How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide by Jane Bryant Quinn
As I think about retirement, these types of books begin to look more appealing. I actually found it comforting to have an expert identify and discuss the most confusing (and fearful!) parts of retirement--especially knowing for sure one will have enough money.
Of course, some of the sections don't apply to everyone, so I just skipped to the parts that were relevant to me. The author has some helpful advice on thinking about how you are going to survive (financially) your golden years. She has a way of writing things clearly and succinctly--bringing out the most important points.
Of course, Ms Quinn spends quite a bit of time on the thorny issue of how/when to claim social security benefits. It's been well documented by others, of course, but it was helpful to see an expert's perspective on how long to defer claiming benefits.
To see how well you are prepared for retirement, Jane suggests you make a budget of where your money is going now, then add up all your financial assets. She suggests a conservative 4% "draw down" on your savings. And don't make the mistake, she admonishes the reader, of just investing in "income" investments. You really need a more well-rounded portfolio in stocks and indexes--and certainly NOT just a few stocks.
For spending purposes, Ms Quinn recommends a concept of money "buckets." For example, you have one bucket to take care of immediate, short-term expenses, and another as an "income portfolio," and so on. You might have one bucket as a "discretionary spending" bucket.
I was pleasantly surprised to find some really useful information on the Affordable Care Act--or "ACA." I had heard, for example, that premiums for seniors could be no more than 3x the rate for younger folks. The author confirmed that is indeed true.
All in all, an excellent, well-written resource. Tons of useful information. I thought the author presented lots of good concepts--lots of meaty things to think about as I get closer to that magic age.