April 2021 Newsletter

Did you know that April is Financial Literacy Month? What was originally designated as Youth Financial Day, later became Financial Literacy Month with a focus on effective financial education, especially for our nation’s youth. No matter if the focus is for a day or a month, financial literacy is important in everyone's lives.

We recognize the need for financial knowledge at all ages. To that end, Bellco offers programs designed to be accessible, enjoyable, and effective. For example, kids ages 5 to 12 can benefit from Coindexter Club, which uses engaging videos and games to help kids learn how to earn, save, spend, and invest money. Kids who participate can even earn a $25 savings deposit to help them start their real-life financial journey.

Elementary students can learn from FUNancial $marts, an activity book designed in partnership with Economic Literacy Colorado. This workbook helps kids grasp skills such as budgeting and creating a business, teaches them about the benefits of earning interest, and helps prepare them for the financial challenges of adulthood. The collaboration with Economic Literacy Colorado truly helps youth learn an invaluable life skill that might otherwise be missing in their standard education.

But you're never too old to improve financial literacy. Bellco offers resources for adults as well, through our MoneySmarts Financial Education program. From the basics of banking through how to prepare for bigger purchases such as a home and how to save for retirement, this program covers topics that are relevant, timely, and engaging. If you have a high school student, you can learn ways to save for college. And, if you're working on decreasing your debt, you can learn tips and tricks for how to understand and manage your credit score. Plus for a limited time, when you finish any MoneySmarts activity, you'll be eligible for a chance to win a $100 Visa® gift card.*

Although April is the official month for focusing on financial literacy, these resources are available any time. Be sure to check them out!

*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. See official rules at bellco.org/moneysmarts.

It's been well over a year since the pandemic started, and after hunkering down for so long, a little hiking sounds ideal, but many of the mountain trails are still loaded with snow or are complete mud pits. Luckily, we live in a state that offers outdoor adventures all four seasons of the year, and there are plenty of beautiful hiking areas in places that are more likely to have melted and more apt to be mud-free.

A Few Local Options

Many Denver-area folk might not be aware that, just south of town, there's a state park with plenty of history, wildlife, and geologic interest: Castlewood Canyon State Park. Here you can experience a different kind of hiking or even climbing. Because it's low in elevation and gets a lot of sun, it's a good bet for early spring.

Not too far away is the newly opened Rueter-Hess Incline of Douglas County. Much like the well-known Manitou Incline near Colorado Springs, this is a stepped trail that can be quite a challenge. With 132 steps, it offers a great workout, with the reward being amazing views of the Denver skyline as well as of Longs Peak and Pikes Peak.

More in the foothills is White Ranch Park near Golden, where you can find a variety of trails. You can follow a trail as laid out or create a loop of your own with intersecting trails. Here you'll get more of a mountainy experience, with views and the potential for spring wildflowers. Because they're still getting snowmelt run-off, this is the rare time of the year when the foothills are greener than the mountains.

Spring Hiking Tips

Remember that spring snowstorms aren't unusual here (even in April), so be sure to check weather and trail conditions before you set out and carry the appropriate gear for the occasion. Also be ready for trail closures and respect them—whether for repair or wildlife safety, there's a reason the trail is closed. You might also come across a muddy area in the trail. Even though you might be inclined to skirt around it, please don't. Going to the sides of the trail can hurt the alpine ecosystem: it can widen the trail and worsen erosion.

As a not-for-profit, Colorado-based financial cooperative, Bellco is committed to providing tools and resources to help our members and the community feel financially empowered. One way we've done this is by collaborating with Denver 7 to provide communities across Colorado with helpful financial tips.

In a recent Denver 7 newscast, reporter Eric Lupher explained what a FICO Credit Score is and offers several ways you can improve your score. You can view the segment below:

To learn more about credit scores and reports, visit our MoneySmarts page.

By The Insurance Loft

As insurance professionals, we often receive questions about protecting property—discussing what coverage should be in place to protect an item or thing. Which is certainly important, but what about protecting you?

Coverage that Follows You

We're not talking about life insurance. We're talking about coverage that protects your livelihood. Coverage that improves your auto and home insurance policies, while still protecting you when you are away from home or outside your car. We are talking about umbrellas!

True or False: Umbrellas are expensive—false. Only wealthy people need an umbrella policy—also false. Umbrellas keep you dry—wrong context, but true!

Truth is, umbrella insurance has become a priority for a large segment of the American population. As our world becomes more digital, changes socially, and the overall acceptance of litigation increases, an added layer of protection tends to be more of a necessity than a consideration.

The Silver Lining

Umbrella policies are affordable. In many cases, a basic umbrella policy can be obtained for less than $20 a month. Not to mention, having an umbrella policy can lower auto and home insurance costs as well.

With coverage ranging from $1 million to $10 million or more, finding an added layer of security has never been easier. To see if umbrella coverage may be an option for you, contact The Insurance Loft. The preferred home, auto, life, pet, and business insurance provider for Bellco members.

Prefer to talk with an advisor? Give us a call at 1-888-808-6475 or you can schedule an appointment!