Financial planning in tight economy - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Financial planning in tight economy

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By Ashley Conroy

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The State Treasurer's office held a financial seminar on Tuesday to educate state employees on how to be financially sound.

"People all across Mississippi need to have a better understanding of the decisions they make financially today, and what they mean tomorrow," said State Treasurer Tate Reeves.

Freedom from financial worries was the message guest speakers from the Financial Planning Association of Mississippi (FPA) wanted to convey, as state employees listened and took notes.

During part three of the session, CFP Danny Matthews from FPA spoke about the need for Mississippians to plan for retirement.

"Stocks. Have a portion of your portfolio in stocks, have a portion in bonds, and a portion in cash," Matthews said.

For state employees, putting savings into retirement can be more of a challenge because often their income reflects the ebb and flow of the state economy.

"We can't look for cost of living adjustment or get a performance raise, because these things just don't come into play on a regular basis for us," said state employee Vera Yates from the State Treasurer's office.

However, Yates says she learned the importance of making a budget and sticking to it.

"Writing it down, checking it, re-balancing it. Because as we learned today, your budget does change from month to month."

Overall, the FPA recommends having a "financial plan" and to decide where you want to invest (stocks, bonds, or both), how much to invest, and how much you want to earn over time.

To help with this, they recommend trying to become "debt-free" by avoiding borrowing from others, make a conscience effort to save more, and even try to sell something to make money back.

Treasurer Reeves says it's important for all Mississippians to stay ahead of the game, not only for financial security, but because the state is now competing in a global economy.

"In today's global society, we find that we're not only competing with Alabama, Tennessee, and Louisiana anymore, we're competing with people all over the globe."

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