My spouse and I are in very different places financially. She grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution and knows poverty that I cannot even begin to imagine. Her focus on security is primary in every thing she does and debt drives her crazy. She started reading this book before I left and couldn't put it down. I'm sure she'll have a list of things for me to do once I get back to improve our finances, which is great.
I don't think Smart Couples Finish Rich is the best finance book I've read but it does have some good points that everyone ought to be aware of:
- starting to save when you are very young
- maxing out your 401k
- paying yourself first (the 401k contribution is the key here)
- making a written financial plan
- doing something towards your goals now
- having adequate life and disability insurance
- having your financial records organized
- having a dream that both you and your spouse work toward
When I was involved in Amway (now Quixtar), the leaders talked incessantly about having a dream. It's something I have always believed in. Many people won't voice their dreams for fear that they will be laughed at. However, I don't believe that you can be motivated long term just to reduce debt or have $1M at retirement. You've got to have something exciting that draws you as well.
There are some parts of the book that are weak, but it's worth going to the library and getting a copy.