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Holiday Costs

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Holiday costs. How do they all add up? How do you spend your money and your time?

Holiday Spending Infographic

December holidays by the numbers

 

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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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How to pay for your children’s college free of stress and debt

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College tuition is rising steadily. The price of a four-year public university has risen 2.3 percent (1.6 percent for private college), and that is on top of inflation, according to the College Board. Those increases reflect the average of the last 20 years and include tuition, fees, room and board.

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Sound intimidating? Good news, these numbers don’t have to be daunting for parents. Having a plan to properly fund these goals is half the battle, and definitely decreases anxiety. Here are some tips as you begin savings for your child’s higher education:

  1. Know the numbers – If only we had a crystal ball to predict exactly what tuition will cost when your child gets to college. We do, however, have tools that can forecast costs and assist in planning. Talk with your financial advisor—he or she will be able to help you estimate and plan for these expenses.
  1. Determine how much to fund – Once you have an expected figure, talk about how much you want to fund. There are differing viewpoints on what percentage parents and children should each contribute to education through scholarships, loans and tuition payments, so discuss this with your family and then set goals based on what everyone feels is appropriate.
  1. Establish investing timetable – The next step is to put your financial goal in writing and begin weighing options on how to achieve the desired savings. Designating monthly or annual contributions to your preferred education savings vehicles is a great way to start. However, you should feel comfortable adjusting these over time on an as-needed basis. Don’t become discouraged if projected savings do not align exactly with the end goal. The most important thing is to consistently save something to ensure the funds continue to grow.
  1. Evaluate options – There are a variety of college savings vehicles available, including 529 Plans and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts. Your financial advisor can make recommendations that are in line with your strategic plan.
  1. Communicate the strategy – When the time is right, start the conversation with your children about their educational paths. Talk about the financial support you plan to provide, and where you expect them to share responsibility. This will help your children begin establishing their own goals and promote accountability for educational expenses as well.

Saving for your children’s college expenses can seem like an overwhelming task, but it is much easier to manage with the right planning and support. Consider these tips and talk with your advisor—those college enrollment packages will arrive before you know it!

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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. Stokes is a senior vice president and director of Private Banking at UMB. She is responsible for driving sales and relationship management activities. She works closely with the Wealth Management leadership team and regional presidents to grow business and helps to develop roles in wealth management, relationship management and presentation skills. She joined UMB in 2009 and has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Missouri- Kansas City and a Bachelor of Arts from the graduate school of retail banking.



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How saving money differs in your 40s, 50s and 60s

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We already told you how your financial goals and habits vary from decade to decade in your 20s and 30s. The same is true as you move into your 40s and up until retirement. Here are some pro tips on how to take full advantage of each unique decade.

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Things to DO in your 40s

Do meet with a financial planner to make sure you’re on the right track to retire when you want and with the right amount to continue living the lifestyle you want. Retirement may seem very far away, but you don’t want to let yourself be caught in your early 60s playing catch-up on your 401(k).

Do decide how saving for major purchases balances with your retirement saving. If you have children, are you going to pay for all or some of their college tuition? What about your children’s weddings? These are examples of things that can cause parents to be caught off guard and can put a pause on your important retirement saving. For more information on these decisions, take a look at our recent post on Kids’ college vs. retirement: where to save?

And one thing to AVOID in your 40s

Don’t miss out on the maximum match from your employer on your retirement plan. As we’ve recommended from your first job in your 20s, be sure to take full advantage of the match from your employer. Of course, going above that amount is also a great idea; just be sure you’re reaching that minimum amount to get your full match.

 

Things to DO in your 50s 

Do think of this decade as your time to save the most (less expenses with children out of the home and typically higher income than you earned earlier in your career). Consider paying off high-cost debt, such as your mortgage, if you haven’t already and then save aggressively.

Do add catch-up contributions to your retirement savings. Even if you’re tracking well toward your retirement goals, you’re allowed to save more now, so do it!

And one thing to AVOID in your 50s

Don’t wait until your 60s to purchase long-term care insurance. The average age to buy this type of insurance is 57. If you wait until a few years later, it will be much more expensive.


Things to DO in your 60s
 

Do prepare aggressively for retirement…even before your planned last day of work. It’s difficult to predict when health, layoffs or extra time needed to care for your aging parents will cause you to retire earlier. This is the case with more than 40 percent of workers.

Do think about downsizing. This isn’t something that needs to wait until you’re already retired. If you’re single or if it’s just you and your spouse in your home, consider where you want to live for the next few decades and if moving makes sense.

And one thing to AVOID in your 60s

Don’t keep the same insurance policies you had in your 30s. You might not need life insurance anymore. Check your long-term care insurance policy to see what benefits it includes.

Remember, whether you’re 21 or 68, it’s never too late to improve your financial plan.

 

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References: *2012 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Inspired by a Daily Finance article

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. Ponce is a Financial Center Manager for UMB Bank. She is responsible for managing the Collinsville micro-market. She joined UMB in 1991 and has 23 years of experience in the financial services industry.



