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Financial Word of the Week: Tax Bracket

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FWOTW

Earlier this month, we discussed tax deductions and charitable deductions. This week, we want to talk about tax brackets.

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The United States has a progressive tax system, which means your marginal tax rate increases as your taxable income increases. Tax brackets indicate the marginal tax rate that applies to you based on whether your taxable income falls within a certain range or “bracket.” There are seven tax brackets in the United States, with marginal tax rates ranging from 10 percent to 39.6 percent.

A marginal tax rate is the tax rate you pay on each additional dollar of income. In other words, the first dollar of taxable income is taxed at the lowest rate. As your taxable income increases into the next bracket, only those dollars within that bracket are taxed at the new marginal tax rate.  The actual percent of your taxable income that you pay to the IRS is called your Effective Tax Rate.

Remember that your taxable income is the income left over after subtracting all allowable deductions and exemptions. We’ll discuss exemptions in our next tax-related financial word of the week.

To see which tax bracket might be applicable to you, please refer to the IRS website or see the below example.

Income-Tax-Rates-table

*This post is not meant to replace the advice of a tax professional.

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Tax Facts {infographic}

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How much do you know about taxes?  If you’re like a lot of people, you just want to know how much you owe the IRS or how much the IRS owes you. But if you dig deeper, you will be amazed at how our income tax system has evolved and some of the interesting factoids that would astound even the most seasoned tax professional. To get ready for Tax Day tomorrow, arm yourself with some cocktail party chatter by taking a look at the infographic below.
Tax Day infographic

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Mr. Chen is a Vice President and Portfolio Manager for UMB Private Wealth Management. He is responsible for all aspects of portfolio construction, including asset allocation, security selection and mutual fund analysis for high-net-worth clients. He joined UMB in 2013 and has 10 years of experience in the financial services industry. Mr. Chen earned a Bachelor of Science in Business with an emphasis in Financial Management from Kansas State University and Master of Science in Business with a Finance Concentration from the University of Kansas. He serves on the board of directors for the Financial Planning Association of Greater Kansas City and the Kansas City CFA Society. He is a Certified Financial Planner® and is a CFA charterholder.



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Financial Word of the Week: Charitable Deductions

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FWOTW

Last week we went over what a tax deduction is. This week we’ll focus specifically on the deduction for making charitable donations.

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If there are specific charities that you’re passionate about and want to help, the first step is to confirm that they are qualified to receive tax-deductible contributions before you give them anything.  Ask them to send you their IRS letter recognizing their tax-exempt status.  You can also call the IRS directly (toll-free) at 1-877-829-5500 or visit the IRS website to confirm an organization’s status.

Once you have confirmed their status, you need to keep track of all your donations to that organization.  The best way is to ask for a receipt every time you donate cash or property.

Some things to keep in mind:

  1. You cannot deduct contributions to specific individuals or families. Even if you give money to a qualified charity, you may not specify someone to receive the benefit.
  2. There are limits to how much you can deduct. Generally, you may not deduct more than 50% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).  For example, if your AGI is $30,000 and you contribute $20,000 in cash to a qualified charity, your deduction will be limited to $15,000.  If your income is above a certain threshold, the amount you can deduct may be reduced.
  3. If you volunteer for a qualified organization, some unreimbursed, out-of-pocket expenses may be deductible as well. A deduction of this type might include mileage for driving to and from the volunteer location.  However you may not deduct the value of your time, such as income you lost because you were volunteering instead of working.

For more information on Charitable Contributions, see IRS Publication 526.

 

*This post is not meant to replace the advice of a tax professional.

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Meet the Veterans: Steve Marin

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UMB is fortunate to have several veterans on our team and are proud to hire veterans in our local communities. This series will highlight some of our associates who have served their country in the military prior to joining UMB.

Q&A with Steve Marin, Lieutenant Colonel, Retired, U.S. Air Force
Steve Marin_retired USAF

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What about your past shaped who you are today?

