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Die Broke : A Radical Four-Part Financial Plan Paperback – Bargain Price, October 1, 1998


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Paperback, Bargain Price, October 1, 1998
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887309429
  • ASIN: B000GFR9SA
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,340,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Baby boomers, forget all you've learned from your parents about managing your money, your career, and your life. In Die Broke, Stephan Pollan challenges readers to rethink their notions of workplace, money, retirement, and inheritance. He believes that most of us are rooted in thinking that's out of sync with the realities of today's economy. For example, according to Pollan, the "job" is not what it used to be--there's no such thing as corporate loyalty. Making it in today's workplace means putting your own interests first, not your company's. Pollan argues that you should do your best at work, but make sure you're getting the best deal financially. If you're not, then get another job. After all, it's only a job.

Die Broke is organized into two sections: the first lays out the principles for dying broke. Pollan bases his whole argument on these four maxims: quit today and work for yourself, not your company; pay cash, melt your credit cards, and don't even think about using your ATM card; don't retire, retirement is a relatively new concept created during the Depression, instead plan to work all your life, and; die broke, after all, you can't take it with you.

The second part looks at specific instances of how to put this philosophy into action, covering everything from "Automated Teller Machines and Cards" and "Umbrella Liability Insurance" to "Mortgage Loans" and "Real Estate Investment Trusts." The book draws on Pollan's experience as a financial and legal consultant and includes many examples from his own practice.

Some may find Pollan's views extreme. However, if you're starting to think about retirement or are at all worried about your financial future, Die Broke is worth a look. Even if you think you've got it all figured out, this book could change your mind. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"If you don't read this book, you're going to Die Stupid!" -- -- Dr. Laura Schlessinger, author of Ten Stupid Things Men Do to Mess Up Their Lives and How Could You Do That?!

"If you're unhappy with conventional thinking about how we live and plan our lives, this book will speak to you." -- -- Scott Burns, Dallas Morning News

"If you're unhappy with conventional thinking about how we live and plan our lives, this book will speak to you." -- -- Scott Burns, Dallas Morning News

"Smoothly written...a treasure chest of financial advice." -- -- USA Today --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

If you save part of your paycheck every time and then only spend cash, you simply can't go broke.
Gates VP
If you are looking for an answer to all your questions about finances this is the book for you... it answers everything and I really do like his idea.
njcrocker
This book is easy to read without talking down to the reader, is full of good advice with possible to practice wisdom.
Quaker Annie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

143 of 147 people found the following review helpful By Michael Mendenhall on August 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
Before reading this book, I had always harbored a great deal of suspicion for the generally accepted wisdom of "retirement." According to popular financial magazines, I will need somewhere around $2 - $3 million by the time I turn 65 to live a "comfortable" retirement. What a sick joke.
Retirement, as the author points out, is a myth. There is no such thing as retirement. Retirement at age 65 was arbitrarily made up years ago to get rid of the elderly so younger people could fill up those jobs. There is something else the author touches upon and that is America's obsession with accumulating large sums of money over years and years to one day get to that glorious point where we no longer have to work. Great, so what about now? What do we do during our working years? Do we sacrifice all the good years of our lives saving up ungodly sums of money just to get to the point where we can quit and do nothing but goof off all day? There's something wrong with this picture. As the author points out, and I have noticed this myself, we focus on retirement for the same reason we look forward to the weekend: we hate our jobs. Americans by and large just don't like to work. If we loved to work, we would have to change our national slogan to "Thank God it's Monday." I don't think so.
This book is basically divided into two parts. The first part is his radical and somewhat controversial plan to avoid retirement altogether. In other words, plan on not retiring at all. The author points out that this is done in several ways, most of which are not really new: (1) pay cash for everything except maybe a house (2) get rid of all your credit cards and ATM cards except maybe an American Express which you pay off every month (3) mentally quit your job.
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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Eric R Lewis on March 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The main point of the book is that it is silly to aim to leave a large estate to your heirs. Instead of that, spend your money, or give it to the people and causes that you care about while you are alive and able to enjoy seeing the gifts put to use. Since this type of plan raises the spectre of running out of money (i.e. "outliving your assets"), Pollan and Levine's work is full of practical advice on how to insure a sufficient life-long income, using annuities, insurance, etc.
Those reviewers who criticize the book as a case against retirement planning miss the point. Whether or not you plan to "die broke", you'll need substantial assets to provide a comfortable income in your seventies, eighties, and beyond, God willing. Die Broke is about how to accumulate those assets, and how to make the best use of them, not at all an excuse for not saving.
Regarding their views on retirement, Pollan and Levine are preaching the not-so-heretical idea that many of us will find both fulfillment and income working past the standard retirement age, and should take that into account as we plan for that time. Indeed, social scientists are starting to find that people who keep working (often part-time, or as volunteers) are happier and live longer than those who "retire".
I highly recommend this book to people thinking about their careers and finances. Even if you disagree with its conclusions, it will stimulate your own thinking and planning. Be sure however to check with a qualified advisor before undertaking any of the detailed strategies mentioned, as tax and other rules are constantly changing.
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75 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Quaker Annie on June 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is my personal favorite in a long list of books on financial planning, although I think it caused the hairs on the back of my financial planners neck to stand up. Actually, that might be a good sign. The advice in this book goes against everything a sensible planner says to do. The traditional advise is to protect, nurture and grow your 'estate.'
You know the bumper stickers you see that say "We're Spending Our Children's Inheritance"? This book is based on that theory, although with a kinder philosophy behind it. The authors recommend you
1) Quit Your Job. (virtually,not actually)Rather than leaving your job, start thinking of yourself as an independent contractor - and make sure you do what you like, get what you want) The work world has changed, employers complain about lack of employee loyalty, but will 'right size' you tomorrow
2) Pay Cash - Get rid of credit card thinking and credit card debt. This is not your father's credit card system anymore!
3) Don't Retire - The idea of putting yourself out to pasture at a given age is as dated as the concept of thinking you have to grow your inheritance to leave to your kids.
4) Die Broke. Spend your money wisely now, use legal ways you can take care of your parents and your kids while you are still alive.
The idea is not to live poor or foolishly, but to rethink entirely why you are struggling so hard now for a tomorrow that may or may not come. Use your money today, to take care of yourself and your loved ones. This book is easy to read without talking down to the reader, is full of good advice with possible to practice wisdom. A good investment!
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