Which of the following fits the typical profile of the 3.5 million millionaires in the United States?

A. A widowed socialite covered in diamonds.

B. An Ivy Leaguer who inherited Daddy’s fortune.

C. A self-employed scrap metal dealer.

D. Bill Gates.

Believe it or not, the answer is
C. According to “The Millionaire Next Door,” a best-selling book by millionaire experts Thomas J. Stanley, Ph. D., and William D. Danko, Ph.D., the typical millionaire is similar to you and me. The typical millionaire considers himself/herself a middle-class person with middle-class values, who believes in discipline, hard work and frugality. Most clip coupons, buy used cars and expect their kids to take out the trash.

Whether or not you fit the millionaire profile the fact is you may be worth more than you thought when you consider your total assets and estate. You could be on the right track to becoming a millionaire.

STEP UP TO THE HOT SEAT

Want to be a millionaire? Here’s your chance to determine where you stand financially. Enter your figures on the net worth worksheet to find our approximately what you’re worth today. Do that now.

Is that your final answer?

Now that you’ve determined your approximate net worth, ask yourself these questions:

* Am I satisfied with what I found?

* Is my net worth higher than expected? Lower?

* Am I saving enough for retirement?

* Is that liabilities column a little heavier than I’d like it to be?

* What can I do to increase my net worth?

* Do I have enough life insurance to protect my assets and/or cover my liabilities?

* Will estate taxes eat up my assets if I die? How can I avoid this?

THINK ABOUT IT

When you die, so does your earning potential. Imagine you make $40,000 a year. In 10 years, that’s potentially $400,000 your family misses out on if you die tomorrow; that’s assuming you never get a raise!

Your liabilities live on. Glance at your liabilities column. If you’re not properly insured, look at all the unpaid debts your family members may inherit. Life insurance can help provide liquidity for your family, protect your assets and pay off those liabilities.

When you retire from your job, you don’t retire from life. Research shows people are living longer. You could easily live 30 years past the normal retirement age.

Research also shows many people aren’t saving enough for retirement. You may need more than Social Security and your employee pension can provide. The typical millionaire is, above all, a saver. Annuities are great cash accumulation vehicles. They also can be safe homes for your 401(k) and/or pension rollovers.

YOUR LIFELINES

You’re not alone on your millionaire quest. Your financial planner lifelines are here to help. He/or she is an advisor, sounding board and friend. He/she can help you further evaluate your net worth and answer questions about your life insurance annuity and/or estate planning needs.

The article was written by Julie Fuhr and appeared in the Spring 2001 issue of Modern Woodman Magazine.

NET WORTH WORKSHEET
ASSETS (ALL YOU OWN)

1. Value of separately owned property:

a. Real estate (house and land)

b. Stocks

c. Bonds

d. A savings accounts

e. Savings and Loan shares

f. Checking accounts

g. Cash

h. Other

2. Value of jointly owned property:

a. Real estate (house and land)

b. Stocks

c. Bonds

d. Savings accounts

e. Savings and loan shares

f. Checking accounts

g. Cash

h. Other

3. Value of your business interest

4. Life insurance owned by you (death benefit)

5. Miscellaneous assets

6. Other

LIABILITIES (ALL YOU OWE)

1. Bills payable (i.e. gas, electric, child care, college tuition)

2. Other debts (i.e. credit cards)

3. Mortgages (separately owned property)

4. Mortgages (jointly owned property)

5. Other loans payable (i.e. car, college)

6. Taxes payable

7. Miscellaneous expenses

8. Other

NET WORTH

Current total assets (add all values in assets column)

Current total liabilities (add all values in liabilities column)

CURRENT NET WORTH (total assets minus total liabilities)


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