A clear, concise, and wise guide to retirement planning.

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Attorney and investment counsel Jason presents a thorough guide to investment with a specific view toward retirement.

The author astutely observes that retirement has only become more challenging as lifespans have increased, and consequently, “your retirement planning will encompass a much longer period of time than you might first envision.” Moreover, she asserts, one can’t procrastinate and expect to prepare for retirement properly; the author notes more than once: “This is not the time to learn through trial and error.” Although these are universal truths, “retirement security” is largely about personal customization, Jason points out, as not everyone will have the same goals to achieve or the same hurdles to clear. Her aim is to help readers retire “on [their] own terms,” and to that end, she provides both a general conceptual framework to understand retirement investment, as well as specific, practical counsel regarding the formulation and execution of a retirement plan. She covers a wide swath of analytical territory—volatility and risk, diversification, the ways one should choose a financial expert to assist with investment and other areas of interest. The book concludes with self-assessment tools to build a synopsis of one’s financial health and future aspirations, and it’s a lucid, concise questionnaire that, in itself, makes this volume a worthwhile resource. Jason’s presentation is intellectually rigorous—instead of self-help-style nostrums, she furnishes concrete, actionable advice substantiated with empirical data. Moreover, despite necessary excursions into technicality, this is a thoroughly readable book that will be entirely accessible to those with a limited understanding of investment strategy. Another of its virtues is that it never dispenses hyperbolic promises and unflinchingly confronts the reality of risk: “In my experience, the most satisfied investors are those who embrace the investor’s dilemma, understanding that risk (uncertainty) and reward (high returns) are forever and always intertwined.” Overall, this is an impressively informative book that attests to the author’s 30-plus years of experience in the financial industry.

A clear, concise, and wise guide to retirement planning.

Pub Date: April 28, 2022

ISBN: 9781639050628

Page Count: 228

Publisher: American Bar Association

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2023


Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011


A clearly delineated guide to finally eradicate poverty in America.

A thoughtful program for eradicating poverty from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Evicted.

“America’s poverty is not for lack of resources,” writes Desmond. “We lack something else.” That something else is compassion, in part, but it’s also the lack of a social system that insists that everyone pull their weight—and that includes the corporations and wealthy individuals who, the IRS estimates, get away without paying upward of $1 trillion per year. Desmond, who grew up in modest circumstances and suffered poverty in young adulthood, points to the deleterious effects of being poor—among countless others, the precarity of health care and housing (with no meaningful controls on rent), lack of transportation, the constant threat of losing one’s job due to illness, and the need to care for dependent children. It does not help, Desmond adds, that so few working people are represented by unions or that Black Americans, even those who have followed the “three rules” (graduate from high school, get a full-time job, wait until marriage to have children), are far likelier to be poor than their White compatriots. Furthermore, so many full-time jobs are being recast as contracted, fire-at-will gigs, “not a break from the norm as much as an extension of it, a continuation of corporations finding new ways to limit their obligations to workers.” By Desmond’s reckoning, besides amending these conditions, it would not take a miracle to eliminate poverty: about $177 billion, which would help end hunger and homelessness and “make immense headway in driving down the many agonizing correlates of poverty, like violence, sickness, and despair.” These are matters requiring systemic reform, which will in turn require Americans to elect officials who will enact that reform. And all of us, the author urges, must become “poverty abolitionists…refusing to live as unwitting enemies of the poor.” Fortune 500 CEOs won’t like Desmond’s message for rewriting the social contract—which is precisely the point.

A clearly delineated guide to finally eradicate poverty in America.

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 9780593239919

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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