The Norman Transcript

December 15, 2013

Financial gifts are creative, practical

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The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Financial resolutions are among the top five New Year’s resolutions for Americans each year, according to the United States Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies. Why not help your loved ones get a jump-start on their resolutions during the holiday season?

 “During the holidays many focus on gifting the newest, hottest item,” said Mike Pullin, executive vice president of First Fidelity Bank in Norman. “Financial gifts are not always top of mind, but they are a creative way to give a meaningful, practical gift to your loved ones.”

 First Fidelity Bank is offering the following financial gift ideas for Norman residents this holiday season:

· Banking or savings accounts. This is an easy first step to take to help loved ones, especially young ones, learn about banking and saving. With access to these accounts, they learn what it means to work with a bank to make transactions and to keep money saved up. Work with your bank and your loved one to easily complete the process.

· Savings bonds. Savings bonds are a great way to get started on long-term investing. Current interest rates are between 1 and 3 percent, depending on the type of bond. Earnings from savings bonds are usually tax-exempt and can be purchased at many banks. Bonds can also be purchased online at the U.S. Treasury website, www.treasurydirect.gov and come with a gift certificate that can be printed and presented with the savings bond.

· Stocks. Investing small sums in your loved ones’ favorite companies is a great way to personalize a financial gift. Even children can enjoy this creative gift option, as they have the ability to open a Uniform Transfer to Minor account, the children’s version of a brokerage account. Consider tucking a few ‘stocking stocks’ in your loved one’s stocking this holiday season.

· Retirement options. U.S. savings bonds, Certificates of Deposit and IRAs are all great gifts that can help jump-start or supplement a loved one’s retirement account. For those whose retirement is far in the distance, these tools can help get them in the mindset of saving for retirement. For loved ones who are on the cusp of retirement, each of these options can help supplement their savings and help them reach their retirement savings goals.

· Emergency fund. What better gift can you give than financial security in case of an emergency? Helping a loved one get started on an emergency fund of three to six months’ worth of income can help stave off a potentially huge financial blow. Individuals can give up to $13,000 before incurring Oklahoma’s gift tax.

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