Monthly Archives: August 2013

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Planning for Retirement

If someone were to tell you that you could no longer work and had to live on your current savings for the next 20 years, could you do it? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average American spends 20 years in retirement and needs 70 – 90 percent of their pre-retirement income to survive.

Earlier this summer, USA Today reported that the median savings for people that are 10 years out from retirement is just around $12,000. Don’t put yourself in the situation where you meet with a financial planner, on the brink of retirement, only to find out you have spent your life not saving enough.

  • If you’re just starting off in a career, be sure to participate in and maximize your contributions to your company’s 401(k) plan. If your employer matches, be sure to contribute enough to get the highest match you can.
  • If you’re within 10-15 years of retirement, start mapping out your expectations. Maybe you plan on being frugal and/or maintaining your current lifestyle, but if you have dreams of grand vacations or other expenditures, plan for that while you can (a recent report showed that the lifestyle people envision post-retirement and the lifestyle they saved for accounts for a $250,000 gap).
  • As you near retirement, make sure you have cleared your debts and have assessed your social security collection options.

As the saying goes, “it’s never too late to start saving.” No matter what your age, you can still adjust your spending and saving to better plan for your future. If you need additional resources to help in your retirement financial planning, here’s an in-depth guide from CNN Money and a simple chart outlining age of retirement, years to plan for and how much you should have saved.

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In the Community: Nonprofit round-up

Chesapeake Bank has a very busy fall planned. This September, each of our services regions will be participating in a community event or fundraising campaign to support their local communities.

On September 13, the Williamsburg employees will be participating in the United Way of Greater Williamsburg’s annual Day of Caring event. This event was created as a way to spur volunteerism in communities across the country and this year’s Day of Caring will be fueled by hundreds of volunteers who will be completing dozens of projects across the Williamsburg area. To volunteer, go to www.uwgw.org to download the volunteer form. Complete the form and submit by Thursday, September 5.

In the Northern Neck region, Chesapeake Bank employees will be participating in a “Build Day” for the Lancaster/Northumberland Habitat for Humanity on Sept. 21. To volunteer with our Chesapeake Bank team, come out to any of our branches in the Northern Neck area and register.

The Gloucester & Mathews branches are raising funds for the Gloucester-Mathews Free Family Clinic to help the organization purchase a new building to house its operation. The branches will be raising funds during the month of September. There will also be a fund drive at our Gloucester branch on Friday, September 20 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.

To support the Capital Campaign, our Hayes and Gloucester branches will be hosting bake sales in the morning on September 6 and September 27. Our Mathews branch will also host a bake sale on September 27.

Stay tuned to our Facebook page where we will keep you updated with the latest details on the fundraising and community efforts of our branches. And to read more about each of our branches and the nonprofit events, please check out our Events page.

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Saving money for (and at) College

Whether you have children who are making their way to college, or maybe you’re heading there yourself, it’s no secret that higher education can come with a hefty price tag. Not only do you have to worry about living expenses while in school, but tuition and books can carry their own heavy bill.

Paying for College

If you’re still in the early stages of prepping for college, you need to know where to look for financing options. The Free Application for Student Federal Aid (FAFSA) is a great place to start. This form needs to be filled out prior to each year a student is in school. Once you gather your financial records (or your parents), be sure to fill out your FAFSA correctly (tip: families shouldn’t be accounting for retirement assets or home equity). FAFSA awards grants, loans and work-study options to help students pay for their studies. Private student loans are also a viable option.

As far as local and regional funds go, high school students should scour their guidance counselor’s list of available scholarships. “Free” money earned through scholarships, no matter how small, will add up when it comes to paying the bills.

Paying through College

The first step of supporting a student and paying for life at college is determining a source of income and setting a budget. Determine what expenses will be covered with loans, grants and scholarships and figure out what is left to be covered.

If your student will be getting an allowance, encourage them to create a budget document to help track their spending for the semester. Or, if your student is to work through college, have them scour their college’s student job board (campus jobs tend to be more accommodating with student schedules). Another resource for finding part-time or seasonal jobs is Snagajob, which highlights jobs specifically for student, part-time workers.

Being in college isn’t the time to live large. It’s okay to be a little frugal, especially if it means saving a little bit each semester.  And with 36% of millienials (age 18-31) living at home (partially in response to down employment), having your own nest egg when you graduate could help buy time between snagging your diploma and snagging your old room at your parent’s house.