FINANCIAL STRESS? YOU ARE NOT ALONE

#FinancialStress #ImprovingEconomy #FinancialStrains
We hear the economy is improving.
We also hear that companies can’t fill jobs, when just a few short years ago, they were laying people off in droves.
Yet, many are suffering financial distress.
“A growing number of low- and middle-income households are plagued by high debt and have little or no savings,” writes Paul Davidson for USA Today. “The financial strains have especially worsened for those near the bottom of the income ladder,” Davidson continues.
Davidson, whose article on the subject was also published April 19, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, quotes a UBS study that says some households could fall behind on loan payments, reduce their spending and slow or even undercut a buoyant U.S. economy for the first time since the Great Recession officially ended in 2009.
In other words, the economic news we hear isn’t telling the whole story.
Though the study focuses on lower-income households, other households, whose income was just fine prior to the recession, have yet to recover. The job they now have pays less than the jobs they lost. The manageable debt they had with the higher-paying job is less manageable now.
The article quotes a Bankrate.com survey that says rents are soaring. One in five working Americans aren’t saving any income, the survey says. Average rents have jumped 30 percent nationally since 2010, the article quotes RealPage.
In other words, paychecks have grown much more slowly than expenses.
What to do, if you’re in this predicament?
Perhaps moving is not an option. More than likely, if you are having trouble paying your rent, your search for cheaper accommodations will be futile, since the studies indicate that rising rents is a universal problem.
A second job? Chances are your first job already extracts too much from you for too little compensation, and the thought of getting a second job, even as a temporary measure, is unappealing. Besides, the second job probably won’t give you the extra financial cushion you need, and will just take more of your time away from your family, or things you like to do.
So what is the solution? Perhaps, instead of a second job, you could check out one of the many ways to make extra money without having to get another traditional W-2 job. To examine one of the best such vehicles – one that could also help you save money on some household expenses – message me.
It’s been said that a rising (economic) tide will lift all boats. It’s also been said that building an economy from the bottom up, is better for everyone than building from the top down.
However you look at things, be it the economy as a whole or your life in particular, you can’t count on someone, or something, to solve your problems, if you are having problems.
You have to look for things YOU can do to make your life better. It’s great to set goals, but they will not be reached without action on your part.
Sometimes, all it takes is meeting someone who can show you a way out that you hadn’t noticed, or thought about, before.
If such a person comes into your life, don’t ignore him or her. See what he or she is offering, and whether it is right for you.
Peter

MILLENNIALS: MORE SAVERS AND SPENDERS THAN INVESTORS

#millennials #investors #savers #spenders
Millennials don’t see themselves as investors.
According to the 2016 Fidelity Investments Millennial Money Study, 46 percent of the millennials surveyed considered themselves as savers, 44 percent considered themselves spenders and only 9 percent considered themselves investors.
This study was quoted in an Adam Shell article for USA Today, which was published April 27, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Despite Wall Street’s attempts to woo the nation’s largest generation into the stock market, millennials have yet to embrace investing, Shell’s article says. Only one in three say they invest in stocks, the article quotes a Bankrate.com survey.
A Black Rock study says nearly half of the millennials surveys found the market “too risky,” the article says.
And, four in 10 say they don’t have enough spare income to put away for the future, the article quotes a financial literacy survey from Stash, a financial app.
Let’s break down the facts. If you are a saver, and are putting money away, where are you stashing it? In a bank? Under your mattress?
In this market, the rates of return on that money between those alternatives are not far apart.
Secondly, there is wild and crazy – “risky” – investing, and there is careful investing. Each requires consultation with someone you trust , but here’s a good rule of thumb: as you start investing, look for more conservative vehicles, i.e. relatively safe mutual funds. As your wealth grows, you can diversify and take a few, well-thought-out risks. If you really do well, and want to play, take a very small amount of money and invest aggressively.
Here’s another rule: it’s difficult to have a nice nest egg for retirement just keeping your money in a bank. There are very few, if any, traditional, regulated banking products that are paying decent returns. Banks are wonderful institutions for your checking account, and perhaps a small savings account to cover unexpected expenses.
But to really be a saver for retirement, you have to take SOME risk. And, make no mistake, EVERYONE has to save for retirement. As stock-market-loving baby boomers can attest, you never know when your job is going to go away.
For those of you in the category of not having enough spare money to save for the future, there are ways to solve that problem. First and foremost, you have to make saving for the future a priority in your life. Even if you see yourself as a spender rather than a saver, you have make SOME saving a priority, or the fun you are having today will turn into poverty when you retire, or when that good job goes away.
A suggestion might be to look at the many ways out there to use your spare time to earn a secondary income. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
In short, saving is not just prudent, but necessary. The more you save when you are young, the more you will have, and the better your life will be, when you are older. If you are a millennial, talk to your parents about what to do. However their lives have turned out, there are lessons in their lives that will apply to you. Don’t underestimate their story, or their advice.
As you save, some risk will become necessary. Though the stock market looks scary, over time it has proved to provide the best returns. Find a trustworthy, knowledgeable adviser to help you get started, and who will continue to work with you. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions about fees, returns etc., so that you will have a clear picture of how to proceed.
Finally, watch what you spend. Don’t deprive yourself, necessarily, but look for things you can eliminate to allow you to save more money. Remember that a dollar in your pocket generally is better for you than a dollar you put into someone else’s pocket.
Your future could well depend on decisions you make in your youth. You don’t have to depend on things “going right,” if you make good choices now.
Peter