I always love to say that I was born in East Los Angeles. Before I started school, however, my parents decided to move our family to the San Gabriel Valley, just outside LA, for a better chance at a quality education. I believe one of the most important aspects of my childhood in LA was the early exposure to diversity. My schools were melting pots with students from all ethnic backgrounds. As a college student in LA, I witnessed the devastation of the LA Riots in the wake of the racial tensions between the police and the ethnic minority populations.  Growing up in this environment, I believe, gave me a unique outlook on life as I launched into the world after college.

Lacking a specific vision for my future, I stumbled through my first year of college at California State University, Los Angeles. I was overwhelmed by the transition from secondary school to college. After two years of struggling through school, I decided to take a leave of absence and enlist in the Navy. My three years in the Navy helped me mature as a young man as I gained a better idea of what I wanted to do in life. I resumed my undergraduate education at a small liberal arts college called the University of La Verne where I graduated with honors with a degree in mathematics.

I met my lovely bride, Lisa, while in college at Cal State LA. We instantly hit it off.  I wasn’t expecting to meet my future bride so soon in life, but there was no denying she was the one for me.  Lisa became my closest friend, advisor and inspiration. Looking back now, I believe meeting Lisa was the turning point in my life.
Steve and Lisa Marin

Tell us about your family.

My parents are Lupe and Josie Marin.  My dad is a Vietnam veteran and the hardest working guy I know.  He retired from a lifetime career as a construction worker. His body is banged up, but his spirit is that of a young man. My mom was the CEO of our home and the person you had to answer to when you caused trouble. Let’s just say, I spent a lot of time explaining myself to her.

I’m number three out of six kids. My oldest brother is a retired Naval officer. My other siblings have successful careers in design, education, finance and medical support.

My own children are Julian, 15, and Evan, 9.  Julian spent a total of seven years living overseas in Japan and Germany as we packed up the house every few years in my career in the military. He is now a freshman and intends on having an uninterrupted high school career free of moves. Evan spent three years in Germany and went to an actual German kindergarten. He’s now in third grade.
Steve and Lisa Marin family

Why did you choose to join the military?

I was inspired to join the military to do something amazing. I enlisted in the Navy shortly after the 1991 Gulf War. I was inspired by the service of the men and women who accomplished the historic task of ejecting Saddam Hussein’s army from Kuwait. After three years as an enlisted sailor and after earning my bachelor’s degree, I decided the military was the place to establish my career. In 1995 I entered the U.S. Air Force’s Officer Training School and was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1996. I spent the next two years in flight school where I earned my navigator wings.

Give us some highlights about your military career.

As an aviator, we lived by the mantra that a “bad day in the air was better than a good day on the ground.” That was true for the majority of my military career until I was given the opportunity to take my experience to the next level.  After a decade of flying, I was selected to begin training as a military air power strategist, spending a year honing my skills. My first assignment as a strategist proved to be the challenge of my life and the highlight of my career. I was assigned to the newest Air Force command that was responsible for operations in Africa. I spent the next three years immersed in all things Africa. The most significant event was preparing options for the President of the United States in response to Muammar Gaddafi’s attacks on the citizens of Libya. My initial team of 17 planners worked nonstop for a month drafting plans for as many contingencies as we could envision.  As the crisis progressed, that small team grew into an international partnership. Our work on those plans, that would become Operation Odyssey Dawn, was carried out by an allied air force with success—sparing the lives of Libyan citizens. I have an immense respect for those planners who had a hand in designing one of the most complex and successful air campaigns in U.S. history.
Operation Odyssey Dawn

What are the greatest challenges that someone leaving the military and entering a new career faces?

The biggest challenge for me was going from being an expert in the art of war to being the least experienced person in a new industry. My challenge is accepting my new position and allowing myself the time to learn the banking industry. It is particularly challenging for me after having been responsible for so much in the past. Working with people like Kelly Eschweiler, Andre Trudell and Charles Littrell helped me realize the value I can bring to a team and the education process that lies ahead.

How do you give back?

