Thursday, February 20, 2014
This double-hitter is prevalent throughout the book as well - the focus is equally split on how to increase your happiness and how to improve your financial situation, and how the 2 are intertwined. I've read financial books/articles before because I felt I should, but this was an interesting read! :) There's been a lot of thought into how happiness and financial security are connected. The conclusion is that money definitely has an impact on happiness, but it can't buy happiness.
Donna Skeels Cygan is a certified financial planner and is the owner of a financial advisory firm. Her goal with this book is to show how being financially secure can reduce stress and make you happier! And she provides tips and strategies on how to achieve this worthy but difficult-to-attain goal. Topics such as increasing your net worth, wise investment strategies, minimizing taxes, and preparing for retirement are all discussed.
Part 1 sets the stage for the link between happiness and a secure financial future, and helps the reader understand how past experiences and neuroscience, among other factors, both play a role in our level of happiness.
Part 2 deals mostly with understanding happiness and how various factors play a role in increasing (or decreasing) how happy one is. Cygan discusses research into the pyschology of being happy and happier and various factors and choices that impact a person's happiness.
Part 3 addresses concepts related to financial security. There are easy to understand steps to improving one's financial situation, with the goal of attaining financial security. Because the book is written by an American author, some things (ie tax-related and retirement planning concepts) are more applicable to US readers; nonetheless, there are many valid points for Canadians as well. I really appreciated the clearly laid out steps, which anyone can do regardless of their financial situation!
Part 4 helps the reader join the strategies for happiness with the strategies for financial security and helps you prioritize wishes and changes for the future.
One thing I especially appreciated about the book's premise in general was the advice to make small changes, and to do so gradually in order to help them "stick." There are many many references to research, both on what makes people happy, and on financial exercises and their results. I also really liked reading the "case studies," stories of Cygan's clients that really help illustrate the point in question.
The Joy of Financial Security website presents a wealth of information as well. Resources such as a net worth statement worksheet as well as personal and financial wishlist are available for printout. As well, you can join the virtual book club, which is presented via a webinar once per month.
Posted by Julie at 9:43 PM
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