My Take-Aways from reading Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach

One of my 2016 resolution goals was to read more and I’m pleased to say that I read three books thus far. Today I got a great book that I finished up recently, called Smart Couples Finish Rich by David Bach. I won’t be covering all these topics due to the millennial attention span and quite frankly the book covers a lot of topics that can’t be covered in one post. So instead I’m covering my main two take-aways that I learned at the end of the day.

Additionally, for those who aren’t in a serious relationship/marriage I decided to read this book by myself so I can get a different perspective. I will suggest for Anita to read it in time so we can get the couple perspective in the future. Keep in mind that this book was published in 2001 and some of the information is outdated. Always do your own research for updated numbers, rates, IRS laws and metrics.

David Bach Who?

If you don’t know who David Bach is don’t feel bad because I didn’t know of his existence either. But this guy is pretty amazing. He is a licensed financial planner for high-income clients and has been a best selling author on New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He has accomplished much more so click here if you want to read more on his career.


You Make Enough to Invest

David Boch covered 5 money myths and the 3rd myth he listed gave me an “ah ha” moment.

Myth No. 3

We Don’t make enough yet to be investors.

Fact No. 3

Everyone makes enough to invest

How much is your salary? Mine is $45,000 before taxes. Average salary right? Before reading I assumed I didn’t have enough to invest because of taxes, bills, savings and vacations. I figured I need a much higher income around $60,000 to start investing and become a stock trading millionaire. Oh how wrong I was! David breaks it down to the core problem of this myth, he wrote, “The truth is that most couples don’t have an income problem; what they have is a spending problem.”

 

I’m guilty to this myself. As Americans we have a serious spending problem and most of the time we spend what we don’t have.

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If you think your income is too little to invest with I made a table to demonstrate how much you make over your life. Below is how much money will pass your hands in your lifetime based on your monthly income.

“Earnings Outlook”

Monthly Income

10 Years

20 Years 30 Years 40 Years
$1,000 $120,000 $240,000 $360,000 $480,000
$1,500 $180,000 $360,000 $540,000 $720,000
$2,000 $240,000 $480,000 $720,000 $960,000
$2,500 $300,000 $600,000 $900,000 $1,200,000
$3,000 $360,000 $720,000 $1,080,000 $1,440,000
$3,500 $420,000 $840,000 $1,260,000 $1,680,000

 

From reading that one section it convinced me that I do make enough to invest, simple as that. It has always been my spending habits that made me believe I don’t have enough to invest with. My hope is that it has the same effect on you as it had on me.

The take away here is to not use the excuse “I don’t make enough” to stop you from investing in your future. Analyze your budget and see where your money is going. If he still feel like you don’t make enough then a side hustle is the answer.

Plan Together, Grow Together, Win Together

This take away goes for married, single and shacked up relationships. David, who is a financial planner, has dealt with couples that made it to the retirement finish line but didn’t know what to do after with their lives. Other couples had two different plans of retirement and it collided with the others plan. This was a wake up call to me because Anita and me never seriously talked about retirement. My retirement dream is to work for any fast food company and quit after I learn how to make the food (true story). Her retirement might include driving the USA in an RV. Both dreams can’t be accomplished at the same time. The idea of retiring seems like a distant dream but it better to talk about it sooner than later.

Discussing our retirement is now on our radar to see where both of our values lay. So we have some questions to answer in the future to make our plan a reality.

The take away here is to talk to your spouse (married or not) about how you both want to retire. Whether close or far from retirement now is the time to think about it so you can have what others don’t have when they reach that finish line……options.


The book has much more to offer besides what I took away from it at the end of the day. I would recommend this book for anybody who has trouble with creating a personal finance plan. It doesn’t matter whether your married or not, the information is the same and can be used for singles too.

A major lesson to be learned from reading this book is to be conscious of planning for your retirement. If you walked out of college with a large amount of debt you are probably behind the retirement plan just like us, so its time to play catch up. I encourage you to WRITE DOWN an action list of what you can do before the New Year to start a retirement action plan. That can include; saving plans, starting an investment portfolio and increasing 401(k) or IRA contribution percentage. There are multiple ways to save for retirement where it doesn’t cost much to get started.

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