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October 2015 E-Newsletter

New Phone Banking System at Coulee Bank

Quick Reference Guide - Call 844-843-7151

Important Phone Banking Notice to Members

On October 6, 2015, our 24/7 Phone Banking system was updated with new features. Please listen carefully when you call as the menu options have changed.

Phone Banking helps make your financial management easier and convenient. Obtain your checking or savings account balances, make loan payments, transfer funds, place a stop payment, and more!

The Phone Banking system’s default is Touch Tone. Press 2 to use Voice Response.

How to Use Phone Banking

    • Dial: 844-843-7151
    • Follow the menu prompts
    • Enter your account number and PIN
In order to verify your identity, the first time you call in you’ll need to enter your account number, followed by your Social Security Number. This is the only time you will be asked to enter your Social Security Number. You will then be prompted to re-register your Personal Identification Number (PIN). For account transactions and inquiries (balances, interest, etc.), you’ll always be asked to enter your account number and PIN.

Quick Tips

  • Press 3 and the * key to return to the main menu.
  • Press the * key to go back.
  • Press the # key to repeat an option.
  • Press 9 and the * key to enter a different account number.
  • Press 0 to go to customer service.
  • Press 7 and the * key to end the call.

Touch Tone Keys

Press 1 or Say: Balances - will give you your current balances, pending transactions, and provide year to date information.

Press 2 or Say: Account History - to search for a specific check number, amount, withdrawal, deposit on your checking, savings, certificates, IRAs and loans.

Press 3 or Say: Transfer funds - between accounts or make a loan payment

Transfer Funds Menu

  • Press 1 to transfer funds immediately
  • Press 2 to schedule a future funds transfer
  • Press 3 to hear existing scheduled transfers
  • Press 4 to delete an existing transfer
  • Press 5 for payments

Press 4 or Say: Stop Payments - for your checking account

Stop Payments Menu

  • Press 1 for Stop Payment Inquiry
  • Press 2 for Stop Payment for a specific check number
  • Press 3 for Stop Payment for a range of checks

Press 5 or Say: Future Dated Transactions - will list any pending ACH activity for your account

Press 6 or Say: Interest Rates - will transfer you to our Call Center.

Press 7 or Say: Coulee Bank Information

Coulee Bank Information Menu

  • Press 1 for the La Crosse Branch
  • Press 2 for the Onalaska Branch
  • Press 3 for the St. Paul Branch

Press 8 or Say: Card Services

Card Services Menu

  • Press 1 for Debit Card Questions/Issues
  • Press 2 for Credit Card Questions/Issues

Cache & Cookies - Online & Mobile Banking Open House

Are cache and cookies getting in the way of your online banking experience? With this FREE event on Monday, October 12 from 1pm-3pm at Coulee Bank (1516 Losey Blvd. S, La Crosse) you’ll learn how to:

  • Clear cache & cookies
    • Cache - A computer component that stores data so future requests for that data can be served faster.
    • Cookies - Pieces of data, usually chosen by the web server, and stored on your computer by your internet browser.
  • Use electronic transfer
  • Use mobile banking and mobile deposits
  • Use BOLT$ debit card fraud service
  • Set up alerts/notifications
  • And more!

Get comfortable with online banking by bringing your laptop or mobile device. If you’re unable to bring an electronic device, we will have laptops available for use.


10 Activities to Celebrate Fall and Halloween

The leaves are turning color and the Fall season is here! Make the best of this beautiful (and short!) season by going to activities that celebrate the Fall and Halloween season with your friends and family. To help you out, we have complied this list of 10 Activities to Celebrate Fall and Halloween! Enjoy!

