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Illustration of STCU branch with question marks in thought bubbles around it
Illustration of STCU branch with question marks in thought bubbles around it
Illustration of STCU branch with question marks in thought bubbles around it

5 frequently asked questions about personal finance.

published august 2023

We have the answers you’re looking for.

Thinking about what you should be saving for, how much you need to put away, and where to keep it might have your head spinning.

We have good news; it doesn’t have to be that way and we’re here to help.

We put together a list of questions we hear the most about saving, investing, and how to keep your money safe.

1. How much should I have in my emergency savings account?

You’re going to want to have 3-6 months’ worth of your basic expenses saved. That’s housing, utilities, food, and the bills you must pay.

 We get it, that math seems daunting, but if you save just a little toward that goal every week, paycheck, or month, you’ll see it grow in no time. Especially if it’s saved in an account that has a high, 5.09% APY. *

2. What does having my money insured at a credit union mean?

You may have noticed “Insured by NCUA” on a brochure or heard it read quickly at the end of a TV or radio ad and wondered, what does it mean? It stands for “National Credit Union Administration”. It’s a government agency that makes sure you don’t lose your deposit if your financial institution fails.

3. How much does the NCUA insure?

Each account owners’ deposits are insured up to $250,000.

If you have a joint account, you could insure an additional $250,000, and your partner can insure $250,000, for a total of $500,000.

Have an IRA? It’s separately insured up to $250,000.

4. What’s the difference between a 401K and IRA?

A 401(k) is an investment account many employers can offer to motivate their employees to save for retirement. Employees choose a percentage or amount of money they’d like taken out of their paycheck and put in their 401(k).

Some employers may “match” contributions. How much is matched is different for each company.

IRA stands for individual retirement account. It’s a tax-advantaged investment account for retirement savings. IRAs can double as an emergency fund for qualified withdrawals. For example, with Roth IRAs, you can withdraw regular contributions penalty-free at any time.  Compare IRAs.

5. How much do I need to save for retirement?

For some, retirement seems far down the road so you might not be focused on saving for it. For others, it might be right around the corner, and you want to make sure you’re on track. No matter where you are, here are some guidelines to help you out:

  • 1x your salary by age 30.
  • 3x your salary by age 40.
  • 6x your salary by age 50.
  • 8x your salary by age 60.
  • 10x your salary by age 67.

We have calculators you can use to plug in your own numbers and help you plan for your golden years.

 👍 Pro-tip: Set up automatic transfers so you never have to worry about forgetting to move money where you want it to go. You can set up those transfers yourself on our free mobile app or on a computer using online banking. Find more transfer support here.


* APY = annual percentage yield. APY is accurate as of the last dividend declaration date. No minimum balance required to earn the APY and no penalty for withdrawals. Balances above $500 earn 0.25% APY. Rate is subject to change and may change after the account is opened. STCU membership is required to open account and fees may reduce earnings. One First5 Savings Account per person.

1This is written for educational purposed. You should consult a tax advisor for additional information.