Money Matters: Taxing Social Security

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Hey, did you know that you might have to pay income tax on your Social Security benefits?

Not everyone does, but if you continue to work past retirement age, as many people do these days, your tax liability will be based on your salary, plus tax-free income, plus one-half of your Social Security benefits. This could result in a portion of your benefits being taxed.

The tax rate will vary depending on your total income. The lower the income, the lower the ...

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Money Matters: Missing a Mortgage Payment

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Hey! If you’re worried about missing a mortgage payment, here are four options to consider that will save you time and money down the road.

Option 1: Contact your lender and let them know about your financial hardship. They may work with you to minimize overall financial losses and difficulties.

Option 2: A loan modification is when the lender and borrower agree to permanent new loan terms.

Option 3: In a forbearance agreement, monthly payments are temporarily suspended or reduced. Expect to pay ...

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Money Matters: Secure Mobile Banking

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Hey! Interested in the convenience of mobile banking, but worried about security? Here are 5 tips to keep your money safe.

  1. Use a unique password, and keep it secret.
  2. Check your connection. Website addresses that start with “https://“ indicate you are on a secure site.
  3. If someone contacts you and claims to work for your bank, contact your bank directly to verify the person is actually a representative.
  4. Regularly monitor your accounts and transactions so that you can spot and report fraud to your ...
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Money Matters: Four C’s of Home Loans

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Hey! Today, let’s talk about the 4 C’s of home loans, the factors that lenders consider before making a home loan.

The 4 C’s of loan and credit are: capacity, capital, credit and collateral.

Capacity is your present and future payment obligations, as well as your debt to income ratio. Capital is the value of your assets, including cash, savings, investments, property, and other things that you could sell for cash. Credit is how responsibly you have paid bills or debts in ...

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Money Matters: Small Changes

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Hey! Did you know that a cup of coffee and a bag lunch can change your life?

Throughout the day, we think about the things we want: a Frappuccino from Starbucks. A new car. A trip to Hawaii.

Fact is, giving up the small things can help you get the big ones. For example, packing a lunch instead of eating out every day could save $50-$60 per week, or $200 a month, or $1200 to $1500 per year! Make your own coffee ...

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Money Matters: Why Get Insurance

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Hey! Do you ever wonder why you need insurance?

You might think it’s to protect your stuff, but actually it’s to protect your family.

Insurance is a contract made between you and the insurance company that protects you, as well as your family, from unexpected emergencies or losses.

Some forms of insurance are required by law, while others are optional.

Insurance may seem like an extra expense at first, as you have to pay a monthly premium for the policy, but long term it ...

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Money Matters: Budget Bubbles

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Hey! Did you know that budgeting doesn’t have to be painful?

Fact is, it could actually be fun!

Southern Bank offers the Budget Bubble tool in online banking. It shows where your money is going and allows you to set up your own categories. Next you assign a goal for each category. Then the tool automatically shows you when you are on target (green), close to your target (yellow), or on your target budget (red).

The Budget Bubble tool is handy since you ...

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Money Matters: Credit vs. Debit

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Hey. Do you know the difference between a credit card and a debit card?

When you use a credit card, it basically means you’re taking a loan from your bank. If you pay the full amount each month on time, there is no extra cost. But if you only pay part of the balance, it can get very expensive. You’ll be charged interest, and if you’re late, there could be penalties as well.

A debit card, on the other hand, takes the ...

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Money Matters: Mobile and Online Banking

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Hey! If you haven’t started using online or mobile banking yet, here are some things you should know:

Number 1: It’s simple, flexible, and convenient. You can access your bank information, transfer money, and make payments whenever and wherever you have an internet connection.

Number 2: It’s secure. It may even be more secure than carrying around credit or debit cards, which can be stolen or compromised. Make sure to password-protect your phone and log out of all financial apps after using, ...

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Money Matters: Family Financial Conversations Between Generations

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Hey! Do you know how to have the hard conversations about money with your family? Here are four topics to get your conversations started.

Number 1: Where to find key documents, including bank account information, documentation of any assets or liabilities, deeds, titles, and life insurance.

Number 2: Plans in case of illness. Who will be the power of attorney when a loved one falls ill?

Number 3: It’s a good idea to document increased and ongoing healthcare needs, and discuss those needs ...

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