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Let’s Get Real About Money!: Profit from the Habits of the Best Personal Finance Managers

Book Description

"The book’s gem is a personal financial action plan that allows easy assessment of current assets and retirement goals…This book demystifies the many obstacles--from the logistical to the conceptual--to smart financial planning.”

--Publishers Weekly

"Eric Tyson is the best personal finance writer at work today. In a field cluttered with hucksters, false gurus, and just plain bad advice, this book delivers powerful common sense. I trust Eric Tyson, and you should, too.”

--Tom Ehrenfeld, former writer and Editor at Harvard Business Review and Inc. Magazine, author of The Startup Garden: How Growing a Business Grows You

"Many people have developed attitudes, beliefs, and fears about money that prevent them from acquiring, investing, and spending it in healthy ways...Eric Tyson helps readers get past all that...and start building happy and healthy financial futures. Everyone can profit from this new book--I did."

--Dr. Brian Russell, Psychologist as seen on CNN, Court TV, and Fox News; Professor, University of Kansas

Transform Your Personal Financial Habits and Attitudes...And Your Life!

Real money solutions from the best-selling author of Personal Finance For Dummies, Eric Tyson!

  • Save smarter, invest smarter, and spend smarter, starting today

  • Reduce your financial risks--and eliminate your money anxieties

  • For everyone interested in improving their personal finances…whether you’re saving for college, retirement, or anything else

Worried about money? Join the club. Now, do something about it! One of America’s best-selling personal finance authors offers real, practical solutions that work: steps you can take right now to start replacing money anxiety with financial fulfillment and happiness. Eric Tyson gets straight to the point, identifying the habits that put you at risk--and helping you replace them with the habits of financial success. Tyson offers plain-English, no-gimmick techniques you can really use: knowledge you’d have to pay a fortune for, if you could get it at all!

Financial success doesn’t just “happen”: it’s determined by your financial habits. Fortunately, you can develop good financial habits--and systematically eliminate the bad ones that stand in your way. Eric Tyson will show you how--step-by-step and hands-on.

Millions of people have benefited from Tyson’s best-selling books and award-winning columns. Now he brings together all he’s learned over two decades--including financial management secrets most professionals never tell you about.

Tyson will help you organize your finances…take control of your future…make plans you’ll actually implement…save, spend, and invest more effectively…choose the right advisors…reduce your risks…and put money where it belongs in your life (instead of making it your whole life!).

This meaty, action-oriented guide is packed with checklists and worksheets that’ll help you start today, get results fast, and make positive changes that will last a lifetime!

  • Develop the best habits, and use the best strategies
    What you can learn from the nation’s best personal financial managers

  • Take control of your finances, one step at a time
    Make plans that work--and make your plans work

  • Transform your hopes and ideas into action
    Everything you need is here, including hands-on worksheets and practical exercises

  • Get real, not real obsessed!
    Learn how to give money the right role in your life...not your whole life!

