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Suze Orman is a two-
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Be more, have more in 2016
By Suze Orman
COSTCO HAS MORE than 81 million members.
Beyond an appreciation of the value of your membership, I know many of you are also united by a
common problem: a gnawing concern, or outright
fear, that you’re not in control of your financial life.
For some, the fear is the lack of an emergency
fund to get you through a hard time; for others, it’s
confusion about whether you are on track with your
retirement savings. Then there’s the anxiety that
comes with big-ticket purchases, such as a home, a
car or a college education, where it can be all too
easy to overspend. Or the anxiety about how best to
raise money-smart children. Or all of the above. It
can seem so overwhelming that you feel as if you
don’t know where to start.
Not this year. If you follow my plan you will end
2016 feeling much better about your finances.
Keep it short
The key is to create a very short shopping list,
not a lengthy laundry list, of money problems you
want to tackle.
The best way to hone a short list is to tap into
your biggest financial fears. What keeps you up
most at night? What financial achievement would
give you the biggest emotional lift? Create a priori-tized list of your two or three biggest fears. I repeat:
no long lists! Concentrating your attention and
intentions on a few key goals is more effective than
trying to tackle a broad array of issues. Next year
you can tackle new goals.
Locate the truth of the matter
Take each specific fear and recast it as a positive
new truth. For example, if your fear is “I am drowning in credit card debt,” your new truth for 2016 will
be “I am paying down my credit card debt each and
every month.” If your fear is not being able to afford
retirement, your new truth might be “I am saving
more today for the retirement I deserve tomorrow.”
Notice that the truths are in the present tense:
The focus must be on what you are doing today to
create the future you want.
Keep your truths short and sweet, because you
need to memorize them. Three times a day I want
you to say your new truth 25 times. When you slow
down three times a day and focus on your truths,
you are making them a priority in your life.
The power comes from within
Creating and vocalizing your new truths is the
hard part of taking control of your financial life.
Sure, you need to know the specific money-smart
moves to make, and those to avoid. But the nuts-and-bolts steps you need to take are powerless. The
power comes from within you—your commitment
to follow through on the steps that will banish your
Whatever your fears are, you have it within you
to overcome them. It may take months or years, but
if you start today by committing to actions that
address your fears, 2016, and every year after, will be
a lot less stressful. C
MY NEW ONLINE Personal Finance 101 course is
an interactive seven-class program on key do’s and
don’ts, from investing to raising money-smart
kids. If you’ve got a financial fear, I’ve got the
Highlights of what’s covered include:
Credit card debt. Pay the minimum due on
all of your cards, but also send in more than the
minimum on the card charging you the highest
Buying a car. If you can’t pay cash, choose a
car that you can finance with a three-year loan—
nothing longer. Cars are a depreciating asset; paying interest for longer than three years is not smart.
Retirement. If you work for a company that
matches your retirement contributions, always
contribute enough to get the maximum match.
But beyond that, or if you don’t have a company
plan or a match, focus on saving in a Roth IRA.
Investing for the long-term. Cash feels risk-
free, but if your money is growing at only 1 per-
cent or less, your purchasing power is likely to
erode: Your cash won’t earn enough to keep up
with rising prices over decades. A diversified
approach that mixes stocks, bonds and cash is best.
Protecting your family. Parents of young children should have term life insurance.
Borrowing for college. Federal loans only. No
private loans. Your kids should always borrow first
(they get the best deals). Parents are to borrow only
if they are on track with retirement savings and can
pay off any college loans in 10 years or before they
retire, whichever comes first.
For the month of January I am offering the full
course to Costco members free. Go to suzeu.com
and use the gift code “Costco.” After January, the
course costs $45.—SO
Commit to fear-banishing moves
The Costco Connection
Costco offers a variety of financial services from
leading providers. For a complete list, go online to
Costco.com and select “Services.” They are organized by business, home and life.