Spending Versus Saving: How Changing Your Habits Can Change Your Future

An eye-popping statistic recently made the news — and it’s directly related to the topic of saving for retirement. According to one survey, the average adult in this country spends $1,497 each month on “non-essentials,” which adds up to nearly $18,000 each year!1 Some of the categories include restaurant meals ($209.38 a month), cable TV ($90.57 a month) and online shopping ($84.11 a month).  

How does your own spending compare? Have you ever tracked your spending over a few months to see exactly how much goes toward things you may not need but are simply nice to have?The results may surprise you. 


One of the striking things about the $18,000 annual spending figure is that it is close to the limit the IRS has established for contributions to 401(k), 403(b) and most 457 plans in 2020. Each year, the IRS announces an annual limit for contributions to employer-sponsored retirement plans. For 2020, that limit is $19,500 (keep in mind that people age 50 and older may be eligible to save even more through catch-up contributions). 


If you think contributing more to your retirement account seems impossible, it may be time to rethink your spending habits. Even if your own spending on non-essentials each year isn’t anywhere near $18,000, you probably have areas where you could cut back without any major changes to your lifestyle. One or two fewer visits to restaurants each month, a more affordable cable package, fewer impulse purchases made online — the savings can add up quickly. Best of all, you can use the savings to increase your contributions to your retirement account, where they can help you build the income you’ll need for the future you want.  


Remember, many financial advisorssay that we’ll need at least 70% of our pre-retirement earnings to maintain our pre-retirement standard of living.2 A few painless changes to our spending habits can make reaching that goal a little easier.  


1 usatoday.com, You don’t need that: Average American spends almost $18,000 a year on non-essentials, May 7, 2019 
2 ssa.gov, Benefits Planner: Retirement, September 2019 
Securities offered by GWFS Equities, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC, marketed under the Empower brand. GWFS is affiliated with Great-West Funds, Inc.; Great-West Trust Company, LLC; and registered investment advisers Advised Assets Group, LLC and Great-West Capital Management, LLC, marketed under the Great-West Investments™ brand. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to provide investment, legal or tax advice. 
Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company and its subsidiaries are not responsible for, nor do they endorse, the content contained in the additional third-party site(s) provided. ©2019 Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company. All rights reserved. RO1028382-1219 

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Team Henrico Update

Team Henrico Gets Tacky 

Saturday, December 14 Team Henrico participated in the Tacky Light Run for the first time. With a group decked out in tacky sweaters, holiday leggings, goofy hats, and holiday attire lead by Santa Claus, 50+ Henrico employees and family members set off on a walk/jog/run that was full of holiday cheer. The event included Christmas light lined streets, beautifully orchestrated houses with lights and decorations, and hundreds of supporters along the route playing music and cheering for everyone. The Fitness and Wellness Division of the Department of Human Resources recognizes that events like this are vital in developing and blossoming inter-departmental relationships that carryover from an extracurricular fun activity to professional relationships. The Tacky Light Run is now behind us and we are focused on the next Team Henrico event, that never fails to disappoint, the Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k.

2020 Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10k – March 28, 2020 

As with all Team Henrico supported events, we are offering a discount for 50% off the current registration fee. There will be a price increase starting January 16th so make sure to sign-up now to get the best deal available. The code to utilize during registration is HenricoRuns10k20. Our standard discount code rules apply: They can only be used for permanent Henrico County employees – i.e. not for friends or family. In addition, this code will only be available to be used once per transaction so if you are signing multiple Henrico employees up at one time you will need to do so in separate transactions.   

If you are questioning your ability to complete the 10k please check out the 10k Training Program written by the Fitness and Wellness staff to get you on the path to completing the 10k in March- whether you are looking to walk it, jog it, or run it. On the off chance that the 10k just does not seem appealing to you, we welcome you to join the Team Henrico Spirit Team. Our Spirit Team is amazing, each year, and last year we had the National Champions Highland Springs Cheer Squad with us cheering on everyone- but especially any Henrico County employees we saw. 


If you have questions about the event please email Joey Pacelli at [email protected] and be on the lookout in the near future for updates. 

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Soaring Above: A Review of the State of the County

Last month County Manager John Vithoulkas, presented the “State of the County” to address area business leaders. He likened his review of 2019 to the speech President Kennedy gave announcing the moon landing mission: “We choose to go to the moon not because it is easy but because it is hard.” In the County Manager’s words, “We reached for something, might have seemed a bit risky, a little beyond our grasp, but we did it and history was made.” He went on to say how the County did the same; we took risks over the past year by utilizing the “Henrico Way” and a desire to soar above. Together, embraced by a workforce of 4,000 people, the County was able to achieve great things. This is good news for business owners and residents, but what does it mean for employees? We asked a few to share their thoughts on this year’s State of the County accomplishments:  


What are your overall thoughts on the State of the County information shared?  

