We are keeping a close eye on the "Heartbleed" bug you may have heard about. The vendor we use for Online Banking has completed a preliminary assessment and has not discovered any vulnerability. We will be sure to keep you updated should anything to the contrary be discovered. Rest assured that we are doing everything we can to help ensure that your information is safe.

It is always a good practice to use unique passwords for all of the online services you access. If your GCF Online Banking password has also been used with a different service, we do recommend that you change your Online Banking password at this time.

If you currently utilize GCF’s online banking EXPRESS TRANSFER function to make your loan payments, this service will be temporarily unavailable from April 25, 2014 through June 9, 2014. As an alternative to this temporary inconvenience, you can do one of the following:

  • Contact 1-877-589-6600 ext. 320 or 368 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to manually complete the transaction.
  • Mail a check to Investors Bank, 101 Wood Avenue South, Iselin, NJ 08830.
  • Sign up for GCF’s online bill payment system and set up a monthly payment to be sent to Investors Bank.

Fast Access

GCF Bank is now part of the Investors Bank family!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Edition #657

Today's Highlights:

Past issues of GCFlash:

March 27, 2012 Edition #656

March 20, 2012 Edition #655

March 13, 2012 Edition #654

March 6, 2012 Edition #653

Weekly Spotlight:

Older Americans have unique needs, and our web site offers tools to address them. Find articles, tips and resources geared towards those in the prime of life here.

Our Current Rates:

For a listing of our current deposit and loan rates, click here.

Today's National Market Rates
April 3, 2012 6 Mo Ago
1 Yr Ago
5 Yrs Ago
Dow Jones Industrial Average
(Up 981.99 or 8.04% since 12/31/11)
13,199.55 (-0.49%) 10,655.30 12,400.03 12,510.93
S&P 500
(Up 155.72 or 12.38% since 12/31/11)
1,413.31 (-0.40%) 1,099.23 1,332.87 1,437.77
(Up 508.42 or 19.52% since 12/31/11)
3,113.57 (-0.20%) 2,335.83 2,789.19 2,450.33
10 Year Treasury Bond Yield 2.29% 1.78% 3.43% 4.66%
British Sterling 1.5898 1.5576 1.6107 1.9724
Euro 1.3216 1.3376 1.4232 1.3359

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1st Flash

Saving at the Pump

Just when you thought it was safe to get behind the wheel again, riots break out in Egypt. Libya is under siege by its own government. Insert any Middle East nation here along with a myriad of excuses.

The result is the same. Skyrocketing gasoline prices are back.

So how can the average American afford to get from Point A to Point B?

You can do a web search for gas saving tips. But beware. You'll find more myth than savings.

Myth 1: Running your auto's air conditioner burns more fuel.
Perhaps. But so does driving with the windows down. The air turbulence creates drag. Burning more fuel.

Myth 2: Gas is denser in the morning when it's cool, giving you less volume when you fuel.
Nope. Tanks are located deep beneath the pumps where air temperature is not a factor.

Myth 3: Keep your tires under-inflated to improve mileage.
Both under- and over-inflating tires can cause blowouts. For the best mileage, as well as your safety, always keep your tires inflated properly.

Myth 4: A clean air filter will improve mileage.
A clean air filter will improve intake. It will improve your car's performance. It will not improve fuel mileage.

Now that we've identified what won't work, here are a few tips that will.

Your driving habits play the biggest role in fuel mileage. Ever watch an auto race in any series? The difference between winning and losing often comes down to fuel mileage. The driver who can feather the pedal and maintain consistent speeds is often the one being sprayed with champagne in the winner's circle.

You don't have to be a professional race car driver to learn these tricks. Rapid acceleration and frequent braking are fuel bandits. Keep a consistent pace. If your car has a tachometer, watch that instead of the speedometer. Keep those rpm's steady.

Most vehicles burn more fuel when driven over 60 mph. And with traffic, you won't reach your destination any sooner at a higher speed. Stick to the speed limit. Use cruise control if you have it to assure consistent speeds.

If you'll be more than a minute, turn off the engine. It takes more gas to start a car than run it, but idling burns more yet.

