On last night’s Suze Orman Show, Suze gave a top ten list of things to do for 2008:
Suze’s Top Ten List for 2008
- Try to get out of credit card debt.
- Begin a 6-8 month emergency fund
- Sign up for your 401(k) to the point of the match, then fund a Roth IRA
- Look for the best buy on a home. Purchase only if you have enough for a 10%-20% down payment and qualify for a 30-15 year fixed mortgage.
- Never loan money or co-sign for someone
- Annuities – single premium deferred annuity is ok, but never buy variable annuities within a retirement account
- Buy individual bonds, not bond funds
- Get a will and a living revocable trust
- Get term life insurance only
- Buy no-load mutual funds only.
I’m pretty good on most of these, but not all of them, and it’s a good goal to work towards. I do still rent my home, but mainly because I’m not sure that I plan to stay in this area long term. I’m giving myself 2 years, and then I’ll make a decision. The other thing that I absolutely need to do this year is set up a will. I really should have done this years ago, but like so many people, I don’t like to think about it. My uncle is an estate lawyer and would do it for me, but I only see him on holidays, and well, at Christmas, the last thing I want to think about is my demise.
So that is my goal from this list. How about you?
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.