Top critical review
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Financial Planning Shouldn't Be A Luxury
on February 3, 2015
According to the American Payroll Association more than two thirds of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and 3 in 10 making $100K per year do so. Alexa gave short shrift to the CFP designation and should have explained it as more than a 2 day 10 hour test. I am not sure why Alexa labels people as different types? I find that it is difficult to change who someone really is and do not think that the labeling was beneficial. This book seemed like it was for a younger target audience than me. I agree wholeheartedly that it is very important to regularly calculate your net worth (I do mine every month). I did not agree as to why one should put homeowners insurance on mortgage payments by "impounding" when your insurance company can also do so? I really like the idea of using a budget plan for all utilities. In shopping, Alexa should have recommended extrapolating the unit price to cost per ounce or some other measure. I think that the 20% of take home pay number for the future ignores pre-tax deductions like for a 401k. To me, the 70% retirement salary seems high as your mortgage should be paid off and you do not have the 20% for the future to worry about anymore. I totally agree that retirement is the top financial priority. When reading this book on the Kindle, some of the charts were impossible to read. I like the idea of bonuses going into your freedom (emergency) fund which I will try to do. Selling unwanted / unused items and putting any cash back rewards into the fund is something that I already do. I maximize cash back and will use the card that has the best percentage which is Bank of America at 2.25% for me right now. I also make sure that I sign up for the 5% categories that other cards offer on a rotating basis. Paying credit cards with balances twice a month to reduce interest, this was a new concept for me. Alexa’s home buying advice did not include avoiding PMI which I think is a huge waste - mentioned later but missed that can get rid of with a new appraisal. I thought that this was a weird example, if you are buying a house and have a huge sum like $500K in one account; my thought was that you do not need this book. I wish I had heard about a roof warranty when I bought my house. In choosing a brokerage, I would add – do they automatically reinvest dividends? I thought that her "fearless tips" offered very practical advice. Overall, I feel like that Alexa skims the surface and does not cover subjects in-depth because the LearnVest folks are waiting to help and the book feels like one long advertisement for their services.