I have not read any other books in this series, but the subject matter of this book appealed to me. I often run into people who (for various reasons) don't have much liquid wealth going into their 40s. Yet I haven't seen much written to suggest what these folks should do. I was hoping to get some ideas to share. Unfortunately, I didn't really find any that I didn't know about already. If you are over 50, this book won't provide you with the advice you need. The intellectual process that Mr. Bach went through was to take the familiar arguments about the power of compound interest and saving with pre-tax dollars . . . and think of a few ways to shorten up the number of years required for compound interest to do its thing on your behalf. His best suggestions outside the standard financial planning advice are to be more valuable at work so you can earn more raises and promotions . . . and paying down your mortgage a little faster than is required. I applaud his advice that people spend less on things that don't provide much benefit . . . but most people are going to be demoralized if that's the main source of increased liquid wealth. After all, most people want wealth not for retirement . . . but to enjoy life before and after they retire. I found his arguments about starting your own business to earn more money to be naive at best . . . and overoptimistic at worst. Buying and running . . . or starting and running a business requires a lot of hard work and skill. Most successful entrepreneurs are off doing this by around age 35. Most people at 49 will find it a tough hill to climb. I applaud Mr. Bach's suggestion that people look into buying, operating, expanding and then selling franchised operations that meet his criteria.Read more ›
This is a book about compound interest and its affect on your future wealth. It is also about making a few sacrifices now so that you aren't short of money in your old age when it is too late to do anything about it. It is also throwing a lifeline for those who want to do a bit of living before they die, for the wrinkly stage before the crumbly stage. Some may argue that the book is largely irrelevant because it is written for an American market and it is true that you will have to turn over a number of pages which relate only to American citizens. However, the underlying message is well stated and relevant and the future will arrive whether you think about it or not.
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OK, true, I have not yet implemented any of Mr. Bach's advice but that is only because I have not yet come to the end of the book. "And yet you feel confident about giving it 4 stars?" you might ask, and my response would be a resounding "YES!" because here is the thing: Mr. Bach is at least giving me HOPE. I have a birthday coming up which will put me officially in my 40's. For most people-financial advisors and "laymen" alike-I'm doomed to living in a cardboard box in my old age because I have no children to mooch off of!
I agree with the above reviewer that bonds are perhaps a bit TOO "conservative" for someone starting late, but, really, better "conservative" than "suicidal", ESPECIALLY for people starting late, no? I also agree that starting abusiness is tough work. I know this because I have almost always worked for myself, but the aim of the excercise, I think, is what the "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" series also seems to be saying which is that ultimately you have others working for you. Working for yourself, whether it is a one man operation or the owner of a small business with employees-is not for everyone. It is certainly not for the faint of heart, to my mind! :):):) There is, indeed, a certain personality that not only thrives working this way but wouldn't have it any other way. What the above reviewer seems to forget is that not all of us work for corporate America directly. When you are out of the "mainstream' and/or only deal with it indirectly, it's not that it is harder to save money necessarally, but you may need to be a bit more "proactive"-especially if you are "starting late"-and you can certainly be heartily discouraged because you simply do not have the "language" or "knowledge" that the MBA's do.
The shelves are full of books on personal finance and retirement. Many cover a familiar list of sound principles: Save, get out of debt, pay down your mortgage, add to your retirement investments and live fully. However, getAbstract finds that David Bach's books are effective in their own distinctive way because of his emphasis on quality of life and simplicity (like using automatic deductions to meet your fiscal goals). Bach's bestsellers have developed a wide following. If he is your preferred financial guru, you will enjoy this guide to a better fiscal future.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
184 of 191 people found the following review helpful
Useful Advice for Those in Their 30s and 40s with Little Savings10 Dec 2005
- Published on Amazon.com
I have not read any other books in this series, but the subject matter of this book appealed to me. I often run into people who (for various reasons) don't have much liquid wealth going into their 40s. Yet I haven't seen much written to suggest what these folks should do. I was hoping to get some ideas to share. Unfortunately, I didn't really find any that I didn't know about already.
If you are over 50, this book won't provide you with the advice you need. The intellectual process that Mr. Bach went through was to take the familiar arguments about the power of compound interest and saving with pre-tax dollars . . . and think of a few ways to shorten up the number of years required for compound interest to do its thing on your behalf. His best suggestions outside the standard financial planning advice are to be more valuable at work so you can earn more raises and promotions . . . and paying down your mortgage a little faster than is required.
I applaud his advice that people spend less on things that don't provide much benefit . . . but most people are going to be demoralized if that's the main source of increased liquid wealth. After all, most people want wealth not for retirement . . . but to enjoy life before and after they retire.
I found his arguments about starting your own business to earn more money to be naive at best . . . and overoptimistic at worst. Buying and running . . . or starting and running a business requires a lot of hard work and skill. Most successful entrepreneurs are off doing this by around age 35. Most people at 49 will find it a tough hill to climb. I applaud Mr. Bach's suggestion that people look into buying, operating, expanding and then selling franchised operations that meet his criteria. The other ideas won't work for most people based on historical averages.
I was also puzzled by his emphasis on having one-third of your liquid financial wealth in bonds. That's been one of the lowest returning classes of investment over the last 150, 100, 50, and 25 years. Why deliberately earn less when you have a long time horizon?
Much of the appeal of this book is that Mr. Bach is optimistic by nature, has a kindly interest in people and aspires for people to accomplish more. Bravo for that attitude!
I also found that Mr. Bach uses quantitative examples to explain compound interest and pre-tax versus after-tax investments much better than most financial planners do.
If you are under 45 and have never read a book about financial planning before, you will find this to be a valuable resource. If you are familiar with financial planning, you can skip this book. If you are not inclined to plan, don't know anything about financial planning and find math to be challenging, this book will provide useful new perspectives for you.
