Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Held at Mortgage Origination Office

LONG BEACH, WA – Wauna Credit Union (WCU) officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Mortgage Origination Office (MOO) at 910 Pacific Avenue in Long Beach, Washington on January 18, 2017. The office opened on November 15th, 2016 and has one employee, Jeff Parker, who serves as the Real Estate Relationship Officer.

Long Beach and Wauna CU dignitaries celebrate the opening of the MOO.  (from L to R) Debi Smiley, WCU Chief Marketing Officer, Monica Lauber WCU VP Mortgage, Steven Linhart, Long Beach City Councilor and Mayor Pro-tem, Jeff Parker, WCU Real Estate Relationship Officer, Robert Blumberg, WCU CEO and President, Natalie Hanson, Long Beach City Councilor, McKenzie Wilson, WCU Real Estate Loan Officer, Paige Tischer, WCU Real Estate Loan Officer
Long Beach and Wauna CU dignitaries celebrate the opening of the MOO.
(from L to R) Debi Smiley, WCU Chief Marketing Officer, Monica Lauber WCU VP Mortgage, Steven Linhart, Long Beach City Councilor and Mayor Pro-tem, Jeff Parker, WCU Real Estate Relationship Officer, Robert Blumberg, WCU CEO and President, Natalie Hanson, Long Beach City Councilor, McKenzie Wilson, WCU Real Estate Loan Officer, Paige Tischer, WCU Real Estate Loan Officer

The new office provides local, affordable Real Estate services to the Credit Union’s growing membership in Pacific County. All residents, businesses, and organizations throughout Pacific County are eligible for membership with Wauna Credit Union.

A new ATM machine was installed in December, 2016 at the MOO and is now fully operational. It is a CO-OP network ATM, which offers surcharge-free ATM access nationwide to participating credit union members.

The ATM machine is slated to become an Interactive Teller Machine (ITM) in mid, June of 2017. ITM’s are interactive, with a screen that connects to a Virtual Member Service Specialist person in the WCU Communications Center. The Communication Center Specialists can answer questions and assist members with their transactions.

WCU CEO and President Robert Blumberg talked about the new ITM at the Ribbon Cutting and explained, “This branch office is the branch of the future using a smaller footprint with more technology.” WCU embraces technology, offering online and mobile banking to all its members.

 

How to Save for Retirement

It’s never too early to start putting away money for your future. If you’ve ever wondered how to save for retirement when you’re also dealing with day-to-day expenses, these easy tips can help.

1. Get a rough estimate of retirement expenses

It may seem difficult to know how much money you’ll need in retirement, especially if it’s several decades away. Experts say that to keep your same standard of living, you’ll probably need at least 70% of your pre-retirement income.

The reason you probably won’t need 100 percent is because some costs, such as commuting expenses or child care, probably won’t be necessary in retirement. If you already have a budget for your current expenses, then it’s probably easy to get a rough idea of what you may need when you retire.

2. Decide on a savings target

Say you’re 25 years old and your living expenses are about $50,000 a year. Take 70% of that, and it means you’d probably need about $35,000 to retire comfortably, assuming your income remains the same until retirement. So you’d want a nest egg that provides about $35,000 annually.

Many financial experts suggest that you withdraw only about 4% of your retirement savings each year to help ensure that it lasts. That means to get $35,000 in income, you’d need a savings target of about $875,000.

It’s a lot of money, but by using a retirement calculator, you could find that there’s a good chance you could reach your goal by age 61 if you start saving 10% of your income each year. This number assumes your savings earn 7% annually. If your income increases before retirement, you’d probably also need to increase your savings target.

If you can’t quite put away 10% — or whatever your goal percentage is — while also keeping up with your regular expenses, consider starting with a smaller amount and gradually increasing the percentage of income you save until you reach your goal.

You may also have other income sources in retirement, such as Social Security or a pension plan. Look at the Social Security calculator to get an idea of what your monthly benefits might be when you retire and add that to your retirement calculations.

Bear in mind that an income of $35,000 will probably have much less spending power in 40 years than it does today because of inflation, so it’s smart to consider cost-of-living increases in your savings target. It may be a good idea to make an appointment with a certified financial planner to help you weigh your options.

