My wife, seeing my obsession these days with our financial planning, recently got me a year long subscription to Kiplinger's
(for the princely sum of $2!). The first issue I got just happens to be the 70th Anniversary special issue, with the immediately
appealing title "70 Ways to Build Wealth" on the cover. I'm finding this to be a treasure trove of great ideas for personal
wealth attainment. Here are all 70 of ways it recommends wealth attainment (You will probably be familiar with all or most of these):
1. Save early and often
2. Create an emergency fund (I prefer the term "contingency" fund)
3. Make the most of employer incentives (ie 401ks for those of you employed, I'm self-employed)
4. Open a Roth
5. Ask a pro for advice (ie talk to a financial planner)
6. Polish your credit.
7. Kick it up a notch (ie open a brokerage account)
8. Set specific goals
9. Live like the invisible rich (ie live within/below your means)
10. Cultivate your career
11. Buy a Home (when you're ready)
12. Save for college as soon as your kids are born
13. Fill the gaps in home insurance (ie make sure home insurance covers things like special items, consider flood insurance etc)
14. Shield yourself from lawsuits (ie get liability coverage in your auto insurance, and uninsured-motorist coverage, as well as an umbrella policy for auto and home)
15.Get enough life insurance
16. Buy disability insurance
17. Make the most of Health Savings Accounts (ie use it as an investment tool, let the balance grow instead of using it for health expenses as much as possible)
18. Think stocks (Quote from article: "The best way to build wealth over the long haul is to invest in stocks.")
19. Guard your good name (ie. protect your credit rating)
20. Thwart ID thieves
21. Update your estate plan (ie will and other estate planning documents)
(22-31 are "10 Timeless Tips from Knight Kiplinger")
22. Wealth creation isn't a matter of what you earn. It's how much of it you save.
23. Your biggest barrier to becoming rich is living like you're rich before you are.
24. Pay yourself first.
25. No one ever got into trouble by borrowing too little.
26. Conspicuous consumption will make you inconspicuously poor.
27. The key to stock market success isn't your timing of the market. It's your time IN the market --the longer, the better.
28. Diversity, because every asset has its day in the sun--and its day in the doghouse.
29. Keep a cool head when others are losing theirs. When others are selling investments, it's usually a good time to buy.
30. Money can't buy happiness, but it can make unhappiness easier to bear.
31. Sharing your wealth with others is more fun than spending it on yourself.
32. Let Uncle Sam help pay for raising kids (ie take advantage of family tax breaks: dependent-care FSA and child-care credit.
33. Teach your children well (ie raise financially literate and responsible children)
34. Shelter retirement income (ie post retirement, draw from taxable account first)
35. Keep an eye on recurring fees (ie watch out for phone, cable, internet, bank fees, etc that add up over time)
36. Invest to beat inflation (ie buy TIPS etc)
37. Capitalize on a Windfall (ie when you get a windfall, stash your money for 6-12 months while you come up with a solid plan of what to do with it, including assembling a good financial team, etc)
38. Spread out your investments (ie balance with stocks and bonds)
39. Give emerging markets a shot.
40. Don't try to time the market (ie don't sell all your stocks, instead set an appropriate allocation and rebalance)
41. Take a flier on small stocks (Quote from article: "After you've stashed money in an emergency fund and maxed out contributions to retirement acounts, consider taking a moonshot on stocks that could turbocharge your returns. Small, fast growing companies may be a good bet now because small companies should benefit from a focus on the healthy U.S. economy..")
42. Get a side gig (ie side hustle for increased earnings to pay off debt and save)
43. Rebalance regularly (ie "trim winners and add laggards to keep your mix intact")
44. Get on top of your spending
45. Set it and forget it (ie set up automated transfers for saving and investing each month)
46. Target your investing (ie use Target Date Index Funds)
47. Maximize credit card rewards
48. Get all the insurance discounts you deserve ("Ask your auto and home insurers for a list of potential discounts.")
49. Tap the sharing economy (ie use Airbnb when traveling, and zipcar etc)
50. Reshop your car insurance every year
51. Never pay retail, part 1 (ie Buy cars that are at least 3 years old)
52. Never pay retail, part 2 (use cash back sites for online purchases)
53. Negotiate for practically everything (haggle over cars and homes, and other things too... love this one)
54. Keep investing costs low (ie avoid high investing fees, duh!)
55. Trim your wireless costs (lower your sell phone bill, buy pre-owned phone etc)
56. Find the best airfare
57. Vow to be debt-free
58. Foster your philanthropic side (ie charitable giving as tax write off)
59. Use home equity strategically
60. Give to charity from your IRA
61. Make your wealth last (ie build a charitable fund that lasts for generations)
62. Pay off your mortgage
63. Take stock of where you stand (ie "estimate the future value of your current savings and see how much more you'll need to save to hit your retirement goal.")
64. Write down your plan.
65. Maximize social security (ie wait until age 70 to get maximum benefits)
67. Supersize your contributions (ie make extra contributions for 50 and older to IRA, or use SEP IRA if self-employed)
68. Retire to a place that's healthy, fun and tax friendly (suggested locations: Austin, Texas; Naples, Florida; Nashville; Philadelphia; Seattle)
69. Create savings buckets (Quote: "If you are forced to sell your investments in a bear market, especially at the beginning of retirement, your carefully liad plans for making your savings last the rest of your life could be in jeopardy. To avoid that scenario, create three 'buckets' for your savings. The first should hold enough cash, CDs, and other short-term investments to conver one to three years of living expenses, after factoring in guranteed income, such as Social Security. Create a second bucket with slightly riskier investments, such as intermediate-term bond funds and a few diversified stuck funds. The third bucket is for long-term growth: fill it with diversified stock and bond funds. As you draw down the first bucket, you eventually refill it with profits form the second bucket, and the second bucket gets refilled with gains from the thirds."
70. Cover long-term care (ie get Long-term care insurance, but plan accordingly to cover costs).
HOW MANY OF THESE ARE YOU DOING??