The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Business

January 11, 2014

Keeping finances in shape for the new year

Officials say it is never too late to start planning for the future

ANDERSON — A new year can be a time of resolutions for improvement, and local experts say making sure that personal finances are healthy should be at the top of the list.

So how healthy are your finances?

“I think it all boils down to having a plan,” said Cody Hooker, a financial advisor for Edward Jones, 1125 Broadway Street. “It’s important to sit down with a trusted investment adviser in order to get a plan set up.”

Establishing an emergency fund is one of the first things Hooker said people should do when improving the health of their finances. He said without such a fund people are at risk of getting off track with their finances.

“There is no ideal amount when it comes to having an emergency fund, but in general you should have six to nine months of expenses in savings,” Hooker said. “It is something you will want to work towards.”

Steve Warner, branch manager of Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc., 33 W. 10th St., said investing in one’s retirement is more important today than ever.

“The days of working for the same company for 30 years and receiving a pension for you and your family are in many cases not available,” he said. “If you consider that Social Security was never designed to be your sole income in retirement, it is imperative that you start to accumulate funds in a retirement account.”

Warner said he encourages everyone to visit the Social Security Administration website at www.ssa.gov to get an estimate of what to expect for a monthly income from the agency.

“The one item that most often gets unaccounted for is the impact of inflation and how it will impact the value of today’s dollar,” he said. “The lifestyle you have envisioned might not be achieved or the age you planned to retire might need to be delayed.”

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