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The Last Chance Millionaire: It's Not Too Late to Become Wealthy

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This is a prescriptive and contrarian personal finance book geared towards baby boomers looking at retirement. It presents pathways to reaching financial security, regardless of one's age. This is a prescriptive and contrarian personal finance book geared towards baby boomers looking at retirement. It presents pathways to reaching financial security, regardless of one's age.


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This is a prescriptive and contrarian personal finance book geared towards baby boomers looking at retirement. It presents pathways to reaching financial security, regardless of one's age. This is a prescriptive and contrarian personal finance book geared towards baby boomers looking at retirement. It presents pathways to reaching financial security, regardless of one's age.

30 review for The Last Chance Millionaire: It's Not Too Late to Become Wealthy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Gallup

    I reviewed this book two years ago but have often thought since then that I'd missed the mark. I'm finally returning to peel off two of the stars I originally gave it and to say why. Some of the advice given to me to promote my own book has been based on the notion that an author should have a "back end." That is, a mere book itself is not the thing that makes you really successful. The book just catches people's attention long enough for you to sell them another, more expensive product. Ideally, I reviewed this book two years ago but have often thought since then that I'd missed the mark. I'm finally returning to peel off two of the stars I originally gave it and to say why. Some of the advice given to me to promote my own book has been based on the notion that an author should have a "back end." That is, a mere book itself is not the thing that makes you really successful. The book just catches people's attention long enough for you to sell them another, more expensive product. Ideally, you can then maintain a relationship in which your readers continue adding to your wealth for years to come. In my case, a book is all I have or want to offer. The vast majority of books I like to read are also one-offs. But by the above criterion, Douglas Andrew is far more successful because his books point to a back end in which you gradually convert your home equity and retirement accounts into a life insurance contract, on which he earns a commission. If you accept Andrew's argument that the IRS has its eyes on your retirement savings and that, thanks to our irresponsible government, the future is bleak even for people who've followed all the rules and have saved regularly, then you may also accept his solution. Back in '09, I attended his weekend "Clarity Retreat" as well as other presentations, all of which recapitulated the book's message. His observations about the government resonated with me. The pitch was interesting and thought-provoking and it challenged a lot of long-held assumptions. My impression was that Doug was on the level. On the other hand, I learned the hard way that at least some of the people he associates with are not. I'm speaking in particular of an attorney (specializing in estates and trusts) whom I heartily wish I'd never met. This shyster had some kind of relationship with Doug Andrew, was part of his back end, I suppose. A few years after our paths crossed I read that the attorney in question had been disbarred by the state supreme court. My experience with him (plus my impression of another guy later introduced to give a webiner selling some other product) soured me on everything the Missed Fortune folks have to offer. Last year I unsubscribed from their emails and set up filters to ensure I'd never hear from them again. Read this book if you want an unconventional take on the value of IRAs, 401(k)s, and a paid-off mortgage. Follow through with an insurance contract if that seems right for you. The product available through this guy is probably as good as any, but watch out for his friends. Maybe this is why the recent advice I've heard about dreaming up some kind of back end sounds so repulsive.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    Great information on how to invest without risking your money but I'm not sure it's up to date anylonger since the tax codes they talk about are from 1988. None the less, it gives you something to think about and look into without risking your hard earned money in the stock market. Great information on how to invest without risking your money but I'm not sure it's up to date anylonger since the tax codes they talk about are from 1988. None the less, it gives you something to think about and look into without risking your hard earned money in the stock market.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Wes Light

    This book is a bit dated, but that is not the major issue I have with it. The major issue I have with it is it constantly promotes a form of arbitrage using the equity in your home and putting it into "conservative" investments. I think remortgaging and using the equity to invest is much more risk than the average joe should undertake. This book is a bit dated, but that is not the major issue I have with it. The major issue I have with it is it constantly promotes a form of arbitrage using the equity in your home and putting it into "conservative" investments. I think remortgaging and using the equity to invest is much more risk than the average joe should undertake.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Candy

    I was a little disappointed in this book at first. The case studies and examples were only for baby boomers, but that was the author's intention. But in the end it made me feel like there is hope for me yet since I'm not as old as that. I felt his descriptions of his recommended investments were confusing. But the information on why you should keep a mortgage was worth the read. I was a little disappointed in this book at first. The case studies and examples were only for baby boomers, but that was the author's intention. But in the end it made me feel like there is hope for me yet since I'm not as old as that. I felt his descriptions of his recommended investments were confusing. But the information on why you should keep a mortgage was worth the read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    John

    This book is primarily a sales pitch aimed at getting you to borrow against your home to buy indexed universal life insurance.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cara

