10 Financial Mistakes That Will Derail Your American Dream

In this post, I’m introducing a new FREE resource on the 10 financial mistakes that will derail your American dream.  When new to the country or new to money, for example starting a new job, it can be very confusing on what steps to make to ensure a financial success.


I recall being plagued by some of the same questions, as I was very anxious to take advantage of all that was available. I have walked the same journey, and I understand the anxiety.

For me, a big part of this was understanding what was available, as well knowing how to access it. On top of it, there was also the question of what I could take advantage of as well as what I needed to avoid.

Over the past year, I have had clients and prospects reach out to me, with very specific questions on where to start, as well as how to stay on the right side of the law financially.

Taxes and tax penalties can and do cost thousands of dollars for what are probably avoidable mistakes. It’s one of the reasons, I tend to include tax discussions in a lot of my posts.

Money Stress from Not Knowing What to Do

A recent Capital One Survey, shows that finances are the number one cause of stress for Americans at 73%, which is more than politics (59%), work (49%) and family (46%).

American Psychological Association’s latest Stress in America survey reports that 72% of Americans are stressed about money. A big part of this is from not knowing where to start and being afraid to ask questions to avoid looking stupid for not knowing these issues. The results in a type of paralysis that causes people to delay doing anything, sometimes for years.

Social Media has become a big part of our lives, and like anything else it has its pros and cons. One of the biggest issues with social media is some of the negative effects it can have on our financial lives.  They range from the infamous “FOMO” to making it look like your neighbors and friends know a lot about finances, meaning you should know about this as well.

I’m here to tell you, not really, it’s okay to not know these things, especially when we are happy to provide some of these resources, and you are willing to learn.

The 10 Financial Mistakes That Will Derail Your American Dream

So, to you get past this, I’m creating some long form free resources (longer than a typical blog post), that will go into some of the details, with specific steps.

The first resource attached here, details The 10 Financial Mistakes That Will Derail Your Version of the American Dream.

In this free resource, I highlight some of the mistakes to avoid when it comes to things like

  • Workplace benefits – based on what you have available.

  • Having financial ties in another country – what to watch out for.

  • Saving for college and thinking about future medical expenses.

  • The dilemma of having families in two countries, when it comes to retirement, and some of the mistakes you want to avoid in that space etc.

The final mistake that I address is around the idea of not taking advantage of the opportunities available. I was tempted to call this, the sin of omission, but I instead choose to go with Mistake No 10 – matches the rest of the document.

America is truly the land of opportunity. It is one of the few countries in the world where an individual can change their family’s trajectory in one generation.

There is a reason a lot of immigrants have started very successful companies. Anybody can do this; that is, identify a problem or a need, create a solution for that problem. I am guilty of simplifying the process a little bit here, since as we all know there are other issues that go into this, but the general idea still holds.

The one advantage those not born here have is being able to rely on their life experiences elsewhere and being able to think differently about some of this issue. If this is you, don’t make mistake No 10.

If You Have Things Under Control

For those who are already established financially and have things humming along, use this guide as a checklist. Use it to identify any gaps that you may not have been aware off or think of this as a second opinion for what you are doing.

Future Resources

Over the next couple months, I will be adding to these resources, on other financial topics, and I am happy to take suggestions on topics you’d like to see me address right away. Just hit reply to this email with your suggestions and I’ll move your topic to the top of the list.  Be sure to keep an eye on this page for new resources.

If you’d like to chat about any of the issues identified in this resource or feel like you have all the above taken care of, and you are ready to move on to the next set of items, I would love to connect here.

To continue being a part of the conversation subscribe to Elgon’s blog posts by  email here.

Disclaimer:  This article is provided for general information and illustration purposes only. Nothing contained in the material constitutes tax advice, a recommendation for the purchase or sale of any security, investment advisory services, or legal advice. I encourage you to consult a financial planner, accountant, and/or legal counsel for advice specific to your situation. Reproduction of this material is prohibited without written permission from Jane Mepham and all rights are reserved. Read the full disclaimer here.

Jane Mepham, CFP® is a Fee-Only financial planner who loves simplifying the complexities of the U.S. financial system for immigrants and foreign nationals on work visas and those in tech. She’ll work with you to map out a personal strategy that addresses all areas of your financial life while avoiding key financial mistakes that could derail your American dream.

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