666 of 780 people found the following review helpful
Don't Waste Your Money!25 Jan 2005
- Published on Amazon.com
David Bach is in the business of making money, not of helping people. As soon as he has you figure out your "Latte Factor" (the way you overspend without realizing it -- like buying daily lattes), he draws you to his website where he tries to sell you more books, tapes, CDs, etc., directly threatening that Latte Factor. Please don't be fooled by this man's intentions.
If you're forty, in excellent health, live in an affordable neighborhood, and plan to spend your life making money, this book will probably work for you, although there is nothing here you won't find in a hundred other books on personal finance. Try "Rich Dad, Poor Dad." It's an easier read.
David Bach does not consider people on fixed incomes, those with health issues, people who are required to stay in certain locations because of work, and those of us who simply do not want to give up the treat of one movie a month in order to devote our existences to Making More Money.
Mr. Bach really doesn't intend this book for anyone over forty . . . maybe forty-five. If you're in your fifties or sixties, this book will most likely frustrate you and make you feel like a failure, unless you've got a prime job and a nice nest egg already begun.
The author sees the world of the middle-and-lower classes through rose colored glasses. His answer to credit debt is to just get on the phone, call your creditors, and "talk them into" lowering your rates so you can pay your cards off sooner. If any of you have tried this you know it's easier said than done. Mr. Bach denies the fact that he really does expect everyone to give up lattes, movies, dinners out, and other treats . . . except for his book. That's an "investment." The author also seems to think that everyone lives in a neighborhood where foreclosures are nice little homes in the suburbs rather than shacks built on gang turf. He gives false information about IRAs; he is simply wrong in his figures. The author further thinks that all of his suggested investments will bring you a ten percent profit. I've been watching a couple of his favorite funds, and they're not all that stable. He also expect those of us who're growing older and less energetic to take on second jobs, including franchises. And of course everyone must get into the real estate game. I don't know how many hours a day are on Mr. Bach's clock, but my middle-class clock only gives me twenty-four.
To shorten this up, please believe that there are many many assumptions and descrepancies in this book. People with any sort of limitations fall right through the cracks. So unless you are in very early middle-age, are in perfect health, and plan to devote your life to dying with the thought "Hey, at least I'm rich!", please forego this book for one that's easier on the ego and nerves.
I stood in front of our local bookstore and gave my copy of "Start Late, Finish Rich" to the first over-fifty customer who walked by. He said he'd pass it on.
62 of 69 people found the following review helpful
Great Advice14 Feb 2005
- Published on Amazon.com
For the longest time, I thought I was the only one- the only one drowning in debt, with no savings and not a dime in retirement. I thought I would be the only one of my family or friends that would have to say no to all those wonderful travel opportunities, who wouldn't be able to take those leisurely, late afternoon lunches, who would never go shopping again unless it was for groceries, the only one who would have to continue working well through my "golden years" just to make ends meet. I was so scared that I would be living on such a fixed income, that I would worry about every last cent that I spent. I thought I would never be able to retire because I had started thinking about my long term financial plans much too late.
Then I read Start Late, Finish Rich and now I understand that I haven't doomed myself to working into my seventies or eighties. I can still make it and make it big!
I started with my debt as I felt like this was the biggest factor holding me back. I took Mr. Bach's advice to call all of my credit card companies and ask for lower interest rates. At first they balked, but with a little persistence and, sometimes a supervisor on the phone, almost every one of them lowered my interest rate by at least 5-10%. There were a few companies that wouldn't cooperate and therefore, didn't deserve my business. Those balances I transferred to new cards offering me a ZERO % interest rate. Next, I began making more than the minimum monthly payments, as much more as I could. Now I can see the progress I am making with each monthly statement and I am proud of the difference I am making in my own life!
Then, I began contributing more to my 401k. I set aside an additional $20 a week, just an extra $80 a month. I found this money in my "double latte factor", literally. When I began to realize how much I spent each day on gourmet coffee, my mouth dropped open. I still enjoy one cup of the coffee of the day (not a latte or some other fancy drink) and still managed to save $5 a day and there was my extra $20 a week! And, my amazing employer matches my contribution 100%. I am saving an extra $160 a month. That's $1920 a year and it is money I was literally just throwing away.
I still have a ways to go and more of this wonderful advice to incorporate, but after all, as David Bach says, this is not a sprint- it is a marathon. But thanks to Start Late, Finish Rich, I will finish that marathon just a little faster and a little richer! I am now confident that I will be able to retire comfortably and will be able to enjoy every minute!
244 of 292 people found the following review helpful
How to get rich is to write a book about it7 Jan 2005
- Published on Amazon.com
Bach does indeed give a common-sense approach to money management - but that's the problem. Spend less and save more, he says, and most of us heard this from the cradle. If you know nothing about budgeting, investing, credit control, and responsible spending, this book is for you, but there's really nothing in it that most of us haven't heard before. Might be useful for young people just getting started, but not really for people late in life. We've already heard it and if folks who don't get it by now probably won't just from reading this. I DO highly recommend Suze Orman's "The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous and Broke." It's aimed at 30- and 40-somethings but has practical advice for anyone
3 of 0 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, easy-read book...GREAT INFO!!!7 April 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
This book is AWESOME and really gave me some MOTIVATION to TAKE ACTION for my financial future...I've already made a few action steps to better my financial future including a bimonthly mortgage payment and increasing my contribution to my retirement plan at work by 10%!! I'm excited and anxious to see my savings build and I feel that I even have a decent chance of becoming a "MILLIONAIRE" even though I've started to implement some serious changes at age 36!!!