Get Financially Fit for the New Year

photograph of a bust of a woman boxer with a piggy bank

Here’s the skinny on shedding financial baggage in 2016.

With the new year upon us, are you thinking about resolutions you want to make for 2016?  With the holidays behind us, it’s a good time to shed that excess debt and stress.

Follow these tips to get you started.

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Tis the Season for Giving…and Scams

iStock_000050915816_LargeThe Holidays are a time when many people give to charities.  There’s certainly no better time to give to those in need. Unfortunately, it’s also a popular time for fraudsters to take advantage of your generosity.

STAR and the Federal Trade Commission offer these tips to help make sure your charitable contributions are put to good use.  For more information, visit

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Top Tips for Safe Online Holiday Shopping

White Gift Box with Red Ribbon and Bow Near Man Typing on Laptop Computer.

There is no better time to shop online than the holidays, when the crowds of shoppers can drain your energy and holiday spirit. But the Grinch may be stealing more than the presents from Whoville; he might be stealing your personal information if you don’t take precautions for safe online holiday shopping.

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The Season of Giving

iStock_000031633114_Full (1)Recently, the Wellness Committee of STAR Bank challenged its employees to “get off the couch” in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, a time when people tend to do more eating and less moving.  During the 6-week challenge, employees were asked to check-in with weekly emails, detailing the activities that got them off the couch and moving.  Employees who registered for the challenge and actively participated for the full six weeks received a $25 award.

The majority of employees who participated in this challenge chose to donate their award to four food banks within STAR’s footprint:  Community Harvest Food Bank in Fort Wayne, Gleaner’s Food Bank in Indianapolis, St. Martin’s Food Pantry in Marion, and Second Harvest Food Bank in Muncie, with each organization receiving $1,006.25.

“As a family-owned bank that started more than 70 years ago in Indiana, STAR takes great pride in our Hoosier roots,” shares Jim Marcuccilli, President and CEO of STAR Bank. “We are committed to fully investing in the communities where we live and work.  That commitment comes not only from the corporate level, but our employees, as well, who fully embrace our vision and values, which include Growing by Serving and Community Leadership.  I am extremely proud of our employees’ selfless giving to those in need.”

Please consider helping your neighbors in need this holiday season by donating to YOUR local food bank.

Be Prepared for Cyber Threats

Think about how many times you have gone online in the past week. What did you do while online? Check your e-mail? Track your finances? Share pictures? Download videos?

The Internet today has become an invaluable resource in both our personal and professional lives. We have access to more information than ever. With this added accessibility comes a great deal of risk and added responsibility.

Cyber crime continues to be very costly for organizations and is a problem that is not going away anytime soon. The government estimates that the annual cost of cyber crime per organization spanned a range of $1.3 million to $58 million. And the cost of cyber crime increased 26 percent, or $2.6 million from 2012 to 2013.

Cyber threats are real. They don’t just happen to someone else, they can happen to you. That is why STAR Bank has joined forces with the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Campaign — Stop.Think.Connect.™

The campaign’s objective is to help you become more aware of growing threats and arm you with the tools to protect yourself, your family, STAR Bank, and our national security.

The Stop.Think.Connect. Campaign offers the following advice:

  • Stop: Before you use the Internet, take time to understand the risks and learn how to spot potential problems.
  • Think: Take a moment to be certain the path ahead is clear. Watch for warning signs and consider how your actions online could impact your safety, or your family’s safety.
  • Connect: Enjoy the Internet with greater confidence knowing you’ve taken the right steps to safeguard yourself and your computer.
  • Stop.Think.Connect.: Protect yourself and help keep the web a safer place for everyone.

For more Stop.Think.Connect. programs and opportunities, please contact STAR Bank and visit

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Authored by Von Bultemeyr
STAR Financial Bank
Information Security Officer

Insuring the Times of Your Life

If someone depends on you financially, you probably need life insurance.  Here are some examples of specific life stages or life events that might trigger the need for life insurance.

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What type of Life Insurance is right for you?

The most basic feature of a life insurance policy is the death benefit:  the lump-sum payment your beneficiaries would receive if you were to die.  It’s the core reason to own life insurance – but not the only one.  Some types of life insurance offer riders or other features that can play an important role in your financial strategy, such as the ability to accumulate cash value that grows over time.

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Who Needs Life Insurance?

If someone will suffer financially when you die, chances are you need life insurance because it provides cash to your family after your death.

This cash, known as the death benefit, replaces your income and can help your family meet many important financial needs like funeral costs, daily living expenses and college funding. What’s more, there is no federal income tax on life insurance benefits.

To help you understand how life insurance might apply to your particular situation, we’ve outlined a number of different scenarios below.

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Life Insurance for Your Child

Shot of an adorable infant with their father in the backgroundFor the majority of us, discussing life insurance can be an uneasy conversation to have, especially when we are discussing a policy to cover a child or grandchild. Here are three reasons why you should have this discussion anyway.

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What is a Credit Freeze?

CreditFreezeYou may have heard about the recent data breach of a national medical records company, MIE (Medical Informatics Engineering), which took place on May 26, 2015. MIE houses electronic medical records for several medical companies and individuals, including RediMed. It is estimated that 1.5 million Indiana residents have been affected by this security breach.

If you received a letter from MIE indicating that your information may have been part of this breach, STAR urges you to take advantage of the free monitoring service being offered for 2 years.

Last week, in light of this breach, the Indiana Attorney General publicly urged all Indiana residents to freeze their credit. So, what is a credit freeze?

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