Get to Where You Want to Be

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In late January, I had the pleasure of speaking with Colleen Blundell, the Vice President of Business & Investment Services at Cedar Point Federal Credit Union and its wholly owned subsidiary Cedar Point Financial Services. Blundell has been with Cedar Point for 23 years, specializing in financial planning and management. She filled me in on the Credit Union’s best kept secret. 

“I am a huge advocate of financial well-being,” Blundell told me, “Educating those in the community—especially the young people—is a top priority for Cedar Point. They might not have the dollars to invest with us, but to educate them on what they have in their plans and helping them to determine what their goals are is what we strive to do.” Blundell’s mission at Cedar Point is to educate members and clients on the products we offer, and determine how the credit union can leverage those to help an individual meet specific goals. “Credit unions are not hard-core salespeople, we are educators. Ultimately, the choice is yours.” Empowering our community is one of the credit union’s core values. Everyone can benefit from growing in financial literacy. 

As we continued, Blundell explained more about her department and its goals. “We do financial management as well as financial planning. By ’management’ we mean setting budget goals, purchase goals, savings goals that eventually lead them to be able to plan for retirement, college costs, and estate needs.” Then she took me through the process for establishing people just starting out. “We give them the tools to learn how to do it themselves and we walk them through that. We start with a needs analysis. We look at what you have, why you have it, and what you’re going to need.” In the analysis, budgeting helps members to think critically about their money. “You have to pay yourself first. Otherwise, you just never get ahead.” By getting to know our members, we help turn goals into reality. 

Blundell went on to tell young people and those young at heart, “Put beneficiaries on everything you have. No matter how old you are, estate planning documents are always important. If you are 18 years or older, you need a power of attorney.” She also placed heavy emphasis on life insurance, taxable income, and the use of other financial tools to address each individual’s unique needs. “’If something happens to me, what are my options?’ You’re having that conversation ahead of time, so you know what your path is and you’re not trying to determine that path when you’re devastated.” 

“We discussed the importance of a retirement plan and the importance of decreasing taxable income. We talked about the importance of knowing why and what kind of credit card you need to meet your goals. We even talked about the difference between federal and private loans when it comes to funding a college education. The best news of all? “Oh, by the way, Cedar Point doesn’t charge for these services”, Blundell reminded me. “I don’t know why everyone in the community isn’t taking advantage of this!” Additionally, you never have to set a foot in the building if you don’t want to. Almost everything can be done virtually. 

Finances can be intimidating, but Colleen Blundell and the Cedar Point team are here to educate, illuminate, and help you make life improvements. 

To learn more and make an appointment, visit www.cpfcu.com or call 301-863-7071, extension 8427.