Financial planner Williams offers solid retirement planning advice using examples from the life of Michelangelo.
There’s actually an “art” to planning for retirement, Williams writes, and throughout his book, he cites one of the world’s most celebrated artists as an example of someone who financed a great lifestyle well into his retirement years. For example, he notes that Michelangelo was past 70 when he got the job as the architect of St. Peter’s Basilica. Like Michelangelo, he writes, investors have to be discriminating in their choices of which experts to follow, and the author is not a fan of one-size-fits-all financial advisers on television, calling CBNC’s Jim Cramer and Suze Orman financial “entertainers.” Although this premise may initially sound gimmicky, Williams has a larger concept in mind, devoting half his book to personal values and half to investing. In the first section, he cites 2005 research showing that baby boomers are much more interested in learning about their parents’ ethics and faith than about their parents’ financial assets, so Williams offers the idea of an “ethical will,” a non–legally binding document which can help people pass along their moral values to their children. The book’s second half offers more traditional retirement planning advice, such as how to determine risk tolerance and build the right investment portfolio. Williams notes that too many retirees are afflicted with information overload; when there are too many financial choices—or too many choices that are too similar—it can lead to investment paralysis. For readers who want a professional adviser’s help, Williams suggests avoiding those who claim to have cornered the market on results: “Does the advisor brag about market-beating results year after year? If so, get up and walk out.” Overall, the author writes in clear, simple language, only rarely veering into jargon. Despite a few typos and occasional unnecessary preludes, his advice is easily digestible without being dumbed down. Appendices include questionnaires that will likely aid those ready to start planning.
An engaging guide aimed at retirees but packed with practical advice that even 20- and 30-somethings might use.