When financial planner J. Landon Loveall was a teenager growing up, he says, "I guarded my Lego creations with life and limb from the destructive nature of my little sister." Loveall is founder and president of Cumberland Wealth Planners in greater Nashville, Tenn. Creating wealth is not unlike building something solid with Legos, as discussed in the article "Steps to building wealth." In the same way, you must protect your wealth from destructive forces, such as taxes and inflation, which can erode wealth. "On every gross dollar you earn, pay your taxes first," says Rick Kahler, president of the Kahler Financial Group in Rapid City, S.D. "Estimate your total tax liability and be sure your employer withholds enough to cover it. Planners generally recommend that high-income earners place assets that produce ordinary income (interest and short-term capital gains) into tax-deferred accounts.