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.