Customer Reviews: Smart Couples Finish Rich: Nine Steps to Creating a Rich Future For You and Your Partner
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on November 26, 2001
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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on March 10, 2004
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. I still haven't gotten up to investing 10% of my income in my company's 401(k), but as a couple, we ARE very near to reaching our goal of setting aside a year's worth of expenses in an emergency account and we HAVE adjusted the amount of life insurance we carry and had estate documents drafted by an attorney. Once we do have the complete year's worth of expenses set aside, I'll change my 401(k) investment to 10%.
Is this the order Mr. Bach or another financial planner would advise us to do things in? I don't know. I DO know that doing things the way we have, gradually following more and more of his advice has GOT to be better than being paralyzed and doing nothing...which is what we would have been in danger of doing if we hadn't taken it a little at a time.
A book I would recommend in conjunction with this is The Laws of Money, the Lessons of Life by Suze Orman.
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on April 18, 2001
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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on December 23, 2010
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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on August 10, 2005
I enjoyed the first couple of chapters of this book. This book would be a good start for couples that need to talk and settle their finances together. If you have not talked to your partner about your finances and need to start that discussion this is the book is your starting point. The author has a really good method of setting expectations for the future between couples and setting guidelines (9 steps) that can be followed during and after you create a plan. It is very important to at least try the authors method for I think they work. As for the rest of the book it is very similar if not the same information as other beginner investment books: how to set up a retirement plan, savings and checking accounts and all the basic items.
Enjoy the book.
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on March 24, 2005
I'm happy to say that I was recently engaged. With that I've been considering the idea that I'm now going to be sharing every piece of my life w/ someone else. And honestly, the idea that there will be 2 heads knocking together, especially financially, instead of self-dependency was a scary idea.

So I went shopping around the store and opted to buy this book by David Bach because of some of the passages I read while waiting around. And I'm happy I did.

First, Mr. Bach is (from I've read) a successful financial planner w/ an earnest heart towards truly giving competent advice. And it's apparent as you read the book that he just wants you to make the right decisions in life for you and yours.

Some of the biggest take-aways for me were the values he espoused in order to ensure that you're living according to the ideals you and your spouse share; and the importance of teaching your child the benefits of saving at an early age.

Sure, there are plugs w/in the book, but nothing so annoying that it detracted from the overall reading. Great buy, give it a shot. I'm not married yet, but I feel my fiancee and I already have a headstart not everyone's lucky to have.
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on March 10, 2005
I am not a financial expert & I don't claim to be, but after watching David Bach on Oprah I was intrigued. I bought his book & read it cover to cover, at least 3 times. I made my husband read it. This book really helped me realize that we were not living according to our values. Since we started folowing the suggestions in David's book & living according to our values we have finally gotten out of debt completly, are putting money away into our retirement & within a year will be buying our first house. All of this before we turn 30! I am so glad I watched Oprah's show and saw David Bach. Reading his book even encouraged me to take more of an interest in investing and learn the difference between all those IRA's etc. This is a great book!
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on May 20, 2004
This is one of the only financial planning books I've ever purchased and actually read. It was an easy read, and I would say that Bach's plan is easy to follow. It's nothing incredibly unique, but it's a good message to youger people like me (I'm 30) who seem to these days not have good financial basics or the ability to save. I am somewhat in this category and have plenty of friends who are as well.
The lessons are simple. Find where to save, save a little each month, invest it wisely (preferably in your companies 401K or a mutual fund), and pay down your debt before racking up more. However, Bach seems to put it in a manner where he does show how this can pay off, and even gets you half-way motivated to do it yourself. Ultimately though, it will be up to the reader to buckle down and prepare for their financial future.
I have recommended this book to my friends. ...
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on September 2, 2003
After reading the reviews and other praise, perhaps my expectations were too high for this book. Yes, it is a book worth buying for most couples. It has excellent advice about paying yourself first (by saving), but also rewarding yourself (within reason). The key thing is to get your financial priorities in line with your own values -- which is the hard part. The author does a good job of helping you do this. The author is also level-headed about what can happen, but the title sounds trite in comparison. This was borderline four stars, but considering the competition, this is a five star book.
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VINE VOICEon February 27, 2008
SMART COUPLES FINISH RICH by David Bach is one of those rare books that actually have the ability to change your life, dramatically. As a minister who spends a great deal of time coaching couples, I know first hand that the main cause of marital problems revolves around finances. This book charts the course for any couple to achieve financial wealth without making dramatic changes.

Of course this doesn't solve all marital problems, but it certainly makes the others easier to deal with. As someone once said, "Money may not buy happiness, but it sure is easier to smile when there's money in your pocket." When a couple learns just how painless it truly can be to have a solid financial plan even on a fairly limited income, the everyday stresses of life become much easier to deal with.

Much of Bach's work here focuses on reducing spending rather than increasing earnings. He shows many examples that bring into focus just how much money we waste each day on frivolous spending and to alter our entire futures by making some very simple and very basic spending habits.

This book is broken into steps rather than chapters. Steps one through eight are brilliant. Step nine sort of falls short for me. In fact I question Bach's advice of changing jobs to increase income. Though at times that may be well warranted, I caution readers not to get overly aggressive here. The consequences aren't always what people hope for.

The first eight chapters more than make this a must read for every married couple, as well as anyone contemplating marriage. The earlier in your marriage you will read this book, the better off you will be in later years. The worksheets here are quite helpful as well.
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