Experts discuss tips to help Americans reach financial fitness

With 2018 just around the corner – millions of Americans have begun planning their New Year’s resolutions – from losing weight to finally sticking to a fitness regimen. The one resolution that is often overlooked is becoming financially fit – but, in fact, the New Year is a perfect time to reassess your finances and educate yourself on investment tactics that will help you prepare for all your life stages, including retirement.

Financial content website, Investopedia, and global asset management firm, American Century Investments, hit the road this Fall in a 45-foot tour bus – dubbed “The Financial Coach” – to talk with Americans about today’s most pressing financial issues. What they heard was eye-opening and concerning – from a majority not knowing the amount they should have in their savings for an emergency fund to most not knowing how to calculate the amount of money they need for retirement.

And, even though an overwhelming 75% chose retirement planning as the issue they cared about the most and had the most anxiety over – a majority of those spoken with during the tour were not aware of the match their company gave to them in their 401K.

Those who were concerned about retirement were not limited to one age group – instead it was the number one issue across all age demographics. And, adding to the concern and anxiety is the need for financial literacy and education.

All too often the thought of achieving long-term financial goals like a comfortable retirement or covering a child’s education costs can be daunting, and that leads to procrastination and potential problems down the road. During this interview, Jay Hummel, Senior Vice President of American Century Investments and David Siegel, CEO of Investopedia want to help people overcome their fear and complacency so they can get on the path to a more secure and fiscally-sound future and discuss tips to help Americans on their way to financial fitness and security:
KNOW YOUR MATCH: Take advantage of your company’s 401K match – this is easy money that should not be left on the floor.
BUDGET: It may seem boring – but it is imperative to understand what you are spending and where the money is going. Start simple – tracking by week or even day. In the end, it doesn’t matter how much you make, but how much you spend and where.
INVEST: Don’t let the task of saving/investing towards a goal be so daunting that it brings you to a place where it is easier to ignore your future financial goals rather than actively pursuing them. Just start – even $25 a month in investments will add up over time.

Jay Hummel is senior vice president, direct sales and service for American Century Investments, a premier investment manager headquartered in Kansas City, Mo.
David Siegel is a digital media executive with over 18 years of experience leading organizations through innovative product development, rapid revenue growth and traffic acceleration. He is currently the CEO of Investopedia, the largest finance and investing education site, which currently reaches over 30 Million monthly unique visitors.

Related links:  Investopedia