In the VSECU Blog you'll find financial and lifestyle resources to help empower possibilities for your personal success.
As Vermonters hunker down to stop the spread of COVID-19 and lessen the burden on our healthcare system, we all have to adjust to this strange new normal. With the Governor’s "stay home, stay safe" order, all non-essential businesses have closed their doors, and most events have been canceled or postponed indefinitely. Thankfully, many businesses have modified their services to be accessible remotely. Vermont musicians are turning to livestream platforms to replace the concerts they would have previously headlined. Yoga studios are using video conferencing software to continue holding classes. Online delivery services from big and small companies alike are ramping up their shipping capability to serve the ever-increasing demand for online orders. Even grocery delivery has been made possible across Vermont.
I sat down with our CFO and senior vice president of finance, Terence Field, to discuss how to keep you and your money safe during the coronavirus (COVID-19). With so much going on right now, it was wonderful to have an engaging conversation with Terry about everything we are doing to keep our staff and members safe. This was streamed live on Facebook on March 18.
Most of the fraudulent acts we see today are common schemes that have been around for years, but they are more effective now than ever before. Why? Our lifestyle, which keeps us constantly “connected,” has made it easier for fraudsters to perpetrate their schemes. Our smart devices: phones, watches, personal computers, autos, televisions, appliances, security cameras, printers, baby monitors, dog treat dispensers, and smart doorbells (just to name a few) help us feel connected but also make us vulnerable to cybercrime. Anything that is connected to and shares data with the internet is part of what is commonly referred to as the internet of things (IOT). Unfortunately, the IOT is also the future of fraud.
As a finance professional, I am frequently asked “what is going to happen to interest rates?” The obvious answer is that interest rates are going to go up and they are going to go down. I just don’t know when they are going to go up or down. If I did, I would be a much wealthier person. The reality is that no one can accurately predict the direction of interest rates.
In January, the Setting Every Community up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 was enacted. The ACT, which is referred to as the SECURE Act, should help Americans take greater control over their retirement funds. The Act describes about 25 provisions, so we will focus on the key changes that will likely have the greatest impact.
February is Black History Month—a time to recognize the role that African American people have had in U.S. history. In celebration, I would like to bring attention to one of the most influential African American women in U.S. history—my favorite author and poet Ms. Maya Angelou.
Buying a home is complicated. Finding a home that meets your needs as well as your budget is a challenge to begin with. Then you will need to navigate the maze of visits, inspections, negotiations, and documents as you work toward the closing. Your real estate agent, mortgage originator, and lawyer can answer many of your questions and will help you through much of the process, but you’ll have a better chance of getting what you need (along with some additional perks) if you educate yourself on the process first.
Mortgage applications can seem overwhelming due to all the documents that are needed in the process. As a mortgage originator, I’m often asked by clients, “why do I need all that paperwork?” I assure them that the documents are needed to keep us both safe.