You’re never too old or too young to learn something new, and that includes brushing up on money matters! April is Financial Literacy month, dedicated to helping Americans focus on finance. Tony Drake, CFP® talks on Milwaukee’s WTMJ-4 with a crash course in financial literacy.
1. Know What You Don’t Know – It sounds simple, but a lot of Americans are over-confident and under-prepared when it comes to their finances. Remember: what you don’t know can hurt you when it comes to your finances, so go ahead and ask for help!
2. Deal With Debt – Credit card debt is approaching $1 trillion in America. The average household now owes $8,377 on their cards! Add to that student loan debt, mortgages and auto loans, and we are really being weighed down by debt.
3. Do Some Basic Math – Saving for retirement should be one of your top financial priorities, yet more than 80% of Americans don’t know how much they will need to retire. You can do quick calculation by estimating your final salary and then multiplying it by ten. That’s a good rule of thumb to get started on saving. Once you get closer to retirement, you’ll want to refine that number with the help of a financial professional.
4. Start Small, Build Big – You’re not going to build your retirement savings overnight, so don’t stress over how much you can contribute right away. The important thing is to contribute something. Over time, you can increase contributions and allow your savings time to grow.
5. Protect Your Savings – Young adults are ruining their parents’ retirement! 40% of Millennials are getting financial help from their parents, which includes $250 a month just to cover living expenses. Look for ways to help your family that don’t involve money, like helping them write a resume or set a budget for themselves.