  1. Swan’s Pumpkin Farm in Franksville, WI Thousands of pumpkins in all shapes and sizes for your pickin’ pleasure along with a puppet show, petting zoo, corn maze, country market, and Cauldron Cafe. Open now through Halloween 9am to 7pm daily.
  2. Sever’s Corn Maze & Fall Festival in Shakopee, MN Family event with numerous activities, food, and entertainment for a full day of family fun! Open daily now through November 1st; hours vary.
  3. Ferguson’s Apple Orchards in Galesville, WI and Eau Claire, WI Taste many delicious varieties of apples and delicious baked goods. Enjoy a wagon ride, pick apples, say hi to farm animals, and smell the wonders of fall in the air! Ferguson’s was voted “Family Favorite of 2015 & 2016 By Coulee Parenting Connection. Open now daily 9:30am to 5:30pm through November 1st.
  4. Fall Colors Hike at Cleary Lake Regional Park in Prior Lake, MN Enjoy the vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows of fall. Look for wildlife and learn about trees and colors. Children 17 years and younger must be accompanied by a registered adult. Oct. 3rd 5:00pm – 6:30pm.
  5. Hyland’s Not-So-Scary Trick-Or-Treat Event at Hyland Lake Park Reserve in Bloomington, MN Hike through the woods to meet animal puppets, play games, and follow a scavenger hunt. Stop at the mad scientist's lab and brave the "crazy maze." Arrive in costume and with a bag for goodies. Children 17 years and younger must be accompanied by a registered adult. Oct. 3rd 5:00pm – 6:30pm.
  6. Oktoberfest in La Crosse, WI At this big riverfront festival, there's food, music and carnival rides, plus the opening Torchlight Parade on Thursday, October 1st at 7pm, and the Maple Leaf Parade on Saturday morning. October 1st – 4th.
  7. Pumpkin Festival in Edina, MN In this south Minneapolis suburb, the popular 50th & France area hosts a costume contest, trick-or-treating, cake walk, horse-drawn trolley rides, and face painting! October 11th 11:00am – 1:00pm.
  8. Paint & Pour: Haunted House at The Pump House in La Crosse, WI Wine, conversation, and great music while a professional artist guides you step-by-step through a painting. Must be 21+. October 19th 1:00pm – 3:30pm.
  9. Enchanted Forest at Myrick Hixon Ecopark in La Crosse, WI Walk through the trails in Myrick Park to see characters come to life in this trick-or-treating hike. Local craft and food vendors will be present at the event. October 25th 10:00am – 3:00pm.
  10. Great Pumpkin Chase 5k at Hixon Forest in La Crosse, WI The Great Pumpkin Chase 5K Run/Walk is one of the La Crosse area’s most scenic 5K run/walk events – featuring a course that is 100% off pavement! Participants will trek through the colorful foliage of Hixon Forest during this unique autumn race. October 31st 9:00am.

Sources: https://www.threeriversparks.org/events/F/fall-colors-hike--.aspx, https://www.threeriversparks.org/events/H/hyland-s-not-so-scary-trick-or-treat-event.aspx, http://www.thepumpkinfarm.com/, http://www.severscornmaze.com/, http://www.fergusonsorchard.com/, http://www.thepumphouse.org/event/paint-pour-3-2014-09-03-2015-08-05-2-2014-10-19/, http://wiscorps.org/great-pumpkin-chase-5k-runwalk/, and http://midwestweekends.com/plan_a_trip/touring/fall_color/midwest_fall_festivals.html


7 More ATM Skimming Devices Found in Madison Area

Though we check all of our ATM machines daily to ensure the security of our customers and their banking, it is always smart to be aware of the threats that could come to our community.

Madison police said skimming devices have been found on seven more ATMs in the Madison area.

Skimming devices were found on cash machines in the Madison area in May and June. Since then, skimming devices were found on three ATMs in Madison, three in Fitchburg and one in Monona.

Besides Associated Bank, branches of the UW Credit Union and BMO Harris Bank have been targeted. Losses are estimated at several hundred thousand dollars.

Police are asking ATM users to inspect cash machines for any items installed over existing ATM parts, including small cameras pointed at PIN pads or a device placed over the card slot. Most skimming devices are attached with double sided tape for quick removal and will likely move somewhat when wiggled.

Users should also cover the keypad with one hand while typing a PIN with the other.

Police believe the devices are being installed by people who don’t live in the area.

