IMPORTANT!!

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, July 12, 2011

Edition #619


Today's Highlights:

Past issues of GCFlash:

July 5, 2011 Edition #618

June 28, 2011 Edition #617

June 21, 2011 Edition #616

June 14, 2011 Edition #615

Looking for articles from a past issue of GCFlash not listed above? Enter keywords into our Site Search! Find archived articles prior to August 2009 in our Knowledge Base.


Weekly Spotlight:

Regardless of how diligent one may be, anybody can become a victim of Identity Theft. Prompt response will minimize the damage, and our Identity Theft Repair Kit can help guide you through the process. Complete it online or print it out to jot down notes as they arise. Some may want to fill out contact information ahead of time to have that information at hand should you need it. Find it here.



Our Current Rates:

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

Today's National Market Rates
July 12, 2011 6 Mo Ago
01/12/10
1 Yr Ago
07/12/10
5 Yrs Ago
07/12/06
Dow Jones Industrial Average
(Up 869.37 or 7.51% since 12/31/10)
12,446.88 (-0.47%) 11,755.44 10,216.27 11,013.18
S&P 500
(Up 56.00 or 4.45% since 12/31/10)
1,313.64 (-0.44%) 1,275.65 1,070.45 1,257.29
NASDAQ
(Up 129.04 or 4.86% since 12/31/10)
2,781.91 (-0.74%) 2,722.32 2,183.52 2,090.23
10 Year Treasury Bond Yield 2.91% 3.35% 3.01% 5.10%
British Sterling 1.5908 1.5572 1.5060 1.8420
Euro 1.3970 1.2948 1.2634 1.2742

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1st Flash

Are Your Heirs Aware?

Nobody wants to think about their own death. It's a hard subject to broach, even with those you love the most. Yet it's for their sake that you prepare for that day. It will happen to each and every one of us, ready or not.

Those that are prepared leave a lasting legacy. Those that aren't leave a lingering ordeal.

It isn't enough to merely create the proper documents. Your heirs need to know where they can find them.

Your heirs can't file a claim for property they don't know exists. According to the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, state treasurers currently hold $32.9 billion in unclaimed bank accounts and other assets. After a designated amount of time, different by state, that money becomes the property of the state.

It's a good idea to create a file listing documents, bank accounts, insurance policies and brokerage accounts that your family can refer to in case of emergency. GCF has a Document Locator on our website that can help you get this information organized.

The documents can be filed with your attorney, locked in a safe-deposit box or kept at home in a fireproof safe. Make sure someone else knows the combination or location of the key.

You must have an original will on file. Copies can be disputed in probate. Include a letter of instruction so that your executor has names and contact information for your lawyer, accountant and financial adviser along with instructions on funeral arrangements.

You'll also need to provide your heirs with a durable financial power-of-attorney so they can make financial decisions on your behalf in case of an emergency.

Proof of ownership for all of your assets should be included in your document file. Real estate records, cemetery plots, vehicle titles, stock certificates, savings bonds, and a list of brokerage and escrow mortgage accounts are all items your heirs need to know about.

Make a list of loans you made to others as well as any debts you owe. At least three years worth of tax returns should be available so your heirs can file a final return on your behalf.

Your heirs will need a list of all bank accounts and online login information so they can notify the bank of your death. They also need to know of your safe-deposit box. If they're not listed on the registration document, they'll need a court order to retrieve the contents.

Your family may need to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. A durable healthcare power-of-attorney assures they have the authority to make decisions should you become incapacitated. A living will assures they will comply with your wishes.

Copies of life insurance policies are important for your family to have. Include any policy your employer offered at retirement. A list of pensions, annuities, IRAs and 401(k)s must be included as well. If no withdrawal has been made by age 70-1/2, an IRA is considered dormant. An estimated tens of millions of dollars lay in unclaimed IRAs every year.

Marriage and divorce papers should be kept nearby also. You may have to provide proof, even 30 years later when finding the proper documents can be extremely difficult.

You've spent your lifetime acquiring these assets. Make sure your heirs can claim their rightful ownership when the time comes for them to do so.

