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  • Writer's pictureMark Fonville, CFP®

Top 10 Retirement Planning Book Reviews [New for 2023]

Updated: Apr 3, 2023


Top 10 Retirement Planning Book Reviews

Retirement planning can be a daunting task, but there are numerous resources available to help you navigate the process.


One of the best sources of guidance and inspiration is books. From financial planning and investing to lifestyle considerations and healthcare, retirement planning books cover a wide range of topics to help you prepare for a successful retirement.


To help you find the best retirement planning books, we have compiled a list of the top ten books on the subject, in our opinion.

 

SPECIAL NOTE FOR INDIVIDUALS AGED 50+ WITH OVER $1 MILLION: Tying your $1 million+ portfolio to your retirement and tax plan can be hard. If you are interested in learning how we can help fully integrate taxes, investments, and retirement income planning, click here for a free retirement assessment. Get more ideas than you thought were possible.

 

We've also consolidated a list of fifteen free retirement planning checklists that you can access now in case you don't want to read all of the books.


These books have been highly regarded by experts and readers alike for their practical advice, insights, and inspiration and I've read everyone of them.


Whether you're in your 40s and thinking about your future or you're nearing retirement and ready to make the leap, these books are sure to provide valuable information and guidance to help you achieve your retirement goals.


In this blog, I will review each book on our list, providing a brief summary and highlighting its key strengths and insights.


1. "The Simple Path to Wealth" by JL Collins

The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins

"The Simple Path to Wealth" by JL Collins is a straightforward and accessible guide to achieving financial independence and retiring early. Collins breaks down complex financial concepts into easily understandable language and offers practical advice for investing and saving money.

One of the key strengths of the book is Collins' emphasis on simplicity. He advocates for a simple, low-cost investment strategy using index funds and encourages readers to avoid complex financial products and high fees. His approach is backed by years of research and experience, making it an excellent option for readers looking for a no-nonsense, low-risk approach to investing.

Collins also places a strong emphasis on the psychological and emotional aspects of personal finance. He encourages readers to understand their own relationship with money and how their emotions can impact their financial decisions. By addressing these factors, Collins provides readers with a more holistic approach to financial planning that goes beyond the numbers and calculations.

Overall, "The Simple Path to Wealth" is an excellent resource for anyone looking to take control of their financial future. Its clear writing style, practical advice, and emphasis on simplicity make it an accessible read for readers of all backgrounds and financial knowledge levels.


Whether you're just starting your financial journey or you're looking for new strategies to achieve financial independence, "The Simple Path to Wealth" is a valuable resource to add to your bookshelf.

2. "The New Retirementality" by Mitch Anthony

The New Retirementality by Mitch Anthony

"The New Retirementality" by Mitch Anthony is a thought-provoking and insightful book that challenges traditional notions of retirement and encourages readers to embrace a new, more flexible approach to retirement planning.


One of the key strengths of the book is its focus on the emotional and psychological aspects of retirement. Anthony argues that traditional retirement planning fails to take into account the social, emotional, and spiritual aspects of retirement, which can be just as important as financial considerations. He encourages readers to think beyond the financial aspects of retirement and to focus on creating a fulfilling, purposeful retirement that aligns with their values and goals.


Another strength of the book is its emphasis on the importance of staying engaged and active in retirement. Anthony suggests that retirement can be an opportunity for personal growth and development, and encourages readers to pursue new interests, engage in meaningful work, and cultivate relationships with others.


Throughout the book, Anthony presents a wide range of ideas and strategies for creating a fulfilling retirement, including creating a "life plan," building a portfolio of meaningful activities, and developing a "retirement portfolio" that includes not just financial assets, but also social, emotional, and intellectual assets.


Overall, "The New Retirementality" is a valuable resource for anyone looking to rethink traditional notions of retirement and create a more meaningful and fulfilling post-career life. Its focus on the emotional and psychological aspects of retirement, as well as its practical advice and inspiring stories, make it a must-read for anyone looking to make the most of their retirement years.


3. "The Bogleheads' Guide to Retirement Planning" by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Richard Ferri


The Bogleheads Guide to Retirement Planning

"The Bogleheads' Guide to Retirement Planning" by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer, and Richard Ferri is a comprehensive and practical guide to retirement planning. Drawing on the insights and philosophy of John C. Bogle, the founder of Vanguard and creator of the index fund, the authors offer a clear and accessible approach to investing and saving for retirement.


One of the key strengths of the book is its emphasis on simplicity and low-cost investing. The authors advocate for a passive investment strategy using index funds (we fully agree by the way), which have lower fees and tend to outperform actively managed funds over the long term. They also provide practical advice on asset allocation, rebalancing, and tax-efficient investing, making it easy for readers to put their investment strategy into practice.



