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First Bank Recognizes World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

14 Tips for Stopping Elder Financial Abuse in its Tracks Every year, millions of seniors fall victim to financial fraud. Studies show elder financial abuse costs seniors anywhere from $3 billion to $37 billion a year. In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, First Bank is urging senior clients as well as their trusted caregivers to safeguard all personal information and stay alert to the common signs of financial abuse. “The U.S. Population is rapidly aging and the older population not only has varying financial needs and circumstances, but also hold a greater share of household net worth.” Says Bob Ahern, Chief Compliance Officer. “As such, they are also more vulnerable to financial abuse and should seek individuals and professionals who they trust to ensure their best interest and financial and personal well-being.” First Bank is offering the following tips: Plan ahead to protect your assets and to ensure your wishes are followed. Talk to some ...

Things to Do During the Quarantine That You’ve Put Off

If you’re like many Americans, you’ve probably found yourself with additional time on your hands. In fact, a recent study found that average Americans with access to the Internet are streaming a least eight hours a day, along with binge-watching three shows a week, amidst the pandemic and stay-at-home orders. This data reveals that we probably have some time to now tackle those important items on our to-do list that we may have been putting off. 1. Get Organized. If you’re like many, there’s some room in your life for more organization. Go through old file cabinets and closets to throw out, add to the donate pile, or shred what is no longer needed. Create a more efficient storage space by adding accurate labeling to make it easier to locate things like receipts, photos, craft items, holiday items, and everyday household items. Don’t forget about your online files as well. Organize online folders, delete information you no longer need, and install any updates and anti-v ...

What are some of the Best Ways to Spend the Stimulus Money?

If you’re like millions of Americans, you have or are going to soon receive an economic stimulus check or direct deposit payment into your bank account. For the estimated 17 million of Americans filing for unemployment due to the pandemicˡ, this $1,200 payment per adult and $500 per child could mean the difference between paying for groceries, rent, and household items this month or not. If you are still employed and your job has not been impacted due to COVID-19, then the stimulus money could help you help the local economy with thoughtful spending or giving or could help move you closer to reaching your savings goals. Read Spend or Save: Has COVID-19 Impacted Your Savings Strategy? First and foremost, let’s help you determine the best manner to deposit a hard-copy check amidst the social distancing guidelines. Rest assured, First Bank is considered an essential service provider and is open; however, we’re taking all of the precautions necessary to help keep you safe. That said, i ...

CARES Act Provides Relief to Individuals and Businesses

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. This $2 trillion emergency relief package is intended to assist individuals and businesses during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and accompanying economic crisis. Major relief provisions are summarized here. Unemployment provisions The legislation provides for: An additional $600 weekly benefit to those collecting unemployment benefits, through July 31, 2020 An additional 13 weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits, through the end of 2020, for individuals who exhaust their state unemployment benefits Targeted federal reimbursement of state unemployment compensation designed to eliminate state one-week delays in providing benefits Unemployment benefits through 2020 for many who would not otherwise qualify, including independent contractors and part-time workers Recovery rebates Most individuals will receive a direct payment from the federal government. Technically a ...

Spend or Save: Has COVID-19 Impacted Your Savings Strategy?

As the impact of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to impact families, businesses, and the economy as a whole, many consumers are now faced with the decision of how to best spend their money, including their tax refund or stimulus check. With many individuals finding themselves suddenly in an uncertain economic situation with reduced hours or the potential for loss of one or both incomes, it’s a good time to consider budgets, finances, and how best to plan ahead. According to the Internal Revenue Service, approximately 72% of taxpayers received a refund in 2018 and 2019. Last year, consumers planned to save approximately 41% of their 2018 tax refunds. By comparison, projected savings of tax refunds for 2019 are up to 50%. This could be due to the recent uncertainty of COVID-19 and the economy. “During these perilous times, consumers have suddenly found themselves in a position where they may have to rely on their savings to ensure that their everyday living expenses are met. This c ...

