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Posted January 14, 2004
From A Retiree's Perspective
I read whatever I could get my hands on about planning for retirement and also consulted a financial planner before hittng the road at 65. Nothing, though -- including the financial consultant's advice -- was as easy to grasp, interesting and as informative as this little book which is a fast read. No formulas, statistics or baloney. Just ordinary people with different backgrounds, occupations and very limited income tell how they're managing and enjoying retirement. One guy who had only $64,000 and the promise of a monthly Social Security check when he left his office job 20 years ago and moved to Florida has found a way to make a couple dozen cruises on a shoestring. The book is loaded with such anecdotes and simple explanations of how these people ended their working days without big bucks and how you can, too. Don't believe the so-called experts. You don't need a million-dollar next egg. I certainly didn't.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 26, 2003
One Size Doesn't Fit All
Gail Liberman and Alan Lavine leave no doubt that the old adage 'one-size-fits-all' isn't the least bit applicable to retirement. The twelve retirees profiled in their book reveal a dozen different ways to enjoy life-after-work without needing a ton of money to do it. Real-life stories about people who retired in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s recount how it's possible to quit working and be happy living on much less than the $1 million or more commonly recommended by financial advisors. From perpetually traveling the world to living on a sail boat, cruising the U.S. in an RV, moving to a foreign country, living in co-housing, relocating to a 'planned community', or simply staying in one's own home, 'Rags to Retirement' provides alternatives, insights, and strategies to help readers achieve enjoyable retirements regardless of their income. My wife and I are pleased to be profiled in chapter 9. To read our story and eleven others that present retirement from a different perspective--one that is encouraging rather than discouraging--pick up a copy of this book. Larry Ferstenou, Author 'You CAN Retire Young: How to Retire in Your 40s or 50s Without Being Rich'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 17, 2003
Inspiring Stories of Real Retirees
With so many articles and columns being written these days about retirees needing to delay their retirement start date, or that the majority of Baby Boomers plan to continue working in retirement, or of people who have tried retirement, been dissatisfied and returned to work, it¿s nice to have a new book out there on the other side of the equation. ¿Rags to Retirement¿ gives profiles of 12 couples or individuals who have retired earlier than conventional wisdom would advise and/or with less money than they should be expected to have. The theme of the book, to me, is to display a variety of folks who are determined to be retired on their own terms and are successfully making the best of it One couple, who take the retirement plunge without any retirement benefits and before being eligible for Social Security, sell their house and most of their possessions, and buy a truck and a one-bedroom recreation vehicle. The two say that they had heard too many stories of people waiting too long to get started having retirement fun. As the wife puts it, ¿We wanted to do it now¿.If you sit around and wait for all the lights to turn green, you¿re never going to make it out of town.¿ Per the book, in the first 2 ½ years on the road for this couple, they have leisurely traveled through nine U.S. states, plus the western part of Canada. They estimate that the $3,000 that they spend per month is substantially less than what they would have spent per month if they had continued to live in their house. The wife says her back pains that she suffered as the result of her work are gone and, she adds, ¿We¿re not tired all the time. ¿ Another story is of a retired couple who sold the house in the U.S. and moved to Mexico. There, they live on their Social Security, plus some annuity income, to receive the luxuries of a private swimming pool, a maid and a gardener at their two-story masonry brick and stone home that sits on about a half acre in a gated community of about 130 homes. Both do volunteer work and take advantage of many of the group activities offered in their community. Living in the Guadalajara area, they have access to Costco, Wal-Mart and Sam¿s Club when needed. They generally make one trip a year by car to the U.S. for a vacation, but have no plans to return permanently. Others stories include a couple who ¿drop out¿ in their 30¿s for a life of permanent travel and relocation. And there is one about a woman who uses income from a reverse mortgage on her home as a way to make her retirement years more meaningful. Then, there¿s one about a guy who lives permanently on a sailboat, and of a couple who live in a co-housing community. I consider ¿Rags to Retirement¿ a good read for those either contemplating or already into their retirement life. The book presents real stories of real people making retirement work for them in a way that, in most of the stories, conventional wisdom would not endorse as wise. So, are these folks foolish? Isn¿t that for them to decide? Then, does the book mislead others into thinking that they have the right to declare themselves retired, on their own terms, not those of others? Absolutely! I come away feeling that all of the subjects of the book have done the right thing at the right time for their lives. I come away inspired that I¿ve also made the right decision to retire ¿early,¿ before all the lights in town have turned green. I recommend the book highly, and I hope it sells well.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.