Kelly Schmidt: Respecting freedom
The thirty seven days from Memorial Day to Independence Day always draw a deep emotion for me. With a long family history of military service, I reflect and feel gratitude for those who have served this great nation and protected my freedoms. Freedoms I so many times take for granted. Their sacrifices allow us all to enjoy the freedoms and liberty in what I call the greatest country on earth. As we move towards Independence Day, I think of our founding fathers who provided the foundation which allows us to truly experience the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the right to bear arms and so many more. To those who created Independence Day and to the men and women who have sacrificed their lives, along with those who currently serve in our armed forces, I give my heartfelt thank you!
As an elected official for the great state of North Dakota, it always gives me great pride to educate citizens on financial freedoms. Our forefathers said it best. “Work hard, play hard, save for a rainy day, and save for your maturing years.” I often sit with our grown sons and talk about savings plans and options and what those plans should look like. We talk about cash on hand and what you need to sustain the day-to-day not to mention an ailing furnace. I always say, if you can, keep six months of cash on hand, money that you can easily get to without having to pay a penalty to access it. We discuss long-term savings the kind you don’t touch or shouldn’t touch like IRA’s. And of course, we talk in great length about saving for a house and saving for retirement.
The state of North Dakota has experienced its own financial freedom. Our legislators and elected officials did a wonderful job creating ways to save money during prosperous times and made investments over the biennium that provided great returns. We were fortunate during the 2017 legislative session to have cash on hand and rainy day funds to lessen the financial burden with no tax increases.
However, today I have concerns about what the 2019-2021 biennium will look like. Our agriculture producers need rain and our oil and gas industry needs to sustain a price of $45-$50 per barrel. These are all factors that impact North Dakota’s financial well-being. I will be watching these trends and continue to implement strategies that keep our state financially healthy. As always, I will keep you informed along the way. You will be hearing more about financial freedom in future articles.
As we look forward to Independence Day, my wish for you is a joyous celebration and a move towards financial freedom!
To learn more visit our website at www.nd.gov/treasurer to find financial literacy resources and detailed fiscal information regarding our State. Be sure and like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for current information relating to your dollars and our office.