Retirement planning secrets of millionaires

Do you want to retire like a millionaire? For more than 20 years, Jim Trippon, a Texas-based Certified Public Accountant, studied the financial planning problems of the wealthy. Here are some of the best tactics to start off the New Year in a great new way, as featured in his book, “Stay Rich Forever: Retirement Planning Secrets Of Millionaires.”

Reduce the interest rate and fees on your credit cards

56 percent of the people who ask for a lower interest rate on their credit cards get it from the first person they talk to, on the spot, or from the supervisor.
So don’t be afraid — call your credit card company’s customer service line and ask for a lower rate. Tell them you have received an offer for a lower rate from a competitor. They will often match the rate just to keep your business.

While you are at it, don’t forget to ask for an annual fee waiver. Most companies will also do this if you just ask.

Find out if your investment advisor is honest — for free

In the wake of recent financial and mutual fund scandals, who can you trust?
You can check out any investment advisor in the US from the privacy of there your own homes, in five minutes or less, for free. Just go to the web site of the NASD (National Associations of Securities Dealers at All you need is the first and last name of the advisor, the name of the firm they are associated with, and you can bring up their entire career history — including customer complaints and fines.

Get a raise on your job without asking

Savvy employees can get more money from their companies on the job without even asking. Use your company 401k plan to the absolute maximum. Get the maximum matching contribution your company offers — and make sure you contribute at least as much. This can often increase your total compensation 5 to 10%.
Use the “cafeteria plan” which allows for pretax deductions for healthcare, childcare and education. Using this program costs the employer nothing but, it can cut your income taxes by as much as 10%.

If you drive for business, and your boss provides mileage reimbursement, ask for a company car. This is fully deductible to the company and cheaper for you!

Pay off your home in half the time

For most homeowners it only costs an extra $100 to $150 a month to cut a 30-year mortgage into a 15-year mortgage. Be sure to note the extra money you include with the payment is for “principal reduction.”
Paying your mortgage bi-weekly, instead of monthly, matches most people’s paychecks, and also typically cuts 12 years off a 30 year mortgage. This can save you tens of thousands of dollars.

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