Suze Orman’s 2009 Action Plan: Keeping Your Money Safe and Sound offers a look at the “new reality” that exists for the public following the 2008 global credit crisis. The book provides insight into the history of the economy prior to the crisis and what led to the fallout. The creation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was explained, as well as, the role that each played in the mortgage crisis. The author provides multiple examples of how dishonesty and greed can lead to financial destruction, ranging from broad topics (i.e. the mortgage crisis) to specific (i.e. unpaid bills). Each chapter discussed a specific aspect of the reader’s financial life and situations that the reader may encounter. The author provides tips and suggestions for overcoming financial adversity. Each chapter is full of technical terms and phrases but the author tries to provide adequate information and definitions to ensure the reader has a basic understanding of the processes presented.
Chapter 3 of Suze Orman’s 2009 Action Plan: Keeping Your Money Safe and Sound discusses how credit will affect the consumer in 2009. Ms. Orman provides a step-by-step plan on how to get yourself out of credit card debt. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is explained in this chapter, which provides an overview to the reader as to what rights they have regarding the tactics used by debt collection agencies.
The author provides a detailed overview of how the financial crisis has affected retirement investments and how to compensate for the 30% or more loss most investments took in 2009. She breaks down the chapter into what to do it you plan on retiring in less than five years, less than ten years, ten years, and over ten years and provides suggestions on how to organize your investments. Ms. Orman details when to stop paying on your 401(k), paying off your mortgage, and withdrawing your 401(k) monies. This chapter also explains Roth IRAs vs. traditional IRAs and Exchange-Traded Funds vs. No-Load Mutual Funds.
Chapter 5 of Suze Orman’s 2009 Action Plan: Keeping Your Money Safe and Sound reviews the importance of maintaining a savings account. Ms. Orman discussed FDIC coverage and the limitations that exist with the covered accounts. She discredits any fears that the reader may have about losing your insured monies. The author provides helpful techniques for managing your finances in day to day living.
The book also discusses real estate investments and budgeting. Specifically, encouraging the reader to distinguish between wants and everyday needs. It provides an easy to follow budget plan and additional resources to reference.
The author, Suze Orman, a Certified Financial Planner, has an extensive educational and employment background in the financial world. She is a two-time Emmy Award winning television host, #1 New York Times Best Selling Author, and a magazine and online columnist. She has written six consecutive New York Times bestsellers. In 2008, she was named one of Time magazine’s “Time 100.” Her work involves advising and educating people about obtaining their financial freedom.
The author’s overall research had many strengths, but two stood out among the rest. First, she provides valuable tips for individuals in all stages of life, from young couples just starting out to individuals at retirement age. Second, the overview of the financial processes provides a good foundation for the average person to help protect their finances from extensive damage caused by the financial crisis.
Though overall Suze Orman’s 2009 Action Plan: Keeping Your Money Safe and Sound was an informative book some limitations do exist. First, the language used in some of the chapters is more technical for the average person. The book could be more informative if it provided the information in a language that was easier to understand to the average reader. Definitions of unfamiliar terms were provided but more examples would have also been helpful. Another limitation is that the book jumps from one scenario to another with no real flow. While the intent of the book may not have been to provide a detailed plan for each example, such information may have been useful to the reader, helping them to adopt it into their life.
Despite the limitations mentioned, this book is an excellent resource for someone exploring their options in the financial world. It provides a good overview of practical and safe financial practices. Though some of the information provided is more technical in nature the concepts introduced allow the reader to gain an understanding of the financial process used. The reading does provide enough information to enhance the knowledge of the reader and provides a basic understanding of financial practices to someone with little or no insight in this area.
Title: Suze Orman’s 2009 Action Plan: Keeping Your Money Safe and Sound
Author: Suze Orman
Place of Publication: New York, NY
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Date of Publication: 2009
Page Numbers: 209