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Key Factors to Consider When Buying an Annuity June 23, 2020

A fixed annuity can help you reach your long-term goals, including retirement, by providing a guaranteed stream of income for a specified period of time or even for life. Here are a few key things to know about these unique products.

Did you choose a solid provider? Private annuity contracts are not guaranteed by any federal agency, and while most states provide some protection to their residents if insurance companies doing business in those states fail, it is often capped. Therefore, if the insurance company that issues an annuity contract fails, you are not necessarily protected from financial loss. To mitigate this risk, it is important to choose an annuity wisely.

Over what time period do you need the money? You can select a payout time period. You may only need an annuity for 10 or 20 years, or you may want it for life.

What payout option do you want? You can receive your payout from a fixed annuity in several ways. For example, you can take a lifetime stream of income, or you can take systematic withdrawals, the amount of which can be adjusted.

What fees will you pay? Most fixed annuity fees are factored into the annual percentage rate you are quoted, but be sure you know what they are. Do they include the insurance company’s administrative expenses? What about the profits to the insurance company and agent?

Do you understand purchasing-power risk? Most fixed annuities do not have cost-of-living adjustments. As a result, the purchasing power of your monthly payment may decline over the life of the annuity because of inflation. If necessary, you can purchase an annuity with inflation protection.

Do You Know These 4 Common Myths about Car Insurance? June 16, 2020

Misconceptions surrounding car insurance abound and can impact the decisions you make on which car to buy or lead you to lose money. Many of these misconceptions are untrue. To aid you in making an informed decision, below are four common myths about car insurance.

Myth: More expensive cars cost more to insure

Fact: False. Not every expensive car costs more to insure than a mid-priced car. Insurance rates are determined by a variety of factors, including how frequently a specific car type is stolen, the amount of times a vehicle needs repairs, and how much those repairs cost.


Myth: Red cars are the most expensive to insure

Fact: The color of a car has absolutely no bearing on the price of insurance. While the make and model will undoubtedly influence the price you’ll pay, you can pick the color worry-free.


Myth: Traffic tickets make your insurance premiums rise

Fact: Traffic tickets are not helpful to your insurance premiums, but for drivers with clean driving records, a ticket for a minor traffic infraction may not have any impact whatsoever. There are also several steps you can take to reduce the number of points from your license in some states to minimize the impact.


Myth: Carrying the minimum amount of insurance is acceptable, and comprehensive insurance covers everything

Fact: Double false. The minimum amount of liability insurance will satisfy state law but will most likely not cover extensive damages in case of a crash. Comprehensive insurance can cover many situations, but it is specifically for damage done in a non-collision event.


If you’d like to learn more about these common myths and what other factors impact car insurance prices, call us today. We are happy to answer any questions.


2020 Scholarship Recipients June 5, 2020

Forward believes in supporting the dreams of higher education for graduates at our local schools. Scholarships are awarded annually to one individual in each community that Forward Bank has a branch location. Forward also awards one employee or employee’s child for the Bob Lotzer Scholarship. The Scholarship Committee is amazed every year by the remarkable applications received.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and Employees at Forward, we are proud to announce the 2020 Forward Bank Scholarship Recipients:

  • Courtney Murkowski (Athens High School)
  • Michael Decker (Colby High School)
  • Laikyn Johnson (Greenwood High School)
  • Isaac Meverden (Marshfield High School)
  • Austin Shaw (Medford High School)
  • Blake Richard (Chequamegon High School)
  • Hannah Angelo (Phillips High School)
  • Lexi Chaplinski (Gilman High School)
  • Danielle Stroinski (Thorp High School)
  • Matthew Fischer  (Owen-Withee High School)

The 2020 Bob Lotzer Scholarship Recipient is Lilah Pearson (Chequamegon High School).

Forward is proud of the close relationship that we have with our schools and our students. It has been our privilege to watch each graduating class excel as they’ve moved through their high school years. Our mission of “Moving Our Communities Forward” starts with helping students further their education and bring their knowledge back into their hometowns. Living up to that mission is why we are awarding these scholarships.

Learn more about our Scholarship Program.


Putting Our Money Where Your Heart Is May 21, 2020

The ripple effect on the economy of the COVD-19 pandemic and the measures we all needed to follow to keep one another safe has continued for two months. With businesses closed and employees furloughed or working reduced hours, tough budget decisions have been made in homes throughout the state. The first item often sacrificed in tough times is support of local charities.

Forward Bank – including Forward Insurance and Forward Investment Services – has been working with the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) to reach out to area charities in a big way. This partnership of community support includes maximizing grant funds and a loan program from the FHLB to benefit non-profits in each of the communities that Forward has offices in.

“Our team was committed to creatively using the opportunity created by the FHLB to give additional support for charities that need it during this unprecedented time,” commented Bill Sennholz, CEO of Forward Bank. “We asked our team to nominate non-profits in our communities that they felt needed the additional support. Using our Facebook pages, we encouraged our communities to vote and help guide our selection of one charity per community to receive $10,000. The recipients will have a wonderful opportunity to invest those funds in the projects that help them fulfill their missions.”

Over 15,000 votes were cast for non-profits over a one-week time period. The top vote recipient in each market received a check for $10,000. Here are the recipients:

  • Athens Fire Department
  • Abbotsford School District
  • Greenwood Fire & EMS
  • Marshfield Area Pet Shelter
  • Marshfield Area United Way
  • Black River Industries (Medford)
  • Catkins Animal Rescue (Park Falls)
  • Red Apple Counseling & Development (Phillips)
  • Orioles Give Back (Stanley)
  • Thorp Fire & Ambulance
  • Owen-Withee Ambulance

The FHLBanks are 11 regionally based, wholesale suppliers of lendable funds to financial institutions of all sizes and many types, including community banks, credit unions, commercial and savings banks, insurance companies and community development financial institutions. The FHLBanks are cooperatively owned by member financial institutions in all 50 states and U.S. territories.

The steady supply of lendable funds from FHLBanks helps U.S. lenders invest in local needs including housing, jobs, and economic growth.


Is it a Good Time to Buy or Sell a Home? May 11, 2020

young man sitting at computer

The opportune time to buy or sell a home is not carved in stone. There are three primary factors that will influence you as to when you should move forward with buying or selling a home.

Buyers and sellers can benefit from knowing what their local market activity is at any given time. The Mortgage Lenders at Forward Bank can help you with that. Since supply and demand of available properties dictate price and availability, our role is to provide you with the statistics to properly time listing or selecting your home.

As a buyer, you will want to house shop when there are a lot of homes on the market, but that may not always be possible. You will have not only many choices but also more opportunity to negotiate with anxious sellers.

Conversely, sellers will want to list their homes during times of shrinking inventory so they can attract more buyers and be tighter with their pricing.

The direction of trending interest rates will also be key in determining if you can buy more or less of a home than you like and when you should move forward with your search. During times of low rates, sellers can be rewarded with stronger pricing, knowing that more buyers will qualify to buy their homes.

The seasons and where you live play a part in any real estate market. While buying and selling during the late spring through early fall may seem to be the most logical time to enter the market, it doesn’t hold true across the board.

Wintertime markets can even cause attraction in zones with better buying options. However, sellers should always give consideration to listing during these perceived slow market times because their competition will be far less and there will always be a number of buyers on the prowl.

With the experience of the Mortgage team at Forward Bank, we can put the market numbers and the seasons together for your recipe for buying or selling success.

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