Reader Comments

I’m a financial advisor, and I used to recommend Andrew Tobias’ book “The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need” to my clients that wanted to learn more about investing.  Not any more.  Not only is Ron’s book much more comprehensive, but I also like Ron’s no nonsense, common sense approach.  Ron gives unbiased, consistently great advice on a wide range of financial and retirement related topics.  Just don’t try to read this book too quickly; there is simply too much good information to take it all in at once!  In short, if you want a great source of financial ideas and advice, and a handy reference that you can go back to again and again, then buy this book.

– C. Carpenter (June 2015)

Ron has taking something that can be intimidating and confusing and made it straight forward and easy to understand.  This book helped me to assess where I stand financially and I can honestly say that it opened my eyes to what lays ahead and how I still have the opportunity to control my own financial future as I approach 40 years of age.  It also has provided me with a lesson plan, of sorts, to begin educating my kids on financial discipline and on the importance of starting early.  Just a great book.

 – C. Foote (July 2014)

This is an awesome book that answers any questions you might have about your personal finances and how to manage your money in the most responsible way to ensure a secure financial future.  I have two daughters in their 20s and I plan on buying this book for each of them so that they can understand the importance of saving for the future and taking personal responsibility for their life.  This book is very well written and explains every concept in great detail.

– J. Frensley (February 2014)


I’ve read a few books on personal finance and this is definitely one of the better ones.  The author walks you through the basic steps of taking stock of your current situation (ugh – hate that part but a necessary evil) and then how to create a road map to where you WANT to go.

Navigating you through all the different financial tools in a straight forward ‘down to earth’ language it most importantly shows you ways on where to find this money in your current budget.  What really stood out to me where the little nuggets on how to ‘save’ money. Example of Self Insurance: He suggests to raise your car insurance deductible from generally $250 to $1,000. This slashes your cost of car insurance by roughly 15-25%. Now, each month use the money you safe to put it in a ‘rainy day car insurance fund’. In a very short amount of time you will have enough money to cover the deductible yourself should you need it BUT save that money every time from then on. Personally, I’m happy I haven’t had a claim in about 10 years. That’s a lot of money that could have been flowing into my pocket.

Another one was on how to negotiate medical expenses with your provider. Incredibly important for people that don’t have great health insurance or none at all.  Don’t want to make this to long so let me just state that its a book worth getting.  Just one of these tips in it can save you 10 times the cost of the book or more.  Enjoy it, I did.

D. S. (December 2013)

Knowledge is power and this book will give you the knowledge you need to
understand financial planning. I am a software engineer who would rather work on software than wade the treacherous waters known as financial planning. Ron has simplified financial planning so anyone can understand it. He provides easy to use tools and some very simple and basic rules anyone can follow. If you have
someone managing your money, this book will give the knowledge and power you
need to make sure they are doing the right things. You will be able ask the
right questions and understand what is happening to your money. This is an easy
read. If you want to make sure you will have secure financial future this book
is a good place to start.

– D. Darling (November 2013)

Like other forty somethings, I have reached that point in life where I can no
longer ignore the future. Retirement isn’t so far away anymore. I have only
recently thought about seriously preparing for my future, but the available
literature on the subject is so overwhelming. Climbing the Financial Mountain
was recommended to me by a friend, so I thought I would give it a try. Once I
started reading the book, I couldn’t put it down. Mr. Hawks explains things in a
way a blue collar guy like me can understand. He uses good common sense, and
explains things in an easy to follow way, that kept my interest, and conveys
very meaningful and thoughtful information. I highly recommend this book to
anyone that needs that first step onto the path of responsible financial or
retirement planning.

– M. Gilbertson (October 2013)

I was looking for a book on financial planning and a friend of mine recommended
Climbing the Financial Mountain. I just finished reading this book and found it
well written and very informative. In fact, I highlighted so many areas for
future reference that the book now looks like one of my old college books. I’d
recommend this book to anyone who wants to get their financial house in order.

– C. W. (September 2013)

Great book for anyone who wants to find easy to implement solutions to save money, invest for retirement and manage your overall financial situation. I especially like Chapter 4 on the Calculating your Retirement requirements. The Retirement Planning Calculator (RPC), which is available at Ron’s website, is one of the best tools to find out where you stand and how much you need to retire with confidence that you won’t outlive your money. The Annual Cash Flow Schedule, which is generated from the RPC, is a real eye-opener that shows you everything you need to know about you annual inflow and outflow of money throughout your life expectancy.

– B. Talberts (September 2013)

I truly enjoyed reading Climbing the Financial Mountain. As a single parent with a young child, I felt the information was laid out in an easy to read fashion and the solutions outlined in the book were simple to understand. In fact, I implemented several recommendations on spending and saving that have cut my monthly expenses by $1,600 a month which I’m redirecting to my outstanding debts and my 401k. Finally, I loved the Retirement Planning Calculator available on the website. It was easy to use and allowed me to get a real understanding of where I stand financially and what I needed to save before I retire. The best part was the Asset Drawdown schedule that showed my income and expenses for every year in retirement.

