Financial moves with U.S. default looming?
HOUSTON !--relatedLinks--> Should you be concerned? Action 13's Jeff Ehling has some answers about how this could affect your mortgage and 401k. This is worrying a lot of people -- they want to know what they should do now before something bad happens. There are steps you can take, but what I hear most from financial planners may surprise you. When it comes to taking care of her dog Samantha, owner Alison Mosely has things under control. Mosely also has her 401k in check. "I am not going to touch anything right now; I am just going to wait," Mosely said. While the average investor may fret over the debt ceiling negotiations going on in Washington, D.C. and worry about how it will affect their retirement investments, Mosely's not making any moves. "That is the exact advice that I got from the guy who has been managing my account for the last 15 to 20 years -- he said, 'Just let everything stay,'" said Mosely. It turns out some financial advisors say Mosely is doing the right thing by not making any big moves. "I think this is a political event, not an investment event," said Richard Leader of First Houston Capital. Leader says while 401k's should be changed to less risky investments as you age, the debt talks should not be a major factor in making adjustments. "It makes a good story line and it gets people's adrenaline rushing a little bit, but I would not make an investment decision out of this. I would not touch a 401k or any other portfolio as a result of this," he said. Leader believes a debt ceiling deal will get done before the deadline, and so does John Lopez, who teaches personal finance at the University of Houston's Bauer College of Business. Still, some experts say if a deal is not reached and if the U.S. defaults on loan payments, interest rates could go up and it will send credit card interest rates up too. "Pay that off as soon as you can and lock in some lower rates that are out there now," said Lopez. And if you have an adjustable rate mortgage, refinancing to a fixed rate makes sense too. "Interest rates are low; you can get a pretty good interest rate at four and three-quarter percent. So yeah, you would want to do that," Lopez said. Again, every financial planner we have spoken to about this believes a debt ceiling deal will happen. Even if one does not, it does not mean the U.S. will automatically default. We have heard different investment strategies, but when it comes to the debt ceiling, the experts believe a deal will come. So should people hold off on making big purchases like a car or home? The experts we spoke with say interest rates are so low, now is the time to make those purchases.