Have you ever dreamed of being rich? Of course you have. Just about everybody dreams of being rich. I know I sure did - a lot. I was in my late twenties and I had already worked for eight years as a computer programmer. I liked my job but there were a lot of times I just wished I didn't have to get up in the morning and go to work. I thought to myself "If I were only rich..."
I have always been somebody with a great deal of resolve. When I want something I work hard for it and I really enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when I reach my goal. So there I was in my late twenties when I made the decision that I was going to do whatever it takes to get rich. My goal was to retire by age 40. At age 41, I was still working.
Something just wasn't going right. I was making a lot of money and investing it based on the conventional wisdom of the time. I realized my plan wasn't working so I made some adjustments and set a new goal for myself. I was going to retire by age 45. At age 46, I was still working.
The year was 2002. I had started my career as a computer programmer in 1976. I had been working on a contract basis since 1987. Most of my contracts lasted one to two years and then I would find a new one. My last contract ended in December 2001. The Dot Com recession was in full swing. Starting in January of 2002, I went through a period where I was unemployed for 11 of the next 14 months.
Money was starting to run out but our house had more than doubled in value. We decided to sell while we still had equity. I finally found work in March of 2003 but the damage was done.
Now, fast forward to 2008. My contract is ending. This time it's the Real Estate Bubble, described by many as the worst recession since the Great Depression.
In this recession, I went 10 of 12 months without fulltime work. That sounds scary to most people. During that time, my wife and I took 4 vacations including a cruise to Mexico, a week visiting relatives, a four day fishing trip, a trip to southern California to see the San Diego Zoo and the Wild Animal Park, and a day at the races at Hollywood Park racetrack. Oh, and we went camping in the mountains too.
In the Dot Com recession we were devastated. In the Real Estate Bubble, we thrived. So, what changed?
I realized my plan to get rich was not working. I knew I had to do something about it. It was time to get to work. So, I did my research. I looked for information. And I worked hard to figure out the right way to manage my personal finances. I read four books that provided the foundation of knowledge that I needed. Those books alone did not have all of the information I needed but they got me started in forming the principles that comprise my new book, Paycheck Independence Day
These are the four books in the order I read them:
The order in which I read these books was significant. It seemed that one just built on the other as they provided the information I needed to form the principles that lead to paycheck independence. I will tell you what I learned from each book starting with Smart Couples Finish Rich
If you would like to go straight to the Conclusion and read about each book later, click here