We hope you and your families are staying safe and healthy.
We are all probably feeling very restless and are getting weary of not being able to go back to our normal routines.
The hardest thing may be that we cannot hug and hold our grandchildren!
The second hardest thing is that we cannot travel together!
We must remain hopeful and optimistic about the future.
The Bank is actively monitoring the restrictions and recommendations set by our Governor and the CDC.
We are now definitely cancelling all travel through August, and have to face the realization it could last even longer.
Group Travel is just that...GROUP.
We are sitting close together on a bus, on a plane, at meals...Everywhere!
It may take longer than we thought to become comfortable doing so again.
But, as my Dad used to say, “we must keep smiling and stay positive.”
Many of you are wondering what you can do to help during this time.
Right now, your job is to stay home.
Support local businesses if you can. Order take-out from local restaurants. Most of them deliver. Whatever you do, stay safe. There are many individuals and businesses who are making homemade masks. If you, or anyone you know, needs one, let us know!
If you need help grocery shopping, let us know! We are here for you!
Let us continue to thank and say prayers for our healthcare workers, first responders, grocery clerks, drivers, government workers, volunteers, and many more.
We want you to stay healthy and safe! We will travel again!
Just keep singing our theme song, and we will soon be...
“ON THE ROAD AGAIN”
Be well my friends,
From WSB to Our Customers
A Few Updates We want to assure you that our customers’ and employees’ safety is our priority during these unprecedented times. We are here for you and are available to address any of your banking needs.
Committed to Personal Service
Customer Support is available and happy to help you with any of your banking needs. We invite you to call Customer Support at 617-928-9000.
Drive-Up Window Locations Are Open
Our drive-up window locations remain open regular hours. You are welcome to visit the drive-up windows available at the following locations: Church Street, Warrendale, Market Basket, North Waltham/Lexington, Waltham Center, and Arlington.
For hours and addresses, please visit: watertownsavings.com/locations
*As of Thursday, April 16th, business hours at ALL of our drive-up locations will be 8:30am to 4:00pm, Mondays through Fridays. Saturday hours will remain the same.*
Online Banking and Mobile Banking: Account Access from your Home or Anywhere
Manage your WSB accounts from your home or virtually anywhere using Online Banking and the WSB Mobile Banking app. These digital tools let you easily and securely:
Check your account balance
Deposit your check using your smartphone
Set up real-time alerts to keep track of your account activities and WSB debit card
To get started, access WSB Online on our website. To enroll, visit our website and locate the ‘enroll’ link on the Account Login box. Download the WSB Mobile Banking app from your iPhone’s App Store or your Android’s Google Play. You will be able to enroll when you open the app.
Watertown Savings Bank will be holding a contest for our Club 50 Members who have a sharp eye for capturing memories! As you know, Club 50 is celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2020. Help us celebrate by submitting a photo you took while enjoying a Club 50 trip or event. Visit the Club 50 page on the WSB website to learn more about the contest and photo submission rules when it launches next month, in June!
This was from our 2019 trip to East Hill Farm Inn, where we enjoyed a family-style meal and live music from an Oompah-Band! Dancing and singing was a great way to enjoy the Fall season. (And eating, too).
I chose this photo because it was a very personal moment -- a chance to ask questions and hold an amazing instrument. For someone like myself, who can't play an instrument to save my life, I was very very impressed!!
Spring Shred Day
Originally set for Saturday, April 18th.
This seasonal event has been cancelled with the hopes of hosting it this summer!
This event is so important to us--and fun, too! And be sure to mark your calendars for our Fall Shred Day, set for October 17th at the Main Office Branch from 9am-12pm.
Operation American Soldier Collection
Originally set to collect for the month of April.
We appreciate their mission, and we still hope to reschedule soon!
Sheepshearing Festival at Gore PlaceOriginally set for Saturday, April 25th.
The annual Sheepshearing Festival hosted by Gore Place has been postponed to a date TBD. See their website for more details: goreplace.org/about/news/covid-19-news-sheepshearing-updates
Please continue to support your local artisans and your community, if you can.
Hopefully we will see you there, soon!
We all know men and women are different in some fundamental ways. But is this true when it comes to financial planning? In a word, yes.
