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How to find lifelong financial and physical health

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This last year of my life has been one of the hardest. While I lost a lot of weight and look a lot better, the true prize was the lessons that I learned. One big lesson: your health and finances are directly related. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to be on ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss and would like to share some of the facts that I have learned!
ABC Extreme Weight Loss - Kelli Poles

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With more than two-thirds of Americans being overweight or obese, the United States depleted about $200 billion of medical spending on obesity related illnesses.  Let’s focus on how we can individually do our part to put a dent in those numbers.

“Isn’t a healthy lifestyle expensive?”

This is the belief that many people have. However if you compare the difference between healthy ways of living with the consequences of medical bills, it’s quite the opposite. Financial and health problems create a vicious cycle. Financial stress can result in skipping meals, poor food choices, missing check-ups or even emotional eating. These all lead to health problems, which then lead back to more financial issues. Another aspect of this cycle is your financial legacy. The morbid fact is that obesity leads to death, and in many cases this causes your family members to take on the financial burden.

Below are some tips that will work for a prosperous life in both the health and financial realm.

  • Organization is Key. Just as you have to organize your finances, such as managing debt, budgeting and managing assets, you need to organize your health with scheduled workouts, food preparation and calorie counting.
  • Communicate. Keeping an open line of communication is crucial. Discuss a budget with your spouse, family or even a financial advisor. This will assure that you are on a clear path and should help you answer any questions you have. With your health—find a support system, with the help of a trainer or health professional, online group or your friends and family. Your level of success will increase when you are held accountable.
  • Write it down. Have a to-do list. There are so many tools for creating a budget or organizing your bills. There are also some great apps for calorie counting and exercise tracking. Or do it the old-fashioned way, and write it on a piece of paper!
  • Have Fun! Take time to relax, and enjoy life. Be responsible about your life, career and physical well being. Protect your health and your wealth by finding a good balance between the two. Remember you are not perfect, and it’s okay to indulge every once in awhile. Just be sure it is in moderation, and use it as a reward!

Extreme Weight Loss Season 5 Episode 2

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. Kelli Poles is a Client Relationship Manager for UMB Bank N.A. She is responsible for strengthening relationships with current consumer clients and prospecting externally for new clients. She joined UMB Fund Services in 2011 and has 6 years of experience in the financial services industry.



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This February: Don’t be silent – GO RED

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Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women and is more deadly than all forms of cancer combined. And, if that statistic isn’t startling enough, consider that heart disease causes one in three women’s deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.

As the co-chair of the American Heart Association 2014 Go Red For Women Campaign, I am committed to educating as many people as possible about ways to reduce and end heart disease. 

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We all have women we hold close to our hearts. Whether it is a mother, daughter, wife, sister, cousin, or friend, they all deserve to know the life-saving knowledge about heart disease and how to prevent it. There are several false assumptions that people believe such as: heart disease is only for older people, it doesn’t affect women that are physically fit, and that it’s more of a ‘man’s’ disease than for women. The fact is that these are nothing more than myths.

This month, I’m asking all women and their loved ones to encourage each other to join the Go Red For Women movement. Started more than a decade ago, the Go Red For Women Movement has saved more than 650,000 women’s lives and counting. Raising awareness through participation in events such as National Wear Red Day®on February 7 is a great way to get the conversation going with those around you. In addition to that event, there are many ways to get involved – find out how here.

And finally, I encourage you to start the journey toward heart disease prevention and education with a focus on YOU first. Knowing your risk and practicing a healthy lifestyle are the first steps to becoming an advocate and an example for the cause. From there, you are set to begin adding to those 650,000 lives already saved. This is your call to action: Go Red!

 

ABOUT GO RED FOR WOMEN

The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement has been impacting the health of women for 10 years. More than 650,000 women’s lives have been saved, but the fight is far from over. Now is the time to shout louder, stand stronger and demand change. It’s time to come together in a movement that is not just FOR women, but BY women. It’s time for women to Go Red. Visit GoRedForWomen.org for more information or call 1-888-MY-HEART. The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement is nationally sponsored by Macy’s, with additional support from our cause supporters.

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.


Dana Abraham is president of the Private Wealth Management Division and is responsible for the delivery of comprehensive financial services to high-net-worth clients. Her areas of focus include Wealth Planning, Private Banking, Personal Trust, Investment Management and Insurance. She joined UMB in 2005 and has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Abraham earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in both accounting and economics from the University of Louisiana. She is a graduate of Leadership Overland Park and Kansas City Tomorrow Leadership programs.



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Navigating through the “sandwich years” (Hometown Perspective: Warsaw, Mo.)

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My husband and I are very proud of our three children who are currently in various stages of college. We’re also blessed to have some of our parents still with us. We’re in the midst of the “sandwich years.” Our children are transitioning into adulthood and our parents are dealing with the prospect of additional – and often much higher – health care costs.

