Thursday, July 30, 2015

What's An IRA, And Why Do I Need One?

As soon as you graduated college, you were probably overwhelmed by the constant words of business professionals who came before you, advising you to set up an IRA account and begin saving for retirement immediately. (If you have not graduated college yet, consider yourself warned of what is yet to come!) While these well-intended words of wisdom may get tedious, they are grounded in reality and well-worth listening to. First Bank of the Lake is here to help you gain the background information you need to make an educated decision about whether or not to establish an IRA.

What Is An IRA?

'IRA' stands for Independent Retirement Account. Essentially, IRAs are retirement savings accounts that you set up on your own (without assistance or contributions from your employer). There are two main types of IRAs - Traditional and Roth:
  • Traditional IRA - The money you deposit into your Traditional IRA is tax-deductible; you pay taxes on the funds when you withdraw them at a later date. 
  • Roth IRA - You deposit money into your Roth IRA after taxes; when you withdraw the funds down the road, you do not have to pay taxes on the principle amount invested.
IRAs are subject to some limitations, such as income requirements, age limits, and total amount you can deposit into your account. Currently, account holders under age 50 are only allowed to deposit a total of $5,500 into their IRAs per calendar year. Individuals age 50 and older are allowed to deposit $6,500 per year.

Why Do I Need An IRA?

Simply put, money you save now is money you can live off of when you retire - with accrued interest! People often ask us when they need to establish an IRA, and we always answer the same way: if you are old enough to ask that question, then it's time to establish an IRA. We recommend establishing an IRA as soon as you enter the workforce. The sooner your start putting money into your IRA, the more money you can save up and the more compounded interest you can build. Consider this example from U.S. News Money:
If you invest $300 per month when you're 25 and subsequently earn 8% each year, then you will have over $1 million by the time you're 65. If you wait until 35 to start investing $300 each month, then you'll have about $440,000. That's less than half as much as you would have if you had started saving the same amount a decade earlier.
The biggest lesson to take away from this example is the importance of starting early. Starting to save for retirement while in your early twenties is critical, even if you cannot set very much aside at a time. Monthly deposits as low as $50 can be a great way to start off - and you can always increase your monthly contributions as your income grows.

Where Can I Get An IRA?

IRAs are available through a variety of different financial institutions. If you are interested in setting up an IRA at the Lake of the Ozarks, we encourage you to contact First Bank of the Lake. Our experienced finance professionals would be happy to help you plan your retirement at the Lake of the Ozarks. Give us a call to get started!

First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!
4558 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2265

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Personal Loans - An Overview

You work hard at your job, and you're smart with your money. You have at least a general idea of how much money is in your bank account at all times, and you never spend beyond your means.

While these are certainly laudable standards to live up to, they don't mean that you can't take out a personal loan. There are any number of situations where a personal loan could be incredibly helpful - not to mention financially beneficial. First Bank of the Lake is here to help you out with all the information about personal loans.

Why Would You Get A Personal Loan?

There are several different reasons when you might choose to take out a personal loan, such as:
  • Buying A Car
  • Buying A House
  • Buying Furniture
  • Buying a Boat or PWC
  • Buying Farm Equipment
  • Going To College
  • Consolidating Debt
No matter what your reasons, taking out a personal loan could be a great way to get the extra cash you need for the next chapter of your life.

What Are The Financial Benefits Of A Personal Loan?

Believe it or not, personal loans can come with several different financial benefits. The obvious one is that you get extra cash up front to fund your next big purchase, which enables you to bring home whatever item or object you currently need. Some of the other benefits may not be quite as obvious, but that does not mean they are any less valuable. For example, paying off your loan by making each monthly payment in full can help boost your credit score. Personal loans also have a fixed interest rate, which allows for stable payment amounts throughout the duration of the loan.

What Do You Need To Know Before Getting A Personal Loan?

