and all year long, you’ve heard your parents talk about wanting a certain something. You know they’d never go out and buy it for themselves, so it’s the perfect present to surprise them with this year. Unfortunately, the price tag is a bit frightful.Family Presents

This year, go in on gifts with others and split the cost of the bill!

Using Zelle® to Get Paid Back is so Delightful

Splitting the cost of a big gift with your siblings is easy with Zelle®. Use Zelle® to easily send a request1 for the money you’re owed, and your sibling can quickly and safely send you money directly from their mobile banking app, even if you bank at different places2. And the best part is, the money will be available to you in minutes2.

How to Request Money for the Group Gift

Step 1: Log into the [FI Name] app.

Step 2: In the main menu, select “[Location of Zelle®]”.

Step 3: Select “[Request money with Zelle®]”.

Step 4: Enroll your U.S. mobile number or email address.

Step 5: Once you’ve enrolled, select your recipient (by entering their phone number or email address), then type in the requested amount, add a little note such as “Mom and Dad’s Gift,” and click “Request”.

Pro-tip: For an even easier experience, have them enroll with Zelle® [Link to] before sending your first request. You can send money to someone not yet enrolled, and they’ll get an email with instructions on how to do so.

That’s it! No need to ask your siblings to run to the ATM or search for that checkbook they
never use.

1Payment requests to persons not already enrolled with Zelle® must be sent to an email address.
2U.S. checking or savings account required to use Zelle®. Transactions between enrolled consumers typically occur in minutes.

Six Keys to More Successful Investing

Six Keys to More Successful Investing

A successful investor maximizes gain and minimizes loss. Though there can be no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful, and all investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, here are six basic principles that may help you invest more successfully.

Long-term compounding can help your nest egg grow

It’s the “rolling snowball” effect. Put simply, compounding pays you earnings on your reinvested earnings. The longer you leave your money at work for you, the more exciting the numbers get. For example, imagine an investment of $10,000 at an annual rate of return of 8 percent. In 20 years, assuming no withdrawals, your $10,000 investment would grow to $46,610. In 25 years, it would grow to $68,485, a 47 percent gain over the 20-year figure. After 30 years, your account would total $100,627. (Of course, this is a hypothetical example that does not reflect the performance of any specific investment.)Invest

This simple example also assumes that no taxes are paid along the way, so all money stays invested. That would be the case in a tax-deferred individual retirement account or qualified retirement plan. The compounded earnings of deferred tax dollars are the main reason experts recommend fully funding all tax-advantaged retirement accounts and plans available to you.

While you should review your portfolio on a regular basis, the point is that money left alone in an investment offers the potential of a significant return over time. With time on your side, you don’t have to go for investment “home runs” in order to be successful.

Endure short-term pain for long-term gain

Riding out market volatility sounds simple, doesn’t it? But what if you’ve invested $10,000 in the stock market and the price of the stock drops like a stone one day? On paper, you’ve lost a bundle, offsetting the value of compounding you’re trying to achieve. It’s tough to stand pat.

There’s no denying it — the financial marketplace can be volatile. Still, it’s important to remember two things. First, the longer you stay with a diversified portfolio of investments, the more likely you are to reduce your risk and improve your opportunities for gain. Though past performance doesn’t guarantee future results, the long-term direction of the stock market has historically been up. Take your time horizon into account when establishing your investment game plan. For assets you’ll use soon, you may not have the time to wait out the market and should consider investments designed to protect your principal. Conversely, think long-term for goals that are many years away.

Second, during any given period of market or economic turmoil, some asset categories and some individual investments historically have been less volatile than others. Bond price swings, for example, have generally been less dramatic than stock prices. Though diversification alone cannot guarantee a profit or ensure against the possibility of loss, you can minimize your risk somewhat by diversifying your holdings among various classes of assets, as well as different types of assets within each class.

Spread your wealth through asset allocation

Asset allocation is the process by which you spread your dollars over several categories of investments, usually referred to as asset classes. The three most common asset classes are stocks, bonds, and cash or cash alternatives such as money market funds. You’ll also see the term “asset classes” used to refer to subcategories, such as aggressive growth stocks, long-term growth stocks, international stocks, government bonds (U.S., state, and local), high-quality corporate bonds, low-quality corporate bonds, and tax-free municipal bonds. A basic asset allocation would likely include at least stocks, bonds (or mutual funds of stocks and bonds), and cash or cash alternatives.

