How to Find Satisfaction in Life

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Healthy relationships are key to leading a satisfying life and achieving long-term happiness. That’s the insight from the Harvard Study of Adult Development, the largest, longest running study of adult development in history. Since 1938, researchers have been surveying participants every two years on the quality of their marriages, job satisfaction and social activities. Participating subjects’ physical health was tracked every five years.

In his popular TED Talk, Robert Waldinger, psychiatrist and fourth director overseeing the Harvard study, says the long-running study has consistently shown people who fare best in terms of overall health, longevity and happiness are those who have solid relationships with family, friends and community. Additionally, those with consistently high-conflict relationships actually fare worse in each category than those with fewer but more stable relationships.

With that in mind, here are a few simple ideas for building healthier, long-lasting relationships:

Trade FaceTime for face time. Technology has promised to connect us, and it does in many ways, but it can also hinder intimacy. Setting a few limits on tech, so you can truly connect with loved ones, is important.

Ask yourself one question. Whenever you have an important decision to make, ask yourself, “Is this good for my relationships?” For example, a better job may be financially good for you and your family, but it could take a heavy toll on your time, putting your relationships in the back seat. Consider this question carefully to help you clarify even the most difficult of decisions.

Friends and family in need. It’s important to communicate with loved ones who are elderly, in poor health or those you haven’t spoken with in a long time. You don’t have to give advice or do anything to “fix” situations. Showing up says enough. If physical distance is an issue, try calling rather than texting, emailing or using social media. Your voice can convey much more than an electronic communication.

Like a good neighbor. Whether you volunteer for a school or non-profit, mentor someone, or regularly attend a place of worship or other civic organization. Community organizations can be an important relationship source and help you develop bonds that fulfill you, while serving others.

Investing in your best “future self” means spending time where it will benefit you the most. And today, even science says our relationships pay the longest lasting dividends.

Sources: Business Insider, TED, Reader’s Digest

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6.0% to Celebrate 60 Years

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At Utah Community Credit Union we are proud of our beginnings. If you haven’t heard by now, we are celebrating our 60th anniversary this year, and everyone in our community is invited to the party!

This isn’t a party with balloons and streamers. Better yet, our celebrations include gifts that keep on giving! Starting September 1st, and through the end of the year, UCCU’s Visa Credit Cards will offer a base rate starting at 6.0%*.

While everyone else has high interest rate credit cards, come celebrate our anniversary by taking advantage of this great rate!

*Credit card variable Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is based on the Prime Rate published in the Money Rates column of the Wall Street Journal. We will use the most recent index value available as of the 15th day of the month prior to any rate adjustment. If the index value is not already rounded we then round up to the next .25%. To determine the annual percentage rate that will apply to your account, we add a 2.5% margin to the value of the Index. Limited time offer. Federally insured by NCUA.
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Social Security: Two Benefit Strategies Eliminated

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With the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, two strategies to potentially maximize Social Security benefit payments were eliminated.  Read this article to see if you still qualify.

An Overview

Prior to the budget’s passage, married couples had two strategies to help maximize their Social Security benefits: “file-and-suspend” and “restricted applications.” ¹

Under file-and-suspend, the higher-earning spouse filed for benefits and then suspended them, allowing the lower-earning spouse to claim a spousal benefit. This also let the higher-earning spouse accrue delayed retirement credits. Upon attaining age 70, the couple then could switch to their own individual benefit to receive the highest possible amount.

Restricted Application

A restricted application allowed an individual, upon attaining full retirement age, to file only for a spousal benefit, based on the individual’s spouse’s work record, delaying his or her benefits until age 70. Upon reaching age 70, the individual would then convert to his or her own benefit.

Married couples also could combine the above strategies with one spouse filing and suspending a worker benefit, while the other spouse filed a restricted application to receive the spousal benefit only.

