Set for Life Book Summary - Set for Life Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

Set for Life summary

Scott Trench

Dominate Life, Money, and the American Dream

4.2 (205 ratings)
17 mins
Table of Contents

    Set for Life
    Summary of 6 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 6

    Redefining wealth

    Middle-class Americans tend to follow a traditional path. They work a nine-to-five job for thirty to forty years, save about ten to fifteen percent of their modest annual incomes, and hope they’ve saved enough to retire at age 65. Unfortunately, this approach typically provides only a modest amount of financial security in retirement. But there is an alternative formula that promises true financial freedom much sooner.

    The key to this formula is frugality. Frugality isn’t about limiting yourself – it’s a strategic choice that opens doors to opportunities that would otherwise remain unavailable. By dramatically cutting down on expenses now and aggressively investing the excess savings, your money can compound rapidly. So rapidly, in fact, that in just five to ten years, passive income from your investments can cover all of your living costs. At that point, you can actually opt to quit wage-paying work entirely! 

    So how does it all work? Well, first off, this blueprint specifically targets middle class full-time employees starting out with little savings. So, if this isn’t you, keep in mind that what’s to come might not apply.  

    If that description does fit you, then first and foremost, you need to understand one thing: real wealth doesn’t lie where tradition thinks it does – meaning retirement savings or home equity. Instead, it lies in accessible, after-tax cash. Having a sizable cash reserve means you have options. To obtain that cash reserve, you need to cut your expenses –⁠ radically. Your goal should be to accumulate approximately a year’s worth of living expenses in savings – around $25,000 total. This is by far the hardest part of the overall strategy, but it’s well worth it for the options it provides. 

    This capital cushion buys you crucial breathing room to consider entirely new opportunities. With it, you can pursue entrepreneurial projects or accept a new job with lower base compensation but a more lucrative long-term trajectory. Plus, savings are shielded from taxation, while income gets haircut after haircut. Early in the wealth accumulation journey, your efforts are better spent cutting costs than trying to raise your salary.

    So, how do you actually start cutting costs and become more frugal? It all starts with your mindset. 

    Want to see all full key ideas from Set for Life?

    Key ideas in Set for Life

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is Set for Life about?

    Set for Life (2017) offers a strategic roadmap for achieving financial independence, emphasizing the importance of frugality, saving, and smart investment. It guides you through the process of accumulating wealth by spending less, earning more, and investing in income-generating assets, particularly real estate. Ultimately, it offers practical advice for creating a long-term financial plan that enables early retirement and financial freedom.

    Set for Life Review

    Set for Life by Scott Trench (2017) is a comprehensive guide on achieving financial independence through strategic choices and smart investments. Here's why this book is worth your time:

    • Featuring practical strategies and insights, it provides a clear roadmap for building lasting wealth and security.
    • With a focus on real estate investing and smart financial decisions, it equips readers with tangible tools for long-term success.
    • The book's emphasis on early financial planning and disciplined saving habits keeps readers engaged, offering a fresh perspective on securing a prosperous future.

    Who should read Set for Life?

    • Young professionals and recent graduates just starting their careers
    • Middle-class earners with little savings
    • Anyone seeking financial independence

    About the Author

    Scott Trench is a successful real estate investor, broker, and author. He is the CEO of, a leading online platform for real estate investors, and co-hosts the BiggerPockets Money Podcast.

    Categories with Set for Life

    Book summaries like Set for Life

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    32 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,500+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    Set for Life FAQs 

    What is the main message of Set for Life?

    The main message of Set for Life is achieving financial independence through smart decision-making and long-term planning.

    How long does it take to read Set for Life?

    Reading Set for Life takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Set for Life a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Set for Life is worth reading for its practical advice on building wealth and securing financial freedom efficiently.

    Who is the author of Set for Life?

    The author of Set for Life is Scott Trench.

    What to read after Set for Life?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Set for Life, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Your Journey to Financial Freedom by Jamila Souffrant
    • The 5 Resets by Aditi Nerurkar
    • Your Best Financial Life by Anne Lester
    • See You at the Top by Zig Ziglar
    • Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson
    • Rich AF by Vivian Tu
    • Life Leverage by Rob Moore
    • Little Treatments, Big Effects by Jessica Schleider
    • Break the Cycle by Dr. Mariel Buqué
    • The Generous Leader by Joe Davis