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Kids’ college vs. retirement: where to save?

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In a perfect world, you could save for your retirement AND your children’s higher education. But what if it comes down to a choice between the two…which one should be the priority? Loving parents may not love our answer.

Of course, launching your college-graduated children into the world debt-free is an admirable goal and the topic of an upcoming blog post. However, doing so at the expense of your own retirement goals is not advisable.

Parents are starting to move their focus more toward retirement savings and less toward their children’s education costs, according to a report from Fidelity Investments. The survey reported among long-term savers, 55 percent are saving for retirement while 33 percent are saving for their children’s college tuition. That split was closer to equal last year, but many parents are realizing that their children have several options to help pay for college—loans, scholarships and grants—options that simply don’t exist when saving for retirement.
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How to save for retirement

You may not realize that savings anxiety exists at several different income levels. The lack of retirement preparation in the $20,000 to $30,000 income range (with nearly nine out of 10 individuals reporting they were not prepared) was surprisingly close to those making $100,000 to $150,000 (with nearly eight out of 10 giving similar answers).*

So how do you take charge of your financial future? If you’re in your 20s or 30s, you have more time to ensure a comfortable retirement. Just make sure you start right away. If you’re older than 40, we have a blog post next month that will offer specific advice for saving in your 40s, 50s and 60s. Regardless of your income, the best way to start is by taking the simple advice: determine what you can put away starting right now and do it. The sacrifice now will be worth it later.

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*Source: American Consumer Credit Counseling 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.


Mr. Bryan Joiner is a Financial Center Manager for UMB Bank, N.A in St. Charles, Missouri. He is responsible for managing a team that advises consumer and small business clients on financial decisions, such as how to lower debt and save more. He joined UMB in 2011 and has three years of experience in the financial services industry.



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5 Ways to Make the Most of Summer’s End

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With autumn quickly approaching, here are 5 budget-friendly ideas for capitalizing on the remaining summer days (and nights). 08-05

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Alex is the senior consumer-banking leader for UMB Bank in Colorado. He leads the region's financial centers in the Denver and Colorado Springs market, small business banking and benefits solutions channel. Alex provides senior leadership and strategic planning/execution to UMB’s western territory. He also serves on UMB Financial Corporation's senior leadership team. Alex joined UMB in 2011 and has 14 years of experience in the financial services industry.



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How to Overspend on a Country Club Membership

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A lot of us have golf and swimming pools on the mind now that it’s the middle of summer. If you’re thinking of joining or renewing membership at a country club, take a look at this list to see how NOT to go about it.

07-14_Country Club Membership

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Mr. Fee serves as president of UMB’s Texas region and is responsible for designing and executing a strategy to establish UMB Bank in the Texas market, initially by way of Dallas. He joined UMB in 2002 and has also served as the community bank president of the UMB South Kansas City region. Fee earned Bachelor of Science with a major in Business Administration and Accounting from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.



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How saving money differs in your 20s and 30s

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Have you noticed that your eating, sleeping and entertainment habits changed after high school and again after college? The same is true of your financial situation. With a different lifestyle comes different financial needs, which is why we’re bringing you a few dos and don’ts for these crucial decades.

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Things to DO in your 20s…

Do contribute to a 401(k), one of the 9 financial habits we told you about earlier. How much should you save? At least as much as it takes to receive what your employer is willing to match. Beyond that, 10 to 15 percent of your pre-tax income is a great start.

Do lay a sound financial foundation by developing good habits. Contrary to what you may hear, how MUCH you save for retirement when you’re young isn’t as important as saving consistently starting as soon as possible.

Do find inspiration in growth charts / calculators like these. It’s hard to focus on something that is decades in the future, such as retirement, so calculate how dramatically your goals can be reached if you start early. For example, if you start saving $300/month in your 20s, you could have nearly $100,000 by the time you’re 50 (and that’s only factoring a less than 1 percent annual interest rate).

And one thing to avoid in your 20s…

Don’t ONLY save for your retirement. Many people in their 20s make this mistake. Since you can’t touch this money until you’re 59½  (with limited exceptions), you’ll need to make sure you have separate savings for emergencies and non-retirement goals.

 

Things to DO in your 30s…

Do ask yourself if you should buy a home. The median age of first time home buyers is 31*. While that doesn’t mean that age will be the right time for you, it does indicate that your 30s are a great time to start considering home ownership during this decade. If you’re a star student and are reading this section as a 20-something, good job. Because the money you save in your 20s will come in handy when it’s time to buy a home in your 30s. The down payment, closing costs and inevitable home repairs that pop up as soon as the home becomes yours add up quickly.

Do get life insurance if you now have dependents. It’s a bummer to dwell on, so don’t over think it. You and your family will appreciate the financial peace of mind it gives.

And one thing to avoid in your 30s…

Don’t be afraid to talk to your children about money. If you are among the 30-somethings with children, you can start teaching them as young as pre-school or early elementary school the concept of spending and saving. Playing imaginary restaurant or store with them is a great learning tool.

