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Control Your Retirement Destiny: Achieving Financial Security Before The Big Transition Paperback – August 27, 2016
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About the Author
In 2008, Dana Anspach began writing for About.com as their MoneyOver55 Expert. This content has now evolved into TheBalance.com where she writes as their expert on Retirement Decisions. She also contributes to MarketWatch as one of their RetireMentors.
Anspach has been practicing as a financial planner since 1995. In 2011 she founded Sensible Money, a registered investment advisory firm with a specialty in the area of retirement income planning.
Dana is a Certified Financial Planner, Retirement Management Analyst, a Kolbe Certified Consultant, and a member of NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors), FPA (Financial Planning Association), and RIIA (Retirement Income Industry Association).
As an expert in her field, she has spoken for numerous organizations, associations, and conferences on the topic of retirement planning and interacts regularly with readers and clients on these topics.
Anspach believes the retirement income planning process is not static; it is alive with choices and variables. To make the best decisions, consumers need a way to understand the interactions of the choices they make and the corresponding impact on their future. To trust the information they see, they need an independent voice that provides information free of the influence of politics, financial products, or media articles that are advertising in disguise.As her clients can tell you, Dana Anspach is that independent voice.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is wonderfully thorough. It includes helpful discussions of retirement budgeting, retirement tax planning, Social Security claiming strategies, retirement portfolio management, and more.
The chapter on tax planning alone is worth the price of admission. When discussing Roth conversions as well as the topic of which accounts to spend from first in retirement (i.e., Roth IRA, traditional IRA, or taxable brokerage accounts), Anspach explains many of the more subtle interactions that most investors (and many professional planners) miss. The potential for tax savings here is quite significant.
I think the book should be required reading for:
a) Financial planners, or
b) Anybody who wants to plan their own retirement and handle their own finances throughout retirement.
I would like an addition to the coverage on long-term care insurance in a future edition (when I wrote to her suggesting this, Dana Anspach wrote back agreeing!). I think the section on long term care insurance needs a rule of thumb for people:
My personal current feeling is that if:
You have enough savings that it is unlikely you will be eligible for Medicaid quickly; and
You have only enough savings such that a long term care hit would endanger the welfare of a spouse
You have only enough savings that a long term care hit would drastically lower your inheritance to a
child, and this is very important to you
Then you should buy long term care insurance.
Another way of looking at it:
Do not buy insurance if you have no significant savings;
Do not buy insurance if you have several million in savings
I'm not sure where to put the rule of thumb, though.
Everyone who will ever retire should read this book!
This book is more rigorous, more original and more honest than the vast majority of alternatives available (a point emphasized by its positive review from faculty at the Boston Center for Retirement research). Even after two years of pretty continual reading on retirement planning I gained some new insights and found some excellent summaries of some of my previous conclusions. I am now buying the hardback version for my own reference (after reading the e-version in the public library - apologies Amazon!) although the electronic version does have the advantage you can click directly through to the excellent references included.
Minor points - although the idea of assessing your personal (non financial) capital going into retirement is vitally important you might want to do some additional research on how to do this - there have been a number of different approaches and some are more validated than others . Also, in her later chapter on how to get advice I don't think she includes some excellent free resources (for example the list servers offered by the "bogleheads" web site or the use of the astonishing free optimizing web site i-orp ( which does scenario comparison and optimizing) . But this is nitpicking - her choices of resources are very useful and well chosen - overall really excellent. If I had to recommend just one book this would now top the list.
Good luck with your retirement plans - reading this book can only be helpful.
This book is a perfect place to start a journey toward retirement or to finally get a grasp on your finances during retirement. Dana's writing style is personal, folksy and easy to read and understand but underneath useful real world examples and common sense you'll find solid research, up to date regulations and well documented references.
For anyone who is retired, about to retire or even those of us who advise retirees - this is a "must read" to help you truly "Control Your Retirement Destiny"!