Richard Bach has been writing the "Finish Rich" series for as long as I can remember. His latest addition to the series is "Start Over, Finish Rich: 10 Steps to Get you Back on Track in 2010."
Compared to his other books, this is a short one and seems to be a quick start to getting back on track. Most of us in the USA have been affected in some way shape or form by the economic downturn over the past couple years. Mr. Bach's followers were no exception as he illustrates in chapter 1, not even his students are immune to our current recession.
Many ideas introduced are steps that you should have implemented in some of the previous "Finish Rich" series. He updates the steps with some online resources and updated forms on his website.
If you have never picked up any of the previous books and want a quick read that gives you the actions steps you need to get started right away pick it up.
If you own any of the previous "Finish Rich" series. Re-read your old book, then visit his website for the updated resource material.
Step 1 attempts to mentally prepare you for the rest of the book and helps you realize that you cannot truly "Finish Rich" unless you make a commitment to take action on these steps.
Step 2 addresses additional preparation in the form of organizing your finances online using web based tools like wasabi.com or mint.com; offline using the Finish Rich Folder System and removing clutter. This chapter also visits the patented Latte Factor philosophy created by David Bach.
Steps 3 and 4 touch on debt. Namely, the evil that is credit cards. David introduces the reader to the DOLP system, credit scores, what to do in certain circumstances and how to fix and protect your credit.
In Step 5 David reminds us of the importance of rebuilding or in my case building an emergency saving account. We all need to have approximately 3 months savings somewhere just in case.
Retirement is the focus of Step 6 and it made me realize that re-balancing your portfolio periodically is just as important as opening the account.
The secret to "Finishing Rich" is Step 7, Automation. Once you create a system, set it and forget it, you will be much less likely to miss bill payments, 529 contributions and retirement contributions.
Step 8 focuses on mortgage and provides options for anyone purchasing a home to someone who is in default.
Step 9 discusses college funds and how to navigate those waters no matter how old your child is. David even provides ways to have other people contribute to your college savings.
Step 10 is the last of this series and gives you 25 ways to save $5k. Some of these will work for you and some won't. I don't think anyone will be able to use all 25 ways.
Step 10 is followed by a chapter on giving. It lists a number of charities and even if you can't give $$ it discusses ways you can give your time.
In the last Chapter Dave tells us what motivated him to write "Start Over, Finish Rich" and his experiences with having to "reboot" his life, his business and his thought processes in order to truly start over and make this book happen.
Overall, this book was very helpful and I like the fact that it was action oriented. It took a little longer than I planned to actually finish the book but I took the time out to actually perform many of the steps recommended by David. Not everything in this book is for everyone but it forced me to take a look at the major areas of my finances and tweak where needed. This was an easy read that actually made taking these steps painless.