BOSTON (CBS) – I have been talking all this week about the website The Simple Dollar and the founder Trent Hamm. We have more of his simple rules today.
Focus on saving for retirement. Trent suggests that once your high interest debts are out of the way, start saving for retirement. And I agree but I strongly believe you should be able to save for retirement while paying down the debt. You will never get back those early years of retirement savings. Even a small amount will make such a big difference in 30 years. Use your retirement plan at work or set up an IRA.
Don’t touch your retirement if at all possible. When you’re struggling to pull yourself out of a financial hole, it can be very tempting to tap your retirement funds to pay off debts or to make a house down payment. If you can, avoid doing that. Not only do you lose out on years of growth in your finances, it’s also very easy to not adequately restock your retirement after doing this. Tap your retirement if you must, but it should be an avenue of last resort.
Buy term life insurance to cover your dependents. You don’t need much life insurance unless you have dependents (these are the folks relying on your income for support). Your best bet is to get a term life insurance policy, one that will pay out enough money to care for your dependents in the event of your early death.
Trent goes on to say all of those other insurance plans offer things that you won’t really need at all and charge you a pretty penny for it. Those other insurance plans he is referring to offer a savings or investment vehicle. And most individuals do much better if they purchase just term insurance and learn about savings and investing on their own.