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Connections - Winter 2014

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Welcome 2014

From the entire staff of Melrose Credit Union, we wish you and your family a wonderful and prosperous New Year. We are excited to ring in the New Year with innovative financial services that make a difference in your life.

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Protect Your Tablet And Smartphone -

Fight Back Against ID Theft

Identity thieves are continuously coming up with newer and better ways to snare victims. The latest attacks target tablets and smartphones, the newest and best account access commodities on the market.

Social media and email scams are also on the rise, however. Consider these tips when conducting financial business online, and you’ll be sure your accounts are protected.

Beware the “false sense of security.” Criminals have really upped the ante when it comes to scams. “When you define ‘technically savvy,’ are they [consumers] really technically savvy?” asks Robert Siciliano of Internet security company McAfee.

His question is pertinent, because Siciliano has written a number of books concerning ID theft and how to prevent it. The theft expert mentioned that older adults typically believe they know more about identity theft than they really do. But newer scams are cropping up all the time, so it’s best to be continually researching how best to protect your cell phone and computers from hackers.

Always use a password. Not password-protecting your device is a huge hole in personal protection. If your tablet or smartphone is lost or stolen, it’s easy for thieves to access your personal account information unless your accounts are password protected. “Once you own the person’s email, you own the person.

Rest assured that Melrose Credit Union uses the most updated technology available to protect your accounts on our end. If you ever see suspicious activity on any of your accounts, please contact us immediately – we are here to help.

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President's Message

We hope the holidays were a special time for you this past year. We are proud to note that Melrose Credit Union had another successful year financially.

We continue to grow and add new members with each passing day. By continuing to offer you low-cost services that are designed to save you money you can feel confident that your credit union has your best interest at heart.

Check Out Our Business Services, Too

It’s impossible to predict the economy’s future, but at Melrose Credit Union we provide you with the tools you need to succeed financially. Our business loans can help you get your business off to a great start at a low cost. Plus, we have expanded our EZ Business Accounts to provide you with more affordable products and services. Call our Business Services Team at 718-658-9800 to learn more.

Best Wishes!

We look forward to providing you with affordable and convenient services throughout 2014, and we thank you for your continuing loyalty and support.

Sincerely,

Lee Komitor, President

 

P.S. Please join us at the credit union’s 92nd Annual Meeting on Sunday, March 30th.

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Incredible Mortgage Savings

Refinancing Also Availablehousemoney

Interest rates on Mortgages are still lower than they have been in years. Now is a great time to consider your first home purchase or to refinance your current property.

Choose Melrose CU For Your Home Loan

Refinance your current mortgage at Melrose CU and save money each month.

Melrose offers very competitive Fixed and Adjustable Rate Mortgages with terms up to 30 years. To learn more about which mortgage is right for you, visit www. melrosecumortgagewebcenter.com; click on Resource Center.

We Have A Mortgage Solution For Everyone.

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Low Jumbo Rates Moving Homebuyers To Melrose

Interest rates on Jumbo Mortgages are still lower than they have been in years. As recently noted in Credit Union Times, credit unions are lowering their interest rates to be more competitive in the Jumbo Mortgage market.

Melrose CU offers Jumbo Mortgages with affordable rates, plus financing terms up to 30 years. You can save thousands by choosing Melrose Credit Union for your Jumbo Loan. Visit www.melrosecu.org/products/jumbo-mortgages for a convenient loan calculator, rates and more information.

Source: Credit Union Times

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How Prepared Are You?

Half Of NYC Voters Age 50+ Will Delay Retirement*

No matter where you are in life – a high school student considering college, a card-carrying member of the rat race, or a dedicated worker getting closer to retirement each year – it’s never too late to think about planning for a better future. The more prepared you are, the better off you will be!

Unfortunately, the cost of retirement rises with each passing year. Despite the recent increase in home prices and equities, about half of American households won't be able to keep up their living standards in retirement.

Many Americans near the end of their working lives are afraid they won’t have enough money for a good retirement. At Melrose Credit Union, our goal is to ensure that you attain your monetary goals so you can enjoy retirement when it arrives.

The Earlier, The Better

Another thing to consider is that you are likely to live another 20-30 years after age 65 without a paycheck. The typical American child born today will retire at age 77 in 2090, forecasts PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Mr. Ed Huttick, CFP, our FREE certified financial planner, would be happy to discuss your financial future and offer advice on meeting your future goals. Call him at (718) 523-1300 or stop by the credit union to learn more.

“Being retired and having no income is very scary for us…
even if he works two or three days , he won’t have to dip into his savings.”

– Carol, 68, and Larry Spiegelman, 71, of Manhattan, as quoted by the New York Post

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Faster Tax Refunds Now!