Everyone wants financial security. But women often face unique obstacles that can affect their ability to achieve it. Let's look at some of these potential headwinds.
Some key differences
On the path to financial security, it's important for women to understand what they might be up against, financially speaking:
Women have longer life expectancies. Women, on average, live 5 years longer than men.1 A longer life expectancy presents several financial challenges for women:
Women will need to stretch their retirement dollars further
Women are more likely to need some type of long-term care, and may have to face some of their health-care needs alone
Married women are likely to outlive their husbands, which means they could have ultimate responsibility for disposition of the marital estate
Women generally earn less and have fewer savings. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, within most occupational categories, women who work full-time, year-round, earn only 81% (on average) of what men earn.2 This wage gap can significantly impact women's overall savings, Social Security retirement benefits, and pensions.
The dilemma is that while women generally earn less than men, they need those dollars to last longer due to a longer life expectancy. With smaller financial cushions, women are more vulnerable to unexpected economic obstacles, such as a job loss, divorce, or single parenthood.
Women are more likely to be caregivers. Statistics show that the majority of caregivers are women. Of the more than 40 million Americans serving as caregivers to their loved ones, 60% are women.3 Often times being a caregiver means having to work part time or leave the workforce. Over time, being a caregiver can have significant financial implications, such as:
Loss of income, employer-provided health insurance, retirement benefits, and other employee benefits
Potentially lower Social Security retirement benefits
Difficulty with career advancement or reentering the workforce
Increased financial vulnerability in the event of divorce or death of a spouse
Women are more likely to be living on their own. Whether through choice, divorce, or death of a spouse, more women are living on their own. This means they'll need to take sole responsibility for protecting their income and making financial decisions.
Women need to protect their assets. As women continue to earn money, become the main breadwinners for their families, and run their own businesses, it's vital that they take steps to protect their assets, both personal and business. Without an asset protection plan, a woman's wealth is vulnerable to taxes, lawsuits, accidents, and other financial risks that are part of everyday life. But women may be too busy handling their day-to-day responsibilities to take the time to implement an appropriate plan.
Steps women can take
In the past, women may have taken a less active role in household financial decision making. But, for many, those days are over. Today, women have more financial responsibility for themselves and their families. So it's critical that women know how to save, invest, and plan for the future. Here are some things women can do:
Take control of your money. Create a budget, manage debt and credit wisely, set and prioritize financial goals, and implement a savings and investment strategy to meet those goals.
Become a knowledgeable investor. Learn basic investing concepts, such as asset classes, risk tolerance, time horizon, diversification, inflation, the role of various financial vehicles like 401(k)s and IRAs, and the role of income, growth, and safety investments in a portfolio. Look for investing opportunities in the purchasing decisions you make every day. Have patience, be willing to ask questions, admit mistakes, and seek help when necessary.
Plan for retirement. Save as much as you can for retirement. Estimate how much money you'll need in retirement, and how much you can expect from your savings, Social Security, and/or an employer pension. Understand how your Social Security benefit amount will change depending on the age you retire, and also how years spent out of the workforce might affect the amount you receive. At retirement, make sure you understand your retirement plan distribution options, and review your portfolio regularly. Also, factor the cost of health care (including long-term care) into your retirement planning, and understand the basic rules of Medicare.
Advocate for yourself in the workplace. Have confidence in your work ability and advocate for your worth in the workplace by researching salary ranges, negotiating your starting salary, seeking highly visible job assignments, networking, and asking for raises and promotions. In addition, keep an eye out for new career opportunities, entrepreneurial ventures, and/or ways to grow your business.
Seek help to balance work and family. If you have children and work outside the home, investigate and negotiate flexible work arrangements that may allow you to keep working, and make sure your spouse is equally invested in household and child-related responsibilities. If you stay at home to care for children, keep your skills up-to-date to the extent possible in case you return to the workforce, and stay involved in household financial decision making. If you're caring for aging parents, ask adult siblings or family members for help, and seek outside services and support groups that can offer you a respite and help you cope with stress.
Protect your assets. Identify potential risk exposure and implement strategies to reduce that exposure. For example, life and disability insurance is vital to protect your ability to earn an income and/or care for your family in the event of disability or death. In some cases, more sophisticated strategies, such as other legal entities or trusts, may be needed.
