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A Lesson to Our Younger Selves: Start Saving Now

The-Future-is-now-lMillennials. You've grown up in an ever-changing world of technology, pop culture and reality TV. Ask any other generation, and their list of career options wouldn't include professional blogger, mobile app creator or YouTube star. You've seen the stock market fall apart in 2009, and as a result you are competing with older candidates who have 10 times the amount of work experience than you. It's a jungle out there. Where there is a con, there is always a pro. What you do have is easy access to mounds of information at your fingertips. You can learn from the past in ways that weren't available even a few years ago. You can turn money mishaps that your parents might have made into money victories for yourself. But first, you've got to get money smart.

A recent The Huffington Post article, titled ”4 Things I Wish I Knew About Money in my 20s,” emphasizes that the most important thing a millennial can do today to improve his or her financial future is to start saving. Although the Fall 2014 Merrill Edge Report showed that 80 percent of millennials think about their long-term finances when they are paying bills; nonetheless, they also need to pay themselves. It's important for millennials to find a balance between paying off any debt and saving for their future goals and retirement.

Making retirement a priority among many competing financial needs can be a challenge. The original article recommends that millennials go through their employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k) or 403(b) account, or set up an automatic transfer from their bank or brokerage account into their personal IRA, Simplified Employee Pension (SEP-IRA) or SIMPLE IRA.

Along with retirement planning, a budget must be your top priority. While creating a budget might be the very last item on your to-do list, it’s essential to maintaining a solid financial foundation. Budgets are essential to estimate your monthly income and expenses, and at the end of each month, you should look at how your actual spending stacks up against your budget and make adjustments. Budgets also help to make sure you live within your means, and help you plan for day-to-day spending.

For more information about estate planning, please visit my estate planning website.

Reference: Huffington Post (February 2, 2015)”4 Things I Wish I Knew About Money in my 20s

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