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Colleen's Corner

Asset Allocation

Often financial "experts" make asset allocation difficult to understand. My goal in this series of articles is for you to understand asset allocation thoroughly, in an easy to understand format.
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How to Stop The "N.F.L. Syndrome" From Stealing Your Retirement

Dear Wise Consumer,

fI'm rolling along in my truck listening to The Dave Ramsay Show. He cites a study released by Sports Illustrated. According to SI, 78% of NFL players are broke within 2 years after retirement. And this is for those who make $400,000 or more.

I nearly swerved off the road! How could this be?

We've all seen the fat contracts and huge signing bonuses. These guys have so much money! They could pass it on to their children's children. But Mr. Ramsey answered my question. I doubt it will surprise you.

What We Have
In Common With
Broke NFL Players

We spend too much of our hard earned money. Did you know in your adult working life, you'll make $3-$8 million? But you'd never know it, because we fumble it away on frivolous things. And we do that on an average salary of $25K-$45K a year or less. Now imagine if you had "unlimited" dough rolling in. Without discipline and a plan it's easier to spend money faster when you make more. And that's why us and 78% of NFL players are in the predicament we're in.

They're broke in retirement and we're broke, so we may not have one.

Now I'm no sour puss. There's nothing wrong with having fun with your money. And you have to buy what you need. Yet I'm sure you could list many things you don't need.

There's a saying in sports that NFL stands for "Not For Long." If we don't watch our spending that's how long retirement will last. Here are three easy ways to keep moving your financial ball down the field, so you can score a fat retirement.

Score Fast and Often

Money Play #1: Sell What You Can

In his breakout book, The Total Money Makeover, Dave Ramsay talks about having a garage sale. The point is to sell anything you don't need or want anymore. This will raise some quick cash for an emergency fund or to pay off some immediate debt. And let's face it. Most of the junk we have lying around, is just taking up space. Make some room and make some money!

Money Play #2: Needs Before Wants

We need to have a roof, food and clothing. The rest is a want. Obviously insurance and other top needs are important. But the $78.00 pair of sandals and 10 trips to Starbucks isn't important. That money can be used to build your 401K.

The next time you want to buy something, ask yourself a question. "Will this help me enjoy the fat retirement I deserve?" If not, back off for now. You want to do this if you're constantly wasting your money on what you don't need. If you have it budgeted and planned that's another story. Look at your budget as a "Stop-Loss System." This is commonly used by wise investors who don't get burned by Wall Street. They use it as a tool to stop the "financial bleeding."

Money Play #3: Cash Blitz

When I was little, I needed money to fund my summer. What did I do? Anything that wasn't illegal! I mowed lawns, cleaned lots, washed cars and more. There was nothing like having a wad of cash for fun!

Nothing is more fun than paying off a debt. Nothing will make you smile more, knowing your retirement will be well-funded. Do extra work to make more money. Put it toward three things: An emergency fund, debt snowball and your 401K or Roth IRA.

Don't end up like 78% of NFL players in retirement. Get spending under control and pile up the cash. You'll score a retirement your grandkids will talk about!

Clyde McDade is a Financial Copywriter. He's the author of the upcoming E-book, "How to Grow More Money for Retirement and Your Child's College Fund." He can be reached at accelcs@comcast.net.

The information in this article is not to be taken as financial or investing advice. Always seek the services of a Financial Advisor, Accountant or Financial Planner.