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We are thankful for our customers, businesses and the great communities we are in. We truly appreciate your support and interactions in all that we do throughout the year to make our communities great places to live. Our associates and management remain committed to our purpose ‘to make the lives of our customers better’ and we hope you continue to enjoy our brand of banking. Wishing you and yours a safe Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. F.R. “Rick” Saunders, Jr., President/CEO And the First Reliance Bank Team

web_securityWhile the holiday season is typically regarded as a time to show goodwill towards others, scammers use increased shopping traffic, holiday travel, and consumer generosity to take advantage of well-meaning individuals. As you prepare for the holidays, here is a list of common scams to watch out for to ensure you and your family have a merry, Grinch-free Christmas and a happy New Year.

Too Good to be True Online Discounts

If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Beware new websites offering unrealistic deals on merchandise. You could pay for a product you never receive, or give personal information that can be used by scammers to steal your identity. Also avoid opening unsolicited emails offering deals as they could infect your computer with malicious software designed to steal your information.

When shopping online, look for a green padlock icon at the top or bottom of ...

Use these tips to buy great gifts for friends and family without going into debt.christmas_presents

Once again, the holiday season is upon us, which means it’s time to light the Christmas tree, have a peppermint mocha (or two), and begin the search for the perfect gift for the important people in
your life. But how do you cut costs without looking like a Grinch? Read below for our six tips on how to save while shopping this holiday season.

Get gift cards at a discount – Have you ever received a gift card that you couldn’t use? Thanks to sites like CardCash.com, people can sell their unused gift cards at a discount. They get cash for a card they can’t use, and you get instant savings. Get deals like 25% off a $100 gift card that you can either gift, or use to buy presents this season ...

Learn more about factors such as age, employment, taxes, and more that can impact your Social Security in retirement. social_security_retirement

If you work and live to be 62, you will be eligible for Social Security benefits. However, there are many factors and strategies that can produce benefits at higher rates, adding financial security to you and your spouse’s retirement. Here are some of the things you should consider before claiming your benefits so that you get the outcome that best meets your needs.

Eligibility – People obtain eligibility for Social Security through employment. As you earn income and pay Social Security taxes, you are awarded credits. You can earn a maximum of 4 credits per year, and once you have obtained the minimum necessary, you can claim your benefits at age 62 or older. The number of required credits for eligibility varies, and is dependent on your year of birth.

Timing ...

Thanksgiving is a time that many of us step back and reflect on the blessings in our lives.

At First Reliance Bank, we like to take this special time of year to tell you, our customers, how thankful we are that you put your trust in us. We never forget that you could choose any bank in your area, and we appreciate the opportunity to serve you.

First Reliance Bank Thanksgiving

You've set a pretty high bar for us by giving us a 95% Customer Satisfaction score. We want you to know that we try our best to live up to that high standard every day.

Our team members enjoy thinking of ways to surprise you with special gifts and food each month. It's nice to be able to get to know you and call you by your first name — it makes us feel more connected to you.

We especially look forward ...

social security retirementUnderstanding your Social Security benefits is essential to preparing for retirement. For people with average incomes planning to maintain 80 – 100% of what they earn following retirement, you can anticipate Social Security to provide 40% of your income in addition to your savings and employer-sponsored retirement plans. With just under half of your retirement wages dependent on Social Security, it is easy to see how important is to choose the right benefit strategy to meet your needs.

How is Social Security Determined?

The money you earned while working is what determines your Social Security benefit in retirement. Benefits are calculated based on a percentage of your income; the higher your income while employed, the lower the percentage of benefits you receive in retirement.

People receive benefit statements from the Social Security Administration every 5 years beginning at age 25 through age 60; statements are mailed annually to recipients 60 and ...

For some folks, October is the spookiest month of the year. It's a time for good-natured fright-fests and ghost stories. There are even scary thrills and chills to be found at familiar store fronts temporarily transformed into haunted mansions.

It's also harvest time. And there's no better way to reap savings than by refinancing your vehicle and scoring a better interest rate. With our competitive vehicle loan rates, we may be able to help you lower your car or truck payment dramatically.

[caption id="attachment_5101" align="alignleft" width="300"]First Reliance Bank Refinancing Click image to enlarge[/caption]

Car dealerships were offering 1.99% or even 0% for up to 72 months, only for select customers on select cars, proclaiming it as extraordinarily low. Very few customers can meet the credit criteria or afford the payment on the high end cars this is normally offered on.

Refinancing a vehicle loan with ...

startingabuisnessinscMaking the decision to start your own business can be an exciting, yet overwhelming experience. On the one hand, you are possibly fulfilling a lifelong dream to become your own boss and indulge in your passion. On the other, there are a lot of technical, financial, and administrative aspects to be worked out, leaving you with a lot of figurative plates spinning in the air. To make the process, a little less confusing, here is a step-by-step guide to how to take your business from idea to reality.

1. Draft your business plan

The first step to starting your business will be you creating a detailed plan of how your business will operate. Your plan will include things like a description of products and services, a market analysis, your marketing strategy, structure, and more. The South Carolina Small Business Development Centers (SC SBDC) has created a helpful business plan template ...

babyPreparing for your soon-to-arrive bundle of joy can be both exhilarating, and overwhelming. Not only are you assuming the lifelong responsibility of a human being, raising children can be expensive. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that the cost to raise a child in the US is approximately $245,340. By putting together a budget in an advance, you can develop an understanding of the expenses that are ahead when baby arrives. Here are some things to remember when planning your budget for baby.

First Trimester
Prepare a Budget

You may be surprised by how quickly the costs can add up after baby arrives. Between the costs of one-time items such as a car seat or baby crib, and regular expenses like daycare or diapers, baby could easily cost you $10,000 during your first year. You can plan in advance by using an online baby calculator, such ...

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