Update: check out how to save in your 40s, 50s and 60s!

 

 

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Reference: *2012 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers

Inspiration for article from Daily Finance

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. Johnson is a VP/Financial Center Manager for UMB Kansas City. He is responsible for driving sales and relationship activities within the Walnut Lobby Financial Center. He joined UMB in 2007 and has 11 years of experience in the financial services industry. Mr. Johnson earned an Associate’s Degree from MCC. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science Degree majoring in Management and Finance from Park University.



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This year, resolve to think small

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Every year, we make resolutions. We dream of all the goals we want to achieve and the objectives we want to accomplish. And every year, life gets in the way. We resolve this will be the year we get in shape, but our resolve freezes in the January cold. We pledge that this will be the year we get organized, but our goal gets lost among the clutter. We swear that this will be the year we start saving for retirement, but our budget runs short as bills loom large.

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Soon, our resolutions fall aside as we try to keep up with the day to day. Our problems seem so big and our time so small. There is so much to do, so many problems to solve. What can we do? Where should we start? How can we even get started? Every year, our resolutions crumble and our problems remain.

This year, don’t try to solve the big problems.

This year, resolve to think small.

Yes, small. Small is beautiful. Small is doable. Small is possible.

If you want to save money, don’t think “I want to save for retirement.” Saving for retirement is a lifelong goal, not something you can do in a year.  Instead, start small. First, ask yourself if you have an emergency fund. Everyone should save at least 3-6 months’ worth of income for emergencies.  If you do not have any savings, 3-6 months of income can seem like a lot. Don’t try to save it all at once. Ask yourself what you can do.

Can you save 10 percent of January’s pay? Or maybe just $100 dollars?

Find an amount that you believe you can save. Every payday, take half of that goal amount and put it in a Savings account. Then, in February, ask yourself if you can increase how much you save. If you saved $100 in January, can you save $120 in February? That’s only $10 more per paycheck, $5 per week. It’s only one less fast food meal, one less trip to Starbucks. Think about the small expenses. Every time you cut back a little more, you can save that much more. Keep it up and soon you’ll have an emergency fund saved.

No matter what your goals are for 2014, know that every small step counts toward accomplishing your goal.


John R. Moreau is a product manager for Consumer Loans and Deposits at UMB Financial Corporation. He joined UMB in 2008. Moreau earned a Bachelor of Science from Arizona State University and a Master’s in Economics from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.



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Financial planning is a marathon, not a sprint

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Whether you have just started the race and you are at the beginning of your career, or you are closing in on the finish line of retirement, you should stay on track with your financial planning. Much like running a marathon is different than a sprint, planning long-term financial goals is different than simply paying your bills every month. A knowledgeable financial partner can coach you through this and make the process seem less daunting. Similar to a mile marker showing you what point you are at in a marathon, certain life events signal when and how you should financially prepare.

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  • Just starting out

    Start saving as soon as possible to set the pace for this long-distance run. Consider opening a savings account and set aside whatever you can from each paycheck. With most banks, you can set up an automatic transfer from your checking account to a savings account so you won’t even have to think about it. Also consider a retirement fund—either a 401(k) or similar employer-sponsored plan, or an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) separate from your current job.

  • Planning for a family

    Thinking about starting a family? This is an important decision and one that you must be prepared for financially. Much like training before you run a marathon, adjusting your budget and saving for having kids is important. Paying for medical bills when the baby is born or financing adoption fees is no simple task. Not to mention childcare and other expenses related to children once you have them. Bottles, diapers, clothes, toys, it all starts to add up quickly!

  • Children’s education

    If your children plan to pursue higher education after high school, you will need to save for that expense. A four-year degree is estimated to cost $442,697.85 for students enrolling in 2031 if tuition increases seven percent per year. Does that number make you nervous? Planning ahead and starting to save when your children are born will help with some of that anxiety.

  • Pre-retirement

    As you see the retirement finish line in the distance, it is important to meet with your financial partner(s) to understand when you can retire and feel comfortable with your finances at that time. Ask how your retirement fund(s) is/are performing and whether or not you need to increase/decrease your contributions. Want to spend your retirement vacationing at that lake house you have always dreamed of? It doesn’t have to be a dream if you start budgeting now.

  • Post-retirement

    Now it’s time for the post-run cool down and stretch. After you retire, it is more important than ever to monitor your finances. You aren’t contributing to a retirement fund or planning to pay for your children’s college; instead you are now working on a fixed income and have to ensure that it will last for the rest of your life.

Marathon runners train very hard for a long time to prepare for those 26.2 miles. Often they don’t do it alone and will work with a trainer who helps them through the preparation. Utilize the expertise available at your bank and start preparing for the long-term so you can reach the finish line when and how you want.

 

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. Miles serves as assistant vice president and banking center manager in Denver. He is also a member of the UMB Consumer Advocate Team. He joined UMB in October of 2007. He is currently studying Organizational Leadership at Colorado State University.



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