In Perspectives

I hope you had a chance to read Laura’s blog post last week about the lack of information available for prospective college students about the long term financial consequences of student loans.  I thought it was an excellent post and have asked my college sophomore and high school junior to read it.  I have been talking to them for years about the many ways to prepare for their college costs so that they don’t graduate with a “mortgage on their lives”.  Thankfully, they have listened and have been very aggressive in taking AP classes, getting good grades, applying for scholarships and working when they can.  With some help from mom and dad, I think they will be lucky enough to get through with a relatively low level of debt.  I do wonder though if our family, and many others, could further reduce the level of college debt by rethinking some of their “priorities” to increase college savings.

One example of the above referenced priorities occurred to me this past weekend.  My son qualified to swim in the MISCA swim meet that brings together some of the fastest high school swimmers from around the state for a competition at Eastern Michigan University.  It quickly became obvious that most of the competitors (including my son) were swimming in $250 to $350 tech suits, which are only effective for five or six meets, with the hope of taking a couple tenths of a second off from their times.  In spite of the fact that very few of the swimmers will receive any kind of college assistance for their swimming, most families chose to splurge on these expensive, limited use suits.  I couldn’t help but wonder if many, including my own son, would have been better off skipping the tech suit and redirecting that money to their college funds.

The above is just one example of what sometimes seems like an imbalance in the amount of resources directed at youth sports these days.  At the extreme, I have seen friends and co-workers spend the equivalent of a college education supporting their young athletes in the pursuit of athletic excellence, only to have them burn out, or worse yet get injured, just prior to receiving that scholarship to continue playing in college.   Certainly, some will make it, but reality tells us that most will not.

I am not suggesting that youth sports are without benefit.  In fact, I have been an avid supporter as a coach, running an age group swimming program and proud parent.  The benefits to my family have been immense.  However, I do wonder if those same benefits would have been available without breaking the bank on fancy equipment, extensive travel and the multitude of expenses that come with competing at the level kids do today.  Perhaps we need to go back to letting the kids play for fun?  I suspect many parents, and their kids, would all be financially better off for it?

Legacy Trust and Your Right to Financial Privacy

At Legacy Trust we have established policies and practices that respect the financial privacy of all individuals who use our trust company. We believe it is critical to comply with the laws and regulations designed to secure your financial privacy. Your relationship with us as our client is very important to us, and we want you to understand our policies and practices about handling your information.

This Policy applies to you – This Policy applies to our relationships with individual clients who inquire about or obtain products or services from us for personal, family and household purposes.

Strict security measures – We take the security of information very seriously. We have established security standards and procedures to prevent access to client information. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to guard client information.

Limited employee access – We have established procedures to limit employee access to information to only those employees with a business reason for accessing such information. We educate our employees about the importance of confidentiality and client privacy. We take appropriate disciplinary measures to enforce employee responsibilities regarding client information.

Why we collect information – We collect information about you to:

  • accurately identify you;
  • protect and administer your records, accounts and funds;
  • help us design or improve our products and services;
  • understand your financial needs;
  • save you time when you apply for new products and services; offer you quality products and services; and comply with certain laws and regulations;

We collect information – We collect and maintain your personal information so that we can provide investment management and other services to you. The types and categories of information that we collect and maintain about you include:

  • Information we receive from you to open an account or provide investment advice or other services to you (such as your home address, social security number, telephone, financial information and investment objectives).
  • Information that we generate to service your account or from our transactions with you (such as account statements and other financial information).
  • Information on your transactions with nonaffiliated third parties.

We have established procedures so that the financial information we collect is accurate, current and complete. We are committed to work with you to promptly correct any inaccurate information.

Our selective sharing of information – In order for us to provide investment management and other services to you, we do disclose your personal information in very limited instances, which include:

  • Disclosures to nonaffiliated companies as permitted by law, including those who help us service your account (such as providing account information to brokers and custodians).
  • Other limited disclosures as permitted by law, for example, required reports to government entities.

We do not share your information with third parties for marketing purposes. We do not sell your information.

Former clients – If you end your relationship with us, we will continue to adhere to the privacy policies and practices described in this notice.

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USA PATRIOT Act

Important Information About Procedures For Opening A New Account

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each person who opens an account.

What this means for you: When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause; however, federal law prohibits us from waiving these requirements.

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