Investing Specialists

How to Create a Budget You Can Live With

Christine Benz

A few years ago, I received an e-mail from a couple seeking a portfolio makeover. They were in their mid-50s, and their portfolio had been taken on a wild ride during the financial crisis from 2007 through early 2009. That, in turn, had scuttled their hopes for retirement in less than a decade, and they were wondering how they could make up the lost ground.

This couple's investment portfolio, with more than 80% in stocks, was clearly too aggressive given their life stage. In talking with them about their finances, however, I discovered that their investments weren't their main problem. Their spending was.