Retire on Less Than You Think: The New York Times Guide to Planning Your Financial Future

Retire on Less Than You Think: The New York Times Guide to Planning Your Financial Future

by Fred Brock

Paperback(Second Edition, Revised)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780805087307
Publisher: Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 12/26/2007
Edition description: Second Edition, Revised
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 767,902
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.54(d)

About the Author

Fred Brock, a former business editor of and current contributor to The New York Times, is the author of Live Well on Less Than You Think and Health Care on Less Than You Think. He has previously been an editor and reporter covering politics and finance for The Wall Street Journal, the Houston Chronicle, and the Louisville Courier-Journal. Now the R. M. Seaton Professor of Professional Journalism at Kansas State University, he lives in Manhattan, Kansas.

Read an Excerpt

The basic idea behind this book is simple and straightforward: you can retire sooner and on less money than you think, and live quite well, if you are willing to make a few relatively painless lifestyle changes.

Various polls in recent years by AARP, the Employee Benefit Research Institute, and USA Today have shown that some 60 percent of working Americans dream of early retirement. Yet every time there is some jarring economic news—declining stock prices or a slump in the housing market—many people feel they must postpone retirement as they contemplate their shrinking investments and how much money they still need to save.

This is a book for those dreamers who want to retire sooner rather than later but are afraid they can’t afford it: people who yearn for the time to realize a lifelong dream or avocation; people who have reached a dead end in their careers or who are burned out after years of doing the same thing and want to move on; or people who simply want a change. It is also for those who are at or past the traditional retirement age of sixty-five but continue to work because they are convinced they don’t have enough money to retire.

Also, of course, it is for those who suddenly find themselves involuntarily retiring early because of employer cutbacks. Such forced retirements usually involve so-called incentive packages that may include a lump-sum payment or extra years credited to your retirement account—or both. Many forced retirees are equally apprehensive, perhaps even more so, about whether they can afford retirement.


Whatever the situation, most people are victims of “data” circulated by the financial services industry—mutual fund companies, stockbrokerage firms, and banks—which hold that you need at least 70 to 80 percent of your preretirement income in order to retire without becoming a charity case. This estimate has become conventional wisdom and is routinely and endlessly repeated in newspapers and magazines and on radio and television shows that offer financial advice. Little wonder people have come to believe it. It has struck fear into the hearts of baby boomers, who are known for spending, not saving.

There’s only one problem: it’s not true!

Worse, people in the financial services industry know it’s not true. It is clever advertising bait to lure investors.

Copyright © 2004 by The New York Times Company, © 2008 by Fred Brock. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

1. Do You Really Want to Retire?,
2. What the Experts Say You Need versus What You Really Need,
3. Cutting Back and Simplifying Your Life,
4. Where Will You Live?,
5. Key No. 1: Your House,
6. Key No. 2: Your Health Insurance,
7. Key No. 3: Your Unexpected Assets,
8. Social Security: Count on It,
9. Putting It All Together,

Customer Reviews

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Retire on Less Than You Think: The New York Times Guide to Planning Your Financial Future 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Ladylearner More than 1 year ago
This was a most helpful book when I first read it a few years ago. I picked up the revised edition hoping it would be current; it isn't. However, when I first read this I thought it was terrific and purchased a couple books as a gifts for friends. Some of the information is still relevant, so you might want to take a look at it.
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PaulT55 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book and although the data is now outdated the concepts are not.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a 44 year old man with two kids and a wife, I was intrigued by Mr. Brock's claim that the financial industry was over-estimating how much I needed to retire. Then I read the book and heard that ultra concervatives were responsible for social security and medicare problems. That's a shame. Also, as a resident of Tucson, I'm disappointed to hear that all the New Yorkers anticipate that by moving here they'll safe half of their expenses. What about me?
Guest More than 1 year ago
a great book for anyone who will ever be thinking about retiring. i am 50 and found the book very interesting and enlightening. simple and straightforward, the author had many really good points about how much is enough. he went into detail about different options available to those who want to retire, but don't think they can ever afford it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent well put together and very informative book. It dispells many of the rumors about retirement with specific examples of real people who have 'done it' already. It is possible to live a comfortable life without a million dollars in the bank. Now I can sleep well at night knowing that I still have a chance at happiness during retirement.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There's plenty of solid information about the realities of retirement in this book, but what makes it such a good value is Fred Brock's unwillingness to give in to the hysteria about retirement. His reportage on Elton Pasea, who retired on $1,200 a month and travels to Europe yearly, is worth the price of the book in itself.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a practical guide to successful retirement look no further. Fred Brock's book is as good a guide as you are likely to find.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Solid, heads-up advice from a writer who sees through the Wall Street hype. Made me re-think many assumptions about the cost of living after retirement.