The Richest Man in Babylon-George S Clason-Audiobook


Travel back in time as George S. Clason takes you back to Babylon in
his enlightening, insightful book on financial investment and financial
success. The original version now restored and revised, this series of
delightful short stories teaches economic tips and tools for financial
success that have withstood the test of time and are applicable still
today. Enjoy reading, and start saving today!


Should I have life insurance in retirement?

George isn’t sure if his $100 monthly insurance premiums are better off in a savings account


Q: I am 59 and mostly retired. My wife and I both have life insurance
policies which are costing us about $100 a month. As we are financially
secure, is there any need to continue paying the premiums or should
we just cancel the policies?

The insurance agent recommends keeping it as I will die eventually and
will cash in at that time but my thought is I can take the cash value and
save $1,200 a year now.

The policy is $33,000 for me and $17,000 for my wife.

Also, I was told that I may have to pay taxes on the cash value.


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A: I like to start any discussion about life insurance with an assessment of insurance needs, George. Insurance should be a risk management tool first and foremost and if you have beneficiaries who would be impacted negatively financially by your death, you should probably consider life insurance.

An insurance needs analysis can be conducted by an insurance agent or financial planner or at least approximated using online resources. If a shortfall exists, it should likely be addressed with life insurance.

In your case, George, you seem pretty confident that you are financially secure. Generally, a retiree may be self-insured through their savings and government pensions, meaning that life insurance is not necessary from a risk management perspective. If that’s the case, I think the decision to keep or cancel the policies becomes an investment, estate planning and tax discussion.

Ask a Planner: Leave your question for Jason Heath »

When assessing an insurance policy in a situation like yours, I like to look at the expected “return” on the policy for the rest of your life. If you pay $1,200 in premiums in the coming year and die at 60, that $33,000 payout to your estate is a 2,650% return on investment. Not bad. But you need to die.

If you live until 110, you may have been better off putting your premium dollars under your mattress. Since it sounds like you own whole life policies, without knowing all the facts about how the policies are expected to grow with dividends during that time, I can’t tell you how low the return may in fact be, George.

The point is, the return on investment from an insurance policy is variable. It depends primarily on how long you live. I think you need to crunch the numbers to look at the projected annual payout to your estate (including dividends or investment growth, depending on the type of policy) and compare it to investing the $1,200 a year in premiums in stocks and bonds or GICs instead. In this way, you can figure out the annualized rate of return based on dying in any given year and then try to assess if the return looks good relative to what you think your life expectancy might be. Keeping the insurance policies may be a very good “investment” if you’re conservative GIC investors or if you think you’ll have a short life expectancy.

All that said, I think you also need to consider your estate planning objectives. If you don’t have beneficiaries or don’t care to provide for them–preferring to maximize your retirement–consider cancelling the policies. The cash value and the premium savings may put more money in your hands now if that’s your primary objective.

Finally, from a taxation perspective, cashing in a whole life insurance policy will generally result in taxation. The cash value in excess of the adjusted cost base is taxable as regular income on your tax return. The adjusted cost base is not just the premiums paid to the policy. It’s the premiums paid less the cost of insurance and may mean that a good portion of the cash value is taxable to you.

The good news for you, George, at age 59, is that your income may be lower now than after you begin CPP, OAS and RRIF withdrawals. Thus the tax implications from cancelling the policy may be modest.

Insurance can be a great tool for planning related to corporations, cottages, second marriages and so on, but some of these strategies are beyond the scope of my answer to you, George.

I can’t help but chime in on your insurance agent’s recommendation on the policies. Recommending that you keep life insurance because you will die eventually is like wearing a winter jacket in the summer because it will snow eventually. Sometimes it actually pays to be short-sighted in your financial (and your fashion) choices to avoid keeping a product you don’t need—or wearing a jacket that makes you sweat.

Ask a Planner: Leave your question for Jason Heath »

Jason Heath is a fee-only, advice-only Certified Financial Planner (CFP) at Objective Financial Partners Inc. in Toronto, Ontario. He does not sell any financial products whatsoever.


Money Talks: The 5 Money Conversations to Have with Your Kids at Every Age and Stage.

