Title: "Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money with Your Honey"
Authors: Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar
Publisher: Adams Media, December 2009; 208 pages; $12.95
My friend Danielle LaPorte, at WhiteHotTruth.com, recently plead a virtually irrefutable case for the power of an invocation. Initiating any process or experience with a clear, ritualistic statement of your intention sets the energetic stage for both invoker and invokee — or author and reader, when the experience is a book. Invocations make it much more likely that the author’s intention will manifest into reality; that the message will hit its intended mark.
And so it is with the invocation that opens "Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money with Your Honey" (GFN), wherein authors Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar boldly declare, " ‘Get Financially Naked’ will empower you to live the life that makes your heart sing — on your own and in the context of your romantic relationship."
A grand statement of intention, this invocation creates big expectations, which, fortunately, the rest of the book does not disappoint.
Best friends who both hold master’s degrees in business administration from Harvard University and are chartered financial analysts, with "Get Financially Naked," Thakor and Kedar fulfill their promise to provide readers with "the roadmap, language and tactical tools to talk successfully about money" with their partner or spouse.
With money ranking on numerous recent studies as the No. 1 issue couples fight about and the most often-cited reason for divorce, successful money talks between partners seem like an exceedingly worthy aim.
The authors elaborate that their titular command to "Get Financially Naked" is, in fact, a two-step process. The first component of Thakor and Kedar’s financial nudity is for both members of the couple to "get on the same financial page," learning the skill of having constructive conversations on the subject of money and, thus, minimizing the financial stress on the relationship.
Step 2 involves making smart, joint decisions about money. The authors clarify up front that getting "financially naked" is (a) not an activity to be undertaken by anyone but serious and committed partners, and (b) a way of life to be practiced continuously for the duration of the relationship — it’s not a one-time thing.
Written primarily for women, and replete with examples of women whose lives were disrupted or brought to the brink of ruin by failing to have smart money conversations with their partners, GFN aims to ease the often painful process of creating alignment on money matters within a relationship.
To that end, in Part A, "Own Your Finances, Own Your Life," readers are guided through a written session of financial therapy, as the authors lead them through visualizing how their lives will be when they begin to live from a position of financial strength, getting clear on their existing financial beliefs and broaching the topic of money with their partner.
Part B, "Talking Money with Your Honey," guides readers through the process of assessing their financial compatibility with their mate and walks them through five specific, powerful financial questions to answer with their mate — including a couple of questions that explore the impact of each partner’s family financial history on the money area of the relationship.
The final section, Part C, "Time to Get Tactical," offers actionable tactics, rules and solutions for jointly managing savings, investing and financial planning. A useful appendix offers Thakor’s and Kedar’s answers to frequently asked questions.
"Get Financially Naked" is a short, simple, but smart and deep dive into the money issues that literally tear relationships and marriages apart. While it offers an orderly, calm approach to working through money disconnects and bringing them into alignment for couples who are already fully involved in a joint life, many longtime marrieds will read it and wish they had had these conversations way before getting married or committed.
In fact, GFN would be brilliantly used by couples contemplating spending their lives together, to explore and resolve money issues before they become real issues. Likewise, any woman with a hesitance or dread to confront money issues with herself, her parents, her boss, or anyone else with whom she needs to have money conversations might truly benefit from the therapeutic exercises offered in GFN.
Tara-Nicholle Nelson is author of "The Savvy Woman’s Homebuying Handbook" and "Trillion Dollar Women: Use Your Power to Make Buying and Remodeling Decisions." Ask her a real estate question online or visit her Web site, www.rethinkrealestate.com.
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