Getting Financially On Track And A Book Giveaway.

The following is a guest post from Manisha Thakor, MBA, CF. Manisha and Sharon Kedar, MBA, CFA, are the authors of the book Get Financially Naked: How To Talk Money With Your Honey. Lucky for you guys, the publisher is sending me a copy to give away to a reader, so don’t miss how to enter at the bottom of this post!

Now that we are in the beginning of the New Year, it’s the perfect time to poke your head up and ask, “Am I on Financial Track?” Here are some rough rules of thumb that you can use to benchmark your progress as you move through life’s decades.

IN YOUR 20s: Your key challenge is to learn to live within your means. Steps to take include: Avoid credit card debt like the plague. Make at least the minimum monthly payments on your student loans, on time, every month. Build a starter emergency fund of at least $2,000, and start contributing your employer 401k/403b.

IN YOUR 30s: Your key challenge is to build a solid financial foundation. Save for a home down payment ““ but don’t bite off more house than you can chew. Build that emergency fund up to at least 3 and ideally 6 months of living expenses. If you have children make sure you have term life insurance equal to 10x to 15x your income and a Will naming a guardian.


IN YOUR 40s: Your key challenge, as you enter into your peak earning years, is to avoid lifestyle creep. If you have not been saving at least 10% of your gross income in your 20s & 30s for your retirement, it’s time to kick it into high gear by committing to save at least 15%. If you have kids and want to help them pay for college, it’s time to open a 529 plan account (if you haven’t already). Resist the urge to splurge, these are your peak earning years”¦ and they should also be your peak saving years.

IN YOUR 50s: Your key challenge is to resist the temptation to make up for lost time by swinging for the financial fences. Check your asset allocation in your retirement plan ““ this is the time to start easing up on stocks. “100 minus your age” is good rule of thumb for the maximum percentage of your portfolio to have in stocks at this stage if you are a man. “110 minus your age” is a good rule of thumb if you are woman. Consider long-term care insurance. Make sure your Will & related documents (medical & durable power of attorney) are updated for any life changes since original creation.

IN YOUR 60s & 70s: Your key challenge is to not over-nibble on your nest egg. Think long and hard about spending more than 4% of your savings annually once you are in retirement. If you have not amassed your desired savings nest egg, it’s time to think about working longer or part-time. Talk to your children about your estate planning wishes.

IN YOUR 80s & beyond: Enjoy, you’ve earned it! (and share that hard-won wisdom, it would be an honor to learn from you.)

So, you would like to read this book, would ya? OK then – let’s give away a copy! Here are the rules for entry:

To enter, please leave a comment (with a valid email address, so we can contact you) as to why you would like to win the book
Only one entry per person. Period. Please don’t try to use different email addresses, etc, as the IP numbers will be checked.
Entries must be from residents from the U.S.
1 winners will be chosen at random from all eligible entries received
Book will be shipped via Media Mail via the USPS
– Giveaway closes on Friday January 29th at 7am MST and any entries received after that time will be voided.

Good luck to everyone, and thanks to the publisher for giving away a copy for you guys!

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Comments (18)

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  1. Mike says:

    I have been dating my girlfriend for just over a year. We are doing great, but one thing that we have trouble with is talking about money. I’m the saver and she used to be a spender (CC Debt). So, I’m hoping this book would help with showing her some tips.


  2. Melissa says:

    I’m amazed by the lackluster financial goals expected of people in their 20s. It seems that no matter where I look, this age group is encouraged to make minimum payments and save maybe 5% of their income in any way, shape or form.

    I’m 22, but I strongly believe my 20s are the best opportunity to establish a solid financial base. There are few obligations, so the ability to work extra jobs, accrue overtime and still live a bit are limitless.

    I couldn’t imagine waiting until I’m 30 to think about saving for a downpayment or investing heavily in liquid cash and my 401k. Think about all of the years of compounding interest lost. I firmly believe people in their 20s should be held accountable and challenged to do more than “pay the minimums.”

  3. Sarah says:

    I’m 25 and my husband is 33. We are both on our second marriages. His first marriage was a financial wreck and he finally finished paying off the debt from that marriage about 3 years ago. I am a spender and we have never been able to have a conversation about money that doesn’t involve someone getting mad or hurt feelings. I don’t think we have ever had a calm discussion about money in the almost 5 years we have been together.

    We have been married just over 3 years, have 3 children (2 from my previous marriage), own a home, have 2 car payments, decent jobs, and are trying to go back to school.

    Every year we do better with our finances. In the beginning I hid money and money problems from him which put us several thousand dollars in the hole. In 2008 we made some bad choices and didn’t pay any bills in December that year which put it in a really bad position for Jan 2009. 2009 was a much better year for us but we blew $20,000 and are still living paycheck-to-paycheck.

    I have a plan for this year, but I’m terrified to talk with my husband about it not because there’s anything wrong with it but simply because we always argue. Help!

  4. I completely agree with Melissa here. 20s are when you have the most time, and the biggest opportunity to take advantage of some of the financial freedoms that you no longer have down the road. For example, in your early twenties many won’t have a mortgage, nor will many have kids yet. This is a perfect time to boost your savings and use time as your advantage.

    I love that this book provides a systematic approach to personal finances. It helps put some perspective in terms of where you should be at the different stages in life.

  5. judyyy says:

    My husband and I are the typical I’m a saver, he’s a spender family and it is soooo difficult to have money discussions without it ending up in a disagreement-maybe this would help!

  6. De-ette says:

    I am in my 40’s and I am saving and doing the best I can. I still have 1 child at home and we are saving for college. I am looking for perspective and guidance as I near retirement age. My husband and I are looking at retiring in 10-15 years. I feel this book would be of great insight for where we are currently in our finances.

  7. I would love to win a copy of that book because with a title like that–it HAS to be a good read.


  8. Laura says:

    I would love a copy… my long time boyfriend and I have been talking about money more and more lately, and although overall we are similar, there are definitely a few differences to be addressed.

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  10. Sounds like a book everyone with a partner could use! I’d love it.

  11. Carol says:

    My husband and I have been married for 27 years and are nearing retirement. This book sounds perfect to be sure we have our plans done correctly and to ascertain what else we need to do to spend our so called “Golden Years” comfortably.

  12. Michael says:

    I have learned thru this hard time to plan more than ever most recently my father had a stroke and I had to get power of attorney for him and after looking over his finances he has nothing in his bank account and his home is getting close to foreclosure I know now to plan and to be ready for anything I can’t stress enough to save for the unexpected.

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  14. Ken says:

    My wife and I have been ‘coming up short’ on money. We need a book to get us communicating better.

  15. susan says:

    I would love to read this book. I need a new start with money.. and this would help me with my resolution this year.

  16. jason says:

    I would love to win this book because I am terrified about retirement, and I would like to make sure I am on the right track now


  17. April B says:

    I’d love to have a copy of this book, although it may make me feel bad because my husband and I are SO behind on this financial timeline!

  18. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by hank_MiB: My Two Dollars: Getting Financially On Track And A Book Giveaway. http://bit.ly/bNHl3X