Divorced recipients

These strategies could be used by divorced recipients, too. A divorced spouse was permitted to file a restricted application for a spousal benefit at full retirement age, as long as the former spouse was 62 or older. At age 70, the divorced spouse then switched over to his or her own worker benefit, assuming it was a higher amount.

The Policy Behind the Elimination

The elimination of file-and-suspend claims becomes effective on May 1, 2016. It also prohibits restricted applications for anyone who has not reached age 62 by the end of 2015. Since file-and-suspend is only available to those who have reached full retirement age, it remains available to individuals who are age 66, or will be so by April 30, 2016. (Couples who have already executed such claims are unaffected by the new law.) ²

The reason that Congress acted, and the President signed into law this change, was to save money and close perceived loopholes in the Social Security program.

Overall savings will be small compared to the larger financial challenges that Social Security faces. These changes will save about 0.02 percent of the taxable wages and self-employment income subject to Social Security taxes over the next 75 years, according to the Social Security Administration—a fraction of the program’s long-term deficit of 2.65 percent of taxable payroll.3 ³

According to one study, these changes will impact just 0.1 percent of all Social Security participants. ⁴

Strategy & Choices

There was one other change not yet widely discussed that may have implications for you.

For someone who exercised a file-and-suspend strategy, the rules provided the ability to receive a retroactive lump sum payment if an individual changed his or her mind and lifted the suspension. (They did lose any bump up in payment amount that came with delaying benefit payments, however.) This flexibility is also being eliminated under the budget act.

This ability to lift the suspension was a particularly important planning strategy because it allowed an individual who may have come down with a life-threatening illness or underwent a change in financial status to retroactively go back to their original filing date and receive a lump sum for the benefit amount not paid during the suspension period.

Keep in mind that Social Security has undergone a number of substantive changes since its inception. While the elimination of these strategies may be disappointing, these changes do not undercut the central promise of this critical social contract. In fact, they were implemented to strengthen it.

  1. Social Security Administration, 2016.
  2. Social Security Administration, 2016.
  3. The New York Times, October 30, 2015.

The New York Times, October 30, 2015.

For more information on this subject contact Steve Lloyd, Office Manager, UCCU Financial Group, at 801-223-7502.

Securities and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.
Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.
Not NCUA/NCUSIF Insured – No Credit Union Guarantee – Not A Deposit – May Lose Value
Not Insured By Any Federal Government Agency.
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Taxes and Investment Gains Correlation

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Taxes play an important role in your investment strategy, regardless of your tax bracket. That’s why understanding how short and long-term term capital gains impact your investments over time can be critical. Below is a quick explanation on how that works.

Taxes and Investment Gains

Simply put, short-term gains are realized on investments held for under a year, while long-term capital gains are derived from investments held for more than one year. For example, if you purchase 100 shares of stock for $20 per share and sell them six months later for $25 per share, the $500 in profit is considered a short-term capital gain by the IRS and taxed at as ordinary income. Conversely, if you wait more than a year to sell the shares, they will be taxed at the long capital gains rate of 15% to 20%, depending on your tax bracket.

For investors in higher tax brackets, this rate can be substantially lower than the rate applicable to short-term gains.

Depending on your tax bracket, if you held the same shares for a year or more, you could end up making more money if the stock price continues to increase but still pay less at tax time. In addition, only your net investment income is taxable, meaning if you gain $500 from one investment but lose $500 on another in the same tax year, then your net gain is $0 and you are not required to pay any additional taxes.

This communication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information on the subjects covered. It is not, however, intended to provide specific legal, tax, or other professional advice. For specific professional assistance, the services of an appropriate professional should be sought.

If you’d like to learn more about the relationship between investments and taxable gains in your portfolio, contact the UCC Financial Group at (801) 223-7502.

Securities and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisor Networks LLC, member FINRA/SIPC.
Cetera is under separate ownership from any other named entity.

Not NCUA/NCUSIF Insured – No Credit Union Guarantee – Not A Deposit – May Lose Value
Not Insured By Any Federal Government Agency.

