Resides In

Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Kenyon College, The Ohio State University


Personal Finance, Retirement, Social Security, Behavioral Economics, Banking and Checking Accounts, Auto and Homeowners Insurance


  • 10+ years writing about banking and checking accounts, auto insurance, homeowners insurance, retirement, behavioral economics, and Social Security
  • Author of four books: Choose Your Retirement, Making Social Security Work For You, End Financial Stress Now, and the bestseller The 5 Years Before You Retire.
  • Former high-school English teacher whose experience as an educator allows her to make complex financial topics relatable and easily comprehended by the layperson



Emily Guy Birken got her introduction to the world of finance at a young age. Her father was a financial planner who taught her early 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 thought of her aptitude for money issues as a side-interest while she pursued an undergraduate degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing, followed by a Master's degree in English Education.

After four years as an educator, Emily took a year away from teaching while she cared for her firstborn child. During that time, she used her interest in and knowledge about finance to land  freelance writing jobs for several financial blogs. It quickly became clear that Emily's expertise in both finance and writing was in demand, and she made the decision to continue freelancing rather than return to the classroom.

In 2014, Emily published her first book, The 5 Years Before You Retire, which quickly became an Amazon bestseller and has been featured in a number of major media outlets. She followed this up with Choose Your Retirement in 2015, and Making Social Security Work For You in 2016, which Michelle Singletary of The Washington Post chose for her September, 2016 Color of Money book club. In 2017, Emily published her most recent book, End Financial Stress Now.

Emily has been a regular guest on Wisconsin Public Radio, and she has appeared as a financial expert in numerous magazines and articles. Her no-nonsense and comforting approach to financial health and wealth-building make her a trusted source for money expertise.


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.