There are two main reasons why asset allocation is important. First, the mix of asset classes you own is a large factor — some say the biggest factor by far — in determining your overall investment portfolio performance. In other words, the basic decision about how to divide your money between stocks, bonds, and cash can be more important than your subsequent choice of specific investments.

Second, by dividing your investment dollars among asset classes that do not respond to the same market forces in the same way at the same time, you can help minimize the effects of market volatility while maximizing your chances of return in the long term. Ideally, if your investments in one class are performing poorly, assets in another class may be doing better. Any gains in the latter can help offset the losses in the former and help minimize their overall impact on your portfolio.

Consider your time horizon in your investment choices

In choosing an asset allocation, you’ll need to consider how quickly you might need to convert an investment into cash without loss of principal (your initial investment). Generally speaking, the sooner you’ll need your money, the wiser it is to keep it in investments whose prices remain relatively stable. You want to avoid a situation, for example, where you need to use money quickly that is tied up in an investment whose price is currently down.

Therefore, your investment choices should take into account how soon you’re planning to use your money. If you’ll need the money within the next one to three years, you may want to consider keeping it in a money market fund or other cash alternative whose aim is to protect your initial investment. Your rate of return may be lower than that possible with more volatile investments such as stocks, but you’ll breathe easier knowing that the principal you invested is relatively safe and quickly available, without concern over market conditions on a given day. Conversely, if you have a long time horizon — for example, if you’re investing for a retirement that’s many years away — you may be able to invest a greater percentage of your assets in something that might have more dramatic price changes but that might also have greater potential for long-term growth.

Note: Before investing in a mutual fund, consider its investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses, all of which are outlined in the prospectus, available from the fund. Consider the information carefully before investing. Remember that an investment in a money market fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporate or any other government agency. Although the fund seeks to preserve the value of your investment at $1 per share, it is possible to lose money by investing in the fund.

Dollar cost averaging: investing consistently and often

Dollar cost averaging is a method of accumulating shares of an investment by purchasing a fixed dollar amount at regularly scheduled intervals over an extended time. When the price is high, your fixed-dollar investment buys less; when prices are low, the same dollar investment will buy more shares. A regular, fixed-dollar investment should result in a lower average price per share than you would get buying a fixed number of shares at each investment interval. A workplace savings plan, such as a 401(k) plan that deducts the same amount from each paycheck and invests it through the plan, is one of the most well-known examples of dollar cost averaging in action.

Remember that, just as with any investment strategy, dollar cost averaging can’t guarantee you a profit or protect you against a loss if the market is declining. To maximize the potential effects of dollar cost averaging, you should also assess your ability to keep investing even when the market is down.

An alternative to dollar cost averaging would be trying to “time the market,” in an effort to predict how the price of the shares will fluctuate in the months ahead so you can make your full investment at the absolute lowest point. However, market timing is generally unprofitable guesswork. The discipline of regular investing is a much more manageable strategy, and it has the added benefit of automating the process.

Buy and hold, don’t buy and forget

Unless you plan to rely on luck, your portfolio’s long-term success will depend on periodically reviewing it. Maybe economic conditions have changed the prospects for a particular investment or an entire asset class. Also, your circumstances change over time, and your asset allocation will need to reflect those changes. For example, as you get closer to retirement, you might decide to increase your allocation to less volatile investments, or those that can provide a steady stream of income.

Another reason for periodic portfolio review: your various investments will likely appreciate at different rates, which will alter your asset allocation without any action on your part. For example, if you initially decided on an 80 percent to 20 percent mix of stock investments to bond investments, you might find that after several years the total value of your portfolio has become divided 88 percent to 12 percent (conversely, if stocks haven’t done well, you might have a 70-30 ratio of stocks to bonds in this hypothetical example). You need to review your portfolio periodically to see if you need to return to your original allocation.

To rebalance your portfolio, you would buy more of the asset class that’s lower than desired, possibly using some of the proceeds of the asset class that is now larger than you intended. Or you could retain your existing allocation but shift future investments into an asset class that you want to build up over time. But if you don’t review your holdings periodically, you won’t know whether a change is needed. Many people choose a specific date each year to do an annual review.

©Copyright 2021 Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.

Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CUSO Financial”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CUSO Financial: 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 CUSO Financial. The Credit Union has contracted with CUSO Financial to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members. Atria Wealth Solutions, Inc. (“Atria”) is a modern wealth management solutions company and is not a Registered Investment Advisor or broker-dealer. Investment products, services and advice are only provided through CUSO Financial, a subsidiary of Atria.