How to Pick the IRA That’s Right for You.

Get your financial record organized

By opening an IRA, or individual retirement account, you’re preparing yourself for your financial needs down the road. But remember, not all IRAs are created equal. Review the chart below to find the IRA that right for you.

Traditional vs. Roth IRAs

 

Traditional IRA

Roth IRA

Max Contributions

You can contribute up to $17,500 in 2013 & 2014. If you’re 50 or over, you can contribute an additional $5,500 annually.

You can contribute up to $5,500 in 2013 & 2014. If you’re 50 or over, you can contribute an additional $1,000 annually.

Taxes

Your contributions may be tax deductible*
*Consult your tax advisor for deductibility requirements.

Your contributions are not tax deductible. However contributions grow tax free.

Taxation of Withdrawals

Money you take out is subject to Federal and most state income taxes.

Money you take out is not taxed as long as it is a qualified distribution.

Required Distributions

Must start withdrawals before you reach 70 1/2 years old unless you’re still working or you own less than 5% of the IRA.

As long as the owner is still alive, there is no requirement to start withdrawals.

Source: irs.gov/Retirement-Plans/Roth-Comparison Chart

If you have questions or you’re ready to open an IRA, come and talk to us. At IH Mississippi valley Credit Union we can help you find the IRA that’s right for you.

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Three reasons to buy a house in 2014

Three reasons to buy a home in 2014

Cash in on the tax benefits

Mortgage payments and the interest may be tax deductible, whereas rent payments are not. Buying a home could make a difference on your taxes. Each individual’s tax obligations vary. Check with a professional to see if buying a home is the right move for you.

Housing inventory is low

The number of homes for sale in the Quad Cities is at its lowest level since 2001. That’s great news if you already own a home and would like to upgrade or downsize. It creates new inventory for those looking to enter the market and makes selling your home easier.

Mortgage rates are on the rise

Mortgage rates have started to creep up and most analysts agree that trend will continue. If moving is in your future, making the decision sooner rather than later, could mean a lower rate.

For more information about buying a home, click here to use IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union’s mortgage calculators to calculate a mortgage payment, proceeds from the sale of your home and more. Or click here to apply for a home loan today.

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How to create a will without a lawyer

More than half of all Americans don’t have this, how to create a will without breaking the bank

Creating a will is an essential step of financial planning that is often put off. In fact more than 55% of all Americans don’t have one. If you made a resolution to get your finances in order this year, start with your will.

Often, we don’t prepare our wills because of the time and money associated with getting a lawyer. While it’s always good practice to work with legal consul on important estate matters, getting started with a basic do-it-yourself version is better than having nothing at all.

A simple search for “online wills” or “estate planning software” will turn up dozens of sites online where you can create a will for $20 to $100 dollars. AARP recommends Nolo.com, BuildaWill.com and Legalzoom.com as places to start when creating a will online.

These sites walk you through a series of detailed questions to help you create your will. Once you’re done, simply print out a couple of copies. Bring them to the credit union and have them signed by two witnesses and notarized. All IHMVCU branches have notaries available for this purpose. File one copy with your county courthouse and retain another in your home or safe.

And, remember as you experience life changing events, such as a marriage, divorce, the birth of a child, death of a beneficiary or executor; be prepared to make updates. A good rule of thumb is to review your every two or three years.

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Free credit score

Three ways to get a truly free credit score

The word “free” gets tossed around a lot when it comes to getting your credit score. In most cases, you have to sign-up for a trial or credit monitoring service before you can get your credit score.

So today we’re giving you three ways to get a truly free, no-strings-attached credit score.

Ask your lender

When you apply for a loan, your prospective lender pulls your FICO score. This helps them determine if you qualify for the loan and your interest rate. Just ask for a copy.

CreditSesame.com

Just go to the website, fill out the form and you get a truly free credit score from Experian. After that your credit score is sent to you monthly at the email address you provided. No catch. No credit card required.

CreditKarma.com

Similar to CreditSesame.com, you can get a completely free credit score without having to pay a dime. This credit score comes from TransUnion. It’s a good idea to get your score from both Experian and TransUnion, because sometimes the numbers are different, and lenders may take into account multiple scores when deciding if you qualify for a loan and determining your interest rate.

CreditKarma.com also offers your VantageScore, created by the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) to make credit scoring more consistent. It also ranks you on an easy to understand scale from A to F. Just like in class, you want to get an A, but a B is OK.

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Make 2014 the year you build your savings with these strategies

Check out today’s MoneySmarts video to see tips on how and why you should be filling up your savings account.

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Turn your leftovers into tasty meals

Leftovers – love ‘em or hate ‘em. But if the thought of eating turkey sandwiches every day for a week makes you cringe, then today’s IH MoneySmarts blog is for you.

We’ve scoured the Internet for five recipes to turn your holiday leftovers into tasty meals you won’t mind eating again.

Smoky Ham and Corn Salad

Smokey Ham and Corn Salad

This dish is a two-for-one leftover solution that turns your main dish into an appetizer. Use leftover ham and corn tossed together with sour cream, white vinegar, paprika, salt, salad greens, diced tomato and croutons for a delicious salad that doesn’t resemble the carved ham on the dining room table.

