Emily Guy Birken


Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Kenyon College


Personal Finance



  • Award-winning insurance and personal finance writer who has worked with The Hartford and other insurance clients, and written for several financial publications
  • More than two decades of experience covering personal finance topics
  • Author of five personal finance books, including the Amazon best-seller, "The 5 Years Before You Retire"
  • Expert source for Reader's Digest, NBC News, and Wisconsin Public Radio, among others


Emily Guy Birken has been writing about personal finance since 2010. Her work has appeared in Forbes, Business Insider, Kiplinger's, MSN Money, Investopedia, and other publications. Her talent for making complex subjects easy to understand earned her a Plutus Award for best freelancer in financial media. She has also helped companies such as The Hartford convey educational messages about insurance and other personal finance topics.

Emily has authored five books on personal finance, including "The 5 Years Before You Retire," a best-seller on Amazon. Her most recent book, co-authored with Joe Saul-Sehy, is "Stacked: Your Super-Serious Guide to Modern Money." A frequent guest on Wisconsin Public Radio and various podcasts, Emily's also been sought for her expertise by NBC News, Reader's Digest, and Redbook, among others.

Introduced to personal finance at a young age by her father, a financial planner, she received lessons on everything from how to make savvy investments to the importance of insurance to the ideal tax refund size ($500 or less, according to dear old Dad). Despite her interest in all things financial, Emily earned a Master's degree in English education and taught school for four years. She still uses her teaching background to help educate readers on how to make smart financial decisions.


Emily has a Bachelor's Degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing from Kenyon College, and a Master's of Education in English education from The Ohio State University.

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