Wednesday 4 June 2014

Book ~ "You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think" (2014) Wes Moss

From Goodreads ~ If you think you need to win the lottery or work until you're 75 to retire with financial stability, Money Matters host Wes Moss has very good news for you. "You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think" reveals the secrets for ensuring a successful retirement - sooner rather than later. 

After conducting an intensive study of happy retirees to learn the financial practices they hold in common, Moss discovered that it doesn't take financial genius, millions of dollars or sophisticated investment skills to ensure a safe, solid retirement. All it takes is five best practices: 
  • Determine what you want and need your retirement money for 
  • Figure out how much you need to save 
  • Create a plan to pay off your mortgage in as little as five years 
  • Develop an income stream from multiple sources 
  • Become an income investor 

Getting on the fast track to a great retirement is a lot simpler than the retirement professionals would have you believe. "You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think" provides the proven-effective, five-step formula for creating the retirement of your dreams.

This book caught my attention because I work in the retirement planning industry and talk with members of group retirement plans all the time.  I was curious as to how the author was going to help people retire sooner ... because who wouldn't want to?!

The book is made up of four parts:
  1. The happy retiree basics - who are the happy retirees and what makes them happy, what makes retirees unhappy and how you can avoid it, and can you really retire sooner than you think
  2. The 5 money secrets of happy retirees - determining what you want and need your retirement money for, use this formula to figure out how much money you need to have saved before you retire, formulate a plan to pay off your mortgage in no more than five years, develop an income stream from 3 or 4 sources, and become an income investor
  3. Minimizing risk in your investment portfolio - how risky can you e, avoid the major pitfalls of investing
  4. Enjoying the rest of your life - hobbies, recreation, vacations and so much more

The results of this book came from a survey the author conducted of more than 1,350 retirees in the U.S. and here are some of the results:
  • Pre-retirement salaries during the peak earning years of about $98,000/year in household income, though there seemed to be a lot of earners with $150,000+/year
  • Retirement income which averaged almost $88,000/year
  • Average spending level of $53,000/year
  • Retirement assets of at least $500,000 in liquid net worth
  • Take at least two vacations a year
  • Hate fast food and love steak (so eat in "nice" restaurants)

From my experience, I don't think he had a good representation of the average person, though, so it would be hard to follow the practices of this book for most.

What I did like was the "warm and fuzzy" advice in the book like having a sense of purpose in life and having core pursuits (something you are passionate about) in retirement.

I found this book to be too high level at times so wouldn't recommend it as a basic book for most if they are looking for guidance on planning for their retirement.