Useful overviews to kick-start a more focused plan for retirement.

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THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE FOR THE NEW AGE OF RETIREMENT

WHY THE RULES HAVE CHANGED

A financial adviser outlines key concepts and issues to consider regarding retirement planning.

In the first chapter of his book, financial adviser Overson  gives the following warning: “[T]he economy will be affected in a major way” as aging boomers continue to retire, yet “most people spend more time planning their vacations than they spend planning their retirement.” To remedy this situation, Overson recommends bringing careful analysis to what he calls RIFT, or “the Risk you take, the Income you choose to take from it, the Fees you are paying and the Taxes you owe on the gains….Everything else about money is beyond your control and, therefore, not worth your worry and heartache.” Overson suggests categorizing money into colors—“green” (safe money with guarantees), “red” (such as assets that fluctuate in the stock market), or “yellow,” in “which the risk is reduced because it is being professionally managed with a strategy.” Drawing on case studies to support his points, Overson recommends looking into annuities to fill projected income gaps and using life insurance policies and Roth IRAs as part of the increasing need to focus on tax-advantaged investing since tax rates, given the federal deficit, will likely rise in the future. He also cautions against too much liquidity and unintentionally disinheriting your family with inadequate estate planning. Overson really offers evergreen rather than particularly “new” rules for his stated “new age” of retirement. Additionally, his repeated mentions of hiring a professional to avoid “emotional investing” may be a valid perspective but also comes off as a bit self-serving. Overall, however, he has produced an easy-to-read guide full of solid, well-supported advice, complete with relatable scenarios and helpful chapter recaps. The result is a primer that should provide food for thought as well as serve as Overson’s intended wake-up call to unfocused investors.

Useful overviews to kick-start a more focused plan for retirement.

Pub Date: June 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-1500221171

Page Count: 175

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2014

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

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

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. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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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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