April 6

How to get your financial house in order by age 30 (USA Today- Money)

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Author: Anne Godlasky, @annieisi, USA TODAY5:38 p.m. EDT May 16, 2013

New wrinkles. Pressure to procreate. And what have you checked off your bucket list lately? Turning 30 can be stressful, even before thinking about personal financial goals and how to achieve them.

Adults 34 and younger grade themselves worse than any other age group in their personal finance knowledge, with 48% giving themselves a C or lower, according to a survey by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Financial planners say that needs to change. Millennials have a lot to do to get their house in order.

“I think every birthday you check your credit score and your weight, and one should be going up, and one should be coming down,” says Jean Chatzky, 48, a personal finance expert whose Money School webinars launched last month. “People around 30 are under more pressures than any prior generation,” she says, citing “tremendous” student loan debt, “stagnant” wages, the burst housing bubble and the burden of retirement and health care costs moving increasingly from employers to individuals.

In fact, the average net worth of those under 40 in 2010 was 7% below that of people in the same age range in 1983, the Urban Institute reported in March.

“Thirty today isn’t what 30 was a few decades ago. It could mean single and 30, or married with children,” says Megan Rindskopf, 26, a certified financial planner with ClearView Wealth Management in Charlotte. “I think the biggest issue for people in this age range is knowing how best to deal with competing priorities. A lot of people are living paycheck to paycheck. This is kind of the age where you feel you need to grow up.”

WHAT FINANCIAL GOALS SHOULD MILLENNIALS SET?

A good benchmark is to have one year’s salary saved in retirement accounts, such as a 401(k), by age 30, says David Weliver, 32, who created the financial advice websiteMoney Under 30 after recovering from his own problems with debt. Weliver calls the goal “income-based, so it’s not comparing a kindergarten teacher and a Wall Street banker.”

Financial experts recommend saving 10% to 15% of every paycheck to retirement and savings accounts.

However, saving newbies shouldn’t start with 10%, some advise.

“It’s like going on a crash diet — if you go too high, it’s too painful and too likely to fail,” Chatzky says. “Once you manage to set aside 2% for three to six months, then notch it up another 2%. … I’ve never seen a budget where I can’t find some wiggle room.”

As you save money, here are steps to take:

1. Meet obligations. Pay your rent and minimum loan amounts on time to avoid charges and fees.

2. Build an emergency fund. If you have nothing, start with $500-$1,500 to avoid overdrafting your checking account, says Weliver, then grow that buffer into a savings worth three to six months’ salary, to support you in case you lose your job.

3. Pay into 401(k) up to company match. If you don’t do this, “you’re missing out on free money,” Rindskopf says. If your company doesn’t match your 401(k) contributions, Weliver still recommends donating 3- to 5%.

4. Pay off credit card debt. “The biggest payoff is going to come from two things — capturing any matching [401(k)] dollars and paying back credit card debt,” because it is high interest, says Chatzky.

5. Increase savings. Once you’ve paid off debt, built an emergency fund and started saving for retirement, “look at shorter term goals and figure out how much you’ll need in two to five years,” such as paying for a wedding, car or down payment on a house, Weliver says. “You don’t want to put everything in retirement if you don’t have enough to pay for the things you’ll need.”

6. Buy life insurance. “I absolutely recommend it if you’re starting a family or if you have a spouse who depends on you to pay the bills,” says Rindskopf. “Do a little research before you jump in and buy a policy.”

7. Increase 401(k) contributions to 10%, even if it’s beyond company match, Weliver says.

8. Pay off student loans on schedule. Student loans are “tax-deductible and the interest rate is generally low,” says Chatzky.

9. Open tax-advantaged accounts. “If you’ve maxed out [other savings], but you still have money to put aside, look at other tax advantaged accounts you can open. If you have a child, look at the 529″ to save for their college education, Chatzky says.

10. Invest. If you’ve done all of this, increased your retirement and your savings and still have money to spare, you may consider investing in taxable brokerage accounts.

THE GENERATION OF ADJUSTED EXPECTATIONS

Chatzky, a mother of two teens, 18 and 16, says many young adults will need to “choose a smaller lifestyle than earlier generations.”

“It’s very demoralizing to think that the next generation won’t have a shot at doing as well as their parents did,” she says.

Weliver agrees that his generation has a different standard of living.

“We need to lower our expectations,” he says. “Retirement age may be 70. … That just may be the reality of our generation.”

With 32% of those 18-34 saying they put nothing toward retirement, according to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, even a later retirement date requires getting serious about personal finances as soon as possible.

“When you turn 30, it’s a really good time to make a five-year plan for your finances. Your 20s are notoriously uncertain — you may be moving, in and out of relationships and different jobs — so it’s hard to stick to a five-year plan because things change so quickly,” Weliver says. “By the time you’re 30, things may slow down a bit and there may be a natural progression in terms of savings and salary.”

Follow Anne Godlasky on Twitter @annieisi

April 4

Six (6) Tough Questions To Ask Before Retiring

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Here is a great article from Moneyrates.com. It provides food for thought. Are you ready?

Remember we all have “Potencial Millonario”

Enjoy,

Felix A. Montelara

Author: Potencial Millonario 

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Felix A. Montelara – Author Potencial Millonario (Army Photo 1985)

By Naomi Mannino | Money Rates Columnist

While the biggest factor in deciding when to retire is whether you still need or want to work, there are many other variables to consider to ensure a comfortable and secure life after work.

