Your Emergency Fund: How Much is Enough?

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An emergency fund may help alleviate the stress associated with a financial crisis. February 11, 2019 Have you ever had one of those months? The water heater stops heating, the dishwasher stops washing, and your family ends up on a first-name basis with the nurse at urgent care. Then, as you’re driving to work, giving yourself your best, “You can make it!” pep talk, you see smoke seeping out from under your hood. Bad things happen to the best of us, and instead of conveniently spacing themselves out, they almost…

Certain Uncertainties in Retirement

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Two financial unknowns may erode our degree of confidence. February 11, 2019 The financial uncertainties we face in retirement may risk reducing our sense of confidence, potentially undermining our outlook during those years. Indeed, according to the 2018 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefits Research Institute, only 17% of pre-retirees said they are “very confident” about having enough assets to live comfortably in retirement. In addition, just 32% of retirees were “very confident” in their prospects for doing so.1 Today, retirees face two overarching uncertainties. While each one can…

Retirement in Sight – February 2019

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MONTHLY NEWS AND INFORMATION FOR CURRENT AND FUTURE RETIREES PRESENTED BY UPAL – February 2019 QUOTE OF THE MONTH “What I know for sure is that what you give comes back to you.” OPRAH WINFREY HOW CAN A WOMAN TRY TO PREVENT OUTLIVING HER MONEY? Certain financial decisions may help a woman grow and sustain her retirement assets across the decades to make up for time out of the workforce and the prevalent earnings gender gap. Obviously, one fundamental move would be to start saving and investing for retirement as early…

The Anatomy of an Index

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The S&P 500 represents a large portion of the value of the U.S. equity market January 17, 2019 Did you know that nearly $10 trillion in assets are benchmarked to the Standard & Poor’s 500 Composite Index, including about $3.5 trillion in index assets?1 The S&P 500 is ubiquitous. It is constantly referenced in financial and non-financial media, and we may compare the return of our own investments to its performance. As the index represents approximately 80% of the value of the U.S. equity market (or about 80% of market…

Retirement in Sight – January 2019

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MONTHLY NEWS AND INFORMATION FOR CURRENT AND FUTURE RETIREES PRESENTED BY UPAL – JANUARY 2019 QUOTE OF THE MONTH “Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” Lord Byron Think of these factors AS YOU think about retirement income If retirement is drawing closer, you will want to ask yourself some key questions relating to your future income. Answering these fundamental questions may help to give you a better picture of the monthly cash flow needs of your retiree household. The first two questions concern time. One, when do you…

Are You Ready for BOK Financial’s Economic & Market Outlook Call?

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Remember, BOK Financial’s Economic & Market Outlook Call featuring Chief Investment Officer, Jim Huntzinger is tomorrow. We look forward to you joining us. We will provide a comprehensive market analysis, review the latest U.S. and global economic conditions and discuss what it means for you. Wednesday, January 9, 2019 3:30 p.m – 4:30 p.m. Central Conference Call Number: 1.888.317.6003 Participant Elite Entry Number: 0101821 Access to the web presentation will be made available on Wednesday, January 9. You may submit a question in advance using the button above. All questions…

No, That Is Not the I.R.S. Calling

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Watch out for crooks impersonating I.R.S. agents (and financial industry professionals). December 3, 2018 Do you know how the Internal Revenue Service contacts taxpayers to resolve a problem? The first step is almost always to send a letter through the U.S. Postal Service to the taxpayer.1 It is very rare for the I.R.S. to make the first contact through a call or a personal visit. This happens in two circumstances: when taxes are notably delinquent or overdue or when the agency feels an audit or criminal investigation is necessary. Furthermore,…

The Holiday Wrap Up

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A look back at 2018 thus far Presented by UPAL The year in brief. Last December, market prognosticators polled by Barron’s forecast a 7% advance for the S&P 500 in 2018. That prediction may come true. By early November, the S&P was up only about 5% for the year. Wall Street began 2018 in rally mode: happy to see large tax cuts for corporations, anxious to see whether a booming economy would lead to rising inflation pressure and recurring interest rate hikes. What Wall Street did not see coming late…

Retirement in Sight – October 2018

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Monthly News and Information for Current and Future Retirees Presented by UPAL- OCTOBER 2018 QUOTE OF THE MONTH “Know how to listen, and you will profit even from those who talk badly.” Plutarch THREE YEARS OR LESS TO RETIREMENT? GET READY If retirement feels less like a possibility and more like an oncoming certainty, then it is time to respond. This is the time to firmly decide whether you want to “age in place” in your current home or relocate. This is when you work on sustaining the friendships you…

Getting Your Personal Finances in Shape for 2019

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Fall is a good time to assess where you stand and where you could be. You need not wait for 2019 to plan improvements to your finances. You can begin now. The last few months of 2018 give you a prime time to examine critical areas of your budget, your credit, and your investments. You could work on your emergency fund (or your rainy day fund). To clarify, an emergency fund is the money you store in reserve for unforeseen financial disruptions; a rainy day fund is money saved for…