    This book provided an interesting counterpoint to last weekend’s wealth book, which talked about how all the people who bought houses with adjustable rate mortgages got royally fucked during the housing meltdown. This book was written right before the housing meltdown and vigorously advises taking all the equity out of your house, keeping it out, and getting tax breaks by paying as much mortgage interest as possible—ideally with an interest-only ARM. That’s just not good advice for most people. This book provided an interesting counterpoint to last weekend’s wealth book, which talked about how all the people who bought houses with adjustable rate mortgages got royally fucked during the housing meltdown. This book was written right before the housing meltdown and vigorously advises taking all the equity out of your house, keeping it out, and getting tax breaks by paying as much mortgage interest as possible—ideally with an interest-only ARM. That’s just not good advice for most people. Even if housing prices only went up, as we’ve seen is not the case, it fails to take into account human nature. But I digress. The idea is to borrow as much money against your house as possible, to get those “lazy, idle dollars” out of your house and out making you money. (I swear, if I had a lazy, idle dollar for every time he used that phrase, I’d be a millionaire already! After a while, I wanted to punch the guy.) Instead of paying for your house, you borrow all the money, and then the internet is tax deductible, so you invest the money that’s not in your house in something else that brings in at least as much interest, and poof! It’s magically like making money and not paying taxes! ...except there are a lot of holes in that math. But I kept reading, even though he went on and on, saying the same thing over and over and giving really patronizing examples, because I wanted to know what the mythical investment vehicle was that would yield a greater return than the interest rate on mortgages at any given time, while also being perfectly safe and totally liquid. Oh, and you never ever have to pay taxes on it, either! Suspense!!! (view spoiler)[It turns out it’s indexed universal life policies. He considers you to not pay taxes when you buy it because you’re offsetting those taxes with the tax deduction for your mortgage interest, and then you get around paying taxes on what you take out by “withdrawing” only the original contributions and taking the growth as “loans.” And then when you die, the value passes tax-free to your heirs as the death benefit. Also, you can borrow against it to get money out any time, and there are no limits or mandatory disbursements like with IRAs. (hide spoiler)] It’s apparently complicated and fraught with peril as regards setting up the contract properly for the results you want, but if you get it right, it does sound pretty cool. Overall, it seemed like the book was 80% long-winded hype, but I probably will look into the insurance policy thing when I have extra money. Find a real financial advisor who doesn’t have a conflict of interest and get his/her take on it. I’m definitely not mortgaging my house to the nth degree, though. With the current standard deduction, I’d have to buy a really expensive house to even have enough interest to deduct in the first place, and here’s the thing. In order to have an expense to take off your taxes, you have to have an expense in the first place. And when you do, it’s not like that expense magically becomes free. You could see it like getting a discount, but you’re still paying. If you see it as paying rent on the money you’re keeping liquid to invest, then maybe it makes sense, but I’d still want to see the return from the insurance thingie at the very least be higher than the mortgage interest rate. It’s not clear whether that’s actually how it is in real life or not. (Of course it is in his examples, but he also has a school teacher buying a half-million-dollar house in his example. Um, yeah.) Overall, this book was like reading a headache, but I wasn’t familiar with the idea of whole life insurance policies as an investment before. I’ve mostly just heard “don’t ever buy them ever.” It’s an intriguing idea. I’m definitely curious whether it’s actually a good one. Notes: P. 269 Criteria: 1. Policy must be structured properly for taxes, minimum death benefit, and maximum funding as early as possible. 2. Company rated AAA by S&P or A++ by A.M. Best or Comdex score >= 70. 3. Company has enough liquid assets to feel confident that you could get your money out any time you want. (How would you know this? Doesn’t say.)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Interesting to read financial advice from a different angle. I agree with investing the difference versus paying off the mortgage sooner. However, not by using an interest only mortgage. I didn't even bother to read the insurance chapter which made me immediately think of an insurance salesman hawking annuity plan for retirement. Randomly found it in my vacation rental so doubtful I would have purchased the book. Interesting to read financial advice from a different angle. I agree with investing the difference versus paying off the mortgage sooner. However, not by using an interest only mortgage. I didn't even bother to read the insurance chapter which made me immediately think of an insurance salesman hawking annuity plan for retirement. Randomly found it in my vacation rental so doubtful I would have purchased the book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Glen Leavens

    Whole life? Interesting and unlikely way to grow wealth.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jon

    Andrew starts with a good discussion of the basics, such as compound interest vs. simple interest, and the different types of tax-advantaged retirement accounts most Americans use, as well as knocking down a few myths about Social Security. If you need the primer, this is some good foundational material. He dropped hints along the way which led me to believe that he's going to propose something similar to the universal/whole life insurance policy-based juggling act proposed in Dan Thompson's Dis Andrew starts with a good discussion of the basics, such as compound interest vs. simple interest, and the different types of tax-advantaged retirement accounts most Americans use, as well as knocking down a few myths about Social Security. If you need the primer, this is some good foundational material. He dropped hints along the way which led me to believe that he's going to propose something similar to the universal/whole life insurance policy-based juggling act proposed in Dan Thompson's Discovering Hidden Treasures. One serious issue I have with some of his basic information is that its underlying assumptions about returns are flawed. Dave Ramsey does the same thing, telling his viewers that it's possible to earn a steady 12% return in the right mutual funds year to year. That's simply not true, I'm afraid. Thompson talks about making huge equity gains in the real estate market, which you can tap into by refinancing your home and using the money to invest (something I heard about years ago, called the Smith Maneuver), but this book was published in 2007 - just before the big real estate bubble burst. If your investment time horizon is long enough, returns in the stock and real estate markets are positive - over the LONG haul. Timing those markets can be a real, pardon the phrase - bear. Reading on through. my surmises turn out to be correct. Andrew recommends purchasing a "properly structured investment grade life insurance policy", and basically funding the policy to the maximum allowed by tax law, in order to get a guaranteed tax-free return on your retirement funds. If it meets federal guidelines for insurance policies, then you can withdraw the proceeds tax-free up to the point where you've withdrawn the equivalent of your "basis", I believe, after which you can take out loans against the principal and, in theory, still pass on the full face value of the policy to your heirs when you pass on. Though it goes against the whole "buy term and invest the difference" motto I've used for several deccades now in my own investing, I thought it might be worth taking a peek...until I discovered that the whole book is simply a referral to his own firm, and that the only other firms he recommends must be affiliated with him and "properly trained" to set up these types of contracts. In fact, you can't even get a list of the names of these firms without going through his agents, it appears. Just another well-disguised sales pitch, sold as a book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Geoffrey

