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Review: Generation Earn by Kimberly Palmer

Posted By Jim On 10/15/2010 @ 9:03 am In Reviews | 3 Comments

One of the big complaints in the world of personal finance is the lack of personal finance education in school. We teach our young people the basic concepts of math in high school but we fail to show how it applies in real life. We have a fundamental disconnect in formal education between the skills we need to excel at work (which is what we learn in high school and college) and the skills we need to excel at life.

Just think about the brainy engineer who lacks social skills because he or she has focused solely on studying and education. They will likely excel at work but experience difficulty in life, we need to find a better balance.

When it comes to personal finance, it takes real life people writing about real life personal finance issues. That’s why it’s important for young professionals to read Kimberly Palmer’s new book Generation Earn [3]. It takes many of the money situations young professionals are like to have, hopefully before they tackle them, from the perspective of someone who has been there. Kim is currently senior editor and personal finance columnist for US News & World Report and between her job and her life, she’s seen a lot of the concerns many young professionals face.

Caveat: This review is going to be a little biased since I know Kimberly Palmer and we’re “friends” (I feel weird saying I’m friends with someone I only know through the internet), so please keep that in mind as you read this review.

The book is designed to be a guide for everyone, since we all differ in where we are in our financial life, but it focuses on life’s major decisions. For example, the book is broken up into three sections:

  • Building Your Life: This section focuses on the income side of the equation by looking at job juggling, managing debt, investing, and planning for your retirement.
  • Creating a Home: This second part focuses on some of the social aspects of your financial life like living frugally, starting a family, marriage and discussions of money.
  • Changing the World: This final section focuses on philanthropic and charitable endeavors, which I think is something many books of this kind gloss over.

Sprinkled throughout the book are “Quick Tips” that are usually less-than-one-page sidebars that focus on a topic that is important but doesn’t warrant an entire chapter. They include tips for networking (Mastering the Business Lunch) and finding the right credit card. Many of these Quick Tips rely on the knowledge of an expert in that area, so you get a double dose of good information. If you just flipped through the book, reading each Quick Tip, you’d come away with some useful information you didn’t know ahead of time.


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[3] Generation Earn: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/r/amazon.php?asin=158008236X

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