Get a Life: You Don't Need a Million to Retire Well

Ralph E. Warner, Author
Ralph E. Warner, Author NOLO $18.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-87337-327-2
Paperback - 324 pages - 978-0-87337-424-8
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Warner, attorney and founder of Nolo, the do-it-yourself legal publisher, has written a unique retirement guide which, despite its title, focuses on non-financial issues as well as the traditional retirement concerns. The book also includes conversations with notable people who have led productive ""retirement"" lives, including environmental activist and writer Ernest Callenbach and mathematician Arthur Levenson. By focusing on important concerns such as broadening circles of friends, relying on one's extended family, turning to hobbies and nonwork activities, the book will help readers gain a healthier perspective on retirement. The sections on friendship and love are particularly compelling. The chapters on specific financial planning are not as complete as readers might want; for example, there's only one brief chapter that explains how investments work. Warner can also be something of a contrarian in his financial advice. He maintains that experts who say people need roughly 80% of their pre-retirement income are wrong. In addition, Warner says (arguably) that the Social Security system is not actually in precarious shape and will be around for many years to come. Still this is one of the freshest and most practical approaches to retirement planning in a long time. (Aug.)
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