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                      Lose excess debt by dieting
                      By SHEILA MULLAN
   Comment            Last Updated: 4:41 AM, October 31, 2010
                      Posted: 10:26 PM, October 30, 2010
                      Comments:      0
                           Like      14 people like this.

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                      Financial expert Susan Hirshman, author of the ironic "Does This Make My Assets Look Fat? A
                      Woman's Guide to Finding Financial Empowerment and Success," knows some women might not
                      want to read about personal finance, so she wrote a book about something women are familiar
                      with: dieting.

                      The result is top-flight advice. Imagine a banker with world-class credentials sitting down at your
                      kitchen table to hold your hand, offer you tea and sympathy and set up your financial life,
                      savings, retirement, insurance and tell you how to keep it all going. Hirshman has the CPA, MBA,
                      Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and CFA credentials and worked at a top accounting firm, and
                      most recently was a managing director at a global investment bank. But she recently left the bank
                      to embark on her mission to educate women (and men!) on how to manage their own money. "I
                      left to live my passion," she said.

                                                                                    Now she likens money to being on a
                                                                                    diet. Just the way the scale won't lie,
                                                                                    neither will your checkbook, so it's best
                                                                                    to overcome one's financial fear, cut
                                                                                    down credit-card debt and create a
                                                                                    financial plan with saving and retirement
                                                                                    goals. Both women and men should
                                                                                    both be aware of what's going on in their
                                                                                    financial lives, and create a financial

                                                                                    "I have seen bad things happen to too
                                                                                    many good women and too many good
                                                                                    men, also," said Hirshman. "Don't be
                                                                                    part of the 'if-only' club. Especially
                                                                                    during the financial crisis, people said, 'If
                                                                                    only I knew my husband was invested
                                                                                    so aggressively,' or 'if only I knew that I
                                                                                    should not have been spending so much
                                                                                    money.' All of us have stories. But it's
                                                                                    not fun to be part of the 'if-only' club. It's

                                                                                    painful. And to me, personal finance is
                                                                                    all about having choices, now and in the                                     Today in Pictures

                                                                                    For example, just the way that too many
                                                                                    potato chips will catch up to your
                                                                                    waistline, so will too much credit-card
                                                                                    usage: Eventually "you will have to
                                                                                    make really tough, unfortunate choices,"
                                                                                    she said.

                                                                                She maintains you could set up your
                                                                                mutual fund retirement investment
                                                                                strategy in about 10 hours through her
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                                                                                each year. But her fund advice boils
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                       an incredible 80% off!                                   person needing advice on retirement,
                                                medical issues, wills, estates and taxes.
                                                                                And the detailed goals quiz alone is
                                                                                worth the book price. She also salts
                      financial advice with humor: New Yorkers who feel they don't need to save for retirement because
                      they might be dead by then due to a partying lifestyle should know that many who once felt that
                      way lived into their nineties.

                      "It's never too early to begin a financial plan, and it's also never too late," she said.

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