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Retirementology: Rethinking the American Dream in a New Economy Paperback – May 5, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Salsbury (But What If I Live? The American Retirement Crisis) takes the burgeoning field of behavioral finance a step further by applying it to retirement planning during an economic downturn in this relevant, much needed book. He helps pre-retirees and retirees identify classic mistakes in earning, spending, saving, investing, and borrowing. With playful neologisms—retirewent, damnesia—Salsbury re-educates readers on how to prepare for their golden years during an insecure time, paying solid attention to the role one's home plays in relation to retirement, financial support for family members, tax liabilities , and health care. Of particular interest is a chart identifying common financially unhealthy traits such as procrastination and overconfidence, the consequences of such traits, and the way to rethink these traits to turn them into positives. A superb introduction to the necessary financial planning no American over 40 can afford to ignore. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Individuals, regardless of age, should read this illuminating book because it will assist them with developing meta-cognition about life planning. Recommended.”  Library Journal

 

USA Today calls Retirementology "entertaining and illuminating."

 

As seen in USA Today , US News & World Report , Retirement Income Journal, Financial Planning, and AllBusiness.com.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 219 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (May 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0137056532
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137056538
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #759,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Gadget Fan TOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 16, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a very readable and critically informative book for the pre-retired. It talks about how to plan for retirement and how to think about money during the pre-retirement years (although many of its points continue to be valid during the retirement years as well). What is so valuable about this book is that it is not just a list of "save this" "invest in that", etc. Instead, it talks about how to think about how you use money and what the effects of various financial decisions are on your future finances. It combines behavioral economics with hard data; for example, there is a nice chart on pg. 24 that shows how setting aside $10,000 per year from age 31-40 ($100,000 total) will provide a much larger retirement nest egg than setting aside $10,000 per year from age 41-65 ($250,000 total), all due to the magic of interest compounding over the years. And then it uses that chart to talk about the psychological tendency to procrastinate when it comes to retirement planning and why people need to get beyond this tendency to put off dealing with eventual retirement.

This is a post-meltdown book, and the effects on retirement and retirement planning are well covered. For example, it talks about the spending boom and consequent lack of savings. It uses the real-estate bust to explain why a house should be considered a place to live rather than an investment. How to think about the rise and fall of investment prices. Why retirement will not be the same as it was for earlier generations.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The focus of Gregory Salsbury's "Retirementology: Rethinking the American Dream in a New Economy" is the psychology of finance also known as behavior economics. Salsbury explains why most of us don't always behave rationally when it comes to money. He not only discusses our self-destructive financial behavior and hidden retirement mistakes but also offers ways to improve financial decisions.
His helpful advice includes:
Retirement should be a process that begins as soon as we engage in earning and investing.
Choosing a lifestyle that eliminates credit card dependence and debt.
Having critical financial health care planning.
Avoiding making big purchases immediately instead of saving to buy them later.
Avoiding the destructive behavior of procrastination, overconfidence, overspending without awareness, discounting the impact of taxes, chasing trends or using the equity in your home as an ATM or retirement plan.
I found Salsbury's new language of retirement with it's many one-of-a-kind terms, descriptions, definitions and scenarios confusing and too academic.
However, the 2008 economy crash makes Salsbury's book a good behavioral finance spending and savings guide for all people not just retirees.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book illustrates what I've been telling fellow employees for years - don't rely on anticipated money in the future for it may not be there. Pensions are not guaranteed and it seems Social Security is moving the age for retirement up beyond what many consider a reasonable age for retirement.

Dr. Salsbury gives great examples on how money spent on luxury items today can blossom into nice financial payouts in the future if the money is used for investing more than buying gizmos that often will be passé in the near future.

Another great point is what I've been stressing for years to others - a house is a place to live, not an investment. In fact, it's a money pit until you finally do sell it but many see it as a bank that may pay out in the future. Think about it, if you sell your house you still have to buy another which means the money you thought you'd have won't all be there.

This is a very good book for those in their 30s and I see the only fault to be the title which indicates the book is a retirement primer more than a history lesson. It should be mandatory reading for those starting out in life so they can learn the lessons their parents may not have.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Several years ago, as a financial professional, I had the opportunity to view a video based on Salsbury's first book, But What If I Live? It was a grim, depressing view with statistics that proved that we were heading for a precipice of problems, that people did not have enough money to retire, were delusional about what they needed and what they would have and had the attitude that 'something' would happen that would make it all possible. It seemed every prospective retiree was going to be a lottery winner, with no back up plan in case it didn't happen. After I saw the video, I read the book. It was better. It didn't paint a rosier scene, but it made its points one by one and built an inarguable case that there was a catastrophe in the making. That was several years ago, when average portfolio returns going back ten years were still positive.

Now, in the new economy (newer anyhow), Salsbury comes back with Retirementology, a behavioral science approach to the problems after the corrections, after the difficulties (assuming they're over, not necessarily a good assumption) and before the worst of the problems comes home to roost. I think my favorite story that he relates is one of his first, that a man who had 3 years to go until he could get social security couldn't afford to wait. So he robbed a bank, handed the cash back to a guard and waited to be arrested. Sentenced to three years in prison, he got out in time to collect social security. The crux of it was that the prosecutor pointed out that 'Its not the financial plan I would have chosen, but at least it was a plan.' Great story...and it sets up the book nicely.

Retirementology is still heavy on the statistics.
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