By Richie Burke Contributor Published Mar 23, 2021 at 10:01 AM

Looking to make some changes to your finances in 2021? Or are you a young professional wanting to learn how you should be managing your wealth? Are you wondering how much you need to save for retirement? How to handle finances during a divorce? What are the financial pitfalls you need to avoid?

On this week's episode, we cover a wide range of topics to help you get on the right track and maximize your wealth no matter where you are at in life.  

We were joined by two very special guests from Johnson Financial Group: Melissa Olson, who is the Wealth RPS Education Specialist, and Kelly Mould, who is the Senior Vice President and Wealth Sales Team Lead. Together, we talked about finances to help you get the information you need to strengthen your bank account, decrease your financial stress and avoid financial pitfalls along the way. 


One of the biggest pieces of advice that both Kelly and Melissa echoed many times on the podcast was the importance of taking advantage of your 401k if your place of employment offers it. A lot of young professionals miss the boat on this, and it costs them long term.  

“Quite honestly, (taking the max contribution on my 401k) was the best thing that ever happened to me," Kelly said. "That was the start of me truly having some resources that I would never have had if I had not done it.”

Many people do not realize how quickly that money can grow, and how useful it can be when you get to the point in life where you are trying to purchase your first home, or when you reach the age of retirement. This is one of the big topics that are worth speaking to a financial advisor about so you can set yourself up for financial success down the road, definitely if you are a young professional in their 20s and 30s.

“Time accelerates very quickly," Melissa said on the podcast. "We often hear, 'Pay yourself first.' Pay yourself first can mean saving for retirement. It is tough for individuals in their 30s to look out and project out 35-40 years, but in reality, most of us are going to live in retirement for 15-20 years, so when you see that number, it can get a little scary."

Having a good financial advisor in your corner can really help you manage your debts as well. With many of us having thousands of dollars worth of student loans that we are trying to pay off, or credit cards debt, it is easy to feel sunken into the belief that we are stuck and never going to climb out of the pit we put ourselves into. A financial advisor can help you manage this debt by helping you build a spending plan so you can start to reduce that debt.

“What’s your debt picture? Can we start to reduce the debt? Because then you can actually start to think more realistically about what am I going to need to live on in retirement, and where am I at with it," Kelly said on the podcast. "There is no magic coming, so you have to think about what am I going to need, how do I want to live, what’s important to me, and start to work through that. But don’t feel bad about the fact that you maybe didn’t start right away … it doesn’t mean you can’t get to where you’re trying to get."

Melissa and Kelly shared tons of wisdom with us; be sure to check out the full episode: