A Perfect Time to Create Your Backyard Oasis
With beautiful Colorado spring weather all around us and days getting longer, now is a great time to spruce up your home’s outdoor spaces. Whether you want to create your own personal outdoor oasis or a unique space for entertaining, updating your outdoor living area can be incredibly fulfilling—and also a smart investment.
For a full redesign of an outdoor space, homeowners might expect to spend up to 10% of their home’s value. Just want to do a little refresh? Even smaller investments can make a big difference. Whatever your goals, the equity in your home may be able to help pay for improvements.
Many Colorado homeowners have gained a significant amount of equity over the past several years. Using a home equity line of credit (HELOC) can provide you with the ability to access the funds needed to update your outdoor space. You simply borrow against the increased value in your home to fund the improvements, which can be a smart move as those updates can also add to the overall value of your home.
Limited-Time ChoiceLine Offer
Even better news is that for a limited time, homeowners can get a fixed rate as low as 6.99% APR on a Home Equity ChoiceLine advance of $10,000 or more*—a much better option than paying with high-interest credit cards. And lines of credit make it easy to access the funds as you need them for your projects.
To learn more, visit Bellco.org/ChoiceLine or stop by any Bellco branch.
*The 6.99% APR for the Fixed Rate promotion is available to anyone who qualifies and advances at least $10,000.00 from the available line of credit at the time the Fixed Rate Subaccount is opened. Conditions and restrictions, including those related to CLTV and credit score, apply. This offer can end at any time. Membership eligibility required. All loans subject to approval by Bellco. Variable Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for well-qualified borrowers as of 05/01/2023 is 8.24% and is subject to change without notice. Maximum APR for variable rate advance is 21%. Variable rate may change after account opening. Property must be insured and located in Colorado.
Common Scams That Impact Older Adults
A scammer’s sole goal is to try to make money easily. That’s why they’re constantly devising new schemes they believe will pull the wool over as many people’s eyes as possible. And that’s why they often target seniors, who might be more susceptible to the tricks, in part because they’re not as tech-savvy as younger folk or they’ve recently experienced the death of a partner and are emotionally vulnerable. Here are just some of the scams we notice are happening more frequently lately.
Investment scams. Because they’re nearing retirement, people in their 60s might be prone to fall for an investment scam that promises they’re sure to create a nest egg. From Ponzi schemes to inheritance scams, a variety of ploys can rob seniors of their money.
Online romance scams. Fraudsters play on seniors’ emotions by posing as someone who is romantically interested through online dating sites. They frequently claim to be out of the country, use lots of flattery to build up the relationship, and make plans to meet but drop them last minute. Eventually, they claim some sort of urgent need for a vast sum of money, and, having been duped into feelings of love, the victim sends it, never to hear from the scammer again.
Grandparent scams. Similarly, scammers prey on seniors’ love of family by posing as a grandchild with an unexpected financial problem or even a medical emergency. They often seal the deal by saying something along the lines of “Please don’t tell my parents; they’ll kill me,” a line that makes the grandparent feel like a trusted part of the child’s life.
Tech support scams. In their lifetimes, people over 60 have generally spent less time on technology than some younger people and just aren’t as familiar with its ins and outs. That makes them susceptible to people who pose as tech support staff trying to help with an imaginary issue such as a computer virus, a software license, or a glitch in an email. The fraudster will often claim to be from Apple or Microsoft and will have used seemingly real identifying elements like a logo or phone number as “proof.” Then they get the victim to pay for their “help” and leave the computer worse than before.
Funeral scams. Con artists use obituaries to find out about someone who has died and then contact loved ones claiming that the deceased was in debt and the survivors need to pay. At a time of grief, people are often exceptionally vulnerable to fraud.
All of these frauds and more exploit seniors’ vulnerabilities. But no one has to be a victim—stay informed, engaged, and vigilant, and educate your friends and family about these scams too.
As always, it’s important to remain vigilant by checking credit reports and bank statements regularly to detect fraud. The more everyone knows, the better they’ll be able to spot—and avoid—a deception. If you believe you are a victim of fraud, please contact our Fraud Department at 303-689-7548. And if you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, you can contact the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov to try to set it right.
Bellco Helps Support New JA Finance Park
Bellco recognizes the importance of financial education, especially for youth, which is why Bellco has been a sponsor of Junior Achievement since 2020. This past fall, Bellco teamed up with Junior Achievement (JA) to create a storefront inside of the first JA Finance Park, a realistic on-site facility where students engage with volunteers and put into practice what they’ve learned about financial responsibility and family budgeting.
As the need has increased, and to allow for even more Colorado youth, JA opened its doors to its newest facility located in Greenwood Village, JA Free Enterprise Center. JA programs support national and state standards in reading, mathematics, social studies, and work and career readiness.
You can learn more about Bellco’s financial education programs by visiting our Bellco Gives Back page.
If you’d like a free FUNancial $marts activity book for your elementary or middle school student, you can visit our FUNancial Smarts page on Bellco.org.
How Long to Keep Your Financial Documents
By CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (CFS)*
If you’ve ever had trouble finding an important financial document, you know why it’s necessary to keep your financial records organized. Below are some guidelines from CFS* Financial Advisors, on how long to keep documents. This list is not all-inclusive, and these are just broad guidelines; you may have a good reason for keeping some records for a shorter or longer period of time.
Records you may want to keep for a year or less include bank or credit union statements, credit card statements, utility bills, and annual insurance policies.
Records you may want to keep for more than a year include tax returns and supporting documentation, mortgage contracts and supporting documents, receipts for home improvements, property appraisals, annual retirement and investment statements, and receipts for major purchases.
Records you may want to keep indefinitely include birth, death, and marriage certificates; adoption papers; citizenship papers; military discharge papers; and social security cards.
The CFS* Financial Advisors at Bellco, available through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (CFS)*, provide the tools and support to help members and their families achieve their financial goals. Call 303-728-3443, email email@example.com, or stop by any Bellco branch to schedule a personalized complimentary appointment with a CFS* Financial Advisor.
*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. Bellco Credit Union has contracted with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members.
CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (CFS) does not provide tax or legal advice. For such guidance, please consult your tax and/or legal advisor.