Don’t Let a Romance Scam Steal Your Heart or Your Hard-Earned Money

With Proposal Day behind us in March and Lover’s Day coming up on April 23, 2020, it’s a good time to discuss a growing and alarming trend, romance scams. You may be asking yourself, “Well, isn’t romance supposed to be a good, happy occurrence?” Of course, however, knowing that you’re in an actual relationship with a trustworthy partner is essential in today’s cyber-dating world. Unfortunately, there are those cybercriminals who are actively preying on the vulnerabilities of both men and women who are looking for love. What is a Romance Scam? A Romance Scam is defined as a confidence ploy used to lure people into a fictitious online relationship. The criminals often use popular dating apps and social media platforms, like Facebook or Instagram, to scout for their victims. Once they quickly build trust with their victim, they ask him or her for funds to be wired or mailed to them for fictitious emergencies. Another popular method of deception is asking the ma ...

A How-To Guide: Supporting Local Businesses During Coronavirus, or COVID-19

As the current coronavirus crisis takes a grip on many businesses and restaurants, owners are finding themselves anxious about both the short-term and long-term impacts this will have on their businesses. With restrictions put in place to help avoid the spread of the virus, small businesses are experiencing many changes to their business models, including a decrease in customers and their cash flow. As essential as small business is to the American economy, it’s essential that consumers do what they can to help assist them during this challenging time. Below are a few examples of how you can help support your local small businesses during COVID-19. 1. Carry Out or Delivery Your favorite, local restaurant may have had to close its doors to dine-in customers, but there’s a chance they’re still available for carryout or delivery. While the dining area might be closed, carrying out and delivery still provides income to help keep the business thriving during this economic hardship. ...

Invest Back into Your Home with a Home Equity Line Of Credit

How long have you lived in your current home? Is it time to start considering home improvements? Perhaps, you’ve been putting off a kitchen upgrade or bathroom remodel? While your home is one of your most valuable assets, it’s important to ensure your house is well-maintained and will retain its value. Even better, with many home improvement projects, your home’s value may even increase in value. Additionally, knowing that you’ll have enough money to cover your home-improvement costs can make any update process easier. By taking advantage of a home equity line of credit (HELOC), you’ll have access to the funds you need, when you need them, for your home-improvement projects. Advantages of a HELOC A HELOC is a line of credit that gives you access to funds based on several factors including the following: Your home’s market value. The equity you’ve built up in your home. Your credit score. Any outstanding debts against the home. The limit that& ...

Let’s Talk Taxes

As tax season is upon us, it’s time to start thinking about filing your taxes. Filing your taxes can seem intimidating if you are a recent graduate just joining the workforce or if you are filing for the first time. It’s not uncommon to ask yourself questions like, “What form should I be using?” or “What does a tax deduction mean?” Knowing what common tax terms mean, what the different tax forms are, and some general tips about filing will help you understand the process better. Tax Terms A critical step in filing your taxes correctly is to understand what common tax terms mean. Terms like withholding, deduction, and adjusted gross income (AGI) are terms used frequently. Withholding This is the amount of money taken out of your check during each pay period. The amount taken out is sent to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for federal income taxes. When you file, the IRS determines if you paid too much or too little. If you didn’t pay enough, then you& ...

First Bank Partners With Energycare To Help St. Louisans In Need Stay Warm This Winter

Employee-funded donation event raises more than $3,800 to purchase 128 electric blankets ST. LOUIS (January 9, 2019) – Today, First Bank donated 128 electric blankets to EnergyCare, a St. Louis nonprofit focused on protecting low-income, homebound people — especially the elderly, and seriously ill or physically disabled adults and children — from illness, hospitalization or death due to winter cold or summer heat. For the past 21 years, employees have participated in the fundraiser to donate air conditioning units in the summer and electric blankets in the winter to EnergyCare. “As the temperatures continue to drop, we often take for granted everyday essentials like blankets in the wintertime,” said Tim O’Dea, Executive Director, EnergyCare. “We are so grateful for community partners like First Bank for their continuous support. These electric blankets allow our clients to turn down their heat and save on utility bills while still staying safe and warm.&rdqu ...

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All First Bank blog information and content is strictly informational. It is not intended to be specific investment, tax, or legal advice. If you need detailed financial, investment, or tax advice, please contact a First Bank qualified professional. Please note, First Bank occasionally shares third-party content we find to be relevant and helpful to our audiences.