News and Events

Brad Herzet, a longtime executive with Mid American, became the credit union's new president and CEO, effective June 1.

 

He succeeds Jim Holt, who has retired after more than 45 years in the credit union industry. Holt had been president and CEO at Mid American since 2005 and over the past dozen years oversaw Mid American's growth as one of the largest credit unions in Kansas.

 

By selecting Herzet as Mid American's next leader, the board of directors wentwith someone who already has a great rapport with its staff and many of its members, said Becky Bouska, board chair. “He is a great team member who encourages employees and inspires. We were thrilled to promote him.”

 

Tell us more about your background in the financial services industry.

My dad, Max – a farmer's son from Marion, Kansas – had a longtime career as an executive with Mid-Kansas Federal Savings and Loan, and that's where I got my start, working in the vault at age 16. I worked there while I earned my Bachelor of Business Administration degree in management from Wichita State and stayed there until 1991, when I became the vice president of lending services at Mid American. For the past 16 years, I have been vice president of member services.

 

What about the credit union philosophy resonates with you? I inherited the people-helping gene from both of my parents, who always were involved with volunteering and other community efforts. I value serving the underserved and that's why the credit union philosophy of people helping people and its not-for-profit modelare important to me.

 

What are the goals and/or challenges you see for the credit union.

We've made some great strides in providing financial literacy efforts for a wide range of demographics. We will continue to expand our efforts in providing financial education. Our challenges include the economy in the markets we are doing business in and excessive federal regulations that impact us being ableto serve and help our members.

 

What do you like to do outside ofwork?
My wife, DeAne, and I have six kids and nine grandkids. I love to barbecue, especially for the kids when they are home with the families. I also like woodworking. 

 

By Debbie Stang, Home Loan Officer

 

As you've been living in your outdoor spaces this spring and early summer, maybe you've become aware of some things that could be updated or made to function better. Here are some things to consider to get the most out of your outdoor living spaces:

· Structures. These encompass simple things like trellises for plants to outdoor sheds and fences, with deck patios and pergolas in between. Do any of those structures need repair or replacing? Maybe you'd like to expand your deck to include more seating and entertaining areas or maybe you need to install options for shade to enjoy the deck during sunny times of the day.

· Cooking areas. Does your backyard entertaining space have the right ingredients for cooking outdoors? The level of sophistication of an outdoor kitchen can range from a do-it-yourself project to a gourmet space with sinks and appliances.

· Hardscapes. Time can take its toll on cement patios, retaining walls, walkways and more. Do you need to replace any crumbling walls or install walkways to better access gardens? Consider sprucing up the gray look of cement patios with concrete stains or stamps.

· Lighting. Prepare for fall nights by installing outdoor lighting to extend the time that you enjoy your outdoor space.

· Other entertainment and outdoor living features. Things like a fire pit or fireplace, an outdoor TV, water features or even an outdoor gaming area for playing horseshoes or corn hole can give your outdoor space more life.

· Furniture. Fall is often a good time to get deals on outdoor patio furniture replacements.

· Landscaping. Fall is also a good time to plant additional trees and shrubs.

 

If you've got some hot home improvement projects you need to complete, financing is available through a home equity loan with Mid American. Go to www.midamerican.coop/loans/home-equity(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window) to apply today.(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)

By Steve Yokum, Financial Advisor, CUSA Financial Services, L.P.*

Saving for retirement is arguably the most important aspect in preparing for retirement. Having a carefully laid-out plan may help smooth the transition from working to retiring. The sooner you devise a plan, the more time you have to explore and evaluate your options. Taking these steps might make the difference between a successful retirement and a disappointing one.

For many workers, investing means having a portion of their paycheck systematically invested in an employer-sponsored retirement account. There are other investment products available, and developing a strategy that best suits your individual needs may be daunting. To avoid tackling this task alone, seek the advice of a trained professional.

One of the most important steps in building your retirement plan is being aware of your total household expenses. In retirement, you may find it necessary to live on a smaller portion of your pre-retirement income. For example, if you plan on retiring on 85% of your current income, consider carving out 15% of your current income and investing it in your retirement account. This strategy may help you prepare to live on a reduced income, boost your overall retirement account balance, and reduce your taxable income.

If you haven’t begun saving for retirement, don’t get discouraged. It’s never too late to start saving, but you should take that first step now!

As there often seems to be a limitless number of variables in navigating your retirement road map, the aid of an experienced financial professional can be an invaluable resource. Please visit with Steve Yokum for your no-cost, no-obligation appointment.



