Money Book Review: Choose Your Retirement

My friend Emily Guy Birken wrote a great book called Choose Your retirement. Here's my review.

When we think of retirement, we often think of a set of rules of thumb to follow. Thoughts of million-dollar nest eggs rules and ideas revolving around when to shift assets from stocks to bonds are uppermost. While rules of thumb like the 4% rule can be good starting points, the reality is that your retirement won't look exactly like someone else's.

One of the things I like about Emily Guy Birken's latest book, Choose Your Retirement: Find the Right Path to Your New Adventure, is the focus on figuring out what you want first, and then building your retirement around what makes sense for you. I'm a big fan of putting your money to work on your behalf, and viewing it as a resource, and Emily helps you do this.

Get Your Head Right and Stop Believing Retirement Myths

Choose Your retirementEmily starts Choose Your Retirement by focusing on money psychology and the idea of removing the small barriers that keep you from financial and investing success. She helps you see that investing doesn't have to be complicated, and provides insight into how you can get started immediately.

Next, Emily takes some time to debunk some of the myths that have grown up around retirement. You don't want myths about Social Security, Medicare and income to hold you back from making the right decisions for you, and Emily does a great job of taking some of the most common myths and debunking them. You don't want fear to cloud your judgment, and Emily's straightforward style can help you see beyond the rhetoric and understand what the research says.

The practical organization of Choose Your Retirement moves you seamlessly through the process of understanding the situation and helping you see the options available to you. Once you have a solid foundation for determining what your retirement will look like, Emily then moves you through a few scenarios, complete with practical advice on how to make your dream happen.

How to Choose Your retirement

Emily offers clear, actionable information about what you can expect during retirement. She addresses different retirement options, including:

  • Retiring in place
  • Moving closer to family
  • Choosing a retirement community
  • Traveling or living abroad
  • Changing careers (if you don't want to stop working) and going back to school
  • Working part-time
  • Retiring early
  • Leaving a legacy

No matter your own retirement goals, there is a good chance that you will find good advice from Emily on how to create the life you want. She also addresses psychological issues that can come up during retirement, as well as other things to watch out for. This book isn't just about the money (although that's a big part of it). It's also a great primer for figuring out what you want your whole life to look like during retirement. It's a holistic approach to your life during retirement.

It's true that retirement can be scary, and that there is a lot to think about. However, Emily breaks it down so that you can figure out how to make things work for you — and get started immediately so that you don't find yourself adrift when the time comes.

Even if you aren't quite ready to retire, Choose Your Retirement is full of great hints and practical money moves that you can make to direct your financial resources in a way that allows you to create the life you want.

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