A new year has arrived, and for many, January comes with the realization that saving money must become a priority after excessive holiday spending. With monthly bills coming due soon, it can be difficult to also think about setting aside some money for savings let alone for retirement. Every dollar you save today will pay off with dividends years from now.
Year after year, studies show that Americans are not saving the recommended amount — just look at this 2016 article that says that nearly half of Americans would struggle to pull together $400 for an emergency. The results of these studies fluctuate over time and with the success of the economy, meaning when the economy is good, Americans tend to spend more, but they also tend to save more. When the economy is bad, most families don’t have the funds to put away for a rainy day or to invest.
As we approach a new administration in Washington, many pundits are pondering the impact the change will make to our economy, but of one thing they’re sure: saving money won’t negatively impact your bottom line. This sort of economic musing is common and to be expected; it happens with every change in administration.
Indicators like a lowering unemployment rate, a rising housing market and growing consumer confidence indicate that Florida’s economy is rising, with hopes of continued growth for the year ahead. According to Chief Executive Magazine, Florida was the 2nd best state for business last year, and was also tied for the highest private sector job growth in the country. I hope you will take this opportunity of statewide growth to boost your family’s reserves. Most experts recommend saving 10 to 15 percent of your income each year, but save what you can and what you’re comfortable with this year.
This advice goes for Floridians of all ages, regardless of where you are in your career. If you’re a millennial, saving may seem unnecessary and retirement light-years away, but compounded interest makes those extra years potentially worth thousands of dollars. If you’re closer to retirement age, you know that Social Security is facing rapidly-growing liabilities and every dollar you save is a dollar closer to long-term personal financial security.
If you need resources, we’ve got plenty of free ones. Visit http://www.myfloridacfo.com/ymm/ to access them. Here’s to a growing economy and growing savings accounts in 2017.
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida