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How Raising Your Money IQ Can Give You A Richer Retirement

Dear Hard Worker,

We don't know enough about money. Credit card companies, banks and other financial institutions have kept us in the dark. The less we know the more money they make off of us. Here's a little secret about Personal Finance. The financial sector can't afford to have you understand how your money works. That's right your money!

If you understood how interest rates, bank fees, insurance and saving money worked, they'd be out of a job. Do you think credit card companies and banks make money, because we're all great with our money? Think about this. Credit cards and banks make money off of loans they give. Without an interest rate and other hidden fees, they'd be a thing of the past. More importantly, you'd have much more money stashed in the bank.

For decades they've relied on our poor understanding of money and how it really works. Well now I'm going to recommend some resources that'll lift the veil on Personal Finance. This is information that will increase your cash flow, put more money in the bank, pay off debt and have plenty left for retirement. Plus, I'll tell you about one resource that will help your understand how credit rating really works.

Raise Your Money IQ

How smart are you? We have this system in American that tests your IQ or Intelligence Quotience. I've never had mine tested, but I'm sure you know yours. But what is it when it comes to money? If there was a Money IQ scale of 1-10, where would you rate?

I'll admit for years mine was on the low end. But now that I've become "hip to the game" of Personal Finance, I'm feeling a little smarter. You can raise your Money IQ, by reading four books. These babies have helped my wife and I become smarter with our money. We went from four credit cards to one. And we have plans to get rid of it. Our savings went up and we're reprogramming our "Money Minds."

Now these books are just a start. Keep reading and learning as much as you can about money. It's normally the number one reason couples get divorced in America. I've mentioned one or two of these books before. But now I'm going to go into a bit more depth. And hey, if you know one I should read feel free to drop me an e-mail at We're all on this Money Roller Coaster together and I enjoy learning from you as well!

Essential Information

Peter Sander, M.B.A. knocks it out of the park with his book "Essential Money." In it he gives detailed information on how to make, grow and manage your money. I was surprised at how smart this book was. Normally books on personal finance are filled with hype and empty promises. But Mr. Sander breaks personal finance down into practical steps.

Here's some of what you'll learn:

  • The difference between money, wealth and personal finance and how to properly manage all three
  • How to take charge of your personal finances
  • Why becoming the Chief Financial Officer of your finances is crucial to managing your money
  • Common personality types that help you understand how to handle your money

The Cash Flow Worksheet on page 27 is an eye-opener! It breaks down what you're really making and spending each month. This book alone will help you get your personal finances on track.

A Financial Makeover

Ever watch one of those makeover shows? Someone appears at your door, looks ya over and decides to give you a "David Copperfield" treatment? In "The Total Money Makeover", by Dave Ramsey, he does more than give you a once over. This book has a seriously proven plan for getting rid of debt, changing your money habits and putting tons of cash in the bank.

Dave's no-holds barred style is intoxicating. He's honest, funny and insightful about Personal Finance. In fact you'll read where he was in real estate before he wrote this book. And here's a hot tip. He hosts The Dave Ramsey Show, with 3 million listeners each week! The number of testimonials from real readers was a shock. These folks actually bought the book and followed the plan. Their testimonies on personal finance were incredible. I used to think I had it tough, but these guys bounced back from certain financial death.

And that means if they can do it, so can you! Dave will show you that...

  • Debt is not a tool as our financial system has led us to believe. It's simply a way to drain your bank account and future retirement
  • Why being in denial is a deadly ingredient for financial ruin
  • Learn about Money Myths and the non-secrets of the rich. And why gold doesn't have the track record you think it did.
  • How the "Baby Step" Plan can make and save you more money than you've ever had.

Dave does something unusual in his book. He tells you to read the testimonials before you read the actual plan. By the time you're done you're ready to put his plan into place! It's a brilliant and insightful read. Make sure you read this one at least three times.

Retire and Smile

Who says you can't retire happy? Stan Hinden, a former Washington Post Retirement Journal columnist speaks honestly about retirement. In "How to Retire Happy", he guides you through the 12 most important decisions you must make before you retire.

Reading this book is like sitting on your deck on a warm evening, while your best buddy talks to you. His tone is calm and as a former Retirement Columnist he knows his stuff. Some of the chapters called "Decisions" include:

  • Decision 1: Am I ready to Retire? Read the three good reasons for retiring. Each will help you determine when you should hang it all up.
  • Decision 2: Can I Afford to Retire? This chapter helps you ask some tough questions about raises, fixed income and other financial questions you must answer.
  • Decision 3: When Should I Apply for Social Security? Learn about retirement age requirements, how Social Security benefits are determined and if it'll be enough for retirement.

He also talks about what you lose when you retire. Don't take those "water cooler" moments for granted. The things he brought up surprised me. These were things I hadn't considered before. Reading this book gives you a realistic view of retirement and what to expect. From money to healthcare you can put together a solid retirement plan with this book.

How the System Really Works

Ah yes! I saved the best for last. When I saw the cover of this book I thought I had found gold. Have you ever wondered how the credit rating system in this country works? By the time you finish reading this book, you'll be hopping mad and glad! That's because Evan Hendricks sheds light on the dark world of credit in Credit Scores & Credit Reports.

When you learn how your credit score is determined, you'll finally understand why some folks get great interest rates and others don't. For instance did you know...

  • The models for developing credit scores were made by the Fair Isaac Corporation in the 1950's?
  • The Federal Trade Commission stated federal law doesn't require Credit Bureau's to tell you your credit score, if you requested your credit report?
  • Until now it hasn't been known how these scores were calculated and used?
  • Credit Bureaus use 5 crucial factors to determine your credit score. And the first factor makes up 35% of their decision making process.

No joke this book is a must-have for your Personal Finance Library. Use all four to head toward retirement. It's time to raise your Money IQ and enjoy the retirement you deserve.

Clyde McDade is the author of the upcoming e-book, "How to Grow More Money for Your Retirement and Child's College Fund." He can be reached at

This article is not to be taken as financial advice. Seek the professional advice of a Financial Planner or Accountant. You can find some of the best Financial Advisors and Planners at

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