Baseball Preseason Begins

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Major League Baseball pitchers and catchers report back to work this week to prepare for the 2008 season which will kick off March 25 when the World Champion Boston Red Sox face the Oakland Athletics in Japan’s Tokyo Dome.

Among those reporting to a new team is Johan Santana, currently the highest paid pitcher in baseball history, who plans arrive at the New York Mets’ spring training center in Point St. Lucie, Florida on Thursday. After narrowly missing the playoffs last year the Mets paid a premium –a $137.5 million contract for six years - to snatch the two-time Cy Young award winner away from the Minnesota Twins. That’s about $22.92 million a year, second only to the New York Yankees third baseman, Alex Rodriguez’s $27.5 million a year deal. 

If you recently scored a major salary bump, or even a modest raise, the best thing you can do is make a conscious decision about what to do with it. “Getting a raise is a great time to sit down and think about financial goals,” says Charles Failla, a Certified Financial Planner and Principal with Sovereign Financial Group in New York. “Then prioritize and determine how to earmark the cash flow.”

Start by making a list of financial goals. Then figure out how you’re doing as far as saving towards those goals. For instance, if you’re not already maxing out your 401(k), there’s no better way to spend that raise and supercharge your retirement. “That’s a great way to have this increase of gross income without having a tremendous increase in taxable income,” said Failla. Other areas to consider saving for include buying a home and saving for college education.

Above all, Failla says, be active when banking your raise, not passive. “Money is like water, it will take the path of least resistance,” says Failla. Make a plan, he says, or else your raise “will just evaporate and you’ll have nothing to account for it.”

 

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