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Unlocking Secrets to Saving and Spending-Matthew Sapaula and Alex Mysko featured in Chicago’s Red Eye

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A few weeks ago, we were honored to have journalist Kyra Kyles drop by the office one day and interview our team.  Earlier this week, our interview was released in the Chicago’s Red Eye.  Below is a reprint (or repost) of the original online version located on her blog.  Needless to say, we were FIRED UP!  Do you have wealth building secrets or money smart lessons that life has taught you, that you’d like to also share?  Please post them below in the comments section!

The percentage of U.S. workers with almost no retirement savings jumped to 27 percent this year, up from 20 percent last year, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s annual Retirement Confidence survey released recently.

Kyra Kyles (third from left) visits the Money Smart Guy and the Real Estate on Radio team.

Unacceptable, according to some finance pros. According to these experts, it’s possible to build wealth without being an extreme a saver or longtime investor.

Everyday professionals can leverage conservative spending and side hustles to reach a point where they can survive at least six to 12 months without an income while maintaining their lifestyles and getting their money working for them, those experts said. You can do the same if you follow these steps.

Save money for the future

Don’t rely on corporate America to have your back when it comes to your retirement, local financial whizzes said.  “Money Smart Radio” founder Matthew Sapaula advises young professionals to open a retirement savings account called a Roth IRA, which allows you to put money away under different tax rules than a 401K account, a plan provided by your employer. A Roth IRA is a better option than a 401K plan, Sapaula said, unless your employer matches your 401K investment.

It may seem like you’re taking a hit if you switch, according to Sapaula, who said Roth IRA funds are taxed whereas 401K funds are tax-deductible, meaning you don’t pay taxes on money you put into the account.

But you likely will have more money awaiting you upon retirement with the Roth account, and you can take out the money without having to pay taxes on it if you are using it for a first-time home purchase, Sapaula said.

Money Smart Coach and I sharing a 'lil excitement with our article in Chicago's Red Eye

Fight the urge to splurge

Edgewater’s Alexander Mysko, 31, said learning the difference between “want” and “need” made all the difference in his ability to own three homes, though he knows of family and friends struggling to make ends meet.

Mysko said he graduated from college with the same kind of debt that most young people are saddled with, but he quickly prioritized saving and paying off bills.

“I thought about buying a house, not a big-screen TV, and I held off on a nice car because I was fine with my old Chevy,” said Mysko, who serves as the director of property acquisition on WLS-AM’s 890 “Real Estate on Radio.com” program. “I prioritized my life and it helped me get ahead.”

Maximize your income

The final key to wealth-building is getting more control over your financial future, according to the experts and comfy-living locals.

“This is the new economy,” Sapaula said. “You have to realize that you have a greater chance of being laid off, and if not now, later.

“You may have been hired to replace 40- and 50-somethings because you were cheaper, but guess what? There’s a wave of new graduates waiting to replace you because they’re cheaper.”

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