3. Contribute to a tax-advantaged retirement plan

In addition to knowing what percentage of income you should save each year, you’ll also want to decide where to put your money. If your employer offers a traditional or Roth 401(k), consider enrolling. This is especially important if your company offers an employer match, because a match is like adding free money to your retirement savings. You could also contribute to a traditional or Roth IRA.

With traditional retirement plans, you receive an upfront tax deduction for the money you contribute. You then let that savings grow and allow the interest to compound. You’d pay income tax on any money you withdraw, and you’d also have additional early withdrawal penalties if you take money out before age 59½.

With Roth plans, you pay tax on your contributions, but you don’t have to pay tax on your withdrawals if you retire after age 59½.

When you put your money in a retirement savings plan, you’ll have a number of different investment options to consider, including stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

4. Put your savings on autopilot

Once you’ve established your retirement plan, consider setting up automatic withdrawals from your paycheck or bank account. It would be much easier to meet your savings goals when your money has a chance to grow uninterrupted over a period of years.

Learning how to save for retirement is important, but it doesn’t have to be hard. By coming up with a savings goal and contributing regularly to a retirement account, you can help make sure you’ll be able to meet your financial goals for the long term.

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Board of Directors Voting Open

Whenever we talk about Wauna Credit Union and what we do it comes back to the members. Anybody who has an account, loan or credit card at Wauna CU is a member and a shareholder, and gets a say in what we do. Nowhere is that more tangible than with the voting for our board of directors. Today through February 26, 2017 all members age 18 or older who are in good standing are eligible to cast a ballot, either online, by mail or on Facebook.

Unlike for profit banks, where maximizing dividends for stockholders is most important, a credit union’s board sets policies to make sure decisions are in the best interests of you, the member-owners. Wauna Credit Union’s board consists of dedicated volunteers who represent the interests of the member-owners by meeting regularly with credit union management. This year we are electing three people, each of whom will serve a 3-year term.

As an added incentive 10 random voters will win $50 as a thanks from us for helping make sure our board reflects the wants and aspirations of all our members.

To learn more about the elections, as well as our annual meeting where we will announce the new board, visit our annual election page (waunafcu.org/about/annual-elections). Each of the candidates has provided a few words on why they want to serve on the voting page (cuballot.com/waunafcu).

There are three ways to vote.

To vote by electronic ballot:

  • Go to the Wauna CU website (waunafcu.org)
  • Click the link for the 2017 Board of Directors Elections
  • Select the Vote Now button and follow the instructions now

To vote by mail:

  • Call 877-597-9507
  • Select the option to vote by paper ballot
  • All ballots must be received by February 26

To vote on Facebook:

We hope everybody gets a chance to vote. The more members vote, the more opportunity to have a board that fully represents the membership, and the better Wauna Credit Union is able to meet the needs of our diverse community.

Congratulations McKenzie Wilson Producer of the Year

At the annual Winter Celebration held on December 10, 2016, Wauna Credit Union CEO & President Robert Blumberg handed out 10 awards to outstanding employees. The most coveted award of 2016 Producer of the Year went to McKenzie Wilson, Real Estate Loan Officer at the Warrenton branch.

The reward was a surprise to McKenzie but well deserved. She was sitting with her husband Vince listening to her boss Monica Lauber, VP of the Mortgage Department give the final award of the evening, when she slowly realized Monica was talking about her.

McKenzie started as an intern at WCU during high school. She left for a few years after graduation and decided to come back to WCU. She will celebrate her 5-year anniversary at WCU this year, and knows there will be many more to come.

She said the most satisfying thing about her job is getting first time buyers into a home and helping people consolidate their debt with Home Equity Line of Credit loans. “I grew up in Knappa, so I’m not just getting loans for strangers. The members we work with were my friends growing up and their families. It’s very rewarding to be able to help them realize their dreams.”

