Education is the key to our success. It’s like a map guiding us towards our goals. It’s not just about earning a degree, but understanding the purpose behind it. Where will it take us? What’s the end goal?
I’ve shared some of my educational journey before, but what I haven’t shared is that just two months after arriving to the States in 2014, both my husband & I enrolled in Financial Peace University to learn about finances because we wanted to succeed in this country. After finishing that course, we started to use a budgeting tool called Every Dollar & it has been a blessing for us.
This week, our 7-Ft English Club speaker was one of our Native English-speaking volunteers, Chris Schierhorn, whom we met at the Coronado Rotary Club. Chris is very active in the business community and has a passion for finances. He shared with us a Comprehensive Guide to Financial Stability in the U.S.:
Understanding Currency Stability
Chris kicked off the presentation by discussing currency stability. He compared the Ukrainian hryvnia and the US dollar, highlighting the significant depreciation of the hryvnia over the past few decades due to inflation. In contrast, he showed that the US dollar has remained relatively stable against the euro over the past 23 years, thanks to the strength of the US economy and the dollar’s status as a global reserve currency.
The Basics of Social Security
Chris then moved on to discuss Social Security, a government-run retirement program in the United States. He explained that Social Security is funded by payroll taxes, paid by both employees and employers. To be eligible for Social Security, you must work for at least 10 years and contribute to the system. Interestingly, your spouse can be eligible for half your benefits, even if they never worked. The longer you wait to start receiving Social Security benefits, the more money you will receive.
The Importance of Budgeting and Saving
Next, Chris emphasized the importance of budgeting and saving. He advised creating a budget to track your income and expenses and stressed the importance of saving money for both short-term and long-term goals.
Homeownership and Retirement Savings
Chris also discussed the benefits of buying a home and saving for retirement. He explained that buying a home is a good way to build wealth over time. He also stressed the importance of starting to save for retirement early, to ensure a comfortable lifestyle in your golden years.
The Cost of Housing in the U.S.
Chris concluded the presentation by discussing the cost of housing in the United States. He explained that housing costs vary widely depending on where you live and that housing costs have been rising in recent years.
Tips for Financial Stability in the U.S.
Here are some key tips from Chris for achieving financial stability in the United States:
* Save money for both short-term and long-term goals.
* Invest your money wisely.
* Diversify your investments.
* Create a budget and track your income and expenses.
* Pay off debt as quickly as possible.
* Seek the help of a financial advisor to create a financial plan.
Student Loans and FAFSA
Towards the end of the presentation, Chris warned about the high cost and interest rates of student loans, which cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
Non-American citizens can file for FAFSA, but it can be challenging & I personally strongly recommend new immigrants who have already received an education in their country of origin should try to transfer their credentials to the United States to save money and time.
Chris’s presentation was a treasure trove of financial wisdom. His advice on currency stability, Social Security, budgeting, saving, homeownership, retirement, and housing costs is invaluable for anyone looking to understand financial stability in the United States.