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Get Ready for Tax Time

Tax-Saving Planning Tips

As tax filing season begins for 2016 we are reminded how we could have effectively lowered our taxable income. Start your 2017 tax planning with some helpful tips.

Donate to your Favorite Charity

Along with helping others, charitable donations are a great way to lower your taxable income. Take the time to sort through old clothes, and other belongings that you no longer use or need. Clean out your food pantries and find some local food drives. Make sure you keep your receipts; they will be needed for tax purposes.

Health Savings Accounts

Individuals under age 65 and covered by a high deductible health plan may establish an HSA (Health Savings Account) which allows participants to save money for the payment of health care expenses on a tax-preferred basis. HSA distributions are generally tax-free if they are used to pay for qualified medical expenses. Distributions made for any other purposes may be taxable. Please contact your health care provider for more information about high-deductible health plans and HSA accounts.

Annual Gift Tax Exclusion

Consider gifting to reduce some tax burdens. In 2016 you could have gifted up to $14,000 to each person, and to as many individuals as you want, without triggering the gift tax. That amount stays the same in 2016. In addition to the annual exclusion amounts, you can also give charitable gifts, gifts to a spouse, gifts of educational expenses, and gifts of medical expenses without triggering the gift tax.

Retirement Savings One of the best ways to lower your tax bill is to reduce your taxable income. You could have contributed up to $18,000 to your 401k or similar retirement savings plan in 2016, which remains the same for 2017. Money contributed to the plan is not included in your taxable income. If you don’t have a retirement plan at work, you can invest in an IRA. You can contribute up to $5,500. Depending on your income, you may be able to deduct some or all of your IRA contribution.

Who Can Help Me?

With the overall objective of minimizing your taxable income, there are some great tax planning tactics that can help you for 2016.
Take this time to speak to a financial professional along with your tax advisor to help minimize your tax burden in the coming years.
You have many choices when searching for help in reaching your goals. In particular, the financial professionals here at your credit union will work closely with you to clarify your retirement goals, help you develop and implement a plan, and provide ongoing advice in pursuit of those goals.

Interested in Learning More?
Contact Tiffany Yee at (626) 441-7151 ext. 241 or explore the Retirement and Investment Services Website

* Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), a registered broker-dealer (Member FINRA/SIPC) and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are registered through CFS. ‘The Credit Union’ has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.

Source: http://www.thesimpledollar.com/five-simple-steps-to-start-preparing-for-tax-season/

Arroyo Time Bank: People Helping People

Time is money
Time can be a valuable currency

The credit union motto is “People Helping People” and that’s what our new community partner, Arroyo Time Bank is all about.  Learn more in this informative Guest Blog:

What is Time Banking?

At its most basic level, time banking is simply about building community one hour at a time by doing something for someone else in the community. That hour is recorded in the time bank, then you get an hour to spend on having someone help you. It’s a simple idea, but it has powerful ripple effects in building community connections. Have you ever wished you had someone to help you get something done during your day? In a Time Banking community, your neighbors help you get it done.

Our Relationship with Money and PCFU

Pasadena Federal Credit Union (PCFU) and the Arroyo Time Bank (ATB) both value community and work to strengthen the community as a whole, which is why we chose Pasadena Federal Credit Union as our financial institution. 

    Currency, at its most basic level, is a medium of exchange, a way to get things or get things done. As such, using time as a currency is complementary to what you do with your regular currency (U.S. dollars). Instead of banking on the gold standard, time banking uses the “friendship standard” to create an alternative currency. Your investment in your relationships creates your earning and spending capacity.

As a banking institution, PFCU supports and builds the community through community oriented lending practices and community service. A time bank like ATB builds one-on-one relationships in the community through reciprocity. This reciprocity is tracked through the earning and spending of time credits. 

Time banking is not intended to replace money. It is intended to build community, providing a safety net of friendship for us all.

Five Core Values

There are five core values in time banking. First, we are all assets. We believe that every human being has something to contribute.

Second is redefining work, the concept that some work is beyond price; valuing whatever it takes to raise healthy children, advance social justice, and make the planet sustainable. That kind of work needs to be honored, recorded, and rewarded.

Third is reciprocity. Helping works better as a two-way street. We can help each other build the world we both will live in.

Fourth is building social networks. We need each other. Networks are stronger than individuals. People helping each other reweave communities of support, strength and trust.

Fifth is respect. Every human being matters. Respect underlies freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and everything we value. Respect supplies the heart and soul of democracy. When respect is denied to anyone, we all are injured. Time Banking honors the unique gifts, talents and resources that each of us has to share, regardless of age, employment or ethnic background.

Our Projects
      The Arroyo Time Bank pioneers and supports several community-wide projects to fit the needs of our diverse community. These include the following: the Neighborhood Fruit Picking Project, the Altadena Urban Farmer’s Market, and the Neighborhood Resilience Project at the Armory’s Madison Casita.
 

For more information on Arroyo Time Bank events, projects, and for instructions on how to join, please visit the Arroyo Time Bank website  AND, Arroyo Time Bank members are now eligible to join PFCU!