Reduce your Financial Stress in 2010

Dr. Helen K. Simon, CFP
State Farm Financial Literacy Lab
April 7, 2011
Schedule of Events
April 21st :Credit & Banking
 April 28th: Investing Basics
 May 5th: Personal Financial Planning
What Is Stress?
Stress affects most people in some way
 Its a combination of emotional and
physical pressures
 It almost always involves a feeling you
have little control over the situation (s)
and/or you just can’t finish anything
Dealing with Stress
You can’t deal with it, until you name it!
 What is causing stress in your life?
Leading Cause of Stress?*
#1 = Finances
According to a poll by LifeCare, Inc.(2005), 23% of
respondents named finances as the leading cause of
stress in their lives. Financial stress has led the list in many
other polls. Just GOOGLE it!
 Some who name finances as the leading cause of stress
cite major purchases they have to make, such as a home
or car. Others are stressed by a loss of income, or
mounting credit card debt. For some, financial stress will
eventuate in bankruptcy. While college students stress
over paying for an education, Baby Boomers and older
senior citizens find that retirement income can be a major
cause of stress.
*downloaded from:
We have become a culture of what we
have instead of who we are
Happy to help us…..
Turn from victims into victors!
High APRs
 Excessive spending 
Cash Back!
Budgeting tool
Find the right credit card for you:
Check your credit report often!
Use Quicken:
Be a Frugalista !!
“People who keep up with fashion trends
without spending a lot of money. Frugalistas
stay fashionable by shopping through
alternative outlets, such as online auctions ,
secondhand stores and classified ads. They
also reduce the amount of money spent in other
areas of their lives, such as by growing their
own food and reducing entertainment expenses.
This is a popular term during recessions. “
Downloaded from
Your credit card
 www.chaserewardsplus.
Online bill paying
The Sunday newspaper
Organized shopping trips
Have your cocktail at
FL restaurants run great
specials in the off season
Breakfast is a bargain!
The Latte Factor
 http://www.wisegeek.c
The Millionaire Next
Don’t always think that
bigger is better!
 The warehouse
shopping paradox
 Sometimes Publix
BOGO is way better!
FSA (Flexible Spending Account)
 Deferred savings
 Tuition reimbursement
 Disability insurance
 Chances of becoming disable pre 65 is 5 Xs
greater than dying
Life insurance
 Do you have enough? Or too much?
Discounted Services:
FSA - example
45 Zyrtec tablets cost $25 at
 That’s .55 per pill or $202.78 per year after tax $ 259.56 before tax dollars = $202.78 in after
tax dollars (in the 28% tax bracket)
 On this one small item, the FSA saves $56.78
per year!
Some FSA eligible expenses
Some possible FSA eligible
IRS publication 969
Health Insurance deductibles and copayments
 Adult day care
 Acne treatments
 Body Scans
 Sunscreen
 Hand Sanitizer
 Medically necessary vitamins (need Rx)
How much do you spent per year in
FSA eligible expenses?
If you are in the 28% margin tax bracket:
 $500? – save $140
 $1000 ? – save $280
 $2000? – save $ 560
Retirement Savings
 457
 Roth IRA
Tuition Reimbursement
The best investment you can make is in
 Education = higher salaries, better jobs,
better quality of life
 You are NEVER too old or too busy to
take a class
 And we can do it for FREE!!!!
Plan for savings first…?
 How much cash should you keep in your
emergency fund?
 Where should you keep your emergency
Listening to too many financial experts
 Investing in things you don’t understand
 Thinking there is a “free-lunch”
 Thinking you know more than the
 Taking too much risk
 Using insurance as an investment
TIAA CREF Investment Results
over the last decade
(average annual return 12/31/1999 – 12/31/2009*)
Equity Index Fund - 0.56%
 Growth Fund - 4.66%
 Bond Fund + 5.84%
 Fixed Account + 6.62%
Downloaded on 1/8/2010 from
Fixed savings example
$10,000 per year in a 403B (in the 28%
tax bracket)
 Immediate tax savings of $2800
 $135,706 in 10 years
Be a good parent – but not too
Are you stressed out about your child’s
college education?
 Have you sacrificed your own retirement
savings planning to pay for your child’s
 Does your child have a job?
 Is your child employable?
Available on the FIU library or used on
Amazon for <$5
In closing…
What would you like us to cover?
Thanks to Kate Kominars for her
assistance with this program.

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