With St. Charles Parish ranking sixth in Louisiana in a recent survey’s “retirement readiness index,” a local wealth management firm says it’s considerably due to residents being thrifty savers.
“The results of the study are great indicators of the overall strength of our local economy,” said Ryan LeBlanc, branch manager of LeBlanc Wealth Management in Luling. “What stands out the most is that St. Charles Parish is third in the state for median household wealth.”
The parish came in sixth with a 39.98 ranking in the “retirement readiness index” in the state compared to St. James Parish’s top ranking of 46.23, according to the recently released survey by SmartAsset. The financial tech company combined total wealth, Social Security income, cost of living and tax to determine which parishes had residents meeting retirement goals.
“I believe St. Charles Parish residents save more than the average household,” LeBlanc said.
Also in the survey, LeBlanc noted the parish ranked third in median household income at $36,039 with St. Tammany Parish taking first place at $41,868, and St. James Parish second with $38,765.
St. Charles Parish is geographically located, LeBlanc said.The Mississippi River flows directly through the center of the parish, which has attracted large corporations and many small businesses.
“The flourishing local economy offers great job opportunities, generous salaries and retirement benefits,” LeBlanc said. “The community’s public system is one of the finest in the state. Crime is low and we have one of the most respected public education systems in the country.”St. Charles residents are also good savers who think ahead.
“We’ve noticed that most of our clients enrolled in their company’s retirement plan when they were first hired,” LeBlanc said. “Now that they’ve reached retirement, their balances have grown to an amount that seemed unreachable when they first began. Living within one’s means is also important.”
According to LeBlanc, area residents value savings versus excessive debt, which has allowed many of them to retire early.
“We would like to reiterate that starting young is vital,” he said. “Companies encourage their employees to take full advantage of the ‘free money’ available through their plan match.”
LeBlanc further advised residents to situate a will, power of attorney and up-to-date beneficiary information in estate planning.