My passion remains for those who served in the military. One of my commanders in the Air Force always told us that the life of someone’s 17-year-old son or daughter depended on the work we did. I carry that sobering thought with me today as I participate in initiatives that help those that served launch into their next career. I am a previous member of Team Red White and Blue, a group dedicated to connecting military members to the communities they are stationed near. I look for every opportunity to get involved in career development of transitioning veterans. This is a two-way dialogue and challenge. Veterans need to understand that they must compete against seasoned professionals in every industry. They need to understand how their experience compares to those they compete with.  Hiring managers need to understand the uniqueness of military veterans and the benefits they could have on a team. These are the dialogues to which I can provide clarity. After seeing Mariner Kemper’s Veterans Day video message and receiving the invitation from Jim Cornelius to get involved in UMB’s Veterans Engagement Taskforce, I knew I could make a difference here at UMB.

Where is your favorite place to travel?

My favorite place to travel is Europe. I lived in Germany for three years and we crisscrossed the continent at every opportunity. By far, my favorite city is Barcelona. It felt like home to me. In general, I felt a connection to Spain with my Mexican ancestry.

What are your favorite ways to spend a weekend?

A good weekend for me is getting in at least one long workout, an activity with the kids and a night out with my wife. Kansas City provides the perfect environment to fulfill a weekend of activity almost every weekend.
Steve Marin and son at Kansas City Chiefs game

How did you come to be at UMB? What made you want to work here?

I met Tom Carignan at a Kansas City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce networking event. He asked me what my story was and what I was doing. When I shared with him my desire to work for a place that is known for its culture, regardless of the industry, he immediately gave me his card and asked for my résumé. I sent it to him the next day and that afternoon I had an interview for the Emerging Leaders Program.

Tell us about the Emerging Leaders Program and what benefits you see from it.

This program is a gem. It can be tailored to fit the needs of anybody looking to start, change or re-emerge into a career at UMB. While most of my classmates in the program are much younger than me, we have a connection. We have a desire to do great things at UMB, and we are starting a new career in the banking and finance industry. As a military veteran, this is an ideal environment to test relevant skills and gain a better understanding of where I fit.

What is the VET program and what do you do as the Chair of Engagement?

The mission of Veterans Engagement Taskforce (VET) is to recognize the contributions of veterans to our way of life, educate the community about the value of veterans in business, and to support the veteran community as a whole. We’ve already made some huge advances, and we aren’t done yet. With Jim Cornelius at the helm, and a group of fired up veterans and intrinsically motivated citizens, we are postured to take on some challenging initiatives and improve the quality of life of our veterans and their families.

As co-chair of engagement, I’m working with Ryan Gardner (who will be featured next in this series) to rally UMB’s veterans desire to continue to serve. We’d like to be the muscle behind every effort when a call for volunteers is made whether it relates to supporting veterans or not.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Mr. Marin is an Emerging Leaders Program associate for UMB. He is responsible for learning about the banking industry, building a network of support, and contributing to projects and services in the rotation areas assigned. He joined UMB in June, 2014 and has less than a year of experience in the financial services industry. He is a 2014 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis’ Executive MBA program.



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Financial Word of the Week: Tax Deductions

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FWOTW

Tax season is upon us. Have you filed your taxes yet? Our April series on tax terms will help you navigate the filing process, even if it’s for next year. Let’s start with tax deductions.

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There are several types of tax deductions.  A deduction is an expense or other amount that the IRS allows you to use to offset against your income to ultimately reduce the amount of income tax that you owe.  Certain expenses are considered “above-the-line deductions” and are deducted from your gross income.  These might include certain business expenses, alimony paid, or if you make contributions to a Traditional IRA, among others.  The income remaining is called your Adjusted Gross Income.  You can now look at another set of possible deductions, sometimes called “below-the-line deductions”.

You have two options when it comes to below-the-line deductions.  These deductions are subtracted from your Adjusted Gross Income to arrive at Taxable Income.  You simply choose the option that will reduce your Taxable Income the most:

  • Standard deduction – the standard deduction was created to simplify the life of the “average” taxpayer. Instead of making everyone responsible for documenting their deductible expenses, the IRS allows taxpayers to deduct a fixed amount as a standard deduction.  The amount of the standard deduction will depend on your filing status (single, married filing joint, etc), whether you are 65 or older, or blind. The amount might change each year.  The standard deduction would likely apply to you if your tax situation is relatively simple.
  • Itemized deduction – there are certain expenses that the IRS allows you to deduct from your Adjusted Gross Income such as mortgage interest, charitable contributions, and uninsured medical expenses to name a few. When you add up all these itemized deductions and the amount is greater than the standard deduction amount, you should use the itemized deduction amount to reduce your Adjusted Gross Income.  Just make sure you have proper documentation of these expenses or the IRS might disallow them, causing you to pay more in taxes than you otherwise would have to.