Create an estate plan. To ensure that your personal and financial wishes will be carried out in the event of your incapacity or death, consider executing basic estate planning documents, such as a will, trust, durable power of attorney, and health-care proxy.
A financial professional can help
Women are the key to their own financial futures--it's critical that women educate themselves about finances and be able to make financial decisions. Yet the world of financial planning isn't always easy or convenient. In many cases, women can benefit greatly from working with a financial professional who can help them understand their options and implement plans designed to provide women and their families with financially secure lives.
Investment and insurance products and services are offered through INFINEX INVESTMENTS, INC. Member FINRA /SIPC. “Infinex and the bank are not affiliated. Products and services made available through Infinex are not insured by the FDIC or any other agency of the United States and are not deposits or obligations of, nor guaranteed or insured by, any bank or bank affiliate. These products are subject to investment risk, including the possible loss of value.
One of the key parts of the Federal CARES Act, passed by Congress in response to the economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, was the program to prevent layoffs, called the Payroll Protection Program or PPP.
Loans were granted to businesses who applied through their banks. Locally, one of the institutions used by many in town is Watertown Savings Bank, which announced it handed out more than $20 million in PPP loans.
The program allows for forgivable loans of up to $10 million, but the average amount of the PPP loans approved by Watertown Savings was close to $35,000. The loans will not have to be paid back if the business does not cut any staff during the 8-week loan period.
Loan proceeds can be used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs. The initial $350 billion for PPP loans has run out, but Congress recently passed a second stimulus bill, which added $300 billion for PPPs.
Watertown Savings President & CEO Brett Dean sent out the following statement:
Watertown Savings Bank is pleased to announce that our lending department has worked day and night to secure Small Business Association (SBA) approval for 100 percent of PPP loan applications it has received as of April 27 from its small business customers.
WSB’s median PPP loan size was $34,612. These loans were provided to the small businesses in our local community to help support and maintain staff levels. In all, over $20 million was added to our local economy as a result of these loans.
(See more information about the PPP loan program from the Small Business Administration (SBA) by visiting www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program.)
-Watertown News article "Watertown Savings Awards More Than $20 Million in PPP Loans" can be read online, here: www.watertownmanews.com
This article was published Watertown News on April 30, 2020. Watertown News is an independent, locally owned news website, and is not affiliated with WSB.
It is especially during challenging times that we show our resilience and sense of community. Our local non-profit organizations continue to make a tremendous impact on those in need. In recognition of the Bank’s 150th anniversary this year, WSB has donated $150,000 to local non-profit organizations voted on by our customers as part of the 24th Annual Customer Choice Awards.
The Customer Choice Awards is an opportunity for our customers to vote for their favorite local non-profit organizations. Each year we hold a special awards ceremony to recognize these organizations and present them with their donations based on the customers’ votes. Since we can’t be together, we will present this year’s Customer Choice Awards winners virtually.
Take a break from the daily news -- watch our announcements of the winners! All 3 videos are available now on our website: watertownsavings.com
Visit us on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/WatertownSavingsBank) to learn more about your local non-profits, see their comments, and "like" their pages. And while you’re there, we invite you to “like” our page, too!Thank you to all of our customers who voted in the 24th Annual Customer Choice Awards. We are proud to give back on your behalf especially during these trying times. We are all in this together.
Congratulations to every single winner -- you deserve it! Your community loves what you do!
Here is the latest information from the Watertown Senior Center provided by the Watertown Council on Aging:
Please note that the Senior Center is currently closed for all programs, activities and services, senior parking permits, appointments, and shuttle bus services until further notice due to COVID-19. Although the building is closed, staff will still respond to your phone calls and to emails. You can reach us by calling the Senior Center at (617) 972-6490 or by emailing SeniorCenter@watertown-ma.gov. We will get back to you.
For information about COVID-19, you can call the Town’s hotline at (617) 972-6565. As always, Call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency.