I’m not much of a financial person, but this book really got me energized about my future.  I feel for the first time in my life, I have a real plan that will allow me to achieve my retirement goals.

– K. Jenkinson (August 2013)

I promoted Climbing the Financial Mountain to a couple of people I met on the airplane today. It’s a great book. You should be very proud. I was helping my Dad with his finances and the section on LT care insurance was very helpful. We are going to look at new policies. Thank you for helping us with our financial goals.

– N. Peterson (August 2013)

My wife and I are in our early 30’s and have two children that under the age of 4. Over the past ten years, we’ve accumulated a lot of debt due to our bad spending habits. Although we understood we needed to cut back, we weren’t sure where to start nor did we want our lifestyle to drastically change. After searching for some assistance on how to get on track toward saving and investing, I came across Climbing the Financial Mountain and was intrigued by how thorough the book was when I scanned the table of contents. This book covers everything you need to know about getting started and how to stay on track. I especially like the chapter on the psychology of investing which really hit home with me as the mistakes that were explained almost felt like a recount of all the things I’ve done in my financial life.

This book is a great reference tool for me as I find myself thumbing through it for advice on cutting expenses, saving for retirement and selecting the best investment options for me. I agree with some of the other people about the website. I’ve used the financial schedules to get a better understanding on where I spend money and the Retirement Planning Calculator was a real eye opener. At least now I clearly know what I need to set aside each month to reach my retirement goal.

– J. Limbert (July 2013)      

Ron is a compassionate, thought provoking, numbers man in an era that normally produces a soulless lot. I defy you to buy his book, read it, incorporate any one of many proffered precepts and not triple the return of the cost of the book in one day. Plus……you get to keep the book! Go ahead….find me a better deal and I’ll quay up in a heartbeat.

– N. Broyles (July 2013)

As an individual who’s already retired, I wasn’t sure that Climbing the Financial Mountain would have anything that would help improve my financial situation.  Boy was I wrong.  The chapter on converting your assets to retirement income provided an easy to follow approach on how to invest my money and which assets I should draw down first in order to maximize my income and minimize taxes.  I also got some great information on reducing my current expenses and how to plan for end of life issues that I’ve been ignoring all these years.

– A. Niles (June 2013)

My wife and I both read Climbing the Financial Mountain and found the book very enlightening.  When we found the graph entitled “Time Value of Money” we were stunned by the results.  After showing this to our 16-year-old son, he was excited about the prospect of being a millionaire with such a small investment early in his life.  As you described in your book, he’s planning on using his wages from his part-time job and investing $5,000 per year for five years in a stock index mutual fund. 

We are very proud of his decision and glad that he’s using his money for his future versus blowing it like most teenagers do.  Appreciate your help in opening his eyes.

– B. Donner (June 2013)

My wife and I were planning on me retiring in 5 years when I’ll turn 62.  I felt confident about my financial situation as I have a good pension as well as plenty of money in savings to last the rest of my life, or so I thought.  After going to Ron’s website and using his free Retirement Planning Calculator (RPC), I was surprised to find out that my savings, pension, and social security wouldn’t be enough to sustain our living expenses over our joint life expectancy.  After seeing the results from the RPC, it was clear we needed to change our current lifestyle in order to retire in 5 years.  By using Ron’s budget schedules, it was amazing how much money was being wasted in various expense categories.  By reducing our spending through implementing the expense cutting opportunities in Climbing the Financial Mountain, we were able to redirect the savings to our retirement investments.  After re-running the RPC with our updated expenses and savings, I’m happy to say that we are back on track and confident we won’t outlive our money.

– P. M. (May 2013)

I was looking for a book on financial planning and a friend of mine recommended Climbing the Financial Mountain.   I just finished reading this book and found it well written and very informative.  In fact, I highlighted so many areas for future reference that the book now looks like one of my old college books.  I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants to get their financial house in order.

– S. Creiger (May 2013)

I just graduated from college and my dad has been telling me how important it is to save and invest while I’m young.  Although I understood the value of what he was saying, it didn’t really hit home with me until he gave me Climbing the Financial Mountain.  When I started reading the book, I noticed that the author spent some time talking about self-responsibility, which sounded just like my dad, but was said in a way that didn’t feel preachy.  What really got me excited was the explanation on the benefits of saving early in my life.  I was totally amazed that a small investment while I was young could make me a millionaire by the time I turned 65.  That really got me thinking that I needed to do something immediately.  I’m happy to say that I opened my first Roth IRA and am now on my way to becoming a millionaire.

– J. Mullins (April 2013)