WHACC Updates & Events – May 2018

Our second 2018 WHACC AM Learning Series Round Table discussion was held bright and early on April 24 and  covered important trends in Legal and Finance.  The lively discussion focused on financial literacy,  protecting your data and devices from the “black market”, and the increasing dangers from “bad actors” among high interest lending institutions.

The legal and finance committee will be publishing results on the WHACC website from this round table discussion in the near future.  Watch your emails and the Chamber website for updates – whacc.org

Discussion leaders (below) offered exclusive insights on legal and finance trends and the concerns that “kept them up at night.”

Jackie Huggins Jones,  Executive Director, Breaking Chains Inc
Nancy Dixon,  Senior Vice President, First Federal of Lakewood Heinen’s Grocery Stores
Nick Weiss, Attorney, The Gertsburg Law Firm

Special thanks to Faith Boone, Marketing Director, Effective Leadership Academy for expert facilitation of the conversation.

AM Learning Series Round Tables are absolutely free and open to the public.  However, the number of attendees are limited to 20 to ensure a robust and worthwhile discussion. So be sure to register here for the May 22 AM Learning Series Round Table on HR and Wellness — so you won’t miss this important topic.

Have a question for our Legal and Finance Committee? Ask our experts.


Source: Warrensville Heights Area Chamber of Commerce


Build Customers Quickly With 3 Steps

You can take it from us, building a foundation of trust with customers and prospects is key in our money management service business. Proving quickly that we have had our client’s best financial interest at heart, even if it means giving unwelcomed advice or direction, is no easy task. While trust building can be a long-term commitment in any business, here are 3 simple steps we’ve learned to master in ours to start building trust quickly. Each step has concrete tips so you can apply it whenever you need to build trust in meeting anyone new!

Be a great listener

  • Be Sincere
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Never mulit-task while listening to client
  • Give full attention
  • Give them time to talk
  • Allow the person to complete their thought without interruptions

Show compassion

  • Let them know they are not on an island by themselves – Sometimes just knowing that you are not alone makes people feel that their problem is much more possible to overcome.
  • Relate on some level – By sharing a personal story you become relatable, personable and easier to trust.

Demonstrate Your Knowledge

  • Ask the right questions
  • Show your credentials – Qualify yourself- provide knowledge of experience, credits and accomplishments
  • Share testimonials and success stories – Give examples of true stories and testimonies of individuals obtaining their goals and how their lives were changed for the betterment.

If you listen properly, show your compassion and expertise, prospects will trust you. They’ll become repeat customers and give you referrals. If you are in the business of serving others (and aren’t we all are?) then trust is a must in client relationships.

How are you building trust?


Build Customer Trust Quickly With These 3 Steps

Plan for the Future

Planning For the Lifetime Ahead

Your retirement, well let’s just say, it’s nowhere close to your parents’ retirement. Depending on when you were born, the typical package rewarded to retirees at 65 included a gold watch, a guaranteed pension, and health insurance for life.

Those Days Are Long Gone

For many Americans, retiring in the new century has taken on a new form that is latent with many unknowns and uncertainties. Earlier generations of workers could rely on employer-provided pensions, but now many American workers will need to rely on their own work-related and personal savings – with a possible employer match, plus Social Security benefits. Unlike your parents and grandparents, these savings must stretch and stand the test of time because Americans are living longer, often into their golden years. Life expectancy of retirees often exceed well in to their eighties and nineties, outside of the threat of inflation and rising costs, having enough money to live comfortably is a new concern.

A New Kind of Retirement

If you are one of those people who wants to plan – and are about 10 to 20 years from the day you retire – this post is for you. Today, retirees have a “new kind” of retirement. With longer and healthier life span discussed earlier, bikes, boats, planes, and RVs may be part of your life. You are more likely than previous generations to be an active, retired American.

The new retiree will seize opportunities to take courses, start new careers, volunteer, and become entrepreneurs. Every option makes it possible that your future can be an adventure. A longer life, however, will also mean more medical care, some of which will not be covered by today’s Federal Medicare program.

The entire retirement scene has changed and continues to change. Many American workers find their prospects to retire comfortably a cumbersome task and maneuvering various retirement vehicles a mystery. In fact, a 2011 survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) suggests that only 42 percent of Americans have tried to understand how to calculate the amount of savings needed for retirement.

