Add These to Your Fall Reading List if You’re Dreaming of Retirement

People who read at least seven books a year earn nearly two and a half times more money than those who read only one. That was the conclusion of business leader Harvey Mackay, 10 years ago, coming out of the Great Recession. Other studies have proven that reading improves brain connectivity, increases vocabulary, reduces stress, and prevents cognitive decline.

Daydreaming about your future life in retirement and enjoying your golden years can put your mind in a state of bliss. Reading a book about retirement planning can prove fulfilling and valuable to help you achieve the financial goals necessary to turn those daydreams into reality.

Investments, taxes, Social Security & Medicare, estate planning, and insurance are just some areas where savers hope to enjoy a comfortable retirement from. So, beyond a few good biographies and fiction titles you find for your fall reading list, here are seven recommended reads to help you learn how to make smarter financial choices when preparing for your life in retirement.

1. The Bogleheads’ Guide to Retirement Planning (Larimore)

“Bogleheads” are investors who adhere to the simple yet profound wisdom of John C. Bogle, founder of Vanguard Group. Some of their key tenets of retirement planning are to keep investment costs low, simplify your finances, know which account types to maximize first, and insure against the inevitable setbacks along your journey.

This book is an excellent read for beginners looking for a no-nonsense take on how to get started preparing for your life after work.

2. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing (Bogle)

You can learn about retirement straight from the horse’s mouth, too.

John C. Bogle wrote several editions of this classic before his passing in 2019. Dubbed an “investing Bible” by some, Jack’s words offer everyday folks the keys to getting the most out of investment dollars.

According to the author, the “buy and hold” approach is a time-tested method for building long-term wealth.

3. The New Retirement Savings Time Bomb (Slott)

Diving deeper into the nuances of retirement planning, we can look to one of the world’s foremost experts, Ed Slott, on a complex topic for retail investors and professional advisors alike: tax planning.

Understanding the tax code can be a tricky proposition. It seems lawmakers are constantly changing things around. Slott is regarded as among the most knowledgeable financial professionals on the topic of IRAs.

This book can help you take control of your financial portfolio, avoid unnecessary taxes, and mitigate risks. You might know Ed from his many appearances on public television and financial networks. He is a frequent contributor to many popular investment publications, as well.

4. Retirement Planning Guidebook (Pfau)

Wade Pfau is a preeminent retirement researcher. As a Professor of Retirement Income, he holds both a Ph.D. and the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Pfau’s insights into complex areas such as annuities, investments, and insurance are sought by even the savviest financial advisors. In this book, Pfau explains in plain English how people can understand their personalized retirement income style. The author then dives into how to strategize Social Security benefits.

The alphabet soup that is Medicare is outlined, along with how best to approach finding health coverage in retirement.

5. Happy Money: The New Science of Smarter Spending (Dunn)

Retirement planning isn’t all about the numbers. An often-overlooked aspect of preparing for the drawdown phase is knowing what spending habits make you happy.

It’s sad when someone saves and saves throughout their working life but never figures out how to use their nest egg to bring joy. After all, retirement is “funded contentment,” according to Brian Portnoy, author of The Geometry of Wealth.

Elizabeth Dunn and Dr. Michael Norton, who penned Happy Money, go through the science of spending to optimize pleasure.

6. The Psychology of Money (Housel)

Morgan Housel is among the most prolific and captivating financial writers of our time. In this 2020 work, he powerfully uses stories to demonstrate tried and true methods of earning, saving, and investing money.

You might be surprised at how easy it is to build a solid portfolio through the decades. As the title suggests, human psychology plays a pivotal role in how we behave financially. Equipped with the knowledge Housel provides, you can better understand what true wealth means to you.

7. Can I Retire? (Piper)

Rounding out our list is a classic by Mike Piper. Without using technical jargon, readers will understand how to use annuities to minimize what might be the biggest fear of retirees: outliving their money.

This book also helps retirement savers know how much they will need to fund their future needs. A key question is also addressed: should you save in a Roth or Traditional IRA? Finally, asset allocation strategies and tax tips can aid even the most seasoned investor. Piper’s CPA background comes through, and your eyes will not be glazed over!

These titles are just a few of the top-notch books out there that teach both the basics of retirement saving and advanced financial planning strategies.

We live in an increasingly complicated investing environment, which makes it imperative to stay abreast of the latest rules and trends. At the same time, there are classic reads that stand the test of time and can round out your reading list this fall.

By the way, reading more also leads to living a longer life – so any books that help you maximize the money you have saved prior to retiring are going to be a sound investment.

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This article was produced by Wealthtender and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Mike is a freelance writer for financial advisors and investment firms. He's a CFA® charterholder and Chartered Market Technician®, and has passed the coursework for the Certified Financial Planner program. Mike is a frequent contributor to the Humble Dollar personal finance site.