Synopsis & Review of ‘The Dumb Things Smart People do with Their Money’ By Jill Schlesinger

  1. Complicated financial products
  2. Financial advice from wrong people
  3. Stressing too much on the importance of money
  4. Too much college debt
  5. Buying a house
  6. Taking too much risk
  7. Identity theft
  8. Overindulgence in early retirement
  9. Financial issues vis a vis bringing up kids
  10. Plan for the care of ageing parents
  11. Wrong insurance or no insurance
  12. No will
  13. “timing” the market
  1. How much does this investment cost
  2. What are its alternatives?
  3. How easy is it to take the money out
  4. Tax consequences
  5. What is the worst-case scenario of this product
  1. Is he/she legally bound to put your interests first at all times?
  2. What are his / her professional certifications?
  3. Is he/she licensed and registered?
  4. Has he/she been sanctioned for unethical conduct?
  5. Are there any conflicts of interest?
  6. That is, would any other person stand to gain from the advise given by him/her to you?
  1. You get a significant tax refund every year
  2. You are obsessing about money
  3. You and your spouse fight constantly about money
  4. You are scared to go through your retirement numbers
  5. You are not tracking your cashflow
  6. You can’t stop spending even though you are aware of your financial problems
  1. You keep certain financial affairs or spending secret from your spouse or partner.
  2. You regularly lose sleep over slight changes such as the value of property going down, even though you have no idea of selling it for the next few decades.
  3. You compare your wealth with others, such as neighbours or siblings or colleagues
  4. You check your investment account way too often than needed.
  1. Are there other colleges which can provide similar levels of education and opportunities?
  2. How much college debt are you willing to take?
  3. Would you like to forego vacations because you simply don’t have enough money left if college debt sucks up a significant amount of your earnings?
  4. Will you be able to get a waiver or scholarship that would reduce the cost?
  5. Are you funding your kids’ education at a name-brand college because you couldn’t afford to attend one years ago?
  6. Are you paying for your kids’ college education before taking care of your retirement?
  1. You have put in all or most of your liquid savings into buying the house. What happens when there is an emergency?
  2. In addition to taking in your savings, you need to pay for the mortgage. Can you afford it? Would you have to forego something for this?
  3. If you need to move to another city or state, what will happen to this house?
  4. What if you can’t sell or rent it out at an amount you like?
  5. How much will it take to maintain / repair / renovate the house? Is it worth the money and the effort?
  1. Do not share sensitive information such as social security or national identification numbers
  2. No need to share every moment of your life in social media.
  3. Do not share personal information such as date of birth on social media
  4. Have strong passwords and use two-factor authentication
  5. Use only secure Wi-Fi networks
  6. Check your credit scores annually 7. Be vigilant
  1. Do you know how much you spend currently (prior to retirement)? If not, start tracking your expenses for at least six months to get the answer.
  2. How much can you draw from your retirement corpus or fund? Do you need to pay tax on these withdrawals?
  3. Would you be working part-time after retirement, bringing in monthly income?
  4. How is your lifestyle? Do you need to live in an upscale neighbourhood, need to drive a fancy car, eat out every other day in a high-end restaurant, need to travel to exotic locations, will the money be enough?
  5. If you need to downsize or cut down expenses to suit the cash inflow, can you do it?

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