Book Review: Retire Happy—What You Can Do NOW to Guarantee a Great Retirement.

Vintage black and white photo of a woman looking extremely anxious.

What if I’m making a mistake?

Mr. Boomer Money and More was growing weary.  Each night on our evening walks I delivered the same mind-numbing soliloquy:  do I retire or don’t I retire?  Fortunately, for the sake of his sanity and mine, I discovered this book:

Retire Happy:  What You Can Do NOW to Guarantee a Great Retirement.

by Richard Stim and Ralph Warner

I began reading the book each night and stopped delivering my soliloquy on the evening walks.  While reading it, I discovered it is essentially a repackaged—and superior—version of another book I have, which was reviewed here.  Between the two, I’m partial to this one.

I began to feel that I was not just late to the retirement planning party—I had pretty much missed the party.  The guests had left, the dishes were done, the lights were turned out.  I felt so overworked that I didn’t have the band width to explore – let alone implement – the 10 steps every pre-retiree should pursue for a meaningful retirement.  These are:

  1. invest in your health;
  2. strengthen family ties;
  3. appreciate friends, old and new;
  4. develop lifelong interests and activities;
  5. figure out how big your nest egg must be;
  6. get serious about eliminating debt;
  7. determine what your sources of income will be;
  8. understand the fundamentals of investing;
  9. decide whether working after retirement is right for you; and
  10. consider the pros and cons of re-entering the workforce.

On the face of it, these steps sound simple.  However, each step contains a variety of actions required to successfully implement each step.  Each step also has its own challenges and pitfalls.  The authors provide suggestions for how to navigate each step and avoid the pitfalls inherent in each.

I liked this book’s holistic approach to retirement planning, which includes more than a discussion of money.  My main criticism is that it failed to recognize how stretched-thin most workers are.  With the current business culture of long hours and toxic overwork, many pre-retirees don’t have time to do all the things that the book says to do.  I know I didn’t.

I think most pre-retirees will face the issues raised by this book and will benefit from the book’s recommendations.  Check it out at the library, pick up a used copy, or buy it here.