A comprehensive guide offers advice on preparing for retirement.
Pfau begins his exhaustive breakdown of retirement planning with a note of caution for prospective retirees about to enter the labyrinthine jungle of United States federal regulations: Patience and information are the only surefire ways to make it through. “Fight the impatience that could lead you to choose short-term expediencies carrying greater long-term costs,” he warns, and his book is designed as the ultimate weapon in that fight. The author takes readers through every aspect of constructing their retirement’s financial superstructure, balancing the realities, and preparing for the unexpected. Everything from stock market speculation to the pluses and minuses of annuities to life and long-term-care insurance are discussed in great detail. Pfau acknowledges that there are many competing schools of thought on all of these issues, and he bases his own framework on the fact that different people approach their retirement finances in different ways. Some place their top priority on dependability, while others want more flexibility. As the manual explains the author’s approach, it is often seriously technical, full of thorny terminology and many charts and graphs, as befits the complexity of the subject. Readers are given clear but extremely in-depth instructions on how to navigate the intricacies of Medicare, for instance (a lack of understanding of the rules, Pfau writes, “can lead to gaps in coverage, overpayment on services or coverage, and unanticipated outcomes”). And in every section, readers are urged to do the “legwork” of discovering their options. The ultimate goal is to create a sufficient and sustainable retirement portfolio. Although the sheer amount of granular detail the author brings to the subject can seem daunting, the clarity of his explanations will smoothly carry even financially illiterate readers along.
A readable and invaluably thorough resource for understanding retirement finances.