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Back to School Tips

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Coming out of summer break has never been easy. This year, as you prepare for back to school, consider a few things to help with the adjustments that come with it.

First, establish a routine. It’s normal for people to develop some bad habits over the summer break. Giving yourself (or your kids) a routine will help them get back in good habits. This is something you usually want to start a few weeks before school, but if you haven’t already established your routine, start now!  It’s better late than never.

Second, plan out meals and snacks. Having three meals a day is very important to most diets. Breakfast will help you start the day, and even help you wake up quicker. Lunch is a good way to give you a break in the middle of the day and can help you refocus. If you eat lunch earlier in the day, planning out an afternoon snack is a good thing. Make sure to keep healthy snacks in the house that aren’t too big or filling to keep your appetite for dinner! Dinner is important but don’t eat too late, or it will be harder to go to bed earlier.

Third, re-energize with naps. Occasionally naps will be needed to help you refocus and re-energize. There is such a thing as napping for too long. There are studies showing the benefits to power naps.

Whether your kids are starting grade school or you’re beginning a new year of college, having routines and schedules can help minimize the amount of stress associated with the start of a new school year. Plan accordingly so you can be ready for whatever the days have in store!

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Meet the Smart Family

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Follow one family’s hilarious journey to becoming MoneySmart

Whether you’re a parent, a baby, a teen or anywhere in-between, BeMoneySmart is the perfect way to learn together, as a family, how to save and spend money wisely. Simply visit BeMoneySmart.org, where you can watch the adventures of the Smart family, a series of short, hilarious videos that your whole family will enjoy.

They’re also educational, but don’t worry… we won’t tell your kids if you don’t. It’s all at BeMoneySmart.org right now!

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Rollover Retirement $50.00 Gift Card

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What do you want your retirement to look like?

Rollover your IRA or 401K account(s) and receive a  $50.00 Gift Card!

UCCU Financial Group available at Utah Community Credit Union can consolidate your 401(k) or IRAs and help you:

  • Help building a plan keeps us with a changing market and can adapt as your needs change;
  • A wide range of investment options;
  • Allocate, diversify, and rebalance in one portfolio;
  • Provide on-going monitoring to ensure you’re on track to meet your financial goals.

For additional information, please contact Steve Lloyd

Phone: 801-223-7502
Fax: 801-431-8188
Email: lloyds@peakfns.com
 
 
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The Best Utah County "Stay-cations"

'Staycations'

A Stay-ca-tion- is a vacation that is spent at home or around your local area involving trips to local attractions or activities in your own home!

Now that it’s almost summer time, it’s time for warmer weather, adventures, and vacations.  Are you in desperate need for a vacation but can’t afford it?  Utah county is full of amazing adventures that are exciting, fun, and affordable!  Here are some ideas you can do this summer to have the ultimate, Utah County “StayCation”.

Activities around Utah County:

  • Go On a Hike: Lucky for us, Utah County is full of beautiful areas that can be explored with a nice, relaxing hike.  This summer, make a bucket list and hike the “Y”, Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon, or the Grotto in Payson Canyon.
  • Orem Owlz Baseball Game: Is there anything better than sitting under the lights watching a baseball game?  The smell of fresh cut grass, the warm weather, and hot dog is the perfect getaway!
  • Go Bowling: What a fun and engaging activity for friends and family!  Bowling is cheap, and convenient, especially in Utah County.  There are so many bowling alleys to choose from!
  • Go See a Movie: A movie is a nice way to take your mind off the stresses of life and getaway for a while!  Now that summer is coming, there should be some “Must See Movies” in the next couple of months.
  • Swimming: Pool, lake, pond, river, where ever you go, you name it, swimming is fun!  Take your family or friends to a local pool and give swimming a try!
  • Golfing: Competitive? Go golfing! Utah County has a variety of courses to choose from! Golfing can also be a way to get away from stress, and if your not into golf, try mini golf!
  • Go To a Park: Just getting outside relieves stress!  Get some rays on that skin and take your family on a picnic in a park!
  • 7 Peaks: What a great place to take you and your family!  7 Peaks Water Park is full of fun water slides, pools, and relaxing hot tubs.  If you want to cool down, go to the 7 Peaks Ice Arena, just next-door,  and give ice staking a try!

