Blogs > Your Money

Dave Patterson and Erin Preston, a father-daughter team of Certified Financial Planner® licensees, provide thoughts and suggestions on a broad collection of personal finance topics.  Information provided in this BLOG is intended to be of a general nature and may not be appropriate for all situations.  Readers should consult with their own financial advisors before relying on any information contained herein.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How Much Money You Make Isn’t the Issue

Sure, it’s nice to make a lot of money. Our years of experience, however, tell us that making a lot of money isn’t necessarily the key to a stress-free financial life or a successful, comfortable retirement.

What we have found is, that in most cases, the more people make, the more they spend and the more debt they take on. Often, people save too little and fail to anticipate what they will need in the future for their children’s college expenses or their retirement.

One rule of thumb suggests that you should save at least 5% to 10% of your gross income. These days, it may be prudent to save well in excess of that amount. With college costs increasing from 5% to 8% annually and concern about higher interest rates and higher inflation down the road, boosting your savings is clearly a smart thing to do.

With home prices still expected to fall further, paying down your mortgage may help you maintain positive equity in your home and will help prepare you for a retirement that is less stressful. Those who carry a mortgage into retirement have a much more difficult time making their resources last until life expectancy. And, with life expectancies increasing, longer retirements require increased savings.

When choosing a tag line for the Patterson Advisors’ logo, we wanted to emphasize that we help our clients balance their financial goals with their financial resources. Thus we chose the tag line “Helping Balance Your Means and Your Dreams”. For a stress-free life and retirement, we believe it’s more rewarding to live a more reserved lifestyle and have your finances in tune with your goals than to live a more aggressive lifestyle that stretches one’s resources beyond reason. People want a hassle-free retirement, most of all. More money is great, but it’s not everything.


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