Click here for the full recipe.

Green Eggs & Ham Frittata

Green Eggs and Ham Frittata

Turn your dinner into breakfast with this quick recipe. You’ll need leftover ham, eggs, dried dill, salt, pepper, olive oil, leeks, baby spinach and Havarti or Muenster cheese. The best part – besides making use of the leftovers – it only takes 30 minutes to cook.

Click here for the full recipe.

Turkey and Leek Shepards Pie

Turkey and Leek Shepherd’s Pie

Another two-for-one leftover solution, this recipe is great for using up extra turkey, mashed potatoes and carrots from the veggie tray. You’ll also need extra-virgin olive oil, leeks, garlic, dry white wine, flour, sage, chicken broth, peas, salt and pepper.

Click here for the full recipe.

Turkey Salad

Turkey Salad

Here’s another great recipe that turns your main dish into an appetizer. The best part about this recipe is you probably already have most of the ingredients on hand from your holiday feast. Besides turkey, you need celery, green onions, red bell pepper, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, cider vinegar, sugar and salt.

Click here for the full recipe.

Prime Rib with Pasta

You’re not doomed to a week of Italian beef sandwiches if your main dish was prime rib. Combine your leftovers with pasta, olive oil, onion, garlic, beef broth, flour, pepper, parsley and thyme for a tasty twist on this holiday classic.

Click here for the full recipe.

 

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Target Card Compromise – What It Means To You

There’s been a lot in the news recently about Target’s card compromise – but what does that mean for you?

IH Mississippi Valley Credit Union constantly monitors your card activity for fraud. When we were alerted about the Target compromise, we tightened our security settings and have been closely monitoring all cards for fraudulent activity.

How do I know if my credit or debit card was part of the Target card compromise?
If you shopped at a Target store – not target.com – between Nov. 27 – Dec. 15, 2013, you MAY be at risk.

Be proactive. Log into Online Branch and review your account for unauthorized charges. If you find any unauthorized charges, contact IHMVCU at (309) 793-6200, during regular business hours (Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. CST or Saturday 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. CST).

If you do not find any unauthorized charges, continue to review your account. IHMVCU will notify members who are at risk for unauthorized charges, and will provide options to receive a new IHMVCU Visa® credit or debit card.

What if I have a Target REDcard that’s connected to my IHMVCU account?
Please contact Target first at (866) 852-8680 and request a new REDcard.

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Four DIY holiday gifts that won’t break the bank

We’ve all been there. You decide to save money on holiday gifts by making them yourself. Armed with Pinterest, a glue gun and some glitter you dive right in. But before you know it you’ve spent more on supplies than you would have if you just bought something from the store.

IH MoneySmarts is coming to the rescue with four DIY holiday gifts that won’t break the bank.

DIY holiday gift ideas

Monogramed canvas totes

These bags are trendy, handy and are sure to impress – especially when the recipient finds out you made it. For this project, we’re assuming you have an iron and scissors at home.

Here’s what you need to complete this craft:

Canvas tote: $9

Paper doily: $2

Fabric paint: $2

Spray adhesive: $6

Freezer paper: $2

Sponge brush: $2

Total project cost: $23

Click here for the full instructions from Oh Pickles.

DIY holiday gift ideas

DIY Chalk Board

Chalk boards are a hot décor item and making this one yourself will ensure the recipient loves it even more. For this project, we’re assuming you have access to a saw, a drill and painters tape. Keep in mind that you can make six chalk boards for the same price, so this could be a fun DIY gift for several people on your holiday gift list.

Here’s what you need to complete this craft:

2” x 12” x 8” board: $12

Wood finial: $10

Wood stain: $5

Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Spray Paint: $4

Total project cost: $31, or $5.17 per gift

Click here for the full instructions from Shanty 2 Chic.

DIY holiday gift ideas

Stemware snow globes

These cute decorations will look great as an accent piece for the table or on the mantle. Use old glasses you’re not using anymore, or go to your local thrift shop for fancy stemware for about $1 a piece. For this project, we’re assuming you have cardboard (from a cracker or cereal box, or greeting card) at home.

Here’s what you need to complete this craft:

Plastic reindeer or pine trees: $5

Artificial snow: $3

Glue gun: $5

Scrapbooking paper: $1

Total project cost: $14

Click here for the full instructions from Family Chic.

DIY holiday gift ideas 

Cookies in a Jar

This is another great DIY holiday craft to make in bulk. Just get enough ingredients for your favorite cookie recipe, divide them evenly over a collection of mason jars, then top with a bow or a scrap of holiday fabric.

Here’s what you’ll need to complete this craft:

Mason jars and lids: $17 for a box of 12

Gift tags to write cooking instructions on: $3

Fabric or bows: $5

Cookie ingredients: $10-$20

Total project cost: $35 – $45, or $2.91 – $3.75 per gift

Click here for the full instructions and recipes that look as good as they taste from On Campus. 

 

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