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'Fiscal Fitness' boot camp held at Penn State Berks

By Meghan Packer, Reporter, MPacker@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 19 2014 09:32:29 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 19 2014 09:54:33 PM CDT

Penn State Berks holds 'fiscal fitness' boot camp

SPRING TWP, Pa. -

A fitness session at Penn State Berks Wednesday night wasn't in a gym and people weren't wearing exercise clothes. This was a "fiscal fitness" boot camp led by Larry Kahaner.

Kahaner is a journalist, private investigator, and author. At the free event open to the public, he shared tips on becoming fiscally fit, no matter your age.

"People can do very well right now if they're willing to take some risks," he told 69 News.

"I think one of the most important things about investing, just investing alone, is index funds," he said. "If you start now at age 22, 25 or 30 and put just a little bit of money in every month, you'll have a million dollars easily by the time you're 60."

"Even if you're in your 50s and sometimes even if you're in your 60s you can still start to save, saving does work and right now, the stock market is high," Kahaner added.

When it comes to debt, Kahaner explained there is good debt and bad debt.

"If you borrow for the right reasons, in other words if you borrow for something that appreciates in value, something that's going to bring you back money like a college education, like a car to get to a job, usually like a house, that's the kind of things you should be focusing on," he said. "Don't be afraid of debt but use it for the right reasons."

According to the 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald and Associates, Americans are feeling more confident about having a comfortable retirement. However, 36% of workers say they have less than $1,000 in savings and investments.

Kahaner said, "There's hope for people no matter how much money they have, if it's a little amount a money so you invest a little bit."

"In order to make money in investing you have to take risks," he added. "Everybody needs to take risks and many people are risk averse and they will not take a risk, they will not buy a stock, they will only put their money in the bank."

"It's very important not how much money you have but also how much you spend," Kahaner explained.

He went on to say, "That's the other thing that people can do, is save. People in this country don't save as much as people in other countries."

Final words of advice from Kahaner were, "Money will not make you happy. The other thing that people need to understand is money is not security. What you have between your ears is what's security."