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Long-term Savings and Financial Planning Tips

Have an emergency savings account. Typically, having two to three months of living expenses in a readily accessible account - savings or money market is recommended.  This account should only be tapped if you lose your job or have major, unforeseen expenses. Emergency savings will help ensure that you don't have to borrow from your retirement nest egg or take out additional loans that would push you into debt.

Try to save money for long-term goals, such as your retirement. If your employer matches a portion of your payroll contributions to a tax-advantaged retirement savings plan, allocate enough to get the maximum match. Not participating means you are passing up free money and perhaps losing out on a valuable tax break.

Turn a debt payment into a deposit. If you pay off a debt, such as the outstanding balance on a credit card, or if you make that last loan payment on your car, put that money to work as part of your savings.

Save, don't spend those unknown gifts. If you receive a large sum - perhaps from an inheritance, an insurance payment, a tax refund or a bonus at work - deposit that money into a savings or investment account before you're tempted to spend it.

Review your insurance coverage. Every year, review your health, life, disability, renter/homeowners, auto and personal liability policies to make sure you are adequately covered.