Continuing a series of free community education classes, the Henry Mayo Fitness and Health Center hosted a “Financial Fitness” program Thursday, which sought to inform local residents on how to take control of their money.
Presented by wealth management advisor Terrance “T” Meyer Jr., the program covered the best ways to budget and how to avoid the financial pitfalls that could affect retirement.
“The point of the class is to educate people and help them feel empowered when it comes to growing our wealth and protecting our wealth,” Meyer said, outlining the stress, anxiety and health problems that can result from a poor financial situation.
“One in four people state the No. 1 roadblock to financial planning was a lack of time,” Meyer said, mentioning some people will spend more time researching the next TV to buy or the next vacation to take.
“So the point is, it’s not so much time. It’s priority,” the financial advisor said. “A lot of times a lot of people want to sit down for financial planning once it’s too late — the illness comes, there’s a death in the family and now it’s, ‘Oh…well, what do we do about this?’”
Save and Protect
When advisors sit down with clients, very few of the clients have an idea as to what their financial goals are or what they need to do to meet their objectives, Meyer said, adding it’s OK to not know.
“People are beginning to live longer whether they like it or not,” meaning it’s now possible to live 30 years or longer in retirement, Meyer said.
“So, how much should you be saving?” he rhetorically asked the class Thursday, immediately adding, “The amount you save depends on the goals you have for you and your family,” but — for most scenarios — saving 20 percent of your yearly income is enough to fund the future.
It’s also wise to have at least six months’ worth of income tucked away in a savings account for any potential emergencies that may arise, according to Meyer.
Grow and Invest
Once individuals have determined how much money is going in and out of their pocket, Meyer said, “Begin to invest in ways that match your goals, timeline and risk tolerance.”
After showing a video that discussed asset allocation and the best ways to ensure one’s investments don’t tank in the market, Meyer discussed purchasing a home and other useful investment techniques.
The financial manager instructed Thursday’s class participants to only buy a property they can imagine staying in for a decade. Other investments — like stocks or mutual funds — are dependent on one’s tolerance to risk.
“Retirement saving is based on how long you’ll live and when you’ll retire,” Meyer said. Some may have an idea on the timeline but nobody truly knows the exact details of their death, so it’s impossible to know.
“Circumstances may change, so you might adjust your plan or your allocation of assets along the way, but this isn’t always a cause for concern,” Meyer said prior to the end of the class, which is scheduled to be offered again 6-7 p.m. on May 2, and will repeat every month this year except July and August.
Meyer said those who attend the “Financial Fitness” class are eligible for a one-on-one meeting, which would feature a discussion that is more specific to an individual’s financial situation.
To contact Meyer, email [email protected] or call his office at 661-888-4543. Those looking for more information on Henry Mayo’s community classes can visit henrymayo.com/classes or contact 661-200-2300.