This year is already looking to be even better than last. With the expansion of the mortgage team and the continual emphasis on making sure WCU is serving the members McKenzie sees nothing but opportunity and success in the year ahead. “We’re really working well together as a team. We have fun when it’s time to have fun, and work hard when it’s time to work hard. This year is already looking to be even better than last. “The coast is really busy this year,” McKenzie said. “I told my boss this year I want a pink one! “

Wauna Credit Union Exhibiting at the Shore Style Wedding Faire

This Saturday, January 28, Wauna Credit Union will be attending the annual Shore Style Wedding Faire in Astoria. The event hosts vendors from all over the North Coast, from DJs to caterers, all helping couples decide how their wedding will look and feel. We will be there to let people know about our Lifestyle Loans, affordable loans to support specific or unexpected needs that require financial support. The loans cover many different things, including medical bills, household improvement or auto repairs. The Lifestyle Loan is a great option for somebody looking for a little extra money for a wedding ceremony, reception, rings, honeymoon, or even the little miscellaneous costs that always seem to pop up.

In addition to Lifestyle Loans, we offer other solutions for people looking to pay for an upcoming wedding (or other event). For example, a parent with home can use the equity in their home to take out a home equity line of credit, which provides a revolving credit line to use on any life expenses. For those looking for a way to have access to funds instantly a HELOC is a great way to go. You pay interest only on funds used, and they can be used for anything at all.

Another great option is a credit card. Wauna offers both VISA Rewards and VISA Platinum credit cards for our members with established credit, and we also have a First Time VISA to help younger members establish credit.

Stop by the Wauna Credit Union table to get more information. We’ll have somebody there taking applications, and also answering questions on how we can help you finance your reception, honeymoon, or any other expense surrounding your wedding. We’ll also be hosting a raffle in which three lucky entrants will win $50.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Meet Monica Lauber Vice President of Mortgage

Wauna has many talented and amazing people who work for us, including Monica Lauber who recently was promoted to the Vice President of our Mortgage Department. The Wonderful World Of Wauna caught up with Monica to talk about her time here, and find out more about what she does, and what motivates her.

How long have you been at Wauna? I’ve been at Wauna for 13 incredible years. I started in the Warrenton Branch as an MCR and moved over to the Lending Department in 2005.

What is your new position at WCU? I am the now the VP of Mortgage. I’ve been managing the Mortgage department since 2013, and have seen us grow to continue to meet the needs of our members.

What do you like most about your new job? There are so many things I like love about my job. I have an amazing team that I have built over the years. Most of which have been promoted from within. We all believe in Wauna’s mission and vision statements and strive to deliver positive experiences to our members every day. I look forward to continuing to build on that success for the department and the credit union as a whole. We are growing more and more every day!

What do you think makes Wauna Credit Union special? Our Leadership Team and Board of Directors listen to the needs of our members and the communities we serve. They allow me to create and structure products unlike a bank or mortgage broker. The mortgage industry changes every day,

Monica poses with her team at the Wauna CU Mortgage Origination Office groundbreaking last August. Cookies from Pink Poppy Bakery.

and I strive to be ahead of the game for the benefit of our membership. We are not for profit and we truly care about our membership and their financial well being.

What is your favorite memory of working with a member? You saved the best for last. However that’s a very tough question! I have had the pleasure of working in all of our branches over the years and I continue to travel them weekly.

There have been so many memories that I have gained over the years.

I’ve helped our members from buying their first home and then worked with them again to remodel that home to meet their growing needs. I look at each interaction with our members and strive for them to choose us for all their financial needs, not just for a mortgage..

We live by Wauna’s mission statement Wauna Credit Union will be the financial institution that members choose first, use the most, and grow with throughout their lives.  It is important for us to live by those words, because that gives us lots more membership memories. It’s what makes me love what I do, every day!

2016 Anniversaries

There are a lot of great things about Wauna Credit Union’s employees. One of them is that they are all members too. Another, is that they like working here so much they stay a long time. We caught up with some of the people who had anniversaries in 2016 to find out who they are, and what they like to do.

10 Years

Brianna Malcom

What is your position at WCU? I am a communications center representative III. We answer phones, give balances, help with online banking, take loan applications, take payments, do transfers, help you find the closest shared branching to members, process the returned mail, process verifications for businesses regarding our members accounts, and much more. I started out as a teller, then went to vault teller, then head teller, then new account specialist, then I moved in to the communication center which by far has been my favorite position of all since we do a little bit of everything so every day is different and you never know what to expect.

