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Finance Quick Answers



Can you give some pointers for me to check up how I am doing financially?

With job scarcity and pension fund scandals, people are wondering about their economic future. One way to take stock is to analyze your finances in terms of life stages.

Before you marry - Discuss money, insurance, your savings and plan of living expenses with your fiancÚ. One person's bad credit record may make it hard to get a mortgage until you've been in good standing for 2-3 years.

Before you have children - Check your health insurance policy for family benefit waiting periods and prenatal leave. Plan to increase your life insurance with the birth of each child.

Before your kids reach middle school - Start setting aside money for higher education. Check the tax-free 529 program. Up your retirement funds to 10% of your income. DON'T borrow against your home to pay off credit.

Ten years before you retire - Up retirement savings to 15% of your income. Your goal is to cover 70% of your retirement needs. Check your social security statement yearly. Make prepayments on your mortgage to lessen monthly living expenses at retirement time.


Cynthia E. Crawford, Ph.D., Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension












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Last update: Sunday, July 20, 2008




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