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We want your financial wellness education experience to be unlike any other you've experienced before. That's why we've partnered with Balance Financial Fitness, a not-for-profit dedicated to providing financial education tools and resources free of charge to our members.

Explore the categories below and look for Financial Wellness U throughout our site to gain access to our online toolkits featuring: educational tutorials, videos, and resources that make you a more empowered consumer.

Tip of the Month:

How to Financially Prepare for a Natural Disaster

Whether due to fire or flood, earthquake or hurricane, powerful forces of nature can lead to financial devastation if you or your home is in its path. But while you can’t stop a catastrophe from happening, you can take preventative measures. Doing so will cushion the blow that such a disaster can have on your personal finances.

Be adequately insured
Paying for insurance can feel like a waste of money during the good times – but if a disaster strikes, you’ll be grateful you have it. Having the right insurance will enable you to recoup and rebuild at the lowest cost.

  • Homeowners: A minimum level of insurance is required if you have a mortgage, but to ensure that you are fully covered, you may need to add to it. A guaranteed replacement cost policy allows you to rebuild your house at today’s prices. If your current policy does not cover the cost of meeting current building codes, consider paying a little extra for it. Homeowners insurance does not include flood damage, so if this is a concern for you, look into purchasing flood insurance. If your home is in an earthquake-prone area, you may want to pay for earthquake insurance.
  • Renters: Insurance is usually not required for renters, but it is still beneficial to have. Renters insurance provides liability protection and pays for damaged, destroyed, or stolen property. It also covers the cost of a hotel if your home becomes uninhabitable. Best of all, renters insurance is cheap, usually not costing more than a few hundred dollars a year.
  • Life: Life insurance can ensure that your loved ones are taken care of if the unthinkable happens. There are two basic types of life insurance: term and cash-value. Term insurance is pure life insurance. You pay the premiums for a specific period of time, and the policy will only pay out if you die during the policy term.

With cash-value life insurance, part of your premium pays for the policy and part of it goes into a savings plan. You can keep the policy as long as you pay the premiums. You can also borrow against the money in the savings plan or cancel the plan and get the cash back. However, the premiums are generally higher for cash-value life insurance, and it may not be worth the extra cost if you don’t anticipate needing life insurance for the rest of your life.

Establish an emergency fund 
One of the reasons it is a good idea to establish an emergency fund is so that money will be readily available in the event of a disaster. So if you haven’t started saving, do it now. Consider opening our high-yield S3 Prime Savings account earning 1.45% APY* with complete account access.

Have a set sum deducted monthly from your checking account and automatically deposited into a savings account. Try to save at least ten percent of your net income until three to six months of essential expenses is built up (and after that, keep saving, with the surplus going toward other goals). Though the amount may seem high at first, chances are you will quickly adjust to living on the remaining income. But if you can’t do at least 10%, save whatever you can – every little bit helps.

While most of your emergency fund should be held in a low-risk account where there are no penalties for early withdrawals, such as a savings account or money market deposit account, keep a small amount of cash in your home. You may not be able to get to your financial institution or an ATM machine for a while.

Plan your estate
Nobody likes to think of their own mortality, but if you have loved ones who depend on you for financial support, it is important to plan your estate.

  • Will: A will allows you to leave property to who you want. Dying “intestate” (without a will) can lead to court battles that can dramatically erode the value of your estate and assets being transferred to those who may not be your preference. Be sure to update your will after major life events, such as marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child.
  • Power of attorney: A power of attorney document allows you to appoint a trusted individual to make financial or medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so. It can give you peace of mind that your affairs will be conducted according to your wishes – even in the most dire of circumstances.
  • Trust: A trust is a legal entity in which your property is held for the benefit of another person. It can be either living, in which the assets are placed in the trust while you are still alive, or testamentary, which is created by a will and only becomes active after death.

Assets in a trust avoid the probate process, but a trust can be costly and time-consuming to set up and maintain. It is generally used by people with a significant amount of assets or who do not want the benefactor to have total control of the asset. E.g., a parent of a special-needs child may set up a trust so that the trustee can oversee the distribution of the funds.

Safeguard your financial information 
A disaster can force you to leave your home in a hurry and destroy items that are not well protected, so it is important to gather and safeguard important documents now.

