According to the National Council on Aging, “estimates of elder financial abuse and fraud costs to older Americans range from $2.6 billion to $36.5 billion annually.”

 

If you suspect someone may be a victim of elder financial abuse, you should report it to protect the safety and health of the person you are concerned about. This financial abuse could involve theft, fraud, or various scams designed to take an elderly person’s money or property.

 

Whether the abuser is a family member, a caregiver, or a stranger, it’s important to remember that there could be a real threat to that senior’s checking and savings accounts. These accounts could be wiped out all at once or they can be drained little by little.

 

Some of the warning signs you should look out for when it comes to elder financial abuse include the following:

  • Unpaid bills piling up.
  • Concerns about how people are handling an elderly person’s finances.
  • Threats of utilities being cut off. (Note: Scammers will often ask you to pay with a wire transfer or a gift card. If you’re unsure, hang up immediately and call your bank or utility company at their official phone number and explain what happened.)

 

To protect yourself or a loved one from potential financial abuse, here are a few things to remember:

  • Do not give out personal information including account numbers, social security number, or debit or credit card numbers unless you are sure it is necessary.
  • Keep important financial documents locked up or in a safe and secure location.
  • For better protection when purchasing, pay with a debit or credit card.

 

Reporting elder financial abuse can vary by state. However, you should report suspected abuse to local law enforcement and the local Adult Protective Services agency. If you know where the suspected victim does their banking, you should report your concerns to them as well, so they are able to take the appropriate precautions.

 

When filing your report, be sure to include the name of the elderly person, his or her address, the name of the suspected abuser, and note what you believe to be happening. Add as much information and detail as possible to the report.

 

While reporting potential financial abuse can be overwhelming, remember that you are their voice. For more information about financial exploitation of the elderly and vulnerable adults, visit the National Adult Protective Services Association.

As a parent, some of the greatest joys in life are getting to watch your child grow into the person they were meant to be and witnessing their accomplishments… like, graduating and going to college!

 

Sending your child to college is a significant milestone. While this new journey can be daunting, it’s important to remember that college is more than just four years of higher education. It’s a gateway to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, personal growth, and multiple new skills.

 

You can help make the transition less stressful by preparing your child for academic, social, and emotional challenges they may face in the process.  Here are some tips to help you and your child prepare for their new home away from home and to ensure they are set up for success.

 

Take A Campus Tour

If you haven’t already, be sure to take a walk around campus. Many colleges have summer orientation which is a great opportunity for your teen to familiarize themselves with the campus. These visits will be especially beneficial if they already have their class schedule, as walking around the campus to check out each building where classes will be held can help your new student feel more confident on their first day of school.

 

Find A Place to Live

Work with your teen to secure a place to live. Many colleges require incoming freshman to live on campus for their first year. However, if they do not have to, work with your child to help them secure a safe and affordable place to live either on or off campus. If your teen has a roommate, this is also a great opportunity for them to connect and get to know them better.

 

Educate them on Money Management

Talk to your teenager about finances and how to be responsible with money while they’re away. Now that your child will have more freedom, educating them on the importance of financial responsibility can help keep them out of unnecessary debt. The summer before college is a great time to start teaching them the basics of budgeting and saving money. If they don’t already have one, have them open a checking account and get a debit card so they have access to their money. For emergencies, consider having your child apply for a student credit card. These often have low credit limits and are great to have available in the event of an emergency.

 

Share Some Life Skills

Teaching your child life skills such as cooking, doing laundry, checking the oil in their car, etc. can help make their transition to college life less stressful. Work with your child to equip them with as many life skills as possible before they go off to college. This is also a great opportunity to bond more with your child before they step into a world of their own.

 

Plan a Closet Clean Out

The summer before attending college is the perfect time to encourage your child to do a closet clean out. Unfortunately, your child will not be able to take everything they own to college with them. However, by doing a closet clean out, they’ll get a better idea as to what they already have. This can make packing for college easier and more organized.

 

Communicate the Importance of Time Management

The time leading up to college is a great time to teach your child about effective time management. While you’ve been responsible for ensuring they get up on time and make all of their appointments, the months before college are a great time to take a step back and allow them the opportunity to manage those things on their own. This is a great opportunity for your child to have a small glimpse at what being on their own could be like.

 

Discuss Work and Social Needs

College is a great opportunity for your child to discover more about themselves and shape them into who they want to be. Talk to them about the various clubs, organizations, and other opportunities available on campus they may want to participate in to meet like-minded individuals. Share with them the importance of building a network and how this can benefit them in the future both personally and professionally. If the college your child is attending holds a fair for incoming freshman to discover the campus clubs and organizations, encourage them to attend. This is always a great way to meet new people and discover what they might be interested in, as well as, possibly providing unique experiences that may benefit them in their future.

