The 5 Years Before You Retire: Retirement planning when you need it the most, just hit bookshelves. As you would expect, it’s perfect for anyone around 5 years away from retirement.
So if that’s you, or if you know someone in that category, then pay attention. I read the book so I could confidently pass it along to my parents and in-laws. And since I have my own early-retirement aspirations I enjoyed looking for the parts that might apply to me now.
I wouldn’t normally review a book like this. I typically try to speak to folks around my age (38) or younger on this blog. But this book is certainly an exception. It was written by Emily Guy Birken, who’s written here and on the FinCon blog for several years now.
Emily has put together a fantastic book. In short, it’s the complete guide for anyone 5 years or less from retirement. The book is lazer-focused on the pre-retirement audience and it covers everything you could think to include in such a book.
Emily draws from her own knowledge, as well as expert voices from folks like yours truly. So you know I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to review it. I’m in the acknowledgments, after all. Congrats to Emily for completing this book and thanks for allowing me to be a part of it.
The book is a little over 200 pages. It’s available in paperback or kindle on Amazon. The 13 chapters in the book are broken into 3 sections: retirement finances, government issues, and home and family issues. This makes it easy to consume and it allows you to come back to certain sections when the time is right.
Although the book certainly delivered in the tactical sense (e.g. calculating how much you need to have saved, social security expectations, and other tax and insurance concerns), it also includes information and advice on dealing with family financial boundaries, renting vs buying in retirement, and other tangentially related issues.
This gives the book a comprehensive and well-rounded feel that gave me many, “oh, I would never have thought of that” moments.
My words even made the book. Here’s my contribution on the subject of earning money in retirement:
“Continuing to work in the same field after you retire is an excellent way to put your years of experience to use. Your employer may be interested in having you work part-time or as a consultant, which will keep you feeling connected to your work and your colleagues. Another option is to take whatever you did full-time before your retirement and find a way to become a freelancer or work independently. This will allow you to create your own flexible schedule and choose the projects that most interest you.
If you’d prefer a more traditional part-time job, look for opportunities where you are going to be anyway. For instance, if you love to golf and know you’ll be playing regularly, look for part-time positions at your local golf course. Not only will that help you increase your retirement income, but it will also reduce your expenses since you’ll be able to golf for free.
Other options along those lines include working for a cruise line if you’d love to travel in retirement, or working for a college if you’d like to take classes while you are retired. With the economy headed towards more part-time jobs, you should be able to find a fun, part-time working experience where you know you’ll already be spending time.”
I imagine the 5 years before retirement can be a stressful time. So much to think about, so little time to make up any differences or correct mistakes. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy or two for yourself or a loved one. When you’re kicking back in retirement more-comfortably and confidently enjoying the fruits of your labor, you’ll thank me.