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20 Retirement Decisions You Need to Make Right Now Paperback – August 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Sphinx Publishing (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402229240
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402229244
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #352,957 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ray E. LeVitre is a Certified Financial Planner who specializes in helping people develop and manage their financial plans at and through retirement. He resides with his family in Midvale, Utah.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The 20 Financial Decisions You Must Make at Retirement

Are you retiring now? If so, this book is for you. There are thousands of retirement planning books that focus on helping baby boomers manage their money in the years leading up to retirement. Twenty Retirement Decisions You Need to Make Right Now is the only book of its kind, written specifically for people who are retiring now.

If you are ready to leave the workforce and begin retirement, then the pressure is on to make the right choices with your retirement money. The decisions you make at this critical juncture, many of which are irrevocable, will profoundly affect your financial security and your lifestyle for the next thirty to forty years. There is much more to retiring than simply deciding what to do with the money in your 401(k). Twenty Retirement Decisions You Need to Make Right Now addresses the most significant financial decisions people must make as they make the transition from the workforce into retirement. Making all of these decisions is a big task, but one that is well worth it, since the next thirty to forty years are riding on the decisions you make right now.

Every chapter deals with a decision you must make at retirement. My recommendation is to begin by reading chapters 1, 2, and 3 on financial planning and choosing a financial advisor, then proceed through the rest of the chapters, reading about the topics that are the most pressing to you right now. Each chapter was written independent of the others, so it is not necessary to read the book in its chapter order. The 20 Decisions Checklist on page xvii will help you track your progress as you check off each decision you make and help ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

Do-It-Yourselfers and Delegators

If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you'll find all the resources necessary to develop and manage your financial plan on your own. However, I think you should seek a second opinion periodically from a financial professional who works on an hourly basis. If you are a delegator, then my advice is to use the book as you meet with your advisor to discuss each retirement decision. Being educated before you meet with your advisor will help you ask the right questions, address all the issues, and hold your advisor to higher standards.

You Retire Only Once. Do It Right!

Each of the five sections of the book addresses various components of retirement planning.

For instance, Section One: Retirement Planning, will help you assess what your current retirement situation looks like and determine whether you are on track to meet your retirement goals. This section also outlines the importance of having a written, comprehensive financial plan, how to find objective financial advice, how to determine a safe portfolio withdrawal rate, and what to do if you plan to retire early.

In Section Two: Sources of Retirement Income, we'll explore the issues surrounding Social Security, teach you how to maximize your company pension benefits, and teach you how to avoid the most common investor  mistakes so that you can be sure not to sabotage your most important retirement income source-your investment portfolio. This section also deals with the issues and choices facing people who, at retirement, take a distribution from an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Before making any decisions about your money, be sure to reference this section for a very detailed analysis of your retirement options.

Section Three: Developing a Successful Investment Strategy covers important investment planning techniques. After all, reaching your retirement goals will depend largely on how successful you are as an investor. This section deals primarily with how to develop successful investment strategies, including asset allocation, proper portfolio diversification, choosing investments, ongoing portfolio management, how to protect principal while investing in the stock market, and how to handle company stock positions.

In Section Four: Insurance and Retirement, we'll discuss how to obtain healthcare coverage during retirement, and whether or not you need long-term care insurance. Without these safeguards in place, you could prematurely deplete all of your hard-earned assets. In addition, we'll figure out what to do with the life insurance policies on which you've been paying for so long. This section will teach you how to evaluate your insurance needs.

Section Five: Other Retirement Considerations will help you determine what to do with your mortgage and also which estate planning documents you need to obtain.

Twenty Retirement Decisions You Need to Make Right Now explains, in basic terms, the highly complex financial concepts that you need to understand in order to make the most critical retirement decisions. Use it as a comprehensive information source on retirement planning and successful money management techniques. This book is an important resource that will help you build a financial strategy to guide you toward the retirement lifestyle you deserve. You get to retire only once. Do it right!

The 20 Decisions Checklist

  • Decision #1: Do I have enough money to retire now?
  • Decision #2: Is it worthwhile to develop a comprehensive financial plan if I'm already close to retirement?
  • Decision #3: Who should I trust to advise me about my financial future?
  • Decision #4: How much can I safely withdraw from my portfolio?
  • Decision #5: If I retire early, is it okay to withdraw funds from my IRA?
  • Decision #6: When should I begin taking Social Security?
  • Decision #7: Which pension payout option should I choose?
  • Decision #8: Which retirement plan distribution option should I choose?
  • Decision #9: How should I manage my personal savings?
  • Decision #10: How much should I invest in stocks, bonds, and cash?
  • Decision #11: How should I diversify my investment portfolio?
  • Decision #12: What should I do if the bulk of my portfolio is invested in one or two stocks?
  • Decision #13: What criteria should I use to identify the best investments?
  • Decision #14: Should I buy load or no-load mutual funds, annuities, and life insurance?
  • Decision #15: How will I manage my portfolio on an ongoing basis?
  • Decision #16: How will I cover my medical expenses during retirement?
  • Decision #17: Should I buy long-term care insurance?
  • Decision #18: Should I cancel my life insurance policy, since I no longer need the coverage?
  • Decision #19: Should I pay off my mortgage at retirement?
  • Decision #20: What strategies should I use to ensure that my estate passes to my heirs and not to Uncle Sam?

