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The simple truth.

For years now, Pve opined about serious and important financial decisions involving insurance, the Thrift Savings Plan, Roth individual retirement accounts, wills and investment diversification.

That said, I recently had a young, dedicated troop in my office who was simply financially frustrated. He wanted both the increased responsibility and pay that come with promotion. And he, respectfully, wanted it now. Sound familiar?

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

I'll bet this drive for more fits arid still applies to pretty much everyone reading this, no matter what your rank. In the role as the "old man" in this conversation, I took full advantage of my ability to lean back in my chair and in my wisest voice ask, "What would you do with more money"?

"Sir, are you serious? Lots of stuff," he said.

I smiled, knowing my answer wouldn't have been anything different 25 years ago. Then, I went on to explain to him this simple truth, no matter your income. It's not what you make, it's what you keep!

Sure, this approach sounds easy, simplistic and totally void of any "secret" about getting rich and famous. However, if it's so easy, maybe you can tell me why the Department of Defense spends millions of dollars each year on financial education programs for troops up to their eyeballs in debt?

I ask and challenge you to live the truth! Go ahead, have money left over every month. I dare you! Be the money miser with no debt, a six-month emergency fund and investments to boot. I know you can do this. Prove me right and make 2012 the year you go without while living the truth.

(Editor's note: This feature is designed to provide financial advice and information of a general nature. Individuals should conduct their own research and consult a financial adviser before making any financial decisions. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, Mr. Lunt is a certified financial planner and vice president of a financial planning and consulting firm. He is also a colonel in the Air Force Reserve, serving as the reserve forces director for the Great Lakes region of the Civil Air Patrol adviser's program.)

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Title Annotation:It's Your Money; managing one's finances
Author:Lunt, Ralph
Publication:Citizen Airman
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 2012
Words:354
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