    This book presents the idea of utilizing indexed universal life insurance as a tax free retirement alternative with the idea that the premium payments are tax deductible and then you can borrow against it down the road, tax free. While this strategy should be one of many tax advantage retirement strategies that should be given consideration, you should not bet the house on it - which is exactly what this book attempts to convince you to do. The most dangerous assumption that this book takes on, This book presents the idea of utilizing indexed universal life insurance as a tax free retirement alternative with the idea that the premium payments are tax deductible and then you can borrow against it down the road, tax free. While this strategy should be one of many tax advantage retirement strategies that should be given consideration, you should not bet the house on it - which is exactly what this book attempts to convince you to do. The most dangerous assumption that this book takes on, and never addresses, is that you need to have a steady and reliable source of income to pay the debt service on any additional loans taken out against your home. This is a risky proposition for novice investors. For experienced investors, this technique puts all of your investment decisions into the hands of the fund managers at the insurance company(s). Again this is risky proposition for different reasons. The take away from this book for me, is that if you are a competent and experienced investor, over the long run you are better off keeping some debt on your primary residence and leveraging that equity into investments that you understand and control.

  11. 4 out of 5

    A

    This book is enormously entertaining in the horrible and bad advice the author gives for investing. Written in 2007, Douglas Andrew assumed the world would continue in its path of growth in the housing market. Recommending that homeowners take out interest only loans on their equity and invest the money may have been good advice in 2007, but ten years later, the market has proved that as foolish. The number of people who took out interest only loans learned 5 years later they still owed all the This book is enormously entertaining in the horrible and bad advice the author gives for investing. Written in 2007, Douglas Andrew assumed the world would continue in its path of growth in the housing market. Recommending that homeowners take out interest only loans on their equity and invest the money may have been good advice in 2007, but ten years later, the market has proved that as foolish. The number of people who took out interest only loans learned 5 years later they still owed all the money they borrowed, and now their homes were worth less than when the loans were taken out. I guess Douglas Andrew never thought of that. Please read this book to see that even though it was a best seller, the advice was horrible.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sophorn

    Most people pay tax on their harvest, when they should pay tax on the seeds. Most people depend on 401k for their main source for retirement. What I've in this book: 1. Investing in indexing product such as the Idexed Universal Life [IUL:] is the best strategy for retirement saving. People should max out on their Insurance Pension Plan is the way to shelter tax. 2. People should use their money in their home to invest in Indexing product such as IUL or Fixed Index Annuity. Most people pay tax on their harvest, when they should pay tax on the seeds. Most people depend on 401k for their main source for retirement. What I've in this book: 1. Investing in indexing product such as the Idexed Universal Life [IUL:] is the best strategy for retirement saving. People should max out on their Insurance Pension Plan is the way to shelter tax. 2. People should use their money in their home to invest in Indexing product such as IUL or Fixed Index Annuity.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hamish Davidson

    His core principle doesn't apply in Australia. I guess that's why I found this audio book in the sellout pile... His core principle doesn't apply in Australia. I guess that's why I found this audio book in the sellout pile...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Bloomquist

    Lots of bad ideas in parts of this book in the year 2011.

  15. 4 out of 5

    John

    It was 10 discs, but they were all worth hearing. Turn your car into a classroom - let doug andrew be your portable professor.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Eileen

    some of the worst financial advice I've ever heard. actions like those recommended contributed to the mortgage meltdown. some of the worst financial advice I've ever heard. actions like those recommended contributed to the mortgage meltdown.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Gilman

    he lost me at "dont pay off your house" he lost me at "dont pay off your house"

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kim Lee

  19. 5 out of 5

    John

  20. 5 out of 5

    WALDEMAR QUINONES

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jerry Williams

  22. 5 out of 5

    Randy

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dave Clark

  24. 5 out of 5

    Diana Thomas

  25. 4 out of 5

    Josh Haslam

  26. 4 out of 5

    Connie Avery

  27. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne

  28. 5 out of 5

    Ahmed Maher

  29. 5 out of 5

    Frank

  30. 4 out of 5

    Keith

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