So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Thursday, July 24, 2014
Financial institution warning signs
Last year I had to deal with the hassles of my credit union being bought out by a bigger credit union. What a mess that turned out to be. My lovely wife and I planned to travel all winter. That required that we be able to do our normal business electronically. It was all we could do to straighten out our business before heading south in October.
The credit union web site went though a couple of redesigns, requiring new passwords and procedures. One day all the debit and credit cards in our branch simply refused to function. They made an error transferring the accounts to the new server. Every card read like they were maxed out.
Since we've gotten back from our trip, there have been a number of little red flags popping up. Things that I was able to do with the old credit union can no longer be done. Services have been cut back and restrictions added that were not there before. One of the big warning signs for me was walking in the credit union during the day, seeing only one teller on duty, and not having to wait for service. Of course, the teller was unable to complete my transaction due to a new policy.
Today I started to take steps to untangle myself from that institution. By August I should be able to move my business elsewhere. Right now it looks like my business will be split between a tiny credit union and a mid sized state bank. Thay should be able to handle my rather modest needs.
This is also a good time to simplify my financial doings. Over time household business can get more complicated than it needs to be. Things just sort of evolve. Last winter I had to do electronic banking at least once a month, sometimes more often. My goal is to have things at a point where if I did nothing at all for six months there would be no major negative consequences. That would allow me to explore some really remote places.
It would not surprise me to see the old credit union taken over by another institution or even closed down. There are warning signs.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.