What is a Charitable Remainder Trust?

Monday, July 25 at 09:30 AM
Category: Personal Finance

 A charitable remainder trust is a tool for dividing your wealth between private and philanthropic beneficiaries. Private persons — yourself, you and your spouse, other family members, there are no restrictions — receive the income from the trust. The trust may last for a set number of years, or for the life of an income beneficiary, or for the joint lives of more than one beneficiary. When the trust ends, the charity receives all the remaining assets. 

The income from the trust is determined under one of two formulas. With a charitable remainder annuity trust, a specific dollar amount is paid every year to the income beneficiary, regardless of what happens in the financial markets. The alternative is a charitable remainder unitrust, from which a specific percentage of the trust’s value is paid out each year. The advantage of the annuity is that it can’t go down. It is an income stream that the beneficiary can plan on receiving. The advantage of the unitrust is the amount of income will go up over time as the value of the trust assets goes up. That offers the possibility of inflation protection. 
Income and gift tax charitable deductions are available when the charitable trust is funded, because such a transfer is irrevocable. Another important benefit is tax-free diversification of concentrated holdings, or tax-free conversion of a valuable asset into an income stream. When an appreciated asset is transferred to the charitable trust, the tax deductions are determined by full fair market value. If the trust sells the asset, there is no tax on the capital gain—in effect, the capital gains tax is forgiven. Example: The owner of a Stradivarius violin needed to transform the value of the instrument into his retirement income. He did so by transferring the violin to a charitable remainder trust, naming himself as the income beneficiary. 
See your tax advisors to learn more. 
Article courtesy of Merrill Anderson. (April 2015) © 2015 M.A. Co. All rights reserved.

Find your local Arvest Trust Advisor to learn more.

Tags: Financial Education, Retirement

Online Banking with BlueIQ™ Updates Here

Thursday, July 21 at 08:05 AM
Category: Arvest News

Because of your valuable feedback regarding Online Banking with BlueIQ™, we’ve made a number of updates which are now live. 

Most notable updates include:
  • We removed “This Month’s Status” which displays “Money In,” “Money Out” and the “Difference” from the Dashboard tab.
  • The Money Movement tab is renamed BillPay/Transfers and includes a number of other enhancements. Check out the specifics! 
  • “Print” buttons added to make it easier to print a single transaction (including the front and back of a check on a single page) and BillPay confirmations. 
Other updates include:
  • The “Manage” and “Plan” buttons moved near the top left of the page on the Dashboard tab, and appear as menu choices for easier usage. 
  • Checked boxes now appear when you select “All Accounts” on the Transactions tab. This allows users to more clearly choose in which accounts they want to see transactions and running balances.
  • “Recent Transactions” changed to “Recent Transactions For All Accounts" on the Dashboard tab. 
  • The Accounts tab renamed Accounts/e.Statements.
  • Wording added to the top of the Accounts/e.Statements tab to make e.Statements easier to find. 
  • “Go to Top” button added to screens where scrolling down is an option.
If you have questions about these updates or any other features of Online Banking with BlueIQ™, check out the user guide, call customer service at (844) 225-8347 or visit your local branch.
We are also in the process of developing additional enhancements that will go live later this year. We’ll announce these enhancements on social media and/or within Online Banking with BlueIQ™ when they’re live. We appreciate your patience as we fine-tune your online banking experience.
Tags: Online Banking with BlueIQ™

Money Movement Updates Here

Thursday, July 21 at 08:00 AM
Category: Arvest News

In an ongoing effort to improve the customer experience, we’ve updated our Money Movement tab in Online Banking with BlueIQ™. First and foremost, the Money Movement tab has been renamed BillPay/Transfers.

Changes to Pay Multiple in the sub navigation include:
  • The page is redesigned to have account, amount, and date fields present without the need to click in the field. Customers no longer have to save each individual payment.
  • The option to choose an account to pay from at the top of the page is now available and will default for all recipients. Customers still have the ability to change each payment to a different account (when applicable).
  • A “Print” button is added at the end of scheduling payments and provides the total amount of scheduled payments and confirmation numbers to be printed all at once.
Other changes include:
  • On the Schedule sub navigation a “Print” button added in the expanded view of a single payment.
  • Biller name and nickname appear in all locations. 
  • When multiple payments are scheduled at the same time via Pay Multiple, only one payment alert message will be generated with all payments included, rather than an alert message for each individual payment.
Check out other updates to Online Banking with BlueIQ™ which went live at the same time as these Money Movement tab updates. If you have questions about any of these updates or other features of Online Banking with BlueIQ™, check out the user guide, call customer service at (844) 225-8347 or visit your local branch
We are also in the process of developing additional enhancements that will go live later this year. We’ll announce these enhancements on social media and/or within Online Banking with BlueIQ™ when they’re live. We appreciate your patience as we fine-tune your online banking experience.
Tags: Online Banking with BlueIQ™

