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 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 email@example.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.
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.
Brianna Tirado, Personal Banker | SouthStar Bank Gonzales Brianna Tirado is a Personal Banker at the SouthStar Bank Gonzales branch. She will have been in the banking industry and at SouthStar Bank for two years this coming November. In her position, Brianna enjoys the customer interactions she encounters on a day-to-day basis, striving to assist each customer in any way required. Her second favorite aspect of her job is getting to work with her fabulous peers. When Brianna is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Bridget Brosh, Personal Banker | SouthStar Bank Moulton Bridget Brosh is a Personal Banker in the SouthStar Bank Moulton branch. She received her degree from Texas State University and has four years of banking experience, all here with SouthStar. Bridget enjoys the fast-paced environment that banking provides, never shy to a new challenge faced and quick to adapt to the everchanging landscape of the industry. One of her career highlights is taking on IRAs and developing an intricate understanding of the product. An understanding that she now proliferates throughout the entirety of the bank, fielding questions and providing solutions and knowledge to best support her peers. Bridget views each challenge as an opportunity for growth. Outside of work, Bridget enjoys hanging out with friends and family as well as spending time outdoors.
Barbara Armstrong, Personal Banker | SouthStar Bank Hearne Barbara Armstrong is a Personal Banker at the SouthStar Bank Hearne location. She worked primarily in Property Management before joining the SouthStar Bank team one year ago. Barbara enjoys being able to assist customers and problem-solve. One of Barbara’s biggest professional accomplishments was successfully taking charge of and maintaining a billion-dollar student housing company during a 5-month transition in management. Barbara is a proud mother of two and greatly enjoys spending time with her children. Barbara spends her free time cooking, baking, and creating rustic art pieces. As an art enthusiast, one item on her bucket list is to learn how to make pottery.
Trip Ray has been promoted to the position of Chief Credit Officer. He has been with SouthStar Bank since 2016 and has served as the bank’s Chief Risk Officer since 2020. In his time with the bank, Trip has made tremendous contributions, including creating an Enterprise Risk Committee and actively working to build risk assessments across all departments of the bank, ensuring top quality and safety for our customers. Trip naturally gravitated toward the lending side of the institution in his role as Chief Risk Officer, making him an ideal fit for the Chief Credit Officer position. In his new role, Trip will be responsible for providing support, direction and developing credit information and loan policies to ensure the overall quality of the bank’s lending portfolio. He will oversee the Underwriting and Credit Administration Department and continue to work with the Audit Committee as well as internal and external loan review teams. When Trip is out of the office, he enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing golf, and spending time outdoors. Congratulations Trip!
Amanda Waldrop, Loan Operations Processor | SouthStar Bank Calvert Amanda Waldrop is a Loan Operations Processor at the SouthStar Bank Calvert location. She had previously worked at SouthStar Bank from 2016-2019 and was welcomed back in 2021. The two things she enjoys most about her job are her amazing coworkers and the ability to provide a helping hand to those who dream of home ownership. Amanda’s biggest professional accomplishment was starting a demolition/clean-up company with her husband. Their business had them chasing hurricanes from Rockport, Texas, to South Louisiana, providing services to those affected by the storms. They sold the business in 2021 and eventually moved back to Texas. When she is not working, Amanda spends her time traveling, camping, boating, cooking, enjoying a good cup of coffee, and spending time with friends, family, and her rescue dog, Gunner.
Jason Herbert, Vice President of Lending & Branch Executive | SouthStar Bank Leander Jason Herbert joins the SouthStar Bank Leander branch as a Vice President of Lending and the Branch Executive. He is an alumnus of California State University San Marcos and brings over 20 years of experience in the banking industry with a focus on Residential Lending. In his position, Jason is looking forward to assisting clients with personal mortgage loans and expanding into the realms of commercial and construction lending. In his career, Jason is proud of his ability to help families become homeowners, particularly when they were told they could not do so. One of Jason’s crowning achievements across his career is the 600+ families and the 75+ active and retired military families he has assisted in their journeys to homeownership. He is a father of two and a member of the Leander Dad’s Group. He spends much of his time attending the various sports his children are involved in, including soccer, gymnastics, dance, and Ninja Warrior. When Jason can get some time to himself, he enjoys going to the golf course to unwind. NMLS#633039
When it comes to saving for retirement, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) offer a range of options to suit various needs and preferences. However, the choices can be overwhelming for the everyday consumer. Whether you have been saving for years or are just beginning to plan your future, SouthStar Bank can help you get started. Roth IRA: A Roth IRA is a retirement account funded with after-tax contributions. One of the main advantages is the potential for tax-free growth and withdrawals during retirement. With a Roth IRA, contributions are made with money that has already been taxed, which means you won’t get an immediate tax deduction. However, the earnings within the account grow tax-free, and qualified withdrawals, made after age 59 ½ and held for at least five years, are also tax-free. Additionally, Roth IRAs do not have required minimum distributions (RMDs) during the account owner’s lifetime, giving the account owner more flexibility in retirement planning. Traditional IRA: A Traditional IRA is a tax-advantaged retirement account where contributions may be tax-deductible in the year they are made. The money you contribute to a Traditional IRA is not taxed until you withdraw it during retirement. While the contributions and earnings grow tax-deferred over time, withdrawals made after age 59 ½ are treated as ordinary income and taxed accordingly. Another key aspect of Traditional IRAs is that they come with required minimum distributions (RMDs) that must begin at age 72 (73 if you reach age 72 after Dec. 31, 2022), ensuring gradual distributions during retirement. Self-Directed IRA: A Self-Directed IRA is a unique retirement account that allows investors to go beyond traditional assets like stocks and bonds. With a Self-Directed IRA, you have the flexibility to invest in alternative assets, such as real estate, precious metals, private equity, and more. This option empowers investors to diversify their portfolio beyond conventional investments, potentially enhancing returns and reducing risk. However, it requires diligent research and understanding of the chosen alternative investments, as they may not be as liquid or easily valued as traditional assets. Checkbook IRA (Self-Directed IRA with Checkbook Control): A Checkbook IRA, also known as a Self-Directed IRA with Checkbook Control, is a specific type of Self-Directed IRA that provides even greater control and convenience in managing investments. With a Checkbook IRA, you establish an LLC (Limited Liability Company) owned by the IRA, and the IRA custodian allows you to serve as the manager of the LLC. As the manager, you gain the authority to make investment decisions and write checks from the IRA’s funds directly, eliminating the need for custodian involvement for each investment transaction. This streamlines the investment process and can be especially beneficial for those who prefer a hands-on approach to managing their retirement funds. SouthStar Bank is excited to offer a variety of IRA products, including IRA loans, to the Texas communities we have served for over 100 years. Our knowledgeable team can guide you through the process of selecting the right IRA for your retirement goals and provide […]