Dear David, I saw that your next book is about being debt-free, so I thought I`d share my story:
I’m Australian, 33 years old, and have been living in Japan for 7 years. My husband is 40 years old.
When I arrived in Japan I was broke, but I`d paid off all my credit card debt. A year later I was living with my husband-to-be, and I realized that if I stayed in Japan permanently I’d need to plan well for the future. So I started reading finance books starting with “Smart Women Finish Rich”.
My biggest concern was retirement savings: Australia and Japan have very different systems so I wanted a flexible way to save my own money (in case my circumstances changed). I started a policy with Zurich International Life, and I contribute $10,000 per year. I consider 50% retirement savings, and 50% “Dream Account” savings for a second home. About 30% of the policy cannot be withdrawn, so my retirement money is protected.
I’m very proud of my husband: he saved over $200,000 in 10 years, and we were able to buy a beautiful 4BR Apartment WITHOUT a mortgage! My father-in-law lent us the extra money we needed, and we’ve since paid him back. We also sold our car, and rarely use our credit cards. Because we’re debt-free, I only work part-time but I can afford to take regular holidays; fund my Zurich policy; and also buy Australian shares.
My husband pays all our bills, and has
found success trading on the Japanese stock market.
Last year I read “The Automatic Millionaire” and I gleefully deleted all my budgets! You’re right – if you pay-yourself-first and are achieving your savings goals, you don`t need to track daily expenses. We always fund our investment and savings accounts FIRST, then spend what’s left.
We’re both very frugal by nature, and I don’t think either of us ever dreamed of being millionaires but now we can see a really strong financial future ahead of us.
I can never thank you enough for being such a positive influence in my life – thank you a million times over!