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This hands-on resource demystifies financial planning by giving the Enough number: an exact figure specific to personal goals, which can be a target number to aim for in retirement. It shows what changes will help to achieve the number, and offers an understanding of hidden motivations when it comes to spending money. It also provides an overview of the multitudes of investments available and provides conservative ...
This hands-on resource demystifies financial planning by giving the Enough number: an exact figure specific to personal goals, which can be a target number to aim for in retirement. It shows what changes will help to achieve the number, and offers an understanding of hidden motivations when it comes to spending money. It also provides an overview of the multitudes of investments available and provides conservative guidelines that will help make money, save taxes, and sleep at night.
This hands-on guide walks you through a proven program that is designed to keep you on the right track to financial success.
I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam. -Popeye the Sailor Man
Money doesn't come cheap. It's wound up with our emotions in ways we seldom notice. We trade our time and energy for it, keep score with it, build with it, control others with it, and indulge ourselves with it. Then we fantasize about having more. Some people's self-esteem rides on how much of it they have-or how much of it they can make others think they have. Some have trouble parting with it-if you spend it on something, it's no longer there helping you sleep at night! Some people believe they need money to buy the affection or respect of others. Others use it to protect themselves from pain or to cause pain to others. People have lingering feelings of shame because as kids they had so much less, or more, than others. There are those who consider themselves bad people if they care about money at all. Money is power. Money is glamour. Money is happiness ...
I've got news for you. Money is just a tool. All that other stuff is what we put into it: fear, greed, envy, pride, anger, respect-that comes from us.
When Carrie dragged Jackson in to see me she was convinced that their finances were out of control. "How are we going to save any money when he keeps giving it all away?" she groaned. Neither she nor Jackson hadany idea how much they would need to retire on, so she wanted to put away every cent, just to be safe. As far as Jackson was concerned, they had lots of money-certainly far more than either of them had grown up with-and as the son of a minister, he had always felt compelled to help others. That was why he had become a doctor. The money that went with the job gave his benevolent impulses new expression. As well as the charities and foreign foster children he supported, he had even been known to help out patients who were hard up.
Carrie couldn't stand it. To her, having money meant just that: having it. She had grown up with even less than Jackson, and she wanted to protect herself against ever being that poor again. After paying the monthly household expenses for a family of four with a mortgaged house, she wanted to save and invest anything that was left. Jackson wanted to "give it all away." It became an ongoing tug-of-war that threatened to end their marriage.
That first visit from Carrie and Jackson brought home to me the two important points that underlie this book. First, only when you know how much is enough can you feel confident that you're on track and know what you have left to enjoy. Second, money is an emotional subject. People have deep-rooted attitudes about money, and their own attitudes have to be taken into account if any financial program is going to work for them. Let's start with the second point.
For Carrie, the only real security was money in the bank, and even with the pile of money that she had built up, she was anxious that it still wasn't enough. That nagging thought made her resent Jackson for what she saw as lavishing money on strangers. But, for him, it seemed a shameful waste to have money sitting around in a bank account when any number of people and agencies were crying out for help.
When the two of them argued about money, neither realized that they were arguing about something far more profound than facts and figures. Neither one understood that the other's way of handling money reflected a deep emotional need, and to deny that need was to make the other feel insecure and unloved. When I met these two my first job was to help them understand that-and understand each other.
In my work, I see four common attitudes toward money. None of them is right or wrong, better or worse than the others, but each can lead to trouble if it's not balanced. A person's ingrained attitude to money is not going to change, so it's essential to build a financial program around how each person feels about this pervasive fact of life. Let's begin by finding out what your attitude is. For each number in The Attitude Quiz, write down the letter that most closely corresponds to your own point of view. At the end you'll see what type you are, and where your personal pitfalls lie.
The Attitude Quiz
1. A. Shopping is my favorite sport.
B. I shop when I need something.
C. Shopping can be fun sometimes, especially if I'm shopping for other people. D. Shopping is torture.
2. A. Credit cards allow me to have what I want without worrying if I can afford it.
B. If I can't afford something but it's an investment, why not use credit cards?
C. I give my kids credit cards to teach them the value of money.
D. Credit cards are a good way to build up a credit rating and a handy alternative to carrying cash. 3. When I go out for dinner with friends, A. We check out the latest hot restaurant, and we split the bill evenly.
B. Sometimes I pay, sometimes they pay-it all works out eventually.
C. I usually fight for the check.
D. We ask for separate checks.
4. If I see something I like, I
A. Buy it.
B. Buy it if it fits into my game plan.
C. Get one for me and one for somebody else if it's a good deal.
D. Usually talk myself out of buying it.
5. If I won a big lottery, I would
A. Never have to think about money again. B. Use it to create something important.
C. Spend a lot of it on friends, family, and charities, and keep enough to live on. D. Make sure my family was taken care of, pay off the mortgage, then live on the interest.
