Bill Reynard Discusses How Financial Services Can Help Americans’ Most Common Financial...

Bill Reynard Discusses How Financial Services Can Help Americans’ Most Common Financial Struggles

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Today, one in three adults around the globe understands basic financial concepts; however, in America, this number is reduced to only three in seven adults possessing financial literacy. The low percentage of financial literacy in the US has led to the average American facing a variety of financial issues, including an average debt of $93,000, minimal retirement savings, and a poor understanding of investing.

Understanding different financial concepts is essential in reducing America’s wealth gap and building generational wealth; unfortunately, these concepts are not widely taught in American public schools. Bill Reynard, a financial planner with over 30 years of experience, has long recognized the need for greater financial literacy, leading him to open his own financial coaching business, Reynard Financial Coaching. Located in the King of Prussia/ greater Philadelphia area, Reynard Financial Coaching provides clients with a foundational understanding of finance topics and a variety of financial services, including debt management assessment, college savings planning and review, tax efficiency overview, and assistance in budgeting. Keep reading to learn how certain Reynard Financial Coaching services can help Americans resolve their financial struggles.

College Savings Review

According to the US Department of Agriculture, the average cost of raising a child born in the United States in 2015 was estimated to be 233,000. Although this report has not been updated since 2017, many experts believe that based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average cost to raise a child born in 2021 would be close to $267,233. However, it is important to note that both of these estimates leave out the cost of college, which can easily double if the child attends a 4-year public or private institution.

It is not unreasonable to assume that the majority of parents in the United States want their children to attend college; however, as the cost of college continues to grow, fewer parents believe that they can fully fund their child’s higher education. While these fears are not unfounded, financial advisors can provide parents with a list of resources to help track, manage, and grow their child’s college fund in the years leading up to the child attending college. However, as with most investments, it’s important to start putting away money early. Bill Reynard encourages readers with children to meet with a financial advisor when their child is between the ages of 5-6 and discuss options for college savings accounts.

By working with a financial advisor, parents can better understand:

  • Which college saving plan best fits their and their child’s education needs (529 vs. Coverdell plans)
  • What age should parents open a college savings account
  • What savings plans are taxable
  • What tips are tricks are great ways to put additional funds into college savings accounts

Assistance in Budgeting

According to a recent Gallup budget poll, only 1 in 3 Americans use some sort of household budget plan. Without a budgeting plan, Americans are far more likely to accumulate credit card debt, have inadequate savings, and struggle with financial goals such as retirement, college savings, and investments. One of the primary jobs of a financial advisor is to provide clients with a foundational understanding of financial concepts, including budgeting.

The three initial steps of creating a successful budget are understanding your total financial standing (income, expenses, debt), picking a budgeting method, and monitoring its success. One of the most popular budgeting methods continues to be the 50/30/20 rule, which allows individuals to use 50% of their post-tax income for needs (rent, groceries, household bills), 30% of their income for wants (restaurants, outings, vacations), and 20% of their income for savings and debt repayment. However, while many people can create a budget, it is far more difficult to stick to it. For this reason, many individuals decide to use a budgeting plan to stay on track. Two common budgeting plans include:

Envelope Method: The envelope system is a popular budgeting method that asks individuals to physically portion their income into different spending categories. When a paycheck is received, the envelope method users will separate their paycheck into separate envelopes that represent expense categories such as groceries, rent, and credit card debt, and only use the money within the envelope to purchase items.

Zero-Based Budgeting: The zero-based budgeting method encourages individuals to use every cent of their paycheck. This helps individuals better understand that every cent has a purpose and be more mindful of their spending.

William ReynardRetirement Analysis

Recent financial and retirement statistics have shown that an increasing number of Americans have little to no retirement savings and no concept of how much money they need to retire at their ideal age. According to one survey, nearly 30 percent of all American workers with access to a defined contribution plan did not participate, while only 40 percent of Americans have calculated how much money they need in order to retire. In this context, learning how best to plan for retirement and different wealth-management options are not just valuable financial services but a necessity for Americans.

Regardless of what age a client has started saving for retirement, a financial advisor can provide guidance on what retirement savings account works best for their client, what appropriate amount of money clients should put towards retirement each month, and answer different questions regarding employer contributions. Additionally, a financial advisor can provide answers for client’s most pressing questions regarding retirement, including:

  • How much money would I be able to spend each month post-retirement?
  • How can I make sure my money keeps up with the rising costs of living?
  • How can I form a balanced investment portfolio for retirement?
  • When should I apply for my employee-sponsored 401-k?