February 19, 2014

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Survey Shows Most Salt Lake Area Residents Don't Feel Financially Healthy

Press Release

February 19, 2014

Salt Lake City – A new survey from Wells Fargo of adults in the Salt Lake, Summit and Davis counties, found that 66 percent feel they are either in good or great shape physically, but fewer than half reported being financially healthy.

The online survey conducted late last year of 300 adults ages 25 to 75 found that only 40 percent feel they are in good or great financial shape to retire comfortably, and 44 percent said they have enough savings set aside for emergencies.

Similarly, only 43 percent of households with children feel they are in good or great financial shape to cover their children’s educational expenses.

 “Our survey showed that two of the biggest obstacles to getting financially fit are not knowing the best approach, and sticking to a savings plan. With that in mind, we have several tips to help people get started,” said Susan Mayo, Wells Fargo Regional Director, The Private Bank in Salt Lake City.

Six Tips to Financial Fitness

  1. Know your goal: Create a financial plan by determining, setting and following your goals. Talk to your banker or financial advisor about how to create one.
  2. Budget your money: Create a budget of your monthly income and expenses and stick to it. Speak to your banker or check your bank’s web site for advice and tools about how to track spending and monitor your progress toward your savings goals.
  3. Review expenses: Review your expenses monthly and reduce unnecessary ones. Repeat the process monthly and cut back where you can.
  4. Start saving: No matter your age, now is the time to start saving for your retirement. Take advantage of any retirement savings plan your employer offers. Many employers offer a match – if you don’t contribute, you are essentially leaving free money on the table. 401(k), 403(b), or 457 plans are simple and convenient. The money is automatically withdrawn from your paycheck, allowing you to save, not spend.
  5. Understand credit: Whether you’re considering purchasing a home or a new car, ask your banker about what lenders look for when reviewing a loan application. Find out how to improve your credit score to increase your chances of borrowing money at an affordable interest rate.
  6. Pay down debt: Have credit card debt? Always pay at least your minimum monthly payment. By paying more than the minimum – or better yet the full balance each month. This will reduce the finance charges you may incur. Be sure not to skip any payments.
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