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Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence Paperback – September 1, 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
Inflation is NOT an urban myth- bought milk lately? The book puts forth a crazy line like you can just buy things more cheaply because technology makes things cheaper. What about food? You can stop eating steak and start eating beans and rice, but that still has no bearing on the fact that steak is more expensive than it was last year. Since that inflation chart hasn't been updated, here is an update for you- it says in in 1970 that a dozen eggs cost $.59, and they were $.58 in 1991 (Thus proving that there is no such thing as inflation, right?). I bought some this morning for $2.00. What does the author propose in this scenario?
Where in the world did they get figures that showed that adjusted for inflation (wait- didn't they just say inflation was imaginary?) the Dow Jones had gone DOWN between 1929 and 1991? Invest only in Treasury bonds? You have got to be kidding. Diversification anyone?
The "life energy calculation" was just pure new-age silliness. Do you need a calculation for this? Isn't it sufficient to realize that buying stuff you don't need costs you time in retirement? And I got tired of hearing about people who reformed their finances, quit spending money and spent the rest of their lives doing charity work. I help people retire for a living and most of the ones I know mostly want to travel or visit their grandchildren.
I really expected to like this book because while I make a pretty good living, I am extremely careful about how I spend and invest money and expect to retire about 15-20 years earlier than most. While I liked the fulfillment curve, and the book has some interesting ways to look at money, I think I'm going to toss this book in the trash.
People with negative reviews of this book claim that following the program and tracking every penny in your life is unrealistic. This is a lame excuse for laziness or lack of motivation. I've been able to track every cent of my money very easily and only tend to computations at the end of every month. Learn how to use electronic spreadsheets -- it's not hard. All you have to do is keep your receipts in a bucket and read through them once a month.
Another thing that people like to harp on is the dated financial advice in the last few chapters. The book was probably written in the 70s and the financial picture has obviously changed. So, when the authors tell you all the reasons to invest in high-yield treasury bonds, take those reasons and find a different means to the same end. Read a "Personal Finance for Dummies" book written in the last year and it will spell out the modern equivalent. Personally, I'd recommend looking into tax law 72(t), also known as the Substantially Equal Periodic Payment (SEPP). The SEPP program lets you withdrawal from retirement accounts before age 59 1/2 without penalty or having a special financial circumstance.
There is so much insight packed into the first few pages alone that the book pays for itself instantly. The vast majority of Americans are going through life in a quiet desperation and not knowing why. Few people realize their own potential to live without boundaries but are convinced through fear, anxiety and social norms not to do so. This book lays out the exact reasons too many of us feel unfulfilled and helpless, then it frees you. For the negative reviewers of this book to overlook this point is folly.
I will say, however, that there is one section that is dead wrong in its analysis; the part that tries to dismiss inflation as insignificant, practically non-existent. How the authors came to this conclusion is a puzzle, because if you track the worth of a dollar through the last 100 years, it's pretty obvious that it loses its purchasing power. I wish they could rewrite this section and point out that the Federal Reserve is a giant cash printing press that pays for wasteful government programs, but I guess it's too late for that. As the Fed prints more money, the dollars become more abundant and consequently less valuable. Try as it might, the book cannot escape this reality.
So, that's my only reservation about this book. Had I never read it, I'd still be sitting in my lifeless cubicle at work hoping that the world would soon end. Now, I have complete control over my life, am living my dreams and liberating my peers to do the same. It's been absolutely invaluable to me.
I would also recommend the book entitled, "You CAN Retire Young".