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Spend 'Til the End: The Revolutionary Guide to Raising Your Living Standard--Today and When You Retire Hardcover – June 10, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Kotlikoff and Burns (coauthors of The Coming Generational Storm) turn conventional retirement planning wisdom on its head in a feisty financial guide that questions the financial benefits of college and argues delaying filing for Social Security benefits. Unfortunately, many provocative insights are buried beneath fairly recondite economic analysis. Math-phobic readers may be unable—or unwilling—to follow along as the authors couch their methods to maximize spending power in a number-heavy narrative with awkward case studies that fail to properly personalize the financial challenges new retirees may face. According to the authors, truly sophisticated planning is best left up to computer programs (such as the one Kotlikoff himself has developed and offers online at ESPlanner.com). Readers in search of a user-friendly primer might be put off, but there are nuggets of useful information to be mined—the authors efficiently address Roth IRAs and provide an eye-opening exposé of the duplicity rampant in the personal finance industry. Intrepid readers able to navigate through the numbers will be rewarded—if they keep from drowning in the evidence. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In The Coming Generational Storm (2005), the authors presented a dire warning about the consequences of the $51 trillion debt America has amassed, forecasting huge tax obligations and the collapse of the U.S. economy as we know it. Here they take a more cheerful tack, guiding the would-be retiree on the most efficient ways to maintain a decent standard of living during the golden years. Eschewing the standard financial advice to use replacement income as a guide on how to save, they instead accomplish this by analyzing spending habits, utilizing consumption smoothing as a way to ensure that you neither starve yourself in old age nor end up with more money than you need by depriving yourself during your working years. Through a long series of useful examples, they dispel many of the myths surrounding whether one should pay off the mortgage early; begin taking Social Security at 70 or at 62; maximize savings in a Roth, 401(k), or regular IRA; or even hold mutual funds at all. These exercises are sure to create new rounds of discussion as they turn much of the conventional financial wisdom on its head. --David Siegfried
Top customer reviews
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While the book reads well and holds your attention it is also a great handbook to hold onto. It gives websites, addresses for agencies and resources to monitor your progress as you prepare for retirement income.
The book is written in laymans language and has a friendly "folksy" approach, rather than a accountant's manual. Good solid advice.
There were some valuable insights into what you need to consider - like how nursing home care can wipe out all of a married couple's savings, leaving next to nothing for your surviving spouse (Medicaid will come after your house eventually so don't count on leaving it to your kids). But then there was no information on what to do to prevent that or which states have the most favorable Medicaid rules that allow you to pass on more to your kids. Since the authors already established that financial advisors are only interested in lining their own pockets, who am I supposed to go to for that guidance?
The book did have a few small nuggets of very good advice - one type of investment I hadn't heard much about that sounds very safe, another financial product I bought a few years ago due to my own paranoia, and a task that will require I do some legwork to figure out how to execute - very carefully. It has advice but you still have to do the work and hopefully find someone you trust to help you.
Also well examined are the premises Loeper outlined in his 2007 book - Stop the 401(k)Rip-off! that avoiding active management not only has the certainty of lower fees, but also has value in avoiding the needless risk of materially underperforming the markets that any attempt to out perform introduces.
Most recent customer reviews
Highly useful preparation for talking to a Financial Planner.