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Your Money Milestones: A Guide to Making the 9 Most Important Financial Decisions of Your Life

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Your Money Milestones: A Guide to Making the 9 Most Important Financial Decisions of Your Life


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Shows how just four simple principles you learned in grade school can be used to manage the most critical money milestones in your life.

  •  A whole new way to think about your money, drawing on the latest research in psychology, behavioral finance, and personal money management. 
  • Make better decisions about college, homebuying, retirement, insurance, and even kids!
  • Each chapter will direct readers to an online calculator website that will allow the reader to experiment and play with the various concepts, themselves.


  • Copyright 2010
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-702910-1
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-702910-5
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-706774-7
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-706774-9

A Whole New Way to Look at Your Money…and Make It Grow!

“Here is a lively new guide that offers fresh and actionable ways to approach everyday financial problems. Whether you’re rich or just getting by, starting your career or winding down, you’ll benefit from the author’s insightful observations and suggestions—all delivered with warmth and wit.”

—Evan Cooper, Deputy Editor, InvestmentNews

“The author’s unique gift is to make complex ideas from the world of high finance simple to understand, and his new book gently coaches readers in how to think about their personal finances. Best of all, readers can use Milevsky’s financial calculators online to test these ideas, so they can make choices with confidence. Investing in this book might be the wisest financial decision you make this year.”

—Gil Weinreich, Editor, Research Magazine

“The author has accomplished the near impossible. He has made the complicated, confusing, and often contradictory world of personal financial planning easy to understand. More importantly, he’s made it easy to act on his ground-breaking advice and guidance and has made it easy for readers to address their most important financial decisions in a thoughtful, practical, and painless manner.”

— Robert Powell, Editor, Retirement Weekly and Retirement Columnist, www.MarketWatch.com/retirement

“What are the nine crucial financial decisions every person must make over the course of a lifetime? If you don’t know, read this book. The author’s nine choices revolve around his core concept of human capital and how it must be gradually converted to financial capital to achieve a successful retirement.”

—Jonathan Chevreau, National Post Columnist and Author of Findependence Day

Your Money Milestones helps just about anyone see life’s most important money decisions in a fresh and completely rational light. If you want a smart, practical roadmap to a financially sound future, you need this book.”

—Eric Schurenberg, Editor-in-Chief, BNET

Your Money Milestones illustrates how four principles inspired by basic arithmetic can be applied to manage the most important financial decisions (money milestones) people face over their entire financial lifecycles.

  • Addition: Identify the true value all of your financial resources.
  • Subtraction: Budget for the hidden liabilities in your future.
  • Division: Spend your total resources evenly over time.
  • Multiplication: Prepare for many alternative and unexpected universes.

This book offers a complete framework for thinking about money that’s every bit as provocative as Freakonomics. Drawing on the newest research into psychology and personal finance, Milevsky helps you identify the true value all of your resources; budget for hidden liabilities in your future; plan to spend your total resources smoothly over time; and prepare for unexpected events that could upend even the most careful planning. You’ll discover why children are short-term investment liabilities but may be long-term pension assets, why winning the lottery may increase your chances of going bankrupt, and why giving up control of your retirement nest egg might actually make you happier. The insights are fascinating and useful throughout your life whether you're deciding what to study, contemplating your first home purchase, deciding whether to keep contributing to your 401(k), or considering when and whether to retire.

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Is the Long-Term Value of an Education Worth the Short-Term Cost?

Sample Pages

Download the sample pages (includes Chapter 1 and Index)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     xv

About the Author     xvii

Prologue: Financial Deicide     xix

Introduction: Human Capital: Your Greatest Asset     1

Chapter 1: Is the Long-Term Value of an Education Worth the Short-Term Cost?     13

Chapter 2: What Is the Point of Saving Money Forever?     35

Chapter 3: How Much Debt Is Too Much and How Much Is Too Little?     53

Chapter 4: Are Kids Investments and Can Marriages Diversify?     69

Chapter 5: Government Tax Authorities: Partners, Adversaries, or Bazaar Merchants?     85

Chapter 6: Can You Eat Your House or Will It Ever Pay Dividends?     101

Chapter 7: Insurance Salesmen and Warranty Peddlers: Are They Smooth Enough?     113

Chapter 8: Portfolio Construction: What Asset Class Do You Belong To?     129

Chapter 9: Retirement: When Is It Time to Shutter the Well and Close the Mine?     147

Conclusion: Four Principles to Guide All Financial Decisions and Money Milestones     169

References     177

Index     185


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