I feel like a new person after reading your books. I have just finished reading “Smart Women Finish Rich”, “Smart Couples Finish Rich” and I completed the “Finish Rich Workbook”, all within a month. I now feel so much more focused on the things I need to do now to prepare for the future, like retirement. I’m starting to invest in the maximum amount into my ROTH IRA every year. Plus I am opening a SEP IRA to save even more in 2007. As I go through files I’m finding ways to save money, like today I realized we could be saving $43 a month by slightly changing our plan with the cable company. (The first month of savings nearly covered the cost of your three books!) We were paying for cable services we weren’t using so it was time to eliminate them. And – get this – I discovered that my husband had a retirement account with a company he no longer works for and that he had $25,000 in it, money I never even knew existed!!! The books say it’s crucial to move those kinds of accounts into your individual IRA because you lose control of that money if you just leave it there, something my husband should have done over two years ago. So I’ve been after him to take care of it, something I never would have done if it weren’t for those books. The thing I like most is the file system in the book. I followed it exactly and found all the papers that needed to be in them. After that was done, I went back and alphabetized the file categories to make things easier to find later. Now I have one set of files that are just for dealing with our finances and another set for everything else. I used bold tip pens in different colors to label the file folders. The money file folders are labeled in green (for money) and the other set is in pink, my favorite color. I have already shredded 4 garbage bags of papers we don’t need to save and I still have a basket full of papers that need to be shredded. That part is still a work in progress. I bought a shredder at Target for only $12, just perfect for the job. I had 15 years-worth of papers I had been saving and it was crazy to let it keep going like it was. Now all the financial files I do have just go back 7 years and each year is connected with a paper clip along with a post-it note that has an expiration date on it. That way, on New Years Day 2007, all I have to do is go into the files and shred anything dated 1999. And I can keep up that pattern from now on. That way the massive collection of papers will never happen again. Getting financial files organized and getting familiar with what and where all of our investment accounts are was something I have needed to do for a very long time. I’m so excited about all that I have learned in those books, I can’t wait to share it with other people. Now, when I meet people who are 20 years old, I say to them, start putting away just $61 a month into a ROTH IRA and you could be a millionaire when you turn 65! Who knows, maybe I’ve found a calling I never knew existed, a calling to teach other people about smart financial planning. But first, I have so much to learn!!
So that’s the excitement here this summer. Thank you so much for your help in this area of life. It’s especially been a delight to give my mother financial advise when SHE’S the one with the accounting degree!