What Does The U.S. Gov. Hitting The Debt Ceiling Mean For You? (VIDEO)

By Emma Koch - 21Alive

October 15, 2013 Updated Oct 15, 2013 at 5:58 PM EDT

UNITED STATES (21Alive) -- If the government hits that debt ceiling, what might that mean for you? Having the government hit the debt ceiling would be like you maxing out your credit cards and losing your income, forcing you to file for bankruptcy.

If that happens to the United States government, interest rates could skyrocket, social security payments would stop and banks could lock their doors.

But according to a local investment advisor, the worst thing you could do right now is panic and pull money out of the stock market. If you are retired or close to retirement, you should call your financial advisor to discuss what's best for you. Otherwise, just be sensible.

“Focus on paying off your credit card bills and putting as much as you can back into savings, Heather Foster from Tradewell Financial said. “So even if you're living paycheck to paycheck, you may not have a lot to put back, but even $25 a week, if you can put that back to the side, that'll help you long term, as well as if something was to happen in the next few weeks.”

What about retirement accounts, like a 401-k? Those accounts could decline very quickly, but it's important for you to know how your money is invested in a retirement plan and what your time frame is for needing that cash. If you're fairly young, it's far better to ride out the markets. If you're close to retiring or are retired, you should call your financial planner to discuss your particular situation.

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