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Volume VIII • Spring 2012

Starting a Business Dealing with Cash Flow Managing Employees Planning for Retirement Identity Theft

Shaping Up Marc Gatson and Susie Duane of Custom Workouts


Does your bank know how important you are?

We do. Community West Bank has offered complete personal and business banking solutions to our customers since 1989. Each customer is treated as an individual and given the opportunity to choose from a variety of accounts and

Fay Young New Accounts Specialist Community West Bank

services to best accommodate his or her personal financial needs. At Community West Bank, we care about you.

Visit our nearest branch office in

It’s what we do.

Santa Barbara . . . . . . (805) 962-7420

Goleta. . . . . . . . . . . . . (805) 683-4944 Santa Maria . . . . . . . . (805) 938-1690 Ventura. . . . . . . . . . . . (805) 650-1901 Westlake VILLAGE. . . . (805) 494-5172 www.communitywestbank.com

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Vo l u m e V I I I

Page 6

Stay on Top of the Ebb and Flow of Your Cash

•

Spring 2012

Page 8

Domestic Violence Solutions Helping Families Heal

Page 16

Rethinking Retirement and the Potential Positive Impact

On the cover:

Also in this Issue: To Shred or Not to Shred . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Worth Reading: Good to Great . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 A Good Idea, Hard Work, Sound Business Practices . . . . . . . . . 10 Loan Preparation Makes the Process Easier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 In The Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Page 12 Susie Duane and Marc Gatson of Custom Workouts Photography by Brent Winebrenner www.brentwinebrenner.com

Community Voices Magazine is produced by Community West Bank. Unless otherwise noted, all editorial and photographs printed in Community Voices are the sole property of Community West Bank and may not be duplicated or reprinted without express written permission. For more information, contact Eric Swanson, Marketing Coordinator at (805) 692-4379. Editorial layout and design by City Creative Group (805) 845-8958, www.citycg.com Community Voices

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Identity Safety

To Shred or Not to Shred

W

hen you put a piece of paper in the trash it can be difficult to know what happens to it and who sees the personal information that may be in it. Because few people burn trash anymore, it is likely that your trash passes through several stages on its way to a landfill or incinerator.  Every step that occurs once the trash leaves your control carries the risk that someone will find personal information they can use to cause you harm.  One way to safeguard personal information is to shred it before it goes into the trash. Shredders are available at most office supply stores and other outlets. Shredding services or shredding events are often offered by financial institutions or community organizations.  Permanent Files to Keep Forever: • Wills, • Powers of attorney, • Birth certificates, • Marriage documents, • Divorce or child care orders, • Trust documents, • Business agreements, and • Military records, as well as other such permanent records. Electronic Data Files with Personal Information Floppy diskettes and CDs should be shredded, destroyed or made unusable in some manner. Computer hard drives deserve special attention.  Hard drives may have information on finances, taxes, user names, passwords and other information that should not fall into the hands of criminals. Deleting files and formatting a hard drive does not permanently remove the files from the system. Before disposing, recycling or donating a PC, the hard drive should be removed and physically destroyed. 4

Item

Retention Guidelines

Disposal

Tax information and returns

There is a general three year statute of limitation for your taxes. This means the IRS has three years from when you file your return to start an audit. (There is no limit for fraudulent returns). Therefore, you need to keep documents that support items on your tax returns for those three years. Each year you can throw out the three year old documents, but you should keep copies of tax returns forever.

Shred

Investment records and statements

Investment records must be kept to support your tax returns. Documentation of purchases and sales (either confirmations or brokerage statements including the information) must be kept for three years past when you report the sale on your tax return. You may find it helpful to keep brokerage statements for many years.

Shred

Bank statements and canceled checks

Some people keep every canceled check and others toss most of them. Certainly you should keep canceled checks that support any tax deductions and any that you think may come in handy. Otherwise, canceled checks can take up a lot of space. Bank statements are a bit different. You may want to keep them for some period (three years or so) so you can document your payments for important items. Together with your checkbook register, you would be able to identify when and how much you paid for almost anything.

