Summer is almost here, which means it’s time to put together a reading list of books for an afternoon on the beach or a flight to Europe. So why not take this opportunity to read up on personal finance?
The New York Times recently profiled two books aimed at helping you make smart financial decisions. The first, The M Word: The Money Talk Every Family Needs to Have About Wealth and their Financial Future, by Lori R. Sackler, acknowledges that addressing issues such as excess spending and how to divide your estate can be challenging.
To help you avoid the awkwardness, The M Word first tries to put you in the right frame of mind. For instance, the book points out that just about every major life event – such as marriage, having children or getting a new job – affects your finances. And it confirms that, yes, family money discussions do indeed have psychological and emotional components.
When you’re about to have a finance talk, the book coaches you on being prepared: have a goal and an agenda and know who is most likely to get upset.
Being able to discuss money matters with your family will make it much easier to pursue the goal highlighted in the second book featured by The Times: Financial Independence (Getting to Point X): An Advisor’s Guide to Comprehensive Wealth Management, by John J. Vento. Point X defines financial independence as the point where you can live your chosen lifestyle off of investments and savings – and not a paycheck.
The book urges you to achieve independence via a very common sense approach: maximize your income and minimize your outlay. It even suggests a number of ways to achieve both.
So if you’re looking for some personal-finance enlightenment while you’re traveling this summer, you may want to pack one or both of these books.
How do you prepare for family talks on money matters? What do you think is the best strategy to achieve financial independence?