With Direct Deposit, there’s no better way to receive any type of payment into your account. The same is true for your tax refund. Direct deposit makes it easy and fast. It’s also the safest way to receive your money. Combined with e-file, your refund will be deposited into your account inkeyboard about 10 days. Effective 2014, any benefit payments received from the government will require a Direct Deposit account. This must be implemented no later than March 31, 2014. To ensure proper credit, include the Melrose Credit Union ABA #226075482. The savings account information is the five-digit account number following the string of zeros on the Melrose statement and the Melrose checking account is the 14-digit account number at the bottom of your Melrose check.

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E-Z, Convenient And FREE

Melrose Has It All When It Comes To Convenience!

With E-Z Checking from Melrose Credit Union, you can make life easier and more affordable. There are no monthly services charges, plus once you have an account, you have access to all of our great 24/7 convenience services. You’ll love the easy, hassle-free way to manage your accounts at Melrose CU!

As an added plus, you’ll earn dividends on average daily balances of $500 or more in your E-Z Checking Account.

Make The Switch To E-Z Checking And You Will Enjoy:

  • FREE Checking With No Minimum Balance Requirement
  • SURCHARGE-FREE Access At Over 5,500 ATMs Through The Co-Op Network
  • FREE Account Access Through The CU Service Center Network
  • FREE Money Management With EZMoneyOnline
  • FREE E-Z Bill Pay
  • FREE ATM Or Debit Card

Give These FREE Services A Try TodaySharedBranchCOOP

If you need help making the switch from your current institution or want to add any of these services to your current Melrose CU account, come see us! To learn more, stop by today or visit www.melrosecu.org.

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Plan For A Better Future

memberBrokerage

Are you feeling confused about investing and what your future holds when it comes to retirement

The professionals at MEMBER BROKERAGE SERVICE, LLC, will be happy to sit down with you and discuss your goals for the future. Whether you’re just starting out or approaching retirement soon, MBS can help. You’ll also have peace of mind working with someone you can trust.

MBS is another trusted service brought to you by Melrose Credit Union. Ed Huttick, CFP, investment professional at MBS, will be happy to listen to your needs and help you make the right financial decisions for you, your family, and your business. They can also help with a variety of insurance and investment needs – for every life stage.

MBS Offers Valuable, Money-Saving Assistance With:

  • Automobile Insurance
  • Annuities
  • Homeowners & Renters Insurance
  • Business Insurance
  • Disability Insurance
  • Workers Compensation & DBL
  • Long Term Care Insurance
  • Taxi & Livery Insurance
  • Life & Health Insurance

Contact Us Today

To schedule your complimentary consultation with Ed Huttick, CFP, today, please call (718) 523-1300 ext. 1136 or stop by the third floor of the Melrose Credit Union Financial Center.

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Plan For A Better Retirement

Choose A Melrose Credit Union Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

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When it comes to investing, you have plenty of viable options at Melrose CU. Take a look at our portfolio of tax-saving IRAs:

Traditional IRA – This IRA is designed for long-term retirement planning. It also offers potential tax savings today, because funds aren’t taxed until withdrawals are made in retirement.

Roth IRA – This account allows you to establish a savings account for retirement, but with money that has already been taxed. When you make withdrawals in retirement, the funds you receive will be tax-free.

IRA Share Certificates – These interest-bearing Share Certificates are housed within your IRA, and function like a Traditional IRA. You will still receive the same tax benefits. Your minimum investment for an IRA Share Certificate is $4,000.

Stop by or give us a call to open your IRA today.

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Melrose Now Accepting College Scholarship Applications

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2014 Statewide Scholarship Program

Melrose Credit Union is offering college-bound high school seniors the opportunity to compete for statewide college scholarships. Scholarships will be awarded in the amounts of $1,000 and $500 and may be used at a two- or four-year accredited educational institution.

Students can take advantage of this opportunity by completing three simple steps:

  1. Stop in at Melrose to request a scholarship application form, or visit www.melrosecu.org to download an electronic application. All scholarship applicants are required to be members of Melrose Credit Union.
  2. Complete the application form and required essay and obtain the required transcripts, along with the signature of a parent or guardian. Complete the application form on our website.
  3. Return the completed application and supportive materials to the Melrose Marketing department no later than January 31, 2014.

There is no fee for submitting an application, but applicants MUST be:

  • Members of Melrose
  • College-bound high school seniors at the time of application
  • Attending either a two- or four-year accredited educational institution for the first time in the fall of 2014.

In early spring, applications will be judged against other submissions statewide. Winners will be announced in April.

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Credit Union Taxation On The Horizon?

Banks Still Favored By Most Americans, But A Distrust After The Financial Crisis
Have Made Credit Unions A Fast-Growing Competitor

Banking sources say tax reform is their best chance in years to change the century-old tax status of their chief competitors - credit unions. Its no secret that banks and credit unions have been sniping publicly for years. Repeal of the credit union tax exemption is the No. 1 priority for the Independent Community Bankers of America. Banking trade groups are also pushing local associations to end the tax exemption.