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The situation certainly isn’t new, but the financial challenges of this particular age group have recently changed. In addition to your retirement fund(s) likely taking significant losses during the financial crisis, those of us currently in the sandwich years also face the financial challenges of our children and parents. Our kids are graduating into an extremely difficult job market, while our parents are dealing with the rising costs of health care on a fixed income. With these challenges, sometimes our parents and kids may need our help financially.

Don’t wait until you and your family are faced with these issues to begin dealing with them. Usually if a financial emergency occurs, you won’t have much time before you have to act. In my thirty plus years at UMB, I have seen customers in the middle of these transition years who haven’t had important discussions with their kids or their parents soon enough. Living in an area with a high concentration of retirees, I’ve seen countless children of senior parents who have waited too long to talk to them about their financial plans.

So what can you do to plan for the sandwich years?

Prepare your children for financial independence by:

  • Opening a college fund as soon as possible (your kids don’t have to be burdened with student loan repayments while they work to become financially stable).
  • Teaching them the foundation of financial responsibility at an early age.
  • Encouraging them to hold part-time jobs as teenagers to develop a strong work ethic early on, and learn the benefit of saving and budgeting.

Prepare your parents for the issues they will face by:

  • Having an open dialogue about their overall financial situation, while being respectful of their privacy and wishes.
  • Approaching the sensitive subjects of having a will, power of attorney and health care directive. They are difficult conversations, but it’s better to have them early. It is much harder to discuss finances when failing health and/or mental incapacity have occurred.

Prepare yourself for the sandwich years by:

  • Talking regularly with your financial advisor about what you need to do to prepare for your own retirement.
  • Creating an emergency fund. You don’t want to dip into your retirement fund if something should happen and your kids or parents need financial help.

The sandwich years can be very stressful but that stress can be greatly reduced if you plan ahead. Prepare your children to become financially independent young adults and ensure your parents have a financial plan for their senior years. And don’t forget to make your own financial preparations. Your children will thank you for it when they reach their sandwich years.

 

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. Porter is senior vice president and financial center manager for the Eastgate location in Warsaw, Mo. She joined UMB in 1981. Ms. Porter is responsible for managing the consumer sales and functions of that location and has been involved in many other areas of the bank in her thirty-two years with UMB. Actively involved in the community, she has worked closely with the Warsaw High School vocal and instrumental departments for many years. She is a trustee of the Mary Lay Scholarship Fund, currently serves on the Harbor Village Fund fundraising committee and is a board member of the Warsaw Area Chamber of Commerce.



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Wellness Counts: Invest in You

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Here at UMB, we encourage our associates to take personal responsibility for improving their health and that of their families. Already an important part of the company culture, we saw room for improvement in our current wellness plan and we knew we could do more. So in 2012, UMB rolled out a Health and Wellness program that was more thorough than anything we had done before. I volunteered to be the executive champion for this program because it’s important to me and it’s important to our associates.

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We want to have a healthier workforce. When we live a healthier lifestyle, we can positively affect our team. Living healthy often means you’re more alert, energetic and have fewer sick days. Not all health conditions are within our control, but many of them are. With our wellness plan, we focus on what our associates can control and put into place initiatives that give them the power to change their lifestyles for the better:

  • Medical plan discount incentive for associates enrolled in our medical plan who participate in various activities and receive a discount toward their monthly premium. Activities include completing health screenings (cancer, dental, vision, etc.), engaging in physical activity, and certifying that they are tobacco free.
  • Wellness coaches hired through Wellness Coaches USAto confidentially discuss health and wellness related topics and answer questions our associates might have. They can simply ask questions or even set goals with the coaches. The coaches will give them advice and tools to meet those goals and meet with associates to check on their progress.
  • Monthly newsletters to share our program offerings with associates. It includes an associate spotlight, information about what fruits and vegetables are in season, healthy recipes, and different ideas for exercise.
  • My blog to share with associates my thoughts and experiences on the monthly wellness topics. I also let them know about my wellness goals and how I’m progressing. For example, I’ve shared how I am working with our wellness coach about nutrition so I can develop healthier eating habits. Then in a later blog post I will share how I have been progressing toward that goal.

So far we’ve seen some fantastic progress. Our wellness coaches and health insurance carrier reported these findings over the past year:

Wellness Results Infographic

I’m extremely proud to say we’ve been recognized for the amazing efforts of our associates. UMB has been recognized as a Healthiest Employers finalist in Milwaukee (2012), St. Louis (2012), Wichita (2013) and Denver (2013). Just recently, the CEO Roundtable on Cancer honored UMB with the CEO Cancer Gold Standard for our efforts to reduce the risk of cancer for associates and their family members.

I realize this is only the beginning. We’re starting with awareness and slowly moving into building more engagement in the programs over time. We encourage our associates to evolve beyond any unhealthy habits they’ve developed and learn to lead a healthier lifestyle. As I’ve learned with the goals I’ve set with our wellness coach, the small successes will build over time and lead to a big difference.

 

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. Hagedorn is president and chief executive officer of UMB Bank and vice chairman of UMB Financial Corporation. Prior to this role, Hagedorn served as chief financial officer and chief administrative officer of UMB Financial Corporation. He joined UMB in March 2005.



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