Copyright 2015 by Channel 3000. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: http://www.channel3000.com/money/7-more-ATM-skimming-devices-found-in-Madison-area/35414538


La Crosse Promise Contribution

La Crosse Promise - Inspiring Dreams. Transforming Our Community.A consortium of La Crosse area lenders have come together in support of La Crosse Promise families that agree to build or remodel a home in the two neighborhoods targeted for revitalization by La Crosse Promise. Coulee Bank is proud to be one of the lenders that have collectively committed $8 million in loans and stands ready to help keep mortgage affordable for the La Crosse Promise families and others in the community.

Families willing to build in these neighborhoods can often pay a higher cost for mortgage insurance. That additional cost can make building or remodeling a home less affordable.
The Powell-Poage-Hamilton and Washburn Lending Consortium has agreed to raise the loan to value threshold requirement for mortgage insurance from 80% to 95%, for qualified borrowers that are building new single-family homes or substantially investing in a current single family home in the targeted neighborhoods.

Brad Sturm, President of Coulee Bank, an early supporter of La Crosse Promise and La Crosse Lending Consortium organizer said, “The threshold increase for mortgage insurance from 80% to 95% is particularly important in this revitalization effort, because it provides a remedy for borrowers that may be reluctant to invest or build with a concern that the appraised value of their home may be less than if that same home were located outside of the PPHW neighborhood.”

La Crosse Promise board president Ralph Heath said, “We know of no other promise community in the nation where ten local lenders have come together, as our local lending community has done, to help assure these families that their community is standing with them, and will make certain these loans are backed locally.”

La Crosse Promise Executive Director Jerilyn Dinsmoor said “Qualifying La Crosse Promise families can now receive educational scholarships worth up $50,000 per family, a lot from the city priced at $5,000 or $7,000, and now, thanks to the Lending Consortium, the removal of barriers to finance their project."

Other members of the La Crosse Lending Consortium include Altra Federal Credit Union, BMO Harris Bank, Bremer Bank, Citizens State Bank, Gundersen Credit Union, Marine Credit Union, Merchants Bank, Park Bank, and State Bank Financial. It is great to see a community of great bankers coming together to help the common good.

Keeping the loans in the local consortium will assure La Crosse Promise families they can invest in a neighborhood and not pay a penalty because so many of the other homes are valued for less money. The PPH-Washburn Lending Consortium has also agreed that these loans, for the most part, will be maintained by the local lending institutions and will not be sold to outsiders as is typical with most home loans.

For program details please contact a La Crosse Lending Consortium member or La Crosse Promise Executive Director, Jerilyn Dinsmoor, at neighborhoods@lacrossepromise.org.


Security Q-Tip: Securing Your Home Network

A protected home network means your family can use the Internet safely and securely.

Most households now run networks of devices linked to the Internet, including computers, laptops, gaming devices, TVs, tablets, and smartphones that access wireless networks. To protect your home network and your family, you need to have the right tools in place and confidence that family members can use the Internet safely and securely.

The first step is to Keep a Clean Machine and make sure all of your Internet-enabled devices have the latest operating system, web browsers and security software. This includes mobile devices that access your wireless network.

Secure Your Wireless Router

A wireless network means connecting an Internet access point – such as a cable or DSL modem – to a wireless router. Going wireless is a convenient way to allow multiple devices to connect to the Internet from different areas of your home. However, unless you secure your router, you’re vulnerable to people accessing information on your computer, using your Internet service for free and potentially using your network to commit cybercrimes.

Here are ways to secure your wireless router:

  • Change the name of your router: The default ID - called a service set identifier” (SSID) or “extended service set identifier” (ESSID ) – is assigned by the manufacturer. Change your router to a name that is unique to you and won’t be easily guessed by others.
  • Change the pre-set password on your router: When creating a new password, make sure it is long and strong, using a mix of numbers, letters and symbols.
  • Review security options: When choosing your router’s level of security, opt for WPA2, if available, or WPA. They are more secure than the WEP option.
  • Create a guest password: Some routers allow for guests to use the network via a separate password. If you have many visitors to your home, it’s a good idea to set up a guest network.
  • Use a firewall: Firewalls help keep hackers from using your computer to send out your personal information without your permission. While anti-virus software scans incoming email and files, a firewall is like a guard, watching for attempts to access your system and blocking communications with sources you don't permit. Your operating system and/or security software likely comes with a pre-installed firewall, but make sure you turn on these features.