Another strength of the book is its focus on planning and preparation. The authors provide guidance on calculating retirement expenses, estimating retirement income, and creating a retirement budget. They also address important issues such as social security, healthcare, and estate planning, helping readers to take a comprehensive approach to retirement planning.


Throughout the book, the authors provide real-world examples and case studies, making it easy for readers to understand and apply the concepts they are learning. They also address common retirement planning myths and misconceptions, helping readers to avoid costly mistakes and make informed decisions.


Overall, "The Bogleheads' Guide to Retirement Planning" is an excellent resource for anyone looking to achieve financial independence and retire with confidence.


Its clear writing style, practical advice, and emphasis on simplicity make it an accessible read for readers of all backgrounds and financial knowledge levels. Whether you're just starting your financial journey or you're a seasoned investor, this book is a valuable resource to add to your library.

 

SPECIAL NOTE FOR INDIVIDUALS AGED 50+ WITH OVER $1 MILLION: Tying your $1 million+ portfolio to your retirement and tax plan can be hard. If you are interested in learning how we can help fully integrate taxes, investments, and retirement income planning, click here for a free retirement assessment. Get more ideas than you thought were possible.

 


4. "Retirementology" by Gregory Salsbury


Retirementology by Gregory Salsburgy

"Retirementology" by Gregory Salsbury is a witty and insightful book that offers a fresh perspective on retirement planning. Salsbury brings his expertise as a retirement expert and consultant to the table, but also infuses the book with humor and relatable anecdotes that make it an engaging read.


One of the strengths of the book is Salsbury's focus on the psychological and emotional aspects of retirement. He acknowledges that while financial planning is important, it's not the only consideration when it comes to retirement. Salsbury encourages readers to think about what gives their life meaning and purpose, and to focus on building a retirement that aligns with their values and goals.


Another strength of the book is its practical advice on retirement planning. Salsbury covers a wide range of topics, from investing and saving to social security and estate planning. He breaks down complex concepts into understandable terms, making it easy for readers to apply the advice to their own lives.


Throughout the book, Salsbury uses humor to make the material more accessible and engaging. He pokes fun at the retirement industry and its tendency to overcomplicate things, and shares humorous stories and anecdotes to illustrate his points.


Overall, "Retirementology" is a valuable resource for anyone looking to rethink traditional notions of retirement and create a more fulfilling post-career life. Its focus on the emotional and psychological aspects of retirement, as well as its practical advice and humor, make it a must-read for anyone looking to make the most of their retirement years.


5. "Retirement Planning Guidebook: Navigating the Important Decisions for Retirement Success" by Wade Pfau


Retirement Planning Guidebook: Navigating the Important Decisions for Retirement Success

The Retirement Planning Guidebook: Navigating the Important Decisions for Retirement Success by Wade Pfau is an essential guide for anyone looking to plan for a successful retirement. This book covers all the important decisions that need to be made when planning for retirement, including how much to save, when to retire, and how to invest your retirement funds.


Pfau, a renowned retirement expert, provides readers with a comprehensive and easy-to-follow guide that helps readers make informed decisions about their retirement. The book is well-organized and clearly written, making it easy to understand even for those without a background in finance.


One of the most valuable features of this book is its emphasis on personalized retirement planning. Pfau encourages readers to consider their own unique circumstances and goals when making decisions about retirement. He provides tools and strategies to help readers determine how much they need to save for retirement, how to create a retirement income plan, and how to minimize taxes in retirement.


Another standout feature of the Retirement Planning Guidebook is the author's attention to detail. Pfau covers a wide range of retirement planning topics, including social security benefits, healthcare costs, and estate planning. He provides helpful charts and graphs throughout the book, which make it easy to visualize the concepts he discusses.


Overall, the Retirement Planning Guidebook: Navigating the Important Decisions for Retirement Success is an excellent resource for anyone looking to plan for a successful retirement. It is comprehensive, easy to understand, and provides readers with the tools and strategies they need to make informed decisions about their retirement. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to ensure a secure and comfortable retirement in 2023 and beyond.


6. "Retire Inspired" by Chris Hogan


Retire Inspired by Chris Hogan

"Retire Inspired" by Chris Hogan is a motivational and practical guide to retirement planning. Hogan, a financial expert and retirement coach, offers readers a step-by-step plan for achieving financial freedom and retiring with confidence.


One of the strengths of the book is Hogan's upbeat and encouraging tone. He encourages readers to take control of their finances and to see retirement planning as an opportunity to create the life they want. He also emphasizes the importance of taking action, offering practical advice on how to get started and stay motivated.


Another strength of the book is its focus on the basics of personal finance. Hogan covers everything from budgeting and saving to investing and debt management, making it a great resource for readers who are just starting their financial journey.



