A useful book that wraps a familiar financial topic in a slightly different (vacation) package.

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ULTIMATE VACATION

THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO LIVING WELL TODAY AND RETIRING WELL TOMORROW

A financial planner positions retirement as the “ultimate vacation” and offers related advice in this debut work.

Carver, the founder and head of a financial services firm, puts an unusual spin on the idea of one’s retirement years by suggesting that “you have to put the same amount of effort planning for them as you would for a vacation.” This analogy effectively anchors the book’s content, which is mostly standard fare for an otherwise financially focused retirement guide; the author covers such oft-discussed areas as assessing one’s finances, budgeting, and managing debt. Things get a bit more interesting, though, when he proposes a process that his firm calls “personal vision planning,” which involves “establishing a clear, actionable vision for your retirement by establishing where you want to go and why.” This self-assessment section is perhaps the most valuable in that it offers solid, specific financial guidance for funding one’s retirement; also worthwhile are the author’s tips on how to minimize expenses in the years leading up to it. The book addresses various types of insurance, how to generate income during retirement, and when to collect Social Security benefits. A chapter on the trendy “FIRE” (“Financial Independence, Retire Early”) movement is included, as well; Carver discusses the pros and cons of the strategy and concludes that it’s rather risky for most. Although the author offers a comprehensive chapter on selecting a financial adviser, he does eventually gravitate toward a sales pitch for his own firm; that said, his authoritative counsel is generally objective in tone. Appendices contain additional substantive materials, including a goal-determining exercise, a monthly expense worksheet, a retirement planning sheet, a comparison chart of different types of life insurance, and a description of key estate-planning documents. In keeping with the “vacation” theme, there are sidebars labeled “Vacation Planning Checklist” and “Avoiding Costly Road Hazards”; this conceit starts to wear a bit thin after a while, but the book remains neatly organized and cohesive throughout.

A useful book that wraps a familiar financial topic in a slightly different (vacation) package.

Pub Date: Nov. 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5445-0648-7

Page Count: 236

Publisher: Lioncrest Publishing

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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DEAR MR. HENSHAW

Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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