By Jennie Blizzard

As a child, you’ve most likely heard it. If you’re a parent, you’ve most
likely said it: money doesn’t grow on trees. And while the long standing
common sense saying holds true, parents do have the ability to pass
along financial knowledge that can bear good fruit throughout a child’s
life. Scott and Bethany Palmer can tell you how.

Widely respected and known as the Money Couple and as financial
experts, the Palmers have spent a decade helping couples divorce proof
their marriages over money through books, coaching and various resour-
ces. And now as co-authors of the best selling read The Five Money Per-
sonalities, they have formulated a brand new resource for parents in their
newly released book, The 5 Money Conversations to Have with Your Kids
at Every Age and Stage.

“It’s very interesting for the past 10 years, we’ve been helping couples
make their relationships great by helping them to discover why they view
and look at money differently,” said Scott. “We were doing a great job
working with couples and getting them on the same page about money
but we really weren’t doing the greatest job with helping our own kids
understand money.”

The Palmers weren’t alone. After conversations with other parents, a well-
known fact was confirmed. They were all worried about raising entitled,
materialistic, and financially dependent kids. “Because that was a concern
of ours, we said we needed to come up with a new way for parents to think
and talk to their kids about money,” said Scott. “And that’s how we came
up with and wrote the book.”

The Five Money Conversations gives practical advice and emphasizes that
in order to teach a child about money, you must first know his or her
money personality (spender, saver, risk taker, flyer and security seeker).
“What’s interesting is that everyone has two of the five money personali-
ties and a lot of times people stop at their first one,” said Bethany. “Most
of us can assess our primary one. But the secondary one is so crucial.”
She adds that the secondary money personality can be completely opposite
of the primary. “It’s the dynamic of the two that makes you unique, special
and different,” Bethany says.

In addition to identifying the personality, Bethany says that parents must
also understand that most of the time, their outlook about money will
differ from their kids, thus creating the potential for conflict. She shares
an example from her own family where her mother’s primary money
personality was a saver and the secondary was a security seeker. Betha-
ny’s primary is a spender and secondary is a risk taker. “We have the
same thing with both of our sons,” said Bethany. “One of the reasons
that learning money personalities is so important is because we need
to learn how to speak in a way that they can hear us and learn our chil-
dren’s personalities so they can actually understand and be parented
about the positive sides of these differences.”

The money personality assessment, available online, was developed pri-
marily through the Palmers’ 10 years of research working with couples
and with the help of a statistical scientist at Stanford. The Palmers were
able to take their scientific tool, which has been taken by over 60,000
people and modify it for kids. There’s an assessment for ages 5-12, 13-17,
and 18 and beyond to help them figure out their primary and secondary
money personalities. “For ages 5-12, this may take you sitting down with
your child and taking the quiz together,” said Scott. “But let them drive
the car and answer the questions. It takes less than 10 minutes.”

For parents of teens or adult children and think it’s too late to have “the
big talk” about finances? It’s never too late. “The great thing about this
book is that you have the opportunity to jump in at any age or stage,”
said Scott. “There are going to be some parents whose kids are in college
and they’re saying “oh my goodness, my kids are totally financially depen-
dent on me. How are we going to start to change that?”’

Scott warns parents that these conversations are not as simple as discus-
sing a 12-point budget and convincing your child to stick to the plan to be
financially successful. The Five Conversations guides parents on how to
have discussions and gain some wins that establish trust before jumping
into the budget. “Our youngest is a primary spender and is a secondary
security seeker,” said Bethany. “If I understand that about my child and
I learn how to talk to him in a language that he’s going to understand
by calling a budget a spending plan, then he’s going to see me as a re-
source and someone he wants to talk to about present and future
money challenges.”

The Palmers stress important points to remember when having this much-
needed conversation. First, understanding your child’s money personality
is crucial. Second realizing that it’s not just one conversation but a lifetime
of evolving talks as the child transitions to different ages and stages. The
third is patience. “They are not going to see the money and deal with it
the same way as you do,” said Scott. “But if you have these money con-
versations you will be amazed at what you can teach them, point out and
help them with.”

