financial futureThe world is not short on those willing to give you financial advice.

A search for "financial advice" on will give you 3,303 opportunities to read all about your investment, saving and wealth-building options.

When you factor in the myriad radio programs, online videos, blogs and infomercials, it's actually pretty surprising that more Americans don't have control over their financial futures and aren't accumulating a great deal of wealth.

In fact, Americans seem to be doing the exact opposite. They're letting others make financial decisions on their behalf. They're accumulating copious amounts of debt. And they're finding new ways to pass that debt on to their loved ones.

Frankly, the financial state of the country is a mess – but it doesn't have to be.

You can take control of your financial future. Here's how:

Plan for a long life

Everyone wants to live for a long time, but not everyone wants to plan for it.

Retirement seems to be a lot of people's ultimate career goal. But now that Americans are living longer, retirement can quickly change from a daydream to a nightmare – especially if you don't have enough money.

So instead of spending all your time and money planning for retirement, plan to live a long life. This means finding something you love to do, squeezing every dollar out of it and working for as long as you can.

This will help you actually enjoy life more than if you are not working, not earning an income, and scraping just to get by.

Don't bow down to cash

It's been said that cash is king, but that's not always the case.

Rather than bowing down to saving up a lot of cash, spend your time, energy and resources to create cash flow, which is the real royalty when it comes to building and sustaining wealth.

When you have cash flow, you are better prepared to address emergencies and opportunities. You can quickly take on smart debt and then just as quickly eliminate it.

And you have peace of mind, which is what building a bright financial future is really all about.

Commit to compounding

Albert Einstein is widely recognized as one of the smartest people who ever lived. So you should heed his words: Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world.

When you compound the money in your taxable account, you can grow your account in incredible ways.

But be careful to understand the impact compound interest has in your tax rates, which can also compound. Compound interest is your friend – if you're smart about it.

Take emotion out of the equation

When it comes to building wealth, your best bet is to plan your work and work your plan. But planning isn't easy – especially when your emotions are involved.

When you develop a plan, make sure it's a smart one that includes savings, traditional investments and alternative investments.

The key to taking emotion out of the equation is to diversify (truly, truly diversify) with alternative investments that are not going to take you on a roller coaster ride via the stock market – life settlements, life insurance and other safer investments.

Stay on the road less traveled

You're going to get a lot of advice – and most of it is going to focus on investing in the stock market. It's what most people expect and what most financial advisers suggest.

But that doesn't make it right.

Getting on the road less traveled with alternative investments – such as life settlements, short-term commercial bridge loans and rental properties – will help you create cash flow and build sustainable wealth regardless of how the stock market performs.

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