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First Things First

Before you can plan for the future, you need to tackle everyday financial challenges. "Minimize your debt, have a savings, keep your credit clean, save for retirement, and know where your money goes," advises Glinda Bridgforth, a Detroit financial coach and author of Girl, Get Your Credit Straight. "That's been my consistent message since starting my business 19 years ago."

After her own money mistakes led her to go through the process of getting her finances in order, Bridgforth went into the financial coaching business. "I realized that many women overspend in response to triggers based on culture, history, and life experiences," she says.

Bridgforth discovered her own trigger during a visit to an upscale spa. "I was given a ratty robe that was very different from the plush ones given to the white patrons," she says. "As an African-American woman, being treated differently was a trigger for me."    

The current economic downturn prompts Bridgforth to add to her message: "Create multiple streams of income because no single source is guaranteed. In case something happens with one source, you have another bringing money in."


For more information about planning for long-term care, visit www.aarp.org/decide. Decide to plan for long-term care, create a plan that works for you, and share it with your loved ones. Let AARP help you Decide. Create. Share.SM

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