August 1, 2019

Good savings habits start young

Our Kids Club and Teens Club will confirm once and for all that money does not grow on trees—it grows by saving and earning interest.

Kids Club Rewards


  • Earn a higher interest rate than traditional savings accounts
  • Get a free LMCU piggy bank when they open an account
  • Get a drawstring backpack when they save $250
  • Get a water bottle when they save $500

Teens Club Rewards


  • Earn a higher interest rate than traditional savings accounts

Who can join?

Kids Club is open to all children 12 and under. Teens Club is open to children 13 to 17 years old. In both cases, a parent or legal guardian must be a LMCU member.
For more information, stop by your local branch, visit LMCU.org, or call us at (800) 242-9790.

Exclusive tuition discounts

With school fast approaching, you might be thinking about furthering your own education and finally getting that degree you’ve always wanted. Thanks to special discounts at LMCU, now is the perfect time.

Member discounts

Members have access to exclusive tuition discounts, including 20% off tuition at Davenport University and 25% off tuition at Point Park University. Visit LMCU.org/MemberPerks to learn more.

Employee discounts | You’ll love working here

Employees have access to exclusive tuition discounts at multiple accredited universities, in addition to tuition reimbursement to further their education and achieve their career goals.

Apply at LMCU.org/Careers.

LMCU in the Community: August 2019

The LMCU Bridge Run is just one month away!

Sunday, September 15
Are you ready? Choose from the 10 mile or 5K run, or the 5K walk. LMCU members get a $5 discount! Just enter the code LMCUMEMBER19 at registration.
Register at TheBridgeRun.com.

Community Events

Here are just a few of the ways we’re helping make our communities a little happier this summer. We hope you’ll join us!

Kalamazoo Lunchtime Live
Every Friday through Sept. 13
Bronson Park | 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Kalamazoo Parks Summer Cinema
Friday, August 9
Dutton Park | 219 W. Dutton St.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Friday, August 23
Crane Park | 2099 S. Park St.
U-Pick the Flick

West Michigan Beach Volleyball Tournaments
August 10–11
Grand Haven State Park
Sign up to participate or stop by and cheer on the teams. For more information, visit wmbeachvolleyball.com

Movies in the Neighborhood Park
August 24, 2019
Eastern Park | 7 p.m.
Jumanji


LMCU supports Project 1 by ArtPrize®.

Every year, ArtPrize depends on the energy, drive and spirit of its volunteers. Starting this year, ArtPrize is shifting to a biennial competition to make way for the Project 1 series. The two formats will alternate years, with the inaugural Project 1 by ArtPrize taking place this fall. Five artists have been commissioned to create sculptures, installations, performances, urban interventions and community oriented projects throughout the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

LMCU will once again sponsor the volunteer program. LMCU encourages its staff and members to join us in support of Project 1 by ArtPrize. If you’d like to learn more visit artprize.org. If you’d like to volunteer, visit project.artprize.org/volunteering. We hope to see you there, September 7 through October 27!


One Pencil Returns!

LMCU’s popular One Pencil program is back to benefit students and teachers throughout Michigan and Florida.

This program allows any teacher, whose school is located within 10 miles of a LMCU branch, to request a bag of classroom supplies at no cost. Quantities are limited. Requests can be submitted starting August 12 by visiting LMCU.org/OnePencil.

Bags will be delivered directly to teachers at their schools. Members can make a monetary donation of any size at your local branch.


One more chance to Shred Your Stuff!

Saturday, September 7
8 a.m. to 11 a.m.
5540 Glenwood Hills Pkwy SE Grand Rapids, Michigan

Don’t miss the last Shred Your Stuff Day of the year. Members and non-members can bring up to six boxes of sensitive or personal documents to our corporate office and we’ll shred and dispose of them for free. Old computer hard drive disposal will also be available, just make sure the hard drive has been removed from the computer.

Life insurance as unique as your life

At Lake Michigan Insurance Agency, we can tailor a life insurance policy to your specific needs and situation. If you just bought your first home or just got married, term life insurance may be the most affordable way to cover your mortgage, debt, and your family’s daily living expenses should you die. We also have options for business owners to fit their unique needs.
Some questions to ask yourself when considering life insurance and the appropriate amount of coverage include:

  • How much annual income would you like to replace?
  • How many years would you like to replace this income?
  • What are your cash needs? | For example: mortgage balance, debts, funeral expenses, and college expenses.

Whether you know exactly what life insurance option you need or you don’t know where to start, Lake Michigan Insurance Agency has the experience and knowledge to walk you through the process and get you the right coverage for your situation.
Not A Deposit. Not NCUA Insured. Not Insured By Any Federal Government Agency. Not Guaranteed By The Credit Union. May Lose Value

Lower your tax bill with year-end planning

As the end of the year draws near, the last thing anyone wants to think about is taxes. But if you are looking for ways to minimize your tax bill, there’s no better time for tax planning than before year-end. That’s because there are a number of tax-smart strategies you can implement now that will reduce your tax bill come April 15. As the year begins to draw to a close, consider how the following strategies might help to lower your taxes.