Have you ever asked yourself, “When should I start teaching my kids about finances?”

 

While there’s no right answer to this question, a good place to start is whenever they have developed fundamental math skills. This is typically between the second and fourth grade.

 

The goal when beginning to teach your child about money is to help them understand the value of money and the importance of saving. You’ll want to use simple terms and relatable examples that you know your child will be able to grasp. One of the best ways to do this is to use your personal experience. Explain how you work a job to make money, and the money you make from said job allows you to buy things like groceries, clothes, vacations, etc.

 

If you want to take it a step further, you could set them up with a regular allowance or pay them for doing certain chores around the house. This will give them an applicable experience in understanding the most basic way money is earned. There are multiple ways to introduce money fundamentals to your child(ren), so do some research to find one that works best for you.

 

Once they understand how money is earned, you can segue into the basics of saving money. A great way to do this is by using a visual example such as a piggy bank or clear jar. This allows children to literally see the money they save and how it accumulates over time. When they are comfortable with the concept of saving, share how their savings can be used for something else in the future. Explain the different ways they could use their savings – to buy something they want for themselves or purchase something for someone else for a special occasion such as a birthday. If you haven’t already, this would also be a good place to open a savings account for your child.

 

When applying this to real-life, give them the opportunity to use their savings to purchase something they want. This will allow them to determine if they have enough money saved or not helping them comprehend if they need to save some more money or if they already have the amount they need. Once they have the amount needed, let them hand the money to the cashier so they get excited and experience the value of “this for that.”

 

Helping your child save money can bring up feelings of frustration due to having to wait to purchase something they want. This is a great opportunity to validate those feelings and explain that you, their parent, or guardian, also sometimes have to wait to purchase things you want. Set a regular time together where you sit down and count their money with them, so they know just how much they have saved. And don’t forget to encourage them on their saving journey.

 

Setting a good foundation for understanding money can help your children be more responsible with it as they get older. Even the smallest money tips can impact the way your children will think about and use money in the future. Visit our Personal Money IQ and scroll down to the “Kids and Money” section for more tips.

Financial Literacy Awareness Month is observed nationwide by a variety of organizations. People all over the U.S. host educational events and activities throughout the month of April to promote the importance of financial literacy – especially to our nation’s youth.

 

In recognition of Financial Literacy Month, we would like to share some tips to help you better prepare for potential financial situations.

 

Safeguard Your Accounts with Multifactor Authentication

Multifactor authentication can increase the safe keeping of your financial accounts and information. The most widely used methods are challenge questions and one-time passcodes (sent via text, email, or phone call). This added layer of security does not allow anyone to fully log in to an account until after the username, password, and passcode/security answer are all entered correctly.

 

Avoid Late Fees with Online Bill Pay

Bills and payments can easily be lost or show up late in the mail. This can cause you to pay unnecessary late fees. To prevent this from happening, consider using online bill pay through your bank account or  your mobile app. Bill Pay allows you to review your payments and make payments as quickly as the next day, so you no longer have to stress about a lost bill or payment. Start using today by logging into your UFB bank account or mobile app.

 

Save for Early Retirement

When entering the professional workforce, you’ll want to consider how you’ll fund your retirement. Most employers will offer retirement benefits like a 401k. However, IRA’s are also a good option to save. But how much are you supposed to save? First, determine what kind of retirement lifestyle you want. Then, just like budgeting, you’ll want to calculate the cost of that lifestyle and adjust your savings accordingly. Revisit your numbers annually to help you stay on track. If you need help, contact one of our local bankers for more information.

 

Saving vs. Investing as a Young Adult

Saving and investing can seem daunting when you first begin your career. However, the difference is simple… one is for short-term goals, the other is for long-term goals. For short-term savings goals – such as building an emergency fund, saving for vacation, or buying a car – you’ll want to keep your finances in an easily accessible location. This is normally a regular checking or savings account or can even be a certificate of deposit or high-yield savings account.

 

On the other hand, saving for long-term goals – like retirement – means investing money into a retirement account such as a 401k or an IRA. As a young adult, understanding where to put your money to start saving for your goals can set you up for a better financial future.

On April 8th, 2024, we will get to experience an incredible natural phenomenon – a Total Solar Eclipse. To determine where you are in the path of totality, visit nationaleclipse.com.

 

What is a Total Solar Eclipse?

A Total Solar Eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and the earth causing the moon to completely block out the face of the sun. Because the moon passes in front of the sun, a night-like shadow is cast onto Earth for a few minutes turning day to dusk. The shadow of the moon will allow us, the viewers, to see the Sun’s corona – the outer atmosphere – which we are otherwise unable to see due to the bright face of the sun. People who are not in the path of totality will experience a partial solar eclipse.

