Tim specializes in retirement planning, 401 (k) and all rollovers, post death transfers and company pension plans. Tim graduated from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and Finance and is a graduate from the College of Financial Planning with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.
She’s Got Time on Her Side
Wallender sits down with 28-year-old Deena Williams, who is recently unemployed having lost her job at a venture-capital firm. Williams wants to have zero debt and create a retirement plan. Wallender helps Williams realize the importance of financial planning and advises necessary lifestyle changes so that she can retire comfortably. He estimates how soon she can eliminate debt and shows how her money could grow through proper investments and educated spending.
Couple’s Frugal Habits Handy as Debt Looms, Family Grows
Wallender meets with soon-to-be parents Rick and Brandy Mendoza, two 23-year-olds with accounting backgrounds. The couple just bought a house and wants to save for their child’s college fund. Wallender suggests lowering their mortgage and student-loan debt and investing in a diversified portfolio primarily of index funds. Their frugal spending habits and ample time to invest give them a solid foundation for financial success.
His Interest in Savings Is Going Only so Far
James Mohon is a Loyola Marymount University graduate who works as a commercial real estate analyst and is saving for his MBA. Wallender shows Mohon how he can transform his $6,000 no-interest checking account into $31,000 through proper investing, which will dramatically help towards his graduate school payment. Wallender additionally helps Mohon set a realistic budget and advises him how to plan for retirement.
Applying Tithing Principles to Saving
Joe and Pat Peterson prioritize their weekly tithing donation to their church over saving for their children’s college. Wallender encourages the Petersons to continue tithing, but to be more willing to save. Although Joe is a successful real estate agent, the Peterson’s do not have enough money in their savings accounts to retire any time soon. To help save money for their retirement and children’s college funds, Wallender suggests setting up an automatic investment plan with a diversified portfolio. Also, due to Joe’s family history of heart conditions, Wallender suggests he triple his life insurance to ensure his family is able to live comfortably in case an unfortunate situation arises.
Shopaholic Finds Best Bargain in Exercising Control
At the age of 23, Brandan Wilburn works as a clinical assistant at Amgen in Thousand Oaks. She is working towards her MBA, paid for by her company, has a stable income, and wants to contribute more money to her church. However, her nasty shopping habit has caused her to rack up over $8,000 of debt. Wallender recommends several solutions. First, get rid of all but one credit card and put any extra money towards her credit card debt. Next, extend her student loan payment from five years to ten years, which would lessen her monthly payment so that she could pay her car insurance monthly instead of eight times a year. Then, contribute 5 percent of her salary, a number her company would match, to her 401(k) each month. Finally, invest her money into a money market fund in order to increase her net worth. With these solutions at hand, Wilburn says she is more willing to curb her shopaholic habits.
Teacher Has No Debts but Could Use a Crash Course in Investing
Yvonne Hibbing is a 35-year-old physical education teacher who dreams of retiring by the age of 55. She has no debt and has accumulated over $77,000 for her retirement. Although she started off on the right foot, she could use a bit of investing advice. Her current 403(b) is making a paltry 5 percent a year. Wallender recommends moving her funds into a more aggressive account, which could increase her return up to four percentage points. Wallender also recommends preparing a will and keeping $6,000 of an emergency fund, investing the rest in a Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth fund. With these recommendations, Hibbing is looking forward to retiring well before the average workforce.
Lofty Retirement Goals Call for Some Risk
Christopher Richards has planned out his financial landscape for the next 30 plus years of his life. At the age of 52, he is planning on retiring by the age of 60, relocating to New Mexico, and buying a summer home in Montana. Already with $147,000 in a 401(k), Richards is headed in the right direction, says Wallender, but if he wants to retire soon and continue his lifestyle, he should consider investing in more aggressive mutual funds. Wallender recommends Richards switch his Roth IRA out of Phoenix-Duff and Phelps and into the Vanguard Short-Term Corporate fund to minimize his fees and obtain less risk with higher returns. Additionally, he should consult a financial planner annually to ensure his investments are on track for early retirement.
These Money Makeover articles shown above can be found at the Los Angeles Times Archives located at www.latimes.com and go to their archives link.