Why You Need to Put the Personal in Your Personal Finances

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By Richard Eisenberg

Tim Maurer, a Charleston, S.C.-based Certified Financial Planner who just wrote the book Simple Money: A No-Nonsense Guide to Personal Finance has an enlightening, if unconventional notion. To Maurer, personal finance is more personal than finance.

“As I looked at the landscape of personal finance books, there is almost a shtick they have developed into: Here’s what you need to do and now go and do it,” Maurer told me. “But from my perspective, there hasn’t been enough about motivation — why people need to do things. There’s been very little on the emotional aspect, which is more nuanced. It’s the behavioral finance end of it.”

That makes sense to me, so I had a conversation with the bow-tied iconoclast to hear his personal finance advice, particularly for people in their 50s and 60s.

Maurer’s day job is a wealth adviser and director of personal finance for Buckingham Asset Management and the BAM Alliance. The married father of two sons told me he wrote the book because “I wanted to see what would it look like if we looked at personal finance through the Why. It’s the semi-rebellious spirit in me that never liked people telling me a handful of things I was supposed to do and a whole bunch not to do.

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