Live below your means: People with high incomes who spend all that money are not rich; they’re just stupid.
Plan: That means plan for today, tomorrow and 30 years after retirement. Take time doing it too and spend time monitoring it every day. Use budgets and stick to them.
Diversify: As Lassiter said, look for mutual funds that allow you exposure to asset classes that aren’t related to each other.
Reduce use of credit and turn to cash: It’s easier, of course, for a prosperous person to pay for a house in cash than it might be for most folks, but credit-card debt for luxury purchases or extravagant vacations will never pave a road to riches.
Have access to cash: While the rich keep much of their wealth invested, they can get cash when they need it. “Have some kind of line of credit available, like a HELOC (home-equity line of credit) that you never use,” Lassiter said. “It’s a safety valve.” She suggests a year’s worth of cash to cover expenses; Danziger thinks three years worth is a better bet.
Spread cash around: When the wealthy pulled money out of the equities markets two and three years ago, they opened a bevy of bank accounts, all guaranteed up to $250,000 of deposits by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Bring your children into the mix, and remember the importance of estate planning: The affluent can go to great lengths to teach their children about money and how to manage it — something every family should do. Though talking about money with children consistently ranks as one of the most dreaded conversations, it’s important that your heirs know where all the bank accounts and safe-deposit boxes are — even that their names are on them, too — who the attorney is, where the will and trusts are filed.
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