'Save First' Is Sage Advice at Any Age, Says CPA and Fee-Only Wealth Manager Wayne B. Titus III During Money Smart Week Appearances

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From 20-somethings to octogenarians, "save first" remains sound financial advice, observes Wayne Titus, CPA/PFS, Accredited Investment Fiduciary AnalystTM. Titus shared this maxim and other tips in a TV appearance and online article for WXYZ-TV in Detroit as part of Money Smart Week activities April 5-12.

Financial literacy is something we all can achieve, and it will help us live a more secure, satisfying life.

For the past 10 years, Money Smart Week has helped consumers better manage their personal finances by offering free programs and information on all facets of personal finance from establishing a budget to first time home buying to estate planning. The week-long, nationwide event is organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

In Michigan, more than 250 businesses, financial institutions, schools, libraries, not-for-profits, government agencies, and the media took part in Money Smart Week, including the Michigan Association of CPAs (MACPA).

“Money Smart Week is a great opportunity to spread much-needed financial literacy messages," said Judith Trepeck, Chief Operating Officer at the MACPA in Troy.

Titus, a member of the MACPA and chair of its Financial Literacy Taskforce, spoke about budgeting during an interview that appeared on WXYZ-TV's 7 p.m. newscast on April 7.

"Budgets have a negative connotation when we think of them as handcuffs," Titus observed. "But when a budget is done well, it can free us from financial bondage. A liberating budget identifies what we need to set aside every month to reach our goals and makes 'save first' the top priority. Then, we are free to spend everything else."

Titus also underscored the importance of "save first" in an article aimed at young adults ("In Your 20s? Here's How You Can Retire Rich"), which appeared online at WXYZ-TV on April 8. View the article at http://bit.ly/1k5Wife.

"The great thing about your 20s is that time is on your side to reach your financial goals," Titus says. "Before you do anything else with your paycheck, put part of it into savings. Have as your goal to save 10, 15, even 20 percent of your earnings. Save on a regular basis, and it will become a habit like brushing your teeth or working out. After you save first, use the money that's left to live on and pay down your debt. If you come up short, don't skip your savings contribution. Instead, think of ways you can simplify your lifestyle so you can live on less."

Other tips for 20-somethings:

  •     Max out contributions to your retirement plan before you spend money on a new car, a house, or your kids' college fund.
  •     Evaluate whether taking on more student loan debt to pursue a graduate degree will pay off in increased earnings.
  •     Invest in a well-diversified portfolio indexed to market returns rather than trying to beat the market or speculate on the latest hot-stock tip.

“As our tagline states, ‘From financial wisdom, better stewardshipSM,” Titus concludes. “Financial literacy is something we all can achieve, and it will help us live a more secure, satisfying life."

AMDG Financial (http://www.amdgservices.com) is a fee-only fiduciary registered investment adviser (RIA) in Plymouth, Michigan. The firm manages approximately $70 million in assets for clients. AMDG Financial was one of the first 10 firms, globally, to be certified by the Center for Fiduciary Excellence (http://www.cefex.org) as following global best practices for investment adviser fiduciaries. Titus received the MACPA's Public Service Award in 2008.

To contact the MACPA, go to http://www.michcpa.org.

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Wayne B. Titus lll
AMDG Financial
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