It's that time of year — the time to ring out the old and ring in the new, to ditch bad habits and replace them with good ones. We can't guarantee you'll lose weight, or become a better human being, but we can give you some reminders to help you whip your finances into shape. Here are some tips for the New Year:
By Cameron Brown / VP Merchant Services Mission Valley Bank
Is your business' merchant processing system EMV (Europay, MasterCard, VISA) ready? To begin, it's important to understand the specifics of this Euro-based bankcard technology that has been in place in Europe for well over a decade. Unlike current credit and debit cards in the United States that utilize a standard magnetic strip on the back of the card to house all customer information, EMV utilizes a small chip inlay on the front of the card. Such technology drastically reduces bankcard fraud, chargebacks, and questionable purchases as the "smart chip" technology relies on integrated circuits within the chip to transmit and store consumers’ valuable personal information.
When considering the transition of a family business from one generation to the next, clear communication and careful planning are integral to the ‘success of the succession’. Family business owners are well served to begin planning for the succession long before the event is necessary (experts suggest as long as 15 years prior to retirement). Unfortunately, most business owners fail to plan seriously for their own succession.
This ‘lack of planning’ may have a great deal to do with the fact that while 90% of US Small businesses are family owned, only 30% stay in the family from the first generation to the second and only 15% make it on to a third generation according the U.S. SBA.
by Marianne Cederlind Executive Vice President and Chief Business Banking Officer / Mission Valley Bank
A recent article written by the Independent Community Bankers Association provided the reminder that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security warns to never give sensitive information to anyone unless you are sure they are who they claim to be and that they should have access to the information. It’s every business owner’s worst fear that they could be the next target.
Even if you've been saving your money since you started to work, that may not be enough to ensure an enjoyable and satisfying retirement. Of course having enough money put away is the number one factor as to whether or not you'll maintain your desired lifestyle once you stop working. But don't overlook the small day-to-day stuff. Do you have a plan for things to do in retirement? How will you spend your time as a retiree? Do you already know what you will do with all that free time?
You probably started thinking about your retirement savings a long time ago. Perhaps you should start thinking about how you plan on spending your time too. This is a very important aspect of your retirement planning. You won't enjoy your free time if you haven't given it any thought before you quit full time employment. Think about it now so you can begin dreaming real dreams, as well as planning for any related expenses.