David Bach - Start Late, Finish Rich: A No-Fail Plan for Achieving Financial Freedom at Any Age

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Over 40, broke, and think itís too late? Think again!

May 25, 2007
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Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Good information and hope for anyone, especially people over 40

Cons:A couple...and I'm not over 40 and quite broke yet, either LOL

The Bottom Line: You can retire with a good-sized nest egg even if you start at 40, but you'll have to make a lot more sacrifices


I’m almost 30 and have put aside a good amount of money in stocks, my IRA, and I always sock away 10-15% of my paychecks before I spend it and pay bills. It gives me comfort to know that the money I’m putting away in my 20s and 30s consistently into my plan will give me a good nest egg when I’m old and gray. However, people who have hit their middle-aged years and older, most anyways, have not put away enough money nor have they put them into things that earn the highest returns possible It’s unique because lots of financial books out there say if you’re over 40 or 45 and not started putting money away that its’ pointless. . This is where Start Late, Finish Rich comes into play.

What I like about the book was the first part where he tells the reader to write down all your regrets on a piece of paper and, as he says, “really go to town with this” I did this for my personal reasons, like not dating much when I was younger, not having a real career established by my age (I’m almost 30), not being social when I was younger, and much more. As he said, “the question you should ask yourself is, ‘What am I going to do about it, now?’ But he was mostly referring to 40+ people who are broke and have not started socking money into 401Ks and IRAs.

I like the concept of Pay Yourself First and he recommends 10%, but that actually came from The Richest Man in Babylon. According the author, if you put it into 401ks, Traditional IRAs (he seems to stress this over Roth IRAs which are tax-free), at least 10% or max it out if you can, you will get an immediate tax break for the year and will have gotten your monthly investments out of the way first, that way you will be more conservative and strict with your money to pay other bills.

I like how he gives hope to people over 40 who’ve not started saving or investing money yet for retirement as I have relatives close to 60 who are broke and didn’t put money away and they (my relatives) think it’s too late for them. Bach’s point is that, say, if you’re 50 and not a dime towards retirement. He tells you to max out a 401K, IRA and/or a self-employment plan and invest them into an Index Fund (which historically has earned around 10% interest a year), some into bonds (though I don’t agree with this), and into REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts, like one a mutual fund would have). Only here I feel he kind of contradicts himself. He says not to diversify all your retirement income into stocks, but then he says to invest 1/3rd of your retirement plan into mutual funds that specifically invest in real estate. I do agree with him that REIT mutual funds do earn higher dividend payouts versus other mutual funds that focus on stock appreciation more.


What’s also interesting is Bach seems to be the only financial adviser that recommends you sock away 10% of your gross income WHILE you’re paying off debt (which he shows you how to reduce). Most advisors in this field suggest you pay off debt before you start putting money away for retirement. Even me, while I’m not earning much money while a student (yes, my parents help me out and I get money when I do contract jobs), I always put 10% of that away once I put that into my bank account.

My only 2 real problems with Bach's book. He touts that you're wasting money if you're renting and not owning. Well, that's true, but you need a real, sustainable income before you get approved before a mortgage (think about all these recent foreclosures just about everywhere!) I also don't agree with him about the starting your own business thing. Now, I do and would like to be an independent contractor soon, but you have to think of something that most people would consistently buy from you and assuming that you can also be able to sock away all the money you earn from being self-employed. Self-employed people have a hard time putting money away for health insurance and even taxes, unlike employees whose bosses' withhold your taxes for you.

In any rate, especially if you’re over 40 and not started putting money away for your Golden years, this is a good book for you or to give to a friend, family member or loved one that needs financial guidance.


Recommend this product? Yes

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