7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Thorough, Readable, Thought-Provoking Look at the Economic Realities,
This review is from: America, Welcome to the Poorhouse: What You Must Do to Protect Your Financial Future and the Reform We Need (Hardcover)
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This is an important and informative book. It covers four important (and difficult) economic realities of life in 2010 America, from college and retirement costs, to mortgage and credit card debt. So it is especially important for the legion of Baby Boomers (born 1946) who will begin retiring in 2011 and for the new generation of consumers, who'll have to make difficult economic choices in the world the Boomers have left them.
I don't understand the reviewers who've criticized "America: Welcome to the Poorhouse" for being "scattershot". Personally, I can't imagine how it could have been better organized or more focused than it is. And the thesis is clear, too: American lives and financial choices are linked to an American economy that creates and perpetuates great financial stress.
Jane White divides the book into four financial themes: retirement; mortgages; college expenses; and credit card debt. In each section, she takes a clear-eyed and specific look at what the problem is, why it continues, and what should be done about it--both by the consumer and through specific legislative reforms.
Essentially her legislative recommendations are: regulate/eliminate lobbyists...require greater employer contributions to employee 401Ks...get rid of adjustable rate mortgages...and reduce your credit card debt and reliance on home equity loans.
I appreciated the clarity of this book and the numerous examples and facts that were used to support the recommendations for change--both change in consumer behavior and legislative change. There's a tone of honest and blunt "financial advice that you need" whether she is recommending when to sell (or not sell) your stock, or where to move if you need an affordable house in an appealing, but different, part of the country (the 10 cities listed--from Portland to Raleigh--are each accompanied by a list that gives you a two-page overview of the best attributes of each).
The book is current, too, and references many of the reforms and ideas of President Obama, whom she believes is on the right track in many of these areas, but is ham-strung without real legislation from Congress.
I liked the book and think anyone reading it would come away better informed (and with an idea of how to improve their -own- financial situation). Definitely recommended.