Shred

Paycheck stubs

These documents can include very important information including Social Security number and financial institution account numbers if you use direct deposit. You may need to have the last three month's stubs if you are planning to apply for a loan.  Otherwise, you should only keep the latest stub.

Shred

ATM receipts

Keep ATM receipts until you have compared them with your bank statement. Then dispose of them carefully.

Shred

Credit card statements

Even though there is no requirement to keep these statements, you may want to save them for some period (a year) in case there is a dispute, you want to return an item or if you want to be able to analyze your spending.

Shred

Credit card receipts

Generally keep receipts until you have compared them to your credit card statement. However, if the receipt is for something that you may want to return, keep it longer.

Probably shred

Utility bills and other household receipts

Unless you are claiming household expenses as tax deductions, there is no need to keep these types of records very long. You can always use a canceled check to document payment.

Probably safe to toss in trash.

Warranties

Keep warranties for as long as you own the item or until the warranty period expires.

Probably safe to toss in trash.

Insurance

Insurance policies and claims information should be kept for as long as the policy remains in effect.

Shred

Home financial information

Deeds, mortgages and information on home improvements should be kept for as long as you own the home plus the three year period for tax purposes.

Shred

Medical records, letters, etc.

Shred anything containing sensitive information.

Personal documents

Community Voices


Community Banks: Safe, Secure and Solid These are challenging times. There is turmoil and uncertainty about our nation’s economy. And in challenging times, consumers need to stick with the tried and true and the institutions that have served them well. One thing is certain. Community banks are still safe, secure and stable financial institutions focused on doing what is best for our customers and communities. A community bank customer’s insured deposits are safe in a community bank. No one has ever lost a penny of deposits insured by the FDIC. If you are concerned about the safety of your money, talk to your local community banker to get the straight facts.

Your Community Bank. Safe and Secure.

Proud member of


Money Minding

Stay on Top of the Ebb and Flow Cash is king when you optimize your cash flow

1 2 3

Get the money your business is  due as fast as possible.

Pay money you owe as late as possible.

Earn as much as you can on your cash balances.

Unless you are in a retail business, most receipts for sales or services performed take place some time after the sale actually occurs. A sale is made, goods are shipped or services are performed, an invoice is presented and you wait for payment. What you want to do is accelerate those payments and here are three ways to go about it: Identify a billable event, other than a delivery. It is common to have partial billings on large or long jobs. Consider using some event or milestone as a trigger to send out an invoice. It could be passing a design review, completing a critical test, or receiving a large amount of material. If negotiated into the sale, you can start issuing invoices and receiving payments before the job is finished. 6

Set payment dates. Your customers are trying to optimize their cash flow the same as you. In the sales process, and on the invoice, state when payment is due. Whether it is the common “30 days” or with a “one percent discount for payment within 10 days”, customers will be more likely to respond to specified dates and terms. Sales to poor credits should be Collect on Delivery. Once you set a date in a contract, it is a legally enforceable document. Establish late payment penalties. As Oscar Wilde said, “Nothing focuses the mind like the sight of the gallows.” Customers respond and your chances of collecting interest from delinquent accounts improve with a stated policy. Holding on to your money as long as possible also improves your operating cash flow and enables you to earn interest on your funds. Try to negotiate a more flexible payment schedule with major suppliers. They want your business and are often willing to respond with payment terms, especially if the materials you are buying are being used over an extended period. The time to approach the supplier is when placing the order. They are more willing to consider this before they have your order in hand.

Look for a discount for prompt payments. While the practice has become less common, some organizations still offer a one percent or two percent discount if their invoices are paid within a shorter period. A one percent discount for payment within 10 days is tantamount to a 36 percent annualized return on your money. If your cash flow allows it, taking advantage of prompt payment discounts may be the best return on your investment. Finally, make sure your excess cash balances are earning as much as they can. Two suggestions:. 1. While certain banking laws may restrict paying interest on commercial accounts, you should at least check with several banks to learn their policies. 2. Some banks offer “sweep” arrangements that automatically move amounts exceeding a set minimum into an interest bearing account. Talk to your banker. Cash and time are two of your company’s most precious resources. Spending some time setting accounts receivable policies, negotiating payment schedules with vendors and finding the right account(s) for your cash will help maximize both. Community Voices

