20 Feb

History of the Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union

RMLEFCU History

Saying it was hard to get a loan in 1938 is a crude understatement. Denver police had little to offer in the way of collateral and their loan requests fell deaf on banker’s ears. Coupled with the financial insecurity of the Great Depression, a way to promote financial security was needed.

Thankfully, three Denver Police officers, Ivan Eldher, Harold Dill and Roy Floyd led the charge for a credit union dedicated to law enforcement officers. The past seven decades has witnessed multiple moves, an expanded membership and a modernization of services – but what remains unchanged is our commitment to officers who keep Colorado communities safe.

Joining the Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union was a right of passage occurring shortly after an officer’s swearing in. Newly minted police officers would receive a signature loan for $250 to help purchase necessary equipment. Flash forward to 2016 and we’re the 3rd Healthiest Credit Union in the entire country. While checking and savings accounts were the only offerings on the menu in 1938, we now offer a complete suite of financial products to over 12,000 members throughout Colorado.

RMLEFCU Looks Forward

We began with one employee in the Denver Police Department’s basement. Now we’ve expanded to three physical locations in the Denver metro area with fifty employees. RMLEFCU members enjoy shared branching with 200 other credit unions in Colorado and with 5,000 + locations nationwide. Recently, our online banking was enhanced to be as seamless and robust as possible. To learn how you can become a member, please view our switch kit.

View a quick video about RMLEFCU’s humble beginnings here.

08 Feb

Most Romantic Restaurants in Denver

Romantic Restaurants in Denver ARE a Good Idea

If you’re of the mindset that Valentine’s Day is a Hallmark holiday, designed so you spend money on candy hearts and tacky stuffed animals, fine. If you think you show your love the other 364 days of the year and don’t need to be told to be romantic on February 14th, we hear you. However, why not change your perspective and see Valentine’s Day, the week of Valentine’s Day, or the month of February as a way to support local restaurants, treat your loved one to a delicious meal, and create a memory to last – unlike the blood sugar spike of cheap boxed chocolates. Trust us, we know.

Below is a list of four most romantic restaurants in Denver. Each offers a healthy dose of ambiance, normal size portions, and a variety of meat heavy entrees. Have a restaurant you like to support? Tell us in the comments!

THE FORT
Address: 19192 CO-8, Morrison, CO 80465
Phone: 303-697-4771
Website

The Fort is a replica of historic Bent’s Fort in southeastern Colorado, with its adobe walls, mesquite-wood open fireplaces and Western art and memorabilia. After dinner, stroll outside in the courtyard and view the lights of downtown Denver. The entrees include steak, buffalo, elk, and lamb along with several other types of wild game and frontier days cuisine.

 
VESTA
Address: 1822 Blake Street, Denver, CO 80202
Phone: 303-296-1970
Website

Vesta is all about delicious entrees, spectacular service, and dipping sauces. Mostly two-tops and cozy booths fill this chic downtown spot. The lighting is just enough to see when you’re dipping into some of the 36 sauces offered. Ready to split a dessert? Take turns dunking sweets into hot fudge, crème anglaise, or strawberry Cointreau, and then compare notes.

Gabriels
Address: 5450 Manhart Street, Sedalia, CO 80135
Phone: 303-688-2323
Website

From February 10th through the 15th Gabriels is offering a 3-Course Dinner with red roses for the ladies. You’ll have nine different choices of entrees. You’ll feel like you’re dining at a friend’s since it is inside of an old house. With Colorado’s forever-changing weather, you may even be sitting outside on the patio. Bonus: There is live music on Sundays.

Firenze a Tavola’
Address: The basement of 4401 Tennyson St, Denver, CO 80212
Phone: (303) 561-0234
Website

We’ve been conditioned to associate Italian food with romance. After all, we’ve all seen the spaghetti scene from Lady and the Tramp. Firenze a Tavola’ is hidden underneath Parisi, a more casual Italian restaurant. Usually they are only open Wednesday through Sunday but since Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday, they’re open Tuesday this year. They have a great wine list, impeccable service, and the food is like nothing outside of Florence (aka Firenze).

