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Welcome Jason Herbert

Jason Herbert, Vice President of Lending & Branch Executive | SouthStar Bank Leander

Jason Herbert 2023

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.


What IRA is Best for Me?

Documents about Individual retirement account IRA on a desk.

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 personalized assistance to help you maximize your savings.

For more information or to inquire about IRA accounts, please contact SouthStar Bank at or reach out to your local branch. 

All You Need To Know About CDARS

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Have you ever wanted a fast, easy, and convenient way to take full advantage of FDIC insurance on deposits exceeding $250,000? Look no further!  SouthStar Bank offers an easy and convenient way to keep your funds FDIC insured via our CDARS program up to $50 million per customer.

What is CDARS?

CDARS is an acronym for the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service. In short, CDARS allows a business to invest in Certificates of Deposit held by many FDIC-insured banking institutions, including SouthStar Bank.

Who has custody of my funds?

Funds placed through CDARS can only be deposited in FDIC-insured banks. SouthStar Bank would act as custodian for your CDARS deposits.  CDARS network members swap deposits on a dollar-for-dollar basis, ensuring that the same amount of funds placed through the network are returned to SouthStar Bank. This means that your original deposit amount can remain at the bank and be used by you. Which will locally support the growth of the communities we live, work and volunteer. CDARS is one of the safest options for investors who want to protect their investments while continuing to earn interest rates only possible with CDs. Investing in the program can be a wise alternative to U.S. Treasuries. Similar to Treasuries, CDARS is also backed by the U.S. government. You may be worried about how the FDIC feels about such programs. Fortunately, the FDIC acknowledges the deposit placement service and has even encouraged it at times. The CDARS program has been thoroughly tested, and the service is recognized by both FDIC regulations and state statutes.

What are the benefits of CDARS?

CDARS allows you to make a single deposit and have those funds automatically distributed to enough financial institutions to achieve full FDIC coverage. During the setup process, you will get to decide which financial institutions your funds will be deposited into. Remember that while your CDs may be held by financial institutions nationwide, your funds can still be used locally.  Just like standard CDs, your CDs in the CDARS program come with a range of maturities. You can choose from maturities ranging from one month up to five years. Second, there are no hidden fees in the CDARS program, including annual, transaction, or subscription fees. The rate you agreed on is the rate you will receive.  The last benefit of the program is no ongoing collateralization. This eliminated the need to track changing collat4eral values routinely.

What are the drawbacks of CDRS?

Before investing in CDARS, you should be aware of the drawbacks. CDARS investments have restricted liquidity, meaning that your invested funds are all locked in CDs until they mature. If you need to access the funds before maturity, you will have to pay a penalty.

If you think CDARS is right for you and your business, contact your local SouthStar Bank branch today or open a new Certificate of Deposit online!

Employee Spotlight – Allison Spence

Allison Spence, Personal Banker | SouthStar Bank Southwest Austin

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Allison Spence is a Personal Banker at the SouthStar Bank Southwest Austin location. She worked in the banking industry for five years before joining the SouthStar Bank team one year ago. The one thing Allison enjoys most about her job is connecting with customers in and around her community. She also loves using her problem-solving skills to assist her customers and their needs best. One of Allison’s most significant accomplishments was gaining confidence within her Personal Banker role. She believes that her newly acquired knowledge has positively affected her personal life.

In her community, Allison is involved with her local church, One Chapel Austin. She hopes to be a part of their Mission work in the future.

When she is not working, Allison spends her time caring for plants, playing with her pups, and tending to her chickens. One item on her bucket list is to travel to Milan, Italy to meet family.

Welcome Emma Taylor

Emma Taylor, Personal Banker | SouthStar Bank Leander

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Emma Taylor has joined the SouthStar Bank Leander team as a Personal Banker. Emma has one year of experience in the banking industry. The one thing she is most excited about bringing into her new role is her customer service skills, positive attitude, and dedication. In her free time, Emma enjoys writing and spending time with her dog.

Welcome Emma!

Employee Spotlight- Aften Serrano

Aften Serrano, Portfolio Manager – SBA & Business Manager | SouthStar Bank Loan Administration Building

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Aften Serrano is a Portfolio Manager/ SBA & Business Manager based at the SouthStar Bank Loan Administration Building. Aften worked in banking and finance for 19 years before joining the SouthStar Bank team three years ago. She has worked in numerous positions, including Teller, Personal Banker, Banking Officer, Branch Manager, and Back Office. In her position, Aften enjoys being able to help small businesses survive and thrive, while also creating jobs in and around her community. One of Aften’s favorite professional moments was performing investigations on high-risk customers for the BSA/AML Department.

In her community, Aften is a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. Currently, the organization is working to save a cemetery on Liberty Hill from being destroyed by a large development company.

When she is not working, Aften spends her time woodworking, building, and refurbishing furniture. Known for being adventurous, she has traveled to Costa Rica and hopes to walk the Great Wall of China.

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