Cullen Douglass Expert HeaderFor most people, it’s much more fun to spend than to save. Realistically though, it’s not practical. Are you one of those people who would rather put off that savings plan for “another day?” Or, will you “think about it tomorrow?” If so, it’s time for a reality check.

In our continuing series on Biggest Financial Planning Mistakes, this week we focus on Mistake #4.

Mistake #4: The Savings Procrastinators

Many people procrastinate when it comes to saving money. According to Douglass Financial Services, the answer to “When should I start saving?” is always “Now.” Many industry experts recommend saving fifteen to twenty percent of your income. How you divide that savings will vary depending on your age and circumstances.

Cullen Douglass, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ with Douglass Financial Services recommends that clients save early and as much as they can. “Saving a portion of each paycheck is the single most reliable way of getting on track to reach your retirement goals,” says Douglass. He recommends abiding by two rules that will help you get into the savings habit:

  1. Pay yourself first. Save a portion of your paycheck before the money even reaches your checking account. By automating your savings program, you won’t even have to think about it — whether it’s a pretax contribution to a 401K plan or an automatic deduction that goes into other savings vehicles, like investments.
  2. Bank your raises. By living within your means, each time you earn a raise, you have a new opportunity to increase the percentage of your savings. Spend a little of it so you get to enjoy it, but continue to live with your old budget and increase your savings rate as much as possible.

By starting to save as early as possible, your money has more time to work for you due to the power of compounding (earning interest on your interest). However, if you didn’t start a retirement savings program at age 25 or even 35, Douglass says it’s not too late to start. “Develop your saving habit, pay yourself first and bank your raises, “ he advises. “If you’re unsure where to begin or how much you can save, we can help you set up a realistic program to get you started saving toward your retirement goals.”


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The graphic above shows how much you would need to save each month to reach one million dollars by the age of 65. As you can see, the value of time and compounding growth dramatically impacts the amount of monthly savings required.


To ensure your financial security for the long-term, begin now with the proper information and expert advice – from a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. Cullen Douglass, CFP® and his team of professionals at Douglass Financial Services in Cool Springs has more than 60 years of combined industry experience.

Cullen Douglass, CFP® is a Wealth Management Advisor who focuses on complete planning including risk management, investments, estate planning, retirement planning and insurance. Douglass Financial specializes in comprehensive integrated financial planning, including:

Ÿ • Personalized Financial Planning

Ÿ • Investment Advisory; Products & Services

Ÿ • Trust Services

Ÿ • Wealth Protection & Risk Management

Just moved to Tennessee? Don’t delay in learning about Tennessee’s unique state laws. It’s not worth putting your spouse or children at risk. Cullen Douglass, CFP® & Douglass Financial Services can help you successfully navigate what can be murky waters.

Whatever your situation, if you have ten minutes, give Cullen Douglass, CFP® a call and take the first step in securing your family’s financial future. Douglass Financial Services is a division of Northwestern Mutual.

Click here to learn more about Cullen Douglass, CFP® and Douglass Financial Services.

To view our last article, Mistake #3: Being Unprepared: Wills & Trusts, click here.

Check with us next week when we discuss Mistake #5 in Biggest Financial Planning Mistakes.