The Independent Community Bankers of America® (ICBA) and Citizens National Bank are proud to add the community banker voice to the list of organizations nationwide that are encouraging Americans to save as part of America Saves Week, Feb. 23-28. This nationwide campaign, which began in 2007, features a broad coalition of nonprofit, corporate and government organizations that are committed to raising awareness for the importance of creating savings funds, building emergency funds and assessing savings plans.
“It’s never too late to develop good saving habits to achieve financial stability,” ICBA Chairman John Buhrmaster, president and CEO of 1st National Bank of Scotia, N.Y., said. “By participating in America Saves Week, the nation’s more than 6,500 community banks continue to raise awareness of the importance of savings and offer consumers tips on how to reach savings goals. We encourage customers to speak with their community bank about how they can begin a savings strategy or build on what they are already doing to save for the future.”
America Saves Week is an annual opportunity to help promote positive savings behavior and for consumers to assemble their own savings plans. Learn more about why saving is so important and how to get started on building a nest egg at www.americasavesweek.org.
Community banks like CNB are available to help local residents plan their financial futures. Beginning to save can be intimidating, but with the help of your local community bank, creating and maintaining savings funds should be one less thing you need to worry about.
ICBA and CNB offer the following tips to help consumers get started on their personal savings:
- Set a goal: People are more successful when they have certain goals in mind, so create and share a savings goal with your family and friends. Start small—even saving your loose change can get you somewhere. Aim to start a path toward building an emergency fund of savings with six to nine months of living expenses.
- Make a plan: By creating a spending plan, list your expenses and compare them to your income. The plan will help prioritize what are necessities and wants for the month. Attempt to use your credit cards more efficiently, too. Doing that can help ensure that you will not take on too much debt and can minimize interest charges.
- Save automatically: Many employers offer regular payroll deduction, which is one of the best ways to start and keep saving money. Make it a routine to automatically put aside a certain amount of money each paycheck, or have CNB make an automatic transfer from your checking to savings account each month.
Whether you have a traditional savings account or long-term investments, Citizens National Bank offers options for meeting your savings goals. Learn more: http://ow.ly/Jx2PU
About ICBA – The Independent Community Bankers of America®, the nation’s voice for more than 6,500 community banks of all sizes and charter types, is dedicated exclusively to representing the interests of the community banking industry and its membership through effective advocacy, best-in-class education and high-quality products and services. For more information, visit www.icba.org.
Jeff Harrison and Trevor White of lobbying firm Combest, Sell & Associates recently spoke to area farmers at an event co-hosted by Citizens National Bank and Williamson Insurance. Harrison had previously been lead counsel for the 2002 Farm Bill and White is an economist. The topic was the 2014 Farm Bill.
Harrison discussed the changes in Washington since the November elections. Despite some fundamental differences in belief, he does feel some headway will be made in regards to addressing the Highway Fund shortage and that a budget may be passed by Congress for the first time in a long time. The Affordable Care Act will continue to be a focus on both sides of the aisle, with Democrats defending it and Republicans looking to chip away pieces of it to make it easier for businesses to afford. He is hopeful that tax extenders will be put into place, such as the section 179 deduction, which would allow for higher amounts of equipment purchases to be deducted. The House and Senate Ag Committees will need to address several issues this year including school lunch requirements, the Grain Standards Act and Country of Origin Labels required by the World Trade Organization. However, he feels their biggest concern will be defending crop insurance subsidies and not limiting payments for those with more than $250,000 in income as has been proposed by some opposing economists as a means to cut the budget. Harrison encourages farmers to contact their senators and congressmen to protect farm policy and crop insurance, stating “You (farmers) have a lot of power.”
Trevor White spoke specifically about the Agricultural Act of 2014, otherwise known as the Farm Bill. He stated there were 3 programs (direct payments, counter-cyclical program & ACRE) that were repealed as part of this bill and 2 programs that took their place. These programs are Price Loss Coverage, known as PLC and Agricultural Risk Coverage, known as ARC. PLC is a price-based program and allows for the purchase of Supplemental Coverage in addition for added price protection. ARC is a revenue-based program and can be based either on the county’s average yields or an individual farm’s average yields. He notes you are able to choose different options by commodity and by farm, so one size does not necessarily fit all for your entire operation. While he admits making the decision which option to choose can be confusing, he says multiple options are available to address different types of risks and recommends a couple different websites which offer decisioning tools to help you; Texas A&M’s and the University of Illinois’s.
New this year is the option to choose to update your own farm yields, your base allocation of crops or both. This has not been allowed since 2002. The yield is based on your records or plugs 75% of your county average in for years 2008-2012. If you choose to reallocate your base it uses a 4 year average of what you have actually planted and compares it to your total acreage farmed to determine a percentage base of that crop. White notes you will want to review this carefully though, because if you have a lot of base in a crop that is predicted for higher yields, you may want to leave your allocation the same. The deadline to update your yield or reallocate your base acres is February 27, 2015.
Comparing price coverage of the old programs to the new ones, White feels farmers are better protected now than with the direct payments system. He does caution farmers not to bank on a maximum payment however when determining which coverage to choose. “If you get a higher yield than expected, you may not qualify for the maximum payment, even with lower prices.” He also notes the owner of the farm is the one who must make the decision whether or not to update yields or make base reallocations, but it is the producer that decides whether to choose PLC or ARC. The decision of which coverage to enroll in will be in effect until 2018. He encourages farmers to not rely on hearsay or to just copy what other area farmers are doing, “Do your own research. It’s your farm,” he emphasizes. To help you get started, the Farm Service Agency, FSA, has created a timeline of the 4 steps to enrollment in either program by the March 31, 2015 deadline. Visit their website to learn more.
When Dr. Lance Bryant and his wife Carol originally moved to St. Marys to begin his practice as a surgeon they were impressed with the professionalism and care they received from their mortgage lender, Rod Stover. Now, more than 20 years later, the Bryants not only manage busy medical careers, but have raised 4 children and spend most of their free time at their vacation home in Tennessee. Through the years, they have continued to work with Rod, financing their second home through Citizens National Bank, using CNB for their personal accounts, and now looking to CNB and Rod to help manage their business accounts as well.
Dr. Bryant has his pilot’s license and the couple flies to Tennessee every chance they get for a little R&R from their hectic work. They use CNB Online Banking to manage their accounts from wherever they happen to be and the Bryants appreciate Rod’s willingness to be just a text or phone call away.
View the Bryants’ story at www.cnbohio.com/AboutUs/CNBVideos/.
Citizens National Bank (CNB) is pleased to announce that Brock Burcham has joined the company as Senior Vice President/Springfield City President. He will be responsible for the overall banking operations, including commercial lending and deposits, and is based at Citizens’ office at 30 Warder St. in Springfield.
Burcham says, “I was drawn to Citizens as they remain a community bank, but have the product offerings of a regional bank. There will be very few businesses and farms that we won’t be able to work with to provide excellent service and up to date loan and deposit products.”
Burcham recently worked as a commercial/ag loan officer and has 10+ years of experience in the banking and financial services industry.
Burcham, a resident of Springfield, graduated from Springfield North High School and received a Bachelor’s Degree from Miami University. He is married to Lori (Smedley) Burcham and they have three children, Brody, Piper, and Lily. He looks forward to remaining both active in the industry and local community organizations.
With offices in Bluffton, Celina, Defiance, Elida, Findlay, Lima, Springfield, Van Wert and Toledo, Citizens National Bank has assets totaling more than $650 million and has been serving the communities of West Central Ohio since 1920.