Leonard Raskin and Financial Literacy: A Series

Not all of us are blessed with a natural ability to be financially literate. Maybe saving money or thinking about retirement is not the first priority on the “To-Do” list, which is why SmartFem has enlisted the trusty advice of national financial expert Leonard Raskin to guide us through a series of articles on financial literacy and tips.

Leonard Raskin is the owner of Raskin Global, a 30-year-old financial firm that prides itself on helping individuals and business owners manage, grow and protect their wealth.

Raskin also happens to be the company’s president and CEO, titles he gave himself to make his mother cry.

Learning money jargon was something Raskin started to become fluent in at a young age, well before accumulating every financial credential one can possibly think of.

Raskin grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, to a single mom and two sisters. He started helping his mom pay rent at 14-years-old, paid his way through college, and eventually found himself giving clients financial advice.

“I keep people from procrastinating when it comes to making the right financial decisions,” Raskin said of the simple answer for what he does all day. “Once you’re a client, I keep you from bad behaviors that cause you to screw up your future.”

Easy, right?

Not so much. In fact the most common thing people procrastinate on is not bothering to protect what they have, Raskin said. Life insurance policies, wills, proper legal documents, and appropriate beneficiaries, people don’t want to deal with it.

“It gets done last. It’s like medicine of finance, but it’s something people should address first and then put it away.”

Of course nobody thinks anything life changing or bad will happen until it does, so making sure you and your assets are protected in the event of an emergency is the best way to, quite literally, ensure you and your family are protected and covered.

And everyone should be protecting their wealth, no matter how little you might have, because you might have more than you think.

“If you take your income times the number of years you would expect to work over your working life expectancy, how much is that?” Raskin asked. “By protecting yourself now you’re protecting that potential.”

Once you are protected, Raskin advises everyone to put away at least 15 percent of gross income a year.

“If you do that early in life, don’t spend it and invest it well, you’ll never have to worry about money in the future,” Raskin said.

It’s easier to spend money than it is to save money, and a lot of people love to spend, spend, and spend. The key is to create a habit of saving that 15 percent and keep it saved, don’t reach for it when you want a new phone.

It goes back to the good ol’ saying, “There is a difference between needing and wanting something.”

And how do you begin to save? It all starts with a good budget.

“Have plastic will spend,” Raskin said laughing, and sadly many Americans have trouble learning how to budget and save because it’s not modeled anywhere.

Feeling overwhelmed yet? Don’t be. Raskin explains there are a few easy tips to follow when it comes to tightening the reigns on your finances.

First, protect yourself. Next, create and follow a budget. After you have a budget become a world-class saver by putting away 15 percent of annual gross income. Lastly, make sure you have enough emergency money stashed away. The recommended amount of emergency savings is 6 months worth of living expenses. 

After you become a master of those four steps, you can start thinking about learning how to investLuckily, Raskin has agreed to provide us with even more magical financial advice. 

Leonard P. Raskin is a Registered Representatives and Financial Advisors of Park Avenue Securities, LLC (PAS), 954 Ridgebrook Road, Suite 300, Sparks, MD 21152, 410-828-5400. Securities products and advisory services offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America (Guardian), New York, New York. PAS is an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian. Raskin Global is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian.

2017-51212 Exp. 12/19