 

Other types of solar eclipses…

You may recall other solar eclipses occurring during your lifetime. According to NASA, a Total Solar Eclipse is one of four solar eclipse types. Other types of solar eclipses include Annular, Patrial, and Hybrid. The type of eclipse that occurs depends on how the moon aligns with the path of the sun and the Earth. Learn more about the four types of eclipses at science.nasa.gov/eclipses/types.

 

Total Solar Eclipse Eye Safety

While you may be tempted to watch the eclipse with a regular pair of sunglasses, this can be dangerous and cause severe eye injury. Specialized solar-viewing glasses, or “eclipse glasses,” are thousands of times darker than normal sunglasses and will protect your eyes through the entirety of the event. If you are viewing the eclipse through a camera lens, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device, be sure you have the proper eye-protection gear. Ensuring you have proper eye protection during a solar eclipse can allow for a more enjoyable experience.

Vacations are a wonderful time to relax on a beach, enjoy a cruise, or stroll through a new city. But one of the best parts is not having to stress over how to pay for it.

 

The first step for any vacation is to identify your budget. By planning out your finances, you can enjoy the perfect vacation that won’t break the bank. To help you get started, here are five tips to consider when you begin planning your budget-friendly vacation….

 

  1. Open a savings account.

How much you save for your trip will help determine your budget. Having a separate savings account devoted to vacations, trips, or other getaways can make the planning process easier. Consider having a certain amount automatically deposited into a travel savings account each week. By putting funds into a dedicated travel account, you can create a healthy saving habit and build up your vacation spending money therefore lessening stress and allowing more time for rest and relaxation.

 

  1. Plan ahead and take advantage of cost-saving tips and tricks.

When planning your vacation, do research to find any discounts or deals on activities, accommodations, transportation, rentals, etc. Early scouting can save you money whereas last-minute decisions may cost you extra.

 

  1. Drive or fly?

Because you’ve successfully prepared, you’ve already done research on where you’re going and how long it will take to get there. Now is the time to answer the infamous question – do we drive or fly? Fortunately, there is no right or wrong answer. Consider how long it will take to drive, how many times you’ll have to fill up for gas, potential food costs and if you will be staying overnight. Then, research flight and rental car cost and decide which one is more economical for your situation.

 

  1. Choose an unconventional location.

If you plan on vacationing in popular hot spot locations like Panama City Beach, FL; Miami, FL; or Gulf Shores, AL, it may be more expensive than if you travel to less popular destinations. If you are set on going to a vacation hot spot, consider looking at the surrounding areas to help decrease costs.

 

  1. Set up card controls and keep track of your spending activity.

Two thing no one wants to worry about on vacation – money and fraudulent activity. By setting up card controls, you can easily keep track of all your purchases and identify if there is any suspicious activity. By actively tracking your vacation spending, you can stay in control of your budget as well as ensure your hard-earned money stays safe.

 

Ultimately, being in control of your budget (and sticking to it) can empower you to have the relaxing, worry-free vacation you deserve.

 

Get on top of your vacation savings today! Open your savings account now and start saving up for your dream vacation.

“We call them ‘miracles in a box’ because they are just that…. They are the difference between life and death in a sudden cardiac situation.” – Kristin Wagmeister, HeartSaver Committee Member

 

On February 8th, we stepped into the world of Wonka as we attended the Deaconess HeartSaver’s 10th Anniversary Wonka Golden Ticket Luncheon at Bally’s Riverfront Event Center. In an afternoon full of whimsical characters, delicious sweets, and great company, we were happy to sponsor and support this local organization and its honorable mission.

 

The Deaconess Heart Hospital and Deaconess Foundation’s HeartSaver strive to increase the number of on-hand AEDs in the Tri-State area – Southern Illinois, Western Kentucky, and Southwestern Indiana – to help save lives and reduce the number of sudden cardiac deaths.

 

“Every story should have a happy ending, and in the case of a sudden cardiac event, we want there to be survivors who will recover to share their stories.” – Kristin Wagmeister, HeartSaver Committee Member

 

To date, 15 documented saves have taken places because of these lifesaving devices. Our President and CEO, Don Neel, is one of those survivors. He had the opportunity to share his personal experience with HeartSavers as the keynote speaker at the Wonka Golden Ticket Luncheon.

 

“With absolutely no prior warning, I started seeing stars and vividly remember the sensation of getting ready to lose consciousness…. A few minutes later the paramedics had told me that my heart had stopped beating,” he said. “Rick and Tom immediately got to work on CPR after I collapsed, and Deputy Fine came in with the AED…. After one shock, my heartbeat was restored.”