Photo istockphoto.com

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ith most small businesses, cash is king. By that we mean that one of your most important tasks is managing your company’s cash flow to ensure there is money available for operating needs and to let you take advantage of growth opportunities. Optimizing your operating cash flow really boils down to three basic rules:


Worth Reading

Who has the mortgage loan options and experience to best serve you? We do! Loans for purchase and refinance In-house underwriting and closing department

Good to Great:

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Why Some Companies Makes the Leap… And Others Don’t

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By Jim Collins

T

he idea that sparked Good to Great: Why Some Companies Makes the Leap…And Others Don’t, by Jim Collins, was to answer questions about how good companies might become great companies, and how they went about doing so. The study looks at companies from 1965 to 1995, looking for those that, for 15 years, either tracked or underperformed the stock market, followed by a transition, and subsequently returning at least 3 times the stock market for at least 15 years. The goal was to eliminate “flash in the pan” success from the results. Further filtering was performed in order to ensure that companies also outperformed their industries, so as not to include spurious results showing entire industries that grew by leaps and bounds in a given period. Eleven companies were located that matched these criteria, and were studied in depth, and compared to competitors in their fields. “This carefully researched and wellwritten book disproves most of the current management hype – from the cult of the superhuman CEO to the cult of IT to the acquisitions and merger mania. It will not enable mediocrity to become competence. But it should enable competence to become excellence.” —Peter Drucker

Community Voices

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Our Community

Helping Families Heal Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County

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amily violence is a secret epidemic in our society, affecting millions of families every year. In Santa Barbara County, Domestic Violence Solutions receives thousands of calls to its 24-hour crisis lines, and shelters hundreds of women and children in flight from domestic violence, every year. Every year, hospital emergency rooms and police agencies devote substantial resources in responding to domestic violence episodes. And every year, lives are lost at the hands of a family member or intimate partner in the United States, in California, and all too often, in Santa Barbara. For more than 30 years, Domestic Violence Solutions for Santa Barbara County (“DVS”) has worked to end the intergenerational cycle of violence by providing prevention and intervention services. Beginning with two emergency (45-day) shelters in the 1970s (in Santa Barbara and Lompoc), over the course of the next 25 years DVS added a third shelter (in Santa Maria), as well as two longer-term (18 month) transitional housing facilities (in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria). These facilities provide safe refuge, case management, and counseling, so that victims can recover from the trauma of violent relationships, build the skills to live independent lives, and break the cycle violence. DVS also provides these same comprehensive case management and counseling services on a non-residential basis, as well as anger management counseling services, to hundreds of men, women and children in these communities. 8

In addition to its crisis lines, DVS client-advocates also respond with police to domestic violence calls, where they provide victims with support and information about our services and the options available to them. And, DVS’s Teen Services Program carries DVS’s “What is Love” curriculum about relationships, self-esteem, communication, and early warning signs of an abusive relationship into the high schools and junior high schools of Santa Barbara County, where teen dating violence has also become an increasing reality for educators and children. The best part about these programs is… they work! The vast majority of women served in DVS programs do not return to their abusers. DVS works to help families exiting residential programs begin new lives, with new confidence. Children leaving programs have received help processing and integrating the complex trauma domestic violence visits upon children. And teens Community Voices


Visit us and see why “community” comes first in Community West Bank.

Santa Maria • Goleta • Santa Barbara Ventura • Westlake Village

www.communitywestbank.com

Richard Kravetz, Executive Director throughout Santa Barbara County are approaching their relationships with new emphasis on respect, and safety, and in many instances seeking and receiving help with abusive relationships. DVS could not provide these many important services without the support of its many community partners throughout the entire county. Individuals, service organizations, local foundations, corporations and businesses make the work of DVS possible. Through their Corporate Affiliates Program, they form mutually beneficial alliances with local corporations and non-governmental organizations that share the commitment to ending violence. For more information about our programs, community events, our Corporate Affiliates Program, and other ways you can get involved, please call (805) 963-4458 or visit their website, at dvsolutions.org. With your help, DVS can make a real difference for our community. Community Voices

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Getting Started

A Good Idea, Hard Work,  Sound Business Practices

—and Maybe a Little Luck The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in America.

