Newsletter



Is Inflation the New Normal?

By Brad Herzet, President/CEO

With inflation hitting so many sectors, it’s becoming harder to tame the effects. For our members, we realize the effects are impacting many of your spending and saving decisions.

The Mid American Board of Directors and leadership team are working to keep loan interest rates affordable and to offer higher interest CD rates than we have in the past.

A seminar on saving money in the new normal of inflation has become a popular request from the businesses we partner with in our select employer group (SEG) program. For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to participate in the seminar or who don’t work for one of our SEGs, here are some of the tips.

Don’t get taken for a ride

Shop at least five car insurance companies for the best rates. To save on rates, up your deductible. Take a defensive driving course, many of which are online, to take advantage of a defensive driving discount on your premium. If your car is worth less than $5,000, you can drop comprehensive and collision insurance (unless required by financing). For better mileage, drive the speed limit and ensure your tires are at recommended pressure settings.

Use rewards card programs, such as those at Kroger and QuikTrip stores, for gas savings.

Hello? Can I save on my phone bill?

When your cell phone contract is up, don’t hesitate to negotiate. Regularly check out the plans your carrier offers to see if there’s one that will suit you better and save money. Consider prepaid plans like Republic Wireless, Mint Mobile, Consumer Cellular, Boost and Visible. Don’t automatically upgrade to the newest phone or let your kids guilt you into having the most expensive phone.

Don't let food costs eat up your budget

With beef prices being higher, consider other protein choices like chicken, pork, turkey or even meatless meals. Cut down on food waste by freezing leftovers and using up produce before they spoil. Limit the amount of junk food you buy. Buy things on sale or with coupons if possible. If you eat out, try to take advantage of coupons or specials and take leftovers for lunch; drink water since it’s cheaper and healthier.

This newsletter has other tips on living in the new normal of inflation when it comes to utilities and building emergency savings.

With rising costs, use these tips to help manage your expenses.

*APY=Annual percentage Yield. Limited time offer and subject to change without notice. Minimum deposit of $1,000 for 2.85% APY, $100,000 minimum deposit for 3.10% APY.


Annual Meeting Notice - Tuesday, March 21st I 5:15pm I West Wichita Branch, 8404 W. Kellogg



Financially Prepared for 2023

By Emily Reinhardt, blogger for Mid American’s www.moneymatters.coop


Our personal financial lives are feeling the effects of 2022’s major economic news headlines ranging from supply chain shortages to the rise in the cost of living. Let’s take a look at what might be coming in 2023.

While inflation is slowly decreasing, it’s still a long way before we see “normal” price growth. Housing and food costs, along with medical expenses, were responsible for much of the 2022 increases. While the U.S. inflation lowered slightly in October, it is still too high for the Federal Reserve to back off of their interest rate hikes, and it doesn’t look like the start of 2023 will be much different.

To lessen the blow of inflation, the Federal Reserve increased interest rates by 0.75% in October 2022. The federal funds rate is at a range of 3.75% to 4%, with rates expected to peak somewhere near 4.75% during 2023, according to the Fed’s projections. Higher interest rates make loans more expensive for both businesses and consumers, and we all end up paying more because of those interest payments. Many people will likely post-pone projects or purchases that involve financing.

In October, the Social Security Ad-ministration announced an 8.7% cost of living adjustment — the largest in more than 40 years — that took effect Jan. 1. For many, this increase still falls short when it comes to buying power, particularly for those on a fixed income. A lot of communities are dis-proportionately affected by the rising costs of food, health care and housing.

The labor market proved strong and resilient. September unemployment fell from 3.7% to 3.5% — the opposite of what Federal Reserve officials predicted with the increased interest rates. If you participate in an employer plan, such as a 401(k), the maximum amounts you can contribute and have matched will increase in 2023. If you can’t maximize your contributions, try to meet your employer-matching contributions if your plan provides them.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average began trading in 1896, and in 2022, it just had its best October return, which was the best month on record since January 1976 and the third-best month overall since World War II. Historical trends point to more of the same, and we might see a bounce-back in 2023. If you’re disciplined enough to manage your own investment portfolio, ensure that your asset allocation and your risk parameters remain balanced. The benefit of using a professional manager or advisor is that they have more tools, resources and data available to them to help you make financial decisions and goals.



Winterize Your Home to Save on Energy Bills

By Debbie Stang, Home Loan Officer


With consumers facing higher energy bills, it’s really important to take steps to winterize your home and make energy-efficient investments.