The Internal Revenue Service website has a list of potential deductions. This list details what can be deducted and the limits that apply to certain deductions.

For more advice on taking advantage of your tax credits, check out our recent blog post.

 

*This post is not meant to replace the advice of a tax professional.

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a financial services holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. It also has a loan production office in Texas. Subsidiaries of the holding company include mutual fund and alternative investment services groups, single-purpose companies that deal with brokerage services and insurance, and a registered investment advisor that manages the company's proprietary mutual funds and investment advisory accounts for institutional customers.



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Tis’ the Season for Tax Fraud

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IRS tax refund scam tips

It’s tax time. As you prepare your taxes or eagerly await any refunds, it’s also time to be aware of tax scams. These scams include phishing emails, texts or phone calls that may warn of a delay with your return, promise a bigger refund or offer you a “helpful downloadable document.” These scams are designed to steal your refund, bank account information or identity by compelling you to provide your private information to the scammer.

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The IRS estimates that it paid $5.2 billion in fraudulent refunds as a result of identity theft last year. This year, in light of recent data breaches, individuals are urged to be especially careful. New scams offer credit monitoring services due to a breach or claim to be from popular tax software providers. The IRS has provided a list of The Dirty Dozen Tax Scams for 2015 to help keep us up to date on the latest scams.

In addition, be particularly aware of common tax season phishing emails like these:

  • You’re owed a refund and need to forward your bank account information for the refund deposit. The IRS does not initiate taxpayer communications through email or social media to request personal or financial information. If you receive an unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS, send it to phishing@irs.gov.
  • Exciting offers or refunds for participating in an “IRS Survey.” This fake survey is actually used to acquire private and confidential information that is used to steal your identity.
  • Threats of fines or jail time for not making an immediate payment, or responding to the email. If you receive an intimidating email like this and even believe you might owe on taxes, contact your local IRS office and report the threatening email.
  • Documents or tools for tax preparation (e.g. “new changes in the tax law,” a tax calculator, etc.). Those “helpful” documents mentioned earlier may, in fact, be malicious files intended to infect your computer. Remember not all unsolicited email is legitimate. If you need current tax information, go to the IRS website or consult with a tax professional.

Scams don’t stop with phishing emails. Here are some helpful tips if you get calls or texts from someone pretending to be from the IRS:

  • If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe, call the IRS at 800-829-1040.
  • If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1.800.366.4484 or at gov.
  • If phone scammers target you, also contact the Federal Trade Commission. Use their FTC Complaint Assistantto report the scam, and include “IRS Telephone Scam” to the comments of your complaint.

Remember, identity theft doesn’t stop at tax season so exercise your “spidey sense” with any email, unsolicited text or call asking for your personal information.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Flores serves as senior vice president and Chief Information Security Officer, providing oversight of UMB’s information security and privacy programs. She joined UMB in 2010 and has 16 years of experience in information technology and information security. She attended Kansas State University with a focus on management information systems and is a Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US) and Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).



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Meet the Leadership Series: Tom Terry (Chief Lending Officer)

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Q&A with Tom Terry

Get to know UMB Bank’s leadership a little better. Tom Terry is a long-time UMB associate who joined UMB in 1985.

What about your past shaped who you are today?

My father was a big influence for me. He had cancer back in 1966 when I was 3 years old and the procedures left him unable to walk unassisted since that time. He never complained and always saw the bright side of every situation.  He taught me that with a positive attitude and hard work, you can accomplish anything.

Tell us about yourself and your family

UMB Bank Chief Lending Officer, Tom Terry

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I was born and raised in Kansas City as the youngest of four boys. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and my MBA going to night school at Rockhurst University while working at UMB. I’ve been married for almost 22 years to Keely, who I met at UMB, and she and I have three children. Matt is a sophomore at KU, Drew is a senior in high school and likely headed to KU and my daughter Lauren is in eighth grade. My kids have always been active in sports, and I’ve spent many weekends traveling to soccer tournaments around the Midwest.

