The Chinese proverb about the best time to plant a tree also lends itself to retirement: the best time to start saving for retirement was 20 years ago, but the second best time is now. While most Americans are aware of the importance of planning for retirement, it’s easy to become bogged down by all the jargon and conflicting advice that exists in the financial planning world. To help cut through all of the noise, here are four retirement planning books that will appeal to future retirees of all ages and walks of life.
We Recommend these Retirement Planning Books
For the utilitarian: The Simple Path to Wealth, by JL Collins
The Simple Path to Wealth seeks to dispel the myth that retirement plans have to be complicated in order to be successful. Rejecting flashy and trendy investment strategies in favor of time-tested principles, Collins reminds readers that the most important part of a retirement plan is to avoid paralysis by analysis and get started as soon as possible.
The book is a quick and easy read and provides the confidence necessary to conceive and implement a solid retirement plan.
For the overachiever: Early Retirement Extreme, by Jacob Lund Fisker
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The author of Early Retirement Extreme attained financial independence at just thirty years old, primarily by cutting his expenses to the bone and saving a high percentage of his income. He contends that anyone can do the same if they adhere to a similar level of discipline. His book calls for the adoption of a simpler lifestyle and rejection of the rampant consumerism that has become a hallmark of the American culture and economy.
While Fisker’s radical approach isn’t practical for most retirement seekers (his annual expenditures regularly come in under $10,000), his story is a testament to what can be achieved through an extreme level of dedication and focus.
For the traditionalist: Total Money Makeover, by Dave Ramsey
One of the biggest names in personal finance, Dave Ramsey has built an empire around his simple, no-nonsense approach to managing money and saving for retirement. Total Money Makeover introduces the seven steps to financial freedom, providing readers with a detailed road map to living a healthy financial life.
“The same financial advice your grandmother gives, but we keep our teeth in” is one of Ramsey’s favorite catch phrases, and some of his advice can truly be considered old fashioned. He rants against the FICO credit score system and advises against the use of credit cards. However, the book has become a classic in the decade since its publication and serves as a great starting point for anyone who wants to get his or her finances in order.
For the nonconformist: The 4-Hour Workweek, by Tim Ferriss
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Tim Ferriss is a jack-of-all-trades and master of many. His first book is more of a life hacking manifesto than a retirement guide, taking the traditionally accepted view of career and retirement and turning it on its head. Ferriss summarily rejects a deferred life plan that would require decades of hard work in return for a few sunset years of rest and relaxation. Instead, he provides tips and tricks to craft a dynamic life that will yield the time, money and flexibility to achieve goals and dreams in the here and now.
This book has proven to be a siren call for millenials, providing a new blueprint for a generation seeking to do things a bit differently from their parents and grandparents.