Choose Your Retirement: Find the Right Path to Your New Adventure (Book Review)

Ready to get excited about the topic of retirement again?

Today I have the pleasure of reviewing Choose Your Retirement: Find the Right Path to Your New Adventure by Emily Guy Birken. You know Emily as my friend and long-time contributor here. Read Emily’s articles.

This is the second book from Emily. Her first, The 5 Years Before You Retire, was obviously aimed at readers close to retirement. This book takes a broader scope and includes advice that can be applied no matter your timeline.

Choose Your Retirement

My Review of Choose Your Retirement

In Choose Your Retirement, Emily brings to life the idea that you are in control of how you’ll spend your non-working years. You don’t have to take just what life gives you. You can take charge and find the right path for you.

Emily makes a great overall argument in the book. In the first section, she leans heavy on behavioral scientists and argues that you may need to first put yourself in the right mindset by dealing with some psychological barriers to your success.

Then, using quality sources, Emily effectively challenges some common myths about retirement, like Social Security not being solvent in a few years.

Finally, Emily offers up several exciting pathways we can take in retirement (traveling, moving, part-time work, etc) and lays out a sensible plan for each one.

I found the book very interesting. Especially the myth section, as well as the entire section on different ways to retire. I could see myself revisiting portions of this last section as my thoughts evolve on what type (or combinations of types) of retirement path(s) I might want for myself.

A couple of my favorite quotes from the book:

“…create a retirement path that fits your specific circumstances, rather than try to make your circumstances fit the “right” path.”

“…it is so important to take the time to figure out the specific things that you value, that make your life meaningful, and that make you feel satisfied. Without them, it does not matter how much or how little money you have in the bank.”

My favorite section of the book has to be the part that came from PT Money: the section on part-time jobs with benefits. There are only a handful of companies still doing this, and Emily makes sure to highlight them in the section on working in retirement.

What I Like Most About Choose Your Retirement

A financially healthy retirement is possible, if we choose to take action. Emily does a great job of dispelling the myths we tend to lean on as an excuse not to take action. She also broadens our perspective on the idea of retirement, which suddenly makes the topic a lot of fun to explore.

The section on healthcare and social security myths made my eyes glaze over a bit. I’m just so far away from needing to understand the details of those sections. Plus, each will change in the next 15 years (my timeline for retirement). If I was five years away from retirement, I could see myself taking notes on all of this information.

My lasting impression from Choose Your Retirement will be that I need to have a Plan A and “Plan B” for my retirement. With so many moving parts (the stock market, healthcare, my wants and desires, etc.), it’s healthy to think through a couple of different paths once I reach that point in my life that I want to completely stop working.

The book cover is simple, yet beautiful. And if I were Emily I would be very proud of the look and layout of the book.

I would recommend this book if you’re looking for a fresh perspective on your retirement. Choose Your Retirement is much more than a numbers book. It delves into money psychology, myths, and lightens up the entire topic of retirement by giving you a ton of options to explore. Purchase the book today!

Giveaway: I’m giving away one free copy of the book. Leave a comment below with what type (or types) of retirement you want for yourself and you’ll be entered into the giveaway. U.S., only please. Here are your choices: retire in place, move closer to family, move into a retirement community, retire abroad, travel in retirement, retire early, change careers in retirement, go back to school in retirement, and work part time in retirement. I’ll keep comments open through April and will choose the one winner randomly at that time.

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About Philip Taylor, CPA

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of the personal finance industry conference and trade show, FinCon.

He created Part-Time Money® back in 2007 to share his advice on money, hold himself accountable (while paying off over $75k in debt), and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence.


    Speak Your Mind


  1. Shawn Jutras says

    I want to spend my retirement traveling on my motorcycle. However, I want to volunteer in 50+ locations along the way each and every year. I want to touch as many lives across the US as I can first hand.

  2. I would like to retire early, in place and spend time volunteering with organizations I enjoy supporting.

  3. Retire to be near my kids. Go back to school for studio art.

  4. In addition to traveling more, I would like to blog, write books, and teach workshops on how to achieve Financial Freedom through Trading and Investing. And this book review is going to be posted to my blog today!

  5. I’d like to work part time in retirement – likely moving from bed-side nursing to teaching nursing. But, I have many years to go, so it would be good to explore the options. Thanks for giving away a copy of the book!

  6. Thanks for the giveaway! I would like to retire early and travel and work part time in retirement.