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Tony Robbins: 3 steps to improve your financial life

What are the three most important things a person can do right now to start turning his or her financial world around? Tony Robbins, life strategist and author of the best-selling book "Money: Master the Game," truly believes that it's not that complicated.

First, people are hurting themselves because they're just consuming things and not saving ― and not just for retirement, he explained.

Man climbing steps
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"We're just buying things, so we have nothing left," he said. "We wake up and go 'Where's our life?' So the problem is being a consumer, not an owner."

The next big problem, according to Robbins, is that people are not taking full advantage of their 401(k) plans.

"I think most people are not maximizing their 401(k) plans, because it's boring and they don't know where to go for help and they're saying, 'I don't know what to do,'" he said.

Rather than being proactive and finding ways to maximize the benefits of 401(k) plans, many people just do nothing, and that is a serious financial mistake, Robbins explained.

It's important to truly understand the nuances of your 401(k) plan ― and that includes knowing the costs that are associated with the retirement plan. Hidden fees in retirement plans are confusing and are a major problem for retirement savers, he said.

"The more you pay in fees, the less money you have for retirement," Robbins said. "You could get 10 years of income back if you save 1 percent on fees. So that's a mistake, not to question the fees you pay."

Finally, Robbins believes that many people just stress too much about money and that they tend to let it dominate their life.

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"Really, all you're looking for is comfort," he said. "You're looking for certainty. You're looking for some kind of freedom, and if every time you think about it you get yourself stressed out, then you have no quality of life today.

"So it's really useful, as corny as it sounds, to count your blessings, appreciate what you have while you're building toward what you really want."

―By Jim Pavia, senior editor at large