Throughout the book, Hogan uses real-life examples and stories to illustrate his points. He also provides helpful tips and resources, such as retirement calculators and investment guides, to make it easy for readers to put his advice into practice.


One of the most valuable parts of the book is Hogan's Retirement IQ Test, which allows readers to assess their current level of retirement readiness and identify areas for improvement. He also offers practical advice on how to maximize Social Security benefits, create a retirement income plan, and protect assets from taxes and inflation.


Overall, "Retire Inspired" is a valuable resource for anyone looking to take control of their finances and create a solid plan for retirement. Its motivational tone, emphasis on the basics of personal finance, and practical advice make it a must-read for anyone looking to achieve financial freedom and retire with confidence.


7. "The Smartest Retirement Book You'll Ever Read" by Daniel R. Solin


The Smartest Retirement Book You'll ever read by Daniel Solin

"The Smartest Retirement Book You'll Ever Read" by Daniel R. Solin is a comprehensive guide to retirement planning that offers readers a straightforward and practical approach to achieving financial security in retirement.


One of the strengths of the book is Solin's focus on simplicity. He breaks down complex financial concepts into easy-to-understand terms, making it accessible to readers who may not have a background in finance. He also provides practical advice on how to create a retirement plan that is tailored to individual goals and circumstances.


Another strength of the book is its emphasis on low-cost investing. Solin advocates for an approach to retirement planning that focuses on low-cost index funds and other low-cost investment options. This approach can help readers to maximize their returns and minimize their fees, ultimately resulting in a larger retirement nest egg.


"The best thing that Solin brings to the party is his shrewd and skeptical approach to the art and science of investing. ...there's no question that his focus is on what's best for individuals, not institutions." - Amazon Reviewer

Throughout the book, Solin uses real-life examples and case studies to illustrate his points. He also provides helpful tips and resources, such as retirement calculators and investment guides, to make it easy for readers to put his advice into practice.


One of the most valuable parts of the book is Solin's discussion of the psychological barriers that can prevent people from achieving financial security in retirement. He offers practical advice on how to overcome these barriers, such as developing a positive mindset and avoiding common investment mistakes.

 

SPECIAL NOTE FOR INDIVIDUALS AGED 50+ WITH OVER $1 MILLION: Tying your $1 million+ portfolio to your retirement and tax plan can be hard. If you are interested in learning how we can help fully integrate taxes, investments, and retirement income planning, click here for a free retirement assessment. Get more ideas than you thought were possible.

 

Overall, "The Smartest Retirement Book You'll Ever Read" is an informative and engaging read that offers practical advice on how to achieve financial security in retirement. Its emphasis on simplicity and low-cost investing, along with its focus on psychological barriers, make it a valuable resource for anyone looking to take control of their finances and create a solid plan for retirement.


8. "The Five Years Before You Retire" by Emily Guy Birken


The 5 Years Before You Retire by Emily Birken

"The Five Years Before You Retire" by Emily Guy Birken is a practical and informative guide that helps readers prepare for retirement in the critical five-year window leading up to their retirement date. Birken, a financial expert and retirement coach, offers readers a step-by-step plan for achieving financial security and retiring with confidence.


One of the strengths of the book is Birken's focus on the unique challenges that retirees face in the five years before they retire. She offers practical advice on how to maximize retirement savings, minimize debt, and create a retirement income plan that will last throughout retirement. She also covers important topics such as Social Security benefits, healthcare, and estate planning.


Another strength of the book is its emphasis on the emotional and psychological aspects of retirement. Birken recognizes that retirement is not just a financial decision, but also an emotional one. She offers practical advice on how to prepare emotionally for retirement, such as finding a new purpose and staying engaged in the community.


Throughout the book, Birken uses real-life examples and stories to illustrate her points. She also provides helpful tips and resources, such as retirement calculators and investment guides, to make it easy for readers to put her advice into practice.


One of the most valuable parts of the book is Birken's discussion of the importance of creating a retirement income plan. She offers practical advice on how to create a retirement income plan that will last throughout retirement, including strategies for managing taxes, creating a diversified portfolio, and using annuities.



Overall, "The Five Years Before You Retire" is a valuable resource for anyone approaching retirement. Its practical advice, focus on the unique challenges of the five-year window, and emphasis on the emotional and psychological aspects of retirement make it a must-read for anyone looking to achieve financial security and retire with confidence.


9. "How to Make Your Money Last" by Jane Bryant Quinn


How to Make Your Money Last by Jane Bryant Quinn

"How to Make Your Money Last" by Jane Bryant Quinn is a comprehensive guide to managing your finances in retirement. Quinn, a financial expert and journalist, offers readers practical advice on how to make their retirement savings last as long as possible, regardless of how long they live.