The process of starting, building, growing and managing a business is hard work. It can also be somewhat frightening. There are always unexpected issues and concerns that arise. Most successful entrepreneurs have an innate ability to accept and manage risks. They also usually exhibit a passion that provides the incentive to go that extra mile (or make that next presentation) that may be needed. You should also consider the effect that starting a business may have on your lifestyle and your family.  Long hours, constant distractions and sacrifices can put strains on your mind, body and finances, as well as on those around you.

Starting a business from scratch, buying an existing business or entering into a franchise arrangement all present opportunities and potential pitfalls.  Be sure to do your homework. Consider the current and potential markets for whatever business you are considering.  Examine the strengths and weaknesses of competitors.  The Internet and trade associations can be great sources of valuable information. You may be surprised what you can find readily available. Find a line of business that matches your skills, experience and interests. If you are considering starting a personal service business, it can be nice to start off with at least one existing customer. Whatever type of business, be sure you like it. If you are successful, you may spend many years or several decades in that business. There are few things worse than not liking your job. If you are considering buying into an existing business or franchise, investigate them thoroughly.  Have a professional look at the financial statements and any contracts you may be signing.

What Type of Business Makes Sense?

Are You Going It Alone or Should You Have a Partner?

Do You Have the Psychological Make-up to Handle a Start-up?

Hundreds of thousands of ventures are started each year in all lines of business. 10

This can be one of the most challenging issues you face. Running the business your-

self gives you the opportunity to make all the decisions, but you must live with the results. A partner can bring skills, experience and capital, however, you should be confident that you work with that person for an extended period of time. If you choose to have a partner, you may also want to discuss how your partnership can be ended. While everyone has good intentions at the beginning, things can and often do change. Having a buy/ sell agreement or a contractual agreement may avoid difficulties and hard feelings later.

Where Will You Get Financing?

Starting and growing a business takes money. Consider the funds you may need for office space, equipment, inventory, marketing and working capital. You should also remember that not all customers pay quickly. One of the most common causes of business failures is inadequate capital. Arranging needed capital should be undertaken early in the start-up process. Once the business is operational, you will probably want to focus on running it and not have to constantly be looking for Community Voices

Photo istockphoto.com

S

tarting a business and being your own boss is a dream of many young people. It can be an opportunity to put innovative ideas to work, to fill a needed niche in a market and potentially to build your wealth. It can also be an overwhelming task. However, millions have been successful and millions have failed. There are no guarantees, but here are some of the issues you should consider.


Preparation Makes the Process Easier funds. Be sure to speak with your financial institution about what they may be looking for before they would be willing to lend to a new business. You may also want to explore a loan through the Small Business Administration. The SBA programs offer a number of types of loans but can be time consuming and frustrating. The final observation on needed capital is to consider setting a limit on how much you are willing to risk or lose before shutting the business down and accepting failure. While this may be difficult to consider when starting out, having a contingency plan for failure is prudent.

What are Some Other Legal, Financial and Tax Issues to Consider?

After addressing all the other aspects, these will probably seem easy. You need to choose a business form (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, sub-chapter S corporation, limited liability company). While this may sound complicated, it is much easier to decide upon than issues discussed above. Each business form has attractions and drawbacks. Your attorney can be very helpful in evaluating the options and drafting any documents you need. Your personal financial and tax situations may also change when you become a business owner. You may lose the predictability of a monthly paycheck and the other benefits found with a larger company. You may have to pay for your medical insurance and fund your retirement account.

