The Shore Line (Pine … /
Feb. 1, 2022, edition 1 /
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Prioritizing Your Financial Health
Presented by Greg Patterson and Jarnes Allen Canady
Its that time of year when many people set
goals with the hope of changing their lives in the
months to come. Whatever your plans, it may be
beneficial to add a few of the financial changes
described below to your list to help you turn 2022 into an even better year.
Pay down debt. Having debt is normal, but having too much debt—par
ticularly as your credit card statements start flowing in after the holidays—can
quickly become overwhelming. As you start the year, make a plan to pay off
the debts with the highest interest rates first. Also, it is always wise to pay more
than the minimum payment if you are financially able to pay a bit more than the
monthly amount due. You will pay off your debt faster and save more on interest
in the long run.
Increase your savings. Perhaps you would like to save for a dream vacation, a
down payment for a new home or an emergency fund to cover the unexpected.
By setting a goal and outlining a timeline and strategy for reaching it, you will
find it easier to achieve your desired result.
Develop a budget. When developing your new budget, it may help you to
think of it as a spending plan instead. How much will you spend on food, en
tertainment and education during the year? By planning out your expenditures,
you will have a better understanding of where you are allocating your income
and how much is available to spend on each activity in a given week, month or
year—whichever timeline best suits your planning style.
Review your credit report. Your credit report is a critical component of your
financial health. It is important to check it annually so you can monitor where
you stand and keep an eye out for potential credit fraud. You are entitled to free
reports from each of the three major credit reporting agencies—Equifax,
Transunion and Experian. Use a website such as annualcreditreport.com to re
quest your reports at the beginning of the year (or request throughout the year).
This way, you can file disputes regarding any erroneous information as well as
evaluate how you might increase your overall credit health during the year.
Protect your identity. Thanks to the wonders of technology, banking, shop
ping and even finding long-lost friends and family members online is easier
than ever. But at the same time, it is also easier to inadvertently expose our per
sonal information to those looking to exploit it. Protecting your identity can be
as simple as monitoring your accounts—including online bank accounts, social
media profiles and your personal email.
Here are a few tips to help protect your identity and prevent theft:
• Review your monthly statements for any suspicious activity.
• Avoid using your social security number whenever possible.
• Be sure that you are on a secure website (the URL will begin with https)
before you submit personal information online.
• Be wary of opening suspicious emails—and don’t click on any attachments.
Err on the side of caution, and contact the company directly if you
receive any suspicious emails, letters or phone calls regarding any of your
Start a college fund. Education expenses have continued to increase, so the
sooner you can begin putting money away for school, the better off you will be.
Whether you are saving for a child’s, grandchild’s or your own education, there
are multiple investment tools that can help you develop an effective college sav
ings plan. It may be helpful for your financial advisor to evaluate your unique
situation and select the best option for pursuing your goals.
Assess life changes. As our lives change from year to year, we may not be
aware of how these changes can affect our financial health. Embarking on a
new career, welcoming a new baby to the family, purchasing a new property, or
even just getting one year closer to retirement may all require you to revisit your
financial plan and long-term goals. It is a good idea to review your insurance
coverage, retirement plan, wiU and estate plan annually to ensure that all aspects
of your life are incorporated.
Further your financial knowledge. There are a number of websites, TV
shows and books available to help you educate yourself on personal finance best
practices and the financial industry in general. If you find a topic you would like
to learn more about, consider reaching out to a tax, insurance or financial pro
fessional to answer your questions. This will not only provide you with a deeper
understanding of your investments and other financial matters but also allow
you and your advisor to improve your financial goals through communication
on topics that interest you.
Achieving your financial fitness goals. These are just a few changes that can
help improve your overall financial health. Try incorporating one or two into
your goals for 2022, and check in with yourself regularly to evaluate your prog
ress. You might be surprised how quickly things can change for the better when
you commit to improving your financial life. As always, your financial advisor
can help you stay on track toward your goals and reevaluate your options at any
point along the way.
Greg Patterson and James Allen Canady are financial advisors located at
Atlantic Wealth Management, 712 Bridges Street, Morehead City, NC 28557. They
offer securities and advisory services as Registered Representatives and Investment
Adviser Representatives of Commonwealth Financial Network, Member FINRA/
SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. They can be reached at 252-515-7800 or at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright 2022 Commonwealth Financial Network.
Disposing of Cardboard
Cardboard boxes should be recycled
—NOT placed in the trash.
Break down boxes and place them in your recycling bin. If you have a large amount of
cardboard, please break it down and deposit it in one of the bins located behind town hall.
Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning
& Asset Protection
Attorney at Law
Kirkman, Whitford, Brady,
Berryman & (k)RDON, EA.
General Practice Attorneys
710 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557
email@example.com • www.kirkmanwhitford.com
12 The Shoreline I February 2022
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