Hirtting Her Target

Diane Fenderson is on track to maintain her lifestyle when she retires

but she’s not tempted to replace it with anything flashy. “I’m brand loyal,” she says, “so I’ll probably buy another Subaru.” Of course, she quickly adds that first she’ll do her homework, see what Consumer Reports has to say, and test-drive a model or two. She’s on course to reach her retirement destination and plans to do so by continuing to adhere to DOFE Principle No. 4: to engage in sound budget, credit, and tax management practices.

In the end, her financial adviser, Loftin, sums it up, “You don’t want to spend your golden years working at the Golden Arches.”

To commit to a program of retirement planning and investing
Keep several rules in mind when committing to a program of retirement planning and investing. We spoke with W.M. Nzambi, president of Mariner Financial Group in Pittsburgh, who made the following suggestions:

Forget the Joneses. Don’t get caught up in the race to make prestige purchases. These often depreciating assets don’t help to build wealth. If you’ve reached some level of success, resist the temptation to show it overtly.

Make savings automatic. Setting up automatic payments to savings vehicles can make the process painless and keep you from diverting funds to other, more immediate needs. Also, investigate savings arrangements such as the Keep the Change program at Bank of America: Each time enrolled customers use their bank check card, the purchase is rounded to the nearest dollar amount and the difference is moved to the person’s savings account. See www.bankofamerica.com/aboutktc.

Choose your adviser wisely. It’s important to have an adviser who has experience helping people who are similar to you, e.g., if you own a small-business, make sure your adviser is knowledgeable about those issues.

Catch up if you’re behind. If you’re over 50 and not on target to meet your expected financial needs, be aware that you can contribute $1,000 more to your IRA and $5,000 more to your 401(k) in 2007 than younger individuals.

Be mindful of fees. Take note of the expenses surrounding your investment decisions, but don’t let them exclusively determine whether you’ll make the investment. Some expensive funds outperform their categories and may pay off in the long run.
hitting her target

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