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The Buckets of Money Retirement Solution: The Ultimate Guide to Income for Life Hardcover – August 9, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0470581575 ISBN-10: 0470581573 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 211 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470581573
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470581575
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Investors, shell-shocked by the “Great Recession” of 2008-2009, are looking for answers, for something fresher than the old ‘buy-and-hold’ mantra. They hunger for stability, yet yearn for growth to rejuvenate their battered portfolios.

Ray Lucia’s The Buckets of Money Retirement Solution: The Ultimate Guide to Income for Life provides just that—a reassuring and scientifically proven strategy that gives investors both growth and income.

Lucia, a Certified Financial Planner who’s helped thousands of people invest more than $2 billion, explains how to spend down ‘safe’ buckets (containing, for example, Treasuries, CDs, bonds), while leaving a riskier bucket (real estate, stocks and alternative investments) to grow long-term. This strategy shields investors from the short-term ups and downs of the market. And it gives them the courage and discipline to stay invested no matter what the future holds.

Written in a breezy, accessible style and loaded with tons of examples and clear, specific calculations, the book explains how to set your financial goals, divvy up your money accordingly, and then invest intelligently. With this book as your guide, readers will learn how to achieve both income and growth while at the same time reducing risk. “All in all,” Lucia writes, “this plan is akin to a sports car that seats six, approximating the best of both worlds. In this case by being a conservative strategy that’s also growth-oriented.”

Almost every kind of investment—stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate—plunged in the past year or two, turning off millions of investors who’d been planning for and counting on a reasonably comfortable retirement. These retirees or near-retirees need solutions…something fresher than the old ‘buy-and-hold’ mantra. Yet here’s what they hear from the financial-services industry: Set up an asset-allocation model, then take a systematic withdrawal to support your retirement…remembering, of course, to rebalance the accounts to remain in sync with the model. Wrong! That maximizes the advisors’ fees but doesn’t protect the investors’ assets during the tough times.

Amazon Exclusive: Q&A with Author Ray Lucia

Can you describe the Buckets of Money Asset Allocation Strategy?
Ray Lucia: Sure. I created Buckets of Money many years ago and it’s designed for retirees and pre-retirees. The asset-allocation component of it is a concept that I call “matching assets to liability.” Let’s see if I can make that clear. If you need to eat tomorrow, that’s a short-term liability. Therefore, you need to fund that liability with a short-term asset. But, you’re also going to need to eat twenty years from now. You fund that liability with a long-term asset. Short-term bucket. Long-term bucket. It’s all about matching assets to liabilities.

What are some sensible financial goals for someone who is about to retire?
Ray Lucia: Well, the biggest thing today is to have realistic expectations. If you think you’re going to earn 10 or 12% on the stock market and double your money every five or seven years, you might be fooling yourself. So, make sure you have a realistic expectation. Take into consideration when you will retire, when you’ll take social security, and what taxes you might be paying at that time. In the book, Buckets of Money Retirement Solution, I cover each and every one of those topics in great detail.

What are some basic tips for asset allocation and diversification?
Ray Lucia: Never do what I call “reverse-dollar cost averaging.” You’ve all seen the pie chart, and they all look nice and pretty. What individuals do, for the most part, is put their money in this pie chart, and then when it comes to retirement, they do “systematic withdrawals.” That’s a mistake. In Buckets of Money, we systematically withdraw from a safe money bucket, and we don’t reverse-dollar cost average out of the more volatile buckets. This method is covered quite extensively in the book.

The economy is always changing. What are some ways to protect a nest egg in the event of a catastrophe?
Ray Lucia: Right now, you have deflation and inflation working against you. No one knows if we’re going to have one or the other. That’s why you need to have a Buckets of Money strategy: a strategy that locks in long-term interest rates like guaranteed income for life, but is also sensitive to inflation down the road if in fact we have a bond bubble, if in fact we need to have something that grows over a long time period: assets like real estate, stocks and commodities. You really need a bar bell. You need something on the deflationary side and something on the inflationary side to protect you from either one or both.

What are some of the risks to avoid if someone is either already retired, or about to retire?
Ray Lucia: One of the greatest risks is watching too much television and reading into the radio talk shows too much. Most of the people that are pitching you stuff, whether it’s in books or tapes, or late-night infomercials, are really just trying to sell you something. We need to focus on strategy first: on managing taxes and then managing fees. If you do that with a Buckets of Money Retirement Solution, you shouldn’t have to worry about your retirement—ever.

From the Inside Flap

After the financial meltdown hit the markets in 2007 and 2008, almost no investment—stocks, bonds, commodities, or real estate—was left unscathed. Today, in the wake of the crisis, many workers, especially those nearing retirement, have lost confidence in their ability to fund a financially secure retirement.

In The Buckets of Money® Retirement Solution: The Ultimate Guide to Income for Life, nationally renowned Certified Financial Planner® Ray Lucia outlines his simple, time-tested system for achieving long-term financial stability regardless of market conditions.

