David Lerner Associates: Five Common Financial Mistakes
Your current financial situation is a combination of every decision relating to money you've made in the past. If you're like most people, you have had very little or no coaching, so you're just learning as you go. This means that while many of your choices may come from good intentions, they fall flat as a result of poor planning or lack of knowledge. However, identifying where you went wrong can help you avoid making more costly missteps down the road.
1. Frivolous spending
It may not seem like a big deal when you pick up that large double-pump mocha frappuccino, but every little item adds up. Just $25 per week spent on dining out costs you $1,300 per year, which could go toward an extra mortgage payment or a number of other payments. If you're enduring financial hardship, avoiding this mistake really matters, and every dollar will count more than ever.
2. Living paycheck to paycheck
The cumulative result of overspending puts people into a precarious position - one in which they need every dime they earn. Just one missed paycheck would be disastrous. This is not the position you want to find yourself in if another economic recession hits. If this happens, you'll have very few options. Everyone has a choice in how they live, so it's just a matter of making savings a priority. [See article on How to Build an Emergency Fund]
3. Not making retirement plans
According to research, only one in four Americans actually plans to retire. While there is nothing wrong with working and being productive into our later years, there are many unforeseen things (health, personal, or economic) which may cause a person to forcibly retire. Even if you love your job and can’t see yourself doing anything else, work with a financial planner to determine when and if you can retire, so you at least have the option. If you are a business owner, consult with your attorney to review your succession plan and buy/sell agreement.
4. Not planning for taxes
According to the IRS, over 12 million taxpayers asked for an extension to file their taxes last year. This extension simply gives the taxpayer more time — six more months — to complete his or her return.
While a little more time is helpful, it doesn’t solve the problem that you hadn’t planned ahead to file and pay your taxes or even worse, collect a refund check! Being prepared for your taxes is important. Review your tax liabilities at least in the final quarter of the year, so you know what to expect when the next year’s taxes come due.
5. Not investing
Whether you have a hard time trusting others or you feel the markets are too risky, if you do not get your money working for you in the markets or through other income-producing investments, you cannot stop working - ever.
Making monthly contributions to designated retirement accounts is essential for a comfortable retirement. Take advantage of the tax-deferred accounts and your employer's sponsored plan. Understand the time your investments will have to grow and how much risk you can tolerate, then consult a qualified financial advisor to match this with your goals.
Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities.
To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.
Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.
These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable-- we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.
David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances.
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Founded in 1976, David Lerner Associates is a privately-held broker/dealer with headquarters in Syosset, New York and branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, FL; Teaneck and Princeton, NJ; and White Plains, NY. For more information contact David Lerner Associates Call 516-921-4200 Visit our website: www.davidlerner.com