 

06 Feb

HELOC the Heck out of Your Home Remodel

If you are considering a home equity line of credit, or HELOC loan, to make home repairs and remodels, you are in good company. Year after year, home improvement is the #1 way homeowners use their home equity line of credit. Don’t know what a HELOC is? Watch this quick video and continue reading below.

Since a HELOC’s collateral is the equity in your home, it makes sense to put the money back into what is usually your most valuable asset.

If you live in the Denver metro area, your home value has risen, giving you a larger cushion of equity to use your HELOC for home remodeling. As a result, when you make your home more attractive to potential buyers, the payoff will be well worth the investment when you sell.

Even if you are not planning to sell for a while, you get to enjoy the value add to you and your family’s daily life from these improvements.

Which rooms and improvements deserve your attention? Thankfully, Remodeling Magazine creates an annual report revealing the costs of executing 29 remodeling projects in 99 markets nationwide as well as real estate pros’ views of how much those projects will increase a home’s value at resale. Results below are specific to Denver for 2017. Read More

18 Jan

5 Financial Milestones to Hit in 2017

Financial milestones are goals we aim to achieve. Some should be stressed at certain milestones in our own life. In this vein, we picked five financial goals you may have depending on your current age.

Are you just entering workforce?

Start saving for retirement

If you can stand to, save 10% of your salary. The earlier you start doing this, the more you can take advantage of compound interest. If you’re a woman, chances are you will live longer (sorry boys), so try and factor that into your retirement savings. Although you may be receiving a pension if you joined the force, it might not be enough for you to live on entirely.

You’re in Your Mid-Twenties

Set up an emergency fund

Save to be able to cover all your expenses for 6 months if you’re single, three months if you’re married. Start by adding $100 a month to a separate account. You can set up an automatic withdrawal from your checking account to help build your emergency fund.

You are shy of or just on the other side of 30 

Pay off your credit card debt –

Eliminate the higher interest rate debt first. This could be credit cards or student loans. If your rates are near double digits, look into consolidating your loans for a lower rate or taking advantage of a free credit card balance transfer to a RMLEFCU Visa.

The big 4-0 has happened 

Max out your retirement contributions!

One way to do this is to meet your employer’s match.

There are two ways to look at this:

  1. Free money that you can’t claim unless you opt-in.
  2. A 3-6% bump in your salary that you didn’t have to work for or negotiate.

Another way is to add to your retirement portfolio with an IRA account. Look at whether a Roth or Traditional plan is best for your situation. Consider whether you want to pay taxes up front or when you take the money out after retirement. It’s difficult to imagine, but try to figure out whether you will remain in a similar tax bracket upon retirement. Some people want to spend more in retirement and travel while others expect to spend less.

You are 50 or older 

Prepare to downsize

  • Are you storing your children’s belongings? If it isn’t important enough to be in their apartment or with them at college – it shouldn’t be taking up precious space in your home?
  • Can you get by on one car?
  • Could you do without extra bedrooms and unused space?
  • Will you need a one level home in the future? Less of a yard?

If you’ve answered yes to any of the above, then you are a great candidate to downsize your home and your stress.

Best of luck to all of our members who are at different stages in their lives. If you would like to talk to someone about other personal financial milestones, please reach out to Debby, RMLEFCU’s in house financial planner. Learn more at https://www.rmlefcu.org/resources/financial-planning.html

You can achieve your financial goals in 2017!

04 Jan

3 Ways to Pay Off High Interest Credit Cards

Did your holiday excesses extend to all aspects of your life? If so, we have a few suggestions about how you can pay down your high interest credit cards.

