Getting There


WOW!  Spring is here and going by so quickly!  I remember growing up and complaining that it took sooo long for ..... (fill in the blank) to come.  My parents always said - wait until you're older - it will fly by!  They were right, as it goes faster every year.
In March I was with East TN AAA at the Women's Today Expo.  I met so many great people that work at AAA, especially Steve Madden. I had five women win one of my books.Thanks to all who stopped by!


My husband and I went on a 5 day cruise at the last minute to use up some timeshare points.  We were in Ft Lauderdale, Florida and saw these flamingos on top of a bus.  Love it!!!  We had a wonderful, do nothing, laid back time. One of my favorite type of vacations, because I don't have to think about anything!!!!!!

Deb Schmitz

"The Money Mechanic" 

Makeover Moments 

wrenchAsk the Money Mechanic


My employer has stopped matching my retirement contribution.  Should I still put money into my 401(k) at work?
Employed and Inquisitive

Dear Employed and Inquisitive,

There are many things to consider when we are talking about retirement plans.  Here are some tips:
  • If your employer is matching a percentage of what you are contributing, by all means put in up to the % that is being matched.  This is basically "free money". It is also pre-tax - which means you are not paying income tax on this right now. 
  • If your employer has stopped matching, look at your tax return - if eliminating your contribution doesn't move you into another tax bracket, consider some other alternatives.  NO MATTER WHAT - DO NOT STOP CONTRIBUTING TO SOME TYPE OF RETIREMENT FUND.
  • Consider opening a Roth IRA.  This is done with after tax dollars and grows tax free.  As with any type of IRA, this can be invested in mutual funds, annuities, CD's.  You can contribute $5000/yr and if you are over 50 years old, you can contribute $6000/yr.
  • Make sure you choose a way to have the money deducted from your checking account or paycheck every month.  You will never miss it if you do this. Investment companies have different guidelines on how they take contributions.

This topic is more complex than what I have room here to explain, but I wanted to share some tips that get you started being knowledgeable about some of the options that are available.  These are NEVER a one size fits all type of answers.  We all have individual needs, goals and beliefs.  Personally, I am a firm believer of having both a traditional IRA, 401(k), etc. that grows tax deferred AND a Roth IRA that grows tax free.  A Roth IRA has more flexibility than other types of IRAs and may help with income options in retirement.


Hope this helps and thanks for asking!  I love helping my clients with questions just like this!  After we go over their employee benefits and retirement statements, my clients have a clear understanding of what they have and feel confident moving forward. Let me know if you have something on your mind:      865.690.4646   
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"Every now and then a book comes along that makes you stop and think about what you are doing in your life and inspires you to take decisive action.  That is what My Own Money Mechanic did for me. This book is thought-provoking. insightful and provides a road-map for laypersons amongst the twists and turns of financial planning.  Read it and prepare for what's ahead!"

Michelle Peruski 


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My Own Money Mechanic, Shifting Gears for a Money Makeover You Can Live With

Still a great bargain!  $20
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Money Showers

WOW - the Money Showers are growing - April Showers bring MONEY Makeovers!  I get great feedback from each one I do AND everyone has fun playing the BINGO game with M & M's.  However last time, I didn't get to explain that the
 M & M's were used for markers and had to replace a few cups, since people ate them a little prematurely!
By the way - I have not had a "cover-all" Bingo winner yet - are you the ONE?

Thanks to Dr. Paul Gordon, DDS
Karen Kukura, Send Out Cards
 for hosting

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