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Mid American repeats win of state financial literacy award for kids’ camp courses

For the second year in a row, Mid American Credit Union has won the state-level Desjardins Youth Financial Education Award, the Kansas Credit Union Association announced Tuesday, April 24.

As the first place winner, Mid American will go on to compete in the national credit union competition, sponsored by the Credit Union National Association.

Mid American won the award for expanding the reach of a financial literacy course it started offering in 2010 as part of a summer youth program in Wichita’s most culturally diverse and economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. In 2010, Mid American piloted the program to 200 students in two summer camps; in 2011, it offered the program in all five of the PACK camp sites in Wichita, reaching more than 500 students.

Every week during the seven-week camp, Mid American staff members, assisted by staff of the local Consumers Credit Counseling Service, taught the youth about various aspects of money — its history, how it’s used and how it’s earned and saved —during one-hour sessions.

To emphasize the importance of earning and saving money, participants were given Mid-American-imprinted piggy banks to take home to begin saving. The kids were asked to consider ways to earn money, with some doing extra chores around the house, running lemonade stands and mowing lawns. One child went to “work” for his father, helping separate hardware that his father needed for the job.

The most anticipated day of the camp was on the final day, when the children brought back their savings, some of which had overrun the flesh-colored piggy banks, for final tallies. Mid American provided cash prizes to the top earners at each camp, ranging from $20-50. The prize “earnings” represented the interest-earning concept of savings.

“This program has not only helped us make community partnerships but allows us to  teach young kids, and maybe even their families, about the importance of saving money and other financial choices,” said Sarah Meehan, marketing manager, employer partnerships and advocacy. Meehan was the impetus behind coordinating the financial literacy course. When she was asked if Mid American would make a financial donation to the program by one of the sponsors, she suggested taking part in the camp activities.

The summer PACK youth program is sponsored by the Wichita Police Department, the Park and Recreation Department, and the city manager’s Community Education Section, and is offered in five Wichita neighborhoods.

Summer fun with outdoor spaces

Are you enjoying every space of your home – including your outdoor spaces? With some imagination, creativity and a little do-it-yourself effort, you can update and create some fun-filled spaces and times.

One of the easiest ways to update your outdoor spaces is by adding plants and flowers. Shop garage sales, thrift stores and flea markets for containers, and don’t forget you can repurpose items such as metal buckets into plant containers. For example, plant some herbs, which not only smell great but can be used in your grilling and summer dishes, in old cookware.

Find other ways to be creative and low-cost in sprucing up your patio or deck. Pallets are a very popular item to repurpose. Check out sites such as www.1001pallets.comfor ideas on creating garden furniture, a potting bench and even a children’s playhouse.

Take advantage of warmer weather to move some indoor activities outside, as well, Create your own backyard theater, for example, with a video source (a laptop computer or a home DVD player), a projector, sound system and a screen. There are plenty of low-cost options for a screen, ranging from bed sheets to the side of your home. You can even move your gaming systems and play outdoors.

Make it a family game night by creating backyard-friendly board games. For example, play lawn Jenga, using 54 blocks made from 2x4 pieces of lumber. Sand ‘em and stack ‘em and have fun. Use leftover boards or reclaimed wood to make 28 oversized domino game pieces. You can find more ideas on various blog sites or Pinterest, an online site where you can collect ideas for different projects and “pin” them to your virtual corkboard.

To help finance your summer projects, consider a second mortgage-home equity loan. Currently, we are giving away a $100 Lowe’s gift card for those getting a second mortgage-home equity loan.To find our more or to apply for a second mortgage-home equity loan, click here.

Give your loan payment a summer vacation

Send your loan packing this summer with Skip-a-Payment. It’s an easy way to get your hands on extra cash. You can Skip-a-Payment on all loans, except mortgages, home equity loans or VISA credit card loans. Here are the terms for taking advantage of this benefit:

• You must have made six full monthly payments before using this benefit

• Your loan must be in current and good standing

One Skip-a-Payment allowed per loan every six months

• Fee is $10 or 10 percent of the payment amount, whichever is less, and will be added to the loan principal

Visit www.midamerican.coop/loans/home for a printable Skip-a-Payment coupon.

New ATM fees effective Sept. 1, 2014

The following new ATM fees will take effect Sept. 1, 2014:

• Nonnetwork ATM charge ……. $2.00

• Rejected ATM transaction ……. $0.60

Also effective Sept. 1, ATM withdrawals on savings accounts, Charter checking and Checking Plus accounts will be allowed three free withdrawals each month. The fee for each additional withdrawal in that month will be $0.75. Direct deposit and e-checking accounts have unlimited withdrawals from their checking accounts when done through the Co-op ATM network.

