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Reviewed by Sarah Ell

Allen & Unwin, $29.99

It’s the ultimate aim for many New Zealanders: pay off the mortgage in time to save as much as possible for retirement. Unfortunately, with today’s rocketing property market, that’s an increasingly bigger ask for many homeowners.

Enter no-nonsense ‘financial personal trainer’ Hannah McQueen, founder of financial consulting business, enableMe. McQueen is on a mission to help her clients slay their debts and get ahead more quickly than the traditional 25 or 30 years.

This book outlines McQueen’s philosophy and mortgage-killing technique — set yourself a budget and stick to it, and throw all the money you have left over into debt repayment. She then looks at wealth-creation options, including property investment, starting or buying a business, shares and other investment vehicles. 

The book also covers retirement planning and looks at the potentially thorny areas of relationship property, trusts, wills and providing for your children. A hand-up is always better than a handout according to McQueen.

McQueen’s writing style is friendly and accessible, but you get the impression that she would be a hard taskmistress. She asks the tough questions, about your psychology of spending, how money is dealt with in your relationship and how hard you are prepared to work to achieve your goals. 

McQueen is firmly in the property-investment camp when it comes to wealth creation, but she has the statistics and examples to back this. She also provides sound information on buying a business as an investment, but has less to say on her less-favoured options of stocks, bonds and managed funds.

If you’re looking for the motivation to knuckle down and pay off that mortgage, in the hope of ensuring a comfortable retirement, this book will give you plenty of ideas. And McQueen will still let you buy a flat white every day, if that’s a ‘non-negotiable’ for you.