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Year-End Retirement Savings Strategies

Whether your retirement unfolds as a beautiful dream or a scary nightmare depends largely on the financial decisions you make today. But if retirement planning is brand-new to you, you’re not alone. The average working household has very little cash saved for retirement and about 45% of working-age households have no retirement savings at all, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security. However, you still have time this year to start building a retirement fund and gain a tax advantage in the process. Calculate your target How much will you actually need for retirement? Chances are, quite a lot. Retirement may last anywhere from 15 to 20 years or more, and you’ll need somewhere between 70% and 90% of your pre-retirement income annually to live comfortably. Don’t count on Social Security to cover this; many people experience some shortfall. To determine yours, contact the Social Security Administration online or

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What to Look for in a Teen Checking Account

Learning how to manage money at an early age can help set up children for a financially stable future. Since they won’t want to keep their allowance in a shoebox forever, familiarizing themselves with the nuts and bolts of a checking account is an important milestone. Many financial institutions offer teen checking accounts, which serve as an excellent introduction to the sometimes complicated world of banking. To get you and your child started, here’s an overview of features to look for as well as some insight into ground rules you may want to establish before signing up for an account. How teen checking accounts work Although many financial institutions offer checking accounts for customers as young as 13, most require at least one parent or guardian to serve as a joint account holder for those under 18. Ultimately, this is in everyone’s best interest, as it reduces the risk of

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How Instant Alerts Work On All Student Debit Card Activity

It comes as no surprise today that our lives are busy. Everyone has a lot on their plate and communication is very important if we want to teach and protect our students. Today we can use technology to our advantage when watching out for our student’s financial well-being. Wouldn’t it be great to know when your student uses their debit card and what purpose? Now we have the ability to do just that. Using our new Surety Bank app, you can monitor all your student’s activity instantly from your mobile device. There are two major benefits of having this technology at your finger tips. Protect your student Knowing where your student is using their debit card can give you the ability to keep track of where their money is being spent. If a purchase doesn’t seem quite right or seems to be in an area where your student isn’t or

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Fan For Life!

Mary Parker Sizemore Mary Parker Sizemore has been a Surety fan most of her life. In fact, her grandfather, Casper Howorth, helped start Surety Bank during the Great Depression. While many banks went under during that unfortunate time in our country, Surety Bank made it through. At that time, Surety Bank was Surety Building and Loan. This small bank in a small Florida town was a pillar of the community during a time when our country was shaky. As a Stockholder at Surety, Sizemore understands not only what it’s like to be a customer, but she knows what is happening behind the scenes. She is proud to tell people about Surety Bank; that today they are bringing in more new accounts than ever before. In fact, friends that don’t know Sizemore’s family connection and Shareholder status tell her that they have switched all of their accounts over to Surety because

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Local Business Owner and Long-standing Customer

Ronald Swintek Ronald Swintek is one of Surety Bank’s most valued customers. As the owner of a local business, Deland Reliable Cars and Trucks, Ronald’s need for a quality bank that could partner with him was crucial to the success of his business. Swintek started the used car operation as an independent dealer about 13 years ago. He found that he could meet a great need in his community of selling roughly two year old cars that were in great shape and trustworthy, but without the price tag of a brand new car. Ten years ago, Surety was able to help them buy the land to build their new location. Because of Surety backing them to purchase the land with such a great mortgage, they continue with great success today. Swintek is so grateful for the opportunity to get into his business with Surety’s help, he says that he has

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The single most important asset your child needs to succeed financially.

After 40 years of Stanford research, it’s conclusive that people with the quality of delayed gratification are more likely to succeed. – James Clear Marshmallow Experiment Published in 1972, the “Marshmallow Experiment” uncovered one of the most important attributes of a life that is on the path to success. Here’s what happened. A researcher would bring a child into a private room and sit them down in a chair. In front of them they would place a marshmallow on the table. Then, the researcher told the child he was going to leave the room and if the marshmallow was still there when he came back he would reward the child with another marshmallow. If they ate it, they wouldn’t get another one. Simple, right? Get one treat now or two later. As you might imagine, most children gobbled up the marshmallow while only a few were able to wait the

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6 Common Banking Mistakes

Financial education is something that many of us only acquire through painful experience. Even though everyone needs this information, it simply isn’t taught the way that it should be. Because of this, many of us fall prey to costly banking mistakes. The following is a list of five of the most common of these mistakes. Know Your Account One banking mistake that a lot of people make is that of failing to calculate the true cost of maintaining an account. Banks sometimes offer interest rates that look attractive; the problem is that some of these accounts also come with steep fees attached. For an account with a modest balance, any gains made from interest payments could be swallowed up by maintenance fees. Taking the time to run the numbers when you open your account will help you avoid this common banking pitfall. Check Your Bank Statements Another frequently made banking

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3 Ways to Use Business Loans for Expansion

If you have been in business for a while you may be ready to expand it up to the next level. No doubt, when you were a start-up business, you took the time to do all the research needed to begin on a trajectory toward success. You likely sought advisors for the best approach. You were investing a lot in terms of time, money and hard work to get your doors open. Perhaps you are looking back at the success of your plan and wondering what direction to take for expansion. Choosing the right one will, of course, depend on the type of business. You may need to find a new location, hire more employees, increase administrative systems and management teams or purchase new equipment. Here are three possible directions that could grow your business and increase your profitability with the help of a business loan. Expand Through Hiring A

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Top 5 Commercial Real Estate Loan Questions We Answer On A Daily Basis

As businesses grow in success and vision they often seek to buy commercial property that will give them more control and stability for their business. As they investigate this possibility, we field many questions they have about the process and how the lending may differ from personal real estate loans. The following are five of the most common asked questions potential commercial buyers ask. 1. How much money will I need to put down? Generally an owner/occupied property will require a minimum of 15% down. If it is not owner/occupied than there is a minimum of 25% required. Obviously, the more you put down the less you pay over time. If you do have the available cash but choose not to put it down on the loan; it would be wise to insure you are getting a good return on your money versus interest paid on the loan. 2. How

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The Real Impact A Business Loan Can Have On A Local Business

Time for Strategic Planning Small businesses are the heartbeat of a local community. The services and products provided by these businesses are the lifeblood that make a community desirable and keep it thriving. But so often, for the business, it can feel like they’ve been caught up in a current and they are just keeping their head above water. The urgency of meeting the customer’s needs keep them moving with no time to think about ways to improve profitability or enhance the customer’s experience. A small business loan can provide the opportunity for a business owner to be more strategic with their business plan. Without the pressure of focusing on the daily financial quota needed, the business can take the time to explore how to manage more effectively. Perhaps they will need to adjust their prices more appropriately. Depending on the services or products provided they may need to seek

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