  1. Free cash advances on RMLEFCU credit cards*

    – Normally a credit card company would charge a fee of 3-5% of the amount of cash you withdraw. With RMLEFCU it is free. Use this cash to pay down another card or an outstanding bill.

  1. Free balance transfers onto a RMLEFCU credit card*

    – This is a great member benefit since 3% of the amount you are transferring is usually the price you pay for transferring a credit card balance.

RMLEFCU has three different credit cards to choose from.

  • Classic Visa®
  • Platinum Visa Select® – 7.25% APR*.
  • Platinum Visa® – 12.75% APR* by visiting UChooseRewards.com

The idea behind a balance transfer is simple. You open a new credit card with a low interest rate and move the balance from your old, high-interest card to the new one. Essentially, this means that the debt on your old card has been paid by the new card. After you complete the transfer to the new card, you can start paying it down. You’ll be amazed at how much you can save when your interest payments have been drastically reduced.

Read More

22 Dec

Teaching Teens about Money

Lesson 1: Stress Savings!

There are many reasons that saving is first on this list. Teaching teens about money needs to begin with how they can save what they earn. Having savings can protect them against a lifetime of debt and financial security.

  • Saving money can help teenagers reach a financial goal and have more respect for the purchase. For example, putting a down payment on a car. When they’re more invested in the vehicle, you can bet they’ll be safer driving it.
  • Saving money is one way to avoid life’s hiccups, aka unforeseen incidents. If they lose their job or head off to college but still have expenses like car insurance, their savings will help.
  • If they have money saved, they’ll earn financial peace of mind. Life as a teenager is stressful enough – why make it more so by worrying about late payments.
  • More Money = More Independence from you. The more money they save, the less they have to rely on you and the more financial decisions they can make on their own. Teens need some financial independence and it is made possible due to savings.

Here is another article we wrote that talks about savings. If you are interested in setting up a savings account for young person, talk to a RMLEFCU representative about our piggy bank savings account. We’ll automatically kick off their savings with a $25 CD!

Read More

14 Dec

5 Cars to Keep You Driving Smoothly in the Snow

Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union is proud to partner with AutoTrek in their mission to help our members find EXACTLY the car they need or want. AutoTrek employees will do the legwork and research for you. They will even bring the car to your work or home for a test drive! Your weekend will remain a car shopping free zone while AutoTrek works their magic to bring your car to you! Right now AutoTrek has 5 vehicles on their lot for driving smoothly in the snow. Whether you have a large family, or are a solo driver, one of these cars will work for you!

BONUS: RMLEFCU will match up to $500* towards your down payment on any car purchased in December at AutoTrek!

2005 Chevrolet Tahoe, $12,989, 121k miles

chevy-tahoe

2011 Toyota 4 Runner SR5, $21,989, 90k miles

toy4runner

Read More

07 Dec

Beyond the Pension: Being Honest about Retirement

If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a police officer. Your retirement options are unique and there’s no one size fits all retirement planning for police. However, there are a few harsh realities that you’ll thank yourself for facing now, and not waiting until your retirement date is fast approaching.

Harsh Reality: You MAY find it hard to plan for how to spend your post retirement days.

There are many reasons for this.

  • You have more retirement to plan for since you have option to retire after 20 years of service. Retirement planning for police needs to take this into account!
  • Your job and your fellow officers are unique and your identity is tied to being a police officer. Therefore, while other people can disassociate themselves with their job – your line of work makes that difficult.

Solution: Figure out NOW what you want to do in retirement

  • Remember that we often enjoy doing things we excel at. Meaning, if your post retirement plans include “taking up something” or “exploring xyz” it might be wise to try it out now to see if it will be a short lived experiment.
  • Research of retirees indicates those who are happiest in often answer the question, “What will you do with all that time?” with responses like “giving back” and “discovering a sense of purpose”. Volunteering also helps maintain social interactions we previously had at work.
  • Make a list of how you would fill in an entire week if you weren’t working. What new things would you like to learn about and what new places would you like to see? Where would you like to live? What experiences would you like to have?

