Wednesday, February 16, 2005
7 News Features: Young, Rich and Retired
Take that job and shove it. Wouldn't it be nice to say goodbye to the boss, the commute, the endless hours in front of a computer? Well, you may be able to do it sooner than you think. In tonight's special assignment report, the Nightteam's Lynn Martinez is showing us how to be young, rich, and retired.
WSVN -- Think of it as a permanent, all expenses paid vacation.
With a little bit of planning, just about anybody can have a golden nest egg way before their golden years.
The only problem - most of us either aren't planning properly or not planning at all.
What if we told you could predict the future?
You'd know the winning lottery numbers before they were drawn. You'd sense what slot machine was about to hit the jackpot...
You could even pick the Super Bowl winner before the season ever got started
Sounds impossible...Well, we suppose you could call Jim and Judy Lounsberry a couple of fortunetellers.
No, they can't actually foresee the future, but a long time ago they did foresee a fortune by planning ahead.
Judy Lousberry: "We wanted to spend quality time with each other."
Today, that quality time is spent away from the office.
The couple was able to leave the rat race early in exchange forlong walks, crossword puzzles, and doing just about anything they want to do when they want to do it.
Judy: "And not feel guilty about doing it."
Now, the financial crystal ball may seem fairly foggy for most of us.
It does for Laura Ruth and Jennifer Crawford. As a couple of twenty-somethings, they're just now trying to figure out what it would take to be young, rich, and retired.
Jennifer Crawford: "Life's so short, why work your whole life away."
Laura Ruth: "There are only so many years you're here so why not make the most of them."
Why not make the most of them. If you want to retire before age 65, the answer is suddenly very, very clear -- start planning today.
Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor Robert Silverman: "The plan is the whole thing. You cant accomplish retirement without a plan."
If financial wiz Robert Silverman could read palms, he could easily find the line of prosperity.
According to Robert, it's as much about what to do as what not to do.
Don't fall for any get rich schemes, don't rely on social security, and don't invest in any hot stocks.
Robert: "Hot stocks are definitely out."
Instead, play your cards right. Go for a diverse but safe portfolio beginning with your 401K.
Robert: "Just imagine if you put $10,000 dollars a year. without a 401K, approximately 1/3 of that would go to taxes."
Next, make two smart investments.
The first one - put part of your money in a market index fund.
It bases your performance on the performance of the exchange.
So if the Nasdaq is up, you win.
As for the second one - try tax-free municipal bonds.
Robert: "They are very secure. You take the interest as it comes in and you buy more bonds, that way you are growing your interest."
Now, if you really want proof in predicting the future, try picking a number -- any number from zero to a million.
What's the most important number need to retire early? The answer - zero... As in zero debt.
Judy: "I took out a 15 year mortgage and paid it off in little under five years."
Having no overhead made a big difference to Jim and Judy.
One of the reasons they were able to retire early is because they avoided the cardinal sin of spending - never go above your means.
Judy: dont try to overachieve. dont try to kill yourself doing it. I never bought anything unless i could pay for it."
Laura and Jennifer are trying to resist the urge to splurge.
For the first time, they can see where they want to be in the future and what it will take to get there.
Jennifer: I'm definitely willing to sacrifice a little bit here so I can enjoy more then. I want things i never had growing up and when i have kids i want them to have a better life than I did."
Also remember when planning for the future, take inflation into account. Whatever you're able to live on now could be double maybe even triple in cost by the time you're ready to retire.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Senior Financial Advisor
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19495 Biscayne Boulevard