Sherry Preston

Sherry Preston, columnist

Jill Schlesinger’s “The Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money” covers 13 financial issues everyone should look at. Schlesinger was an options trader then she owned and managed an investment advisory firm and worked for MoneyWatch.com before she began her career as the radio host of “Jill on Money.”

Schlesinger writes in a friendly, easy to read manner. She gives out down-to earth advice on a wide variety of topics, and she populates the book with entertaining anecdotes about people she knows and the problems they faced.

While her advice applies to everyone, her anecdotes make her suggestions seem out of reach. Schlesinger sprinkles stories throughout her book about people who have made poor choices about their vacation homes and two million dollar estates and find themselves retired and in abject middle class.

Schlesinger’s suggestions include having a will drawn up to make things easier for your heirs, working with your parents to ensure they are well cared for as they age and planning for your retirement before saving for your children’s college. In all she has thirteen chapters full of useful information.

Jill Schlesinger’s list of dumb things smart people do:

1. You buy financial products that you don’t understand

2. You take financial advice from the wrong people

3. You make money more important than it is

4. You take on too much college debt

5. You buy a house when you should rent

6. You take on too much risk

7. You fail to protect your identity

8. You indulge yourself too much during your early retirement years

9. You saddle your kids with your own money issues

10. You don’t plan for the care of your aging parents

11. You buy the wrong kinds of insurance, or none at all

12. You don’t have a will

13. You try to time the market

This book would appeal to people who are making changes to their lives, including anything from raising kids to a new marriage. You can find “The Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money: Thirteen ways to right your financial wrongs” by Jill Schlesinger and many other financial planning books on the shelf at the Gering Public Library.

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