Financial planners say being financial fit can help you stay ahead in 2013

Social Security Payroll Tax expires

BAKERSFIELD -  

A small change to your paycheck could spell more debt for many workers across the country.

Despite congress passing a recent tax package the temporary social security payroll tax, which was set two years ago has expired.

For the past two years the government has been collecting two percentage points less from you to fund social security but in 2013 we're all back to paying that 6.2 percent for salary, which financial planners say could add up financial advisor rod palmer is expecting to be busy over the next few weeks.

"Ready or not here it comes," said Rod Palmer, CFS with Financial Strategies, LLC.

Palmer is helping many people through their own personal fiscal cliff.

"The idea of this fiscal cliff is more to do with how are the tax increases going to affect my paycheck and I think that's the main concern at this point," he said.

As a result of the social security payroll tax, people will see a smaller pay check in 2013. 

"2 percent of $40,000 is $800 bucks a year that was spendable to you for the last two years and it’s no longer there," he said.

The tax expiration isn't sitting well with many wage earners who say they're not financially ready for the pay reduction.

"I guess you just have to be prepared for this and save more," said Rena Escobar from Bakersfield.

"I'm probably going to cut back on some stuff because now-a-days gas is really expensive so less shopping for me," said Bakersfield resident Martha Hernandez.

Palmer says being more financially responsible starts with a written plan identifying the needs...and look where you want to be in the next five years.

"That's something that you need when you get ready to retire. I mean, social security is something that needs to be there so the funding process and how that changes over time will be yet to be determine so it’s hard to make plans with your social security benefits, kind of not knowing what's going to happen down the road," said Palmer.

If you're in your 20's, Palmer says you should be putting aside 10 to 15 percent from your paycheck or more if you're already in your 30's or 40's.

"What people typically do is they spend what's in their paycheck in other words, they adjust to what they have net to spend and they make a decision as to how to spend it so the 2 percent coming out of your pay check, I mean you will adjust to it," he said.

Creating an emergency fund with about three months worth of living expenses is also key to being financially fit in the New Year.

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