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Protect Yourself In This Unique Market

Since the 1970s, South Florida has rebounded from FIVE recessions. Power Financial Credit Union has rallied through them all serving only South Florida from 1951. We have identified five things all South Floridians need to do to protect ourselves in this unique market. We need to understand our mortgages. During the worst of the recession, Florida ranked #1 in foreclosures and in the number of home mortgages with delinquent payments. With construction back to being our #1 industry, there will be even more homes available on the market.  Understand that the interest rate on a fixed rate mortgage will not change over the life of the loan so your monthly payment will always remain the same. This loan is best suited for families who wish to remain in the home for a significant amount of time. Alternatively, an adjustable rate mortgage is better suited for families who wish to stay in their home for a short period of time. The low interest rate will remain fixed for a set period of time before increasing. For example, a 7-1 adjustable rate loan will remain fixed for seven years then will reset to current market rates on the eighth year. While figures, facts and outlooks were hazy, the one thing that was clear during the recession was the fact that many South Floridians did not fully understand their mortgages. We need one year of savings. For years, we were told to save for six months of hardship. However, the Great Recession saw an increase in the number of long term unemployed workers (those unemployed 27 weeks or longer) reaching an all-time...

It’s The End of the World

Everyone sing along if you know the words: “It’s the end of the world as we know itIt’s the end of the world as we know it It’s the end of the world as we know itAnd I feel fine.” The refrain from that catchy REM tune calls into question the supposed end of the world on FRIDAY!!!!  Depending on who you believe, December 21st is either going to be the end of the world or the beginning of a new era according to the Mayan calendar.  Maybe the Mayans were really great economists and realized that there was going to be an impending fiscal cliff which would be the start of the new era.  Then, of course, we have missile launches in North Korea, the UK financial debacle, the US financial debacle, Israel on the brink of war, and on and on.  Perhaps the Mayans were great statisticians and realized that anytime a society is advanced enough to make it to the end of roughly 394 years as the Mayan calendar defined this current period, there are bound to be some major weaknesses in the infrastructure somewhere. So..the big questions…do I wait to pay my credit card bills until AFTER the 21st?  If I have not started my holiday shopping, should I wait until the 22nd since I really hate going to the mall?  Seriously though, this type of impending doom, does make you think about who and what you would spend your time with if you knew that you only had a few days left. And isn’t that really the message of the holiday season..to slow down..focus...

Holiday Season

Welcome back!  It usually takes a few days to fully recover from the sugar highs and overall sleepiness that the huge Thanksgiving meals (and subsequent leftovers) cause.  Now that Thanksgiving has passed, we focus on the December festivities.  It’s time to decorate the house for the holidays which includes putting up the lights (I always flash to the scene in “Christmas Vacation” where Chevy Chase connects the final two extension cords to the lights on his house and they are so bright that they temporarily blind two pilots in an airplane flying over the house), putting up all of the decorations inside the house (the bins holding these decorations are like rabbits and seem to multiply while in storage),  and the baking of the holiday cookies (so much for getting rid of that sugar high from Thanksgiving)!  At least the weather is cooling down so the work outside will be more enjoyable.  And if you have young children at home, it is time to start hiding the elf on the shelf.  This is one of the highlights of the holiday season in our house mostly because the kids wake up every morning trying to find where the elf is and I perform feats only known to Cirque Du Soleil performers trying to get the elf in the most impossible spot in the house so the kids are amazed at the places he can reach!!!  All of this activity can be overwhelming so the best way to reduce the stress is to plan out the activities over a two week period. One or two small items after work each day...

Happy Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is the day that we all set aside once a year to get together and give thanks to the original set of pilgrims who made the almost unbearable journey overseas to America. Their journey was plagued with sickness, disease, awful living conditions, and a shortness of food and fresh water. Today we get upset if our commute home is blocked by traffic or if we are without air conditioning for more than an hour! Two words to remember this Thanksgiving are PERSERVERANCE and FELLOWSHIP. Even after the pilgrims made it to America, they continued to battle sickness, disease, and terrible winters with limited supplies, but their perseverance drove them past these obstacles to create the settlements that would eventually be part of the American colonies. That brings us to the other side of Thanksgiving. It was the Indians who eventually taught the pilgrims how to plant crops and hunt game. It was a partnership between two different cultures that vastly helped the pilgrims survive. So too FELLOWSHIP played an important role in Thanksgiving. It’s easy to dismiss Thanksgiving as a holiday with good food, good company, great football, and family memories that last forever. But let’s remember that Thanksgiving is also a celebration of the PERSEVEARNCE and FELLOWSHIP of the original pilgrims. Two traits that can continue to make us successful...

Home Projects

Cooler weather also is a great opportunity to work on inside projects as well such as installing shelving or new insulation in your attic for better energy efficiency, putting in those wood floors you have been wanting for awhile or even painting the inside of your house!  Any job that requires cooler temperatures in the working area or ventilating the house by keeping the windows open for instance interior painting or flooring is perfect for this time of year. We are here to help you with those projects (we won’t be there at 6AM on a Saturday morning to help you paint though) with great financial products that are geared toward home improvement.  Our Home Equity Line of Credit is an excellent vehicle to use for home improvement and you can use the money as you need it by writing a check or transferring funds to your Power Financial Credit Union checking account.  Rates on mortgages are still at historical lows so if you have been in your house for awhile, you can probably refinance the mortgage with us, lower your payment, and take some cash out of the deal to pay for the home projects you want to complete. Come on South Florida..let’s get some of those...