Take Control

To master your financial literacy you should know how to take control of your finances so that when you retire, you have the time and money to do what you’ve always wanted. For some, it’s simply being with friends and family. For others, it’s starting a new hobby or craft. And for some it’s starting a new life.

Whether you are retired, ten years from retirement or have a different time frame – we can help. You do not have to unravel the financial mysteries of life after work alone. We will help you discover the changes you can make today for a financially secure future.

Where Do Your Social Security Tax Dollars Go

Social Security Reaches Almost Every Family

At some point the Social Security program will touch the lives of nearly all American Families in some capacity.

Social Security is known to help older Americans, but it also helps workers of all ages who become disabled and supports families in which a spouse or parent dies. According to SocialSecurity.gov, approximately 165 million people work and pay Social Security taxes, and nearly 58 million people withdraw monthly Social Security benefits.

With the large number people serviced by the Social Security Administration, many Americans do not understand how the program works. Here is how the current Social Security system works. When you work, you pay taxes into Social Security.

The tax money is then used to pay benefits to:

  • People who are currently retired;
  • People who are currently disabled;
  • Survivors and eligible family members of workers who have died; and
  • Dependents of beneficiaries

It is important to note that the money you pay in taxes, is not held in a personal account, contrary to popular belief. These funds are not set aside exclusively for you to use when you get benefits. The Social Security taxes being paid today are being used right now to pay people who are currently receiving benefits.

All unused funds goes directly into the Social Security trust funds, not a personal account with your name on it.

Social Security is More than Retirement

Many Americans believe that Social Security is only a retirement program. Although it’s true that most people receiving Social Security are receiving retirement benefits, but many others get Social Security benefits as well which may include:

  • Disabled
  • A spouse or child of someone who receives Social Security
  • A spouse or child of a worker who died.
  • A dependent parent of a worker who died.

Depending on your circumstance, you may be eligible for social security at any age. In fact, Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other government program.

Where Do Your Social Security Tax Dollars Go

When you work, 85 cents of every social security tax dollar, you pay, goes into a trust fund that pays monthly benefits to current retirees and their families and to surviving spouses and children of workers who have died. The other 15 cents goes to a trust fund that pays benefits to people with disabilities and their families. From these trust funds, social security also pays the costs associated with managing all social security programs.

And the taxes we pay for Medicare goes to a trust fund that pays for some of the costs of hospital and related care of all Medicare beneficiaries. The SSA goes on to share that Medicare is managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, not Social Security.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is one of the most efficient agencies in the federal government, and works to make it better every day. According to the Social Security Administration’s website, each Social Security tax dollar we pay, it “spends less than one penny” to manage the program.

Maximize Your Earning Potential

The secret to maximizing  your earning power is not only about what you make, but how much of what you earn are you keeping? This is also called your “true earning potential.”

What is more important than keeping most of what you earn is understanding the details about how your paycheck is calculated and what all is included, or rather deducted from your pay.

To fully understand and maximize your earning potential, you need to understand your variable influences on your pay and your benefits.

Steps You Can Take Today to Better Understand Your Pay

  • Take time to analyze the details of your paycheck
  • Understand what deductions are regularly being taken from your paycheck
  • Start to explore information, sign up for employer benefits and training, and be sure to understand your maximum contribution rates and employer benefit matches, if your company participates in any.
  • Be sure to invest in your future. Take the necessary steps to get more education and training that will help you make informed decisions on your finances.

Financial Literacy Ideas & Tips

  • By law, your employer deducts specific taxes and other items from your wage or salary every pay period. What you bring home is left. Your net income is the pay you receive after all taxes and deductions are subtracted.
  • The deductions usually include federal, state and local taxes on your income; Social Security and Medicare; retirement savings contributions; health care insurance; and any other deductions you have setup to withdraw from your paycheck.
  • Be sure you understand and take advantage of all of the credits and deductions available to you that help you lower your taxes. Seek out a tax accountant or a legal tax adviser to fully understand the tax law for your unique financial situation. Many employers offer tax consultant benefit services for free or low costs. Be sure to take advantage of these types of services available to you.
  • If your employer offers a retirement savings plan, sign up. You can automatically have savings deducted from your account into a retirement account at no additional cost to you. Many employers will even match part of every dollar you save. If managed properly coupled with the right basic education and training, you will benefit from the small decisions you make today that will have a huge impact on your financial readiness in the future.

Additional Resources

  1. Tax Withholding Calculator
  2. Top Ways to Make Your Health Benefits Work for You