February 2013 eNews

Catch up on the latest Starion news in our February 2013 Starion Financial eNewsletter.

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Contributing to community causes

Starion Financial donated more than $350,000 to community organizations, programs and events in the communities it serves in 2012.

Major donations throughout the year include $10,000 to Shiloh Christian School, $10,000 to Saint Baldrick’s Foundation, $25,000 to University of Mary, $7,500 to United Way of Cass Clay and $10,500 to Sleepy Hollow Performing Arts Park.

Starion Financial also made significant contributions to the Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation, BSC Community Bowl, Northern Plains Dance, Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce, Bismarck Parks and Recreation District, ND 4-H Foundation, Henry Vilas Zoo, Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce, Ducks Unlimited, United Way of Dane County and ND Natural Resources Trust. Starion Financial has donated to many other community organizations and events as well.

In addition to monetary support, Starion Financial is dedicated to personal contribution and responsibility to the communities it serves.

“Starion Financial takes a stake in the success of our customers and communities,” Craig Larson, President and CEO said. “We invest our time and resources to ensure the long-term survival and success of the communities we serve.”

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Can contributing to an IRA really pay off?

It can be easy to put off or fail to make contributions to an IRA, but here are some of the benefits of contributing:

  • Regular savings
  • Potential tax-deductible contributions (depending on income levels and other retirement plan participation)
  • Tax-deferred compounding
  • Potential tax-free distributions (in the case of Roth IRAs)

Retirement may seem like a long way off and $5,500 may not sound like a lot of money to save. The chart below shows how these contributions really can accumulate and help ensure you have the money you’d like when you are ready to retire.

Year Total Contributions IRA Value Savings Account Value
1 $5,500 $5,500 $5,500
2 $11,000 $11,330 $11,238
3 $16,500 $17,510 $17,223
4 $22,000 $24,060 $23,467
5 $27,500 $31,004 $29,981
6 $33,000 $38,364 $36,776
7 $38,500 $46,166 $43,865
8 $44,000 $54,436 $51,260
9 $49,500 $63,202 $58,974
10 $55,000 $72,494 $67,022
15 $82,500 $128,018 $112,785
20 $110,000 $202,321 $169,326
30 $165,500 $434,820 $325,485
Taxes Due*   -$75,410 None
Net After Tax   $359,410 $325,485

* Assumes contributions to the IRA were not tax deductible and therefore taxes are not calculated on the total amount of the non-deductible contributions when received. A tax rate of 28% was applied to the earnings in the savings account.

No one can accurately predict what level of earnings you may earn on your investments as it is difficult to foresee what the future tax laws will be. However, using IRAs as part of your retirement planning strategy can be a huge benefit for your financial future. It may seem difficult putting away money now, but it can really help you to have the type of financially secure retirement you desire.

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Starion Financial proud to offer Popmoney

In today’s world, paying and receiving money can be a bit of a hassle. Checks are becoming a thing of the past, and many of us don’t have time to run to an ATM for cash. Starion Financial now offers an innovative personal payment system called Popmoney. Popmoney will help alleviate the money transaction process for you by allowing you to send and receive money through email or text.

Whether you are sending money to a child at college, paying a babysitter or paying rent, Popmoney is an easy and convenient way to send and receive money. All you need to send money is the recipient’s account information (routing and account number), email address or mobile phone number. Using Popmoney through Starion’s Online Banking costs only $0.50 per payment made. That is considerably less than spending money on gas to run to an ATM or continuing to buy checks and stamps.

It’s easy, simple and only a couple steps:

  • Sending money by email/mobile phone number: If you choose to send the money using the recipient’s email address or mobile phone number, he/she will receive an email or text message with instructions on how to deposit the payment into his/her account

  • Sending money directly through the account number: If you choose to deposit money directly into the recipient’s account, you will simply need to inform him/her of the pending transaction so that he/she is aware that you have sent money.

After the transaction has been accepted by the recipient, the money will be available within three business days, if not sooner.

Popmoney can help simplify your life by helping you make and receive payments with ease. It’s fast, secure and convenient for everyone involved.

Customers with questions can contact us. You can also call Popmoney directly at 877.675.6378.

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Take advantage of low interest rates

Interest rates are at historic lows, and rates for borrowing, such as for long term mortgages are at levels not seen for many decades. Many are now wondering what these low rates mean and how to react to them.

After the bombings of 2001, the Federal Reserve made several moves to keep interest rates low to help avoid a recession. They made similar moves after the financial crisis of 2007/2008. The Federal Reserve has announced recently that they will continue these moves and have even hinted that they expect rates to remain low into at least 2014.

In general, rates have been coming down for more than 30 years. Some believe rates would rise if the economy improved or if the marketplace started to perceive more risk with U.S. Treasuries. Others believe rates will stay low for several years to come. While the Federal Reserve continues to try to keep rates low and foreign investors continue to have high levels of demand for U.S. Treasuries, the real answer is that no one knows for sure when rates will begin to rise. 

One thing we do know is that today’s rates are very low when viewed in a long-term perspective. That is bad news for those wanting interest income, but great news for borrowers. If you have existing borrowing, now may be a good time to consider refinancing those loans to take advantage of the low rates.

However, if you are looking for interest income, be cautious. The only ways to earn higher rates are to invest in things that have higher levels of risk or to lock your funds in vehicles that have longer maturities.

When dealing with the low interest rates, the most important thing you can do is use common sense. If someone tries to sell you an investment that looks too good to be true, it may very well be a scam to avoid.

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Why do we save our coins in a piggy bank?

Because someone once made a mistake. During The Middle Ages, in about the fifteenth century, metal was expensive and seldom used for household wares. Instead, dishes and pots were made of an economical clay called pygg. Whenever housewives could save an extra coin, they dropped it into one of their clay jars. They called this their pygg bank or their piggy bank. 

Over the next two hundred to three hundred years, people forgot that "pygg" referred to the earthenware material. In the nineteenth century when English potters received requests for piggy banks, they produced banks shaped like a pig. Of course, the pigs appealed to the customers and delighted the children. 

Courtesy: www.ideafinder.com

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