Shed that extra weight. You'll use two percent more gas for every 100 lbs. in your vehicle. Spring is right around the corner. Soon you won't need to lug around that bag of sand in your trunk.

Keep your engine properly tuned. And use the recommended grade of motor oil. The grade indicates viscosity. Use the wrong one and you're increasing engine friction.

Plan your errands to avoid back tracking as much as possible. Choose a route with fewer traffic lights or heavy traffic whenever it's an option. The longer route may actually save you time and money.

The first gas station you see after a long stretch is usually the most expensive. Same with those whose sign you can see from the highway. Drive a bit further for better prices.

We've seen this up-and-down gas price cycle so many times that it's pretty much old news. But that doesn't make it any easier on the wallet. Use these tips to keep your wallet as full as possible.

On The World Wide Web

Planning a trip? Estimate fuel cost, plan your route, get maps and learn about attractions at this site.

Over the age of 55? You deserve a discount! Find out how much you've earned where at this site.

Do you have an elderly family member, neighbor or friend who can use help? Visit to find local services, links to related web sites and resources for caregivers.

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2nd Flash

Choosing a Senior Living Community

One of the most difficult tasks a family can undertake is assuring their loved one has proper care as they age.

Humans are independent creatures by nature. We're taught how to care for ourselves at a young age. But you won't find any lessons on aging.

There are different levels of elder care. Many people don't need the intensity of a nursing home. They can fend for themselves, but have difficulty with certain functions they once took for granted. Like getting back up after a fall, or turning the stove off after cooking a meal.

For these people, assisted living makes a good alternative. There are good facilities in most communities. But how do you know which is the right one for your loved one?

Tour several assisted living facilities. Observe the other residents. Do they have anything in common with your loved one? Do they have the same social or professional background? Do they speak the same language? Do they have similar impairments or limitations? Do they look content?

Ask to see a schedule of activities. Are they the type your loved one would participate in? Try to attend one to see what's going on first hand.

Is the staff experienced in the type of care your loved one requires? Are members of a medical staff on-site? Do they have the provisions to address needs that will change in the future?

Visit the facility around mealtime. If possible, eat a meal while you're there to see if the food is good and fresh. Evaluate the dining room experience. Are special meals or diets available? What about special requests?

Household services offered can differ from one facility to the next. If your loved one can't cook, clean, or do laundry any longer, make sure these services are offered by the community you choose. How often are services provided? How responsive is the staff to accidents that may occur?

Speak to as many staff members as possible during your visit. Get a sense of how they feel about the facility and whether they enjoy working there. Are they warm, friendly and respectful? Do they appear to be caring individuals? Learn about the hiring process, particularly whether or not a criminal background check is conducted. The quality of the staff is much more important than the quantity.

Will the facility hold a bed if your loved one is hospitalized or needs temporary rehabilitation? How close is the nearest hospital?

Consider the size of the living space. While you may want to provide the largest space available, it may not be the best option. Typically, a person will become more reclusive when they have more space. Socialization is important to guard against depression.

It will be a difficult move for your loved one when they have to leave the family home. They're leaving behind a lifetime of memories; raising a family, home repairs gone awry, holiday celebrations. All those little events that turn a house into a home.

Have patience. Expect fits of anger, bouts of depression and hysterical outbursts. It will take some time for them to become comfortable with their new lifestyle. In the meantime, you may find yourself labeled the villain no matter how necessary it was to make the move.

Visit frequently. Take them shopping for a day, or treat them to a restaurant meal. If you promise a visit, show up. Your continued love and support will help make the adjustment easier.

Tip of the Week

Volunteer as Long-Term Care Ombudsman to assure long-term care facility residents live with dignity. You would observe their conditions and give them the freedom to voice their concerns without reprisal. Contact your local social services office for information.

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Financial Insights

The big news today dominating the business wires is about Apple, Inc. - and its likely rise to the world's first "Trillion Dollar Company." No surprise there, as Apple has been able to design, produce and sell a dazzling series of products with unrivaled market acceptance. Some analysts predict the stock to rise above $1K per share.

