Pointers to Help Seniors Live at Home Longer

Wednesday, July 01 at 11:05 AM
Category: Personal Finance

The vast majority of older Americans want to remain in their homes as they grow older, also known as aging in place. More than 90 percent of the baby boomer population prefer to age in place, according to a recent Georgetown University survey.*

“America’s 50 and older population is expected to increase by 20 percent in the next 15 years,” said American Bankers Association President and CEO Frank Keating. “It’s important that older adults and their families plan ahead to ensure they have the housing they need for a safe, comfortable and independent life.”

The ABA Foundation is offering the following tips for older Americans considering aging in place.  

Take a hard look at your finances. Arrange a meeting with a trusted family member or friend and your financial advisor. It’s critical to understand your financial resources, how long they’ll last and what housing options are the most cost effective for you. Be sure to consider all costs associated with aging in place, including:
  • Home modifications
  • Transportation to medical appointments, shopping and other errands
  • In home caregiver for house upkeep and medical purposes
  • Property taxes and home insurance
Assess your home and determine what modifications are necessary. While staying in your home is preferable for many, there are often design changes that must be made to ensure it’s also safe and comfortable.
  • Make sure there is at least one step-free entrance to your home.
  • Update lighting inside and outside of the house so that all walkways and stairs are well lit. Clear pathways throughout house and firmly secure all carpets to the floor to prevent tripping
  • If a bedroom and bathroom does not or cannot exist on the first floor, consider installing an elevator or chairlift. At a minimum, make sure you have handrails on both sides of your stairs.
  • Install grab bars in the bathtub, shower, or near the toilet.
Make security a priority. Older Americans are often targets for scams and other criminal behavior. Be cautious about who you allow in your home and disclose sensitive information to.
  • Install up-to-date and easy-to-use locks. Make sure your front door has a peep hole or a security monitor so you can see who is outside.
  • Consult someone you trust when hiring a contractor, financial advisor, etc.
Look into community resources. If mobility is limited, look in to services offered in your area. Many communities have established non-profit programs that offer transportation and food delivery to assist older Americans at a reasonable cost.

Be prepared for possible emergencies.
  • Keep a list of all emergency contacts on your refrigerator or by a phone.
  • Consider a Personal Emergency Response System.* Transmitters can be worn as a bracelet or around your neck and require the simple push of a button to send a signal to a call center.
  • Have your address number visible from the street so emergency responders can easily identify your home.
Reevaluate every six months to make sure all needs are being met. As you age, your needs inevitably change. Take time twice a year, or as needed, to sit down with your trusted family or friend and make sure your current living situation is still the right one. 

For more information and additional housing tips, visit aba.com/housing.*

Article courtesy of American Bankers Association.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution. 

Tags: Consumer Protection, Financial Education, Retirement

Bartlesville, Okla. Blood Drive

Wednesday, July 01 at 06:50 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

The American Red Cross Eastern Oklahoma chapter* has partnered with Arvest Bank to host a blood drive on Monday, July 13, 12 - 6 p.m. in Bartlesville, Okla. We encourage associates, customers and community members to donate blood and give back to our community. Anyone interested can sign up online* or stop by the American Red Cross location at 601 S.W. Jennings Ave., Bartlesville, Okla. on July 13.

“The Eastern Oklahoma Red Cross is responsible for the safety and preparedness of 1.5 million people spread across 26,000 square miles in eastern Oklahoma. We reach 516 people every day in the 31 counties we serve,” according to the American Red Cross website. 
For questions, please contact Camie King at cking1@arvest.com
Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.   
Tags: Bartlesville, Community Support, Oklahoma

Friday Financial Forum July 3 in Bartlesville, Okla.

Tuesday, June 30 at 05:35 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Join us Friday, July 3, at 10 a.m. for our Friday Financial Forum hosted by Jim Bohnsack. We’ll meet in the Friday Forum Room at Arvest's Eastside Branch located at 4225 S.E. Adams Rd., Bartlesville, Okla. Every Friday we invite customers like you to attend our one-hour Financial Forum. 