Put losses to work

If you expect to realize either short- or long-term capital gains, the IRS allows you to offset these gains with capital losses. Short-term gains (gains on assets held less than a year) are taxed at ordinary rates, which range from 10% to 39.6%, and can be offset with short-term losses. Long-term gains (gains on assets held longer than a year) are taxed at a top rate of 20% and can be reduced by long-term capital losses.1 To the extent that losses exceed gains, you can deduct up to $3,000 in capital losses against ordinary income on that year’s tax return and carry forward any unused losses for future years.

Given these rules, there are several actions you should consider:


  • Avoid short-term capital gains when possible, as these are taxed at higher ordinary rates. Unless you have short-term capital losses to offset them, try holding the assets for at least one year.
  • Take a good look at your portfolio before year-end and estimate your gains and losses. Some investments, such as mutual funds, incur trading gains or losses that must be reported on your tax return and are difficult to predict. But most capital gains and losses will be triggered by the sale of the asset, which you usually control. Talk with a valued advisor to discuss the winners and losers. Let them help guide you.
  • Discuss with your advisor taking capital losses before gains. Losses may be carried forward for use in future years; gains must be taken in the year they are realized.
When evaluating whether or not to sell a given investment, keep in mind that a few down periods don’t mean you should sell simply to realize a loss. Stocks in particular are long-term investments subject to ups and downs. Likewise, a healthy unrealized gain does not necessarily mean an investment is ripe for selling. Remember that past performance is no indication of future results; it is expectations for future performance that count. Moreover, taxes should only be one consideration in any decision to sell or hold an investment.

Unearned income tax

A 3.8% tax on “unearned” income went into effect in 2013, effectively increasing the top rate on most long-term capital gains to 23.8%. The tax applies to “net investment income,” which includes interest, dividends, royalties, annuities, rents, and other passive activity income, among other items. Importantly, “net investment income” does not include distributions from IRAs or qualified retirement plans, annuity payouts, or income from tax-exempt municipal bonds. In general, the new tax applies to single taxpayers with a modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) of $200,000 or more and to those who are married and filing jointly with a MAGI of $250,000 or more.

IRAs: contribute, distribute, or convert

One simple way of reducing your taxes is to contribute to a traditional IRA, if you are eligible. Contributions are made on a pretax basis, so they reduce your taxable income. Contribution limits for the 2019 tax year -- which may be made until April 17, 2020 -- are $6,000 per contribution and an additional $1,000 for those aged 50 or older. Note that deductibility phases out above certain income levels, depending upon your filing status and if you or your spouse are covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
An important year-end consideration for older IRA holders is whether or not they have taken required minimum distributions. The IRS requires account holders aged 70½ or older to withdraw specified amounts from their traditional IRA each year. These amounts vary depending on your age, increasing as you grow older. If you have not taken the required distributions in a given year, the IRS will impose a 50% tax on the shortfall. So make sure you make the required minimums for the year by year-end.
Another consideration for traditional IRA holders is whether to convert to a Roth IRA. If you expect your tax rate to increase in the future -- either because of rising earnings or a change in tax laws -- converting to a Roth may make sense, especially if you are still a ways from retirement. You will have to pay taxes on any pretax contributions and earnings in your traditional IRA for the year you convert, but withdrawals from a Roth IRA are tax free and penalty free as long as you’re at least 59½ and the converted account has been open at least five years. If you have a nondeductible traditional IRA (i.e., your contributions did not qualify for a tax deduction because your income was not within the parameters established by the IRS), investment earnings will be taxed but the amount of your contributions will not. The conversion will not trigger the 10% additional tax for early withdrawals.
Regardless of what Congress does in the future, there are many steps you can take today to help lighten your tax burden. Work with a financial professional and tax advisor to see what you can do now to reduce your tax bill in April.
To get started call (616) 234-6358 or visit LMCU.org/MaxWealth.
Securities and financial planning offered through LPL Financial, a registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC.Insurance products offered through LPL Financial or its licensed affiliates. Lake Michigan Credit Union and MaxWealth Management are not registered broker/dealers and are not affiliated with LPL Financial. Not NCUA Insured. No Credit Union Guarantee. May Lose Value.
1Under certain circumstances, the IRS permits you to offset long-term gains with net short-term capital losses. See IRS Publication 550, Investment Income and Expenses. | Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by DST Systems, Inc. or its sources, neither DST Systems, Inc. nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall DST Systems, Inc. be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages in connection with subscriber’s or others’ use of the content. | © 2017 DST Systems, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part prohibited, except by permission. All rights reserved. Not responsible for any errors or omissions.