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by Larry K. Weiss

Retirement-planning professionals offer advice on how to smoothly transition into the golden years.

Weiss and his colleagues at NEXT Financial Group have counseled thousands of senior citizens on how to enjoy retirement without a steady source of income. Studying recent medical and life span data, he and his associates begin by estimating every retiree’s terminal age at 95. From there, numerous financial areas are covered: health-care planning, exit strategies for real-estate investments, inflation, taxes, tolerance to financial risk and the helpful introduction “The Seven Habits of Successful Seniors.” Here, Weiss and Co. understand their role as blunt, objective, third-party advisers, their goal to prepare retirees for the arduous financial journey ahead. Longtime couples are asked to account for their assets individually, thus planning for a spouse’s passing, or to take their own medical infirmities into question. The approach is frank–Weiss doesn’t shy away from issues of insolvency, chronic illness or death. He believes that an honest, if occasionally uncomfortable, look at financial planning is the only path to a successful retirement. Undoubtedly, the topics covered assume an already healthy stable of assets, be it a successful portfolio, real-estate investments or accessibility to top-notch medical care. The problem with that assumption is twofold: It doesn’t address a less well-off population in need of help with retirement planning, while it focuses the authors’ message to a target audience that is likely already savvy about money. Despite this propensity to skew to those who are more financially sound, there is sensible, useful advice here.

A good starting point for retirees daunted by financial planning.