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Monthly Archives: September 2023

Employee Spotlight – Jeremy Bernal

Jeremy Bernal, Information Technology Specialist 1 | SouthStar Bank Harker Heights Annex Jeremy Bernal has worked as an Information Technology Specialist I for the last three years at SouthStar Bank. He is located at the SouthStar Bank Harker Heights annex. In his role, Jeremy works hard to assist all employees with any technical issues they may run into. He takes pride in remedying these often frustrating issues and allowing the staff to work smoothly without interruption. Outside of work, Jeremy likes to spend his time helping people who struggle with substance abuse or alcoholism. He also enjoys saltwater fishing, traveling, and spending time with friends. His favorite destination he has traveled to is London, Ontario.

Understanding the Benefits of IRAs

Understanding the benefits of Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) is essential for maximizing their potential and ensuring a secure financial future. Benefits of IRAs: Tax Advantages: IRAs offer significant tax benefits that vary depending on the type of IRA chosen. For example, contributions made through a Traditional IRA are typically tax-deductible, while Roth IRA contributions are made with after-tax dollars, which makes qualified withdrawals through that account entirely tax-free. These tax advantages can help you optimize your retirement savings and minimize tax liabilities. Interest: Many people will often forgo IRA accounts in favor of traditional Savings accounts with lower interest rates. IRA accounts often offer more interest than a Savings account, so be sure to do your due diligence and maximize the interest earned on your retirement savings. Investment Flexibility: Self-Directed IRAs allow for a wide range of investment options, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, and more. This flexibility empowers you to tailor your investment strategy to match your risk tolerance and financial objectives. Diversifying your IRA investments can help spread risk and increase potential returns. Rollover and Portability: Changing jobs or retiring doesn’t mean leaving your retirement savings behind. You can roll over funds from employer-sponsored retirement plans, such as 401(k)s or 403(b)s, into an IRA without tax penalties. This manageability gives you greater control over your retirement savings and investment choices. Supplementing Employer Plans: IRAs serve as valuable complements to employer-sponsored retirement plans. If your employer’s plan has limited investment options, opening an IRA allows you to access a broader range of investments and tailor your portfolio to suit your preferences. Estate Planning Benefits: IRAs offer potential estate planning advantages. Beneficiary designations allow you to pass on your IRA assets to your beneficiaries, potentially continuing the tax-deferred growth or tax-free growth in the case of Roth IRAs and enabling a more efficient transfer of wealth. Understanding the benefits of IRAs is essential for successful retirement planning. These tax-advantaged accounts offer tax benefits, investment flexibility, and continued growth and security opportunities. By taking advantage of these unique benefits, you can harness the full potential of IRAs and build a robust retirement portfolio. SouthStar Bank is excited to offer a variety of IRA accounts with competitive interest rates. Look at SouthStar Bank’s rates and start maximizing your retirement savings today! For more information or to inquire about IRA accounts, please contact SouthStar Bank’s IRA team at ira@southstarbank.com or call 512.384.3948 Please note that all dates and rules are based on the year this article was published. Please check back with the IRS for important dates and regulations.

Employee Spotlight – Janis Cowman-Arteaga

Janis Cowman-Arteaga, Commercial Loan Closing Coordinator | SouthStar Bank Georgetown Janis Cowman-Arteaga is a Commercial Loan Closing Coordinator at the SouthStar Bank Georgetown branch. Janis has been with the bank for two and a half years and boasts over 38 years of overall experience in the banking and mortgage industries. Prior to joining the SouthStar Bank team, Janis owned and operated her own mortgage company for several years. She credits this experience with helping her develop perspective when working with small businesses. In her position, Janis enjoys utilizing her skills to derive what she finds most rewarding, which includes delivering on someone’s dream of home ownership and helping businesses grow with commercial business loans. Janis is plenty busy outside the office as well! Following her six years of service with the United States Marine Corps she became a lifetime VFW and Marine Corps League member. At home, Janis raises Lovebirds, tending to her flock in a large outdoor aviary that now houses 45 birds! Janis’ favorite travel destination is Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, which she believes to be one of the most scenic and serene places on the planet. She enjoys looking for minerals and gemstones to add to her collection when she visits.

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