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Praise for Let’s Get Real About Money!
  3. About the Author
  4. From the Author
  5. 1. Getting Real, Not Real Obsessed, About Your Money
    1. The Surprising Wealth-Happiness Connection
    2. Buying the Good Life
    3. Choosing Your Role Models
    4. The Power of Money Knowledge
    5. Personal Finance Quiz I—The Basics
      1. Answers to Personal Finance Quiz I
      2. Scoring and Evaluating Your Quiz Results
    6. Personal Finance Quiz II—Key Concepts
      1. Answers to Personal Finance Quiz II
  6. 2. Getting Motivated
    1. Personal Finance Quiz III—Avoidance Behaviors
    2. Understanding Why We Procrastinate
    3. Conquering Money Avoidance and Disorganization
  7. 3. Your Money Beliefs and Practices
    1. Your Money History
    2. Taking Stock of Your Money Background
    3. Your Friends and Money
    4. Your Environment and Money
  8. 4. Developing Your Personal Financial Action Plan
    1. Background Information
    2. Goals and Concerns
    3. Assets
    4. Planning
      1. Net Worth Calculation
      2. Retirement Expectations Versus Means
      3. Pension Decisions
      4. Major Purchase Planning
      5. College Cost Planning
    5. Prioritizing Different Goals
  9. 5. Love and Money
    1. How Men and Women Handle Money Differently
    2. Finding Financial Peace as a Couple
    3. Money and Divorce
    4. Money Passed Down: Estates and Inheritances
  10. 6. Families and Money
    1. Priorities: Work Versus Family
    2. Balancing Family and Work: Spend Less, Work Less
    3. Teaching Kids About Money
      1. What (and How) Kids Learn About Money
      2. Getting Children on the Right Financial Path
  11. 7. Valuing Saving and Spending
    1. Why Most People Have Trouble Saving Enough
      1. Buying Things You Don’t Need
      2. Excess Spending and Its Consequences
    2. Can You Save Too Much?
      1. Postponing Achievable Dreams
      2. When Enough Never Is
      3. Hoarding and Cheating
      4. Gaining Appreciation for What You Have
    3. Balancing Spending and Saving
  12. 8. Establishing a Savings Foundation
    1. Giving Yourself an Unfair Advantage
    2. Keeping Money Accumulation in Proper Perspective
  13. 9. Your Spending Plan
    1. Tracking Your Spending
      1. Necessities Versus Luxuries
      2. Budgeting Strategies
    2. Ways to Reduce Your Expenditures
      1. Housing Expenses
      2. Taxes
      3. Food and Dining
      4. Autos and Transportation
      5. Recreation and Entertainment
      6. Clothing
      7. Utility Bills
      8. Insurance
      9. Kid-Related Expenses
      10. Charitable Contributions
    3. Reducing Your Taxes
      1. Using Your Tax Rate
      2. Taxes and Children
  14. 10. Borrowing and Debt Management
    1. Ways to Borrow in Emergencies
    2. Right Reasons to Borrow
    3. Borrowing for Home Purchases
      1. Choosing a Mortgage
      2. Refinancing
    4. Paying Off Debt Early
    5. Assessing Consumer Debt
      1. Strategies for Getting Out from Under High-Cost Consumer Debt
    6. Compulsive Spenders and Debtors
      1. Do You Have a Shopping Problem?
  15. 11. Investing for Bountiful Harvests
    1. Proven Intelligent Investments
      1. Stocks
      2. Real Estate
      3. Small Business
      4. “Safe Money” Investments
    2. Investing in Stocks or Funds
  16. 12. Cultivating Good Investing Habits
    1. Understanding Fees
    2. Monitoring and Trading Your Investments
    3. Chasing Hot Sectors
    4. Developing Better Investing Habits
  17. 13. Pundits, Predictions, and Confronting Your Fears
    1. Jim Cramer: Stock Market Maven or Uncalibrated Opinions?
    2. How Predictions Affect Investors
    3. Addressing Investing Fears
  18. 14. Your Investing Plan
    1. Assessing Your Current Portfolio
    2. Asset Allocation
      1. Worksheet—Asset Allocation for Retirement
      2. Allocations for Shorter-Term Goals
      3. Next Steps
    3. Selecting the Best Mutual Funds
      1. Selecting the Right Money Fund
      2. Investing in Stock and Bond Funds
      3. Worksheet for Actively Managed Funds
  19. 15. Insurance
    1. Don’t Sweat (Insurance for) the Small Stuff
      1. Insurance Not to Buy
    2. Buying Your Way out of the Costliest Risks
      1. Long-Term Disability Insurance
      2. Life Insurance
      3. Health Insurance
      4. Insurance on Your Assets
  20. 16. Managing Risks Involves More Than Buying Insurance
    1. Buy a Home at Low Risk for Natural Disasters
    2. Maximize Your Personal Health
    3. Buy a Safe Car and Reduce Your Driving Risks
    4. Conquer and Avoid Addictions
      1. Gambling
      2. Substance Abuse: Drugs and Alcohol
      3. Smoking
      4. Protecting Teens and Kids
  21. 17. Your Insurance Plan
    1. Health Insurance
    2. Disability Insurance
    3. Life Insurance
    4. Will, Trusts, and Estate Planning
    5. Auto Insurance
    6. Home Insurance
    7. Excess Liability Insurance
  22. 18. Information and Edutainment Resources
    1. Understanding the Role of Advertising
    2. Question What You Read and Hear
    3. Books
      1. Who’s Your Rich Dad?
      2. Financial Books and Authors Worth Reading
  23. 19. Hiring Financial Help
    1. The Keys to Finding the Best Advisors
    2. Financial Advisors and Planners
    3. Budget Counselors
    4. Investment Managers
    5. Real Estate Agents
    6. Tax Preparers and Advisors
    7. Insurance Agents
    8. Attorneys
  24. FT Press Financial Times