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January 20 2005
We're feeling GREAT today after reading your book "The Automatic Millionaire." Despite having three special needs children and the mounting bills that accompany them, we started the automatic deduction process 10 years ago with my husband's 401k. You really DO not miss what you cannot see. That "automatic deduction" has grown from zero to over $126,000 even though we have had to tweak our percentage to match our financial needs at any given time. Despite dropping to 2% some years, we are back to 18%. I work 2 part time jobs. I have $250 a week automatically put into a money market account to cover our Roth IRA contributions. I have $1200 a month automatically withdrawn to be divided into a 529 account for each of my sons. We automatically put the rest of my pay into our "emergency fund" which is over $20,000 - 5 months worth! Another $50 a week automatically goes into a vacation club. I am now in the process of having money from my second job (freelance TV) put into either a SEP IRA or the new one-person 401k. Like you said, the ONLY true way to do this is through automation. We are very disciplined and could not commit. Now, we are used to it. We live comfortably below our means and knowing our future will be set! We also make one extra payment a year on our mortgage. Not bad for a family besot with many challenges.

- Marie Louise