Book Review: Can I Retire?

Smart investing is essential to a successful retirement.

If you want to retire with enough to live on, you need to consider investing. For most of us, the only way to amass a large nest egg is to invest. Even if you don't build up a huge account, investing can help you as you strive to build passive income that can provide you with an adequate income stream in retirement.

Unfortunately, there seems to be an aura of complexity surrounding investing — including investing for a successful retirement. As you prepare to plan for retirement, an idea of how to use investments to your advantage is vital, and that scares people. The good news is that it doesn't have to be that hard. Ever since I read Oblivious Investing?by Mike Piper (, I've discovered that investing for us ordinary folks doesn't have to be hard.

And that includes investing for retirement. Piper has written a number of books breaking down investing, and making it easy for anyone to understand. His latest, Can I Retire?: How Much Money You Need to Retire and How to Manage Your Retirement Savings, Explained in 100 Pages or Less, takes retirement investing and turns it into something downright simple.

Put Together a Retirement Plan

I thoroughly enjoyed Can I Retire?, which represents the very first book I bought with my new Kindle. Piper has divided the book into three parts: How much money you need, managing a retirement portfolio, and tax planning. These parts break down each stage of the retirement investing process into mangeable, actionable goals.

One of the things I like about this book is that everything follows a logical course, so that you can see, laid out, what you need to do in order to succeed. Examples used in the book are realistic and applicable, and serve to illustrate how?you can accomplish your retirement goals.

Piper also spends some time on the “rules” of retirement. So often, we get caught up in the rules of thumb associated with investing and retirement that we neglect our own situations. Can I Retire??explains the reasoning behind common rules, and then helps you see how you can tweak them in order to better fit your individual situation.

I would have liked to see a little more about dividend stocks in there, but, Piper is a very strong advocate of index funds (and I mostly agree with him — I love my boring investing strategy that mostly involves index funds). However, I think there is some room for dividend stocks — and there are also dividend funds out there. Maybe Piper will write a book on dividend investing next 😉

Can I Retire??is a helpful read. All of Piper's books are short, to the point, and understandable. Can I Retire??dispenses with the complexities that others sometimes introduce into retirement planning, and provides you with a solid foundation and the knowledge needed to create a retirement investing roadmap that gives you a better chance of reaching your goals.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Can I Retire?”

  1. Hi Miranda.

    Thanks for taking the time to read the book and share your thoughts. You were very kind. 🙂

    The reason I haven’t written much about dividend investing is that the data I’ve seen (here and here, for instance) suggest that it’s just a suboptimal way to achieve a value (as opposed to growth) tilt for a portfolio. And it often comes with higher costs than a simple index-fund-implemented value tilt.

    But, I’d be interested to read contrary studies if you run across any.

    1. LOL. I don’t know any studies — it’s why I want you to write a book! 😉 I’ve started learning a little bit about it as a way to build an income portfolio, and am trying it out, a little bit. But, with my less aggressive style, I’m probably not getting all that I can out of it. But, for long term wealth building, I’m with you that, for most of us “regular” folks, index funds are the way to go!

  2. One of the problems I have with retirement books is that none of them seem to be written by people that have actually retired or that can point to a long list of clients that they’ve been working with for 30 years that retired successfully. Which isn’t to say that the advice isn’t sound or helpful, but imagine if we relied on mechanics that had never actually fixed a car or a doctor that had never helped a patient.

    1. Neither my doctor nor my mechanic has 30 years of experience 😉 I don’t consider what they do of no value, though. I think that there is something to be said for someone who is building a successful portfolio. While Mike may not be very old, he does have some years of experience with investing, as well as plenty of research, to provide valuable insight into what is likely to work as you start out.

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