In addition to patience, Bethany advises parents to not “shame” their
child about their money personality. For example if a child is a primary
spender and secondary risk taker, don’t focus on how they like to spend
money, encourage him/her to use their personalities for the greater good.
For instance, encourage the risk taker to use his/her money personality
to start a business. “One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is
teaching them how to think about money,” says Bethany, “and teaching
them how to view it through their lens in a healthy way.”

For more information about Scott and Bethany Palmer, visit

Get great advice: Get Financially Fettered!

By Alanna Klapp

Financial challenges affect all ages. College graduates employed
at entry-level jobs are now saddled with 1.2 trillion dollars in out-
standing student loans. The typical U.S. household, while earning
an average salary of $60K per year, is faced with credit card debt,
student loans, and an overall lack of savings. Baby Boomers still
reeling from the impact of the Great Recession and wiped-out nest
eggs and retirement savings are now finding new ways to re-invent
themselves and extend their working years. Whichever your situa-
tion, Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach, has advice for you.
Her latest book, Perfect Credit: 7 Steps to a Great Credit Rating,
is a must-read for people who want to establish, fix, improve, or
maintain credit. Along with her sound financial advice, Lynnette’s
mission is to give people hope and inspiration. In a recent interview,
she shared that 99.9% of the time people can recover from things
that have gone wrong financially in their lives, whether it be a
mistake or an unforeseen event. “It’s not the end of the world,
it’s not fate, and it’s not a permanent financial death sentence,”
Khalfani-Cox explains. “It will get better if you take some steps.”
Here she shares a few of the steps below.

Lynnette’s Advice

For the Recently Employed College Graduate

•    Be realistic about starting salaries and expenses, including
student loans. A huge pitfall college grads face is overestimating
starting salaries and underestimating expenses once they get into
the real world. Take a hard look at your student loans and create
a strategic payoff plan that’s done as quickly as possible. Don’t wait
to start aggressively paying off student loans. Double the minimum
payments if you can afford it, or add to the minimum monthly payment.

•    Keep the spending in check. Make some sacrifices to be able to
put more money towards student loans. Don’t be ashamed to tell
your friends you can’t afford a trip or a dinner out. “You can’t say
yes to everything because you don’t have an infinite amount of
money,” Lynnette says.

•    Start saving and investing now. Save something rather than
nothing, even if it’s just $25 a paycheck. You’ll develop disci-
pline and over time, even small amounts of money can amass
and become large sums because of the power of compounded
interest. Make sure to take advantage of your employer-
sponsored retirement savings plan, such as a 401K or a
403B program.

For the Working Joe and/or Jane with Kids

•    Avoid the credit card debt trap. If you’re in credit card debt,
create a strategic payoff plan.

•    Regular savings is critical. Lynnette recommends three types
of savings accounts for working moms and dads:

1. Rainy day fund: cash needed for one-time, unforeseen events
such as the car or the washing machine breaking down.

2. Emergency fund: enough cash on hand to cover your living
expenses for 3-6 months in case of a long-term major life
disruption such as a job loss. For example, if your bills are
$2500 a month, you should have $7500 or more in this account.

3. College fund: such as a 529 plan, a state-sponsored college
savings vehicle where you can save money and invest in mutual
funds over time.

•    Use financial windfalls properly. Set aside a portion of your
income tax refund to build any of the three funds above.

•    Max out your retirement plan in 2014. Increase your contri-
butions gradually, add money back to your paycheck by adjusting
your tax withholdings at work, use your raise, and make sacrifices.
Scale back eating out and look at savvy ways to cut costs.

For the Baby Boomer

•    Rethink the impact of adult children and grandchildren on
your finances. Don’t be a victim of a financially abusive relation-
ship, which occurs anytime someone you know, trust, or love
takes economic advantage of you.

•    Plan for things that can wipe out retirement savings, such
as an accident, illness, or an aging parent’s expenses. Health
and disability insurance can be helpful here.

•    Make sure you have a will. Direct and protect your assets.
Name a guardian or custodian if you have minor-age children.


An award-winning financial news journalist, sought
after financial expert and radio personality, Lynnette
Khalfani-Cox has appeared on such national TV pro-
grams as The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Phil, Good
Morning America and Dr. Oz sharing her success
story and teaching millions about proper money
management and how to get out of debt and
eliminate their debt.