“WOWWW!!! were my overall thoughts.  It is very easy to forget accomplishments as we go about our day to day lives at work.  I believe the State of the County information helps every associate, citizen, business owner etc. understand the impact of what we do and how it affects Henrico and Virginia.  There is a correlation to providing good customer service, for example as it allows for vendors to feel confident in doing business in the County.  Internal deadlines that we meet and exceed allow decisions to be made and executed that provide clarity in the process of local government (which could be cumbersome) but our efforts exceed other localities which makes us great.” – Jeff Conley, Supplier Relations Manager, Finance – Purchasing Division 

“The County is transparent in their efforts to manage, build, grow and partner with others for the best possible place to live, work and grow your family or business. The staff and administrators have heart in all things being considered and challenge stakeholders to work together to achieve and do difficult things to make our County the best it can be for everyone while being fiscally conservative and mindful of the past, present, history and future.”– Debbie Lumpkin- HR Analyst 


How do you see this impacting the employees of Henrico?     

“As an employee I take great pride in the accomplishments and the goals that our County has set.  I think that the information shared gives additional tools and resources to share with our community as “ambassadors” for the County.” – Jeff Conley   

The impact to employees is that we are challenged to get the job done, thinking outside the box and partnering with others in ways that we might not done in the past.The more we reach for the moon, the more we will achieve together.” – Debbie Lumpkin 

What are you excited about?     

“I am excited about the energy and motivation of County leaders, it is contagious and is multiplied as we spread the message in each of our work areas.  I am further excited when friends and colleagues outside of the County ask about my experiences and successes and I am able to share with great enthusiasm and zeal that not only is Henrico a great place to live it is a great place to work!” – Jeff Conley   

“I am excited by partnership opportunities and the revitalization of residential and businesses and new growth of each. By creating inviting facilities and recreational venues with transportation for all to enjoy only helps the community live, learn, prosper and engage with one another, and is that not what life is all about? “– Debbie Lumpkin 


Is there one thing in particular that stood out to you?     

“The growth of our County stood out the most and how we as a local body are finding innovative ways of keeping not only our County competitive but our associates also through leadership opportunities on major initiatives impacting our community.” – Jeff Conley 

“These quotes from the presentation, “With heart the impossible is possible” and “We reach for things not because they are easy but because they are hard” sum up the mission for County employees as we conduct business and interact with one another because what we do is bigger than ourselves and has great impact to many for years beyond us. “– Debbie Lumpkin 


What do you think employees who didn’t attend the State of the County should know?     

“I like that there is a link that can be shared that provides an additional opportunity to tell the Henrico story and highlight the ‘Henrico Way’. I also think associates benefit from knowing how the community supports the State of the County address and who is in the room, partnering for the success of our County.” – Jeff Conley   

“For employees who have ever wondered their purpose, the presentation will bring to light the purpose and the “why” we do what we do each day and should feel the pride and appreciation for the ways that they contribute to the success of our County and its future for everyone. “– Debbie Lumpkin 


Anything else you would like to add? 

“I REALLY liked the references to not doing the easy stuff, but the hard stuff is what makes this County epic.  I cannot get the picture of the moon landing and the Henrico flag out of my head. It made me proud to be counted in the number of associates and citizens. The graphic for Facebook and the H formation of the current buildings and how growth could impact our region was memorable as well.”– Jeff Conley 

To watch the State of the County, please visit  the Henrico County YouTube channel. 


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Live your Healthiest Life: Setting Personal Wellness Goals and How They Can Help You Be Successful

Achieving and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a lifelong journey and there may be times when the task may seem overwhelming. Living your healthiest life is a big project – possibly one of your biggest undertakings yet. 

As with any big project, if you focus only on the end result (which may seem endlessly far away!) the process seems daunting. For those trying to lose weight, setting goals can often mean the difference between success and failure. Goals help motivate you and keep you focused. They put your thoughts into actions and help you meet your expectations. But goal setting is easier said than done. You cannot just write something down and expect that it will happen.  

Your ability to reach your fitness and wellness goals is closely tied to how realistic they are. Many have unrealistic expectations. They set goals for themselves that are too big, too quick, or too impractical. Before you identify your goals, take some time to reflect on your situation. You know you want to lose weight, but why? What is it that you are really striving for? Once you have answers (or at least some pretty good assumptions), develop a plan. Break those big goals down into smaller steps that seem within your grasp.  

Here is a hands-on guide to help you establish and achieve your goals: 

If you have not already, write down each of your goals on a piece of paper. Underneath write why this goal is important to you. What is it that is motivating you to make this big change in your lifestyle? Next, ask yourself how confident you are that you can achieve each of the goals you have written down. If you have more than one goal, consider whether working on multiple goals at once will be distracting or energizing. Analyzing your goals may cause you to refine or even change them. Perhaps your goal of losing 50 pounds was sparked by an upcoming class reunion, but now you realize what you really want is just to get healthier and feel better. Most often personal health goals tend to center around weight, activity, healthy eating and feeling better.

It is OK to dream big. Big things do not happen unless you have big aspirations. But recognize that big things typically do not happen without big efforts. Champion athletes do not become champions and then start training like one. It is the other way around – they dream big, do the necessary preparation, and then carry out their plan to reach their goals.  

So, dream big if you want to – keeping realism in mind – but understand that you will need a well-planned effort to reach your healthiest life.

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