The 2008 financial crisis was hard on everyone. How far have you come? It's been 5 years since the 2008 financial crisis. Lehman went bankrupt. Stocks were down big. Home prices were down between 10-20%. 2.6 million people lost their jobs.
Fidelity did a really cool study 5 years later. They surveyed 1100 adult investors and asked them what they do differently.
So how do you think about money today vs. 5 years ago?
Here are the findings of the survey. Plus I'm including my 2 cents along with some financial tips as well…
42% of adults have increased their contribution rates to their retirement accounts or IRA.Do you feel like you are behind on your savings? The easiest way to increase your savings amount is to just do it. Then set it up on an automatic basis. Pick a monthly savings # that works for you, and set it up electronically. Pay yourself first.
55% of the people surveyed feel better about their retirement plan than they felt before the 2008 financial crisis.Why? They have actually done some retirement planning!
My guess is that they also feel better because they have sought out some professional help, and gotten clarity on what they need to do to fund a retirement lifestyle that works for them.
They know how much they have to save every month. They most likely have a target rate of return that they need to earn on their investments. You need to know this stuff for your retirement plan.
42% of the people surveyed have increased their emergency fund.An emergency fund is where you have money in the bank. In savings. Not invested. For some of you, it might make sense to create an emergency fund before investing, or add to your emergency fund before you continue investing.
So do you have enough money set aside for an emergency? Shoot for 3-6 months of living expenses in a savings account. If you are an entrepreneur, consider having 6 months plus set aside. Why? If your income isn't steady and predictable, a larger savings account could help you get by.
80% of the adults said they now have a better understanding of their finances than they did before the 2008 financial crisis.That's huge!! That means 4 out 5 people surveyed took the time to get clearer on what is going on with their money situation. Open up the hood of your financial car. Invest some time into learning. The more you understand, the better the decisions you will be able to make.
72% of the people said they have less debt than they did before the 2008 financial crisis.Be clear on what you can and can't afford. Most of the time, paying down debt could help you in the long run. The key thing is that you need a debt pay down plan. You need to know where the money will be coming from to pay the debt down, and how much you are going to pay down every month.
Sometimes we have to go through experiences and learn from them. But the key thing is to use what we have learned and take action.
So I am challenging you right here to do one thing to improve your financial life. Whatever it is, take the first step. Do it this week. You will feel so much better about yourself.
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