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.

The State of Student Debt

Key Takeaways

  • More than 70 percent of college graduates have outstanding student loans—with an average balance of $37,000—when they graduate.
  • Studies show millennials are far more concerned about paying off student debt and increasing their savings than they are about their retirement.
  • The sooner you can pay off student debt, the sooner you can start your adult financial life and wealth-accumulation years.

The 3 Kings of Credit

Key Takeaways

  • Check your credit score annually to make sure there are no errors in your financial history. Free credit reports can be obtained at AnnualCreditReport.com.
  • The Fair Credit Billing Act requires the three main credit rating agencies—Experian, TransUnion and Equifax—to correct errors and disputes pertaining to your financial history.
  • To bolster your credit rating, make payments on time, manage your cash flow wisely, correct errors in your credit history and don’t utilize more than 30 percent of your available credit.