32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful guidance in preparing for an active retirement given in a supportive tone
A lot of people are concerned about the huge number of boomers ineluctably heading into retirement. There are probably several shelves of books at your local bookstore offering a wide range of advice to them. Many of the books take a scolding tone while others ring the bell of doom. Retirement is upon you! You haven't done anything right, you dummy! You need $5...
Published on December 6, 2006 by Craig Matteson
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Generic advice for over-50 investors
Jonathan Pond is a RIA (in Massachusetts, I believe) and a financial educator on the PBS network. This book is an upbeat, even reassuring, investment guide for those approaching retirement. Mr. Pond recommends a 60% allocation to equities even for those in their retirement years. The pro-equities outlook in the book may be partly explained by the fact that it was written...
Published on February 9, 2010 by California reader
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helpful guidance in preparing for an active retirement given in a supportive tone,
A lot of people are concerned about the huge number of boomers ineluctably heading into retirement. There are probably several shelves of books at your local bookstore offering a wide range of advice to them. Many of the books take a scolding tone while others ring the bell of doom. Retirement is upon you! You haven't done anything right, you dummy! You need $5 million tomorrow! Some people need to be motivated with dynamite, I guess.
Jonathan Pond, PBS viewers will know him and the financial advice he provides, is much different in approach. He likes reality and knows that most people are reasonable. In fact, he points out that a real analysis of most Boomer finances will show them to be no worse off than their parents. Now, that may not be great nor provide you with the yacht in Bermuda you had always fantasized of, but can you retire and enjoy and active lifestyle? Pond says, "Yes, You Can Do It!' His tone is always supportive, friendly, and helpful. I think it is easier to hear the advice given by someone who comes across as supportive rather than from someone telling me what a fool I am and will likely always be. You, too?
So, what kind of advice does he give in this book? Well, first I think it would be better to view this more as a handbook / toolkit than a book that you simply read left to right and front to back. You can read it that way, and it is always interesting. However, you can also dip into the chapters that most interest you. And Pond has provided many useful "Decision Makers" that follow helpful discussions of most topics. These are simple checklists that will take you through a few relevant steps and help you instantly see where you actually are in relation to the choices available for that topic. Pond also provides worksheets that help you get to the real numbers you are facing. Fortunately, it will likely be better news than you think.
The advice he offers is solid: Get out of debt as quickly as you can, but not at the expense of not putting money into your retirement accounts. Live below your means and put more into your retirement savings than is comfortable. Better you should cut back on the new cars than on living well late in life. And he is insistent (appropriately so) that you should pay off your mortgage. He also thinks you should be well insured, but not over insured and he gives good guidance on what to avoid (such as Credit Life).
He helps you think through the things you can do to get yourself ready for retirement and to create a plan to get there when you want with the resources to live in a realistic way. Since the calendar is going to flip its pages whether you or not you are ready, you might as well get this helpful book and read what this knowledgeable and friendly man has to say. I am sure you will pick up some insights that are worth much more than the price of the book.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a remarkably readable book that also manages to "talk up" rather than "talk down" to the audience.,
I ran into Jonathan Pond on a flight from Los Angeles to Boston, and Jonathan lent me copy of his new book, You Can Do It!, to pass the time on the long flight. Jonathan had been in Los Angeles to speak about financial and retirement planning to a crowd of almost 20,000 people on the previous day, and I was curious to find out if Jonathan is as fun and interesting in print as he is in person. The answer is: He is! I am a tax attorney and I help people with estate planning, wealth transfer, and retirement planning as part of my job. That said, I was surprised and impressed at how much interesting and useful information I learned from You Can Do It! This is a remarkably readable book that also manages to "talk up" rather than "talk down" to the audience. Whatever your level of expertise, this book contains information that you will find invaluable in planning for your retirement (and Beyond).
Joseph B. Darby III, Esq.
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars U Can Do This by Pond,
This is a good rendition on the mechanics of funding for the later years.