Harsh Reality: Your ideas about how to spend time MIGHT NOT align with your spouse’s ideas.

For example, you may want to hit the road in an RV and she or he would rather stay close and spend more time with the grandkids.

Solution: Have honest conversations and find common ground now to avoid disaster later. Spend time, without distractions, to discuss what you each envision for your retirement.

If they ARE ready to hit the road, RMLEFCU offers RV loans!

Harsh reality: Unless you change as easily as a chameleon, your spending habits likely won’t look much different in retirement.

Solution:

  • If your tastes are expensive, have a plan to still bring in money if there is a gap where your savings and spending do not meet.
  • Look at downsizing or moving to a location where the cost of living is more affordable. We have some Colorado suggestions in this blog.
  • You may be able to use your home’s equity to improve your cash flow during retirement. There are a few reasons this could be a viable option for you.

Harsh reality: Not everyone reads the fine print of their pension

Solution: Now, rather than when you’re approaching retirement, is the time to familiarize yourself with the rules, timelines, and options affecting your pension plan. Do not try to read before going to bed. Read them very carefully.

RMLEFCU is Colorado’s only credit union dedicated to police officers and we understand retirement planning for police. For this reason, we have an in house financial planner, Debby Wilson, about your retirement plans. She’s been working with our members for 18 years and her expertise is invaluable.

16 Nov

Move Over Credit Card and Make Way for the Holiday Loan

Holidays are all about enjoying time with friends and family and being grateful for the blessings in your life. However, there are some pesky expenses that creep up this time of year. If you are traveling to see family or friends prepare yourself for airfare, hotels, and meals outside of the home. If you’re a gift-giver, your out of pocket spending grows with each recipient on your list. Furthermore, if you are hosting friends and family at your home, you will need to buy and prepare food for the festivities.

There is a good reason to take out a Holiday Loan with the Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Credit Union and it’s often overlooked. Hint: There’s a percentage involved. That’s right, the interest rate on your credit card. Before you pull out the plastic, consider how much that interest rate affects the total amount you end up paying for each item on your list. Rather than use a credit card for a big ticket item like airfare or Christmas gifts, our Holiday Loan rates starting at 6.95%* can save you money over time.

A few suggestions on how to use your RMLEFCU Holiday Loan:

  1. An experience whose memories last longer than the holidays. Why experiences? Most importantly, research has shown they make you happier than consumer goods. You can take a longer trip during the holidays or book a trip for later in the year. We found one traveler who did a three week European tour for $2,500, including hotels and airfare. If you are willing to put in the time and research, you can save money.
  2. Love where you live with your very own sports bar. Do you entertain? Wish that you had a place where your friends can watch the games? Heck, you’ll save money at home by not buying drinks and food at a bar or restaurant. Use your Holiday Loan to purchase a big screen TV and speakers for surround sound.
  3. Up your game with new golf clubs. There’s a PGA Superstore in South Denver that will have everything you’d ever need.
  4. Purchase a new firearm and accessories. Besides the gun itself, it’s a good idea to have spare magazines, ammunition, a gun lock and/or safe, eye protection, and ear protection. It depends on the firearm you select, but having a gun rack is an expense to consider. Check out 5280 Armory to support a local business owner.
  5. Hit the slopes all season long with a new ski or snowboard set up. If you’re getting fully outfitted you’ll also need a new ski jacket, pants, and boots in addition to a pass. If you go to Colorado Ski & Golf, you may end up covering #3 and #5 at the same time.

With Rocky Mountain Law Enforcement Credit Union’s 6.95% APR* Holiday Loan you’ll have up to 12 months to repay. Call our Loan Department at 303-458-6660 or visit rmlefcu.org today to begin the process.

*Annual Percentage Rate. With approved credit. Some restrictions may apply. But don’t delay, this offer is valid from November 1st, 2016 thru December 31st , 2016.