The Watertown Food Pantry is located at 80 Mount Auburn Street and is open on Tuesdays from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Donations of food will be accepted from 9-2, also on Tuesdays. Monetary donations can be made payable to Watertown Food Pantry and sent to the Watertown Senior Center at 31 Marshall Street, Watertown, MA 02472. Thank you to everyone who has donated funds and food for our neighbors. We are grateful for your support. Link to other Food Pantries: www.watertown-ma.gov/322/Food-Pantries
Finally, April is National Volunteer Recognition Month and we want to express our tremendous thanks to everyone who shares of their time and talents with the Watertown Food Pantry and the Council on Aging/Senior Center. Your support of our programs and services in so many ways truly makes the difference! Thank you!
Director of Senior Services
(617) 972-6490 SeniorCenter@watertown-ma.gov
Avoiding Social Isolation and Loneliness During COVID-19
Social isolation and loneliness are serious health issues. A terrible irony of the coronavirus is that steps to prevent its spread increase the risks of social isolation, which carries its own devastating health effects. A report last year by the National Institute on Aging said social isolation and loneliness are linked to higher risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, a weakened immune system, anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease, and even death. But social distance does not need to lead to social isolation: the following are some ideas that might help:
Talk With Others Outside While Standing Six Feet Apart: With the weather getting warmer, you could set up folding chairs six feet apart and invite a friend or neighbor for a chat. Or you could take a walk and strike up conversations with neighbors while maintaining a sixfoot distance.
Get on The Internet: Those who are techsavvy can take advantage of the many opportunities to connect online with others through email and social media such as Facebook, Skype and YouTube. You can even do daily group meditation, free through June, on www.MindOasis.com. Also free during this health crisis is premium access to Sanvello app. This app., with over 3 million users, aims to help stress, anxiety, and depression and features a “Staying Socially Connected” Community that offers connection and support.
Make Phone Calls: Now is a good opportunity to reach out to others you haven’t talked with for a while to see how they’re doing. Try to pick up the phone and talk with someone each day. Those who can navigate a smart phone can use apps such as Skype, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, which let users see as well as hear each other. Those with an Apple device can use FaceTime and those with an Apple or Android device can use the Google Duo App.
Listen to Talk Radio or Podcasts: Some people find that listening to talk radio helps keep them company. Some of the talk radio stations in the area are WBZ 1030AM, WGBH 89.7FM, WRKO 680AM and Bloomberg 106.1AM/1330AM.
Read Books: It was C.S. Lewis who said, “We read to know that we are not alone.” Those who are online can use their library card to download or stream thousands of eBooks & digital audio books. Many publishers, databases, newspapers, and other digital media platforms have, for a limited me, expanded free access to digital content that normally requires a subscription. If you’re not online, now is a great time to revisit your own bookshelves. As Oscar Wilde said, “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.”
Listen to Music: In moments of loneliness, it can be helpful to use music as a healing tool to lift your mood and decrease anxiety. Musical experiences are inherently social, scientists tell us, even when they happen in private. When we listen alone, we feel together. Research Scientist, Istvan Molnar-Szakacs, PhD., a research neuroscientist at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience at the University of California, Los Angeles, has explored how music creates the sense of social belonging. “When you are home alone in your house, it feels empty,” he says. “And then you put on music and all of a sudden you feel better because you’re not alone. It’s not that literally you’re not alone. But you feel like you have company.”
We encourage you, especially during this coronavirus pandemic, to take this advice Be kind to yourself and keep reaching out to others to stay connected. When this temporary closure is over, the Senior Center looks forward to having you back.
The findings from “The Loneliness Experiment,” a collaboration between the BBC Radio 4 and Wellcome Collection in which over 55,000 people took part in a survey exploring attitudes and personal experiences of loneliness (the largest survey into the issue of loneliness to date as of 1/10/18), found that,”… most loneliness is temporary, but we need to find ways to prevent it from becoming chronic.” The findings “… suggest that we need to be kinder to ourselves when we feel disconnected from others, but also that there is a whole toolkit of potential solutions that we can try.” 2020 Carole Smith Berney
Our thanks to the Westwood COA for sharing this information.
See the entire May edition of the Watertown Senior News by visiting watertown- ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/ 29242/May2020_Watertown-Senior-News
Disclaimer - All content contained in this newsletter is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon to make any financial, accounting, tax, legal or other related decisions. Each person must consider his or her objectives, risk tolerances and level of comfort when making financial decisions and should consult a competent professional advisor prior to making any such decisions. Any opinions expressed through the content in this newsletter are the opinions of the particular author only.