Book Review: Clutter-Free Wealth by Liz Miller

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book review clutter free wealthIt has been a while since I have done a book review, even though I read all the time, so I thought since we are in the middle of our annual book giveaway I should do a review on one of the books we are giving away! (Check out the Giveaway)

Clutter-Free Wealthby Liz Miller is written for those who have already accumulated wealth but may feel like it is not helping them to reach their goals.  It walks you through how to determine what your wants are, assessing what assets you currently have and then understanding some of your options for managing your money in line with your goals.

Andrea’s Stars: 3

Why I like it:

  1. I like the idea of planning your allocations based on type of asset (options, small business, etc) and its need for the future.  Planning how to invest the money based on what you need it for is crucial to adequate financial planning. (Chapter 6)
  2. The book starts first with determining your values and what you want to do with your money.  I believe this is very important because if your money goals don’t line up with what you are doing with your money it is hard to feel good about your financial plan.
  3. The estate planning chapter (9), this is one of the best summaries and set of steps that you need to take in order to have a good estate plan that I have read.  Easy to understand and full of good information.
  4. The gifting chapter (10) easily describes each of your options for setting up charitable giving plans. Like the estate planning chapter I have not ever seen such a well written easy to understand summary.

What I don’t like:

  1. I wish the book had gone a bit more in-depth about some of the topics such as chapter 6.  As you see from my likes list that this chapter is one of the reasons I like this book, but more details on how to come up with your risk tolerance would have pushed this book from a three start to a four.  The book is short enough that more detail would not have been too much for the reader to handle.
  2. More how to or what the next steps were.  While the information was really good, I don’t feel like I could have applied much without further consulting a planner, CPA or attorney.  I wish there had been a summary chapter with the next steps that you needed to take to execute on your plan either with or without a planner.
  3. I don’t think the title is an accurate picture of what this book is about.  The subtitle would have been a better title, A Goal Oriented Guide to Gaining Control of your Affluence.  I consider clutter to be a pile of paper or excess in your life that needs eliminated and organized.  I felt that instead of helping get my wealth organized that this book helped me set goals for my money.  Setting goals might not make your wealth less cluttered, just more purposeful.  Putting purpose around your money is what I felt this book was more about. (And it is a VERY important topic).

 

Who the Book is Good For:

  • If you have some wealth already, or you like to plan way ahead this is a great book for you to read before you meet with your financial advisor.  It will give you a base knowledge that will help you speak on the same level as your advisor.
  • If you feel like your planner is not the right one for you this can help you understand how to view your investments and what to look for in other advisors.
  • Chapters 9 and 10 alone are worth reading about estate planning and charitable giving options.  If you have wealth and are looking for a starting point with these two topics, give these chapters a read.

Your Turn – Have you read the book?  What did you think?

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