Summary: The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in America. As you consider your future, remember that being in business for yourself can be risky as well as rewarding. Taking some key steps early in the process, hard work, a good idea, using sound business practices and maybe a little luck can make all the difference. Community Voices

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orrowing money is a part of almost everyone’s financial life.  Mortgages, auto loans and college loans enable us to afford things that are beyond our current financial reach. Credit cards provide a daily convenience that many find essential. But borrowing money also carries serious responsibilities and too much or the wrong kind of debt can cause many problems. Here are some tips on managing your debt. Before applying for a loan or a credit card, carefully consider and answer these two basic, and necessary, questions: 1. Why are you borrowing?  Borrowing for things that provide long-term and lasting value should come before borrowing for things that provide only momentary or limited enjoyment. It is much easier to justify borrowing for a home or a college education than borrowing for a great vacation or a great outfit that you may only wear occasionally. 2. Do you clearly understand your responsibilities? Remember that money you borrow must be repaid along with interest. Be sure you can afford the payments. Also, spend some time to find a loan with an interest rate and terms that best fit your situation. Getting Ready Before sitting down to fill out a loan application or arranging a meeting with a loan or mortgage officer, here are some items you may want to have handy: • Your credit report. Most lenders will automatically order a credit report and you should know what it contains. A federal program enables you to receive a credit report once a year. You can request copies from the Web site Annualcreditreport.com. Otherwise, for a small fee, you can call the three large credit bureaus to order your report: Experian (888) 397-374 TransUnion (800) 888-4213 Equifax (800) 997-2493 • Proof of income.  Depending on the type of loan, you may need to provide a copy of a recent payroll check stub or a W-2 from the previous year. • Tax return. If you are applying for a mortgage or a large personal loan, you will probably need to supply copies of at least one federal tax return.  • Personal financial statement. For mortgages and other large loans, lenders may require a financial statement listing all your assets and liabilities. It is a good idea to prepare a personal financial statement annually as part of managing your finances. What Lenders Look For Remember you will have to repay loans with interest. Lenders will want to be sure that you will be able to live up to your repayment responsibilities. Along with the items mentioned above, they will be looking at other aspects of your finances to get the comfort to approve your loan, including: • Stable employment. Having a steady job can help give lenders confidence that you will have a continuing income to repay your loan. If you have a history of several job changes, it may raise a yellow flag, so be sure you can explain it. For example, if you have frequently changed jobs for better opportunities, be sure to mention it. • Stable residence.  Lenders like to see at least six months of residence at the same place. • Responsible handling of other debts. Having a solid history of timely and regular payments on other borrowing helps give lenders confidence that you will be able to handle this debt in the same manner. Final Word. The decision to borrow money is serious and you should clearly understand your side of the transaction. Spending a little time to think about it first and being prepared will make the process easier and could boost your chances of getting both the loan and favorable terms. 11


Cover Story

Susie Duane and Marc Gatson

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Community Voices


Shaping Up With a combined experience of over 35 years in the personal training and fitness industry, Marc Gatson and Susie Duane know what it takes to get and keep their clients in shape.

Photos Brent Winebrenner

How it all Began

Marc and Susie were both private contractors with local gyms, but were not able to offer the level of customer service their clients deserved. They believed that if they opened their own facility, they would be able to treat their clients properly, and provide a level of customer service and personal instruction that couldn’t be found in any local gyms in the area. In May 2006, Marc and Susie opened Custom Workouts, a small (400 square foot) training facility. After just six months they had outgrown that space. They moved downstairs, in the same building, to a 900 square foot space. Their business continued to grow, and they outgrew that space in the next year. Clearly, it was time to expand again. For the next three years, Marc and Susie made a 2100 square foot facility home to Custom Workouts, before moving into their current 5500 square foot, multiroom personal training center. Community Voices

The People

Marc Gatson has been working in the Personal Training and Fitness Industry for 19 years, and is truly passionate about what he does. Susie Duane has been working as a Personal Trainer for 8 years, and has been involved in the Fitness Industry for over 15 years. Custom Workouts now has 10 trainers (including Marc and Susie), all private contractors. They each have their own individual training style, but all genuinely care for people and try to understand the unique needs of each of their clients. All of their trainers are certified and are among the best in the area. In addition, they have 9 Fitness Instructors that teach classes at various times during the week: Zumba, Yoga, Pilates, Cycling, Kickboxing, Krankcycle, Abs/Glutes and more. Custom Workouts employs seven additional front desk staff, who are responsible for greeting all clients when they come in 13


Cover Story

the door, providing towels, water, supplements etc. Their front desk is responsible for remembering each client or members’ name, and making them feel welcome… part of the Custom Workouts family.