Why did you choose UMB?

My father worked at UMB for 33 years. Crosby Kemper, Sr. hired him to work in the trust department which he ultimately ran for the last 15 years of his career. I was able to work at UMB during summers when I was at KU. I worked in the bookkeeping department and wire transfer area. After graduation, Doug Page hired me for the management training program in 1986 and I reported to Doug for the next 25 years. This is the only real job I’ve ever had.

What makes a Chief Lending Officer great?

The credit culture at UMB is very collaborative and centralized. Most banks our size approve loans based on “signature” authority whereby only two or three people are required to approve a loan. At UMB, we still meet as a committee made up of the senior commercial people. Mariner Kemper runs the loan committee as did his father and grandfather before him. We have always had very experienced, smart and talented loan officers. It’s our process and our experienced talent that makes the Chief Lending Officer appear great. My job is to provide direction and help the lenders be successful.

What are your favorite ways to give back in the community?

I currently serve on the board of directors for the Heart of America Boy Scouts and the Kansas City Chapter of the American Red Cross. I was also past president of the Downtown Rotary Club 13.

Where is your favorite place to travel?  

Most recently I was in San Francisco. It’s a great city, and I really like going up to the wine country as well.

What are your favorite ways to spend a weekend?

For the last several years, it was attending sporting events for my kids. As that is slowing down we spend more time getting together with friends and finding new restaurants. I also enjoy reading mystery novels, watching old movies and sports, specifically the Chiefs, Royals and Jayhawks.
Kansas City Royals ALCS
Tom spotted on the front page of the Kansas City Star cheering on the Royals after they clinched the American League Pennant in October 2014.

Tell us about your UMB commercial loan team?

UMB is very fortunate and unique to the industry as it relates to the experience and tenure of our commercial loan officers. There are several loan officers that have more than 30 years of experience and many more that have 20 years or more. That stability provides consistency in how we approve and manage our commercial loans. It also provides a consistent calling effort as it relates to prospects.

What does your credit team do differently? What sets you apart?

UMB is truly a relationship bank. We make it a priority to know our customers and stay close to them. Ours is a relatively flat organization which makes it easier for us to make quick decisions and better serve the customer. Our senior management from Mariner Kemper on down are always willing to go out on calls with our loan officers. We try and provide the unparalleled customer experience at every opportunity.

One measure of credit quality is net charge-offs. For 2014 our net charge-offs were 0.21% of total loans which is significantly lower than our peers. Another measure is non-performing loans to total loans which is 0.37% for UMB and 1.6% for our peers.

What is the greatest challenge facing the lending industry right now?

The greatest challenge we have right now is the ever-changing regulatory environment. The second biggest challenge is the competitive landscape.  The competition is fierce and we have to be careful to keep our credit standards high.

 

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Mr. Terry is the Chief Lending Officer for UMB Bank. He is responsible for commercial lending and credit quality. He joined UMB in 1986 and has nearly 30 years of experience in the financial services industry.



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Tips for rolling over your retirement plan

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Changing careers? Retiring? Besides experience, one of the most important things you may take with you is your previous employer’s retirement plan assets. Before you make that decision, there are a few options to consider:

  • Keeping some or all of your assets in your former employer’s plan, if permitted;
  • Rolling over the assets to your new employer’s plan, if one is available and rollovers are permitted;
  • Rolling over your plan assets to an IRA; or
  • Cashing out the account value.

There are pros and cons to each of those choices, depending on your unique financial needs and retirement plans. Be sure to consult with your previous plan administrator, your new employer’s plan administrator (if applicable) and tax or legal professionals to address your questions about the asset transfer options and the tax consequences of each choice.

