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This month's makeover

December 20, 2009

This month's makeover

Who: Dale Dreher, 44, and Ronnie Dreher, 30

Income: $70,000

Goals: To get out of debt and plan for retirement

Assets: $2,000 in Individual Retirement Account

Debts: $424,000 in home loans, $12,000 in credit card debt, $10,500 car loan

Recommendations: Dale needs to market himself more and Ronnie needs to take on more dog training jobs to boost their income. The couple should reevaluate expenses, including private school costs and charitable giving. Aim to set aside at least six months' worth of salary in savings for periods when Dale is not working. Save at least 3% of income for retirement. When income stabilizes boost savings rate to at least 10% of income.

About the planner: Dirk Huybrechts is a certified financial planner with HFM Advisors in Brentwood.

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