John Bullis: Most take the long view on finances
May 1, 2012
A new nationwide survey shows that most Americans are devoted to preserving their long-term financial well-being. They would rather give up some of the eating out and use less technology than stop saving for retirement.
Only 2 percent of the 1,005 adults participating in the survey indicated they would stop contributing to their retirement accounts if they were in a financial bind.
There are many ways to save for retirement. Payroll deduction and contribution to the retirement plan at work is popular. Some folks have the discipline to contribute to an IRA every year.
Some save by adding to their savings or stockbroker accounts, especially when they have an income tax refund or some other special receipt such as a gift.
Most everyone knows we are generally living longer. Having some retirement savings to get us through those extra years is important.
If you or someone you know works where the employer offers a matching contribution, it is best to at least save enough to get the full match, or employer contribution. That is like found money.
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Some folks will start a regular savings habit with a small amount every month. Then if they get an increase in the wages, part of the increase can be used to increase the amount saved. It is the regular habit of saving that is most important. We have seen many folks increase their savings as the years go by.
We all can take common-sense steps to reduce discretionary expenditures.
We can plan vehicle trips and reduce driving. We can adjust thermostats so we use less energy. We can still eat healthy foods, but do more cooking and preparation of meals at home.
Bonnie has been doing my haircuts almost all our married life. I had a few of “store bought” haircuts when I served a couple of years in the Army, but I think it was only four or five in total. It’s sort of fun when she is cutting my hair (what is left of it) and says “oops”! I heard that the difference between a good haircut and a bad one is about a week or so.
A client asked me once, “How much should I save?” I said, “More.”
Did you hear: “The smallest good deed is better than the greatest good intention”?
• John Bullis is a certified public accountant, personal financial specialist and certified senior adviser serving Carson City for 45 years. He is founder emeritus of Bullis and Company CPAs, LLC.