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The Ultimate Financial Plan: Balancing Your Money and Life by Tim Maurer, Jim Stovall

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Introduction

“Okay, what did the old goat give me?”

In The Ultimate Gift, billionaire Red Stevens’s stratospheric financial success had created a generation of greed and sloth in his family. He had created an enormous estate, but no legacy of character that would be passed on. He hoped to make it right from the grave by putting his youngest relative, grandnephew Jason Stevens, through a grueling 12 months of life lessons to upend his view of money and life. The only way Jason would receive his inheritance was to comply.

Who is the main character in The Ultimate Gift? The billionaire, Red Stevens, or perhaps the playboy spendthrift, Jason Stevens? No, it’s MONEY. Or, at least, that’s what Jason thought. After all, who among us can claim that money is not a main character in our lives? We rarely escape a day in which it is not spent, moved, invested, swindled, wasted, or earned, and even if we sought to eliminate its influence in our lives, we’d be sure to fail at that task. And that’s okay, because while it is not an adequate love, passion, or muse, it is also not irrelevant, unimportant, or evil. Money must not be the hero in our story, but it is an excellent supporting cast member.

Much like Jason Stevens, we need to allow our minds to be reprogrammed (regularly) to put money in its place—or places, really. Those places often include tangible “buckets” like checking accounts, savings accounts, 401ks, IRAs, Roth IRAs, education savings plans, and real estate as well as home, auto, ...

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