Sound Advice

Be passionate and be personal. According to Susie, the most satisfying aspect of their business, is the ability to watch someone’s life change for the better. Being able to help a client lose weight, change their eating habits, their exercise habits and their lifestyle, which then enables them to get off of blood pressure medication, cholesterol medication or even their diabetic medication is tremendously rewarding and very satisfying. “As a new business, we learned that you have to be in touch with your client. They have to know that you genuinely care about their unique needs.” Although money is what keeps a business running, they have found that when the client and their needs come first, the money always seems to follow. Treat people better than the competitor does, and most of all, “remember their names. It means so much to people when you get to know them on a personal level.”

A Lasting Partnership

When asked how their bank has helped their business, Susie remarked, “We have built a relationship with Community West Bank, and they are vested in our success. Not just because we have borrowed money, but because they are truly celebrating our success. Working with Community West Bank has been a tremendous blessing for us. We would not be where we are today if it wasn’t for them.”

What the Future Holds

“We will continue to grow in the location we are in, perfecting a system that can be duplicated. When our current location is running smoothly and profitably, we would like to open another location and possibly franchise the operation,” said Susie. Marc adds: “The growth of the company will depend very much on us continuing to make our clients feel important, and delivering a level of customer service that stands out among other gyms in our town. Custom Workouts 2125 S Broadway # 108 Santa Maria, CA 93454 (805) 928-5862 www.custom-workouts.com 14

Community Voices


Managing Employees Be Clear About Expectations Unless your business consists only of yourself, those that work for you and with you play a critical part in determining the success of your organization and the level of satisfaction you get from managing it.. Managing employees and the entire employment process probably takes a considerable portion of your time and resources. Granted, hiring the right individuals for specific jobs is very important, as is terminating employees. But, the middle part of the process – managing existing employees – is usually more time consuming and just as important. Here are some ideas that may help. Make Sure Employees Know What Is Expected It can be frustrating for both the worker and the supervisor if there isn’t a common understanding of what the worker is supposed to do. Defining a position with a job description will provide guidelines for the hiring process and help ensure that the person hired has the right skills for the job. For the employee, a job description can relieve anxiety and give him or her a better sense of how the duties are part of the larger picture. Along with employees knowing what tasks they should be performing, they need to know how much they should be accomplishing on a daily, weekly or longer basis. Establishing reasonable productivity expectations encourages workers to meet those expectations. What Motivates Employees? Abraham Maslow, a noted industrial psychologist quoted in many business management books, suggested that motivation could be centered on a “hierarchy of needs. “People first need to satisfy their physical requirements– hunger, thirst, shelter and safety. Once those needs are met, getting recognition from others and enhancing one’s self-esteem become more important. In a business setting, these needs can be addressed in many ways. A safe, clean and pleasant work environment along with reasonable compensation address the first level needs. Providing recognition for a job well done can take several forms.Verbal or written compliments for short-term performance and promotions (or merit raises) for longer-term Community Voices

performance give employees evidence that their efforts are appreciated. Another practice that is common in larger employee groups is some form of “employee of the month” recognition. A plaque or special parking spot for these employees can mean a great deal. The additional benefit of this approach is that other workers see it and are often driven to get that same recognition. Employees’ self esteem is generally how they feel about themselves. Most people want to feel that their efforts are both appreciated and worthwhile. They want to feel that what they are doing makes a positive difference for themselves and their company. Involving employees in various decision-making activities demonstrates that the company values their work and ideas. If their ideas are implemented, and if those ideas generate success, the feeling of satisfaction will make employees feel better about themselves. Evaluating Employees Day-to-day feedback is an important part of managing employees. Let people know what they are doing well and what they are doing that needs improvement. Not providing this day-to-day feedback can create a nonproductive environment and frustrations for employees and supervisors. Having a more formal (and longer-term) evaluation process gives you the opportunity to see how the employee is growing in the job and that then can become the basis for decisions on compensation and promotions. Combining short-term and long-term evaluations should result in fewer surprises.