Protect Yourself with these STOP. THINK. CONNECT. Tips:

  • Keep a clean machine: Having the latest security software, web browser, and operating system are the best defenses against viruses, malware, and other online threats.
  • Automate software updates: Many software programs will automatically connect and update to defend against known risks. Turn on automatic updates if that’s an available option.
  • Protect all devices that connect to the Internet: Along with computers, smart phones, gaming systems, and other web-enabled devices also need protection from viruses and malware.
  • Plug & scan: “USBs” and other external devices can be infected by viruses and malware. Use your security software to scan them.
  • Protect your $$: When banking and shopping, check to be sure the site is security enabled. Look for web addresses with “https://” or “shttp://”, which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. “Http://” is not secure.
  • Back it up: Protect your valuable work, music, photos, and other digital information by making an electronic copy and storing it safely.

Source: https://www.staysafeonline.org/stop-think-connect/posters/


Business Corner: How to Survive In a Market That You’re Inventing

The paradox of business is that competitors are a tremendous asset. An existing market validates the very principle that customers are ready to spend. And when you have a competitor, you have a built-in audience to target with messaging about your superior value.

But the greatest innovators don’t benefit from an existing market. Their solutions are so revolutionary that they can’t follow a road map.

Solving a real, human need doesn’t always mean being able to rely on existing market precedent. Evolutionary products have an established base of paying users, but revolutionary ones do not, and that presents a real challenge when securing capital.

Luckily, we live in an era filled with examples of innovators who built their own markets up around them. By looking at the challenges those companies faced and the strategies they used to overcome them, we can all gain insight into leadership that turns world-changing ideas into fully realized companies.

Leverage scarcity.

It’s a fundamental economic principle that scarcity drives value. Companies inventing new markets can embrace this truth to grow a market up around them. A young, small company that doesn’t have the resources to make a big splash can win by thinking small.

Tesla Motors knew that it couldn’t create a fleet of electric cars right away, so it targeted a small, elite segment of buyers. Its inaugural car, priced at $109,000 and able to go from 0 to 60 in under four seconds, appealed to a very small, very exclusive audience. The company had to be cool before it could afford to be big.

With over 15 million paying users, Spotify offers the greatest argument for the validity of the subscription music model. Though Rhapsody enjoyed a head start, it lags far behind Spotify with 2.5 million users. Spotify paved the way for wide-scale acceptance of monthly music billing by selling exclusivity.

Spotify built up its user base through a limited beta. Users could only sign up by invitation, and the number of invites given to existing users was tightly controlled. The scarcity of an invite made the service desirable, and controlling the invites allowed Spotify to scale in sync with its capacity to deliver service. To keep desirability high, they made sure that visible, influential music luminaries like Trent Reznor were among the first invited in the U.S.

Making your service exclusive generates buzz while it validates your ability to provide solutions in a controlled environment, which ultimately makes you attractive to investors. It requires costly logistical infrastructure to change the world, so companies with big ambitions benefit from starting small and validating their efforts.

Know when to pivot.

When a company in an unproven market plateaus, it’s a scary feeling. The risk in solving a new problem is that the niche of receptive users is too small to justify the overhead of your company. If your startup starts to plateau, it’s time to examine the user experience to identify bottlenecks.

When Airbnb first started, its reach in New York City stalled out. It had earned the attention of a small core of users, but wasn’t growing. So its founders started investigating, and found that listings looked lackluster. When they invested in high-quality photos of their user’s spaces, interest quickly grew.

An early success for Airbnb came when Barry Manilow’s Drummer rented an entire house while on tour. Before his request, Airbnb required that a host be present to provide breakfast, which meant never offering an entire house because the host needed somewhere to stay. That self-imposed restriction limited the service they could offer. By listening to their users’ needs, they expanded the market they could reach. Two-thirds of Airbnb listings in New York City are now “entire home” listings.

Having a small base of users means that your company is on the right track. It also means that your work has only just begun. Put yourself through each step that your customer takes, and try to identify restrictions. Talk to users. There’s a chance that you’re limiting your own reach, and that simple reforms can greatly expand your popularity.

Be prepared to hear “no.”

