• January 28, 2023

Opinion: How to be better with money

Ingesting and adapting new information – we often do this without thinking, but the pandemic continues to test our ability to acclimate.

Employers and employees appeared to be returning to the office. Now they are faced with difficult questions about what autumn will look like for office work. Will they return? Do you want to move on? The answers evolve with new public health data, and so do our lifestyles.

Finances are at the heart of the shift for workers. During the pandemic, people thought about and redefined what was most important to them and their families. Our studies have shown that employees no longer save and spend as much as they used to. Manpower say they generally want to save more, increase their 401 (k) savings rate, invest more outside of their 401 (k) and pay off debts.

It can be challenging to live up to these aspirations, especially when the plans for so many workers are in flux. Getting started is often the hardest part, but prioritizing financial health can help us during times of uncertainty. There are a few practical first steps that savers can take to meet these goals.

Save on computer

Workers looking to save more in general and within their 401 (k) can work towards these goals at the same time. While it may seem overwhelming at first, it can be beneficial for your overall financial picture to address these priorities in small doses at the same time. If your employer meets the 401 (k) contributions, consider depositing at least enough to meet this threshold. Then you can work on getting the rest of your finance house in order. Whether it’s a car breakdown or a broken bone, there are some life events that we cannot predict. Building an emergency savings fund can help you cope with unexpected costs without borrowing.

repaying debts; to repay debts

Debt is a common obstacle to a comfortable retirement that can discourage savers. You can prevent debt from hindering your financial progress by weeding out the types of debts you carry and starting with the most expensive ones. First, focus on paying off the accounts with the highest interest rates, such as bank accounts. B. Credit cards, and work your way down on your list from there. Do your best to meet the minimum payment each month to avoid penalties and additional interest. The faster you reduce debt, the faster you can prioritize savings goals.

Invest

Workers have been more concerned with their finances during the pandemic and are now looking to invest more outside of their 401 (k). About 15% of all US stock markets Investors started investing in 2020, revealed Schwab’s research. Many people have also become more confident about making their own investment decisions. 40% of 401 (k) survey respondents said they feel this way, up from 25% in 2019. If you want to do more yourself, you can Check Your 401 (k) Plan has an option for provides a self-directed brokerage account that allows you to invest in securities outside of the plan’s core investment offering. The expanded selection menu allows you to personalize investments that match your retirement goals and values.

Navigating this new phase of the pandemic can seem daunting, but just remember that you don’t have to go alone. Many company retirement plans offer resources to help you improve your overall financial picture and develop a plan that suits you. By taking small financial steps you can find a way to thrive in uncertainty.

Catherine Golladay is the managing director and head of Schwab Financial services in the workplace .

The information contained herein is the property of Schwab Retirement Plan Services Inc. (SRPS) and is for informational purposes only. None of the information represents a recommendation by SRPS. The information is not intended for tax, legal or investment advice; Please contact your auditor or investment advisor to find out how this applies to your particular situation. SRPS does not guarantee the suitability or potential value of any particular investment or source of information. Certain information provided herein is subject to change. None of the information contained herein may be copied, assigned, transferred, disclosed or used without the express written permission of SRPS and its affiliates.

Workplace Financial Services is a commercial company that offers products and services through Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc.; Schwab Stock Plan Services; and compliance solutions. Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc. provides record keeping and related services relating to retirement plans. Schwab Stock Plan Services is a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. that provides stock compensation plan services and brokerage solutions for corporate clients. Compliance Solutions consists of Schwab Designated Brokerage Services (DBS), a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., and Schwab Compliance Technologies, Inc. (SchwabCT). DBS offers brokerage solutions for corporate clients who monitor the securities activities of their employees. SchwabCT provides technology solutions for corporate clients to facilitate the implementation of compliance technology programs. Schwab Retirement Plan Services, Inc., Schwab Compliance Technologies, Inc. and Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member of SIPC, www.sipc.org) are separate but affiliated companies, and each is a subsidiary of Charles Schwab Corporation.

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