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Smart Couples Finish Rich: 9 Steps to Creating a Rich Future for You and Your Partner Paperback – January 8, 2002

4.5 out of 5 stars 148 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Like many savvy business people of the 21st century, David Bach offered his first pearls of financial wisdom to women, in his bestselling book Smart Women Finish Rich. Recognizing that these women are often accompanied by significant others and that money arguments are the number one cause of divorce in America, Bach has now broadened his scope. Presumably intended to help change this depressing statistic, Smart Couples Finish Rich is a well-written financial planning tool, packed with useful charts and information, inspiring examples, and practical advice.

For people who've been disappointed by the shallowness of some of the "quick tips" self-help books out there, the subtitle of this book is a little misleading. Bach's nine steps are not instant change techniques or chirpy little quips to recite to yourself whenever you go to balance your checkbook. Instead, the first few steps include a series of exercises that will help you determine what you know (and don't know, or understand) about saving and investing, what role money should play in your life (which includes understanding your values), and how to work together toward a common financial goal. From there, Bach teaches his readers how to account for "disappearing" money, how to build retirement, security, and dream baskets of wealth (providing detailed options for all three), and how to avoid the most common financial mistakes most couples make. Though the focus of the book is predominantly on working with your existing income, Bach includes a final chapter entitled "Increase Your Income by 10 Percent in Nine Weeks."

Bach's writing style is engaging and his advice is user-friendly. A successful financial planner, he obviously believes passionately in all the "fringe" benefits of being financially responsible but employs a no-nonsense approach that makes financial smarts available to everyone. So whether you're 25 and just starting out on the earning, saving, and spending road or you plan to retire next year; whether you've recently got hitched for the first time or you've just entered your fourth marriage; and whether financial planning comes first or last on your list of fun things to do, the advice in Smart Couples Finish Rich is worth heeding. It's not about becoming a money-obsessed bore, it's about getting smart... and rich. --S. Ketchum --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Bach, author of the bestselling Smart Women Finish Rich and host of a popular PBS series, offers his advice on how couples can keep their financial lives in sync. Familiar financial strategies on routine concerns, such as investments, retirement and insurance, form the bulk of the book. However, Bach's work does distinguish itself in one critical area: Bach believes that all couples (gay and straight, married and unmarried) need to identify values as well as goals as their first step toward achieving financial security. As he explains, values have to do with "being" (e.g., security, health, spirituality, fun), while goals are related to "doing" and "having" (e.g., playing golf regularly, taking frequent vacations, retiring with a million dollars). Moreover, he avers, not only is money management an issue that couples should plan and work on together, it is one that they should talk about, in a positive way, all the time. For example, Bach firmly believes that all couples need to be aware of their spending (what he calls the "latt‚ factor," or being more conscious of the regular little purchases they make each day) in order to make positive changes in their financial lives. Agent, Jan Miller. (On-sale date: Mar. 6)Forecast: Given Bach's previous success and the support of a five-city author tour and 22-city radio satellite tour, this book will quickly move toward bestseller lists, though its ho-hum approach doesn't mark it as a future evergreen paperback.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business; Reprint edition (January 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767904842
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767904841
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By M. Verdi on November 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I enjoy reading books on retirement planning and asset management. My ex-wife did not. I like to pay the bills, live by a budget, and do the household bookkeeping. She did not. I never got my Ex to read this book, though I tried. However, I still believe that this book is a great straightforward resource if you want to learn about saving and investing, building a nest egg for retirement, and having the financial independence to realize dreams, AS A COUPLE. I found this book very easy-to-read and informative, and planned to use it often for future reference. As a CPA and Certified Financial Planner, I am accustomed to reading finance books and articles that are loaded with technical jargon. However, David Bach presents this information in a much more refreshing manner, and in a way that is easy for those unfamiliar with financial terminology, to understand. It gives you a wealth of information about 401(k)s, life insurance, trusts, wills, mutual funds, DRIPs, and much more. Most importantly, Smart Couples Finish Rich emphasizes personal financial planning and management as practically a lifestyle, not just an exercise or process. It shows you how to determine, as individuals and as a couple, what values you hold dear and how your view of money, investing, consumption, etc., should be aligned with your values. It really helps the reader to see that everything that one does in his or her life is a reflection of their values, including how one plans and manages his/her financial future. I highly recommend this book to those couples who are looking for an effective tool to learn more about personal finance and how to provide for their rich future together.

Ironically, my ex-wife refused to give me my book when we were going our separate ways. I guess I will purchase a new one, since I now have someone I can actually share it with.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There were three things I especially liked about this book.
The first was the way the author presented the fact that small things do add up. In the beginning of the book, he states that most people overestimate (financially) what they can accomplish in a year and underestimate what they can accomplish over many years. He includes graphs that illustrate this dramatically.
The second was the chapter on values. This chapter had a number of exercises for each partner to complete independently. Then, together, they can begin to draft a plan for their finances that embraces the values they each hold most closely. If the financial plan is customized to fit the values of the particular couple, taken together, it makes all the sense in the world that it will be easier and more satisfying to LIVE with that plan and carry it out over time (without either of the partners sabotaging the plan).
The third is somewhat tied into the first point I mentioned. It is a chapter called "The Couples Latte Factor." This chapter discusses "small," daily expenses and how, if a couple decides to eliminate or reduce even one or two of these daily expenses and invest that money instead, it can result in a lot of money, over time. This and most of the other chapters include real-life examples of couples whose experiences illustrate the principles being discussed.
I recognized the value of all of this advice right away as I was reading it, but initially felt a bit overwhelmed, thinking: "This is great, but how am I going to do it ALL?" Because I imagine that other people may have the same feelings, I will share the answer we ended up coming up with. A little at a time.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
Investing for your future is sound, strong advice at any age. As a teacher of business management and having counselled an overwhelming number of people in the area of finance, I believe investing is particularly critical for young people today. I am so happy to read that previous reviewers, in their twenties, have learned from this book and are planning for their future. If you are starting your career and in your twenties, now is the time for financial planning, even though you might not be able to put a lot of money aside, "every penny saved, is a penny earned."
There are many books on the market today on investing and financial planning. Some I would highly recommend, others are not worth the time it takes to read the book - save the money you would spend on those "guaranteed get rich quick books" and invest the money where it will guarantee a return. "Smart Couples Finish Rich" is filled with a wealth of information on money management, retirement accounts, living trusts, types of insurance and investing in general. After reading it, you will be better equiped to manage your money and save for the future. That not only makes "smart cents," it makes smart sense. Hopefully, with some financial peace of mind and stability, couples will not only finish rich, they will finish rich... together!
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Format: Paperback
There is a lot of good information, however, the book was written in 2001. Written before the recession and before excessive money printing by the government as well as before all time low interest rates. There are some great points about compounding interest, but today you are lucky to get .5% interest on savings. I also have a problem how financial advisers always say "If you took that $1000 you were going to spend on vacation, and put it in a fund that returned 12% annually You will have 1.5 million when you retire (or something along those lines). First, where can I find this guaranteed 12% fund? I'd love to invest in it. No fund is guaranteed 12% return annually, and what about inflation? Will that 1.5 million buy you anything in 30 years?

I do think there is some good information in the book, and think it would be helpful for someone reading one of their first books on this subject. I'd have given it 4 stars had I read it in 2001 but think a more up to date book could be helpful during these times.
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