“There is an upward trend in Americans working beyond age 60,” says Gary Burtless, Ph.D, research associate at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. “And we’ve seen an increasing number of people staying in the workforce until age 72.”

Burtless says that the incentives within the Social Security system and employer-matched 401(k) plan contributions can make working later in life more financially attractive.

In addition, American’s confidence in their ability to retire comfortably is at an all time-low. According to the 2012 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), 60 percent of workers report having less than $25,000 in savings or retirement assets.

In “Women Still at Work: Professionals Over Sixty and On the Job” and a forthcoming book on aging men in the workforce, found that a main reason would-be retirees choose to keep working beyond age 60 is that they enjoy the work and the feeling they are contributing and making a difference.

How can you know whether you’re ready for retirement? Asking yourself these six questions may help. Any “no” answers may mean it’s worth waiting a little longer to retire.

1. Is your credit in order?

“High interest debt on credit cards should be paid off,” says John Ulzheimer, president of SmartCredit.com. “Otherwise it simply doesn’t make sense to retire.”

Ulzheimer notes that carrying debt with interest rates higher than your investment yields can lead to losing money every month.

“It’s not uncommon to have some small vacation rental or remaining mortgage debt upon retirement,” Ulzheimer says. “But this interest is tax-deductible and low-priced, with an end in sight in comparison to credit card debt.”

Ulzheimer also recommends not applying for any new credit and cleaning up any default or collection accounts remaining on your credit report. “Once you’ve stopped working, you will have less capacity to pay off debts and you certainly don’t want collections phone calls,” he says.

2. Have you maxed out your retirement benefits?

“The more money you can put in your monthly retirement income bucket by maximizing the income from all different sources, the better off you will be” says Steve Repak, CFP, author of “Dollars and Uncommon Sense.” “And, currently, a lot of it depends on delaying retirement.”

Repak notes that your Social Security benefits increase until you reach age 70, and that if your employer provides a pension or matches any investment contributions you make, such as those made to a 401(k), it may pay to keep working and let your accounts continue growing.

3. Is your health declining?

Good health is another reason Americans may choose to work longer, according to Fideler.

As a healthy worker, you may find it beneficial to keep your job — and health insurance — until age 65 when Medicare can cover some of your health care expenses. If you retire before age 65, you may pay significantly more to keep health coverage through the COBRA program or your spouse’s employee health plan, says Repak.

“Maintain as active a lifestyle as possible to save money on health care costs now and later,” advises Dr. Paul Terpeluk, D.O., medical director of employee health services at the Cleveland Clinic. “You will avoid spending on prescription and over-the-counter medications, procedures and co-pays for the major sedentary-lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and heart disease.”

4. Are you working out of choice?

In the EBRI survey, retirees who worked gave some of these financial reasons:

  • To buy extras
  • Decreased value of their savings or investments
  • Needing money to make ends meet
  • Needing money to keep health insurance or other benefits

“Obviously, if you have more income than expenses, then you have the choice to work at something you enjoy or are passionate about,” Repak says.

“Well-educated, career workers over 60 are more likely to love what they do, find meaning in their work and enjoy their patients, clients and/or students,” says Fideler, who notes that many gradually cut back to part-time work or become consultants or self-employed. “The decision is not irrevocable — if they find themselves bored, they return to work.”

5. Have you minimized your income needs?

“The many retirement calculators and savings and spending formulas don’t work for everyone,” says Repak. “A simple list of monthly retirement expenses and monthly retirement income can show you whether you have enough to retire or not. Try living that budget for a few months to see if it’s realistic,” advises Repak.

If you still have college expenses, dependent family members or other costly obligations, waiting longer to retire may help decrease these expenses, according to the EBRI study.

6. Do you have enough cash?

Repak advises having at least two years of retirement expenses available in liquid, insured savings accounts with the best savings rates you can find. This way, if you need money for a large household repair, car mishap or health emergency, you will not have to raid your retirement accounts or turn to credit cards.

But Repak says you shouldn’t keep more in liquid assets than you need to.

“Liquid, safe money is not currently earning interest ahead of inflation,” says Repak

November 16

Assets Protection Planning

Listen to the issue of  assets protection from a real lawyer and his best friend Elvis a dog.

 

Iphone 040813 174

I hope you learn but most important you enjoy it.

Felix A. Montelara

Host & Author: Potencial Millonario

July 30

Five Regular Folks Make a Million Dollar – How, You May Ask?

Comprelo Ya... Potencial Millonario By Felix A. Montelara

The folks in this CNN Money story are just like you and me. They have gain close to a million or even surpassed. Nice..

Remember, we all have Potencail Millonario

Best regards,
Felix A. Montelara

Click on Link, Enjoy.

http://money.cnn.com/gallery/pf/2013/07/29/million-dollars.moneymag/index.html

April 23

208 Millionaires by TSP (Federal Government)

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Are you one of the 208 TSP Millionaires? Yes it is possible and guess what 208 Federal Employees have done it. Enjoy, Felix A. Montelara Author: Potential Millionaire (Spanish Edition).

http://www.fedsmith.com/2012/02/02/208-tsp-millionaires-enjoy-big-return-january/

I hope this opens your mind to the possible.

Remember will all have Potential Millionaire.

Best regards,

Felix A. Montelara