Walter L. Woodrick

Good article for the grandkids

As I write this article from Cape San Blas, I can’t help but wonder how many people will actually read it. So, how about we make a deal? I will give you a copy of my book Seven Steps to Serious Money if you will contact me with code word “half.” I would also love to know what topics you would like to see me address in this newspaper article in the future.

This week, my intent is to share with you the advice I have been giving to my children and clients for years: whatever income you earn each year, only plan to spend half. If you are single and have a salary of $60,000, you need to think, “My income is $30,000,” and make all decisions based upon that $30,000 and not the $60,000. Here are two reasons why I say this.

The first is because half is probably pretty close to what you will actually receive. The first 7.65% goes to Social Security and Medicare. Then, I hope that you give something around 10% to your church and/or charity. After that, you hopefully put at least 10% into some type of savings or investment. From there, you pay income taxes, and this can range from 10% to 37% (let’s just say 20% for this example). These percentages equal 47.65%. 

It is prudent to spend roughly 30% of one’s income on housing (rent/mortgage, utilities, insurance, taxes). 30% of $30,000 is $9,000 per year or $750 per month. This is reasonable and affordable, and it may require roommates or a sacrifice in one’s standards. But, we would be proud of our kids and grandkids if this is what they spent on housing, and they would by laying a foundation for a solid financial future that would allow them the flexibility to work a job they enjoy or to have one spouse stay home with the kids. The problem that exists is that people today don’t want roommates or what can be afforded for those dollars – so they bite off more than they can chew with long-term, potentially generational, consequences.

Second: All too often, I see the financial decisions made by a teenager or 20-something dictate later how their children are raised and by whom. Prudence at an early age can avoid the discomfort of needing multiple jobs, kids being raised by strangers making minimum wage or by aging grandparents, and families being constantly behind the financial eight-ball. In today’s day and age, it is hard to find people willing to sacrifice today in order for greater benefit tomorrow. We have an obligation to teach younger generations financial awareness, prudence, sacrifice, and future value. Maybe someone in your family can benefit from this perspective? I’d love to hear from you!

Gulf County resident Walter L. Woodrick is a Certified Financial Planner practitioner, and the author of two books. His website is You can text Walter at 850.724.1369. Securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC. 555694-1

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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