6. If I don't have any money in the bank, I
A. Use my credit cards and line of credit-isn't that why they're there?
B. Use credit to leverage opportunities. C. Worry that I won't be able to fulfill people's expectations of me.
D. Get anxiety attacks (or I would if it ever happened).
7. A. I don't know where all my money goes.
B. I always have a pretty good idea of how much money I have available, but never let that stand in the way of a good idea.
C. Most of my money is allocated to family, charity, or trying to make a difference.
D. I keep close track of all my bank accounts and investments.
8. I love to use my money to
A. Enjoy life to the fullest.
B. Follow my interests and stretch myself.
C. Make other people happy.
D. Build up a nest egg.
9. When I go shopping for something I need, I
A. Usually come home with a few extras.
B. Find it, buy it, and go home.
C. Look around to see if there's anything I can pick up for anyone else while I'm out.
D. Shop around to make sure I'm getting it for the best price.
10. When I give to charity, I A. Give to the ones that appeal to my heart.
B. Choose charities that most closely match my aims and beliefs.
C. Give as much as I can because others need it more than I do.
D. Allocate a specific amount to the charities of my choice.
11. A. It's important to get a new car every three years.
B. If you buy the right car, it's a good investment.
C. It's an incredible timesaver if everybody in the family has a car.
D. I take really good care of my car to make it last.
12. When somebody has a new car, I ask
A. Did it come loaded?
B. What kind of car is it?
C. Are you happy with it?
D. How did it rate in Consumer Reports?
13. How do I allocate my Retirement Account?
A. What Retirement Account?
B. My home/business/hobby is my retirement plan.
C. My financial adviser takes care of all that.
D. Carefully. Very carefully.
14. When I go on vacation, I like to
A. Pamper myself.
B. Get some use out of the trip.
C. Take lots of friends or family with me.
D. See how cheaply I can do it and still have fun.
How Did You Score?
What does money mean to you? It's helpful to know because any of these attitudes taken to the extreme can sabotage your dreams. Find out by adding up the As, Bs, Cs, and Ds you have: The category in which you have the highest score is your type. You probably won't be one type exclusively, but one attitude will probably prevail. Once you know which type or combination of types you are, you'll have a better idea of why you spend money in certain ways and you'll also be able to see patterns in your wish list, once you get to that part.
A: THE SPENDER
Motto: You only live once.
Dead giveaways: new car, latest gadgets, hosting garage sales, credit card vacations.
Spenders are very current. If you want something, ask one. They'll know where to get it, how to get it, and probably the best deal on it. They're forward-thinking, fun to be around, and often the envy of their friends. These are the fabled Joneses. If you walk into a house that has the best and the latest of everything, especially when the owners don't use it all, you're in a spender's house. Spenders like money for the things it buys. They'd rather have something concrete than something abstract like savings. It doesn't have to be objects. It might be courses, or travel, or restaurant dining. They also tend to see shopping as a form of entertainment.
Danger zones: Spenders get into trouble when they spend everything they have-or more. Of the four types, they have the hardest time saving money. If you're a Spender and don't pay off your credit card bills every month, or have a permanent line-of-credit debt, you could be on the slippery slope.
Attitude adjustment: Once Spenders buy into taking savings and expenses right off the top and having all the rest to spend, they're on their way.
Famous spender: Elton John. Most people, when asked how many Bentleys they own could make a pretty close estimate. Not Sir Elton. Maybe he doesn't know because he so seldom drives the things (at last count, it was 14 or 15, for future reference). This man is probably the world's champion shopper. In one trip to Versace in Milan he spent $600,000. That was a leap even for him-$600,000 is usually the monthly total on his credit cards. But it wasn't his personal best. He's reputed to have spent $1.1 million in one day. Two truckloads of personal possessions accompany him everywhere he goes, no matter how short the trip. It's a good thing for him that the world's airwaves are clogged with oldies stations playing his songs and paying him a couple of cents in royalties every time they do, but even with that river of money coming to him, he once came within eight weeks of going broke.
B: THE BUILDER
Motto: Make it so.
Dead giveaways: midnight oil, own business, serious collection, big projects.
For builders, money is a tool. They use it-and sometimes risk it-to turn their plans and dreams into reality. The joy is in the creating. The self-made millionaire is the most obvious example of this type, but Builders might also work at mindless jobs and pour all their money and energy into restoring cars or collecting Depression glass. Most entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, and ardent hobbyists are builders. These people make fantastic mentors (if they have the time). They may or may not have all the trappings of success, even if they can afford them.
