I am 53 years old, and while I’m not all that close to retirement, I can see the prospect hoovering on the horizon. I’ve started to pay attention to what other people say about retirement in the news and on financial websites and blogs. And what other people say about retirement is often terribly confusing. Enter Emily Guy Birken and her book Choose Your Own Retirement: Find the Right Path to Your New Adventure, Ms. Birken deftly cuts through all the confusion, and finally, some of the process starts to make sense.
The first part of this book asks you to take a hard look at how you think about money, and this is valuable, because how you think about money plays a role in how you invest and how you spend when you retire. Ms. Birken also helps debunk all the popular retirement myths that seem to be the staple advice offered by other experts. And then she gives you tools to analyze your own finances to see what works best for you.
However, my favorite section of the book is the one that asks you to really think about what you want to do in retirement. Do you want to travel? Then you may have to put away more funds in order to retire, travel, and be happy. I love the fact that the author suggests you think about your typical retirement day, for both you and your spouse. I think, too often, people just assume they’ll enjoy living in Florida, but the reality of it, of having no close family, no close friends, no community ties–is much different than what they expect.
This resource has some of expected “Let’s crunch the numbers” chapters, but they are written it readable text that was not intimidating. Ms. Birken also offers insightful chapters on retiring early and on working part-time during retirement. She truly covers all the bases here. If you are looking for a good retirement planning resource to start the process, then this is the book for you.