A vision of a better world is scary, and can be hard to convey to others. Every company that builds its own market will hear “no,” far more than they hear “yes.” Building new markets is not for the easily discouraged. You must persevere even when others do not share your vision.

A good solution can and will change the world – but it takes real leadership to get there. A visionary company must be prepared to start lean and scale up, pivot base on intimate familiarity with their user experience, and weather an almost unimaginable sea of doubt. But the companies that succeed are the architects of the future.

Source: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/244736


Coulee Investment Center: Navigating Medicare and Medigap Insurance

Shari-with-title-png.pngMost adults become eligible for Medicare on the first day of the month they turn age 65. Whether you need to sign up, and how to go about doing so, depends on the type of coverage you select and whether you collect Social Security benefits prior to becoming eligible for Medicare.

Medicare Eligibility

If you have already started receiving Social Security benefits before your 65th birthday, you don't have to sign up for Medicare Part A or Part B. Part A is basic hospital insurance; Part B helps to pay for medically necessary services such as doctor visits or outpatient care. You automatically become eligible on the first day of the month you turn age 65. Premiums for Part B (there is no premium for Part A) will be deducted automatically from your Social Security check.

If you are not receiving Social Security benefits, you will be required to sign up for Part A and Part B. Contact your local Social Security office three months in advance of your 65th birthday to start the process.

If you still receive medical insurance from another provider (such as your employer or your spouse's employer), you can wait to sign up for Medicare. To avoid paying a higher premium, you will be required to enroll during the eight-month period that begins during the month your employment ends or the group health coverage ends, whichever is first. Note also that you may be assessed with higher premiums if your modified gross adjusted income (MAGI) is more than $85,000 for single filers and $170,000 for married couples filing jointly.1

Medicare Part C and Part D

Both Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D, which is prescription drug coverage, are provided by private insurers whose plans are approved by Medicare. You can obtain information on these providers on the Medicare Website.

You can sign up for both Part C and Part D when you first become eligible for Medicare. You can also sign up between January 1 and March 31 or between November 15 and December 31 each year. Even if you don't currently have many prescriptions, you may want to consider signing up for Part D as soon as you become eligible. If you wait and try to sign up during a subsequent enrollment period, you may be charged a late enrollment penalty and be forced to pay higher premiums.

Supplementing With Medigap

Many retirees supplement their Medicare coverage with Medigap plans, which are sold by private insurers. The state where you live may determine the type of plan available to you. It's important to note that these policies do not cover long-term care, vision care, dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses, prescription drugs, and private-duty nursing. If you anticipate ongoing use of these services, you may need to obtain another form of insurance or pay out of pocket.

When you sign a contract for Medigap insurance, you usually permit the insurer to access your Medicare Part B claim information directly from Medicare and to bill your health care providers directly. In certain instances, Medigap providers will manage claims for Medicare Part A as well.

Your Rights as a Medigap Beneficiary

Medigap policies cover only one individual, which means that for couples, each partner needs to purchase a separate policy. The best time to purchase a Medigap policy is during the Medigap open enrollment period, which lasts for six months after you are both age 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B. During this period, an insurer cannot refuse to sell you a Medigap policy or impose a surcharge because of your health status.

A standardized Medigap policy typically is guaranteed renewable, which means that, as long as you continue paying premiums, an insurer cannot use your health status as a rationale for cancelling the policy. If you were diagnosed or treated for a pre-existing medical condition within six months prior to a Medigap policy taking effect, an insurer can make you wait up to six months before providing coverage for the condition. In certain instances, if you had health insurance coverage during the six-month period before the Medigap policy takes effect, the waiting period may be eliminated or shortened.

Source: Social Security Administration, Medicare Premiums: Rules for High-Income Beneficiaries, 2014.

Required Attribution:

Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error by Wealth Management Systems Inc. or its sources, neither Wealth Management Systems Inc. nor its sources guarantees the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information and is not responsible for any errors or omissions or for the results obtained from the use of such information. In no event shall Wealth Management Systems Inc. be liable for any indirect, special or consequential damages in connection with subscriber's or others' use of the content.

© 2015 Wealth Management Systems Inc. All rights reserved.

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