So what are the differences between employer plan(s) and rollover IRAs for you to take into consideration? Here are some of the factors that may be relevant to your specific needs:

retirement plan rollover

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Investment Options:

  • Rollover IRA — often enables an investor to select from a broader range of investment options
  • Employer-sponsored retirement plan – smaller range of investment options, but more options in other areas

You’ll need to ask how satisfied you are with the options available under your current or prospective plan in comparison with an IRA’s array of investments. Evaluate and compare investment options for each of the following:

  • Your previous employer-sponsored plan
  • Your new or current employer-sponsored plan, if applicable
  • Rollover IRA

Fees and Expenses:

Both employer-sponsored retirement plans and rollover IRAs typically involve:

  • investment-related expenses, including:
    • Sales loads, commissions, 12b-1 fees, investment advisory fees and other expenses of any mutual funds in which assets are invested
    • Commissions and some of these fees may be paid to the broker-dealer or advisor (such as UMB Financial Services, Inc.) who helps open and service the rollover IRA.
  • plan or account fees, including:
    • Plan administrative fees (e.g., record keeping, compliance, trustee fees) and fees for services such as access to a customer service representative. In some cases, employers pay for some or all of the plan’s administrative expenses. Evaluate and compare each of the following:
        • Investment-related expenses and plan fees at your previous employer-sponsored plan
        • Investment-related expenses and plan fees at your new or current employer-sponsored plan, if applicable
        • Investment-related expenses and account fees associated with a rollover IRA

Services:

Different levels of service may be available under each transfer option. Some employer-sponsored plans, for example, provide access to investment advice, planning tools, telephone help lines, educational materials and workshops. Similarly, IRA providers offer different levels of service, which may include online, discount or full brokerage services, investment advice and retirement and distribution planning. It is important to evaluate and compare the services available through each of the following retirement vehicles:

  • Your previous employer-sponsored plan
  • Your new or current employer-sponsored plan, if applicable
    • A  rollover IRA

Penalty-Free Withdrawals:

Penalty-free withdrawals may be available if you’re between 55 and 59½ when you leave an employer-sponsored plan. However, penalty-free withdrawals usually cannot be made from a rollover IRA until age 59½. It also may be possible to borrow from an employer-sponsored plan. Generally, borrowing from your rollover IRA is considered a prohibited transaction, which would subject you to penalties and even potential disqualification of the IRA.

Protection from Creditors and Legal Judgments:

Under federal law, you usually have unlimited protection from bankruptcy and creditors with the funds you have in employer-sponsored plans. With IRA assets, however, state laws vary in their protection from the claims of creditors. Protecting retirement assets from claims of creditors can be very complicated, so you should discuss any questions relating to your personal situation with competent legal counsel.

Required Minimum Distributions:

Once an individual reaches age 70½, the rules for plans and traditional IRAs require the periodic withdrawal of certain minimum amounts, known as the required minimum distribution. If a person is still working at age 70½, however, required minimum distributions generally are not mandatory in an employer plan. This may be advantageous if you plan to work into your 70s.

Employer Stock:

If you have any employer stock in your retirement plan, we highly recommend seeking advice on how to handle that stock. Here’s why: Your employer stock distributions are taxed differently. When employer stock is distributed in a lump sum, in-kind, from an employer-sponsored retirement plan, the employee is taxed only upon the stock’s cost basis at the time of distribution. Later, when the stock is sold after the distribution from a qualified plan, the proceeds are treated as long-term capital gain to the extent attributable to net unrealized appreciation.

An investor who holds significantly appreciated employer stock in an employer-sponsored retirement plan should carefully consider the tax consequences of rolling the stock to an IRA vs. taking a lump sum, in-kind distribution of the stock from the plan or leaving the stock in the plan. This is a very complicated issue which is why it should be discussed with your tax advisor.

 

If you ultimately decide to roll over your employer plan assets, it is important to read the IRA rollover plan information and all applicable investment literature and prospectuses carefully before deciding to invest in an IRA rollover. Past investment performance does not guarantee future results, and the value of your investment will fluctuate and may be more or less than the original investment.

 

The foregoing discussion is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered as tax or legal advice. You should consult with your own legal and/or tax advisors for advice about your personal situation.

Not FDIC Insured   ●   May Lose Value   ●   No Bank Guarantee

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Mr. Ellis is the president of UMB Financial Services, Inc., UMB’s securities broker/dealer subsidiary, and UMB Insurance, Inc. He is responsible for strategic planning, products and services, personnel and financial management. He joined UMB in 1996 and has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. Mr. Ellis volunteers his time to not-for-profit organizations needing advice on investment policy and governance issues.



