DEAR HARRY: I took my present job about two years ago. I love it. My superiors like me, and I like them. The company is privately owned and in strong financial shape. For the first time in my life, my salary is enough to enable me to save some money. I had the experience of having to support my father, who had no pension except for his Social Security. This situation occurred to some of my friends, too. I don't want that to happen to my kids. My company has a 401(k) plan that I can join. I also read about Roth and regular IRAs. Don't let me go astray, Harry. Point me in the right direction.
WHAT HARRY SAYS: I'm pleased that you're living beneath your means. Get into that 401(k) plan. If there is a company match, get in for at least enough to earn the match. Then save enough in short-term CDs to cover half a year's net pay. You also can set up a Roth IRA. Consider a 509 plan to help with the higher-education costs of your children. Make sure you pay down credit cards to zero each month. Use your next pay raise to stow away more after allowing yourself a small present. Keep at least half of your investments in short- and intermediate-term bond funds. Put the other half into no-load index funds or ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds). Do not follow the crowds on current fads. Good luck!