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Start Late Finish RichChapter Two
It's About Your Money, It's About Your Freedom

If I could give you only one gift, it would be the gift of freedom. The gift to be the person you were put here to be.

Why? Because you are a very special person. In fact, you're unique. There is no one like you on the planet. You were put here for a reason, and I promise you it wasn't to struggle through life.

What does any of this have to do with achieving financial security and independence? In a word, everything. If you are worried about money and your future, it's more than likely you're not living as free a life as you want. And if you're not living as free a life as you want, how can you be living the life you were put here to live?

It may not be politically correct to say so, but the brutal reality of life is that in almost every case, if you sit down and get honest with yourself, you will find that 90% of your problems can be fixed with money.

Yes, I know we're supposed to believe that money doesn't make you happy. There are entire schools of philosophy built on that premise. Well, here's what experience has taught me: Money may not make you happy, but LACK OF MONEY can certainly make you miserable.

When all is said and done, the way you get your freedom is to buy it.You don't lease it. You don't wish for it. You buy it, and then you own it.

In 2002 and 2003, the American Association of Retired Persons sponsored an in-depth study of baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1964). It revealed some amazing things about their attitudes and experience. Perhaps its most significant finding was this:

Personal finance and work are among the least satisfying aspects of baby boomers' lives.


  • While higher-earning boomers tend to be more satisfied with their lives than lower-income boomers, only about 20% of all boomers (one in five) are satisfied with their finances.
  • One in four says the worst thing about their lives right now is their finances.
  • One in three names personal finances as the one area of their lives they would most like to improve.
  • Lack of finances makes it hard for baby boomers to enjoy leisure activities.
  • Higher education is no guarantee of financial well-being. Only 20% of college-educated boomers are satisfied with their finances.
  • Less-educated boomers are equally unhappy; only 22% of them said they were satisfied with their finances.

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My name is Kat, and I will be a senior at Mercy High School in Baltimore, MD. I will be taking Micro and Macro Economics courses in the coming fall. Our summer reading for the class was your book, THE AUTOMATIC MILLIONAIRE. Out of the eight ridiculously boring books plus yours (as I don't count it as boring) I have to read before the start of term, I chose to read your book first because, even at seventeen, I have a love affair with money that would make my boyfriend jealous. I am aiming in the ... more

- Kat Harrington
Baltimore, MD

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