Take inventory

When was the last time you updated the inventory of your belongings to ensure you have adequate insurance coverage?

With a current inventory, you can be sure your belongings are properly insured for their value, in the event of theft or disaster.

Most basic home insurance policies have standard limits for big-ticket items such as electronics, jewelry, sporting equipment or art, according to the Kansas Insurance Department, but you’ll want to check with an insurance agent if you need additional or special coverage.

Several resources, from hard copy lists to smartphone apps, are available to make the inventory process easier. Here are three such resources:

• Printable inventory sheets at www.insureuonline.org/home_inventory_checklist.pdf
• The Insurance Information Institute’s free Know Your Stuff software, www.knowyourstuff.org
• The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ free smartphone app, myHome.Scr.APP.book, from iTunes or Google Play

Photographing or making a video of belongings is recommended. The NAIC has the following tips for creating an inventory for insurance purposes:
• Group possessions by logical categories, such as by room or item.
• Don’t forget infrequently used items, such as holiday decorations.
• Make copies of original sales receipts or appraisals.
• Write down model and serial numbers for electronics and other items.

Keep your inventory lists and supporting material in a safe deposit box. Mid American offers annual rentals of various-sized safe deposit boxes at its northeast and west branches in Wichita and in Larned.

Cashing in bonds

Because of changes in federal guidelines, Mid American Credit Union will no longer offer the service of cashing in paper savings bonds.

If you wish to redeem an electronic EE/E bond, you can log into treasurydirect.gov, and select Tools in the Individuals pull-down menu. Follow the directions to have the cash amount credited to your checking or savings account within two business days of the redemption date.

At treasurydirect.gov, you will also find information on how to redeem paper EE/E bonds.

Savings bonds may be redeemed after they are 12 months old. EE bonds can earn interest for 30 years.

Mid American adds Lawrence branch

Mid American Credit Union, based in Wichita, has added a Lawrence branch through its recent merger with Jayhawk Federal Credit Union.

The merger gives Mid American Credit Union a presence in northeast Kansas, but more importantly it provides the members of the much smaller Jayhawk Federal Credit Union access to a broader range of services and products. Jayhawk Federal, formed in 1940 by a group of employees of the Lawrence Paper Co., had about $2 million in assets and more than 1,000 members.

Mid American – with four branches in Wichita and also in Larned and Arkansas City – has $225 million in assets.

“We have long had members in the area thanks to relationships with numerous auto dealers in northeast Kansas,” said Jim Holt, Mid American president/CEO, “but this merger allows us to bring a range of services to those members and new services to Jayhawk Federal.”

Travis Colibert, former manager of Mid American’s Arkansas City branch, is the manager of the Lawrence branch.

Mid American is a full-service financial institution, with products that include first and second mortgages and retirement and investment planning. Members also have online and mobile access to accounts.

Through a nationwide cooperative agreement, Mid American members can conduct financial transactions at more than 5,000 shared branches nationwide and have surcharge-free access to more than 30,000 ATMs.

Mid American Credit Union was established in 1936.

Ruling changes allowed IRA rollovers

Individuals with multiple individual retirement accounts, or IRAs, will have to be more careful now when moving money between their traditional IRAs. 

Starting as early as Jan. 1, 2015, anyone with an IRA will be allowed to make only one non-taxable rollover in a 12-month period to another or the same IRA, no matter how many IRAs a taxpayer has. 

The U.S. Tax Court made the new rollover ruling earlier this year, but the IRS is waiting until at least Jan. 1, 2015, to implement the ruling to give IRA owners and trustees time to adjust, according to an IRS announcement. The tax court ruling changes long-standing guidelines in the IRS Publication 590 that said a rollover from one IRA to another would not affect a rollover involving other IRAs of the same individual. 

The ruling doesn’t affect trustee-to-trustee transfers, as those transfers don’t count as a rollover because they don’t pass through a taxpayer’s hands. A rollover from a qualified retirement plan, such as a 401K plan, also doesn’t count.

Because the rollover ruling applies to a 12-month time period, and not any particular calendar year, taxpayers will have to be diligent when making rollover decisions, financial experts advise.

For more information about the new IRS guidelines on IRA rollovers, consult a tax professional or your accountant.

Mid American Credit Union8404 West Kellogg DriveWichita, KS 67209316.722.3921Fax 316.722.0920Privacy Policy