You can’t afford to put off making a financial plan

You can’t afford to put off making a financial plan

Edward Iwata, writing in the SF Chronicle/Examiner on January 21, 1996, describes the “money makeover” that Dave provided to a thirty-something mother of two young children.  Ed’s opening paragraphs seem as relevant in 2013 as they were in 1996:

LET’S FACE it: Most of us need financial therapy. We’re in deep denial over our obscene spending habits, our scrawny bank balances, our lame investments.

It’s no secret that Americans are the greatest consumers in the world – and among the worst savers and financial planners.

How can we afford that new home, or that European vacation, or shares in that hot mutual fund? How can retired people live in comfort? How can we escape the lure of credit cards and easy auto loans, with personal debt in the U.S. topping a record $1 trillion?

To make matters worse, the economy is a merciless juggernaut. Laid-off workers are hitting the streets. Paychecks are shrinking. Traditional pension plans have vanished.

Here’s a quick test: If you spend more a year on Starbuck’s coffee than put money into your 401(k) plan, it’s probably time for a financial makeover.

But there’s always hope. Even in this scary economic age, there are ways to win, whether one makes $24,000 or $240,000 a year.

How? By learning to be a smart money manager. Better yet, talk to a good financial consultant. Would you try to fix your car or build a house by yourself?

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