We’re living in the golden age of information. The proliferation of smartphones and WiFi has meant the answer to seemingly any financial question rests at your fingertips. While the internet provides endless opportunities for increasing financial literacy, books remain one of the most reliable resources for personal finance education (though, of course, you can choose to read the books on the electronic device of your choice).
There are books on just about every angle of personal finance, from budgeting to investing in stocks and real estate. When it comes to retirement planning, there is plenty that can be learned from picking up a book that specifically focuses on this vital element of financial planning. With this in mind, here’s a roundup of the best retirement planning books in 2022 to help you set and reach your retirement goals.
A financial advisor can help you estimate your expenses in retirement, plan for medical expenditures and decide when to claim Social Security. Find a trusted advisor today.
“Retirement Planning Guidebook” by Wade D. Pfau
Readers looking for an in-depth and comprehensive look at retirement planning may want to consider the work of Wade D. Pfau, a chartered financial analyst and prominent retirement researcher. In addition to his work de él as director of retirement research for MacLean Asset Management and inStream, Pfau is a professor of retirement income at The American College of Financial Services and publishes his research regularly on retirementresearcher.com, a website he founded.
Pfau’s latest book, “Retirement Planning Guidebook: Navigating the Important Decisions for Retirement Success,” offers an exhaustive soup-to-nuts look at the complex and multifaceted world of retirement planning. This 476-page guide aims to help you identify your income needs in retirement, understand various investment and insurance options, navigate Social Security, as well as manage your long-term care risks and medical needs. Elliot Raphaelson, a syndicated finance columnist, called Pfau’s book the “most comprehensive and well-written personal finance guide ever published.”
“The Total Money Makeover” by Dave Ramsey
Written by the nationally syndicated radio host Dave Ramsey, “The Total Money Makeover” outlines seven actionable steps to take to achieve financial security. Ramsey’s “seven baby steps,” which begin with building a $1,000 starter emergency fund and the debt snowball strategy to pay off debt, eventually escalate to investing 15% of your income for retirement and paying off your home early.
The lessons of this book may be especially helpful for people who haven’t started saving for retirement because of debt. With over 5 million copies sold, The “Total Money Makeover” is a New York Times and Amazon bestseller.
“How to Make Your Money Last” by Jane Bryant Quinn
Jane Bryant Quinn’s “How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide” is a suitable guide for retirees who are concerned about being able to stretch their savings throughout their golden years.
Quinn, a financial journalist and bestselling author, explores strategies to boost your savings, increase your Social Security benefit, use your home to produce income, tap life insurance policies for income and more. While more than an introduction to personal finance, “How to Make Your Money Last” offers simple advice on how to plan for retirement and the various options retirees and those planning for retirement have at their disposal.
“How Much Money Do I Need to Retire?” By Todd Tresidder
In the introduction to “How Much Money Do I Need to Retire?: Uncommon Financial Planning Wisdom for a Stress-Free Retirement,” author Todd Tresidder reminds readers that knowing how much they need is the “essential foundation on which every other aspect of retirement planning is built.” With that as the central focus of his book, Tressider proceeds to guide the reader through the vital questions you must ask yourself as you plan for retirement, how to accurately estimate investment returns and how to identify your “magical” retirement number.
Tressider, a former hedge fund manager who retired at age 35, also touches on the importance of passive income and provides actionable retirement planning advice.
“The Ultimate Retirement Guide for 50+” by Suze Orman
Published in 2020, “The Ultimate Retirement Guide for 50+: Winning Strategies to Make Your Money Last a Lifetime” is the latest book from personal finance guru Suze Orman. This book is specifically written for people 50 and older who need help “laying out all of the pieces of their retirement puzzle and then pulling them together in a cohesive plan.”
Orman tackles a different piece of the puzzle in each chapter, from building a reliable income stream that will last 25 to 30 years to the importance of wills and trusts. Orman readers celebrate her enthusiasm for personal finance, as well as her simple, clear-eyed advice from her.
The Bottom Line
Education is the cornerstone of financial literacy, and personal finance books are powerful tool for improving your financial acumen. There is a plethora of books devoted specifically to retirement planning. While some look to serve as comprehensive guides for retirement planning, others focus exclusively on wealth accumulation or wealth protection. Deciding which book is right for you likely depends on your existing knowledge base and what it is you’re hoping to learn.
Retirement Planning Tips
While books and learning are vital to improving your financial literacy, a financial advisor can help you put your plan into action. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors in your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
Whether you’re four years or four decades away from retirement, it’s important to have a sense of where you stand in the progress you’re making toward a savings goal. SmartAsset’s retirement calculator can help you estimate how much you’ll have saved by the time you’re ready to retire.
While most people focus heavily on how much they can save for retirement, not everyone knows how much they’ll actually need. To estimate how much you can reliably spend in retirement, Fidelity says your investments should cover 45% of your pre-retirement income with Social Security benefits (assuming you claim at age 67) making up the rest.
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