hours with others can let them deal with personal needs. • Share the perks of the business. Sharing tickets to a sporting event or just a holiday basket of fruit from a vendor helps employees feel that they are part of the company. • Do something fun. Encourage a team to participate in a charity walk or buy admission to an amusement park. • Feed employees. Sandwiches or pizzas occasionally help to foster a feeling of teamwork and they encourage positive discussions between employees about what is happening at work. There may even be a good idea surface in those discussions. Summary: Motivation can take many forms. The physical, monetary and emotional incentives that a company provides should serve to respond to the wants and needs of the company and the employees. Examine what you want employees to accomplish. Try to hire the right people and then make sure your motivational practices address what is important to your employees.

Rewarding Employees Monetary compensation is important. An employee’s wages must be competitive and yet reflective of the value they are providing to the business. Employee benefits are also critical. The right combination of a retirement plan, various insurance benefits and other perks can be the basis of a total compensation program. There are also other ways to provide rewards in a less structured and perhaps less expensive manner. Consider the following: • Give employees some flexibility in scheduling.Depending on your business, offering flexible hours or letting employees trade 15


Planning Ahead

Rethinking Retirement Age The potential positive impact on your financial future By Aaron J. Clark, CFP, AAMS, CEO and President of Monarch Wealth Strategies

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Increase The Size Of Your Nest Egg Working longer and continuing to save could substantially add funds to your retirement nest egg. If your current employer sponsors a retirement plan you may be able to make contributions and continue building retirement assets. If not, look at other alternatives such as annuities, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and insurance. As a reminder, required minimum distributions (RMDs) begin after age 70 ½ from traditional 401(k)s and traditional IRAs.  However, RMDs are not required from Roth IRAs and Roth 401(k)s. Even if you have exhausted all available retirement asset options, you can still improve your retirement by continuing to earn income to delay tapping your personal assets for living expenses and help your portfolio last longer in the years to come. Whatever you decide, please look for all available benefits that you can apply for at each stage of retirement such as applying for Medicare at age 65. In some cases, medical insurance might cost more if you delay your application. Working during your retirement years does not have to be a chore. There are many opportunities for part time work, seasonal jobs, or take advantage of a personal interest that you did not have time to pursue earlier in life. If you have additional questions, we can review your individual situation and formulate a customized plan.

Please contact Aaron Clark today at 1501 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 Tel:  805.564.0800 Fax: 805.564.0808 www.monarchwealthstrategies.com   Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC LPL Wealth Consultant/CA Insurance License #0E44777

Photo courtesy Monarch Wealth Strategies

D

ue to recent economic times, dubbed “The Great Recession,” has forced many to rethink a new normal retirement age and presents many older Americans with the prospect of staying in the workforce longer. But working past “normal retirement age” is not a new concept.  In 2008 the Social Security Administration reported nearly 31% of individuals between 70 and 74 years old received earned income. The report even showed that 48% of individuals in the younger age group between 65 and 69 had income from a job.* Potential retires have different reasons to stay employed; some have a desire for stimulation and social contact while others want a regular paycheck. Whatever the reason, the potential positive impact on your financial future is a benefit for choosing to continue working into your later years. One major benefit of working longer in life is the potential to add to your retirement savings and delay making withdrawals. For example, if you can afford to delay Social Security benefits until maximum benefits currently at age 70, your monthly benefit will increase by between 5.5% and 8% per year for each year that you wait. To determine your benefits at given ages consult your Social Security Statement, look at the Social Security Web site (www.ssa. gov) or call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.

Aaron Clark Community Voices


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*Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is 0.10% and is accurate as of April 1, 2012 and may change thereafter. 2.53% APY paid on daily balances below $15,000 and .15% APY paid on any portion of balance greater than $15,000 each qualifying cycle (Cycle) that all reward requirements are met. Account daily balances will earn .10% APY when reward requirements are not met per Cycle. Rates subject to change after account is opened. Offer good on personal accounts only. Specific reward requirements must be met each qualifying cycle to obtain ATM surcharge reimbursement of up to $5 per transaction with a maximum of $20 per Cycle. Check Card transactions exclude ATM withdrawals. No monthly account maintenance fee. Other fees and/or restrictions may apply.

