BOOK REVIEW
Repeat this mantra: Save, budget, prepare. Suze Orman’s newest book, “Suze Orman’s 2009 Action Plan,” is all about the details of handling finances in an unstable economy. Orman addresses not only the fear and anxiety that set in during the massive job layoffs of 2008 but how to fix the problems facing Americans while salvaging funds.

Starting right now, the 2009 Action Plan strategies will help save you save your financial future if you implement them correctly.

Take action. Orman acknowledges that being paralyzed by fear is not enough. Shoring up your life for the future is what is necessary to make it through the shaky economy that still exists in 2009, as unemployment rates continue to increase. Orman encourages readers to commit to take action.

If you care about financial security and your family and if you want to do everything in your power to protect yourself and your future, you will not get there with wishful thinking or procrastination. You cannot sit this one out, hoping that the storm will pass and everything will be just fine. If you do nothing, I am sorry to say, you may be in even more trouble in 2010. (See page 4 of the book).

The call to action is now. Orman pulls readers onto the floor and encourages them to change their financial habits.

Her book starts out by examining how the country ended up in financial shambles. Orman attributes the downfall to shady money deals. She goes over the housing market scandal, noting that if houses had not been given to people who could not afford to maintain a house, people would not be losing their houses left and right. She calls out lenders for providing unstable buyers with adjustable-rate mortgages and making promises on the market that did not pan out when markets went south and rates ballooned to unimaginable amounts. Orman provides sound advice for everyone eyeing a home in the current buyer’s market: Buy if you can afford to and secure a fixed-rate mortgage.

Orman continues on to dish out advice for people who seem to fit the middle to upper-middle class range. She covers strategies for having savings and retirement accounts for those experiencing a great deal of loss in the economy.

Fine points

Save

Start a saving's account. Begin a second job. Start a business. Do whatever it is you need to do now to save money in case of an emergency. Orman advocates having eight months of funds saved up for emergencies or in case you lose your job.

Insure

Those that do have savings and assets are encouraged to insure their funds. Orman describes how to handle insuring your funds, house and family for the future.

Invest

Orman says not to pull out of the stock market. Instead, continue to invest. Once the market stabilizes and grows, those who held on will reap the benefits.

More info

Visit www.suzeorman.com for more information about "Suze Orman's 2009 Spending Action Plan." The interactive program on her site allows people to enter monthly expenses, identify how much would be necessary for eight months of expenses, and pinpoints areas to save.

Angelic Jones

I am a native Chicagoan with a love for my city. I was born on the South Side. I am most interested in health and living. I attended University of Phoenix for a Masters in Health Administration and a Masters...