But let's take a break from the austere discussion of financial matters. If you will humor your financial news editor for a few weeks, I would like to recount a truly touching real life story about overcoming adversity - and the hard teamwork that accomplished it. Some say that the enthusiasm and optimism this story generated in the economically weary country of the time was at least partly responsible for the final stamping out of the Great Depression. I promise to interject any pressing financial news as the series plays out. This first week's installment is simply a reprint of a piece that was first published in GCFLash on January 4, 2005.


Seabiscuit's jockey George "Iceman" Woolf to Charlie Kurtsinger - aboard the mighty War Admiral - on the bottom of the backstretch at Pimlico Racetrack - November 1st, 1938. It was dubbed the "Match Race of the Century" when, in fact, it was the equivalent of a David and Goliath struggle between the regal Triple Crown Winner, War Admiral, against the splayed leg embattled runt of a horse called Seabiscuit. Seabiscuit had already lost more races than War Admiral had run. Indeed, War Admiral's aristocratic owner, Samuel Riddle, didn't want to match his "perfect racehorse" against that "poor little colt from California." Bowing to public pressure, he finally relented, arrogantly instructing Charlie Kurtsinger to "not embarrass the hapless little colt too badly." Riddle was not alone, as nearly all the odds makers thought Seabiscuit didn't stand a chance. Several national newspapers even predicted the race would be over as soon as War Admiral took his very first stride. No one, that is, except benevolent Seabiscuit owner Charles Howard, mystical trainer Tom Smith, jockey (and virtual soul mate) Red Pollard - not to mention most of the 40 million Americans who tuned in their radios to hear the race called live. President Roosevelt delayed a cabinet meeting and tuned in as well. Although the 70,000 fans in the stands gave War Admiral 2-1 betting odds, Seabiscuit was the overwhelming popular favorite as the depression weary masses rooted for their underdog.

To the roar of millions, the two horses broke off the line together, and despite Kurtsinger's whip, "the Biscuit" pushed first his head, and then his neck, into the lead. Seabiscuit "drove from the heart" as jockey Red Pollard would later describe the courageous little colt, "He doesn't know he is the smallest one out there." Pollard, laying in traction at a nearby hospital, shouted instructions at stand-in (and close friend) Woolf on how to ride the little horse he called "Pops."

Entering the first turn, daylight had opened between the dueling pair and a shell shocked Kurtsinger faced a chilling realization: Seabiscuit was faster. He simply hadn't thought it possible. Kurtsinger didn't panic, however, he was a veteran and this was a long race - a lot could happen. Even more importantly, he had the endurance and stamina of a Triple Crown winner beneath him, nearly a half a foot taller and a year younger than his underdog opponent. Hence "Charlie" modified his game plan: He'd let this reckless little sprinter waste himself early and then snuff him out late in the backstretch. Ever so skillfully he guided the Admiral around, finally convinced he had the race won as he pulled alongside Woolf and the Biscuit late in the backstretch. Up in his private box, Samuel Riddle clenched his fists. He'd had a brief scare, but surely victory was at hand. Except. Except what Kurtsinger, Riddle and almost no one else knew was that Woolf had been instructed to hold his mount back and let War Admiral get close enough so Seabiscuit "could look him in the eye." That famous challenge occurred just seconds before Woolf uttered his famous farewell to Charlie Kurtsinger - coining the saying for the ages. Finally unleashed, Seabiscuit delivered a tremendous surge - cocking one ear to the roar of his fans - the little horse who played to the stands. Under the wire it was Seabiscuit by four lengths. The crowd, the President, indeed the entire country, went crazy. It was just the lift they all needed.

Epilogue: Many, perhaps most of us have at some point uttered the phrase "See you Charlie!" - virtually all without realizing the drama, and amazing triumph over adversity that inspired it.


"The silence of a wise man is always meaningful." - Leo Strauss

Today in History

1958 - Fidel Castro's rebels attacked Havana.

Flash Fact

Fidel Castro's rule of Cuba outlasted nine U.S. presidents - from Eisenhower to Clinton.

Have a comment about something you read in GCFlash? Suggestions for future articles? Drop us an email!

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