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Achieving Wealth the Right Way

From Tara Coates
There are four ways to achieve wealth, says AARP financial ambassador Jonathan Pond: marry it, inherit it, win the lottery...or live beneath your means.
"The real key to financial success is to save regularly and regularly increase the amount you save," Pond told an audience of several hundred Saturday at AARP's Vegas@50+ Member Event.
And don't stop investing, or become overly cautious, once you retire. Pond said that retirees often make the mistake of having too much money in cash or other investments that don't have a high rate of return. "You still need income and growth investments to meet the rising cost of living increases. Sure, you may be tapping into your retirement funds in four years, but that money will need you to last 20 or more years."
Pond also encouraged the audience not to forgo living the good life in order to pass along a "fat" inheritance to their children -- who, he said, "don't deserve an inheritance. They just don't. I tell that to everybody -- except my mother," Pond said as the audience laughed and clapped in agreement. Instead, he said, spend the money on yourself and enjoy your life. He closed the session by leading the crowd in a mock swearing-in session in which they all promised to "die destitute."
When it comes to housing, Pond encouraged the audience to downsize from a larger home, to a smaller, more manageable space. But what about having extra room so the kids and the grandkids can visit? "Take the money from selling the house and put them up at a hotel," he said. Plus, he said, there's what he calls "Pond's law of bedrooms": the more bedrooms you have, "the more likely your adult children will move back home."

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