What do you like most about your job at WCU? How Wauna credit union employees are like family. We are a close knit group of individuals who all love our job. I also love being able to help our community with their personal/business financial institution needs.

What is your favorite memory or testimonial of providing great service to a member? We have a few regular members that call in at least once a day if not more. I have a few instances that I love… I don’t really have one that just stands out to me. We help them with Transfers, getting their balances, inquiries regarding transactions on the account, and some of them just like to chat with us. See how everything is going, how our day is, how the weather is, what plans we have this weekend. I have one specific member who loves to talk to me and she will call in and ask to only speak with me.

5 Years

Kailynn Fischer

What is your current position? I am the Operation Specialist for the Credit Union. As the Operation Specialist, I offer support to all of our front line staff when they have questions or need help. I manage our escrow accounts, audit new accounts, process garnishments, subpoenas and levies and assist with projects such as conversions and rolling out new products and services. I also give second approval for the EFT Clerk and back up Card Services.

What do you like most about your job? The thing I enjoy most about my job at Wauna CU is the sense of accomplishment I feel when I go home at the end of the day. I enjoy taking the lead on projects and seeing them through to completion. And I love being able to help our front line staff offer exceptional member service.

What is your favorite memory of working at WCU? One of my favorite memories from the past five years is helping an elderly gentleman who was a long-time member get a loan for a new battery for his scooter. He was unable to get around without the use of a scooter and had become house bound, and being on a fixed income he was unable to pay cash for a new one. The member’s ratios did not fit our lending guidelines, but after hearing our member’s story Norm, our VP of Consumer Lending, made the exception to approve the loan without hesitation. I drove to the member’s apartment to have him sign the paperwork and after getting the loan disbursed I went and picked up the battery and delivered it to his home to be installed. He was back on the road and was so appreciative of what Wauna had done for him.

Michael Woods

What is your current position? My current position is Lending Support Specialist I (LSSI). Some of my primary duties are underwriting loans, working and maintaining relationships with the dealerships,  assisting the mortgage department, funding loan packets, assisting the branches with their loans and occasionally assisting collections.

What do you like most about your job? I most like the learning that I have experience.  I have learned so much and I believe it has developed me into being a more complete employee. The position I am in has a lot of variety and each situation is unique so it keeps things very interesting.

What is your favorite memory of working at WCU? I enjoy helping any member, anytime, anyplace, but I do have a favorite. There was a member who was having a rough time. He was expecting his seventh child and he had just purchased a van from California. The seller misled him about licensing and title work and he needed to get the issue resolved quickly. I was currently working on an Auto Answers deal and was going to be visiting the that day. I called my contact at the DMV and explained the situation and she told me everything I needed to do to help the member. After getting the necessary documents prepared I called the member and told him to meet me at DMV. After a long wait at the DMV he got everything he needed and left. He then called the communication center and asked to speak with the manager. He explained everything I did and asked that the message be passed on to my supervisor. I still see him around town and he always thanks me and shakes my hand.

Sara Kulp

What is your current position? My current position here at Wauna is the training Manager. I just recently made the switch over from the MSM position. I’m looking forward to my new adventures after spending some time in the branches.

What do you like most about your job? For the MSM I loved the fact that each day was different and crazy busy. I loved the challenges of the day, helping the members grow and work alongside an amazing team.

What is your favorite memory of working at WCU? My favorite memory of great service happened to be with a long member. He came in and was inquiring about some charges on his account. The charges were from Paypal and he wasn’t familiar with them. I pulled him aside and helped him call Paypal. At the time he was in his late 80’s and hard of hearing so he was very appreciative that I was willing to call for him. I was able to get a representative on the phone for him and it seemed that someone had been using his accounts for some time to pull a check out of his Paypal account, which was coming from his checking account. We were able to dispute the charges and receive most of his funds back. He was so appreciative and such a kind and wonderful gentlemen. He passed away this last February and it completely broke my heart. I was glad to have the opportunity to get know him and give him the trust and respect that he deserved.

Others

  • Jeff Parker – 10 Years
  • Teresa Wemmer – 10 Years
  • Mark Silva – 5 years