Blog   Tagged ‘401(k)’

9 Tips: Teaching children to save: easy as 1,2,3

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Learning good money habits like saving at a young age will help ensure responsible financial decisions in the future. If you have children, consider these tips to help teach your young ones the importance of saving money.

Provide an allowance
One of the best ways to teach proper money management is by giving your child an allowance. According to Bankrate, working for money and enforcing good budgeting habits are two benefits to offering an allowance to your children. “When your child gets their first dollar, we suggest that you teach them to save 10 percent, invest 10 percent, give 10 percent and live from 70 percent,” said Lori Mackey, author of Money Mama and the Three Little Pigs. “When you give them a dollar, you give them two quarters and five dimes and then you sit with them and say this dime is for something that is important to you or that you want to help.”

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Teach the power of patience
Sometimes even adults need to be reminded they may have to wait to buy the things they want. According to Forbes, teaching kids delayed gratification early on is beneficial in the long-term. Set an example and practice holding off on buying certain items. Explain to your children why waiting a little longer to get the things you want may help you save and stay within your financial means.

Encourage children to make goals
One way to teach young ones financial responsibility and how to save money is by making a savings goal chart, noted Money Crashers. Use stickers or drawings to visually demonstrate the amount of money saved each week to show progress. If your child wants to save up for a specific item, consider adding a picture representing what he or she wants to purchase with the saved funds as a motivation.

Consider matching contributions

A 401(k) retirement plan that matches what you put into retirement is a great way to encourage more regular saving habits. Consider implementing the same type of reward system for your child, but make sure you establish specific rules or guidelines ahead of time. For example, have a required amount your child must save each week, but anything above that can be matched by his or her parent and added to the fund.

Focus on long-term saving
When kids are between 11 and 13 years old you can begin discussing long-term goals for saving. For example, discuss a car-buying goal with your child when he or she reaches pre- or early-teens. Look at prices of current cars and discuss budget and long-term financial goals.

Work together to create a plan to save a certain amount of money, whether it’s the child saving alone, or with the parents matching the savings contributions. Understanding the importance of long-term saving goals early on will make saving for large purchases easier in the future.

Deal with spending decisions
While encouraging saving money is a good way to instill valuable skills, sometimes it’s OK to let your children learn from mistakes, noted Bankrate. “Let them make impulse buys, that kind of thing,” said Greg Karp, author of The 1-2-3 Money Plan: The Three Most Important Steps to Saving and Spending Smart. “There is an opportunity cost and it teaches that money is finite. You really want them to regret some decisions because they won’t forget them.”

Create a list of priorities
Before your child spends his or her money, write down what he or she wants and rank how essential each item is. Don’t settle on just toys or books, ask your child to think long term. Ask if he or she wants to save for college, a trip in the future or other investments he or she wants to make. Prioritizing these wants can help young ones commit to saving early.

Open a savings account
Having their own independent account may encourage older kids to save more money, and it will make them feel more responsible. Head to a local bank with your kid and open an account with him or her. Consider asking the banker to discuss why saving is important so your child hears it from someone other than you. Repetition will help solidify the importance of stashing away money.

Encourage giving
Bankrate indicated in addition to saving, you may want to teach your children the importance of giving to others. Suggest giving a certain amount of their allowance to a charity of their choice or to use for gifts for friends or family members. Saving money is an important step to becoming a financially-responsible individual. By instilling this skill in your children early on, you can rest assured they are better prepared for their futures.


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Mrs. Adriean Castro is an Assistant Vice President Financial Center Manager for UMB at the Shawnee, Kansas banking center. She joined UMB in 2003 and has 12 years of experience in the financial services industry. Adriean has a passion for philanthropy and coordinates volunteer opportunities throughout the year for UMB consumer associates. She is also an ambassador for the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce.

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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 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 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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