DES MOINES, Iowa – The pandemic put many things into perspective including health, wellness, and finances.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, about half of non-retired adults say the economic impact of the pandemic will make it harder for them to achieve their long-term financial goals.
Troy Westendorf, president of Triplett-Westendorf Financial Group, said that’s why this month is so important.
“Numbers right now in the US, debt is at an all-time high per household. We’re looking at per household, about $6,000 in credit card debt. So it’s an issue. Financial literacy obviously is going to have a big impact and hopefully, this month will show that. We know it’s an issue, we know people need financial education.”
Westendorf says figuring out what you’re spending is a good way to start. He hesitates to call it a budget, but more so a spending plan. That way you can find gaps, and see where the money you’re bringing in is actually going.
Next, Westendorf advises to pay off debts and invest in yourself.
“If you know where all these resources are at, where your dollars are going, it’s easy to plan on ‘OK, these dollars can now be set aside for this expense, for this plan, for college education, for retirement.’ You’ll have a good grasp on where things can go and know that they’re going to a place for a purpose.”
When it comes to planning for retirement, Westdendorf says it’s never too late or too early to start. He says if you don’t know where to start when it comes to finances, find a class with a professional entity.
Iowa is one of the few states that require high school students to take a financial literacy course. That began with the graduating class of 2021.