Monday, April 18, 2011

Seven Money Saving Strategies with a Few Ideas of Improvement from JLM Wealth Strategies

In order to put the remarks below in context, first read the 7 saving strategies offered by State Farm by clicking here.

John Montoya: Good but the advice from State Farm could be better on 3 of the 7 strategies.

Strategy#1: rather than save the tax refund or use it to pay down debt, learn how to save money and pay off debt simultaneously using the same dollar like explained at

Strategy#2: Employer contributions to 401k's basically bribe you into committing your long term savings into a government controlled account with limited liquidity (taxes and penalties if you use it before age 59.5), no protection against stock market loss, and guarantees a future unknown tax bill at an unknown tax bracket in retirement at a time in life when you'll need to stretch every dollar of income vs sharing it with the govt. Also most 401k plans don't offer a full dollar match, but a 50% bribe, er, match.

Strategy#6: State Farm is essentially referring to 529 college savings accounts which like 401k's are not protected from stock market loss, while counting as an asset on financial aid formulas, and will be taxed and penalized if not used for college. So no guarantees and no flexibility. The other points are good though. A good rule of thumb is if the government created a loophole for excessive taxation like a 401k and 529 account, be suspicious. My recommendation: learn how to set up private retirement and college accounts that are not government controlled and qualified.

Thank you to one of my Facebook friends for first posting the State Farm link allowing me to make comments and this blog article possible. Sharing information and tips about money with friends and family can help others increase their knowledge about financial matters. If you find this article and blog insightful, please share it with those you know.

John Montoya

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