- Giselle Smith
2020 Vision: Finances
NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS CONTINUED: Saving money and getting your finances in order may be #1 on your list of New Years Resolutions. Professionals in banking, wealth management and insurance weigh in on ways to be successful in your financial goals in 2020. Professional headshots by Katie Rhodes Photography; Link cash image (continuation from our cover feature) by Clagett Photography.
The Cecilian Bank
It’s easy to set yourself up for financial success when you create a savings plan. Once you know what you’re saving for, research to figure out which type of account will work best to help you reach your financial goals. Different savings accounts offer various benefits that may affect your financial outcome, such as different interest rates, minimum balances, and limitations.
Get in the habit of paying yourself first by setting aside money each month to build a cash buffer. For example, when you set up an automatic transfer from your checking into your savings, you don’t have to think about it, and you won’t miss it when it’s gone. A cash buffer can also protect you from getting bogged down by debt due to emergencies and other unexpected expenses.
"When you set up an automatic transfer from your checking into your savings, you don’t have to think about it, and you won’t miss it when it’s gone."
Take advantage of savings features that can grow your savings account faster like direct deposit and round up savings. Also, specialty savings accounts like Vacation Clubs, Christmas Clubs and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) are great options to consider when saving for special circumstances.
Creating a plan with the right account and following good savings habits will help you stay on track and be more successful in attaining your savings goals.
—Carissa Eagin, The Cecilian Bank
Legato Financial Group
Are you making financial resolutions to help put you on the path to a retirement that’s right for you? Here are two questions that can help you decide:
Am I ready to retire? Depending on the year you were born, you’re generally eligible for full Social Security benefits once you reach age 66 or 67. But hitting that “magic retirement age” doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready to stop working; only you can decide that. What’s important is to have a firm vision of what you want to do for what could potentially be the next 20 to 30 years, so you don’t end up with regrets about leaving the workforce before you’re ready.
"But hitting that “magic retirement age” doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready to stop working; only you can decide that."
What expenses can I cut to increase my financial resources in retirement? The New Year is an ideal time to A) Take inventory of your monthly expenses and B) Determine what is necessary (utility bills, prescriptions, etc.) and what can be either cut altogether or minimized (cable bill, cell phone bill, premium coffee, etc.) to add more money to your pocket. It’s essential to develop a retirement plan that will help you optimize your resources and maintain your desired lifestyle throughout your nonworking years.
—Justin Jenkins, Legato Financial Group
South Central Bank
The beginning of a New Year is a perfect time to do a financial check-up. Did you make progress last year? Are you still on track to meet your financial goals, or do you need to re-evaluate and set new ones?
One of the easiest ways to do a financial check-up is to start with a budget. From there, look at where you are spending the most money, and most importantly, where you are wasting it. The next step is financial planning for the future by looking at your assets and liabilities. And lastly, for a large portion of Americans, equity in their home makes up the most significant portion of their personal net worth.
"For a large portion of Americans, equity in their home makes up the most significant portion of their personal net worth."
In 2020, start the new year off and look for opportunities to maximize the equity in your home. Over the last few years, interest rates were rising, and many people either purchased or refinanced during that time. Now, interest rates are back again to historic lows, which presents opportunities to refinance and reduce your interest rate, helping you pay off the principal quicker, thus increasing your net worth faster. It is estimated that over 6 million Americans could save big by refinancing their home loan. Could you be one of them?
—Brandon Fogle, South Central Bank
Justin Howard - Curneal Hignite INsurance, Houchens Insurance Group
Every business and family’s insurance program is a vital piece of financial protection and necessary in developing overall peace of mind. When purchasing a policy to cover your business, home, automobile or other assets, it’s obvious the cost of the policy needs to fit into your budget. Price is an important piece of our finances, but in order to avoid an even more costly financial mistake, it’s imperative to make sure the appropriate coverages are in place.
"Price is an important piece of our finances, but in order to avoid an even more costly financial mistake, it’s imperative to make sure the appropriate coverages are in place."
Reviewing your insurance program in the new year is a great start to making sure a financial mishap doesn’t occur due to a coverage deficiency. Having an insurance agent you trust is essential to achieving this. We welcome that opportunity.
—Justin Howard, Curneal Hignite Insurance, Houchens Insurance Group
Owen LaRue Financial Group
Creating a list of goals for your future and the future of your family is imperative to lay out your financial road map. Whether you want to retire early or get involved with the community through giving, an experienced financial planner can help you. Knowing your goals will help determine how your decisions will impact your plans going forward. Having a road map is a great gift to give yourself and will help create peace of mind.
"Knowing your goals will help determine how your decisions will impact your plans going forward."
—Jim Owen & Ben LaRue, Owen LaRue Financial Group
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Best wishes on meeting all of your financial goals Elizabethtown!!