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serve me well as I transition into doing my business full time.”
And because he’s learned from his mistakes at an early age, Bastien has decided to focus on his retirement savings. He estimates that between his Roth IRA, 401(k), and SEP, he’ll sock away $30,000 this year, adding to the $26,000 he’s already saved for retirement.
“Five years from now I want my net worth to be $750,000, between my company, rental properties I’ll buy, my home, and other assets,” says Bastien. “I’m putting myself on an aggressive schedule.”
Bastien offers this advice on taxes and money management:
School Yourself. Bastien is a fan of self-teaching. He recommends studying retirement and tax-planning issues over the Internet. “Many sites have tutorials that teach you important terms and concepts, like how the stock market works,” says Bastien. “The point is, you want to know something before you even seek out a financial planner or an accountant.”
Know Your Priorities. “You can’t have everything you see on television and in the media,” says Bastien. Forget about trying to have it all. Set goals and boundaries for what you purchase. “Stick to your plan and your budget, otherwise you’ll overextend yourself, and before long, you’ll be in over your head.”
Use Credit Wisely. Only use your credit card if you can pay off the bill in full each month. If you can’t, it may be a sign of trouble—you might be buying more than you can afford, or relying on credit cards to bridge a financial gap. Pay your bills promptly to avoid late fees and higher interest rates.
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