Table Of Contents
Chapter 1: About This Book
Chapter 2: Take Action
Chapter 3: Net Worth and Credit
Chapter 4: Ways To Save
Chapter 5: Get Secure
Sample Content Preview
Some of the most essential actions involve being aggressive and disciplined with yourself to stay invested. There may be smart decisions you’ve already made but may now be questioning. I know many of your thoughts will be negative to the point you are saying to yourself “hay, there’s no point in going forward with these investments for retirement as long as the markets are down”. This would be a colossal mistake. Now is an unbelievably smart time to invest for retirement.
There’s to be no curling up in a fetal position on the sofa in 2011. Praying or assuming everything will be okay with no actions taken is a huge no as well. Answers to your money problems in these troubled times are not going to fall in your lap.
There is absolutely no assuming that there’s a government bailout or Wall Street rally right around the corner that will fix everything for you without any drive and effort on your part. You’ll have to hop out of bed or get off the couch and take charge of your financial life in 2011. Make that dedication this year and you’ll construct a firm financial foundation that you are able to remain firm when everything around you is falling apart.
As we carry on clawing our way out of the credit crisis while dealing with the economic recession. I ask you to be able to look at and see the larger picture. While these are harsh times, our economy will come together sooner or later. Our markets will recover. We’ll all survive. I would like to be very clear: The recovery is not going to be quick or easy by any means.
Our economic system is like a patient who was raced to the infirmary in critical condition. After a long time of rigorous intervention the patient is still in the ICU, but the medical prognosis is sooner or later there will be an entire recovery. Eventually, the patient will enter a rehabilitation facility and start to return to his or her normal state of health.
The patient will be stable enough to go home, though it might be years before he or she’s back to full health.
If we are not going to see an instant turnaround of the economy in 2011, why am I insisting that you take action, because we need to protect what we have. We need to protect our families and protect our chances of still reaching our long-term goals. Let’s face it, in the past you didn’t really have to work too hard at building financial security.
You plowed money into your 401(k) and IRA in the 1990s and you watched the market post an annualized gain of 18 %. At that pace, you calculated early retirement was a distinct possibility. In 2000, the real estate bubble started and you got used to yearly price gains of 10 % or more. It was simple to think that you had it made.
And yet here we are. The major stock market bench mark indexes have fallen behind to where they were in 1998. Household values, on the average, have already slipped back to their 2004 levels, and I anticipate we have more downside to get hold of before real estate stabilizes. My point is, you just cannot show up and anticipate simple market gains to get you where you want to go. The days of easy money are gone.
I always said that when it concerns your income, it isn’t about achieving what’s easy- it is about doing what’s correct. The plan in this book is going to aid you in doing what’s right. You are able to read this book front to back, go instantly to the matter that concerns you the most, or jump around the book as you see fit.
Regardless how you approach it, the goal is for you to arrive at the correct decision in 2011 to ease the tension, concern, and anger you are feeling and replace it with the guaranteed sense that you’ve done what it takes to protect yourself, the income you have worked so hard for.
I recognize revenue is tight in these times. I know you are busy. And I know confronting financial matters is not fun. But here is what I also know: You wish you could once and for all get your fiscal house together.
What follows is your 2011 financial to-do list. It’s divided into three sections. I want you to find what works best for you and start creating and putting up your to do lists. Start off small and work your way into the harder areas of your financial problems. Post this list on the fridge, the bathroom mirror, or your bulletin board, and take it on in little chunks. Make 2011 the year to track your spending.
Why it is crucial: You know the high-ticket expenses in your life, but all the more minor spending can also be a killer. Take a look at your month to month spending, and I assure you you’ll have a few “Oh my goodness I had no Idea!!!” moments.
Determine Your Net Worth
Why it is important: We lean towards focusing on assets and leave about debts. Financial security takes confronting the larger picture: assets minus debts. Tip: Type “net worth calculator” into any search engine and you’ll find an array of free online tools to aid in you taking stock of your assets and debts.
Check Your Credit Profile
Why it is crucial: Your credit score affects the rates of interest you are offered on credit cards and loans, can be used to vet your job application, and in a few states may determine what your insurance premiums will be. So your credit reports, which decide your FICO score, need to be up-to-date and correct possible mistakes. A score of at the very least should be 720 (the range is 300 to 850).
Tip: Go to AnnualCreditReport.com to get your free credit reports from the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
Annually, you’re entitled to one free report from each. If a web site asks for your credit card to get a report, you are at the wrong site! Review your reports for errors, and follow the directions for filing a dispute.
Once corrections are made, go to MyFICO.com to obtain your FICO credit score. You may encounter offers free of charge to get credit scores. They’re knockoffs of the real deal.
Your FICO score is what most lenders and businesses check. It is $16 to see your FICO score. With a great deal on the line, that is a minor price to pay.
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