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5 Signs You May Be Broke in 10 Years

If you had a crystal ball, what would it reveal about your financial future? Curious to find out?

In Glamour magazine’s May issue, I explored some financial predictors and discovered five signs you might be broke in 10 years or less.

Sign #1: Fail to Negotiate Salary

If you’re someone who tends to accept the very first offer at every new job, research shows it’s like leaving a million bucks in lost earnings over a lifetime. Before accepting a deal, head to GetRaised.com to compare salaries in your field and zip code. Then ask for a bump before accepting the job — experts say it’s the best time to ask!

Sign #2: Savings Shortfall

If you had to come up with some quick cash to fix a leaky roof or cover a surprise medical expense, could you? The fact is half of Americans say they’d have a hard time shoring up $2,000 on short notice, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. But without a savings cushion you’re a prime candidate for financial disaster.

Sign #3: Argumentative Parents

Next, how would you describe the way your parents communicated about money when you were young? If they argued constantly, that may be another troubling sign. A new study finds kids with parents who fought over money are three times more likely to rack up a large amount of debt as adults. If that sounds like you, don’t let your past dictate your future. Take control by seeking help from local support groups or from a certified credit counselor in your area.

Sign #4: Empty Retirement Account

Sign number four may rest in your retirement account. How much is actually in there? If you’re not actively participating in your company’s retirement plan or your own individual retirement account, financial hardship could very well be a reality in your later years. To get savings on the right track, check out sites like ChoosetoSave.org and AARP.com for helpful retirement calculators.

Sign #5: Not Sharing Savings Goals

And finally, when trying to save money do you:

A) Tell many friends and family.
Confide in a couple people.
C) Keep it to myself.

If you answered C, your savings goals may turn out less than successful. A recent study by the Bureau of Economic Research found that those who publicly announced their savings progress saved 3.5 times more often and their average savings balance was almost twice that of those who kept their goals to themselves. So don’t be shy. It’s good for your wallet!

What are some signs you’re headed in the right financial direction? Connect with me on Twitter @Farnoosh and use the hashtag #finfit.