year. Norman also had the couple establish two SEP IRAs (currently worth roughly $45,000 each) and 529 college savings plans for the children’s education (currently valued at $20,000 each). Since 2002, the Ducketts’ portfolio has risen in value from $130,000 to $265,000. Over the years, Duckett had bought and sold two homes, one of which was an investment property. He reinvested the profits toward his retirement.
“Being able to talk to someone who had good knowledge of investing has been a plus for us. David had us diversify our portfolio and focus on our future,” Duckett says. “A lot of athletes only think ‘I made it.’ They don’t worry about their future. Unlike a lot of professions, in athletics the leagues advertise how much you make. So you need to have people around you that you trust to show you how to save and to set a foundation for the future.”
A bit of a procrastinator in the past, Duckett is putting in place an estate plan to protect and provide for his heirs. He understands now that a solid financial plan can help you get your arms around complex financial issues like tax planning and retirement savings. Here he offers some advice to others planning their futures:
Commit to saving for retirement. Just hoping that you’ll have enough money for retirement is not a smart strategy. Social Security alone won’t cut it. It’s wiser to take control of retirement planning yourself by investing in company 401(k) plans and IRA accounts. Also, make a plan to save on a regular basis, whether you start with $50 a month or $5,000 a year.
Create and adhere to a financial plan. “When you plan for every avenue of your life, then when the time comes for each occasion, you will be OK,” Duckett says. Having a plan enables you to see how you can help your family in the future. For example, opening and contributing to college savings fund gives you a sense of relief. “I know people who earn good income but don’t think ahead for college education until the children are ready for college,” he explains.
Don’t waste your money. You want to grow your money not throw your money away. “I have never depended on things like the lottery,” Duckett says. Look to investment vehicles such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Real estate is also a definite buy. “As a realtor, I have a strong commitment to homeownership and real estate investments in general,” says Duckett.