The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom, By Suze Orman

After giving up on The Expected One, I moved on to Suze Orman’s The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom. It was great! It was very accessible and easy to read. Rich Dad, Poor Dad, is still my favorite and something I consider a must read, but this book really helped me understand a lot more about our money and how to protect it.
For example, and keep in mind I am paraphrasing big time here, did you know that if all you have is a will, when you (and your spouse, if applicable) pass, all of your assets must first go into probate? This can take months to years before titles to properties are transferred to the beneficiary. Once it is out of probate, some states, including CA of course, have a standard probate tax – and it’s material. How do you avoid this tax? You really should read the book, but in short you can create something called a revocable living trust.
She goes over a lot more, like durable power of attorney (so you don’t end up stuck on a respirator somewhere), life insurance, long term care insurance (1 in 2 adults who have LTC insurance will use it), and bypass trusts (they protect your beneficiaries from federal estate tax). It is a quick read and I feel a lot more confident on how to prepare for the future. I am now reading Cramer’s Mad Money. It’s really good so far too.