On The World Wide Web

Track the U.S. national debt in real time. Follow federal spending and budget deficit, budget items and much more here.

Looking for data on congressional salaries, financial disclosures or earmarks? Point your browser to this site.

Are you entitled to unclaimed money? Insurance companies or government agencies won't come looking for you. It's up to you to file a claim. Search for unclaimed money here.

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2nd Flash

Just My Opinion

As the debt ceiling debate continues to swirl, I can't help but think both sides are so far off target that a real solution will never be reached. Allow me to offer my own thoughts here, which in no way reflect the opinions of GCF Bank, its management, directors or employees.

We hear the same rhetoric each and every time the subject is discussed. The same two options are the only ones offered: Do we raise taxes or cut spending? Do we punish the wealthy or push grandpa out of his wheelchair through Medicare cuts?

No amount of increased taxes would be sufficient to offset our budget shortfall. We're not talking about trying to catch up on a few measly million dollars here. Our budget deficit is nearly $1.4 trillion. We can't begin to stop accruing debt until our budget is more closely balanced.

Just how much can you gain by raising taxes? We can nickel-and-dime ordinary citizens like the fellow who caught Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit ball. The 23-year-old fan did the morally right thing in returning the ball to the Yankees. He could have sold it on e-Bay in hopes of raising enough money to put a dent in his $100,000 student loan debt. But he didn't. In return, the Yankees gifted him with luxury suite tickets, autographed bats, balls and jerseys, and other assorted team trinkets.

Trinkets the IRS has valued at about $50,000. And he could face a $14,000 tax liability for merely being a good guy who did the right thing.

Or we can tax the wealthy. But the top 10 percent of wage earners currently pay 70 percent of our collected Federal Income taxes. Let's pass a collection plate around and see if they want to toss in another $1.4 trillion.

Any business facing a shortfall knows they have to tighten their belts to continue operating. Yet our government continues to grow at an alarming pace.

Businesses have cut back. The proof is in our high unemployment rate. People are not working. Therefore, they do not collect a paycheck from which to assess taxes.

Maybe creating jobs is a better solution than raising taxes. A working citizenship forms a larger tax base.

How does one create jobs? Balancing the trade deficit would be a good start. A global economy can only prosper when imports/exports transact on a level playing field.

So instead we look to budget cuts as a way to decrease the deficit. Where do opponents hold the most leverage? By threatening cuts in popular social programs. Public outcry will shift the blame to those who even suggest such cuts.

There's no question that Social Security and Medicare both need substantial reform to continue to serve the needs of the American people. We've discussed this in previous issues of GCFlash, no need to rehash it again here. For now, we can focus on eliminating fraud as a means to control spending in these essential programs. It would be a step in the right direction.

Rather than continue asking the American people to bailout a government run amuck, perhaps it's time that our elected officials take a good, hard look at themselves.

Let's start with earmarks, those little pet projects promised to a legislator by bill sponsors in return for their vote. Craft a bill worthy of passage and we wouldn't be footing a few extra million to build a bridge to nowhere or subsidize farmers not to grow crops.

Focus on future initiatives for the good of the public. Propaganda advertising does not make us want or need a product that causes more harm than good. Yet millions of dollars are spent trying to convince us of nonexistent benefits.

I'm talking ethanol fuels here that destroy marine and small engines as just one example. While automobiles run fine with the product, they still get less mileage than traditional gasoline. And ethanol production itself creates higher emissions than running cars on good ole' gasoline. It's also contributed to the global food crisis. Not really one of our better ideas.

Or the "low energy" compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) that emits less light as it's used over time, spews dangerous mercury when it breaks, and costs the consumer more. Do we really need legislation to dictate which type of light bulb we use?

These are just two examples of government-sponsored projects that cost more to research, develop, distribute and defend than any benefit derived. Countless more land on lawmaker's desks everyday. Nobody asks how they'll be paid for, or if they're worth the cost, until it's too late.

I would love to see Congress follow the example set by Lee Iacocca and hundreds of other CEOs trying to save a struggling company. Grant themselves a salary of only $1 until they can solve our liquidity problems once and for all. They'll get by just fine on benefits and bonuses.

