Financially Independent, Retired Early(ish) at 57.

A recommended financial reading list.

I’ve always felt that a financial reading list was a necessary thing that this blog lacked. As an educator, this was something I had to fix. What’s the purpose of finding out about things if you can’t share the love with other people?

I thought I’d get onto it straight away. But damn… Retirement’s just so good! The last 10 months have drifted by so quickly, even in lockdowns. It was always on my mind in that annoying, ever-present ‘To Do’ list that I carry around in my brain.

It’s easy to ignore your own list. But then last week I had two readers contact me and ask if I could put them onto some books to buy for their kids to get them off to a good start. What better way to answer than to share the books that I’ve given to my own family?

If you look up at the header, you’ll see I’ve added a new page. This page is a little different to the ones on other blogs because the first list of books are the ones that I’ve been buying for my 4 sons and 2 nieces each Christmas. These are the books that I wanted to have on the kids’ shelves so that when they were ready for the information, they’d have everything they need right at their fingertips.

Some of the books are designed for young people starting off. Others are the books that helped me on my learning curve of getting my head around Financial Independence and investing, back when I was a single mother desperate to claw my way out of the hole I found myself in. Of course, I want the kids to have the information NOW, not to wait until their 40’s and 50’s like I did.

These books are the bare necessities of a great framework for understanding how the financial world works, along with understanding debt, investing, and how to efficiently organise your financial life. Anyone who has them on a shelf within easy reach has a fantastic grounding in how to make money work for them, instead of the other way around.

The second list has the books that I’ve enjoyed but were not bought for the kids. At the moment they’re all about different aspects of retirement, but over time this list will be much broader. So much to learn!

Please jump over and have a look at the lists. Let me know what you think. Do you have any recommendations for books that I can tackle for myself, as well as books I can consider for next Christmas?

I’m open to suggestions.

Dad joke of the day:

What do you call cheese that isn’t yours?

Nacho Cheese.


  1. Jeff

    That’s an excellent list Frogdancer!!
    I’d add the following 3 books to your list (granted, they are US-centric);
    1. The Psychology of Money by Morgan Hounsel
    2. A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel
    3. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by Jack Bogle

    I also enjoyed the following 3 books by Australian writers;
    1. Creating Real Wealth by Michael Kemp
    2. Take a Financial Leap by Pete Wargent
    3. The Wealth Way also by Pete Wargent

    Whilst reading The Richest Man in Babylon at least once is mandatory, I strongly recommend re-reading it so the metaphors sink in and the penny drops…

    • FrogdancerJones

      Haha! I’m 5th on the waiting list at the library for ‘The Psychology of Money.’ I’ve heard good things about it. 🙂

  2. Latestarterfire

    I really liked I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi – it’s an entertaining read & aimed at the youngsters – my suggestion for the Christmas list. The bits about setting up automation need some Aussie fine tuning but the principle applies. What I loved best is the key question he asks – what does your rich life look like? Once you nail this, it’s a matter of working to make it happen

  3. Jeff

    Funnily enough, the books I read nowadays are on psychology and mindset rather than investing. I recently picked up Atomic Habits by James Clear and Influence by Robert Cialdini. The latter tops Charlie Munger’s book list

  4. Deb

    You may want to check out Quit like a Millionaire by Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung. They are a young Canadian couple who were able to retire in their early 30’s. The book is easy to read and they have a great sense of humour.

    • FrogdancerJones

      I haven’t read this one yet, but of course I know their blog. It’s been on my mental list of possibles for the kids. I’ll have to get onto it now after reading this! Thanks.

  5. Girt

    Thanks for doing this FDJ. I have read about half of these but will certainly chase down some others. Also, I really like your idea of giving young adults a financial book every year …. even if they don’t read them the presence of the titles in their bedrooms must surely raise the priority of sensible money management in their brains.

    Also, I thought I’d add my favourite money book which is a Canadian one by Shannon Lee Simmons called ‘Worry Free Money’. IMO, she puts forward the best, most realistic approach for achieving your life aims in real life with when income and expenditure are often not too predictable, and willpower can be in short supply.

    • FrogdancerJones

      I haven’t heard of this one before. Will definitely chase it down, thanks.

  6. Mandy

    For your NZ based readers I love the Mary Holm books. And Hannah McQueen’s earlier books as well. She’s more into property investment now so I find those less useful. Good thing about NZ and Australian books is much of the info easily crosses over unlike books from the US market.

    • FrogdancerJones

      Yes, I know more about Roth IRAs etc than I need to! Thanks for those recommendations – I’ll hunt them up. 🙂

    • FrogdancerJones

      Thanks. I’ll look them up. 🙂

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