Advice: Contribute at least 6% to retirement plans.
How they responded: Kenric and Christina each contribute 6%. The increase over the past year and a half has helped boost their retirement savings to about $62,000.
Advice: Put 50% of grant income into Christina’s IRA.
How they responded: Market jitters got the best of them. Fearing the worst, Christina put it in a savings account.
Advice: Increase 529 plan savings; $464 per month for the 10-year-old; $342 per month for the 7-year-old; and $228 per month for the 23-month-old.
How they responded: They contribute $150 monthly for each child. The Brookses hope income from their real estate investments will help pay for their children’s schooling. Christina, who is a professor, also hopes to stay in her current job, where her children could receive discounted tuition rates when they go to college.
Advice: Get an insurance policy that will cover total debt in case one of them dies.
How they responded: Christina’s job advanced her position to include benefits and she signed up for life insurance for herself and every member of the family. Kenric continues to hold a life insurance policy through his employer. Kenric is insured at $750,000, Christina at $400,000, and each child is insured at $10,000.
Advice: Evenly split the contest winnings between savings and debt reduction.
How they responded: They put $1,000 toward savings and $1,000 toward debt reduction.
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