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Customer Reviews

This book is very well written in terms that are easy to understand.
Chuck in VA
The book is geared towards those contemplating retirement in the next few years but I highly recommend it for anyone in the workforce.
Stephanie Sharp
Sit down and spend a bit of time with this book - it will pay off for you in a big way.
Holly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Bill on December 27, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"20 Retirement Decisions You Need to Make Now" is the best retirement investment book I have ever read. It covers all of the decisions you need to make concerning retirement and is written in a clear, concise manner. The 25 chapters address every possible question you may have about pre-retirement financial planning and investing while in retirement. As an example, the following questions are fully addressed in this book:

Do you have enough money to retire now?
When should you take social security?
How much can I safely withdraw from my savings each year?
How to set up your retirement asset allocation based on your risk level and needed annual return?
How to choose the most appropriate investment products for your retirement portfolio?
How to research and identify the best investment choices in each investment category
How to monitor and rebalance your investments while in the different stages of retirement?
Should you buy long-term care insurance?

I strongly recommend this book if you are nearing retirement and want answers to the most pressing questions regarding this decision. Personally, this book has eased a lot of my fears, not only about my financial picture going into retirement, but also what to do to properly manage my money while in retirement. A lot of financial books tend to steer you towards the need to obtain a professional financial manager because the subject matter is too complicated. This book actually provides you with the answers you need to manage your finances going into retirement and while in retirement.

A lot of factors go into the decision to retire, but after reading this book, all of my financial questions have been answered.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jason Case on September 24, 2011
Format: Paperback
In a world of varying financial opinions, Ray and his book are voices of reason. He has decades of experience, and his knowledge and experience are evident in this book. Sound financial advice can be adapted to any situation. You'll find that here.

I'm not even near retirement, but I consider this a must-read for anyone who will EVER retire. Reality is that we all generally fail to plan until the pressure is on. Save yourself some headache and start now. This is a great book to get you on solid financial footing!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Holly TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I worked in the retirement area of a Fortune 500 company for 10 years and all I can say is that I wish all the people I sat down and talked with had read this book! People made all sorts of mistakes by listening to friends, relatives, or financial advisors who steered them wrong. People made irrevocable decisions based upon bad information that sometimes made me want to cry.

"20 Retirement Decisions You Need to Make Now" is a wonderful book that is marketed for folks getting ready to retire. It has explanations about decisions that need to be made at that point. For example: What kind of pension payout stream should you elect? Should you rollover your 401(k) money into an IRA? Should you drop your life insurance policy? He presents all the questions you should ask yourself and thoroughly explains the pros and cons of each option. He does an EXCELLENT job of not steering you in one direction or the other - gives you all the information you need and then lets you make the decision.

While this book (especially the beginning and end) are geared toward the soon-to-be retired reader, I would encourage everyone to read it regardless of where you are in your working career. There is an explanation of investment vehicles, the pitfalls of stock market timing, asset allocation, understanding how financial planners get paid, and other chapters that even the younger worker should read.

I have found that you usually need to read several books to get this much information and many books are written by people who have agendas themselves and the advice is biased. This is one of the best, most complete, and must unbiased books I have ever read. Even with all my years of experience in the field (and getting close to retirement myself), I learned a few things.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Barb on December 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a real eye opener. I wish I read it twenty years ago, but it's still not too late. We are so impressed we bought five more as gifts for our adult children.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Romance Reader on May 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent. I read it once, highlighted portions, and now I'm reading it again. The section on LTC insurance alone was worth it's weight in gold. We're age 55, and just now purchasing the insurance policy, and thanks to this book I know what questions to ask and how to get best value (and possibly save our retirement nest egg by having this coverage).

This is a "soup to nuts" book, covering every aspect of retirement (portfolio management, healthcare, estate planning, how to use a financial advisor). I'm planning to gift copies to my siblings. Can't recommend this enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lectrice on January 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lately I have been reading a lot about my retirement financial options - this is the clearest, most unbiased, most comprehensive guide I have encountered. Although the examples are often given in large round numbers, this is one of the few books I've seen that is truly useful to the smaller investor.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fran on March 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I expected this book to have the usual basic advice (wait a couple of years before collecting social security, e.g.) and was very surprised to find in depth information about a good many topics. Most helpful to me was the clear information on investing(for example, large cap versus small, value versus growth, etc.) which I never understood before and other tips about how to determine what I'll need whenI retire.
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