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Planning last minute holiday travel

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Temperatures across the country continue to drop as the holiday season approaches. While the change in weather means seasonal cheer is on its way, it also means winter is coming.

Temperatures across the country continue to drop as the holiday season approaches. While the change in weather means seasonal cheer is on its way, it also means winter is coming. Sometimes a vacation to help forget the ice, snow and wind is the most welcome gift anyone can receive.

If you are considering booking last minute holiday travel, prices will likely be very high due to demand. However, there are ways to reduce costs and book a budget-friendly vacation.

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Plan a holiday vacation


Find the best deals
According to The New York Times, one of the best times of the year to travel to Europe is during the holidays. While airfare might be pricier than other seasons, hotels tend to be far more affordable, making a holiday trip to Europe more plausible.” Europeans tend to stay at home for the Christmas holiday,” said Gabe Saglie, a senior editor at Travelzoo. “That means there are hotel deals to be had in popular destinations.” Traveling parties can enjoy upgrades and discounts during the slower season, which provides a little more wiggle room when working with a fixed budget.

Even domestic hotels are more affordable during the holiday season. “Thanksgiving to Christmas can be a bargain proposition because the business traveler is not booking those hotels,” said Saglie.

Consider booking a cruise
When it comes to kicking back and relaxing during the holiday season, there is no better way than on a cruise. These trips are especially beneficial because they often include the price of everything from food to entertainment. This package deal eliminates some of the pressure accompanying planning a trip and saves you money. U.S. News & World Report suggested using the help of a travel agent. These professionals can help you find deals that aren’t available to the general public – ultimately saving you money. Last minute booking can also save you a bit of money when paying for a cruise, noted U.S. News & World Report. However, you’ll need to be flexible with dates to get better deals.

Determine a plan for saving
When planning last minute holiday travel, gather as much money as possible to use toward the trip. Independent Traveler suggested opening a savings account designated specifically for travel expenses. Contribute to the fund regularly to build a nice stash of spending money you can use while on your vacation.

Since the holidays are approaching so quickly, consider setting up automatic deposits to ensure you regularly contribute a certain amount of each pay check to your savings account.

In addition to having a savings account, a change jar is another easy way to build additional funds for the trip. While it may not initially seem like very much, change can add up quickly and really bolster the growth of vacation savings.

Enlist the help of others
When you are bringing the whole family on a vacation, it provides a unique opportunity to teach your children a little bit about saving money for something special. Ask your young ones to help make their very own contributions to the family vacation savings account. Whether they have an allowance they want to deposit into the fund, or if they decide to give up weekend outings to cut costs, kids can help make a substantial impact on your savings for a holiday getaway.

Even though flight prices can be higher in the holiday season, a vacation shouldn’t be written off as out of the budget just yet. With a little planning and dedication, you and your family can enjoy some time away.

 

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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Choosing the Right Mortgage Partner

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The housing market continues to show signs of improvement. If you’re looking to buy or move to your next house in life, it’s important to choose the right mortgage partner. Here are some tips to help you as you navigate this long-term financial plan.

 

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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World Kindness Day

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Pack a lunch this week and use your savings to help a neighbor in need. Here are some of our favorite ways to celebrate World Kindness Day.ideas for giving back

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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reStart, Inc. supports veterans

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Veterans Day – Only in America

We live in the greatest country on the planet. Why? Because we were founded by strong-willed dreamers who were tired of persecution and being told by decree that they had to stay in the class they were born into for the rest of their days.

The U.S. was founded on the principals of freedom, opportunity and the rights of individuals. And over the years, these values and principals have been hard fought, more so than most of us can truly understand or comprehend. Many of us don’t know or don’t reflect enough on just how lucky we are and how sacred these values are to our core. Over the years, much blood, sweat and tears have been shed to protect this great land of ours.

And for those reasons and so many more, we salute the very people — our veterans — who risk the most and understand at the deepest level just how great the country really is and what it takes to keep it this way for the rest of us dreamers.

So tomorrow, Veterans Day 2015, is for you — our veterans and military families — dream keepers and flag bearers of this great nation.

We salute you.

Mariner Kemper

 

reStart Kansas City

UMB strives to honor veterans every day, but November 11 is the day that our country sets aside to recognize the men and women who have sacrificed for our freedom. We’re particularly excited about the work that an organization in Kansas City is doing right now. reStart was one of the 2015 UMB Big Bash beneficiaries, using the funds for the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program. UMB’s Veterans Engagement Taskforce (VET) is also involved with reStart’s veteran mentorship program.

