I’m On My Own and So Are You: Financial Security for Women by Judy Resnick – A Book Review

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The following post is by MPFJ staff writer, Melissa Batai. Melissa is a freelance writer who covers topics ranging from personal finance to business to organics to food. She blogs at Mom’s Plans, where she shares her family’s journey to healthier living and paying down debt.

Women on average live longer than their husbands, sometimes decades longer if the husband dies young or the woman marries a much older man.  In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, American women can expect to live 80.1 years, while American men only live 74.8 years (WebMD).  Yet despite the likelihood that many women will live perhaps decades longer than their husbands, they still often remain blissfully ignorant about finances. 

Judy Resnick, a financial planner in Los Angeles, seeks to educate all women about their finances and empower them to make their own financial choices rather than relying on a man in her book titled, I’m On My Own and So Are You.

About Judy Resnick

Resnick came of age during the 1950s, and her mother made it clear that her job as a teenager was to look her best and attract a worthwhile mate.  Instead, much of Resnick’s youth was spent rebelling against her parents and finding “bad boys”.  She settled down with one, had two children, and soon found herself divorced.  Even after her divorce, she continued to rely on men until the 1980s when she learned to care for herself financially and emotionally.

Who Should Read This Book?

This book is written for all women (and even for the men who love them).  Taking care of money shouldn’t be solely a man’s job. 

Even if a woman is happily married and never faces divorce, she needs to be involved in the family finances and understand how money works.  Resnick’s own mother was blissfully ignorant about the family finances.  When her husband died unexpectedly, she found out that her husband had much less money than she had always thought.  In addition, she had no idea how to handle finances on her own and relied on Resnick to pay her bills and take care of her.  Resnick believes that no woman should be in this position, and I agree with her.

For other women who get divorced or are widowed or never marry, learning how to handle their own finances is essential.  In her work as a financial planner, Resnick has seen many women who rely on men to support them and take care of them.  When one man leaves or dies, these woman are on the hunt for the next man to take care of them, which, not surprisingly, gets more difficult as the woman ages.

Strengths of the Book

The main strength of this book is that Resnick explains finances in plain English, in a way that anyone will understand.  Investing can be particularly intimidating and overwhelming to some women, but Resnick does an excellent job explaining the various investments as well as investing terminology.  Her thought is that even if a woman isn’t going to invest for herself, she needs to understand investments enough so that she understands how others, like a financial advisor, invest for her.

Additionally, this book isn’t just a dry financial book.  Resnick weaves stories from her own life throughout the book, giving the book a human touch.  In fact, her personal story is so compelling that I kept reading just to see what would happen to her next.

Weakness of the Book

Overall, I find the book very valuable.  However, some women may be annoyed with the way Resnick always expects the worst.  Women who are married to trustworthy men will likely be annoyed when Resnick seems to present men as enemy number one.  However, in Resnick’s line of work, she has seen women in a variety of circumstances, and many of the women end up in bad spots because they blindly trust the men in their lives.  Resnick’s motto is expect the best, prepare for the worst.

If you are a woman or if you’re a married man or father of a daughter, I’m On My Own and So Are You should be recommended reading.  Empowering women to be involved in the family finances is Resnick’s goal, and she presents a very interesting read explaining how to do just that.
How about you all? Have you ever heard of or read this book?

Do the women or men in your life tend to take more responsibility for the finances, or is it shared?

Share your experiences by commenting below!
    ***Photo courtesy of Amazon.com

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