What's the best financial advice you've ever received? Here are a few answers

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 13 2013 6:35 p.m. MDT

Kathy Voorhees, left, financial adviser for Investment Manaagement Consultants, and Natalie Gochnour, associate dean of business at the University of Utah and Salt Lake Chamber chief economist, offer financial advice Friday, Aug. 9, 2013.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Merrit H. Egan says his parents raised him to be great.

From his youth on a dairy farm, his parents saw his potential. He ultimately became triple-certified in pediatrics, child psychiatry and adult psychiatry. On average, 22 applicants nationally are admitted into this program each year.

Egan passed this legacy on to his 11 children, whom he and his wife raised to pursue education and "honorable employment," according to daughter Kathy Voorhees, who says she still follows this charge.

There is little surprise, then, that daughter Natalie Gochnour said the best financial advice she received from her parents was to "place a substantial premium on the future."

"While that doesn't seem profound, we get so caught up in the here and now and in the latest want or need we have or in the latest either gimmick or philosophy about investing or whatever it is," said Gochnour, associate dean of business at the University of Utah and chief economist for the Salt Lake Chamber Of Commerce.

Often, she said, we do not value the future enough.

With the national and state economy lurching from the recession, the reported financial behavior of most Americans shows a need for this financial advice.

Less than a quarter of Americans have enough saved up to last for six months, 50 percent have funds for less than three months and 27 percent do not have emergency savings, according to research released in June by Bankrate.com.

Not only are most Americans living paycheck to paycheck, but most are not confident they will be able to retire comfortably.

Thirteen percent of 1,254 surveyed respondents ages 25 and older were "very confident" that they had enough money to retire comfortably, according to the 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey done by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

While 38 percent are "somewhat confident," 21 percent are "not too confident" and 28 percent are "not at all confident" in their retirement savings.

The Deseret News reached out to Utahns who have learned financial lessons to find out the best financial advice they ever received. The question is, who will heed it?

Kathy Voorhees, financial adviser

Financial prudence comes naturally to Voorhees, who for the past two decades has made a living out of dispensing financial advice.

Voorhees tells her clients that they have five options. The first four are: Start saving early, spend less money, invest more aggressively or work longer after retirement age. The fifth, she jokes, is not most people's preference: die sooner.

A financial adviser for Investment Management Consultants, she said the best investment is in one's self.

"That means get as much education as you can. That way you enhance yourself while at the same time enhancing your potential earning power,” Voorhees said.

Her parents encouraged her and her 10 siblings to be educated.

She internalized this legacy of learning throughout her career, working as a schoolteacher and eventually transitioning into her current position.

She and her husband have a combined family of nine children, all of whom have bachelor's degrees. Three have post-graduate medical degrees, two have MBAs, one is a registered nurse, two are professional teachers and one teaches at Utah Valley University.

Ken Marthia, retired