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“One of the biggest helps they were able to give me has been a mentor, and it’s been through their help that I’ve been able to have a better life today and a brighter future for tomorrow.”

Below, read more from one of the mentors, James Carlile, who is a financial analyst at UMB and also a veteran. He shares what compelled him to become a mentor and the results he’s seen from the program.

At one of our VET meetings, Robin Johnson, head of reStart’s SSVF, mentioned that she had several veteran clients in her program that were really wanting to turn the corner and make a sustainable transition away from the homelessness cycle and into self stability. What they needed, and what reStart’s limited staffing and resources could not always provide, was personal encouragement. Our VET group jumped all over this and began to work on a plan in which our additional contribution would be the love, guidance and support of UMB veteran associates.

Robert Durham - veteran and reStart clientI really had little idea what to expect when I initially met with Robert Durham. All I knew was that he wanted and needed someone who would take the time to listen, help him think through his issues and concerns, and offer encouragement and motivation in the face of very real and very persistent adversity. I could tell he genuinely wanted to improve himself, and he didn’t have anyone else to help him with a strategy on doing so. I was fortunate in my transition from the military to have a loving and supportive family that was there for me unconditionally through some very choppy times. Robert did not have that family support, and although I knew I could not solve his issues for him, I could provide him a level of consistency, positivity and encouragement.

Robert and I meet every six weeks at his subsidized one room efficiency apartment. We eat sandwiches, and talk intensely about how he is feeling, what he is working on, the status of his distant relationships with his family, and keeping him focused on his goals. I’ve learned just how difficult it is for those caught in the crisis cycle to make that change, even when the will is present and pure. Even though we do spend ample time discussing basic professional and life skills, our primary goal together is deliberate emotional support. Robert is currently working on his insurance licensing through the financial support of reStart. His ultimate goal through the vehicle of self sustainability is to mend his fractured relationship with his children and to be the father and example he knows he should be. My role in this is nothing compared to what Robert will have to overcome to get there, but whatever bit of guidance or encouragement I can impart on him I consider a humbling privilege when it impacts the outcome of his quality of life.

 

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 diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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UMB: Insights – Public Finance

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UMB Industry Insights

UMB has a long and successful history with underwriting municipal bonds for cities, counties, public hospitals and universities. One of the keys is to foster relationships with attorneys, bond counsels, underwriters and the customers. Learn more in this continuation of our UMB: Insights series.

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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UMB: Insights – Growth in agribusiness

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UMB Industry Insights
“We have focused our growth and our expansion around the “Bread Basket,” because we believe everything starts with agriculture.” Mariner Kemper, our Chairman and CEO, and other UMB leaders share why we focus on agribusiness.

Be sure to watch our first video about agriculture: What ag means to UMB.

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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Money mistakes newlyweds should avoid {infographic}

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With the annual summer wedding season behind us and the fall season kicking off, here are 6 money mistakes newlyweds should avoid.
budgeting advice for married couples

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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UMB: Insights – Aviation

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UMB Industry Insights

It’s not just CEOs who utilize private/corporate aircraft, but most often sales teams. Learn more about this critical tool and why it’s an efficient option for many businesses.

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UMB Financial Corporation (Nasdaq: UMBF) is a diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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Don’t let your business be an easy target for fraud

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Fraud can come in many forms, from counterfeit checks to stolen credit cards and trusted employees to savvy hackers. For businesses, fraudulent activity is always bad news. According to the Association for Financial Professionals’ (AFP) 2015 survey, 62 percent of companies were targets of payments fraud in 2014 with financial losses that ranged anywhere from a relatively small amount to millions of dollars. The good news for businesses is that there are numerous measures out there that can help prevent and detect fraudulent activity. In addition, advanced technology is being developed and deployed now that will help companies better protect their operations and their bottom line.2015 AFP Payments Fraud and Control Survey

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The many forms of fraud

According to the AFP, the most common form of fraud businesses encounter is through checks, corporate credit/debit cards and wire transfers. Paper checks continue to be the payment type most vulnerable to fraudulent attacks and account for the largest dollar amount of financial loss, even though their use continues to decline. Credit and debit cards are the second most popular form of business fraud, although they experienced a decline in fraudulent activity, down from 43 percent in 2013 to 34 percent in 2014.  And lastly, wire fraud incidents almost doubled from 14 percent in 2013 to 27 percent last year.