The author recommends to eliminate debt, invest in an IRA, keep up with
health issues and join an investment club . It may pay to retire early to
invest in a second career and attend to health concerns early. The volume
recommends a portfolio diversification of approximately 30% higher risk
stocks, 25% medium risk and 20% low risk. There are many retirement
- stay in the same general area because you come to know the details of
the neighborhood services
- weather may be a consideration for health reasons
- local taxes are always a factor.
- health care availability and cost is critical as you get older
- part or full time employment is another consideration
Overall, the book is a good investment on how to retire rationally with
a minimum of drama as you get older.
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tea and Empathy with Jonathan D. Pond and the Spirit of Louis Ruykeyser,
Jonathan D. Pond proves that he can extract himself from the chats on PBS and translate his wise, witty, supportive and helpful advice in book form in this excellent book YOU CAN DO IT! This is one of the most readable, reassuring books on planning for the future for the Baby Boomer Generation that is available.
For starters, Pond dismisses the fallacy that the Boomers are in deep trouble because of their lifestyles and lack of planning for the future (read, too much emphasis on living for the present and not putting away an adequate nest egg). This is how he grabs our attention, by demonstrating in data and facts that Boomers are not ill-prepared but instead have the ability to plan wisely at this time to reassure a life of relaxed leisure at the time of retirement - whenever that may occur. To quote from his words regarding the keys to achieving a Great Retirement he lists:
1. Living beneath your means
2. Investing your savings wisely
3. Eliminating debt
4. Preventing financial disruptions
5. Staying active and maintaining your health
From this point on Pond outlines with practical check lists the means for achieving these goals. His advice on what to do about the mortgage, how to plan for financial security within the realm of everyone's particular station, how to pay attention to health, estate planning, how to make decisions about scaling down the living space to free up monies for living, etc is so supportive that he manages to reassure Boomers of every age range instead of the usual fright tactics.
This is an upbeat, humorous, warm conversation with enough information to cope with the prejudged beast of Retirement. For those who remember how secure and cozy Louis Ruykeyser used to make us feel on his television show, reading this book is like having Pond and Ruykeyser to tea. This book instantly becomes an invaluable tome for every person facing thoughts of retirement. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, November 06
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best retirement book on the market? Yes.,
I have read many of the main retirement books on the market. (See my reviews), and in my opinion "You can do it!" is by far the best. Mr. Pond has a delightful writing style that makes reading about retirement enjoyable.(Which is not an easy task).I also enjoyed the jokes sprinkled through out the book.
What will you learn?
1. The importance of living beneath your means. (Stay away from car payments, and let the Jones spur on the economy through consumer spending, you must focus on investing).
2. Invest your savings wisely.(Do not be afraid of the stock market, you can earn an easy 9% a year. Fear 3.5% annual inflation eating the value of your retirement money).
3. Eliminate debt. (A paid off mortgage at retirement will make your cash flow need much less.Consider selling your big house in the city for a small cozy paid for one in a place you will enjoy living).
4. Prevent financial disruptions. (Maintaining a healthy marriage is an excellent financial decision, a divorce could devastate you financially. Thriving in your career will be your best investment. Always maintain the correct amount of insurance in all areas, health,life and auto).
5.Maintain your health.( I like that the book also expanded into the area of ensuring you will be healthy enough to enjoy your retirement and make you write down what you will do to fill your time in retirement).
You also have 3 great appendixes that will show you how to budget and invest. All three are excellent, Appendix 2 is investing 101 and does a great job explaining bonds, stocks, CD's and mutual funds in a few pages.
If you are looking for a book on retirement look no further, save your time searching and purchase this one. Everthing you need to know is here. YOU CAN DO IT! Let Mr. Pond show you how.
30 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You Can Do It. Now Get Going! I Mean It. Yes, You.,
Are you overwhelmed by the idea of planning for your retirement? Do you "file" your financial statements in a drawer, unopened? Does your financial plan rely heavily on an investment known as "Powerball?" Jonathan Pond wants to talk to you.
Pond has two goals with You Can Do It! The Boomer's Guide to Retirement. He wants to give you the confidence to start planning and he wants to give you some step-by-step instructions on how to get your financial life on track toward a comfortable retirement.