Every member of Congress receives the same salary of $174,000. Those appointed to leadership positions, such as Speaker of the House, earn more. But for the sake of simple math, we'll forego such variances. And we won't include members of their staff.

With 435 members of the House of Representatives and 50 Senate members, our annual Congressional payroll equals $84,390,000. This simple sign of good faith by our lawmakers would show they're truly interested in solving this problem.

We can make great strides in reducing the deficit by looking at a couple areas of wasteful spending alone. We don't need to take away grandpa's wheelchair.

This is just one writer's opinion. If you would like to share yours, send it to editor@gcfbank.com.

Tip of the Week

Not all identity theft is committed online. In fact, a large amount of information is stolen right from your mailbox. Do you leave bills to be picked up by your mail carrier? The red flag you raise to indicate outgoing mail alerts thieves, too. While you're at work, they'll plunder your mailbox for any treasure they may find. Your outgoing check, or credit card offers you receive, are ripe for the harvest. Invest in a locking mailbox to prevent becoming a victim.

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Financial News

The big news last week was that the employment situation in the U.S. is not improving at the moment. The unemployment rate increased to 9.2 percent in May from 9.1 percent the prior month. Non-farm payrolls increased by 18,000 compared to 25,000 the prior month. This came nowhere near expectations of 65,000 to 160,000. Private payroll additions also dropped from 73,000 to 57,000 in June.

The total number of jobs reportedly available since the drop in 2007 has gone down by 7 million. Some sectors have show increases in the past year including food service, tech and manufacturing. Evaluating industry's future potential may direct where to invest in job re-education.


Quotable

"I have found that being honest is the best technique I can use. Right up front, tell people what you're trying to accomplish and what you're willing to sacrifice to accomplish it." - Lee Iacocca


Today in History

1957 - Dwight Eisenhower becomes the first U.S. president to fly in a helicopter.


Flash Fact

Jimmy Carter is the first U.S. president to be born in a hospital.

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

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PURPOSE:

GCFlash is a weekly e-mail sent only to its listed customers and associates free of charge. GCFlash informs customers of special product offerings which may be of interest, current interest rates on both deposit and loan products, selected financial news and other financial tidbits. GCFlash is intended to supplement the more comprehensive information listed on the GCF Web site at http://www.gcfbank.com.

For more comprehensive information, visit our Web site at http://www.gcfbank.com or call (856) 589-6600 Ext: 337 (Timothy P. Hand)

GCFLASH PRIVACY STATEMENT

For a copy of our Privacy Policy, visit www.gcfbank.com/gcflash_privacy.aspx

GCF maintains your e-mail address in a confidential and secure database along with much of your other account information, such as mailing address and telephone number, etc. Before aggregating our e-mailing list each week, we filter out any duplicates. In most cases, this inhibits the unintended e-mailing of multiple copies of GCFlash to a single e-mail address. However, because these account records are kept by both individual and account, there is a chance members of the same household could each receive a copy of GCFlash or any other transmission at the same e- mail address - resulting in multiple copies. For example, a husband and wife that both have accounts with GCF may both receive a copy because the names are different but listed at the same e-mail address. This is similar to the manner in which each individual may share a common telephone number. To handle this situation, GCF recommends you simply delete any extra copies of GCFlash as this will ensure that ALL individuals receive any future promotional mailings, which might only be targeted or offered to specific accountholders meeting certain criteria. GCF has the capability to suppress customer e-mail addresses so they are omitted from our transmission list. If you would rather have a specific household member’s e-mail address suppressed in our electronic database, simply send us a reply, as stated below, and indicate the accountholder for which you would like to have e-mail suppressed. Please keep in mind that this suppression will mean that NO future e-mails are sent, including special promotional offers. If you have any questions about this process or need additional information, please contact us at netaccess@gcfbank.com.

If you would like to be removed from this electronic mailing list, please hit reply and place the word REMOVE in the subject line. Please note, removing your name from our electronic mailing list means GCF will send NO FUTURE NEWS or SPECIAL OFFERS.


GCF Bank
381 Egg Harbor Road
Sewell, NJ 08080
(856) 589-6600
www.gcfbank.com