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'Savings is a marathon, not a sprint': Expert speaks to financial planning for a better 2021

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Posted at 9:24 AM, Jan 21, 2021

Many of us were not sad to say goodbye to 2020; people faced hardships of all kinds, including financial hardships.

WRTV’S Kelsey Anderson talked to a financial expert about changes you can make to make 2021 a better year financially.

How to build up your savings account:

For many of us, the pandemic had us digging deep in our pockets and piggy banks, but experts say you can make changes now to get back on track in 2021.

Whether you were laid off, furloughed, or even if you continued working at the height of the pandemic, we all learned the importance of having savings built up for situations like this.

Financial professional Logan Benham of Benham Advisory Group said the first thing you need to do to save is track your expenses.

He said there’s no way to save if you don’t know where your money is going.

“Once you've understood and identified those places of unnecessary spending, then we can go in and consider turning to our savings accounts or our retirement plans that you can but remember that savings are a marathon. It's not a sprint, so it's important that you set goals for yourself and make sure that those goals are realistic to you and in your situation,” said Benham.

Benham said those goals need to be realistic and attainable because it will be hard for you to achieve those goals if you feel overwhelmed when you look at your savings goals.

Again, remember saving is a marathon, not a sprint, even if all it is right now is putting spare change in a piggy bank.

Retiring in 2021:

When someone is planning to retire, they usually have the exact date in mind and circle on their calendar, but with the struggles 2020 brought to some is it still a good idea to retire now?

Benham said retiring is still an option if you plan for retirement and stuck to your financial plans.

If you haven’t done that Benham said now might not be the right time.

He said if you are going to retire, something to consider is market uncertainty.

“A good financial plan incorporates market uncertainty like we've seen during this COVID pandemic and for example, if we were to only withdrawal a fraction of our retirement accounts then we might give the market some time to possibly recover in the future,” said Benham.

For any worker who isn’t ready to retire yet and is suffering financially because of the pandemic, there are several things you can do.

It might be a good time to organize finances and figure out how much you will need when it is time to retire.

Benham said the best way to do this is to write out your monthly expenses and figure out where you can cut back to build up your retirement fund.