The newest form of fraud is cyberfraud in which criminals create an email account for corporate executives or vendors and send emails with payment instructions to employees in the accounting department. Employees who are unaware of the fake or altered email account will follow the instructions and make payment.

Be prepared

While it may seem daunting, businesses can take steps to protect against fraudulent activity. Positive Pay is one example of how companies can get ahead of the game. Positive Pay is an automated fraud detection tool offered by most banks. Here is how it works: Companies cut checks every month and send the bank a list of all those checks, including check numbers, amounts and payees. As checks clear against the account, the bank makes sure the checks match up, eliminating any fraudulent or altered checks.

To protect against internal fraud, business owners should implement dual control and separation of duties. Understand who is in charge of what responsibilities on the financial side and make sure there are no gaps. Implement dual control over the businesses banking transactions, meaning the same person who is running payables should not be the same person who is reconciling accounts. Also, business owners should review financial statements on a weekly or monthly basis.

To mitigate compromise in these areas, businesses should review all areas of their operation and put the proper preventions in place to protect against fraud. For instance, businesses should ensure their employees have the proper education and training for fraud detection. They should install, maintain and update spam filters, anti-virus software and firewalls. Reducing check writing, outsourcing payroll and having dual controls are additional tips that can help prevent fraudulent activity.

New technology on the way
2015 Payments Fraud and Control Survey
In addition to being prepared, businesses will soon be able to rely on new technology to help protect against fraud. The latest and most anticipated technology is EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) chip cards, which will have a major impact on lessening credit and debit card fraud. So much so that 92 percent of financial professionals believe EMV technology will be effective in reducing fraud at the point-of-sale.

Traditional magnetic stripe cards require a signature for security purposes, whereas the new chip cards will add an additional layer of sophisticated fraud protection through an embedded microchip that turns the cardholder’s information into a unique code that is difficult to duplicate or copy when used at a chip-enabled terminal.

Merchants and retailers are currently in the process of investing in new card reading technology that will accept EMV chip cards. If they do not update their technology, they could potentially be liable for fraudulent transactions and not the user or card issuer. Visa intends to institute a liability shift in the United States for domestic and cross-border counterfeit transactions effective Oct. 1, 2015. This shift will encourage Visa issuing banks to begin issuing EMV chip cards and merchants to begin deploying card swipe technology that can process the chip-on-chip transaction.

While new technology and preventative measures can help businesses protect against fraud, the truth is that it will always exist in one form or another. What businesses can do is educate their employees, make sure they are using the most up-to-date technology and work with their financial partners to ensure the best practices and protective measures are in place.

 

Source: 2015 Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) Payments Fraud and Control Survey

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 diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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Financial Word of the Week: Generation-skipping transfer tax

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Financial Word of the Week - Generation-skipping transfer tax

The generation-skipping transfer tax (GST tax) is a separate transfer tax that is imposed on certain transfers and may apply in addition to any gift or estate tax due. The purpose of the GST tax is to tax the transfer of assets passing to a person more than one generation beyond the donor (i.e., “skipping” a generation). This flat-rate tax is calculated at the maximum estate tax rate applicable at the time of the transfer. (In 2015, the maximum estate tax rate is 40 percent.) However, like the gift and estate tax, there are certain exemptions that may apply to help avoid or minimize the impact of the GST tax. For example, there is a lifetime exemption that allows you to transfer a certain dollar amount of assets without incurring this tax. In 2015, the exemption amount is $5,430,000. In addition, there is an annual exclusion available that currently allows for the transfer of $14,000 to any individual without the GST tax being imposed.

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One of the keys to the GST tax rule is that it is designed to only tax certain transfers – those involving a transfer of assets to a person one or more generations down the line. For family members such as grandchildren, this is straightforward. For example, a gift from a grandparent to a grandchild would skip the donor’s child’s generation and would, absent an applicable exemption, be subject to the GST tax. However, for non-family members, whether a transfer skips a generation is not always as apparent. For gifts to unrelated individuals, the Internal Revenue Code deems a gift to someone more than 37 ½ years younger to have “skipped” a generation and is therefore subject to the GST tax.

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 diversified financial holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., offering complete banking services, payment solutions, asset servicing and institutional investment management to customers. UMB operates banking and wealth management centers throughout Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arizona and Texas, as well as two national specialty-lending businesses. Subsidiaries of the holding company include companies that offer services to mutual funds and alternative-investment entities and registered investment advisors that offer equity and fixed income strategies to institutions and individual investors.



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