One of the strengths of the book is Quinn's focus on creating a sustainable retirement income stream. She offers practical advice on how to manage expenses, minimize taxes, and create a diversified portfolio that will generate income throughout retirement. She also covers important topics such as Social Security benefits, annuities, and long-term care.


Another strength of the book is its emphasis on the emotional and psychological aspects of retirement. Quinn recognizes that retirement is not just a financial decision, but also an emotional one. She offers practical advice on how to prepare emotionally for retirement, such as finding a new purpose and staying engaged in the community.


Throughout the book, Quinn uses real-life examples and stories to illustrate her points. She also provides helpful tips and resources, such as retirement calculators and investment guides, to make it easy for readers to put her advice into practice.


One of the most valuable parts of the book is Quinn's discussion of the importance of planning for unexpected expenses and life events. She offers practical advice on how to create a financial plan that can weather unexpected expenses, such as healthcare costs or a sudden market downturn.


Overall, "How to Make Your Money Last" is a valuable resource for anyone approaching or already in retirement. Its practical advice, focus on creating a sustainable retirement income stream, and emphasis on the emotional and psychological aspects of retirement make it a must-read for anyone looking to achieve financial security and peace of mind in retirement.


10. "Get What's Yours for Medicare" by Philip Moeller


Get What's Yours by Philip Moeller

"Get What's Yours for Medicare" by Philip Moeller is an essential guide to navigating the complex and often confusing world of Medicare. Moeller, a journalist and expert on retirement, offers readers a comprehensive and easy-to-understand guide to the different parts of Medicare and how to get the most out of their coverage.


One of the strengths of the book is Moeller's focus on empowering readers to make informed decisions about their healthcare. He offers practical advice on how to choose the right Medicare plan for their individual needs, how to navigate the enrollment process, and how to understand the different benefits and costs associated with each plan.


Another strength of the book is its emphasis on the importance of understanding the fine print. Moeller provides clear explanations of the different parts of Medicare, including Parts A, B, C, and D, and offers helpful tips on how to avoid common pitfalls and misunderstandings.


Throughout the book, Moeller uses real-life examples and stories to illustrate his points. He also provides helpful resources, such as checklists and tables, to make it easy for readers to understand the different options and make informed decisions.


One of the most valuable parts of the book is Moeller's discussion of how to save money on healthcare costs. He offers practical advice on how to compare prices for different procedures and treatments, how to take advantage of preventative care services, and how to navigate the complex world of prescription drug coverage.


Overall, "Get What's Yours for Medicare" is an essential resource for anyone approaching or already in Medicare. Its practical advice, focus on empowering readers to make informed decisions, and emphasis on understanding the fine print make it a must-read for anyone looking to get the most out of their Medicare coverage.


Conclusion


In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to retirement planning, but reading and learning from the experiences of others can be invaluable. The ten books reviewed above offer a wealth of knowledge, practical advice, and inspirational stories to help readers navigate the complex world of retirement planning.


Whether you're just starting to plan for retirement or are already enjoying your golden years, these books offer a range of perspectives and insights to help you make informed decisions and achieve your retirement goals. From financial planning to emotional and psychological preparation, each book offers something unique and valuable to readers.


Remember, retirement planning is a lifelong process, and it's never too early or too late to start. By reading and learning from these top ten retirement planning books, you'll be well-equipped to create a retirement plan that's tailored to your individual needs, goals, and aspirations.


The biggest problem with books though is that they are providing information and not personalized advice. Often times you may feel that there is so much information that you simply don't know what to do next.


If you find yourself facing needing more personalized advice regarding your retirement planning, click here to schedule your free consultation with one of our CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professionals to see how we can help.


We specialize in designing personalized retirement income plans for individuals who have over $1 million in investment assets.

 

Author: Mark Fonville, CFP®


Mark is a fiduciary, fee-only financial advisor at Covenant Wealth Advisors specializing in helping individuals aged 50 plus plan, invest, and enjoy retirement without the stress of money.


Forbes nominated Mark as a Best-In-State Wealth Advisor* and he has been featured in the New York Times, Barron's, Forbes, and Kiplinger Magazine.


 

Disclosures: Covenant Wealth Advisors is a registered investment advisor with offices in Richmond and Williamsburg, VA. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. The views and opinions expressed in this content are as of the date of the posting, are subject to change based on market and other conditions. This content contains certain statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements. Please note that any such statements are not guarantees of any future performance and actual results or developments may differ materially from those projected. Please note that nothing in this content should be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase an interest in any security or separate account. Nothing is intended to be, and you should not consider anything to be, investment, accounting, tax, or legal advice. If you would like accounting, tax, or legal advice, you should consult with your own accountants or attorneys regarding your individual circumstances and needs. No advice may be rendered by Covenant Wealth Advisors unless a client service agreement is in place.

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