This week, the well-known Ad Lib Singers will be bringing their Fourth of July Patriotic Extravaganza in music and song! The Ad Lib Singers, who were founded in 1994, is a lively group of music lovers who amuse and entertain with show tunes, gospel, patriotic music and more. They most certainly are aptly named — should the audience hear a mistake, rest assured, they never make a mistake — they simply ad lib!    
Most recently, the Ad Lib Singers were showcased at this year’s OK Mozart Festival under the direction of American Kids founder and former Bartian, Dr. Dale Smith, who will be directing at this week’s forum. As a songwriter and performer, Smith produced “Oklahoma’s Will” in celebration of Will Rogers’ 100th birthday. He has written, produced, sung and acted in numerous shows. Recently Smith composed music and lyrics, performed and toured with his original musical production, “The Will and The Wind,” commemorating the plight of Oklahoma’s Dust Bowl era.
Please make plans to join us this Friday for a grand celebration of America’s Independence Day! If you have any questions or would like to add someone to the invitation email list, please contact Billie Roane at (918) 337-4358. We look forward to seeing you there!
Tags: Bartlesville, Community Support, Oklahoma

Mobile Banking Updates

Monday, June 29 at 10:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

Existing Mobile Banking App users will be prompted to download a required app update on June 30. In this update, the app will look the same and include minor enhancements. Once you have updated the app, you may notice the following updates:

  • Ability to provide feedback on your mobile banking experience, right inside the app
  • Improved visibility of Arvest services found at branch locations
  • Increased compatibility with other Arvest banking systems
Some customers may receive a password expiration message when logging in via the app or mobile web browser. Please log in to Arvest Online Banking from arvest.com via a web browser on your computer or tablet and update your password. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.

If you have questions about these updates or need assistance logging in to mobile banking, please contact Customer Service at (866) 952-9523 or visit your local Arvest Bank branch.

New Mobile Banking App users must be signed up for Arvest Online Banking to be able to use the Mobile Banking App. You can sign up for Online Banking by visiting a nearby Arvest Bank branch or calling Customer Service at (866) 952-9523.

This blog edited by Blog Admin on 6/29/15.

Tags: Technology

Saving and Investing for Your Future: Questions to Ask Yourself Now

Monday, June 29 at 09:50 AM
Category: Personal Finance

Finding money to put into savings can seem difficult, but there are some strategies that can make it easier. Start by asking yourself these questions.

Do I have savings goals? Knowing how much you want to save and why can help you stick to a plan. For example, if you have a young child, ask yourself if you plan to help pay for college. Research indicates that children who have a college savings fund are more likely to go to college than those who don't. Start by looking at "529 plans" sponsored by your state (typically with cost and tax benefits for residents) and compare them to other 529 plan options. Learn more about college planning at Federal Student Aid.* 
How can I spend less? Review how much you spent in the last month and consider ways to cut back. "Start by reviewing recurring expenses — even small ones — and determine what you might be able to cut out, downgrade, or find a better deal on elsewhere," said Luke W. Reynolds, chief of the FDIC's Outreach and Program Development Section.
Also try to pay less in interest. For example, if you have multiple loans, pay off the ones with the highest interest rates first. And, regularly reviewing your credit report and correcting errors can result in considerable savings on loans and insurance policies.
Do I have an emergency savings fund? Financial experts generally recommend that you have at least six months of living expenses in a federally insured product, such as a savings account or a certificate of deposit (CD). The idea is to help you withstand a major reduction in income, such as from a job loss, or to pay for a major, unexpected home or car repair. To build your "rainy day fund," consider a combination of regular, automated deposits and any "windfalls" you receive, perhaps from a tax refund or a bonus at work.
Am I saving money on a regular basis? "Automatic transfers into savings on a set schedule can help you save money before you spend it," said Bobbie Gray, an FDIC supervisory community affairs specialist.
How much investment risk am I willing to take? Investments such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds can produce higher returns than bank deposits over many years, but you could also lose some or all of that money. (Remember, nondeposit investments are not insured by the FDIC against loss.) In general, the longer you plan to keep money invested and the greater your tolerance for volatility, the more likely these investments can help you reach your targets.
Am I saving enough for retirement? For many, the answer is "no" even when they think it is "yes." Options to save include workplace retirement plans, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) offered by many banks and investment companies, and the U.S. Treasury Department's new "myRA" (my Retirement Account) program.
The myRA account is a simple, safe and affordable retirement savings program that is backed by the U.S. government. Savers can open an account with as little as $25, there are no fees, the account will earn interest at a variable rate, and the investment is protected so the account balance will never go down. Learn more myRA.gov.*
"Many working people can save considerably on their taxes through qualified retirement savings. And, if your employer offers a retirement savings program of any kind, find out whether it will match your investment contributions, and then don't lose out on any matches," Reynolds added.
Information courtesy of FDIC Consumer News.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Financial Education, Retirement, Savings

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