Contact Steve Yokum,Financial Advisor, CUSO Financial Services, L.P.* at Mid American Credit Union316.722.3921, ext. 182.


*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. Mid American Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products andservices available to credit union members.

CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (CFS) does not provide tax or legal advice. For such guidance, consult your tax and/or legal advisor. Before deciding whether to retain assets in an employer-sponsored plan or to roll over to an IRA, aninvestor should consider various factors including but not limited to:i nvestment options, fees and expenses, services, withdrawal penalties, protection from creditors and legal judgments, required minimum deductions and possession of employer stock.

 

By Emily Reinhardt, MoneyMatters.coop(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new 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window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)For a large majority of us, talking about money and our personal financial situation is really tough. It’s a verypersonal topic, and depending on the company, maybe it has a lot of detailsthat we’d like to keep private. Discussing money makes a lot of peopleuncomfortable for some reason. It definitely doesn’t have to be this way. Ifyou find it hard to communicate with your peers or your family about moneyand best financial practices, and how it relates to you, podcasts might bejust the thing for you to dive into.

I have always been a strong advocate for growth and personal development. The decision to go back to school and get a graduate degree can be an exciting and overwhelming one. Not only are you uprooting your current lifestyle, but you’re facing a huge time and financial commitment. If continuing your education is what you are set out to do, it’s important that you take the financial side of things into consideration before you take the big leap. Being well-prepared before you even start the program means that you’ll get out on the other side with your finances still intact.

When you’re about 1 year away from starting graduate school: 

Now’s the time when you can really be weighing your options. A graduate degree is not always a guaranteed income boost these days. There are some instances where people end up in worse shape (financially speaking) after graduation, and you want to make sure you’ve thought about all of your options and the potential outcomes.

Major things to take into consideration at this time are the costs of the program you’re looking into and the return on your investment. Some universities or fields of study are more likely than others to offer funding, fellowships and assistant teaching positions for graduate students. Do a little bit of research and compare a handful of different schools and specific programs. If you’re open and willing to change your course just slightly, you might be able to set yourself up with the best possible financial outcome upon graduating.

Take the cost of living into consideration when you’re researching your options, and include those estimates in your program’s total cost calculations. A program in New York City as opposed to a program in a rural town in Missouri will provide two, totally different cost of living options for you. Don’t ignore this when you are outlining the pros and cons to all of your graduate school options.

You might also find some luck if you work for a company that offers some kind of tuition reimbursement for your return to school. Check with your boss, and if you don’t happen to be so lucky, you could consider continuing your education during nights and weekends instead of going back to school full-time. That way you would still be able to continue working full-time and earning a paycheck while you go back to school.

When you’re six months out from starting graduate school:

By this point you’ve probably chosen your school and your field of study, and right now is a really good time to start living like a student if you haven’t already. What I mean by that is start living like you have no money, even if you’re still working full-time. When you’re a student and money is tight, the importance of that last $20 is really felt. Eliminate as many of your financial obligations as possible. If you’re able, move in with your parents, or other family members leading up to school starting. Cancel any subscriptions you don’t currently need like Netflix or cable and magazines. Focus on cutting back in as many categories of your budget as possible and stuff all of your extra savings away for the days ahead when every last dollar matters.

With that extra money you’re socking away, there are different ways you can arrange your savings accounts. You can start with a traditional savings account, one that will make it easy for you to access the funds for things like campus visits, and a deposit on a new apartment leading up to school starting. Another pre-graduate school savings option you can turn to would be opening a 529 savings account. This is a tax-advantaged savings plan set up specifically for higher education costs, but one that could come with restrictions on when or how you can withdrawal the funds. Be sure to find the right savings account for you, whether that is a traditional account or something a little more investment based.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is available every January. There are some big differences in these federal loans when you’re applying for them as an undergraduate versus now, as a graduate student. It might seem tempting to request the maximum with your federal loans, but do your best to resist the urge. It’s always best to only borrow what you’ll need, and nothing more than that. Try to outline your budget as accurately as possible, that way you’ll know what to ask for when you’re starting this application process.

When you’re just a few weeks out from starting graduate school:

When you start your graduate studies, you might be living off of loans, or you might be living off of graduate student stipends. Either way, you’ll need to be on a tight budget and you’ll need to practice cutting back whenever and wherever you can. So start right now.

