House Hunters and other HGTV shows can make home buying seem so breezy. Spend the day with a fun, sassy real estate broker, check out a few fabulous properties, relax with a glass of wine, and decide on your dream home.
But for first-time homebuyers who aren’t living in a “reality TV” fantasy, the process can be stressful and overwhelming. So much to think about and so many options!
Continue reading “5 tips for first time homebuyers”
We applaud the entrepreneurial spirit of those who take the plunge to start their own business. Whether you will be cleverly filling a retail niche or hanging a professional shingle, there are “must do’s” that apply to virtually all start-ups.
A key takeaway is that even if you are striking out on your own as a solo practitioner, you really do have to build a team to be effective and successful. Most of our tips involve making sure you have the right folks in place to support your nascent enterprise.
When planning your business, add these five “must do’s” to your agenda:
Continue reading “5 small business start-up must do’s”
The trend toward employers offering high-deductible health plans (HDHP) — and no other option — seems here to stay, like it or not. HDHP coverage is growing at a 15% pace, annually. In 2005, such plans covered 1 million people. Now, they cover more than 15 million, including 10% of those in Connecticut who are under 65 and have private insurance.
Some consumers fear a HDHP because they worry about being on the hook for that deductible, should they need significant medical care. The silver lining, though, is the ability to pair an HDHP with a tax-advantaged Health Savings Account (HSA).
Continue reading “Health Savings Accounts: Get the details and grab the tax benefits”
Getting caught in a cash flow crunch is an all-too-common headache for even the most successful small business owners. It’s the reason why 29% of startups fail, the second most common cause behind “no market for the product,” according to research by CB Insights. Even profitable small businesses that don’t have a substantial cash cushion can meet this unfortunate fate.
There are multiple options for averting a cash crisis, but all are definitely not equal. For example, it’s tempting for owners to whip out a business credit card (or even a personal card) for a cash advance or to cover an unexpected expense. Viewed as a very short-term boost, the quick credit card solution comes with earnest plans to pay it off just as quick, in a month or two, max.
Continue reading “Should I use a line of credit for business working capital?”
Every bank has a tag line, a motto, a mission – some even have fancy jingles – you know the ones that run through your brain at 2am and won’t leave? At Litchfield Bancorp we are pretty down to earth – no fancy jingles here keeping you up at night. Our culture and our team, we are just normal people – we are your neighbors. We do the same things you do – from Chairman of the Board to our top notch tellers – yes, we are just like you.
Back to tag lines, ours is “Every Customer Counts”. This may sound cliché, but for 165 years, this saying has been the driving force behind everything that we do.
Here’s what I mean….
Continue reading “We’re not just a bank, we’re your neighbor”
I’ve been in this industry a long time – no need to dwell on the actual years invested but suffice it to say I’ve seen quite a few changes during my banking journey. I joined Litchfield Bancorp in 1994 when my predecessor Mark Macomber brought me on as Vice President and Senior Commercial Lender. At that time, our bank was at a tipping point – a financial tipping point. Like any business in that situation, it was sink or swim time. Mark decided to swim, I agreed to follow – and that required change at the bank.
Continue reading “Changing while staying the same”