E.F. Heagen & Associates

(949) 487-6711

Money

The Five Basics of Financial Literacy

Credit and debt

Understanding the ways credit and debt work for and against you are some of the first steps toward understanding personal finance. While it’s not useful to be scared of credit and debt and avoid it entirely, there are some things to look out for.

Debt

Debt is like any tool: when used correctly, it can be quite useful. When used incorrectly, debt can easily spiral out of control. Missing payments may negatively affect your credit score, and that can take years to recover from. Missed payments, for example, can stay on your credit report for seven years.1

Credit Score

Your credit score is one of the factors lenders use to judge your trustworthiness and qualification for mortgages, auto loans, and other lending. Landlords and employers may also check your credit before renting to you or offering you a job.

Interest

Interest can work against you, but it can work for you, too. When you take out a loan with an interest rate, it’s working against you, but when you invest early and take advantage of compound interest, it’s working for you.

Compound Interest

When you’ve got an account that’s accruing interest, the interest earned gets added to the principal. Then, interest is earned on the new, larger principal, and the cycle repeats. That’s compound interest, baby!

The Value of Time

It's never too early to start saving. In fact, the earlier you start, the better your result. By getting started with retirement savings sooner rather than later, you can leverage the value of time to your advantage.

Cindy vs. Charlie

Consider the case of Cindy and Charlie, who will each invest a total of $100,000. Cindy starts right away, depositing $10,000 a year at a hypothetical 6% rate of return. After 10 years, Cindy stops making deposits. Charlie, on the other hand, waits 10 years before starting to invest. He also puts $10,000 a year away for 10 years, at the same hypothetical rate as Cindy. After 20 years, who has more money? Shockingly, Cindy's balance is nearly twice as big as Charlie's, thanks to the extra time her investment returns had to compound.2

Inflation

Inflation has the potential to eat away the purchasing power of your money. That means, with inflation, the dollar you earn today may not be worth a dollar in the future. Here some things to keep in mind when thinking about inflation.

Cash in a Mattress

Keeping all your cash under a mattress is not only unsafe, it literally costs you money. Assuming the rate of inflation is a hypothetical 2%, every dollar you squirrel away will shrink in value to just $.98 next year.

Rate of Return

Because inflation erodes the purchasing power of your money, any returns you earn on your accounts may not be the “real” rate of return. If your account earned a hypothetical 6% rate of return over the last year, but inflation was 1.5%, your real rate of return was 4.5%.3

identity theft and safety

In the modern world, identity theft is one of the biggest threats to financial and personal safety. A cracked password or misplaced Social Security number can have big consequences on your current and future finances.

Consider using a password manager

The common wisdom is to use a unique password for each site and service you use. A password manager can make this easier by generating and storing strong passwords until you need to use them.

Want to share?

Sources

  1. Experian, 2020
  2. This is a hypothetical example of mathematical compounding. It’s used for comparison purposes only and is not intended to represent the past or future performance of any investment. Taxes and investment costs were not considered in this example. The results are not a guarantee of performance or specific investment advice. The rate of return on investments will vary over time, particularly for longer-term investments. Investments that offer the potential for high returns also carry a high degree of risk. Actual returns will fluctuate. The types of securities and strategies illustrated may not be suitable for everyone.
  3. This is a hypothetical example used for illustrative purposes only. It is not representative of any specific investment or combination of investments. Past performance does not guarantee future results.
Share |
 

Related Content

Business Boosters: Can Your Business Survive Without You?

Business Boosters: Can Your Business Survive Without You?

If you didn't show up tomorrow, would your employees be able to go it alone?

Infographic: Family Caregivers – Unseen labor in America

Infographic: Family Caregivers – Unseen labor in America

For many employees, work is not limited to the workday and expands to include the role of caring for loved ones at home before, after, and often during their jobs...

How Interest Rates Affect Everything

How Interest Rates Affect Everything

This is a good infographic to use, and reuse, whenever the benchmark interest rate goes up.

 

Have A Question About This Topic?







Thank you! Oops!

Pickleball in Retirement

Learn about the latest sport to sweep the nation with this informative article.

Term vs. Permanent Life Insurance

When considering life insurance, it's important to understand your options.

Gap Insurance for Leased Cars

If you’re thinking of leasing a new car, then you shouldn’t forget about gap insurance.

View all articles

Taxable vs. Tax-Deferred Savings

Use this calculator to compare the future value of investments with different tax consequences.

Home Mortgage Deduction

Use this calculator to assess the potential benefits of a home mortgage deduction.

Federal Income Tax

Use this calculator to estimate your income tax liability along with average and marginal tax rates.

View all calculators

Managing Your Lifestyle

Using smart management to get more of what you want and free up assets to invest.

5 Smart Investing Strategies

There are some smart strategies that may help you pursue your investment objectives

Your Cash Flow Statement

A presentation about managing money: using it, saving it, and even getting credit.

View all presentations

The Cost of Procrastination

Procrastination can be costly. When you get a late start, it may be difficult to make up for lost time.

What You Need to Know About Social Security

Every so often, you’ll hear about Social Security benefits running out. But is there truth to the fears, or is it all hype?

The Independence of Financial and Emotional Well-Being

Greater financial and emotional confidence brings greater independence. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

View all videos