Banks Are Different From Credit Unions

Owned by and for their members, credit unions stepped up following the financial crisis and helped many Americans through challenging times. Democrats have come out most firmly in support of credit unions. Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) said, "I have and will continue to support credit unions' taxexempt status." Ryan Donovan, senior vice president for legislative affairs at the Credit Union National Association, says, "We're out there helping consumers get loans and helping consumers acquire and maintain savings, while banks exist to make money for their shareholders."

There isn't a member of Congress that has come out publicly and said, 'Hey, let's tax credit unions,' Donovan said.

Make sure to tell your Congress members

“DO NOT TAX MY CREDIT UNION”

Gratitude: Keep It Flowing Through 2014

The start of a new year is the time when we make resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking, or make promises that may or may not last.

As 2014 unfolds, let's take a collective vow to be grateful for the little things in life. The truth is, gratitude is important in our daily lives as it brings joy, lessens stress and makes our lives more meaningful.

Positivity is contagious!

We hope you enjoy the New Year, and we personally thank you for being a member at Melrose Credit Union. For that we are truly grateful.

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Brrr! Easy Ways To Save $$ On Energy Costs

No need to spend a fortune trying to conserve energy. Here are some easy tips:coldman

Replace light bulbs – Improvements made to compact fluorescent bulbs show 70 percent less energy used than incandescent bulbs, while LED lighting could cut your energy demand by 30 percent. Small change, big payoff!

Use a power strip for your electronics – Ever heard of “phantom loads”? That’s the energy that’s used when devices like cell phone and MP3 chargers are plugged in and pull electricity. That’s costing you money. Plug all such devices into a power strip and turn it off while not in use.

Retire old appliances – Start replacing all major appliances that are ten years or older. An ENERGY STAR-qualified refrigerator, for instance, can save enough energy to light an average house for nearly four months.

Raise the humidity – This sounds strange, but you can tolerate cooler indoor temperatures when it’s cooler outside if you increase the moisture in the air. Steps like not ventilating bathrooms after a shower can accomplish this or run a humidifier.

For more ideas, visit www.energy.gov.

Source: U.S. Dept. of Energy

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Melrose Place

walkingMaking Melrose Credit Union A Better Place

On Sunday, October 20, 2013 the Melrose CU/MBS team joined thousands of walkers in Flushing Meadows Corona Park to make strides against breast cancer. Walkers came from all across New York City as well as Nassau and Suffolk counties.

The Melrose CU team consisted of staff members, board members, family members, friends and even a few pets!

We are proud to announce that our team raised $12,197 for this fantastic cause.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the walk and those who volunteered their time. We appreciate the baked goods that were sold at our bake sale and also the donations of tote bags and water bottles.

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Holiday Closings & Important Dates

Martin Luther King Day
Monday, January 20, 2014

Presidents’ Day
Monday, February 17, 2014

Annual Meeting
Sunday, March 30, 2014

Memorial Day
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Monday, May 26, 2014

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The Melrose Taxi Stand

Your Taxi Industry 411taxi

NYC Cabs Rated Second Best In World

The votes are in, and New York City cabdrivers have been declared nearly best in the world in a survey conducted by Hotels.com.

While black taxis in London took first place, NYC cabbies received second place amongst thousands of respondents.

The Hotels.com researchers noted that NYC cabs topped in two categories: value for money and availability.

We are proud to service this industry dedicated to excellence.

Source: amNEWYORK

A Cautionary Tale

One New York Livery driver was arrested for credit card fraud last November for a fairly simple scam that was actually quite lucrative – until the driver was caught. He allegedly ripped off customers in up to 35 incidents.

“He was charming,” one customer reportedly said. “It’s all about letting your guard down,” said another. “I was asking him stories about himself. He said he came from a little town in India.”

After taking one customer’s card, he appeared to wrap it in a receipt and give it back to her. The scammer had actually handed the customer the wrong card on purpose, and kept her card for his own personal use.

“It was quite a sophisticated little scam,” the victim admitted.

The perpetrator has been charged with grand larceny and identity theft, and is currently jailed.

Source: New York Post

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Consumer Alert: Bogus Charity Solicitations

scamalert

Bogus Charity Solicitations

Consumer affairs officers around the country are warning people to be careful regarding charity submissions. Some faux charities can make their requests for money seem very legitimate.

Watch out for charities that:

  • Have names similar to more well-known charities
  • Thank you for donations you have never made
  • Use high-pressure sales tactics or emotional pleas

Before donating, always research a charity online and look for a history of scams and complaints. Visit www.charitiesnys.com or www.charitywatch.org to learn more.

Source: East Meadow Beacon

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