Realistic ways to power save if you don't hit the 'Powerball' game

SAN DIEGO - Your chance of winning the new Powerball Lottery now available in California is one in 175 million. Financial experts say you have much better odds at realistically securing your financial future.

"As long as you plan and you have certain numbers in mind, you'll be just fine," said Steve Sexton of the Sexton Advisory Group.

Sexton, a financial planner, said there are six numbers to keep in mind when planning for retirement.

Sexton said the first number to remember is 20. He said that's the age people should start saving for retirement.

The next winning number from Sexton is 15. Sexton said 15 percent of someone's annual income is what they need to put away for the future.

"If you are making $100,000 a year that's $15,000 a year, and if you're making 5 percent (on the yearly savings) you are going to be able to develop a good million, million and a half dollars," said Sexton.

Sexton's third magic is 3. He said savers should factor in inflation at three percent.

"In 20 years, your income needs will double," Sexton said. "Meaning if you have a $4,000 income that sustains your lifestyle now, in 20 years, you'll need $8,000. So if you don't calculate inflation, you are going to run short on the needs you have in retirement," he said.

Sexton's fourth number to remember is 250,000. Sexton said that's the amount of money most people spend out-of-pocket on healthcare in retirement even with Medicare or supplemental policies. Sexton said he advises people put away money to pay for healthcare.

The fifth number is 760, said Sexton, or the magic number when it comes to shooting for a credit score.

"It determines how much interest you are going to pay on loans and credit cards. The more the interest rate, the more it's going to eat of your savings in retirement," said Sexton.

And the "Powerball" number for savings is the number one. Sexton said people need to take care of themselves first.

"If you plan for your retirement first you won't be in jeopardy," Sexton said. "If you don't plan for it, you could be leaving your kids with a lot of debt."

Sexton also advised people to get a certified public accountant and a financial planner involved in your plans. He said the two professionals can work together to reduce your taxes.

Team 10 Money Watch web extra: Smart phone apps that pay you

Many people are now saving for the future the high tech way. Several applications pay consumers to use their smart phones. All of the money is paid through PayPal so people don't have to give out personal information to different employers. Here is a list tested by 10News Scripps sister station WEWS NewsChannel5 in Cleveland, Ohio.

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