Last updated 9 days ago
Countless Virginians dream of someday owning a home. However, life can make it difficult to turn the dream into a reality. If you have the finances and the will to buy a home, you should try to get over the real or imagined barriers in the way of owning a home and make 2014 the year you enter the housing market. Here are a few reasons to get into the game sooner rather than later:
Prices Will Go Up
After the housing bubble burst in early 2006, average home prices began to slide until reaching a low point in 2012. Home prices increased by about 5% in 2013 and are expected to climb further in 2014. Instead of kicking yourself for not buying real estate in 2012, consider rectifying your mistake by buying in 2014. It is unlikely home prices will be this low in the near future.
Interest Rates Will Increase
Over the past several years, the Federal Reserve has spent billions of dollars in an attempt to reduce mortgage interest rates and jumpstart the housing market. Now that the housing market has made substantial gains, the Federal Reserve has announced their intension to taper its contributions. Experts agree this will cause mortgage interest rates to climb in 2014 and beyond.
There’s a Lot of Inventory
Thanks to an increase in home prices, more people have put their homes on the market. This is a great relief to homebuyers, as low inventory in the years before 2012 made competition fierce among buyers. If you were discouraged from buying a home a few years ago, you might give it another try in 2014—you will likely find many more options to choose from.
When you are ready to buy a home in the Fredericksburg area, contact the home mortgage experts at NSWC Federal Credit Union. We are a member-owned financial institution with the best interests of our members at heart. Call (877) 274-2805 to speak with a credit union representative.
Last updated 13 days ago
For most of the workforce, retirement seems like such a long way off it is not even worth thinking about. However, the earlier you start planning your retirement, the less time you will spend worrying about money later. Here is a brief look at common retirement planning mistakes and how you can avoid them:
Not Saving Enough Money
Many people assume they will spend a lot less money when they retire and underestimate the amount they need to save as a result. These people often fail to consider the effect inflation, medical bills, and free time will have on their savings. Though Social Security and Medicare will provide some assistance, it may not be enough. To make sure you save enough money for your retirement, you should overestimate the amount you need to save.
Putting Too Much Money into Bonds
While investing in bonds can be a wise financial decision, there is such a thing as putting too much money into bonds. For years, the general rule was to invest heavily in low-risk bonds upon retirement. These days, however, it is much more difficult for bond returns to keep up with inflation. Modern financial advisors advise retirees to grow their fortunes more quickly by shifting more of their money into stocks.
Keeping Separate Individual Accounts
Many spouses do not have the foresight to merge their bank accounts before or during retirement. This makes it very difficult for one spouse to access the other spouse’s account in the event of a stroke or death. Retirement accounts, such as IRAs or 401ks, can be similarly difficult to access if there is no power of attorney. Obtaining power of attorney or the authority to act in another’s stead, is very important for retired couples.
If you have any questions about retirement, call NSWC Federal Credit Union at (877) 274-2805. We offer retirement planning services to Virginia residents living in and around Fredericksburg. Visit our website to learn all about IRAs and other common retirement accounts.
Last updated 16 days ago
Like most Americans, you are probably always looking for ways to increase your wealth. However, understanding and navigating various markets can be very difficult if you are not sure what you are doing.
Once you download the Bloomberg for Smartphone app, you can have the latest market data available any time you need it. The easy-to-understand charts and graphs can provide valuable insight into your financial decisions and ultimately help enhance your wealth. With the assistance of this app and a reliable credit union, you can get one step closer to meeting your financial goals.
The team at NSWC Federal Credit Union will gladly supply you with all the information and services you need for financial success. We have four locations in northeast Virginia. Call (877) 274-2805 if you have any questions.
Last updated 20 days ago
One of the best things about college is it helps budding adults learn how to be independent. Within a few months, most college students learn independence comes with an equal measure of responsibility. Financial responsibility is an especially important lesson for college students. Read on to discover a few financial tips for your time in college.
Don’t Abuse Credit Cards
All the money you charge on a credit card will need to be paid back in full. If you allow one month’s outstanding balance to carry over into the next month, you will have to pay interest. The main purpose of your credit card should not be to buy expensive things, but to help you build credit. As such, you should use your credit card sparingly and avoid using it for things you ca not otherwise afford.
Cut Down on Coffee
Most college campuses have plenty of places where students can grab meals or drinks between classes. While a $3 coffee may not seem like a huge expense, buying the same cup of coffee every day can make a huge dent in your budget. Instead of purchasing food and drinks from vendors, consider brewing coffee in your room and packing your own lunches. Also, do not forget your meal plan!
Leave the Car at Home
The convenience of having a car on campus rarely outweighs the cost. In addition to paying for parking, you have gas, insurance and maintenance costs to consider. To free up funds for more college activities, consider leaving your car at your parent’s house. Most college towns are easy to navigate by foot, bike or public transportation.
If you would like to take out a credit card or open a new checking account, NSWC Federal Credit Union would be glad to help. We love providing our outstanding services to our college students. Call (877) 274-2805 or visit our website to find out how we can help with your finances.
Last updated 23 days ago
2014 has begun and millions of Americans have resolved to make serious lifestyle changes over the next 12 months. One of the most popular resolutions is to scale back spending and start saving. Unfortunately, most people have trouble staying focused on their financial goals.
One of the best ways to stick to your financial resolution is to make sure it is not too ambitious. Instead of vowing to save $1,000 a month, consider whittling your savings to a more achievable $500 a month. Though it may seem obvious, buying fewer items is a very important tip to keep in mind. Think twice before buying something you do not absolutely need and try to look for deals on food and other essential items. Another good tip is to develop a hobby which passes the time without draining your bank account. Jogging, writing and learning a new language are all excellent choices.
If you are thinking of opening a new savings account in Fredericksburg or Dahlgren, Virginia, call NSWC Federal Credit Union at (877) 274-2805. We can also set you up with an IRA, a business checking account and provide numerous other financial services.