 

 

 

Because of the financial support of individuals and businesses in our community, more than 750 AEDs have already been placed in the Tri-State area. An additional 35 devices will be available in the next few weeks.

 

One of the largest benefits of having readily available AEDs is there is no formal training needed in order to use one. The devices give step by step instructions and do not proceed until each step is followed. Therefore, anyone can become a HeartSaver… and a life saver.  (To watch a video demonstration of how easy an AED is to use visit deaconess.com/HeartSaver.)

 

“Seconds matter in a sudden cardiac emergency, so we will keep going as long as there is a need for more of these devices.” – Kristin Wagmeister, HeartSaver Committee Member

 

Thank you to all who support HeartSaver and make it possible for more AEDs to be placed in our community. There is still a substantial need for more of these lifesaving devices to be placed in our community. Currently, HeartSavers has a waiting list with more than 115 AEDs needed.

 

If you would like to learn more about the current wait list, visit the HeartSaver website or call Penny Goshert at 812.842.3472 or Kirsten Wagmeister at 812.431.1377. 

 

HeartSaver’s currently serves the following counties in Indiana: Daviess, Dubois, Gibson, Knox, Pike, Posey, Spencer, Vanderburgh, and Warrick. They also serve Henderson, Union, and Webster counties in Kentucky. If you would like to learn more about the HeartSaver AED and how they impact our community, or you would like to become a HeartSaver, click here.

Just like visiting a doctor, it’s important to review and evaluate your finances so you can ensure the healthiest relationship with your money. A financial check-up will give you more confidence in your finances and allow you to have more control over where your money is going.

If you’ve found yourself feeling overwhelmed or unsure of how to tackle your financial check-up, use these tips to help you get started.

  1. Identify any recent major changes in your lifestyle that could affect your finances. Have you switched jobs, received a pay raise, gotten married or divorced, had kids, bought a house or new car, etc.? It’s all relative when reviewing your finances.
  2. Gather your bank statements and credit card statements from the last 6-12 months and find where you are spending most of your money. See if you can identify spending patterns that could be adjusted or eliminated.
  3. Check your credit score. You can obtain a free copy from one of the three main credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) to check for and report any errors. This can also help you discover if you need to take necessary steps to improve your credit score.
  4. Evaluate all your current financial accounts (personal, business, checking, savings, retirement, CDs, loans, etc.). Ensure that all the information on your accounts is correct and up to date. Having a clear understanding of your accounts in relation to your financial goals can help you plan accordingly for the year.
  5. Review your debt(s) and interest rates (mortgage, car loans, credit cards, student loans, etc.). Write these down and plug them into your budget. Create a plan that will help you pay off your debt(s) as soon as possible.
  6. Identify tools and resources you can utilize to help streamline your banking. Check out some of the services our customers benefit from such as Online and Mobile Banking, Bill Pay, Notifi Alerts, Credit Score, and more.

Our UFB staff is here if you need assistance with your financial check-up. Schedule an appointment with one of our local bankers to perform an account review and identify more ways for you to save.

After you’ve completed your financial check-up, you’ll have the information needed to reassess and set new financial goals and create a solid budget to help keep your financial goals on track.

Do you have a high school senior preparing to go to college? Are you overwhelmed by the opportunities, paperwork, and planning of it all?

In recognition of November being National Education Month, we put together five tips to help you and your child better prepare for their higher education and financial future.

  1. Do research: Set up college visits, talk to current students, and encourage your child to submit an early application. Help them stay organized by making a list of all the required paperwork needed for applications, such as letter(s) of recommendation, a copy of their transcript, etc.
  2. Be proactive: Write down important dates such as SAT or ACT test dates and scholarship application deadlines and place them where they will be seen daily. Help your child take charge of their future by ensuring necessary tasks are completed as soon as possible.
  3. Find scholarships: As much as $100 million in scholarship funds go unclaimed every year, according to the National Scholarship Providers Association. Start gathering options by asking questions and researching scholarships that apply for your child. If you don’t know where to begin, reach out to their teacher, guidance counselor, or mentor for help.
  4. Create a budget and open a savings account: It’s never too late to learn financial literacy basics. Work with your child to create a budget and help them open a savings account dedicated to funding their college tuition and other school related expenses.
  5. Talk about the impacts of posting on social networks: Did you know college admission offices can decline or resend an offer based on what you post on social media? Discuss the positive and negative impacts of an online presence with your child. Encourage them to tidy up their social media profiles before sending in their applications.

Congratulations on taking the first few steps in helping your child prepare for college! While you navigate this exciting and emotional process, remember to stay positive and open minded. College is about personal growth and discovery, and this milestone will help your child shape a bright and successful future.