You might be able to start collecting Social Security at 62, but personal finance expert Suze Orman says it’s a mistake to think this is the right age for most people to retire. Given today’s economic reality and the longer lifespans many of us can expect to enjoy, most Americans should wait until the age of 70 to retire, she says. (A new study from the Stanford Longevity Center came to a similar conclusion.)
On one hand, that’s kind of a bummer, especially for older workers dreaming of ditching the daily grind. But there is one great silver lining to stretching out your career: That additional time in the workforce gives you a lot more income-generating years to plan for your retirement.
With that in mind, here are some of the top retirement-planning books, according to expert sources and staffers at MONEY. This roundup ranges the gamut from big-picture economic questions to the nitty-gritty of your personal assets. (And if you can’t get enough of retirement planning information after checking out these titles, have a look at Amazon’s list of bestselling retirement books.)
Your Retirement Quest: 10 Secrets for Creating and Living a Fulfilling Retirement by Alan Spector and Keith Lawrence
As the saying goes, it’s not the years in your life — it’s the life in your years. We learn in our careers how important it is to have work-life balance, and the authors here apply that same principle to retirement planning. This comprehensive book melds a big-picture sensibility of post-career life with pertinent research studies and insights and interviews from real retirees. While the focus is financial security, the book approaches that goal in the context of what’s truly important in life.
Although not a conventional retirement planning guide — Rand readily admits in her foreword that she is not a financial expert — this independently-published book is still valuable as a resource “from the trenches” of post-recession financial disarray. It confronts the complex emotions people can face around retirement, especially if that prospect suddenly looks a lot further away than you once imagined.
Given that fewer than one in eight American workers in the private sector have access to a traditional defined-benefit pension, this strategy-heavy book is sure to help a wide swath of the population prepare for and ensure their financial security. It offers a step-by-step guide for maximizing the benefits you do have and avoiding pitfalls. Brandon covers Medicare, Social Security, employer-sponsored retirement plans, and more to give readers a complete picture of how to manage their post-career finances.
Rescuing Retirement: A Plan to Guarantee Retirement Security for All Americans by Teresa Ghilarducci and Tony James
This book, just released in January, is the #1 new release in its category on Amazon. Rather than a straightforward retirement guide, co-authors Ghilarducci and James offer additional context with a look at America’s current retirement savings crisis. No less than billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called the solutions proposed by the authors “a smarter, more cost-effective way to secure the retirements of all Americans.”
The Longevity Economy: Unlocking the World’s Fastest-Growing, Most Misunderstood Market by Joseph Coughlin
This book also is less of a strategy guide and more of a 30,000-foot view into how corporate America is coming to grips with an expanding older population. It touches on history and business strategy alongside more conventional retirement-planning insights. “The time has come to create a new narrative of possibility in old age,” AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins said in a review. Coughlin, the author, “not only defines that better narrative–he shows businesses how to lead in creating it and how to profit from the opportunities it provides.”
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“Forget what you think you know about aging. The landscape of later life has been transformed,” Andy Sieg, head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, wrote in another review of the book, which he called a “GPS to guide us through this exciting new world.”
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