My goal this year is to read 40 books that is 4 times what I read last year but who cares right. If I reach the goal I would have achieve a lot and if I come below goal I still would be better off than I was last year. My thing is always reach way higher, push yourself to your limits that way even if you fall a bit short you are still an improvement from where you were.
I just finished reading a book titled Smart Women Finish Rich and it was a breath of fresh air, because of where I am in my personal development journey, I learned a lot, and found great value reading this book. I know 3 years prior I probably would have just read the first few pages and put it aside because I wouldn’t have been ready to accept what was being taught. Thankfully I can now see the need for my taking the driving seat in planning for my future. In the book Dave Bach does a great job at laying out the case for why women should pro-actively plan for their futures. Yes, taking on the responsibility, and educating ourselves about the need for a retirement plan and/or a future that is ours by our own design. Are you living your best life or are you just surviving? The key is that you must decide what is important for you, not your parents, not your kids, not your spouse, not your siblings, not your friends but you. I just wish everyone could just figure this bit out YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR LIFE. This has been the biggest realization of my adult life and it has resulted in me aspiring to become the best version of me. All this aside lets get back to the book.
I read the second edition, which I purchased for $1 at the local thrift store. It is rather dated , because there have since been more updated versions with the most recent version having been published in 2018. There are a few things that are probably not as applicable based on my version but the overall message should make every woman pay attention. Some key aspects I found useful was the step by step formula that was used to lay down what steps women should take to get their financial house in order. Whenever I am trying out something new or learning something new I always go to the why question. Why am I learning this?, why does it matter,? Well its as though David Bach was speaking directly to me , because he did provide details and reasons as to why women should be taking the driving sit in planning out their financial futures.
He provided a bunch reasons as to why women should be taking charge of their money and although my version was published in 1999 most of the reasons if not all of them are still valid today. Fair or not, women need to do more financial planning than men (David Bach). Here are some of the reasons why from the book as well as my own research on the topic.
- women still typically earn less than men
- women are the ones hurt more by downsizing
- women take more time off from work and as such end up working less years than their male counterparts thereby contributing less to their retirement funds
- women will on average spend more time in retirement, because they tend to live longer
- women tend to turn down promotions due to family obligations
- women have more career disruptions which affect them negatively as they end up having to forgo incomes, and loose out on work provided benefits
- women are the ones that are usually affected by divorce or the death of their spouses especially if they are not really involved in the management of the family expenses
With all these reasons and more I am sure you are beginning to understand why it is important for women to start taking control of their finances and start planning for their futures. Reading Smart Women Finish Rich would be a great way of starting to educate yourselves. Even a google search provided me with a lot of interesting articles about why its important for women to proactively plan for their futures. It took me doing the work to find this available information, unfortunately a lot of other women never take these steps because they never think anything will happen to them or their spouse or they work on the assumption that all will be well. I am here to share that life happens and you have to be the one to save your self and plan for the future you want. What I liked about the book is that it provided really simple, easy to follow steps on how you can get yourself onto the right path. It starts with opening your eyes and owning your mess. Its only through this that you will be able to create the future you want.
Travel adventure, kids college, retirement security…all these can be yours but only if you start taking the necessary steps to get to a sound financial picture. He focuses on having us create three financial baskets
- Security Basket (meant to have you plan for the worst) ensuring that you have a financial cushion in case god forbid the worst would happen
- Your Retirement Basket (are you putting aside money towards your retirement)
- Your Dream Basket (budgeting for the fun things in life, your goals , your aspirations)
The book was long and it had a lot of information and it kept my interest but also had me question some of the recommendations but then again I was working with a 1999 version of the book. Some of the investment strategies that were being recommended do have some question marks on them. Tony Robbins has published a book which he discourages the use of mutual funds and the deferred tax strategy of saving mainly because we have no idea of knowing what the government will charge when it comes time to pulling our retirement funds out. I am learning, and you should be too. I will continue to educate myself. I do recommend this book because it is easy to read, I was able to follow the concepts or it could just be that I now have a keen interest in financial planning for women and as such I found some value in the learning.
I will plan on sharing more book reviews, I could go on and on about this book but it was 328 pages long and I don’t want to lose you to boredom though this shouldn’t be taken as a boring subject it is required knowledge and it a shame it is not readily taught in schools. The book gets a thumbs up from me for its ease of reading and relevancy.
With Love and Gratitude
Dr. Fatsani Dogani