Here are five things you can do to help take the heat off your utility bills:


Seal leaks to keep dollars from slip-ping through the cracks. According to the Kansas Corporation Commission’s energy division, a small leak can amount to leaving open a 3-by-3-foot window. Check your windows, doors, chimneys, outlets, switch plates, vents, fans and even baseboards for any gaps or leaks. Inspect your attic for any leaks too. Outdoors, check places where two building materials meet, like corners, around water faucets and where the foundation and exterior siding meet. Simple DIY repairs include installing weatherstripping or caulking and using draft guards at the bottom of doors.


Maintain your HVAC system. A dirty furnace filter will slow down air flow so check and change those filters regularly. The type and thickness of the filter determine how often you should replace it, with most experts recommending every three months.
If you have pets, you’ll likely need to replace the filters more frequently because of shedding pet dander. Have your system checked annually to help ensure it’s running more efficiently and to help spot possible issues before they become costly.


Unplug unused appliances to pre-vent a drain on your electric bill. Just being plugged in will still generate heat in the wiring. That’s also why fire safety officials recommend unplugging an unused appliance.


Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when replacing windows, appliances and HVAC equipment. To help deter-mine your choices, visit energystar.gov, which lists products certified through the ENERGY STAR program. The web-site also lists available rebates.


Switch to LED light bulbs, which last longer and consume 90% less electricity than incandescent light bulbs.


If you need to make investments and upgrades to make your home more energy efficient, Mid American offers two home equity lending options: a loan or a line of credit. In both instances, the lending limit is determined by the difference between your home’s value and your remaining mortgage balance. For more information, please call 316-722-3921 and ask for either me or LeeAnn Marker in mortgages, or email debbies@midamerican.coop or leeannm@midamerican.coop.



How to Start an Emergency Fund


Finding money for an emergency fund can be daunting, especially when cost of living expenses are on the rise. But it can be done with some planning.

The general rule of thumb is to have at least six months’ worth of expenses saved up but it’s OK to aim for even three months, particularly if you’re a dual-earning household, and then go from there.

The first step is to know what you spend every month. Make a list of all expenses — and remember to factor in those “hidden” expenses that occur quarterly, semiannually or annually.

Look for ways to better manage monthly expenses, like giving up an unused membership to a wholesale club or gym or consolidating trips or changing shopping habits. Check out the mortgage column to see ways to save on utility bills.

Make whatever amount you plan to save regular and automatic with a direct deposit to a savings account; consider it a nondiscretionary expense.

Remember it takes time to build up that account. Set a goal of saving at least one month of expenses, then keep plugging away.


Brokaw Earns Certified Financial Planner ™ Distinction

By Jessica Brokaw


Mid American Credit Union is proud to announce that Jessica Brokaw from its Retirement and Investment Services department has earned Certified Financial Planner® status.


Why choose a CFP® 
Working with a CFP® professional involves sharing very personal information, and you will want to feel comfortable with the professional you’ve chosen. He or she should
be knowledgeable, have integrity, and demonstrate a commitment to the highest ethical standards in the industry.
Here are some questions to ask to help you find the right CFP® professional for you:


What is your education?
What licenses do you hold? Are you registered with the SEC, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or the state?
Are you affiliated with any professional groups or organizations? Do you execute securities trades through a broker-dealer? Who is it?
What types of clients do you work with?
What type of products and services do you offer and are you limited in what you offer me?
Do you receive a commission for products you may sell to me?
Have you ever been disciplined by any government board or regulatory agency?


Answers to several of these questions can be found on the planner’s Form ADV or comparable state form. You can request a copy. Even if you don’t ask for it, it must be provided when you enter into an agreement for services.


Is a CFP® professional right for you?
Even if you’re used to handling your own financial affairs, the time may be right to consult a CFP® professional who can review your financial health and offer suggestions that may help you pursue your financial goals.


A professional is expected to be familiar with different investment opportunities that can help you meet your financial goals, such as saving for your child’s college education, securing enough income for a comfortable retirement, or protecting your assets against risks and lawsuits. Keep in mind that there is no assurance that working with a financial professional will improve investment results.



Jessica Brokaw is available for free consultations by telephone 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday or in-person by appointment only at the west Wichita branch. She can be reached at 316-722-3921, ext. 182 or Jessica.Brokaw@cusonet.com.

Note: The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the United States, which it awards to individuals who successfully complete the CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.


*Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, LP (“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. The Credit Union has contracted with CFS for investment services. Atria Wealth Solutions, Inc. (“Atria”) is a modern wealth management solutions holding company. Atria is not a registered broker-dealer and/or Registered Investment Advisor and does not provide investment advice. Investment advice is only provided through Atria’s subsidiaries. CUSO Financial Services, LP is a subsidiary of Atria.