* Seven Practical Hints for Newlyweds

It seems that I’m going to a lot of weddings lately.  It must be something about my age.  I really enjoy them – the happy couples and hundreds of happy friends and family members supporting them as they began their new lives.

I really enjoy the festivities and the joy and happiness of everyone involved.  But I also find myself looking at the event from the eye of a financial planner. I realize that the habits these couples establish in the next few years will be very important in determining their future financial lives. I want to give them all some advice, so I created a list seven practical hints that every newly-wed couple should know. I would like to share that list with you.

1. Get really clear on your goals. Talk to each other. Dream. Dream big – and share your dreams with each other. Spend a lot of time talking about what you really want out of life – for yourself, for each other and for the children that you may bring into your family.

2. Learn to live within your means. You will know that you are doing this if you are not accumulating bad debt and if you are saving 10% of all of your income. Buy only what you can afford. You may have to buy used furniture or shop at the Good Will store. You may have to skip cable TV. You may have to drive that old car for a while. Establishing this habit will be one of the best things you ever do. Start now. If you want to spend more money, find a way to earn more money. It’s as simple as that.

3. Invest intelligently. As you save money begin investing that money. Use all tax breaks and free money available to you. Start IRAs, participate in employer-sponsored 401k’s, 403b’s or other financial plans that can benefit you.

4. Establish emergency funds. Emergencies and surprise expenses will come up. If you don’t have money to pay for them, you will have to borrow money – which is not a good idea.

5. Be grateful for what you have. Gratitude has been proven time and time again to be a powerful tool to more fully enjoy life. Spend some time every day being thankful for the blessings you have already received – each other, health, intelligence, family, friends and opportunity at a minimum.

6. Take a financial class or spend an hour with a financial planner to learn the basics.

7. Practice philanthropy. There is always someone more in need than you. Find a way to help others – and your lives will become richer.

Following these simple rules can make a huge difference in the rest of your lives.

* NAPFA Salutes Congressional Leaders In Efforts To Protect 401(k) Participants

I found the following press release very interesting.  When I entered the financial planning profession several years ago, I determined that the only way to provide advise that was totally unbiased and without conflict of interest was to be Fee-Only.  That’s why I decided to be a member of NAPFA.

NAPFA Salutes Congressional Leaders
In Efforts To Protect 401(k) Participants:

Conflicted Investment Advice Prohibition Act of 2009 (H.R. 1988)
requires advisors to be fiduciary and Fee-Only

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL (June 12, 2009) – NAPFA salutes Representative Robert E. Andrews (D – NJ) and supporters of the Conflicted Investment Advice Prohibition Act of 2009 for stepping up efforts to protect consumers from unethical financial practices.  A company-sponsored 401(k) plan may be the only retirement savings for millions of hard working Americans and as such, is critical to reaching long-term goals.  Ensuring those who are working with individual participants are independent of the products being sold is a major step forward in helping Americans rebuild for the future.

“Representative Andrews recognizes that now more than ever we need to make sure that consumers receive unbiased advice about their retirement and the only way to do that is through working with independent fee-only financial advisors, said Diahann W. Lassus, CFP®, CPA/PFS, NAPFA Chair and President of Lassus Wherley in New Providence, NJ.

NAPFA’s more than 2,100 members appreciate the efforts of Representative Andrews and look forward to having this bill passed and signed into law.

National Chair Lassus is available to speak with members of the media who would like to discuss NAPFA’s support of H.R. 1988.  Ms. Lassus can be reached directly at diahann@lassuswherley.com.  Benjamin Lewis can also be contacted at 301-963-7555 or Benjamin.lewis@perceptiononline.com.

About The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)

Since 1983, The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) has provided Fee-Only financial planners across the country with some of the strictest guidelines possible for professional competency, comprehensive financial planning, and Fee-Only compensation.  With more than 2,100 members across the country, NAPFA has become the leading professional association in the United States dedicated to the advancement of Fee-Only financial planning.

For more information on NAPFA, please visit www.napfa.org.