Facts on Saving and Investing Campaign
When you reach retirement, will your financial future be secure?
According to a recent survey, fewer than half of all workers have tried to determine how much money they'll need to save or invest to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Many Americans avoid retirement planning because they find it too complex or intimidating. Yet you don't need to be a financial expert to begin estimating your future needs. It's easier than you think.
That's why the Connecticut Department of Banking has joined with other states, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve, the Social Security Administration and numerous other government and private partners to organize the Facts on Saving and Investing Campaign.
We'll provide you with helpful information. But you have to take that first step towards personal financial success - starting to plan for your future.
3 Keys to Financial Success:
- Make money.
- Don’t spend it all.
- Start saving and investing today.
Start By Getting an Estimate of Your Needs
The Choose to Save® public education program has automated calculators that you may use to determine how much you'll need to save for retirement or for certain purposes, such as buying a new home or car.
The Social Security Administration has a retirement planner website to help you calculate your expected benefits using different retirement scenarios. Investigate your options if you are close to retirement age, and find out how certain types of earnings and pensions can affect your retirement benefits.
Saving and Investing
Savings are the money you put into a savings or checking account in a depository institution, such as a bank or a credit union. You can access your money at any time (except that you may be penalized for withdrawing your money early from certain accounts like certificates of deposit). Your savings are generally insured by a federal government agency, such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), for up to $100,000. But there is a trade off for this ready access and security. Savings rates may be lower than investment returns.
Investments, in contrast, are not federally insured, whether you buy them at a bank, brokerage firm or insurance company. Stocks, mutual funds and bonds all carry risk. Market fluctuations, the economy and the performance of individual companies can cause the value of securities to go up or down. Before investing, you should decide how much risk you are comfortable with and can tolerate. Remember that investment returns are directly related to the risks that investors assume. Don't believe claims that you can earn big profits without risking the loss of some or all of your money!
Should I Seek Financial Advice?
Do you enjoy carefully investigating major purchases, reading different product reviews and comparison shopping for the best deal? If so, you may be able to chart your own financial course, and choose how to save or invest for the future. You can learn from many experts by sorting through the wealth of valuable information available at your public library, bookstore or even on the Internet.
If you never have enough time, are always busy with work and family, or simply have little experience with financial affairs, then you may wish to seek help from an investment professional. You can get investment advice from most financial institutions that sell investments, including brokerages, banks, mutual funds and insurance companies. You can also hire a broker, an investment adviser, an accountant, a financial planner, or other professional to help you make investment decisions. The Department of Banking has a helpful publication with tips for choosing a financial planner.
Investigate Before Investing!
Before selecting someone to provide investment advice or before using a salesperson to buy securities, investigate their background and experience. Don't be afraid to ask questions, including asking whether the person has had any disciplinary history with regulators. Contact the Securities Division to check whether an investment professional or firm is licensed to do business in Connecticut.
The more you know about a potential investment, before you invest, the better prepared you'll be to make a wise investment decision. Consider carefully whether prospective investments will meet your personal needs and will be consistent with the level of risk you find comfortable.
Warning Signs of Possible Trouble
- Pressure to make a quick decision.
- Promises of large guaranteed profits.
- Failure to provide written information.
- Unusual arrangements to collect money.
What If I Have a Problem?
Unfortunately, some people lose money on their investments. Others make money. That’s the nature of investing - no one can predict the future. If you've lost money because the market declined or a particular company failed to earn profits, you may not have cause to complain.
But if you think you may have been the victim of fraud or abusive sales tactics, immediately contact the Department of Banking. We're deeply committed to protecting Connecticut investors. The department will vigorously pursue any case alleging the inappropriate loss of local investor funds.