Start organizing a clear timeline of when tuition and rent are due. Figure out when your loan money will be distributed and how to be in contact with your financial aid advisor. The school you are attending will likely have a lot of on-campus services designed to help prospective students flourish, so use everything to your advantage right when you get there. Once your classes start, you’ll be much more focused on your studies than the financial side of things, so have that information laid out in an orderly way in your mind before the first official day of class.

Graduate school is a big undertaking and a big way for you to develop yourself and your future career. You should be proud of your decision to go and not remorseful about how much it costs. Being prepared before you even start is the only way to ease the burden.

 

By Emily Reinhardt, MoneyMatters.coop(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)

I often think I’ll be renting a home forever. The home buying process can feel so complicated and quite daunting, and even though I know my life isn’t ready for that step just yet, I also know that if I were ready, I would feel lost and terrified.

I thought I would break down the very basic guidelines of what the start of the home buying process might look like, for those of you who are a bit closer to that step than I am. Buying your first home should be one of the most exciting days of your life. Being prepared for what this process is like, will allow you to face it with less stress and anxiety. Let’s determine what some of these first steps are so that you can avoid some of the more stressful aspects to your search.

What can you afford? The first step in this process has to be determining just how much house you can afford. It’s important that you first figure out if this really is the right time to be buying a house or not. I found this (Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window)RENT VS BUY CALCULATOR(Opens in a new window)(Opens in a new window) from Mid American Credit Union to be very helpful. The specifics of this step will vary greatly, for everyone, so it’s important that you take the time to figure out if homeownership is right for you or not. I think the most important thing to remember is to only buy a house that you can afford right now. Try to keep in mind the 30% rule – only 30% of your income goes to your total housing costs, and no more. This might be difficult if you live in an expensive real estate market, but it’s a good rule of thumb. If you buy a house that has an insanely high mortgage payment, you’ll end up not having enough money to build up your savings and other financial priorities. They call this “house poor.”

Give your budget a good hard look. Where does a house fit into your budget? Is there room? Getting your financial information in order before this process starts is the key, and being unprepared could really crush your heart if you find your dream home and can’t afford it. You’re going to need good credit, some cash money for closing, and an income that you can prove will allow you to afford the home in question. Hopefully by now your credit score isn’t a surprise to you, but getting an updated credit check is a great idea at this point. If you’re buying a home with a spouse or partner, your lender will likely be checking and considering both of your credit scores in this process. If you find that your credit score needs some improvement before you’re able to buy the home of your dreams, keep in mind that that can take some people close to six months or even longer, so don’t wait around doing nothing for too long.

Save up some cash for a down payment. The average percentage cost of a down payment on a home is anywhere from 3.5-20% of the total cost of the home. Having the right amount of savings for your down payment (and other expenses along the process) could take you awhile. Beyond the down payment, there are cash demands for closing costs as well. Don’t under estimate the amount of money (cash) you’ll need saved up for this process. If you’ve suddenly realized you don’t have enough savings for this, don’t be discouraged. This is a long process and one not to be taken too lightly. Don’t feel rushed, just keep saving wherever you can and reassess in a few months when you might be ready again.

Get your papers in order. If you’re ready to apply for a mortgage and buy your first home, there will be a lot of documents you’ll need to turn over. You’ll need pay stubs, W-2’s, bank statements, and if you’re self-employed, you’ll need a year or two of your tax returns. Getting all of these organized ahead of time is a great idea.

Shop around for a mortgage. If you take the time to get pre-approved for your mortgage, you’ll present yourself as a serious buyer and one that’s ready to make a serious offer. If you haven’t applied for your mortgage yet, the process isn’t always quick, so you could be waiting and could potentially miss out on your dream home if another buyer is ahead of you in that process. Compare the different mortgage types that are available to you, and run some different scenarios based off of what you might choose to see how different they might be for you. It’s important that you shop around – online and with Mid American Credit Union so that you can find the best loan and get the most details about your options. This is the part where you’ll really want to do some shopping around.

A first home is so exciting. But as you can see, there’s a lot to look at and consider before you even start searching for houses. Start by getting all of your personal finances in order and after that, you’ll be ready to start comparing mortgage options in no time.

 

 

When parents can barely afford rent and groceries each month, school supplies just can't be a priority. Help us level the playing field and ensure that all kids have what they need to succeed in the classroom. We invite you to bring in a newly purchased backpack for a student in need to any one of ten branches to help area students with back to school needs. 

When you bring in a backpack for a student, we will automatically enter you into a drawing to win a $100 VISA gift card. The campaign ends July 28. Backpacks will deliver to schools in August. 


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Mark your calendar! Members may bring up to five bags of personal documents to shred at no cost.