Also known as The Money Coach®, Lynnette has
authored numerous books, including the New York
Times bestseller Zero Debt: The Ultimate Guide to
Financial Freedom. Her latest book, Perfect Credit:
7 Steps to a Great Credit Rating, is a must-read
for people who want to establish, fix, improve, or
maintain credit. She’s currently working on her next
book, due out later this year, on how to save for a
college education without going broke.

Dave Says—

*Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business, and CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored fie New York Times best-selling books. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 11 million listeners each week on more than 550 radio stations and digital outlets. Dave’s latest project, EveryDollar, provides a free online budget tool. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at

(Dating and the budget)

Dear Dave,
I’ve been following your plan, and I’ve finally gotten out of debt and feel I have
control of my finances. I’m also single, and I was wondering if you have any tips
for how to gracefully mention financial topics and budgeting when you’re on a date.


Dear Paula,
Well, I don’t recommend bringing it up on a first date. If I’m a guy on the initial date
with a girl and the first thing out of her mouth is about finances and handling money,
that’s going to be pretty strange.

Now, if the first date turns into another and another and another, then you might
start talking about the deeper things in life and where you both stand. As you start
talking about more serious subjects, you’ll begin to learn if there’s enough of a basis
for a real relationship.

But the first date is just sort of an introduction, right? You’re both seeing if there’s any initial, mutual compatibility. Asking someone how much they make, or where they are
on their debt snowball in this scenario is officially weird-even by my standards. In other words, use manners and tact. They may be old fashioned words these days, but in
most cases they work well.

(More of a long-term spending thing)

Dear Dave,
I’ve started my four-year-old on an allowance structure and a chore chart. I also have a mini-envelope system with spending and saving set up, but I’m having trouble helping him distinguish between the two. How can I solve this?

Dear Monica,
At that age, any type of saving is going to be more of a glorified, long-term spending plan. The point is to teach them to delay gratification when you’re first starting out. And when you’re only four, two weeks is long term. The contents of the spending envelope should be kind of spontaneous. Let him take it on trips to the store, and if he wants a pack of gum or whatever, he can get it. The saving envelope, though, stays at home. Then, as he grows and his mind and reasoning develops a little more, you can really start teaching him about long-term goals and how to get there-including giving.

Don’t try to force a four-year-old to think five or 10 years into the future. We’re just trying to teach lessons here, and it doesn’t have to be done perfectly. Just be intentional, and try to find teachable moments as you go along.

(Don’t tithe with credit cards)

Dear Dave,
What is your opinion of churches encouraging members to do e-giving with credit
cards and debit cards?


Dear Melissa,
I’m against debt, so I’m not particularly fond of churches asking people to use a debt vehicle to pay their tithes. I realize that few businesses and organizations distinguish between debit cards and credit cards when accepting payment. However, this practice bothers me a lot when it comes to churches. The Bible mentions debt several times in Scripture, and every time it does, it’s always in a negative light. It’s not a salvation
issue or anything like that, but the Bible basically says debt is a foolish thing.Now, I think e-giving in itself is fine. But if I were the pastor or on the leadership board, and we had an e-giving process, I would strongly encourage people to use debit cards and not credit cards. There’s nothing wrong with a draft or an ACH kind of thing. A lot of people do that and like the ability to give online.

But I don’t want a giving situation to your church turn into debt to you. And it does just that when it’s a credit card!
– Dave

(Don’t insure cell phones)

Dear Dave,
I just bought a new smartphone, and the company I’m with offers insurance for
the device. Do you think it would be wise or foolish to do this?


Dear Lisa,
The purpose of insurance is to transfer a risk that you can’t afford to take. When it comes to things like cars or houses, I absolutely recommend that people have insurance. Most folks couldn’t just write a check for another car if the one they drive were totaled. It’s the same with a house. If your home is destroyed, the insurance takes care of things instead of putting you in the position of having to pull tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars out of your own pocket for a new home-also something most people can’t do.

No, I don’t insure inexpensive things like smartphones. And if a smartphone is an expensive item to you, then you probably shouldn’t have that phone. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with having a cell phone if you can afford it. But if you tear up a phone or it breaks down and you can’t afford to replace it out of your own pocket, then you’ve got too much phone!
– Dave