Occupation: Financial planner's office administrator
Personal life: Married 34 years with one 31-year-old daughter
Biggest financial concerns: The market meltdown changed my life because not only did my retirement savings diminish by over 30 percent, but I was also permanently let go from my position as an office administrator in January. Prior to this all happening, my husband and I were financially going in the right direction. We were saving for our retirement, and we were being very aggressive with paying down our mortgage and line of credit. Since I have lost my job, we have had to do a lot of planning and refocusing of our goals. We have reviewed everything in our budget, and we have made cutbacks in our spending. One of my financial concerns is whether I will be able to find a job in the financial planning field or if I will need to retrain in another area.
Lessons learned from The Difference: I read The Difference before I lost my job, and I felt good about the fact that I had many of the traits of the wealthy. The Difference is different in that it is not a cookie-cutter book of how to become rich. The Difference examines how personal traits influence your ability to gain wealth. But losing your job and reading The Difference helps you to focus on the positive of your situation instead of dwelling on the negative.
Favorite chapter from The Difference: Chapter 6: In Praise of the Do-Over. Chapter 6 is about resilience. I need to be resilient right now! I reread parts of The Difference after I lost my job and focused on the 11 coping strategies to increase my resilience quotient. There is no sense beating myself up about the recession, losing net worth and not being employed. Negative energy will not help me to get where I need to go. Being optimistic and positive and using this time to focus on the things that really matter (i.e., family and friends) is important. I also am using this time to develop a long-term financial plan using the advice in The Difference. I feel very lucky to have been chosen as one of the first 100 readers!