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The AARP® Retirement Survival Guide: How to Make Smart Financial Decisions in Good Times and Bad Paperback – August 4, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

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About the Author

Julie Jason is a personal money manager who began her Wall Street career as a lawyer thirty years ago. She is the co-founder of Jackson, Grant Investment Advisers, Inc., of Stamford, Connecticut, an SEC-registered investment adviser. Jackson, Grant serves conservative retirees who want to create retirement income.

A proponent of investor protection, Ms. Jason is a syndicated columnist (King Features) who writes and lectures on finance and investment topics. Her award-winning weekly column, was launched fifteen years ago by the Stamford Advocate and the Greenwich Time.     

Ms. Jason is also the author of Managing Retirement Wealth, winner of the prestigious EIFLE Award (2012), the International Book Award (2012) and the Axiom Best Books Award (Silver Medal) for 2012.  Her earlier books are You and Your 401(k), The 401(k) Plan Handbook, JK Lasser's Strategic Investing After 50, and Julie Jason's Guide to Connecticut Probate. 

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Product Details

  • Series: AARP®
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; 7.5.2009 edition (August 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402743416
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402743412
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Julie Jason works with families who want her to manage their retirement portfolios. Having gotten her start on Wall Street as a lawyer thirty years ago, she approaches investing with a blend of optimism (everyone can do something to improve their financial situations) and a dose of healthy skepticism (don't invest unless you understand what can go wrong), which is reflected in her books, articles and column.

She takes every opportunity to write, teach, and coach people who want to expand their knowledge and enhance their financial decision-making ability.

Julie's fifth book, The AARP Retirement Survival Guide, was named a TOP TEN BUSINESS BOOK for 2010 by BOOKLIST (American Library Association) and received the following honors:

1) The 2010 International Book Award for Personal Finance
2) The 2010 EIFLE Award (Excellence in Financial Literacy Education)
3) The 2010 Best Books Award for Personal Finance
4) Axiom Best Books Gold Medal for Retirement Planning for 2011
5) The 2010 New York State Society of CPA's Award for Excellence in Financial Journalism (for an AAII article based on two chapters of the book).

Julie's sixth book, Managing Retirement Wealth, received the prestigious EIFLE Award for 2012, along with the 2012 International Book Award and the 2012 Axiom Best Books Silver Medal.

If you want to ask Julie a question she can answer in her award-winning column (, email her at Visit Julie at Visit Julie's firm, Jackson, Grant Investment Advisers, Inc. at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

182 of 186 people found the following review helpful By Motor Head on November 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book because alerted me to it and because it had all
5* customer reviews. After having read it I have mixed feelings about its usefulness :

On one hand, it provides a good overview of the financial planning process that needs to be followed to determine how much to save for retirement and how much to withdraw during retirement. It also provides a good overview of some of the retirement income products/annuities, and it has helpful checklists to select a financial adviser. Furthermore, I found the chapter on reverse mortgages a useful
introduction to a very complex subject, with several helpful web sites listed.

On the other hand, the book is not detailed enough to do a financial plan, i.e. establish an affordable expense budget in retirement that includes determination of the amounts that can be safely withdrawn from investments. There are better books available that include detailed worksheets to do this, such as J.K.Lasser's "Your Winning Retirement Plan", or "Getting Started In A Financially Secure Retirement" by Henry Hebeler (both of these books also refer the reader to useful
web sites for DYI financial analysis/modeling).

Part II ("Evaluating Retirement Income Products) provides a high level overview of annuities, enough to probably confuse/scare most readers to avoid these products altogether or to see a financial adviser (perhaps this is intentional).

Appendix D contains an interesting case study with a complete retirement plan; unfortunately it is presented without any explanatory comments accompanying the individual worksheets, thus leaves the reader with many questions as to the details/logic of the plan.
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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful By JYoder on March 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent read if you are ready to jump into planning for retirement. It does an excellent job of covering almost all of the things you need to consider. The book is organized well, and topics are covered to give you an excellent understanding of each with a few exceptions.

The annuity topic is well covered, but the fact of the matter is this topic is just to big and complex to be well covered as part of a book, you need to get a book dedicated to this topic to really get the details of each type, but this book does an excellent job of giving you a real good handle on what products are out there and their basic pros and cons.

Second, this book does not cover the Buckets concept, an interesting approach to retirement planning, although I don't plan on following the exact model of the buckets plan, I think the concept is very important to understand so you can consider how to handle the up and down cycle of the stock market and how your financial plan needs to prepare to handle it.

Here is a list of some of the books I have read in preparing for retirement, and a one-liner, and ranking for each. I will order them in the order I would read them:

1. The AARP Retirement Survival Guide: How to Make Smart Financial Decisions in Good Times and Bad (Julie Jason)
Rank: 5/5
Summary:Real good overview and introduction to the many considerations for retirement.

2. Buckets of Money: How to Retire in Comfort and Safety (Raymond Lucia)
Rank: 4/5
Summary: Interesting concept on planning for retirement.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Dorianne Perrucci on September 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
For weeks, I have found one excuse after another not to think about the task of creating retirement income - I'm still trying to figure out how to save enough money for retirement after suffering double-digit losses in my own retirement account. But now that I've sat down with The AARP Retirement Survival Guide, part of which I helped the author edit, I'm finding one invaluable "to do" suggestion after another in its pages.
The book's short chapters, and use of bullets and boxes to highlight information, break down the retirement income process step by step. There are self-assessments, tables, checklists, and questions to ask, oh my, but Julie Jason's calm, reassuring tone leads you through it all. In my opinion, the book's tone is one of its best features.
Julie is passionate about sharing what she knows with investors and can explain the facts in plain English, which is not a given with all financial advisers. Over and over again, Julie, who I got to know during the editing process, will assure you that, "There's always something you can do to improve your financial situation." Most of us can't afford to walk in the door of Jackson, Grant Investment Advisers in Stamford, Conn., where Julie directs the investment management practice for well-to-do clients, but for a mere $14.95, you can tap into her expertise by buying a copy of this book.
You'll hear from plenty of advisers when you're ready to retire, but you'll find out just how important it is to choose the right one. Until 2006, when the first Boomer turned 60, many advisers focused on accumulating wealth for clients, not creating retirement income. But don't wait to educate yourself - arm yourself now with the information you need on creating retirement income by reading this book.
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