According to Francisco J. Colayco, entrepreneur, management consultant, financial advisor, and author of the personal finance book Wealth within Your Reach: Pera Mo Palaguin Mo!, we all go through four fundamental life stages: (1) start-up, (2) build-up, (3) asset allocation, and (4) retirement.
 
Although all of us begin in the start-up stage, not all of us progress at the same pace. Some 60-year-olds may still be in the start-up stage, while enterprising 30-somethings are already in the build-up stage. Whatever your situation, always plan to move up to the next stage until you reach your ultimate goal—the retirement stage. For some, this may be at age 60 or 65, while for others, 75 or even 80. If you’re one of the people who plan on retiring early, you have to make your money work for you at the highest possible rate at the quickest time possible--although this comes with the highest risk potential (beware of scams!).

Here's how you can make the most out of your earnings no matter what money stage you may be in.

These articles give more tips on finances, savings, and budgeting:

(First published in Good Housekeeping Magazine, Money section as "Money Watch" in July 2005; adapted for use in Female Network)
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