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Financial Health

Financial Planner Matt Owens, of Edward Jones, Shares Five Tips to Start Off 2024 Financially Healthy

Article by Kristen Wojdan

Photography by Jennifer Varriale Photography

Originally published in Frederick Lifestyle

Originally from Justus, Pennsylvania, Matt Owens fell in love with the historic district of Frederick and decided to start his family here. After several years living in Hagerstown, he is now in the same community in Frederick as when he first arrived and says it is "my home." 

What do you want people to know about you? 

I grew up working at Miller's Orchard at age 13. This is where my love for the outdoors stems, and the reason I chose to attend Penn State University for the Landscape Contracting degree. After working for 26 great years for two firms in Maryland, I was prepared to change my career to join Edward Jones. I have been a client myself since 2009 and I now enjoy sitting at the other side of the table. I also obtained my MBA from Hood College and had an amazing experience. (This only served to tie me to Frederick all the more.) 

Tell us more about your role as a financial planner.  

I am focused on the serious, long-term investor. I help individual clients as well as business owners with comprehensive financial planning. I obtained my Certified Financial Planner CFP® designation and this has helped me focus on helping clients not only with their finances but to engage their CPA and Estate Planning Attorney to work as a team. I have an established process where I build personalized strategies to help my clients achieve what's most important to them.

What do you enjoy most about the work you do?

I take great pride in handling something as important as one's finances and future goals...I take pride in being a fiduciary; I believe in protecting individual investors in this complex financial industry...helping people and making a meaningful difference in their lives. 

What services do you provide? 

In addition to being a Series 7 and Series 66 licensed Financial Planner, I am licensed to provide life, disability, long term care insurance and annuities as a strategy for clients who meet the criteria. As a Fiduciary, I am focused on getting my clients the best coverage at the best price...Have your financial planner review your existing policies, so you do not have any surprises (increased premiums) later in life.

What are five specific things people can do to improve their financial health?

1. Plan for the unexpected. You will want to have an adequate amount of emergency savings (3 to 6 months minimum).

2. Prepare for retirement. Preparing for retirement is more than just saving for retirement. Maintaining physical health, as well as mental health, is important. Did you know that 68% of Americans do not have a clear idea of what their retirement health or long-term care costs will be? Please make sure to discuss retirement with your financial planner—you need to develop a plan.

3. Protect your future (and your loved ones). From disability to life or long-term care protection, it is important to have a plan for how you and your loved ones will pay for LTC costs (which are skyrocketing due to people living longer and health care costs increasing at an alarming rate.) The future costs of health care with inflation are a big concern for depleting the retirement assets saved. 

4. Save for retirement now. There is a cost to waiting.  Retirees, on average, began saving for retirement at age 38 and say that they should have started nearly 10 years earlier. Insurance costs more as one ages and one may not be insurable tomorrow when they are insurable today). Time is the one thing money cannot buy; the power of compounding (time invested) will have an impact on your overall retirement income. 

5. Remember that time in the market is more important than timing the market. I focus on building personalized portfolios for my clients using high-quality investments for the long term. Staying invested during down markets is something I regularly discuss. There is a difference between fluctuation and loss. 



"...I build personalized strategies to help my clients achieve what's most important to them."

"I take pride in...helping people and making a meaningful difference in their lives."