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Estate planning and how to avoid probate

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probate and wills

In a recent blog post, we discussed what might happen if you pass away without a will and what might happen with a will. When you pass away owning property in your sole name (regardless of if you have a will or not), your assets might need to go through probate in order for your heirs to inherit your property. Having a will does not avoid probate—it just determines who will receive your property. If you die owning property in your sole name without a will, your estate still passes through probate—but who receives your property will typically be determined under the laws of the state where your primary residence is at your date of death (the “intestacy laws”).

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Probate is a court process to provide for an organized way of winding up a deceased person’s affairs. During this process, a personal representative or executor is appointed by the Probate Court to supervise the collection of your probate assets, payment of your final bills and taxes, and distribution of your assets according to either your will or the intestacy laws. This may or may not be what you intend and might be more expensive than if you made other plans in advance.

Avoiding Probate

There are ways to distribute your property at your death according to your wishes without going through probate. While the techniques might vary from state to state, these typically include:

  • titling property jointly with another (“joint tenants with rights of survivorship”)
  • creating a beneficiary deed for real estate
  • adding a “transfer on death” or “pay on death” designation to assets, such as bank or investment accounts, or by beneficiary designation for assets such as your retirement plan, IRA or life insurance
  • creating a “revocable” or “living” trust and retitling your assets in the name of your trust

The trustee holds the legal title to the property owned in the revocable trust, not you as owner. The trust property is held by the trustee for your benefit during your lifetime.  You can choose to serve as your own trustee as long as you are able. At your death, the property held in the trust is distributed by the successor trustee of the trust to those family members, friends or charities you name in your trust agreement, similar to the instructions you can leave in your will.

A Living Trust

There are many advantages to creating a living trust:

  • Control: You can be your own trustee during your lifetime and then you name a successor trustee (such as a bank) to serve after you cannot or do not wish to serve.
  • Flexibility: You can typically change the terms of the trust at any time while you are living. If you become disabled, your successor trustee can step in and pay your bills, manage your investments and allow you to avoid “living probate” where otherwise a court appointed conservator might be needed to manage your affairs. You can create trusts for your minor children or grandchildren to be created after your death, hold assets in further trust for disabled or disadvantaged beneficiaries and even create trusts for charities.
  • Privacy: The terms of the trust and its assets and values are typically private, unlike a probate proceeding, which is a public matter where your will (if any) and list of assets are filed with the court and open to inspection by anyone.

Your living trust would be part of your overall estate plan, which would likely include a “pour over will” (just in case assets weren’t retitled into your trust’s name at your death), powers of attorney for financial and healthcare decisions and a living will.

 

Be sure to consult with an experienced estate planning attorney to discuss what estate plan is right for you under the circumstances.  We also recommend discussing your options with a wealth advisor who can assist you with your financial goals, working together with your attorney and other trusted advisors.

 

 

UMB is not providing you with any legal or tax advice.  You need to consult with your own legal and tax advisors to determine what estate plan is best for you and how the laws of the state governing your estate might affect you given your specific circumstances.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Ms. Teson is a Senior Vice President and Private Wealth Management’s Senior Legal Counsel at UMB Bank. She is responsible for managing Private Wealth Management’s Legal, Fiduciary Tax and Real Estate and Unique Asset teams. She joined UMB in 1992 and has been a licensed attorney for 32 years. She is also a Certified Financial Planner.



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UMB Insights: Fine Art Services

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Are you an art collector? Or do you have one piece in your home you take great pride in? Find out from the managing director of UMB Fine Art Services how this company focus began more than 100 years ago with our CEO’s great grandmother, Charlotte Kemper, and her passion for culture and art. Jan also offers advice on how to protect and utilize your art and collectibles.

Read more about the art of fine art management.

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Jan Leonard is senior vice president and managing director for charitable trusts, private foundations and fine art services. She joined UMB in 2003 and has more than 25 years of experience in the management of private and public organizations. Leonard earned a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas Tech University and a master’s degree in business administration from Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kan. She is also a graduate of the Cannon School of Foundation Management.



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