Stone #6) Tax-Advantaged Retirement Funding. The next allocation that makes sense for many people is to fund their qualified retirement plans. By this, I am referring to investment vehicles that have tax advantages associated with them like 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, SEP’s, IRA’s, etc.

Stone #7) College Savings. It is my personal opinion this is the best time to emphasize saving money for college. Sometimes people ask, "Aren’t I being selfish to begin my retirement planning before I set aside money for my kids to go to college?" I don’t think so, and here are some reasons why: First, remember, I am primarily referring to tax-advantaged retirement programs like the ones mentioned in Stone #6. Many of these offer incentives that, especially in the case of employer matches, can catapult your account growth faster than most any other way. Second, although most parents want to help with their children’s education, there certainly is no disgrace in not doing so. A young person can always apply for scholarships, work his way through, or get college loans (although I don’t encourage this form of borrowing). But as his parent, you are not going to find any retirement loans. So, I come back to the simple question: Which is the more loving thing to do—let your kids arrange for their own education; or you pay for college only to become a ward of your own kids in your retirement years?

Stone #8) Continue Retirement Planning. Now is a good time to reassess your retirement funding needs. Will the tax-advantaged investments we talked about in Stone #6 be adequate? If not, you may want to consider using annuities, regular mutual funds, or other investments to make up the shortfall.

Stone #9) Pay Off Your Mortgage. Let’s try to get rid of the mortgage before we retire. Remember, two things: First, with all of your other debts and expenses under control, this won’t be terribly difficult. Second, the odds are high that this stone won’t occur until a number of years into your Wolf Barrier Plan. By that time, your mortgage should be well along the way to being paid off.

Stone #10) Begin Your Legacy Building Process. With all of your other financial needs addressed, this is when you can begin changing the world. This is that golden opportunity that most people never experience, but always dream of doing. This is when you can establish foundations and charitable plans that will allow your life to count for good long past the time you spend on earth.

Steve Diggs presents the No Debt No Sweat! Christian Money Management Seminar at churches and other venues nationwide. Visit Steve on the Web at www.stevediggs.com or call 615-834-3063. The author of several books, today Steve serves as a minister for the Antioch Church of Christ in Nashville. For 25 years he was President of the Franklin Group, Inc. Steve and Bonnie have four children whom they have home schooled. The family lives in Brentwood, Tennessee.


  Steve Diggs presents the  No Debt No Sweat! Christian Money Management Seminar  at churches and other venues nationwide. Visit Steve on the Web at  www.stevediggs.com or call 615-834-3063. The author of several books, today Steve serves as a minister for the Antioch Church of Christ in Nashville. For 25 years he was President of the Franklin Group, Inc. Steve and Bonnie have four children whom they have home schooled. The family lives in Brentwood, Tennessee.

A complete financial compendium, 19 chapters
• What you can do today to get out of debt and kill the Debt Monster
• A,B,C's of handling your money God's way
• How to save, invest, and retire wisely
• How mutual funds work
• How to stop fighting over money
• What to teach your kids about money
• Learn how home & car buying, college financing and insurance work.
• How to develop a budget that works -- forever!
• Features simple charts, graphs, and easy-to-use forms.

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