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Posted September 13, 2006
Give Your Child the Present for Their Future!
Patrick Lyons could easily have titled his book, ¿Everything You Wanted to Know about Finances But...¿ Though that phrase might now be overused, it nevertheless would tell you what Map Your Financial Future: Starting the Right Path in Your Teens and Twenties provides for all individuals who are fortunate enough to have a copy of this book placed in their hands! I have never seen a book on this subject as comprehensive and complete. The presentation of the material is outstanding. The topic has been both well researched and reviewed by appropriate leaders in respective fields of the financial world. And, yet, the author has succeeded in ensuring that all information is interesting, easy-to-use, educational, and of great benefit to not only young people but to those of us, like myself, who have always been just a little intimidated by the whole business of making money beyond a basic salary. Lyons quite simply begins at the beginning! He highlights that it is in the teen years when individuals start to think much more about money¿money for clothes, money for the prom, transportation, etc. At the same time, he begins to explain the consequences of money management, explaining that splurging on $200 jeans will quickly leave you short of cash for other essentials or emergencies. Willingly sharing from experience, Lyons explains how he got caught in the credit card trap very early¿in high school! Everyone sooner or later experiences that thrill of being able to place a small plastic card down on the counter and buy something that they really want. Too soon that thrill is gone if that high school student must face his adult life already in debt! Also included are warnings about companies that prey on individuals having financial problems¿a sad but true fact of life! Samples of actual ¿scam¿ e-mails received serve to add factual and representative depth to issues under discussion. It was here that I gave my first applause to the author. While there is a brief mention of parents in the book, there is absolutely no link between the financial concerns of young people to the financial concerns of their parents. Lyons quickly highlights through his words and guidance that it is our responsibility to learn and handle and fumble down our own financial path. When we truly come to believe and accept this philosophy is the time we will want to sit down and really study with Patrick Lyons. Dividing his book into four parts, Lyons takes us through opening bank accounts, establishing our own personal budgets, and basically learning how to handle our own money. Next he provides information as to how we can judiciously use credit cards, sharing his own horror stories to ensure readers understand the many pitfalls. Our most important acquisitions in our lives¿higher education, cars, our home, and furnishings¿are explored as options. Do we rent, lease, or enter into a mortgage? What impact does our credit rating have on these purchases? What about college expenses? Lyons takes the electronic approach in his book¿Excellent! Computers are no longer in our futures they are in the ¿now¿ and we must be prepared to handle our financial issues online. Not only does Lyons teach us how to do this, but he also provides many specific sites to which we can immediately go for further information or guidance, or to proceed to open our first online bank account! Investments and Retirement? Yep, it¿s there! Facts and figures show teens how much they can save through a small regular allocation. Different options for types of retirement programs--those through employers as well as those available on a personal basis--are thoroughly covered. Oftentimes, retirement programs are mandatory, so inclusion of this material will help ensure young people are adequately prepared to consider options to plan now for their future. I cannot think of one thing about my financial life that is NOT covered in Map Your Financial Future. Th
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