In a home safe or firebox, keep:

  • Enough cash for a few days worth of food and shelter
  • Insurance policy documents
  • Copies of deeds/titles for your home, car, and other real property
  • Copy of last year’s income tax return
  • Originals of wills, powers of attorney, and/or trust agreements, if not with your attorney
  • Backup of computerized financial records
  • Checking and savings account, loan, credit card, and investment account information
  • Key to your safe deposit box

In a safe deposit box, keep:

  • Deeds/titles to your home, car, and other real property
  • Appraisals of expensive jewelry and heirlooms
  • Certificates for stocks, bonds, and other investments
  • Copies of wills, powers of attorney, and/or trust agreements
  • Inventory of possessions

When the skies are clear and the forecast balmy, the desire to put off planning can be very strong. However, nobody knows when and to what degree a catastrophic event will occur – which is why being prepared is so crucial. And once you have done it, you will be confident that even if the earth shakes, your financial foundation will remain firm.


Money Saving Apps and Websites*

CamelCamelCamel - Track prices, set up alerts, and view history charts for products slod by Amazon.

Flipp - Far fewer people get the Sunday papers these days. But all the ads, sales, coupons, and other special offers from the Sunday circulars can be browsed with Flipp. The app covers weekly ads from some 800 retailers, including supermarkets, dollar stores, pharmacies, and big retailers such as Target and Walmart. If you add your loyalty-program numbers, some discounts will automatically be applied when your loyalty card is scanned at checkout, without any physical coupons.

Honey - never search for a coupon code again. Honey automatically applies the best coupon code at checkout. It's basically free money.

RetailMeNotSmart shoppers consider the list price merely a starting point that they’ll inevitably be able to beat with a few clicks of a mouse or swipes of a smartphone. The RetailMeNot app is a must-have for savings, with promotional codes, coupons, and other discounts at 50,000-plus restaurants and major retailers, and deals for physical stores and online purchases alike.

ShopSavvyThe ultimate “showrooming” tool, ShopSavvy allows you to inspect merchandise in the store and scan the bar code to compare prices from dozens of online competitors and local stores (but not Amazon, unfortunately). The app offers special cash-back deals from major retailers, and you can set up notifications to alert you when a desired product goes on sale.

*Despite the presence of links and mobile apps listed above, McGraw-Hill FCU makes no warranty or representation regarding, does not endorse, is not affiliated with, and is not in any way responsible for the linked website or any content that appears on it. If you decide to visit any linked website, you do so at your own risk and it is your responsibility to review the terms of use, privacy policy, and any other relevant legal notices of the relevant linked website. Article Source:

Consumer Education |

General consumer awareness resources that help you protect your identity, manage your credit report, or recover from a natural disaster or recent unemployment.



Deposits and Checking |

Managing these accounts is critical to everyday life. If you've been saving for years - gain the insight to maximize your plan. If you're just starting out, get the tools to help launch a lifetime of financial wellness.



Loans and Real Estate |

Consumers get loans for some of the most important purchases in their lives. Buying a car, purchasing a home, or going to college. Make sure you're ready by exploring these essential tools and resources.



Retirement Planning |

You've worked hard your entire life - it's time to enjoy a stress-free retirement. No matter your goals, these educational toolkits will empower you with the tools to enhance your financial quality of life.



*APY = Annual Percentage Yield. Rate is accurate as of 3/1/2018. Account requires a minimum opening deposit of $100; no maximum deposit. Deposit must be new money that has not been on deposit with MHFCU for more than 30 calendar days. Dividends are based on the average daily balance and are paid monthly. Federal regulations limit the number of electronic and telephone transactions you can make with your S3 Prime Savings to six (6) transfers or withdrawals per monthly statement cycle. If you exceed these limits, a $10 fee per additional withdrawal will be assessed; no more than six (6) fees will be assessed. Non-members may join the credit union with a $15 deposit - $5 goes into your savings account to establish membership, and the remaining $10 is a tax-deductible contribution (consult your tax advisor) to our non-profit organization, The VOICE Foundation. Rate is subject to change without notice. Your savings are federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a U.S. Government Agency.

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