A long, encouraging discussion about laying the groundwork early for a triumphant retirement.

Preparing for a Happy and Comfortable Life in Retirement

A book offers a point-by-point, step-by-step blueprint for long-term financial security.

In giving readers a guide to planning for their retirements, Suleiman Mnim (Investment Success, 2015) concentrates on long-term preparation rather than specific financial strategies. There’s very little actual discussion of money matters in these pages; rather, the author spends most of his time aiming arguments at readers who are perusing the book well before their retirement years, urging them to adopt the frame of mind and personal practices that will guarantee their comfort and security years and even decades down the line. Suleiman Mnim urges those readers to take serious, clear-eyed stock of their financial situations: view their incomes as the valuable commodities they are, save large portions of them in sensible retirement accounts, avoid extravagances, and learn from their mistakes. They should also be wary of the “comfort zone,” the pattern of familiar thinking and safe expectations that can tempt people in their prime working years into thinking they have all the time in the world to start planning for their retirements. The author consistently rails against such feelings of complacency, stressing throughout the book that entrepreneurial optimism in the prime of life is the key to security later on; readers are encouraged to pattern their paths to success after magnates who’ve achieved great wealth while still young, famous figures like Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the founders of Google. (A second edition of the volume should update this section: Brin and Page are now in their early 40s, not their early 30s.) The work’s writing can be a bit on the pompous side at times (lines like there is no point “in the lives of most men wherein they dislike the need to have additional money” crop up often), and some of the author’s points share the same kind of bloated generality common to self-help business books (“Every failure comes with hidden opportunities that only the persistent soul could unveil,” etc.). But the larger arguments—that healthy young employees should be responsible for carefully preparing for their own distant retirements—are well targeted to today’s overworked middle class.

A long, encouraging discussion about laying the groundwork early for a triumphant retirement.

Pub Date: July 31, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4828-0876-6

Page Count: 166

Publisher: PartridgeAfrica

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2016

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Readers unfamiliar with the anecdotal material Greene presents may find interesting avenues to pursue, but they should...

MASTERY

Greene (The 33 Strategies of War, 2007, etc.) believes that genius can be learned if we pay attention and reject social conformity.

The author suggests that our emergence as a species with stereoscopic, frontal vision and sophisticated hand-eye coordination gave us an advantage over earlier humans and primates because it allowed us to contemplate a situation and ponder alternatives for action. This, along with the advantages conferred by mirror neurons, which allow us to intuit what others may be thinking, contributed to our ability to learn, pass on inventions to future generations and improve our problem-solving ability. Throughout most of human history, we were hunter-gatherers, and our brains are engineered accordingly. The author has a jaundiced view of our modern technological society, which, he writes, encourages quick, rash judgments. We fail to spend the time needed to develop thorough mastery of a subject. Greene writes that every human is “born unique,” with specific potential that we can develop if we listen to our inner voice. He offers many interesting but tendentious examples to illustrate his theory, including Einstein, Darwin, Mozart and Temple Grandin. In the case of Darwin, Greene ignores the formative intellectual influences that shaped his thought, including the discovery of geological evolution with which he was familiar before his famous voyage. The author uses Grandin's struggle to overcome autistic social handicaps as a model for the necessity for everyone to create a deceptive social mask.

Readers unfamiliar with the anecdotal material Greene presents may find interesting avenues to pursue, but they should beware of the author's quirky, sometimes misleading brush-stroke characterizations.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-670-02496-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2012

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Clever and accessibly conversational, Manson reminds us to chill out, not sweat the small stuff, and keep hope for a better...

EVERYTHING IS F*CKED

A BOOK ABOUT HOPE

The popular blogger and author delivers an entertaining and thought-provoking third book about the importance of being hopeful in terrible times.

“We are a culture and a people in need of hope,” writes Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, 2016, etc.). With an appealing combination of gritty humor and straightforward prose, the author floats the idea of drawing strength and hope from a myriad of sources in order to tolerate the “incomprehensibility of your existence.” He broadens and illuminates his concepts through a series of hypothetical scenarios based in contemporary reality. At the dark heart of Manson’s guide is the “Uncomfortable Truth,” which reiterates our cosmic insignificance and the inevitability of death, whether we blindly ignore or blissfully embrace it. The author establishes this harsh sentiment early on, creating a firm foundation for examining the current crisis of hope, how we got here, and what it means on a larger scale. Manson’s referential text probes the heroism of Auschwitz infiltrator Witold Pilecki and the work of Isaac Newton, Nietzsche, Einstein, and Immanuel Kant, as the author explores the mechanics of how hope is created and maintained through self-control and community. Though Manson takes many serpentine intellectual detours, his dark-humored wit and blunt prose are both informative and engaging. He is at his most convincing in his discussions about the fallibility of religious beliefs, the modern world’s numerous shortcomings, deliberations over the “Feeling Brain” versus the “Thinking Brain,” and the importance of striking a happy medium between overindulging in and repressing emotions. Although we live in a “couch-potato-pundit era of tweetstorms and outrage porn,” writes Manson, hope springs eternal through the magic salves of self-awareness, rational thinking, and even pain, which is “at the heart of all emotion.”

Clever and accessibly conversational, Manson reminds us to chill out, not sweat the small stuff, and keep hope for a better world alive.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-288843-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 1, 2019

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