Tools and Tips

April 2005
Money;Apr2005, Vol. 34 Issue 4, p180
This section offers financial planning advice for every age. Add up the total dollar amounts you invest and save annually. A good goal is 10% of your income. If you have a hard time developing a savings habit, sign up for a 401(k) and an automatic investment plan. That way the money is taken from your paycheck or bank account before you can spend it. To estimate how much your home is worth, look up recent sale prices of similar houses in your neighborhood. Contribute at least enough to your 401(k) to get the full company match. Come up with a target allocation for your age, and rebalance your stock and bond mix once a year to maximize your returns. If company stock is more than 10% of your total, cut back. Tackle your debts first. Paying off a credit-card balance is the equivalent of earning a double-digit rate on your savings. If you haven't reallocated your assets since you left your job, your portfolio is likely too risky. If you are considering a move, see how far your retirement income will go in cities around the country.


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