Michael on November 2nd, 2007
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Although these top 40 strategies are thorough, they serve only as an introduction to personal financial planning. It’s critical that you keep learning so you can take your financial affairs to the next level (in a positive direction, of course). A few easy ways to do so:

Keep visiting the blog
Read/periodically review Beyond Paycheck [...]

Continue reading about Strategy # 40: Keep Learning. But also learn by doing.

Michael on October 26th, 2007
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You: Okay now I know you’re crazy.
No, it’s not a joke – financial planning can absolutely be an enjoyable experience. When you are confident with the plan you have in place, you get to enjoy the results. The sense of ownership and control over your own financial destiny can become mildly addictive.
You: Since right [...]

Continue reading about Strategy # 39: Financial planning can be fun

Michael on October 16th, 2007
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If you’re like most people, your financial inactivity is somewhat driven by the fear that personal finance is complicated. As I see it, this fear is primarily caused by two factors:

You were never taught the basics about money during school.
So far, the financial professionals you have been exposed to have been more interested in [...]

Continue reading about Strategy # 38: You can do this

Michael on October 4th, 2007
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If you’ve never invested before and the idea sounds intimidating, remember: you are already doing it.
You: That doesn’t even make any sense.
While you may not have made any financial investments yet, you choose how to invest everyday. For example, your daily activities are the result of a series of investment choices about how you’ll [...]

Continue reading about Strategy # 36: You are already investing

Financial planning is not difficult.
You: Yes it is.
No, it isn’t.
You: C’mon!
Seriously. Want proof?
You: Sure.
I once scored more points during a high school intramural basketball game than I received on a calculus test later that same week.
You: That only proves you’re a very good basketball player.
Some of my very best friends would be happy to [...]

Continue reading about Strategy # 35: This stuff is easy.There’s just plenty of it.

Michael on September 25th, 2007
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Perhaps you dreamed of being a radio station shock-jock but wound up hawking contact lenses to eye doctors. Of your childhood friends, Ryan is now a high-powered executive and Jason works for the fire department. Karen became a teacher and Michelle remains a perpetual student.
That’s great. Job titles alone do not determine financial destiny. [...]

Continue reading about Strategy # 34: You are who you are and you do what you do

You: I just bought this whole life insurance policy yesterday. Was that a good idea?
It might have been, but I don’t know.
You: How come?
Well, I’d have a lot of questions to ask you before I could comment on what’s appropriate for your situation.
You: What kind of questions?
As in your income, assets, marital status, [...]

Continue reading about Strategy # 33: Understand the implications of every financial decision you make

Michael on September 11th, 2007
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You: Trusts aren’t for me–they’re for rich people, right?

Many people assume trusts are only for the extremely wealthy. And while there is certainly a place for trusts among the affluent, a revocable living trust makes sense for many people living a typical middle-class lifestyle.
You: How so?
A trust provides for a cleaner passing of your [...]

Continue reading about Strategy # 32: Trust yourself

Michael on September 10th, 2007
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. . . that your heirs are going to be happy that you did not have one.
You: But I’m in my late twenties and no one is going to confuse me with a Rockefeller. What’s the rush?
Even if you aren’t likely to die with a large sum of money, a will can [...]

Continue reading about Strategy # 31: If there’s no will, there’s no way . . .

You: What should I do with my 401(k) money when I switch jobs?
Generally, you have four options for your 401(k) money whenever you leave your job:

Leave it there.
Roll it over into your new company’s 401(k) plan.
Roll it over into your IRA.
Take the money.

Choosing number 4 will never be the right move (the reasons why are [...]

Continue reading about Strategy # 30: You can take your 401(k) plan with you. . .and you should