I’ve been a fan of Ben Stein’s financial writings for years, but this is the first book of his that I’ve picked up. Could it possibly be as good as his columns? Is it worth reading at all?
Chapters 3 through 6 of Yes, You Can Get A Financial Life focus on personal finance issues of people in their twenties. The book unfolds some premises: your salary will go up dramatically during your twenties and it is likely you will marry in your late twenties. The book generally puts off issues such as childbirth and a home purchase until the next decade of life.
So what’s vital here? First, you should invest in your own human capital. Go to school and get the education you’ll need for your life. Figure out who you are and what you want to be doing. Spend the time needed to polish yourself a bit.
Next, find the right job to start with. Usually, this is a job that will reward hard work with advancement, not necessarily a job that immediately puts you in the corner office. Get to a place where you can be rewarded if you prove yourself.
Then, start saving for retirement as early as possible. The earlier you start saving, the less you’ll have to save because compound interest will take care of a lot of the work for you. If your company offers a match in your savings plan, get that match as soon as you possibly can as it’s basically free money for your future self – never turn down free money.
If you still have room to breathe, start saving for a house (even if you don’t see yourself in one). This money can provide the foundation for a life full of financial stability, whether you use it for a house (which is really encouraged) or for simply long-term savings.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at the advice this book offers for people in their thirties.
Yes, You Can Get A Financial Life is the twenty-first of fifty-two books in The Simple Dollar’s series 52 Personal Finance Books in 52 Weeks.