According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the Southeast economy’s production outlook for 2011 is encouraging due to a favorable demand for products and additional plants being built in the coming year. Tennessee’s future, in particular, is looking bright thanks to Volkswagen’s Chattanooga automaking production plant that is planning to put its redesigned Passat into production this year.
In fact, in 2010, Tennessee had the fastest growth of all Southeastern states when it comes to personal income. It currently is also one of the three top U.S. states for clean technology jobs.
And for residents here in the city of Cleveland and Bradley County area, financial experts like Bobby Ludwig, financial adviser at Edward Jones in Cleveland, also are optimistic.
“We anticipate an overall recovery with the increased business investments, such as Whirlpool and WACKER, etc.,” Ludwig said.
These industries, along with the new Amazon.com fulfillment center and the $160 million conversion of operations by the Olin plant in Charleston, will have an increasingly positive impact on the area’s economy. However, he also cautions that some patience may be necessary. But this feeling of optimism seems to be reflected by other area business owners as well. They report an increase in business activity in 2010.
“And they anticipate this trend to continue,” Ludwig said. “This area seems to be ripe for growth. We see health coming to this area — slow and steady. It seems we’re doing better than most.”
In addition, Ludwig’s best advice for personal financial action to put oneself in a more solid and secure financial future is to develop an investment plan.
Even if you are just in your 20s and just starting out in the working world, everyone needs to have a retirement plan in place.
“The fallacy is to plan for retirement when you think of retiring,” he said. “That’s like drinking water after you are already dehydrated. It’s a little too late.”
It is estimated that as few as one in five Americans has saved enough money for retirement by the time they are ready to retire.
The earlier someone starts working on a solid financial plan, the better, he said.
Ludwig works with three main types of investors: Those about to retire, the middle generation with children and parents to take care of, and those just starting out in the workforce.
Although with different needs and concerns, every one of the three different groups needs to start with the following:
One, identify and define your goals. When do you want to retire? How much income will you need? What do you want to do when you retire?
And keep redefining your goals and your needs as you get older. “If you don’t, that’s where major problems exist,” he said.
Two, evaluate your current and future anticipated income and resources. This is where you’ll have to make sure your real income is in line with your goals.
“Analyze this information so there is no disconnect,” he said.
And three, re-evaluate based on the reality check of step No. 2.
“There’s a huge population out there who feel they can’t save,” Ludwig said. “Wrong. Everybody can save. It comes down to choices.”
Retirement calculators are available online at websites, like those from Edward Jones, to help with the process. But free retirement calculators also are available by speaking with a financial adviser such as Ludwig who can also help with the entire retirement planning process. In fact, Ludwig also offers a free consultation, evaluation and written report.
“Talk with an adviser and see where you stand,” he said.
But whatever you choose, Ludwig has one important piece of advice no one should ignore. You must plan for your retirement starting right now.
According to Edward Jones, the company predicts the economy should continue to improve, but slowly, in 2011. The recent tax cut package should be economically beneficial this year as well. Three areas of positive growth that should continue into 2011 have been overshadowed by the negative news. One is that the effects of the 2008 financial downturn are slowly but surely starting to fade. Also, company profits are generally strong and expected to grow. And, consumers do seem to be starting to spend a little more, but at the same time are also starting to save more which is always a good sign for the economy.
Edward Jones also suggests that holding off on investing in the market now may cause investors to miss some of the best investment opportunities available. Some of these best investments include dividend-paying stocks, both domestic and foreign.
For more information, contact Ludwig at 473-2215 or e-mail him at email@example.com.