Friday, January 2, 2009
Well it's January 2nd and the flu has put a temporary end to my snow dealing (though I guess I had better check the state of my sidewalk) so since I am confined to home, I am playing catch up. I am sure you are all busily contemplating your New Year's Resolutions and for some reason relearning how to knit seems one I am pondering (must be the weather). I am never sure how financial savvy we teachers are which is probably why I was given this book. Like some of you I am trying to decide when it is worth retiring. I guess the question according to financial columnist, Jonathan Chevreau, is when will I reach my Findependence Day or have I reached it? Findependence means when your assets are large enough to cover your living expenses so that you don’t have to work for a living anymore. You can choose to do what you want to do.
This book tells the story of Jamie and Sheena who appear on a fictional television show because they have accumulated so much credit card debt in their twenties. The financial expert asks Jamie to tell him when he wants to be financially independent and he chooses when he turns 50 on July 4th (note pun). The book basically describes Jamie's and Sheena's sometimes circuitous path to this end (children, job loss, marital separation). We learn a new term, frugality guerillas (so much for those Starbucks lattes) and that those of us with assured pensions are "bonds" while people who don't are "stocks". Jamie is a salesman for an electronics store, and Sheena, you guessed it, is a middle school teacher and aspiring young adult author.
This is a good "read" and a relatively painless way to acquire more financial knowledge which we all can use. I definitely need to reread certain sections and put money into the new Tax Free Savings Accounts. I have been totally recommending the book to friends to buy for their children in their twenties as well as reading it themselves. This is the book that takes over where the Wealthy Barber left off.