Ten things every unmarried person needs to know about money are explored in the brief nonfiction book UNMARRIED AND DEBT-FREE. Sole-income earners have much to consider when attempting to stay afloat financially now while concurrently planning for a secure retirement later, and this book offers a quick description of the most important points.
These considerations are broken down into 10 chapters that cover creating a monthly budget, establishing good credit, starting an emergency savings fund, paying off debt, investing in your future, buying a home, acquiring disability insurance, purchasing life insurance, serving God through serving others, and deciding whether or not to marry. The order of the chapters may not correlate chronologically with the needs of all readers, but the information is sound—particularly in the first eight chapters, along with helpful end notes and resources.
In Chapter 5, “Invest in Your Future,” for example, the author discusses appropriate types of accounts in which to invest, employer-sponsored savings, Social Security benefits, individual retirement accounts, Medicare, long-term care, estate planning, and social connections after retirement. Some of the latter recommendations for staying connected to the community are volunteering, exercising, working part-time, keeping up with current events, continuing your education, joining a dating site, and finding Meet-Up groups.
The final two chapters don’t fit particularly well with the other material. Chapter 9 discusses having a relationship with God, giving to charity, and giving back to the community—all fine ideas, but not directly related to a fact-based book on finances. Likewise, the oddly placed last chapter, “Before You Wed,” describes three kinds of people: single and satisfied, contentedly single but open to marriage, and seeking a spouse. Author Livia Kelly emphasizes the importance of couples discussing their financial views before marriage in order to determine compatibility, but besides that, the short chapter offers little of value for those seeking financial advice.
The writing throughout the book is clear, concise, and free of errors. Readers can swiftly breeze through the material in a couple of hours, even if they stop to take a few notes along the way. The monthly budget worksheets provided here are quite useful and can be copied to help plan expenses. This book would be helpful especially to younger people without much experience with finances who want to get off to a good start in their careers.
At only 57 pages, Livia Kelly’s UNMARRIED AND DEBT-FREE provides basic, sound and useful information about achieving financial success on your own, plus two short chapters on tangentially related spiritual and marital matters.
~Carol Michaels for IndieReader