Ways to Save Money on a Last-Minute Summer Trip

Wednesday, July 20 at 10:40 AM
Category: Personal Finance

If you want – or need – to get out of town right now, how do you improvise a great last-minute trip without breaking the bank?

Planning is essential. Embrace travel as a hobby – look for tricks, techniques and current online resources to keep abreast of the best last-minute deals.
Compromises will be necessary. You'll likely need to travel at off-peak hours (either the first flight out in the morning or the last one at night, usually on weekdays) and stay at hotels or venues off the beaten path.
Here are some quick tips to save money on last-minute travel:
Travel light, move fast. Traveling last-minute isn't for the indecisive. Dedicated travelers are minimalists – they know what to pack, organize their paperwork and payment options, and have the mental preparation to deal with problems and challenges along the way. Also realize that last-minute travel can increase costs.

Build the right online resources. The internet has revolutionized most forms of purchasing goods and services, but for travel, it has offered unprecedented speed and customization. Use top travel sites that have a tested track record and broad listings of various travel products, but be on the lookout for new travel websites and apps that launch every day. Some airlines now offer their own last-minute fare sites, but try to sign up for email alerts and social media feeds from a variety of travel resources so you won't miss deals on air, hotel or ground transportation. Also, layovers are good to build into your itinerary as long as you don't have to pay for a hotel and take a moment to compare the price of two one-way tickets – possibly from competing carriers – against round-trip tickets at single carriers. You might save.

Test new lodging options. The new generation of apartment and spare-bedroom sharing sites and longtime online vacation home rental services offer last-minute and in some cases "day-of" lodging possibilities. Staying in hostels is not just for students and backpackers anymore; there are hostels that aim for older travelers as well. Getting on the phone also works in the hotel industry. Check online prices against what you can find by calling up the hotel's booking number and ask if there is a lower corporate rate or special for the period of your stay.
Compare ride-share with car rental. If you think you're going to need to drive at your destination, check car-rental rates against leading ride-share companies available at the touch of a smartphone screen. Many ride-share companies allow you to get pricing estimates in advance. Also keep in mind what it might cost to park the rental car in your destination city – ride-share will help you avoid that expense.
Finally, evaluate every membership connection you have. Start by looking at all the plastic you have in your wallet. From your credit cards to the membership card for your main professional networking group and even to the auto club that tows your car. Can you take advantage of any travel benefits to leverage on a last-minute trip? Take some time to review those benefits – or look at them for the first time.
Bottom line: Last-minute travel is almost always possible as long as you're willing to do a little homework and improvise.

This article is intended to provide general information and should not be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.

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

Article by Jason Alderman courtesy of Practical Money Skills. 

Tags: Financial Education

Credit Report Event in Tulsa, Okla.

Tuesday, July 19 at 06:45 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

The Alliance for Economic Inclusion, a financial education initiative serving all of Northeastern Oklahoma, and Goodwill Industries of Tulsa are hosting a free Credit Report Event. 

The event is open to everyone and will be held on Tuesday July 26, 2016, 4-7 p.m. and Thursday, July 28, 2-5 p.m. at Goodwill Industries of Tulsa located at 2800 Southwest Blvd., Tulsa, Okla.  

Participants will have the opportunity to obtain a free** copy of their credit report and sit down with an experienced lender to review the report in detail; no strings attached! The participant and lender will be able to discuss the importance of credit, details of the report, how the credit score is affected by items, how to resolve any disputes on the report, etc.
The event is free. For additional information, contact Amber Deramus at amber.deramus@centralbank.net or (918) 499-4162.  
Important! To get a credit report, you must:
  • Know your Social Security number
  • Have a photo ID (driver's license, matricula or state ID card)
**NOTE: Consumers can pull one free credit report each year from TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. There is a charge for additional reports.

Tags: Community Support, Credit History, Credit Score, Oklahoma, Tulsa

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