In today's increasingly complex financial landscape, working on your financial goals and wellbeing requires more than just willpower to spend less and save more. It should include a strategic approach to utilizing the resources that your financial institution offers that can provide the vital support and knowledge needed to effectively navigate your financial journey.
These resources often encompass a wide array of financial education programs, personalized services and products that are intentionally geared to bolster your ability to reach your goals, smoothing the path toward financial stability and growth.
A resource that is often underestimated is financial education. The modern financial environment is full of intricate concepts that, once understood, can significantly alter your financial perspectives and view of your financial wellbeing. Most financial institutions strive to boost financial literacy by offering resources like classes, interactive tools, webinars, and on-demand digital content. These features aim to deconstruct complex financial topics into digestible, comprehensible pieces, spanning various topics from managing credit and savings to understanding investments and retirement planning.
Despite the apparent value of these resources, they tend to be underutilized. This unfortunate trend can be attributed to various factors, including a lack of awareness, cost misconceptions, competing priorities or even a hesitance to seek assistance. However, by embracing these educational tools, you can enhance your financial confidence, navigate issues such as credit management, understand investment strategies and handle debt effectively.
Credit and debt counseling can help
Another invaluable resource available through many financial institutions is credit and debt counseling. These services play an instrumental role in guiding you toward a healthier relationship with your finances and planning for the future. Counselors can aid in managing credit effectively, improving credit scores and developing efficient debt-repayment strategies. They can also help you work toward financing a large purchase or using and managing debt effectively.
Financial institutions also offer a variety of incentives and programs designed to encourage saving and investing while supporting you in achieving financial milestones. Resources such as high-yield savings accounts, rewards programs, matching contributions, and reduced loan rates can help you grow your savings, earn higher returns, and minimize the costs associated with financial products.
Even as the digital age has seen many banking services transition online, the importance of face-to-face consultations cannot be overstated. Personal interactions offer opportunities for tailored advice and guidance, addressing your unique financial circumstances and needs. This level of personalization is particularly beneficial when making significant financial decisions, such as buying a home or a car. All told, the optimal approach for many people may involve a combination of in-person meetings and digital interactions, depending on the complexity of your financial needs, preferences, and circumstances.
Resources for retirees and pre-retirees
For retirees and pre-retirees, making the most of your financial institution's resources includes strategic decisions about liquid savings. One of the primary financial objectives in this life stage is ensuring that these funds remain safe and accessible while generating the highest possible interest. Strategies to achieve this delicate balance include confirming that your funds are insured by a reputable authority, such as the FDIC, consulting with a financial adviser, considering the impact of inflation and exploring various types of accounts and financial instruments.
Your financial institution is uniquely equipped to guide you through these considerations and decisions, providing the resources and expertise to help you make informed choices.
Remember — financial institutions are partners in your financial journey. They offer a comprehensive array of resources, tools and services designed to support you in achieving your financial objectives. By leveraging these resources and incorporating them into your fiscal strategies, you equip yourself with the knowledge, tools, and confidence necessary to navigate your financial journey, make informed decisions and work effectively on your financial goals and wellbeing.
Kevin Brauer, a distinguished finance industry professional with over three decades of experience, has been at the helm of Affinity Credit Union as CEO and President since January 2023. His substantial contribution to Affinity over the past seven years has been instrumental in propelling the firm's value proposition and innovating its financial well-being initiatives. Brauer leads Affinity's dedicated team of 500 employees at its Basking Ridge, N.J., headquarters and throughout its 18-plus branches.
How To Get the Best Savings Account Bonuses
By opening the right savings account today, you could be maximizing your earnings through both compound interest and cash bonuses.
By Erin Bendig Published
Find The Best 30-Year Mortgage Rates
30-year mortgage rates — check out the best here.
By Erin Bendig Published
Inflation and Retirement: Five Ways to Soothe Your Worries
Sometimes you can deal with inflation and economic turbulence by not doing anything at all, but there are considerations for retirement savers to keep in mind.
By Michael J. Faust, CFA Published
Remember: Retirement Accounts Are Not All Taxed the Same
How you handle your pre-tax and after-tax accounts can make a big difference in your income in retirement and the legacy you leave.
By Jerry Golden, Investment Adviser Representative Published
How to Embrace Your Financial Wellness This Fall
Economic uncertainty can take a toll on your mental health if you don’t stay on top of your financial wellness. Here’s where to start.
By Greg Ward, CFP® Published
Four Threats to the Distribution Phase of Retirement
Keep challenges such as inflation, market volatility and more in mind when it’s time for you to shift from saving for retirement to spending.
By Cliff Ambrose Published
Using a 529 Plan? Here’s What to Keep in Mind
As the school year progresses, ensure you’re using the money for qualified expenses and keeping track of documentation. Taxes and options for unused funds are also considerations.
By Julie Virta, CFP®, CFA, CTFA Published
Why We Need Medical Professionals in Investing
Medical professionals who pursue careers in investing can help support the biotech companies that create treatments that improve, and save, lives.
By Kyle Rasbach, PhD, PharmD Published
Uncertain Times Call for Creative Estate Planning Strategies
Flexibility in the estate planning process is key so you can adjust your plans to address changes in your goals or accommodate legislative shifts.
By Paula Nangle, CFP® Published
Older Doctor Just Wants to Work, But New HR Boss Changes the Rules
How do you respond when a new person comes in and won’t honor the agreement you made with their predecessor?
By H. Dennis Beaver, Esq. Published