Filled with real-life examples that help you evaluate your investing style and determine your time horizon, The Buckets of Money® Retirement Solution details how to:

  • Regain your balance in this ever-changing financial landscape, as well as how to prepare for whatever the economic future holds

  • Choose the proper investments and execute The Buckets of Money® plan for income, safety, and growth

  • Create a workable withdrawal strategy once your plan is in place and working

The average retirement account lost a third of its value in 2008. Many people saw the value of their retirement assets fall, even as their debt rose. So it's not surprising that a survey by Bank of America found that more than half of its respondents planned to change their investment strategy. Change is good. But it begs the question: Change it to what? Based on the science of money, rather than the art of speculation, The Buckets of Money® Retirement Solution provides you with answers in the form of battle-tested strategies that have been put to the test in more than 9,000 individual portfolios totaling more than $2 billion.

To win at the retirement game, you need to know your financial goals, divvy up your money accordingly, and then invest intelligently. With this book as your guide, you'll learn how to achieve both income and growth, while reducing risk.


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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 54 people found the following review helpful By emikami on February 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The author is a well known Radio Host. You can listen to him on the internet if you can't find him on your local radio station.

Likes: Good fundamentals explained in plain English. Debunks normal allocation model and comes up with his own idea (which happened to be similar to my philosophy for retirement payout phase). His radio show is pretty good because he has a team behind him that can explain the tax laws and other items of interest that the caller asks for. He has good intentions. There's plenty of good ideas here.

Dislikes: Some esoteric investments are best ignored by the reader--particularly those which are relatively new and not well tested nor understood by even CFP's like himself. He made a case for newer type of Annuity that guarantees a "payout" of x percentage at high annual watermark based on the stock market by claiming it pays 6% "income" for life at high watermark. Unfortunately, Ray didn't really understand the product well enough. Payout and income are not the same thing. Payout will vary depending the life expectancy of the annuity investor and the prevailing rates at that time. It'll always seem higher than say a CD or bond rate because the payout includes return of principal amortized over the life expectancy. Once you run the numbers based on that, it'll be clear the product sucks and is just another pile of scam that the insurance industry is trying to push.

Non-trade REITs have serious problems that they are not particularly liquid--it is like owning a time share condo--someone has to want to buy into it in order for you to get out or accept some other very bad terms to liquidate it back.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By W. McReynolds on September 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is third in a series by Mr. Lucia. All pertain to retirement planning and execution once you actually retire. It is based on factual studies that show an assured way to have the money you need when you retire. It even shows how to build for retirement even when there are market downturns lasting up to 10 years.
Most important you learn that taking money from investments after you retire, is very different from the process of building assets during your earning years.
Did you know that you should draw down your bond holdings first when you are retired?
Did you know that you should not re-balance your portfolio between bonds and equity after you retire?
He also discusses the difference between Dollar-Cost-Averaging and Dollar-Value-Averaging.
He shows what happens during retire if you try to withdraw from your assets in the same way you built it up. It becomes "reverse dollar cost averaging" And you will run out of money so do not do it that way.

He backs up his information with technical studies that can be found in places like the Journal of Financial Planning.

So yes, I like this book
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By N.G. on August 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This Buckets of Money book is more detailed than the original. Ray expands on the theory and the number of buckets. I recommend it. The first book was more basic and I think it was easy to understand the strategy. The second book is more detailed.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JLP on September 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Overall, I liked this book. The idea of allocating assets in "buckets" make sense and could make retirement easier on the retiree. What I didn't like is that the book seemed a bit "salesy." Lucia also likes nontraded REITs, which seem a bit risky in my opinion.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John A. Harding on October 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The advice in the first chapters is useful, but can be found for free at dozens of websites (start with Vanguard, for example; no, I am not a Vanguard employee).

The essentials of the author's "solution" are in chapter 3.

(Note: Use extreme caution with REITs. If you don't want to read and understand the prospectus, it's a not good idea to invest there. As for non-traded REITs, see [...] and [...]

The descriptions of investments in chapter 4 are extremely basic and include options probably not suitable for most individual investors (e.g., non-traded REITs).

The book reads like a sales pitch. You will probably be able to pick up used copies cheaply since the author has run afoul of the SEC ( see [...] ).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By R. BLAKEY on April 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OK read, You can get this info free at the Thornburg Funds website. I do not think private REITs are the way to go. There is an old saying in the investment community, if you can't find a daily price in the Wall Street journal , then maybe this is something you shouldn't own, in other words, there may be no buyer.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By TomL on June 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover
From Wikipedia:
On September 5, 2012, the SEC alleged that Ray Lucia spread misleading information about his Buckets of Money strategy at a series of investment seminars. [12] Lucia had assured investors that his strategies had been backtested during bear markets. The SEC contended that the only backtesting Lucia performed were some "calculations made in the late 1990s and two two-page spreadsheets."
On July 9, 2013, an administrative judge ordered Lucia to pay $50,000, finding that Lucia's claims that his strategy had been empirically backtested were false. [13] The administrative judge barred Lucia from associating with any investment advisor or broker, stripped Raymond J. Lucia Companies Inc. of its investment adviser registration, and fined the company $250,000.
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