BOSTON (CBS) – So Wednesday we talked about the healthy part, now let’s talk about the wealthy part.
If you have been using the lottery as your planning for the wealthy part, I want you to rethink your strategy and figure the odds.
The lottery is not a retirement planning tool, consider it pure entertainment. And if you ever win the lottery, hire yourself a good financial planner to help you become wise.
Here are some really easy steps to follow to becoming wealthy:
- Set goals. What do you want? Where do you want to be in one year, 2, 5, and 10? Write down your goals. If you are coupled, do you have the same goals?
- Figure out your net worth. Do this annually. Write down everything you own, your assets and everything you owe, your liabilities. Subtract. This gives you your net worth. Now take it one step further and figure out if what you own is a use asset or an invested asset. The invested assets, like your savings or 401(K), help you reach your goals. The use assets are your car, clothes, boat, and house.
- Do a cash flow. Fancy term for a budget. Figure out where your paycheck goes each week. You want money left over so you can save. A savings rate of 10% will assure you of becoming wealthy. Start off with one or two percent and build on that. It’s the dollars you have left after paying your bills that will make you wealthy.
- Pay off your credit card debt. This is the bad kind of debt and you want to pay it off as quickly as possible. Credit cards will de-rail your chances of ever becoming wealthy. If you are like so many Americans, you may be carrying a lot of credit card debt and you may have used your credit card to pay for the wonderful Christmas and the festive New Year’s Eve party. Pay more than the minimum each month and pay off the highest interest rate card first.
- Automatic savings plans. Set up a plan so you are saving a portion of your paycheck each week. This could be your retirement plan such as your 401(k), 403(b) or the state deferred 457 plan. Could be the savings bond program, the Christmas club or have part of your paycheck go into a savings account. Whatever you choose it can be done without you having to have the discipline to write the check each week. If there is a company match for your 401(k) at least contribute to the match amount.