Taxes—The Good, the Bad and the Smart

Key Takeaways

  • You can’t get away from taxes, but people who are well-informed pay less.
  • The majority of Americans pay not one but three taxes on their salary—federal, state and payroll.
  • There are a myriad of deductions, exemptions and strategies you can use to lessen your tax bite and accumulate wealth from Day One of your working years.
  • When investing, always look for tax-deductible, tax-deferred and tax-free options.

3 Key Money Math Skills

Key Takeaways

  • Compound interest, computational skills and amortization are the three key money concepts we all need to master.
  • As Einstein observed, compound interest is a saver/investor’s greatest friend and a debtor’s greatest enemy.
  • Creating a budget and sticking to it are essential to building wealth and a secure financial future. Budgeting just takes discipline and the basic math skills that you learned in middle school.
  • When paying off a long-term loan, pay attention to the principal versus the interest, not just your monthly payment amount.

Your “3 Part” Rainy Day Fund

Key Takeaways

  • Make sure you always have three to six months’ worth of expenses saved in a rainy day fund that you can easily tap.
  • There are three aspects of a rainy day fund: objective, subjective and emotional.
  • A rainy day fund will enable you to weather the financial and emotional impact of a sudden job loss, medical emergency or unexpected major repair.