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Money 911: Your Most Pressing Money Questions Answered, Your Money Emergencies Solved Paperback – December 29, 2009
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From the Back Cover
The popular TODAY financial editor Jean Chatzky helps you navigate through the critical challenges and potential catastrophes of personal finance.
You've just lost your job. You've got a baby on the way. Your parent has had a stroke. Most people seek financial help not because they're planning for the future but because they need it . . . right now! If you have money problems or are seeking immediate help to solve a dire, unanticipated financial emergency, then you need Money 911. In this invaluable guidebook, financial expert Jean Chatzky provides answers to today's most pressing financial questions and concerns, including:
- How do I get out of debt?
- How do I avoid foreclosure?
- How do I set up a monthly budget?
- How can I improve my credit score?
- How do I get my health insurance to pay a claim?
- What should I do when I lose a parent?
With Money 911, you can prepare for retirement, buy or sell a home, pick up the pieces of your personal finances, and get back on your feet—and stay there!
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Top Customer Reviews
If you're like me, with some money management skills, but often have questions that you put into google search and then find yourself reading random answers from people on yahoo answers, then this is just the book you need. It takes a practical, question and answer approach to each money management topic asking only the most relevant questions and with no talking down. For instance,in retirement the first question is " I have nothing set aside for retirement, how do I begin?" Chatzky then takes you through various options in 2 pages and then goes on to questions like "Is 401(k) better than Roth IRA?" or "I am only 25, do I need to start saving for retirement?" or "I am a married stay at home parent, how do I save?"
The author, who also has a show on NBC's Today show, answers similar questions on her show. It seems many of the questions in the book may have come from questions submitted to her by her viewers as they were not typical questions that would flow from the topic but real life situations that people would want to know more about. Example, the Identity theft section starts with "Could my child be a victim of identity theft?" followed by signs that may tell you if that is indeed the case.
What I liked about the book is the fabulous organization:
-Phone book like indexing in the right hand margin so I can jump right to the section I want to read rather than going through each chapter looking for info.
- Broad coverage of topics - from Debt, Real Estate, Credit, Wills, Paying for College, Budgeting, Saving, Insurance, Retirement, Marriage, Career, Identity Theft, Money and Life (which has questions like tipping, 20% being the new normal for restaurants)
- Concise answers but with the right detail to answer your question - a paragraph rather than a page in most cases.
- "The Math" - quick, back of the napkin type math so that you can make your own calculations . For instance, "Calculate how much an electrical appliance will cost you to run it before you buy it" (in the budgeting section).
- Wherever needed there is a "The Stats" section giving you the basic facts. Example, in Credit section it tells you what range of credit scores get you good credit and then "The Math" section demystifies FICO socre and how it affects a home loan vs auto loan.
- "I also need to know..." section in each chapter that answers common questions that you may have, such as "How do I find a trustee for my will?" or even money etiquette related questions like "How do I avoid splitting a restaurant check down the middle when my party has less people than the other?"
- "Watch Out for" section where needed for example "Minimal withdrawals on HELOCs" in Real Estate/Mortgage section
- "Resources" in each chapter giving websites, phone numbers etc. where you can get more information. The listing of websites was right on, she lists those that give the best and most reliable information. I was familiar with some after some research but still got some great links for sites with fraud/identity theft protection tools which I did not know about.
This is one of the most user friendly and practical money management book I've read as it is designed as a reference guide to answer pressing questions. I recommend it to everyone who is looking for some answers to everyday, real life money questions.
The thing I've always admired about Jean Chatzky, and the thing that sets her apart from so many people in the world of personal financial punditry, is that she really does know her stuff. Her research is very, very thorough, up to date, and solid. She's not winging it, and it shows in this book.
Money 911 is easy to navigate, and there are few financial questions you won't be able to find the answers to in this book. 5 Stars.
AOL Money & Finance
This is NOT an investment program. Nor does Chatzky offer you a system for getting out of debt and rebuilding your retirement. What she does offer is more immediate and focuses on the emergencies you face right. I particularly like the fact that she is very aware of the way financial predators try to confuse you and offer you dubious help while leaving you worse off financially. She tells you how to identify them, why you must avoid them, and how you can better handle the money issue these snakes are using to pressure you into a bad decision.
The 130 questions are divided into 15 chapters that answer up to date questions on debt, money & life, protecting your family, identity theft & scams, budgeting and trimming your spending, credit, real estate & your mortgage(s), funding college for yourself, kids, and grandkids, insurance, retirement, saving & investing, career & work, taxes, marriage, and life's milestones. There is a helpful index and the edge of the book indicates each chapter by offset black edged pages.
I also like the fact that the author not only answers the each question clearly and helpfully, but she also provides other resources for you to dig into the subject more deeply if you need to.
Surprisingly entertaining as well as helpfully informative.
Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI
My daughter is a brand new Mother.. She will be returning to work in 1 month. There is a great chapter in this book re child care deductions and "Questions to ask a nanny /day care provider.."
I ( as an over 50 consumer) especially loved the Retirement and "Saving and Investing " Chapters..
Each of the 15 chapters deals with a different aspect of keeping your personal finances on track in these trying times ...
Jean has scored a winner with this 438 page book full of financial information for all age groups ..Buy it!!