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Yes, You Can Still Retire Comfortably! Hardcover – August 2, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 222 pages
  • Publisher: New Beginnings Press (August 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401903185
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401903183
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,498,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ben Stein can be seen talking about finance on Fox TV news every week. He is known to many as a movie and television personality, but has probably worked more in personal and corporate finance than anything else. He has written about finance for Barron’s and The Wall Street Journal for decades and contributes regularly to the AARP’s Modern Maturity (now AARP: The Magazine). He was one of the chief busters of the junk bond frauds of the 1980s, has been a long-time critic of corporate executives’ self-dealing, and has written several self-help books about personal finance.

Phil DeMuth was valedictorian of his class at the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1972, then got his master’s in communications and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. An investment psychologist with a longstanding interest in the stock market, he has written for The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s, as well as Human Behavior and Psychology Today. His opinions have been quoted on theStreet.com and Fortune Magazine and is president of Conservative Wealth Management in Los Angeles.


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Customer Reviews

While presented with a good deal of droll humor and an easy to understand manner, the facts shared in this book are sobering.
TRW
Ben Stein and Phil DeMuth have done us a real favor by speaking the unvarnished truth about what needs to be done by everyone who will face retirement.
Craig Matteson
The authors make a good case for taking action now, regardless of your age, at developing a financial plan for your retirement.
Jonathan R. Weiner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ben Stein and Phil DeMuth have done us a real favor by speaking the unvarnished truth about what needs to be done by everyone who will face retirement. They have provided a clear and sensible approach that can be easily adapted whether you are planning on retirement in five years or in fifty. Obviously, the more time you have until retirement, the better you can prepare.

What I particularly like about the approach taken here is that it doesn't pretend that if everyone followed their advice that society would be rid of the problem of the Baby Boomers moving into their retirement decades (nowadays, retirement lasts much longer than most of us realize). This is a book for YOU. As the authors admit, the idea that everyone will follow the advice offered in this book is roughly nil. However, it is a book about each of us taking responsibility for our own future and rescuing our elderly self. I like the notion the authors put forward about our common fantasy of wishing we could help our younger self do better with what we have learned in life. However, the past cannot be changed. We do have ability to help our future self live better if we will take the proper steps now. When Stein and DeMuth say, "now", they mean today, not sometime when you finally have extra money to sock away. Somehow that time of future affluence never seems to materialize by itself.

Stein and DeMuth take away all our comforting delusions about Social Security and the inevitable choices the government will have to make someday. In all their calculations they also warn us about tax assumptions that can change as future politicians need access to our savings and wealth to fund their programs.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Dale C. Maley VINE VOICE on December 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I was very impressed with this book. It is full of sound advice for both the accumulation phase and distribution phase of investing.

The author's simple 2 Index Fund approach will probably beat most active fund approaches plus you can do other things besides managing your portfolio full time.

The authors also allowed up to a 50:50 split in the stock portion of their asset allocation between domestic and foreign stocks.

I also enjoyed their comparisons of alternative withdrawal strategies during the distribution phase.

The book has an excellent explanation of why companies can give a higher payout ratio to immediate annuity investors versus investors self-annuitizing their portfolio. This magic is due to insurance companies being able to pool their risks and plan for an average lifetime where investors must plan for their maximum versus average lifetime.

I found no flaws in their methodology for planning how much you need to save for retirement. The combination of tables (with spreadsheets on their web site) is a little complex to follow. It would have been nice if they put it together into one financial planning program on their web site.

Last, the authors have reached the same conclusion I have based upon the net worth and US savings rates data: Most Boomers will not save and invest enough to retire when they want to. The only choices that will be left to them are work longer, buy immediate annuities, sell your house using a reverse mortgage, or sell your house and trade down to a smaller house in an area with a lower cost of living.

I would suggest companion books to supplement this book including:
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38 of 44 people found the following review helpful By J. Waples on March 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Let me first say that I have the utmost respect for these two authors and have read their various published financial articles/books for the past 20 years. They present well researched information that the young investor should take to heart: Save like mad, invest in index/ETF portfolios based on modern portfolio theory, and live below your means. Now, after saying all that, after reading this book, especially the first part, I felt like slashing my financial wrists. The bleak pictures they paint for the retirement of the baby boomers, (god forbid the children of the baby boomers) leaves even myself (a multi-millionaire) wondering if eating Alpo is in my future. Really, the scare tactics to get one to save is really over the top. I've been studying the demographics of the baby boomers for over two decades and have made millions based on projecting what services/housing they would be needing in the future. Therefore, while I recommend this book to those interested in obtaining freedom in retirement, if you want the real story on baby boomer demographics, why not go to the direct source? That is, why not see what the U.S. Census Bureau is forecasting for the baby boomer's retirement. To do this, simply Google: 65+ in the United States: 2005. Another excellent source (but slightly dated) is "Demography is not Destiny" put out by the National Academy on an Aging Society [...] To summarize many of the wonderful demographic gold nuggets, 7 out of 10 future retirees are doing just fine. Furthermore, yea BB number 76 million but that is only 18% (12.3 million) more children than the number of children that would have been born if fertility rates had remain at pre-World War II rates.Read more ›
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