A formidably detailed and invaluably clear guide to not just achieving retirement security, but also maintaining it.




A financial manual focuses on securing a rock-solid retirement.

In his book How Much Can I Spend in Retirement? (2017), the author gave readers a comprehensive analysis of the “risk premium” of the stock market, which relies on the notion that “while the stock market is volatile, it will eventually provide favorable returns for most retirees and will outperform bonds.” The three major categories of risk in such a setting, according to Pfau (Reverse Mortgages, 2018, etc.), are market volatility, spending shocks like major medical expenses, and the longevity of the retirees themselves. A promoter of the probability-based approach to retirement planning, he looks on these risks with the sang-froid of the practiced gambler. “They see the stock market as a straightforward way to obtain superior retirement outcomes,” the author writes of his fellow believers. “Safety-first advocates disagree.” In his new work, Pfau offers a correspondingly detailed analysis of a fundamentally different approach to retirement investment, the safety-first method, whose supporters “are generally more willing to accept a role for insurance as a source of income protection to help manage various retirement risks.” Using the simple analogy of mountain climbing, the author points out that the probability-based approach to retirement is mainly concerned with accumulating enough financial security to reach the summit whereas alpinists will readily admit that the descent is always more dangerous. “The objective of a retirement saver is not just to make it to the top of the mountain, which we could view as achieving a wealth accumulation target,” Pfau writes. “The real objective is to safely and smoothly make it down the mountain, spending assets in a sustainable manner.” Throughout his densely packed account, the author helpfully lays out for readers the various aspects of his topic in a fierce amount of specific details. His book comes replete with useful charts and graphs and extensive suggestions for further reading. All of this supporting material is buttressed by Pfau’s own considerable skill at clarifying even the most abstruse subject facing retirees, whether it be the various kinds of annuities the author backs for his income-pooling conception of retirement income or the complexities of navigating those instruments, in the form of things like rollup and withdrawal rates. More and more Americans are retiring, and they are living longer than ever before. But the contours of that retired life have been fundamentally changing for decades; the days of people guaranteeing their financial securities with one simple retirement plan are largely gone. Pfau’s manual uses as its starting point this complicated new landscape. He carefully takes readers through the arcana of terms and plans and the realities they’ll face in their retirement years, explaining everything with a straightforward prose that will be a boon to those dealing with this challenging time. The author’s goal is to help individuals lay the foundation for not only financial competence in retirement, but also the ability to spend comfortably in those years. Pfau wants this group to achieve what he characterizes as the four financial goals of retirement: lifestyle, liquidity, longevity, and legacy.

A formidably detailed and invaluably clear guide to not just achieving retirement security, but also maintaining it.

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-945640-06-3

Page Count: 366

Publisher: Retirement Researcher Media

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet


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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet



Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

Did you like this book?