Synopsis of Content:
One of the most frequent sources of discord in marriages is financial difficulties. David Bach’s 2001 best seller, Smart Couples Finish Rich, is dedicated to helping couples find financial security while strengthening their relationships. Bach is a financial planner by and has taught financial planning on his own PBS special.
In this book he discusses why smart couples discuss and plan their financial future. He presents basic facts about financial planning and exposes some myths about couples and their money. Like most financial planning authors, he asks couples to determine their true purposes and goals in life and how they want to use money. He teaches them the importance of planning together, as a couple.
Bach offers up his “latte factor” – a description of how much money a couple can waste through unwise daily spending on luxuries like lattes. He shows how saving the $5 or $10 per day that a couple might spend on expensive coffee drinks, lunches out or other expensive snacks, the couple could invest that money and over the long term convert it into a real nest egg.
Perhaps the most important and valuable advice Bach gives is twofold: (1) couples must take control of their own financial future and cannot rely upon anyone else to do it, and (2) couples need to pay themselves first through a disciplined and automatic savings program.
Bach tells couples to build their retirement basket and their security blanket. The former is about IRA’s, 401k’s and other retirement instruments. In short he emphasizes the need to save until it hurts, especially if you start late, to build an adequate nest egg for a comfortable retirement. The latter is about building some reserves to shield you in case of a job loss or other financial disaster. The final chapters talk about saving for your dreams, or what he calls a dream basket, as well as avoiding common financial mistakes and how to increase your income by 10% in 9 weeks.
Bach’s book is good. In many ways he adds little beyond what other popular financial planning books provide and I still maintain that no book is better at investment planning than The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read by Daniel R. Solin. However Bach’s book goes a bit beyond investment advice and offers some common sense financial planning advice for average to above average salaried couples. This book is about the basics. It is well organized and makes a good reference for some basics that you can return to as you plan from year to year. For most Americans this book ought to be part of their financial planning library – and in a world with no job security and economic fluctuations understanding financial planning and investing is a very important area of knowledge. Everyone should have an investment and financial planning library and learn the basics and some beyond the basics to protect themselves.
Like all of Bach’s books this is an easy read. It is well organized and does not contain overly complicated investment language. He uses real life examples to illustrate his principles.
About the Author:
David Bach is a financial advisor who has published eight popular books on building wealth including The Automatic Millionaire. He has appeared on a number of television programs and speaks around the nation.
Overall Rating for the Book: Very Good