If approached strategically, getting a personal loan at the Lake of the Ozarks could be a great financial move. How can you make sure that you're going about it the right way? Here are a few things to find out before signing your name on the dotted line:
  • What your interest rate would be.
  • What the duration of the loan would be.
  • How much you would owe for your monthly payments.
  • If the loan is secured or not. (In a secured loan, you will typically have to put something up as collateral, such as your house or your car.)
  • If there is a penalty fee for paying off the loan early.
  • If there are limitations regarding how the money can be spent.
By getting all of this information up front, you will be able to make an educated decision about whether or not this personal loan is right for you.

If you are thinking about applying for a personal loan at the Lake of the Ozarks, give us a call! First Bank of the Lake would be happy to fund your personal loan and provide you with all the information you need to feel 100% comfortable with your decision. We look forward to working with you!

First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!
4558 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2265

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Everything You Need To Know About Buying Your First Home

It doesn't matter how old you are or what stage of life you're in - buying your first home is a major milestone. While it's incredibly exciting, it can also feel incredibly overwhelming. By properly educating yourself about the process ahead of time, you can alleviate some of the stress so you can instead focus on the excitement. If you're thinking about buying your first home, your friends at First Bank of the Lake are here to help guide you with these quick tips.

Do Your Research (And Be Realistic)
Set yourself up for success by setting realistic expectations for yourself and the process. Put together a list of features your new home must have (specific location, certain number of bedrooms, minimum square footage, etc), and then put together a separate list of the features you would like your home to have (such as vaulted ceilings or a wood-burning fireplace). This will help you get your priorities in order and stay focused on your home search.

Find The Right Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent will be your best friend throughout the entire home buying process, and it's important to find one who has experience working with buyers in your position. Ask about prior experience, check references, and - most importantly - choose the agent who "feels right." While it's important to remain as logical as possible, buying a home is always an emotional experience and it's crucial to find an agent you like and trust.

Know How Much You Can Afford
Looking at homes outside of your budget is the quickest way to set yourself up for disappointment. Instead, take a hard look at how much you will be able to provide for a down payment and what subsequent monthly payments you will be able to afford. Remember that the price of the home is only part of the picture - the interest rate on your mortgage loan will greatly influence the affordability of your home.

Shop Around For Mortgage Options
Talk to financial institutions and banks at the Lake of the Ozarks to get a feel for how much house you will truly be able to afford. You will need to provide several financial documents in order to be approved for a mortgage loan (such as W-2s, pay stubs, bank statements, etc), so this is also a good time to begin getting these documents together. Different lenders may offer you different interest rates for the same loan amount, so it's important to do your homework.

Understand The Offer Process
Finding your dream house is only half the battle; once you find a home you love, you have to begin negotiations with the seller. Your real estate agent will be able to help you evaluate the situation and determine what you should offer in order to give it the best chance of being accepted. You will have to rely on your agent's expertise to set you apart from the other buyers who may also be interested in the home.

Get A Home Inspection
The home might look great during your tours, but it's impossible to determine the shape the home is actually in without a professional home inspection. The official inspection report will reveal the actual condition of everything in the home. If the inspection reveals a major problem, you may be able to negotiate with the seller to reach a lower price (if you still want to purchase the home). Ultimately, the inspection will give you confidence that you know exactly what you're buying.

Know What You're Signing
If you have never purchased a home before, you will be amazed at the amount of paperwork that has to be signed at closing. Your real estate agent, title insurance agency, and your Lake of the Ozarks mortgage lender will be able to explain what each of the documents mean. Don't be afraid to ask for additional clarification if necessary!

Owning your own home is a wonderfully rewarding experience. The team at First Bank of the Lake would be honored to help you through the process! Ask us about our competitive mortgage loans at the Lake of the Ozarks today.

First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!
4558 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2265

Thursday, July 9, 2015

First Bank of the Lake - Serving ALL Your Banking Needs

Your money is your livelihood. It's your way of providing for your family, of ensuring that you have a roof over your head and food on your table. It's not something you can afford to take chances with, as your own and your family's welfare is often directly correlated to your financial situation.

