He raised $990,000 playing in the NFL last year, teaches finance at UPenn and interned at UBS. And he has some simple money advice that we should all listen to right now.
NFL linebacker Brandon Copeland made $990,000 in the NFL last year, according to a CBS Sports, but that’s not even close to the most fascinating thing about him. He also built a financial empire called Copeland Media, where he serves as CEO and oversees the company’s financial consulting firm, Cascade Advisory Group. While attending the University of Pennsylvania, he interned at UBS and has since returned to his alma mater to teach a course in financial education. And two years ago, he added to his resume as a contributing editor at Kiplinger.
One of his pieces of advice that feels particularly relevant now, as a recession may be looming and some savings accounts are paying out more than they have since 2009 (See the best savings account rates you can get right now here) — is this: You need an emergency fund. Here’s what he advises on that front, as well as what other experts are saying.
“A healthy emergency fund typically contains three to six months’ salary or living expenses, but as always, you should assess your situation and save as much as reasonably possible,” says Copeland. (Copeland himself reportedly keeps the most of his own salary). He points out that an emergency fund can help you in the event of a medical problem, job loss, debt repayment and more.
What the pros are saying about an emergency fund now
Certified Financial Planner Danna Jacobs of Legacy Care Wealth agrees that an emergency fund of 3-6 months of spending is a critical foundation for a healthy financial home. “We typically put these savings into high-interest savings accounts so our clients can earn a little more with these funds,” says Ella Jacobs. See the best savings account rates you can get right now here. See the best savings account rates you can get now here.
Jacobs says that if you’re a two-income household, you can typically target a smaller emergency fund, since you have extra income to support a potential job loss. But those with dependents, who have less stable jobs or who have only one income may want to save more.
“Having a lot of cash to draw from offers a lot of flexibility, and there’s real peace of mind in knowing you’ll be okay if disaster strikes,” says certified financial planner Keith Spencer of Spencer Financial Planning, who notes that it’s better to err. by having excess cash instead of not having enough.
If the recommended amount of reserves seems unachievable for the home, certified financial planner Paul Collinson of Legacy Planning Advisors recommends dividing the amount into achievable parcels. “Maybe aim to build a month of reserves every 3-6 months until the recommended number of months is achieved. The bottom line is that it’s important to hold household members accountable when setting ambitious goals, such as when building an emergency fund over a period of months or years,” Collinson says.
And keep in mind that this number can be fluid. “If you’re paying for childcare right now, that would definitely be included, but in a few years, it may not be necessary,” says certified financial planner Cristina Guglielmetti of Future Perfect Planning.
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