Staying at home ideas

Some of the best adventures can be found in the walls of your own home!  Here are some ideas you could use to transform your home into a resort:

  • Spa: Turn your boring bathroom into a luxurious spa!  All you need is a couple candles, bath salts, and maybe add Spa music from YouTube to complete the relaxing atmosphere!
  • Hammock– Hang up a hammock in your yard and enjoy the fresh air and a nice, cool summer breeze!    Be careful though, once you have settled in a hammock, you may never want to get out!
  • Camping: Go camping in your backyard!  Turn off all electronic devices and just enjoy the company of your family in the comfort of your own backyard.  You’ll be up giggling and talking all night!
  • Home cooked meals: Treat Yo Self!  It’s a StayCation for a reason, so teat it like so!  Make your favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner all within the same day!
  • Host a board game night: Invite friends and family to play games!  With the combination of appetizers, a deck of cards, and a couple board games, a game night could be the perfect getaway!
  • Movie Night: Turn your living room into a movie theater!  Make popcorn, buy candy, and if you want, roll out the red carpet!  If your feeling adventurous, have a theme night and have your family and friends dress up like characters from the movie!

Remember, you Do Not need to break the bank or travel far to have a memorable vacation.  Utah County is full of fun and exciting activities for you and your family.  Even staying at home will bring joy and relaxation to your life!  So enjoy your “Staycation” and save time and money!

 

 

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Shred Fest 2016

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Who is ready for another year of “Shred Fest”?  That’s right, Shred Fest is here again, which means all members can bring their personal documents and shred them for free!

What can you shred?

  • Old tax returns
  • Junk Mail with personal information
  • dated documents with personal information
  • Dated pay stubs with personal information
  • And any other paper documents you need to get rid of!

Please Do Not Bring:

  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Cardboard
  • Binders

There is a limit of five boxes of paper per member.  Paper clips and staples are okay!

Shred Fest will be held on two days Saturday May 7th and Saturday May 14th 

Day 1: Saturday May 7th

When: 9am-12pm

Where: Riverwoods Branch 188 W. 5200 N. 84604

 

Day 2: Saturday May 14th

When: 9am-12pm

Where: Spanish Fork Branch 810 N. Main 84660

Don’t miss out!  Get your Shred On!

 

 

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President's Message April 2016

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We are well into our 60 year celebration and many people are taking advantage of our Cash for You, Cash For Your School initiative. Don’t forget that for every loan you transfer to UCCU we will give you 0.5% cash back, as well as donate 0.5% cash back to the K-12 school of your choice. Tell your friends and neighbors and help support local education.

The Utah housing market is booming. There is significant demand for mortgage and construction services and consumers are continuing to build equity due to rising housing prices. With the growing population rate and the increasing demand for housing, appreciation rates have continued to rise and will likely continue to be favorable.

Trying to help your children get into their first home? It may be easier than you think. UCCU has our first time home buying program that takes the guesswork out of finding the home of your dreams.  UCCU offers support and resources to help you find the right loan product to suit your financial needs. Our BuyerRelax program offers access to mortgage experts who can answer any question – big or small.

It is our pleasure to serve you! We want to be your trusted financial partner now and into the future. Take full advantage of your membership by visiting with one of our financial experts. If you are not yet a member – become one and let the benefits of UCCU membership help you save money, make smart financial decisions, and propel you and your family closer to you financial goals and dreams.

Jeff's signature
Jeff Sermon
President/CEO

 

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