Book Review – RESET

Many thanks to David Sawyer for sending me a copy of his book “RESET – How to Restart Your Life and Get F.U. Money” months ago and apologies that it has taken me this long to read and absorb it. I can only give wedding brain as an excuse!

I was really excited to receive this book as it is specifically about UK based financial independence so rather than talking about healthcare and your 401k we get ISAs and SIPPs! But it’s not all about the numbers. David dedicates the first part of the book to helping readers figure out what matters to them and how that relates to their ideas about money, in particular how they spend it – quoting Jacob Lund Fisker “…the pursuit of happiness isn’t found through the pursuit of accumulating things”.

From there, the book moves on to practical ideas on using digital skills to maximise your income and happiness in your career by securing a promotion, finding a new job or career or simply by learning to like your current job more. Bear in mind that this book is aimed at those aged 35 to 60 but is applicable to those either side – wherever you are, in this technological age, our digital skills can always be improved and I ended up with quite a list of tips to try out.

Now that we’ve tidied up our digital skills, David encourages us to tidy up the rest of our lives. I get very excited about decluttering and one of the books currently on my reading list is Gretchen Rubin’s “Outer Order Inner Calm“. There are more practical ideas here to get your life in order based on the principles of minimalism and efficiency with the aim of giving you more time, energy and brain space for the more important things.

And only then do we get to the numbers as David talks us through budgeting, frugality (but not too much – remember your values) and investing. A big difference to all of the US based passive investing information and advice is that David suggests a safe withdrawal rate of 3.5% for us UK investors rather than the much celebrated 4%. This is based on the work of Dr Wade D Pfau (Professor of Retirement Income at The American College of Financial Services) who has undertaken vast research on the topic of safe withdrawal rates in retirement and in particular with a global view rather than a US based one. Disappointing in terms of the size of the assets we Brits will need to build to reach financial independence but better safe than elderly and destitute!

We finish off with some life principles – my favourite “Be Different” – and a few more Do’s and Don’ts for work, relationships, productivity and happiness. This was a really enjoyable book; David has a great style of writing, makes complex topics clear and throws lots of jokes in to keep sometimes dry subjects interesting. Overall, it inspired me to make changes in areas of my life I didn’t expect and gave me a push to review my investments – I’ve been a bit haphazard with investing so far, mainly because there isn’t a lot of UK based advice for passive investors and certainly hardly anything this specific. Wherever you are in your journey to financial independence there is something for you in this book that will improve your life perhaps more than you expect.

Let me know if you’ve read RESET and what you thought about it in the comments. And give me your best recommendations for non-fiction books – what are you currently reading?


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