October 2016: Building Financial Wellness

couple_piggybankBuilding Financial Wellness

Financial wellness begins with building a solid foundation, and it’s never too late to get started. There are 3 key factors to meet your financial goals:

    • Budgeting
    • Managing Debt
    • Building Savings

1) Budgeting Use the 50/15/5 rule of thumb for saving and spending. Essential expenses should account for 50 percent of your income such as housing, car, food, health care, child care, student loans, and other minimum debt payments. Retirement savings should take up 15 percent, including both employee & employer contributions. 5 percent of your income should be saved for short-term expenses such as a broken cell phone or a wedding gift. Use the remainder towards other wants and goals like savings for child’s tuition or vacation. You can find free budget calculators online to help set a monthly budget.

2) Managing Debt Not managing debt can lead to stress and make it harder to save for other things you might need or want. These tips can help:

  1. Pay down high interest credit card debit, and give priority to the card with the highest interest rate
  2. Pay down the most expensive student loan first. These are often private loans and likely have higher interest rates than public loans.
  3. Make minimum payments or recurring obligations—mortgages, car payments—while focusing on debts with higher interest.

3) Building Savings Being financially well goes beyond debt management and budgeting; it covers a broad range of topics based on your personal situation. Consider these topics for savings: health care costs, retirement, and asset and income protection.

  • Health Care Costs: It is important to know how you use your medical plan. Being informed is the best way to control costs. Never be afraid to ask questions before making decisions about your medical care and treatment. Find out tips on how to use your medical plan here.
  • Retirement: Texas Health Resources offers a robust 401(k) plan to help you save for your retirement. And, Texas Health Resources offers a generous match for every dollar you contribute, up to certain limits.
  • Asset and Income Protection: Protecting what you’ve already saved is vital to continue saving into the future. Consider having a will, estate plan, and appropriate coverage in life and disability plans. If you do not yet have these benefit options, be sure to consider them during the next Open Enrollment period. THR EAP can assist with creating a basic will.

You have a variety of options available to you through Texas Health Resources to assist with your financial wellness goals and planning. Financial experts are available through THR EAP and can provide free consultations to assist with managing credit and debt, purchasing a home, or saving for retirement.  Self-help articles regarding financial wellness are available through THR EAP, and can be found on the THR EAP website.

For assistance with retirement saving/planning, you can contact Fidelity at 1-877-MyTHRLink (1-877-698-4754) and select prompt 5. Fidelity representatives are also available to meet with you one on one.