The First Rule of Saving: Pay Yourself First
But the most immediate lesson for people, Bach has found, is a phrase that most people have heard many times but often don't quite understand: Pay yourself first.
"Pay yourself first means, for a woman, that for every $1 of income, you put away 12% in a pretax retirement account such as a 401(k) at work, a SEP-IRA if you're self-employed, or a deductible IRA," says Bach. "You don't have to pay taxes on it and it just grows. That's how you get rich.
"And you pay yourself first before you pay the Visa bill, the car bill, or anything else."
He follows the wisdom of others featured in the book, The Millionaire Next Door. As the authors discovered, most wealthy people save 15% of their gross income every year.
Bach also has a detailed plan for choosing a financial adviser. By far, the most important part of the plan is to thoroughly research a potential adviser's history before you hire the person. If you have an adviser in mind, see if he has had complaints filed against him with the National Association of Securities Dealers.
Where to find an adviser? Bach says don't ask your best friend who is struggling financially, ask a rich friend or acquaintance for a referral.
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