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Community Voices

17


In the Community

Community West Bank Honors Two Employees Community West Bank employee Norma Birkland (Note Documents) was named the Bank’s Gerard Bradley 2011 Employee of the Year, and Sue Lo (SBA Servicing) received the Michael Alexander Extraordinary Customer Service award. Gerard Bradley, founding Community West Bank board member, was known for his service, can-do attitude, loyalty, and as an impeccable representative of the bank. The Gerard Bradley Employee of the Year award recognizes Norma’s outstanding service to the Bank based on her professional demeanor, efficiency in her duties, and willingness to always be a team player and lend a hand to help her colleagues. Michael Alexander, also a founding Bank Board member, was a leader in providing extraordinary customer service to everyone he came in contact with. The Michael Alexander Extraordinary Customer Service award recognizes Sue Lo for displaying outstanding service to both external and internal customers. Sue’s work with customers to ensure that they receive the best service possible is truly an asset to the bank.

SBART Women in Sports Luncheon Community West Bank sponsored the Santa Barbara Athletic Roundtable’s “Women in Sports Luncheon” on Monday, February 6th. Introduced by Community West Bank CEO Marty Plourd, keynote speaker and ex-professional golfer Pearl Sinn-Bonanni entertained and inspired an audience of over 500 female student-athletes from the eight local high schools, UCSB, Westmont and SBCC. Speaking at the sold-out luncheon at the Earl Warren Show18

grounds, Sinn-Bonanni had this to say, “You young athletes who have visions of going on and playing in college or professionally, you have duty because the people before you have put in their time and their work to make these opportunities available for you. You have a duty to go out there and do your best.”

safely and securely, on the spot. And, learn how to protect yourself from Identity Theft. Monday, April 23rd: Santa Maria Branch Tuesday, April 24th: Ventura Branch Wednesday, April 25th: Westlake Village Branch Friday, April 27th: Goleta Branch For more information, visit us at www.communitywestbank.com

Concert Under the Stars, sponsored by Community West Bank

Anna Emma Retrospective featured at CWB’s Goleta Branch Join us on Monday, May 10th from 5:30-7:30pm at Community West Bank’s Goleta Branch for a 36 year retrospective and evolution of ongoing creativity, featuring renowned artist Anna Emma. The show will feature “Portraits of Bouquets” in oil, Silks, Ceramics, and Fashion. Hors d’ ouvres and refreshments will be provided. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network. For more information or to RSVP, call (805) 683-4944.

Dine, dance & delight to agreat performance at Ventura’s most historic party site, the Historic Olivas Adobe: 4200 Olivas Park Drive. Put on your dancing shoes and enjoy the Latin guitar stylings of Cascade July 21st on a majestic wooden ballroom floor. Bring your own homemade feast or reserve a catered hot buffet dinner for fine twilight dining with friends within the warm embrace of adobe-baked courtyard walls. Doors open at 6:30 for dining. The venue is intimate, seating is limited and concerts regularly sell out, so avoid disappointment at the door by making reservations early! Call (805) 658-4726 (M-F 8-5)

Save the Date: Community West Bank Spring Shred Events Community West Bank will once again host our popular Shred Week, in partnership with Cintas Document Management. Bring up to two (2) boxes of personal documents to be shredded Community Voices


Does your bank invest within our community?

We do. Because Community West Bank is a local business, we understand the special needs of our customers, and Bryan easterly Vice President, Commercial lending Community West Bank

are better able to make responsible lending decisions based on firsthand knowledge of the local economy. We channel most of our funds into loans that are put to work

Visit our nearest branch office in

Goleta . . . . . . . . . . . . (805) 683-4944

locally to develop small businesses, purchase and repair

Santa BarBara . . . . . (805) 962-7420

homes and finance college educations.

Santa Maria . . . . . . . (805) 938-1690

It’s what we do.

Ventura . . . . . . . . . . . (805) 650-1901 WeStlake VillaGe . . . (805) 494-5172 www.communitywestbank.com

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8/27/08

3:45 PM

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Community Voices