A practical and compassionate handbook designed to help women envision their lives after work.

WOMEN WI$E

THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO FINANCIAL AND LIFESTYLE DECISIONS AS WE AGE

Two financial planners, one of them a lawyer, draw on personal and professional experience as they offer advice to older women looking ahead to retirement.

In her role as a financial adviser, Blayney had helped other women plan for retirement, but when she stopped working at age 67, she found negotiating her own retirement plans to be unexpectedly challenging. Facing the increasing physical limitations of aging, along with numerous financial and lifestyle decisions, Blayney decided to compile the resource book that she herself needed to make the transition to retired life. She collaborated with like-minded colleague, attorney, and financial planner Fox, who had retired at age 71. Beginning with daunting statistics such as that women over the age of 65 are “80% more likely to be below the poverty line than men” and that 5,000 U.S. women turn 65 every day, Blayney and Fox assess the challenges that face a group in which “many feel alone, unseen and unheard, in a culture uncomfortable with the realities of aging.” Their topics range from identification of and protection from elder abuse to choosing the most practicable living situation and navigating the complexities of Medicare and Social Security. A deep dive into financial planning options includes chapters on annuities, reverse mortgages, strategies for spending down savings and investments, and estate planning. The authors’ perspectives as older women help to give their guidebook authority and heart. Even though they are both professionals in financial planning, they candidly admit to facing the same challenges as women far less schooled in economics, such as increasing difficulty in changing ceiling light bulbs and overcoming a reluctance to join a senior center. One notable limitation is the book’s firmly heterosexual perspective. Given the extra legal and social challenges that gay couples may face in later life, it’s surprising that the authors present aging as a “his and hers” proposition and don’t discuss the challenges of lesbians looking ahead to retirement. Nonetheless, with numerous lists, questions, and detailed explanations of complex financial and personal issues, this sincere and thorough guide would be helpful to women of all ages.

A practical and compassionate handbook designed to help women envision their lives after work.

Pub Date: June 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-64543-164-0

Page Count: 280

Publisher: Amplify Publishing

Review Posted Online: May 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

STILLNESS IS THE KEY

An exploration of the importance of clarity through calmness in an increasingly fast-paced world.

Austin-based speaker and strategist Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue, 2018, etc.) believes in downshifting one’s life and activities in order to fully grasp the wonder of stillness. He bolsters this theory with a wide array of perspectives—some based on ancient wisdom (one of the author’s specialties), others more modern—all with the intent to direct readers toward the essential importance of stillness and its “attainable path to enlightenment and excellence, greatness and happiness, performance as well as presence.” Readers will be encouraged by Holiday’s insistence that his methods are within anyone’s grasp. He acknowledges that this rare and coveted calm is already inside each of us, but it’s been worn down by the hustle of busy lives and distractions. Recognizing that this goal requires immense personal discipline, the author draws on the representational histories of John F. Kennedy, Buddha, Tiger Woods, Fred Rogers, Leonardo da Vinci, and many other creative thinkers and scholarly, scientific texts. These examples demonstrate how others have evolved past the noise of modern life and into the solitude of productive thought and cleansing tranquility. Holiday splits his accessible, empowering, and sporadically meandering narrative into a three-part “timeless trinity of mind, body, soul—the head, the heart, the human body.” He juxtaposes Stoic philosopher Seneca’s internal reflection and wisdom against Donald Trump’s egocentric existence, with much of his time spent “in his bathrobe, ranting about the news.” Holiday stresses that while contemporary life is filled with a dizzying variety of “competing priorities and beliefs,” the frenzy can be quelled and serenity maintained through a deliberative calming of the mind and body. The author shows how “stillness is what aims the arrow,” fostering focus, internal harmony, and the kind of holistic self-examination necessary for optimal contentment and mind-body centeredness. Throughout the narrative, he promotes that concept mindfully and convincingly.

A timely, vividly realized reminder to slow down and harness the restorative wonders of serenity.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-53858-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Portfolio

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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