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Financial Word of the Week: Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

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Financial Word of the Week

So far this month, we talked about a few savings account options, including HSAs, FSAs and 401(k) plans.  Two other common retirement savings account options are traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs.

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Traditional IRAs

A traditional IRA (Individual Retirement Account) is a savings account for retirement that gives you tax advantages. The contributions you make to your traditional IRA might be deductible from your taxes depending on a few circumstances.

The IRS sets the limit on how much you can contribute. This year the maximum amount is $5,500 or $6,500 if you are 50 or older. Even if you contribute less than this amount, your contribution is still eligible for tax deductions.

Generally, if you are contributing to a traditional IRA, you cannot access the money without a tax penalty until you are 65, have participated in the plan for at least 10 years or terminate service with your employer. You can learn more on the IRS website.

Roth IRAs

A Roth IRA is a savings account for retirement where the contributions are not tax-deductible. Roth IRAs are very flexible. You can withdraw your regular contributions without a tax penalty or fee; however, you generally cannot withdraw your earnings on the contributions without penalty until you are 59.5 or have held the account for five years.

In order to be eligible to contribute a Roth IRA, your modified adjusted gross income must be less limits established by the IRS. There are also contribution limits. It may seem like a no-brainer, but you cannot contribute more than you make in a year if your earned income is less than your contribution limit. So if you make $4,000 a year at a part-time job, you wouldn’t be allowed to contribute $5,000 to your Roth IRA using other funds like interest from another savings account.

Another advantage is if you decide to work during retirement, you can continue to contribute to the account. You can also leave money in your Roth IRA for as long as you live. Learn more on the IRS website.

While there are many savings options available, always do your research first and talk to a trusted financial advisor to ensure you are using the best account for your unique retirement goals.

 

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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Financial Word of the Week: 401(k) Plan

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Financial Word of the Week

A 401(k) plan is a retirement savings account usually offered through your employer. Some employers will offer a match or non-elective contribution to your retirement account, which is a smart way to help you reach your retirement goals faster.

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It’s important to understand the plan your company offers to ensure you are getting the full employer match by contributing as much as you need to be. Remember, your employer’s contribution match is free money!

The contribution you elect to make is taken out of your salary before taxes. The IRS regulates how much you can contribute each year. For 2015, the limit is $18,000. If you are 50 or older (and therefore closer to retiring), you can contribute an additional $6,000 as a catch-up contribution. 401(k) contributions are usually invested in mutual funds, which will be covered later in our series. Generally, a 401(k) account cannot be accessed until you are 65 without early withdrawal tax penalties.

Use our calculator to obtain an estimate of where you stand with your retirement savings.

If your employer doesn’t offer a 401(k) plan, stay tuned for next week’s post when we explore other retirement savings account options.

 


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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UMB Insights: Selling your business

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Thinking about selling your business? A lot of business owners don’t realize what useful partners wealth advisors can be. Here are some things to keep in mind as you make these important decisions.

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Mr. Trujillo is a Senior Portfolio Manager for UMB Private Wealth Management. He is responsible for portfolio construction and management for high net worth clients. He joined UMB in 2007 and has 19 years of experience in the financial services industry. Mr. Trujillo is a CFP® professional.



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Don’t let tax credits fall through the cracks

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How can you get a bigger refund when filing your taxes? These tips can help:
tax credit tips
Even if you’re dreading the process of filing your taxes this year, taking the time to know what you’re doing can equal a bigger refund check. Everything from plugging in your electric car to adopting a child can be considered for deductions, so don’t miss out on refunds this year.

The IRS offers several federal tax credit options designed to lessen the burden of taxpayers. This is especially true for low- and middle-income households, which often retain a higher percentage of their annual salaries for basic living expenses than high-income households.

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Earn tax deductions with a retirement plan
Some of the best tax deductions tend to be linked to retirement plans. With these deductions, you save money on annual taxes and invest in your future.

The Saver’s Tax Credit (previously known as the Retirement Savings Contributions Credit) is for those making eligible contributions to a 401(k), IRA, or other workplace retirement plans such as a 403(b), 457, or Thrift Savings Plan. If you’re contributing and are in a lower-income bracket, you can receive a tax credit up to $1,000 when filing alone and up to $2,000 if filing jointly.  This credit is on top of the tax advantages already associated with retirement plans, which might include pre-tax contributions, tax-deferred growth, or tax-free withdrawals in retirement.

Tax credits for small business owners
The IRS also offers potential tax credits for small business owners. One of the biggest deductions is through a home office credit.

More than 50 percent of U.S. small businesses operate at an owner’s home, according to the Small Business Administration(SBA). Unfortunately, many fear taking advantage of this tax credit will red flag an audit from the IRS. The good news is, that fear is usually unfounded.

To be eligible for a home office tax deduction, the IRS requires a portion of a residential property to be considered a legitimate home office. The home must be a primary workplace. If there is an additional office used, you cannot file a home office deduction. An exception can sometimes be made for those who work all day at an office part of the week and all day at home the rest of the week.

