Saving for Retirement? Here are some pitfalls to avoid

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When it comes to saving for your retirement, every penny counts. Regardless if you are just starting to save or in the home stretch to retiring, making the wrong financial decisions could have a big impact on your retirement goals. With social security no longer being a sustainable retirement option, it’s important to make sure that you set yourself up for the future. Continue reading “Saving for Retirement? Here are some pitfalls to avoid”

Passwords – How often should you really change them?

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For as long back as I can remember, I’ve always been told to change my passwords often, don’t use the same password for multiple accounts, make them complex, don’t use a variation of the word “password” and don’t write them down where someone can find them. Sounds like good advice, right? But some people don’t take this advice seriously – but why? Continue reading “Passwords – How often should you really change them?”

Do your employees know how to spot CEO fraud?

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You probably received over the past few years an email claiming you’d won the Nigerian lottery or perhaps one from some unknown person who miraculously chose you to receive their fortune of millions of dollars because you are a good person. The emails typically have tons of misspellings, bad grammar, and always requested your bank account information so funds could be wired to you. Because there is such awareness, these types of emails are slowly fading away. Hackers are savvy and adapt quickly.   A new, rapidly growing and sophisticated threat is targeting businesses – THOUSANDS of companies have been affected in the U.S. losing over $5.3 billion since 2013. Analysts predict the trend will continue to grow vs. subside. Continue reading “Do your employees know how to spot CEO fraud?”

Why we love Tails of Hope, our September Business of the Month

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As a bank with a long history in Litchfield County — 165 years and counting! — we take our commitment to the community very seriously. We live, work, play, and volunteer here. Nothing makes us happier than helping local businesses and organizations thrive. Continue reading “Why we love Tails of Hope, our September Business of the Month”

Furry Friends Welcomed!

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We were so excited when Janet Marlow of Pet Acoustics agreed to be a part of our Locally Owned, Locally Grown campaign for the bank as she and Rigby are two of our favorite clients!  Sure, many banks have treats for furry friends at the drive-up window, but we can proudly say that Rigby joins us in the lobby from time to time and it makes our day! Continue reading “Furry Friends Welcomed!”

BANKER OR MORTGAGE BROKER: Which is Better?

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Of all the decisions facing any prospective home buyer, one the most critical is where to find the best mortgage option, the one with the least hassle and the most favorable financing terms.  When, how much, and even if you’ll be able to borrow what you need to buy your dream house can often come down to who you work with to make it happen.   For most people, there are two possibilities, a mortgage broker or a direct lender, i.e. a bank, credit union or savings institution of some sort.  Continue reading “BANKER OR MORTGAGE BROKER: Which is Better?”

PMI: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

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For most borrowers PMI (or Private Mortgage Insurance) is just one of the many mysterious charges that get folded into their total monthly mortgage payment.  But anyone in the market for a new home, and the inevitable mortgage that comes with it, needs to understand how it works, and how it can be avoided.  Simply put, PMI is an insurance policy that your lender takes out as protection against the possibility that someday you will no longer be able to make your mortgage payments, except that it is your responsibility to pay the monthly premiums.  Also, the lender is typically the beneficiary, not you or your heirs. Continue reading “PMI: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW”

Paying for your Second Home

Owning a second home can be a dream come true.  How many of us have dreamed of having a hideaway from your everyday life?   Owning a second home gives you the benefit of complete control of the home plus it can be a great investment.     Over time, the home can increase in value as well as providing a steady source of income that is often enough to offset the cost of ownership.   

Continue reading “Paying for your Second Home”