Danger zones: Builders can get into trouble when they're so intent on building that they miscalculate the risks involved or fail to leave themselves a margin of error. The entrepreneur who keeps expanding the business without creating a cushion in case of failure, the collector who spends the mortgage money on a case of '82 Mouton Rothschild, the freelance consultant who buys a computer powerful enough to run the Navy and spends more time checking out what it can do than getting work-these are Builders who could be headed for trouble. There can also be a tendency to start projects and not finish them. Often, that leads to selling things at a loss, maybe from the last burning fascination, in order to get on with the Next Big Thing.
Attitude adjustment: Developing a portfolio is a building activity. Once Builders get interested in using their creativity here, they're on the escalator.
Famous builder: Bill Gates. In 1981, Bill Gates earned more than $1 million in personal income. But he was so busy with Microsoft that he didn't pay attention to his own bottom line. Whereas most people earning that kind of money have herds of accountants finding ways to shelter it, he was more interested in expanding his exploding company. He ended up writing a check for $500,000 in taxes. So rarely does this happen among the CEOs of America that he received a personal thank-you letter from Ronald Reagan.
C: THE GIVER
Motto: 'Tis better to give than to receive.
Dead giveaways: mail from charities, well-dressed grandchildren, endless committee meetings.
The rest of us probably couldn't get along without Givers. These are the volunteers, donors to charity and friends-indeed. Givers feel good taking care of other people. They buy gifts for friends that they would never buy for themselves. They deny themselves so they can leave something for the children. They put time, energy, and money into what they believe in. For some of them, having money is almost a sin, and the only proper thing to do with it is give it away. But for most, there's just a lot of pleasure in making other people happy or doing good.
Danger zones: Givers can get into trouble when they ignore their own needs. Tempting as it may be to help your kids buy their first homes, if you're doing it at the expense of your own retirement income, you could end up becoming a burden to them in the long run. You might also be creating dependent children who never find out how to take care of money because there's always more where that came from.
Attitude adjustment: Once Givers understand that by taking care of themselves they're better able to take care of others, they'll happily get with the program.
Famous giver: Elvis Presley did not die a rich man-or at least not as rich a man as he should have been. He was famous for taking care of his family and his huge retinue of good ol' boys. All his famous spending sprees were for the benefit of others: building Graceland for his mom and the rest of his kin, renting an amusement park for the night and taking all his friends, presenting Cadillacs to his buddies, buying a former presidential yacht and donating it to a children's hospital, contributing annually to 50 Memphis-area charities and buying a ranch near Memphis so he and his pals could go horseback riding. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but if he didn't really die, it's no wonder he's always spotted in 7-Elevens and laundromats.
Excerpted from How Much Is Enough Balancing Today's Needs with Tomorrow's Retirement Goals by Diane McCurdy Excerpted by permission.
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PART ONE: WHAT IS ENOUGH?
Chapter 1: Your Money and Your Life 3
How Did You Score? 8
Two Attitudes, One Family 15
Money Myths 17
Chapter 2: Where It Goes 21
Tracking Your Cash Flow 22
Chapter 3: What You Want 37
What Do You Want, Anyway? 38
Wish List Favourites 45
Yearly Goals 49
Chapter 4: What’s Enough for You 55
The Magic Number 55
Crunching the Numbers 56
What Your Enough Number Means 72
PART TWO: GETTING ENOUGH
Chapter 5: Getting on Track 77
Needs vs. Wants 78
Budgeting—I’ll Try to Be Gentle 81
Chapter 6: Finding Financial Advice 95
Finding a Good Financial Advisor 96
Trust, Two Ways 98
Your Risk Profi le 104
Chapter 7: How to Make Your Money Grow 109
Owner Investments: The Basics 119
Some Rules for Investing 134
Chapter 8: Registered Plans 137
Registered Retirement Savings Plans 138
Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) 148
Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) 152
Saving Outside the Government Plans 157
Chapter 9: Ages and Stages 161
Age 20–35 161
Age 35–50 170
Age 50–65 Plus 172
Chapter 10: Family Finances 183
Teaching Kids the Value of Money 183
The Money Challenge 184
Chapter 11: I’ve Got Enough (Now What?) 193
A Changing Concept of Retirement 194
Retirement: The Financial Side 203
Chapter 12: Estate Planning 227
What Happens if I Don’t Have a Will? 228
Laying the Groundwork 231
What Happens to My Business? 240
How Do I Choose My Executor? 243
How to Save Tax and Probate on Your Estate 244
Chapter 13: Tips and Thoughts to Make It Work 245
Twenty Thoughts to Help You Stay on Track 246
Twenty Tips to Help You Save Money 247
Appendix: Financial Planning Professional Designations 249
About the Author 261