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

3.9 out of 5 stars 82 customer reviews

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Paperback, Bargain Price, October 1, 1998
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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.


"Smoothly written...a treasure chest of financial advice." -- "USA Today""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"""Die Broke is more than a guide to personal finance, it's a code of values, many of which run contrary to instinct."-- "Sales and Marketing Management --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887309429
  • ASIN: B000GFR9SA
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,426,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Hardcover
Die Broke is an excellent book. Author Stephen M. Pollan takes a philosophical look at our concept of retirement--a concept created for another generation based on a different value system. The idea that we must retire at the age of 65, build wealth until we die, and leave a big inheritance for our children is one founded upon the needs of society during the industrial age. Pollan's idea is that now that we are in the information age, there is no need to retire until we want to. We also needn't wait until we die to help our children (long past their most needful times). By setting up proper cash-flow investments, we can live a good life, help our children, and keep ourselves financially secure until we die.
Many people, including myself, worry continually about how to raise the money needed to survive for thirty years after retirement. Pollan's ideas help us to break out of the outdated concepts that give us these feelings so that we can feel better about ourselves and our current financial state.
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Format: Paperback
Much of what you'll find here has been written before, but Pollan puts it together in an easy to understand, easy to read style. A word of caution.....although this book is thought provoking, but must be taken in context with other readings and life experiences. That said, Pollan reduces his financial plan to four steps. They are:

1) Quit Your Job. Pollan recognizes that the vast majority of businesses don't care about their employees. When push comes to shove, anyone that isn't vital is gone with no regrets. Many readers already know that. Pollan argues that since your employer is no longer your protector, you should treat the relationship as a relationship of equals. That means doing what your employer is doing......by putting your needs first. Give him or her an honest day's work, but think always in terms of where you're going and what skills you need to get there. You are a free agent. You are responsible for your professional growth, not the person in the corner office. For some, this may mean stepping out on their own. For others, it may mean staying on the job but approaching it differently. Whatever it means to you, recognize that when things go bad for the company, nobody's going to care about your mortgage, credit card bills and braces for the kids. You need to make sure that you've got that covered by developing a set of skills and attitude that can't be replaced. That's what free agents do.

2) Pay Cash - Bingo. I stopped buying on credit years ago. I won't even buy a car unless I can pay cash for it and have accelerated mortgage payments and will soon have paid off the house. This is extreme behavior modification for many of us, but it is the true path to freedom in life.
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