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October 21, 2014

By J. André Weisbrod

Procrastination Prevents.  Here are some things to seriously consider now if you are…

 

Single and Just Starting Out:  Spend less than you make (Budget Control), start an Emergency Fund, start a Roth IRA, take advantage of employer-sponsored matching retirement plans, start targeted savings accounts (for specific purposes such as vacation, car purchase, etc.) Stay out of consumer debt.  Only borrow to buy a house.  Buy a used car you can afford and avoid financing it if at all possible.  Make sure you have good health, disability, auto and renters insurance, and build a habit of giving to church/ministry/charity.  Consider a small life insurance policy to at least pay for final expenses so as not to burden family.

Single and Older:  Keep doing the above.  See a good planner/adviser.  Start a regular investment account to build wealth.  Magnify your career.  If so inclined, start a business, finding good business advisers, resources and coaches.  Be entrepreneurial even if you are employed by someone else.

Newly-Weds and Nearly Weds:  Do all of the above, but do it together – Become “one” financially.   Make sure you have good advisers (financial planning, investing, insurance, accounting, and legal).  Discuss and plan for kids, where to live and your short-term and long term goals.  Add life insurance to your financial plan.

Married with Children:  Keep it going.  Add college savings accounts (Section 529 plan) to you plan.  Make sure you have wills (trusts if appropriate) and enough life insurance (term) to adequately take care of your family.

Empty Nesters and Pre-Retirement Singles:  If you are age 50 or older, get serious.  Work with your financial adviser to determine your post-retirement funding – realistic goals and how to get there.  Apply discipline.  Max out any employer retirement plan matching benefits.  Keep the Roth IRA going if your are still able to contribute.  Start including Long Term Care in your financial plan.  But don’t forget to enjoy life.  Put together your “bucket list.”  If you did well by your children, you deserve some extra fun.  Just do it wisely.

At Retirement (6-24 months before):  This is the time to meet with all your advisers.  It’s also the time to work Medicare and Medicare supplements into your time line.  Refine your “bucket list.”  Gitterdone!

Post-Retirement:  I actually don’t believe in the word “retirement.”  I call it financial freedom - freedom to be productive and giving in a world that needs elders’ wisdom.  Don’t stop planning or dreaming.  Start a new business.  Or be creative in ministry and charity, using your experience and expertise.  Control your budget.  Work with your advisers to create a sound estate plan.  Contribute and enjoy!

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J. André Weisbrod is founder of STAAR Financial Advisors Inc. and the STAAR Investment Trust headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. He has been named a 5-star Wealth Manager in Pittsburgh Magazine and is among the longest tenured fund managers with over 20 years managing the same funds. He is also co-founder of the Strategic Assets Fund 1, LP, a private equity fund for accredited investors. He is an author and speaker and has been interviewed, quoted or had articles published in a variety of media including Investors Business Daily, TheStreet.com, The Wall Street Journal, Business News Network, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, USA Today, KDKA TV and Reuters TV.

Actively involved in church and community affairs, Mr. Weisbrod is committed to the well being of individuals, families and businesses. Avocations include competitive masters swimming, scuba diving, painting and photography, acting and music.

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