To figure out a home office credit, the SBA recommends calculating deductions by comparing the size of the home office versus the rest of the home. However, a business owner can also deduct expenses for a separate freestanding structure, which means a business owner can use a studio to conduct work, or a garage or barn for storage. But those freestanding structures should be exclusively for business.

Tax refunds as a way to save
Remember that getting a large refund may not always be in your best interest. It could be a sign that you’re having too much money withheld from your wages. If you have trouble saving on a regular basis, however, forced savings through tax withholdings is better than not saving at all. Just try to set aside all or a portion of your refund for the future. Some great ways to use your refund include paying down high-interest debt, building an emergency fund and investing for retirement.

 

Take a look at the IRS website for a comprehensive list of deductions, and ask a trusted tax accountant for advice on which ones apply to your situation so you can take full advantage of your options.

 

*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.


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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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.

generations

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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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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A smooth road to retirement

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Are you ready to begin the next stage of your life? Retirement is still an option despite the current slow-growth economy. If you’re considering or approaching retirement, there are several items to keep in mind when nearing this important milestone. If you are planning to leave the working world in the next 18 to 24 months, here are a few considerations in the current economy:

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  • Understand your actual timeline.

    Your “time horizon” may be longer than you realize. Life expectancy is also a big factor. A retirement date is an initial benchmark, but you need to keep in mind that your money can still “work for you” while you are enjoying your newly discovered free time.

  • Make sure to have a cash reserve.

    You should build up a reserve large enough to carry you through six to 12 months of retirement expenses. This can provide a cushion in case of an unexpected downturn or a major unplanned expense.

As markets can vary year to year, those with more than two years until retirement can plan for either situation in the following ways:

  • Increase contributions.

    Invest extra cash. Consistent dollar-cost averaging can help reduce the worry of when and how much to invest. You may also want to direct some of those extra contributions into a cash reserve, just in case of unexpected declines.

  • Diversify, diversify, diversify.

    Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Throughout market cycles, different classes, styles and assets with diverse market capitalizations perform differently. Actively managing your portfolio diversification can have a greater impact on performance than individual investments.

Most of all, flexibility and patience are virtues in the world of portfolio management.  Don’t fall in love with a retirement date, and don’t be frustrated with market activity. If you have questions or concerns, it may be advantageous to seek the advice of an experienced professional.

Professional advisors can offer objective, educated and customized guidance. They are also an objective and knowledgeable resource that can provide a valuable perspective. While an advisor may not be able to provide every person with the news they want to hear, a good financial advisor can help maximize and leverage the assets individuals have against their personal timelines, risk tolerance and goals.

 

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. Diederich serves as managing director of portfolio management. He is responsible for managing the portfolios of high net worth clients and select institutional relationships. He joined UMB in 2003. Mr. Diederich earned a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Missouri State University in Springfield, Mo., and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. He is a Certified Financial Planner®, a member of the Financial Planning Association and has more than 15 years of experience in the financial services industry.



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How to generate income during retirement

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Senior Couple WalkingWith the baby boomer generation already in or quickly approaching retirement age, it is important for current and soon-to-be retirees to determine the best approach to collecting the money from their 401(k), IRA, Roth IRA, pension plan, 403(b)  or social security.

You don’t want to spend your retirement years worrying about money. You should spend the time enjoying your family and hobbies or traveling! Planning ahead and working with a professional can help alleviate your anxiety.

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Here are some important things to remember about saving and spending during retirement:

  • Generate income using assets and investments

    Discuss with your financial planner how to generate income during retirement with the money you’ve set aside for this time in your life. Your planner can help you separate your assets into three groups: taxable, tax-favored and tax-free. If you take a blended approach to meeting your required minimum distributions, your money can last significantly longer.

  • Diversify your portfolio

    It is always recommended to have a portfolio of assorted investments. You don’t necessarily have to rely completely on safe, income-producing investments. Adjust your rate to your needs when necessary and don’t be afraid to spend capital from your retirement portfolio. Traditional IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and self-employed plans are structured for you to withdraw from it over your lifetime. You might be nervous spending down these accounts, but a financial advisor can help you distribute these funds appropriately over the course of your retirement so that you can live comfortably.

  • Remember: taxes, timing, spending

    These three items are the most important factors to creating income during your retirement. You should understand your tax obligations because tax rates could help determine acceptable savings withdrawals.It’s also important to carefully time your retirement. The point at which you begin taking money from your retirement accounts can make a significant difference in the amount that is available several years into your retirement. Remember that some retirement funds charge a penalty if you withdraw before a certain age.Finally, it’s vital to spend wisely during this time in your life to ensure that you will have enough funds to last throughout your retirement. Do you want to splurge on a Hawaiian vacation during your retirement? If so, this is something you should plan for in advance. Talk to your advisor about any major spending you would like to do in your retirement. You might not be on a completely fixed income, but you need to be mindful of how much money you have to spend.

  • Educate

    Take the time to educate yourself before and during your retirement. Start planning early so you can enjoy this time in your life. Do your best to educate your children about saving for retirement and encourage them to start saving at an early age.

 

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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