Pond is just the sort of financial coach to be able to pull this off. Another reviewer aptly compares Pond to Louis Rukeyser, reassuring and friendly experts in their field. You Can Do It starts with a pep talk about how baby boomers have an undeserved reputation as poor planners who are doomed to working long past retirement age and subsisting on cat food. Pond says it isn't true, that we're doing fine. But just in case you aren't as confident about your retirement as he is, Pond has some step-by-step advice for you.
As a cheerleader, Pond isn't bad. He includes examples from people he's talked to or who have written to him. These real-life examples are more interesting than the made-up examples Pond uses, and I wanted more of them. As a coach, Pond is even better. He's obviously very comfortable talking about retirement plans and investments and their tax implications. For many readers, this will be familiar territory, but Pond will still have a few tricks they may not already know. Readers who turn to Pond as a voice of clarity in the confusing world of finances may find that they are still overwhelmed, though. Even as someone who actively manages our family's finances, with enthusiasm (there's nothing like money to get my attention), I found myself getting a bit glazed during the sections on mutual funds and insurance.
A quick start program would be a good idea for many people who just don't know how to get started and quickly become inundated with the hundreds of options that are available. Instead of trying for the Best Investment, the important thing is to start saving now. Pond advocates getting rid of debt, even so far as to suggest that it's a good idea to pay off your mortgage. This is something I haven't heard anyone say for years, but he makes an excellent case for it. He also has some ideas about saving, but would rather you invest in mutual funds.
There is a website that goes with the book, where you will be able to find updates and more information. This would be a great place for calculators and blank forms to print out, but much of the site is still in progress as I write this.
You Can Do It is a fine guide for the boomer who needs a little boost and a lot of information. The reader who is truly new to investing and/or overwhelmed by money matters would probably do better to find a book with a greater emphasis on examples rather than tables and balance sheets, and one that keeps it simple, at least until they are more comfortable with making money decisions. The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias is a good one. The two books together would make an excellent reference resource for anyone who plans to quit working for a living someday.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ready for Retirement??,
I cringe when I hear of someone taking out their retirement funds to buy a new car. Probably many people think planning and saving is beyond their ability, so just don't think about it. Live for now and hopefully, tomorrow will take care of itself.
Pond tries to make it easy to figure out what your retirement needs and tells you how to build a nest egg. For starters, you need to reduce your current debt and pay off the mortgage. Diversify your investments so you don't get caught losing your future security when the market turns bad. Don't get carried away with a fancier house and car than you really need.
You owe it to yourself to at least browse this book. You can do it (and Pond will help you).
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Generic advice for over-50 investors,
Jonathan Pond is a RIA (in Massachusetts, I believe) and a financial educator on the PBS network. This book is an upbeat, even reassuring, investment guide for those approaching retirement. Mr. Pond recommends a 60% allocation to equities even for those in their retirement years. The pro-equities outlook in the book may be partly explained by the fact that it was written in 2006, before the latest bear market. However there is a companion website to his book which does reflect current events, and it appears to continue the same pro-equities outlook. Mr. Pond also bucks recent trends by favoring actively managed mutual funds over passive index funds. In his book he presents a method for finding superior actively managed funds which he developed over a twenty year period. This surprised me, because his method is similar to other active fund-selection methods which have been discredited by academic studies. If he had included an appendix documenting the statistical results for his fund-selection method, I would have given this review more stars.
Update Feb 2011:
I saw Mr. Pond last week on a PBS program taped in 2010. In this program he was recommending index funds and ETFs, not actively managed mutual funds. Frankly it lowered his credibility in my eyes. The evidence against actively managed mutual funds was widely available in 2006 when his book was published. If he was late to comprehend that evidence, which it appears he was, it makes me question his ability in other areas of finance also.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EASY READING RETIREMENT GUIDE,
It is a 5 star if you just want all the basics you need to consider while preparing for retirement. It covers them is an easy to read style.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes, you can.,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The book doesn't have anything new in it that we haven't already heard. However, the presentation is uplifting & inspiring & I enjoyed the positive attitude of the author.
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You Can Do It! Low Price CD by Jonathan D. Pond (Audio CD - December 4, 2007)
Used & New from: $3.31