These are just a few of the reasons that taking good care of your money is so important. At First Bank of the Lake, we understand that we are handling more than our customers' money - we are helping them make a better life for themselves and their families. We take pride in this great responsibility and we work very hard to ensure that our customers' needs are met and their expectations are exceeded, no matter what services they require. Our local bank at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to help you with all of your banking needs!

Bank Accounts
In need of a safe and secure place to keep your personal or business funds? We offer several different types of accounts so you're sure to find one that meets your unique needs. As a quick summary, we offer...
  • First Basic Checking
  • First Preferred Checking
  • Money Market Accounts
  • Personal Savings Accounts
  • Individual Retirement Accounts
  • Certificate of Deposit Accounts
  • Business Checking Accounts
  • Payroll Accounts
  • Business Savings Accounts

Even the wealthiest individuals sometimes need a little extra cash. We are proud to offer personal and business loans at the Lake of the Ozarks, so we can help you take the next step in your business or personal lives. Whether you're expanding your business or buying a car, First Bank of the Lake is here to help!

Banking Services
Life is unpredictable. You can never be sure what you're going to need - or when you're going to need it! That's why we are happy to offer a wide variety of bank-related services for the convenience of our customers. Among many other services, we proudly offer...
  • Traveler's Checks
  • Account Reconciliation
  • Cashier's Checks
  • Safety Deposit Boxes
  • Money Orders
  • And More

First Bank of the Lake - Proudly Serving ALL Your Banking Needs!
No matter what you're banking needs are, we can meet them at First Bank of the Lake. We understand how important your money is, and we strive to do everything in our power to ensure that your wealth and your livelihood will be protected. We hope you will think of us as your trusted bank at the Lake of the Ozarks!

First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!
4558 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2265

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

5 Perks Of Having A Personal Savings Account

Maybe your parents set up a personal savings account for you when you were very young, or maybe you took it upon yourself to establish one after you got your first job. Either way, as the proud owner of a savings account at the Lake of the Ozarks, you now have special access to some unique perks. Account holders at First Bank of the Lake get to enjoy several perks that help to make their lives easier and more stress-free.

Perk #1: You Can Count On Your Money Being Safe
Gone are the days of hiding dollar bills in mattresses. By depositing your money into a bank account, you never have to worry that your money might get stolen, lost, or destroyed in a fire or natural disaster. By keeping your money with a Lake of the Ozarks member FDIC bank (like First Bank of the Lake), your money will be insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to the full extent of the law. We guard your funds so that you can enjoy peace of mind!

Perk #2: Your Money Is Kept In A Liquid State
Tying all of your money up in investments so that you cannot easily access it when you need to could pose a serious problem. Injuries and household repairs can be expensive and impossible to predict. You will always be better off keeping some money in a savings account for immediate access, should the need arise.

Perk #3: Your Money Earns Interest
What's one of the best perks of a personal savings account? Your money earns interest - without having to be tied up in investment accounts!

Perk #4: You Don't Need A Lot Of Money To Get Started
Some people (wrongly) assume that savings accounts are only available for individuals with thousands of dollars at their disposal. While these people certainly have access to our savings accounts as well, you can open a savings account at the best bank at the Lake of the Ozarks with as little as $100.00!

Perk #5: You Can Enjoy All The Benefits Of Online Banking
Online banking is guaranteed to make your life simpler. Account holders are able to access their accounts 24/7, they have their paychecks automatically deposit into their bank accounts, and they can transfer funds to other accounts any time of day. While you are certainly welcome to visit our branch at any time, online banking eliminates the need to visit us in person so that you can bank with us on your own time from anywhere in the world.

Set Up A Personal Savings Account With Us Today!
It's never too soon (or too late) to set up a personal savings account with our local bank at the Lake of the Ozarks. Our office is located next to the Outlet Mall in Osage Beach - stop by and see us today!

First Bank of the Lake - Striving For Excellence
Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Located at the entrance to the Osage Beach Premium Outlets!
4558 Osage Beach Parkway, Suite 100
Osage Beach, MO 65065
(573) 348-2265