Government shutdown brings financial woes to Central Texas


by JADE MINGUS / KVUE News and photojournalist DENNIS THOMAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @JadeM_KVUE

Posted on October 2, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 2 at 6:40 PM

AUSTIN -- Though Texas is 1,500 miles from Washington D.C., the government shutdown battle has casualties in the state, and one could be your retirement savings.

"What happens in Washington does affect us here in Georgetown," said Cal Williams, owner of Revolution Home.

Williams opened Revolution Home last year. Now he's worried about his retirement accounts and those of his customers who frequent his home decor store.

"We're close to a retirement community, Sun City, and a lot of our customers that come in seem to be concerned about the government shutdown," Williams said.

The last time the government shutdown in the 1990s, the average investor lost $7,000 from their 401K in just two weeks.

"Anytime there is a big move in the government, it always brings concern," said Mickey Powell of Powell Financial Partners.

Powell, a financial planner, says the best way to weather financial uncertainty is to diversify.

"Nobody knows how the market will close out today, much less tomorrow, much less a month from now or even next year, so you got to be prepared whichever direction it might go," Powell said.

Powell says the markets should bounce back once the shutdown ends. His advice is to sit tight and don't make any drastic moves.

Powell is more concerned about the looming debt crisis.

"We have the same issues today we had two years ago. We are talking about deficits. We're talking debt ceilings. None of this has been resolved," Powell said.

According to Powell, a downturn in the stock market can actually be beneficial for those in their 20s, 30s, and 40s saving for the future.

Williams says while the partisan feud plays out on Capitol Hill, "It affects our business, and it also affects our customers' attitudes and how much they will be spending."

Small business owners in Central Texas are keeping a close eye on the outcome.

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