Skip the get-rich-quick scheme

Dear Heloise: For nearly 30 years, I’ve worked as a financial planner and helped steer my clients to a secure future through careful planning of their finances. It takes self-discipline, patience and willingness to do the research and planning needed to achieve a safe, secure future for your family.

Lately, several of my younger clients have come to me with questions about “get rich quick schemes” that promise thousands of dollars in passive income, or money by the truckload with very little effort. Please warn your readers that accumulating wealth and financial independence usually comes slowly. There are all sorts of scammers out there on the internet telling people how they make $4,000 to $10,000 a month with little effort. Maybe they have an oil well in their backyard or won the lottery. For most of us, these get-rich formulas are phony.

I recently warned a client to stay away from such a scheme where he had to pay out several hundred dollars to get started (he had to borrow the money). It was a scam. The old adage applies here: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Do your homework, do research and ask for advice from successful people. Use common sense and live within your means. It’s not glamorous, but it works! — Victor T., Bloomfield Hills, Michigan


Dear Heloise: I love to bake and make desserts frequently. Last week, I made a couple of banana bread loaves from scratch, and they turned out well. Just before we were going to sit down to dinner, a friend dropped by, and we invited him to dine with us. It wasn’t anything special that evening, but for dessert, I fried some thick slices of banana bread in butter. Then, while the banana bread was still warm, I drizzled thick lines of chocolate sauce over the banana bread and topped it with one scoop of whipped cream. It was something new for our guest, and he’s still complimenting me on it.

When I told my daughter about it, she tried it with a scoop of hot fudge sauce for ice cream and let it melt slightly into the banana bread. Either way, it’s delicious. — Molly K., Lincoln, Nebraska

Molly, that sounds yummy! Sometimes a great dessert is just a matter of a little imagination and a combination of items you already have on hand. — Heloise


Dear Heloise: I’m a volunteer at a local shelter for animals. We are bursting at the seams with cats, dogs, ferrets, large birds, snakes and an assortment of other pets that are no longer wanted for one reason or another. We’re not unusual because there are animal shelters all across this country that are overloaded with strays, rejects and litters of unwanted babies.

If you have a pet, get it spayed or neutered, have it microchipped and make sure it has all its shots. Never abandon a pet. Never dump an animal in a strange neighborhood and expect other people to feed and home what was your responsibility! When you get a pet, it’s for their lifetime. — Sherrie, Boston

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Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.


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