18 Retirement Planning Books to Help You Achieve Success When You Retire

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Sooner or later we all reach that golden age of retirement. The thought of retirement is wonderful. But it takes a lot of planning to be able to retire and not need to get some sort of second job to balance your financial books.

Are you ready for retirement? Do you have a retirement bucket list? Do you, or will you, have enough income put away to live a nice life off of the profits when you retire?

If your answer is no, then you should consider the 18 retirement books below to be “must reads”.

If you have a nice retirement nest egg, or are already well into the process of saving and planning for your retirement, you may want to cherry pick the books below to find the ones that might give you some new bits of information or act as great reminders.

When is the Best Time to Start Reading these Retirement Planning Books?

Due to the power of compounding interest, the best time to start reading these retirement books and beginning to make a plan and starting to save for retirement is when you are young.

Even as young as 18-20 is a great time to begin putting away a few dollars toward retirement. A few dollars saved when young can grow to a nice nest egg by the time you reach your golden years.

The second best time to start retirement planning is “tomorrow”. Even if you only have a few years to retirement, this “emergency” mode retirement is better than not saving for retirement at all.

The clock is always ticking on retirement. You don’t want to put money into play without a plan, but it is essential to understand everything about retiring ASAP and begin your planning as early as possible.

Below are 18 of the best books on retirement planning.

They will help you maximize retirement savings, understand how to get the most from social security, how to live frugally on your retirement savings, retire overseas, where to live when you retire, how to “semi-retire” and make money in retirement from your passions.

18 Retirement Books to Help you Achieve Success When You Retire

1. The Smartest Retirement Book You'll Ever Read by Daniel R. Solin

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The Smartest Retirement Book You'll Ever Read teaches the reader about the basics of making investments while considering the current economic scene.

It also touches on other financial subjects such as reverse mortgages, social security distribution, delaying retirement, and prenuptial agreements for people who get married later in life.

The author offers a clever and witty read with a skeptical approach to the art and process of investing, and makes it clear that he is trying to help his readers rather than businesses.

Throughout this book, Solin uses humor, but also stays on topic and writes in a succinct way to get his point across to the reader.

This book has charts and other tools to help the readers distribute their money in a way that will allow it to grow into enough savings for retirement.

With its simple strategies, this is an easy book for people to follow. It warns people about possible scams that can cause them to lose money, and sets up a plan so that your money will outlive you.

It also addresses common mistakes that people make that deplete their retirement money too quickly, and looks into some financial lifelines that people can rely on if necessary.

2. The 5 Years Before You Retire by Emily Guy Birken

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Despite the fact that many Americans put money aside throughout their careers for retirement, people often wait until they are in their sixties to realize they have not saved enough.

The 5 Years Before You Retire, Updated Edition: Retirement Planning When You Need It the Most book aims to show the reader what needs to be done in the next five years to make the best use out of current savings and create a plan for the future.

The goal of this book is to show people how to save in one of the most important times of their lives. The five years before retirement. While starting retirement saving young is essential.

The 5 years before retirement is also the time when most people will be making the most money of their lives. Therefore, it is also one of the best times to save.

Birken covers every aspect of retirement planning and provides straightforward strategies to explain how people can make the most of their last few years in the workforce while also preparing for retirement.

This is a great book for anyone, whether you have been saving for retirement since the beginning of your career or you are just getting started.

It will show you what is important to do now so you are able to live comfortably in the future.

This book presents the information in a very clear way, which makes it quite easy to read. It is also great for people who are not clear on a lot of financial terminology but want to learn more.

3. Get What's Yours by Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Philip Moeller, and Paul Solman

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This Get What's Yours – Revised & Updated: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security book does a great job of addressing the confusing process of receiving Social Security and coming out with the most benefits possible.

It includes strategies that have been written by successful financial commentators that have gone unpublished in other books on the same topic.

There are a total of 2,728 rules of the Social Security system, and all have explanations to go along with them.

Because this kind of document is not easily read by the common person, the authors of Get What's Yours use this book to explain these rules in a way that is comprehensive yet simple to understand.

They also teach the reader how making wrong decisions can have a long-term negative impact on one's finances.

While many personal finance books touch briefly on Social Security, none of them offers the full, authentic, and conversational analysis that this book has.

The authors use basic strategies and incorporate relevant stories so the reader can relate to the topic.

The book goes over some of the most frequent benefit scenarios that retired married couples face, along with divorced retirees, widows, and widowers.

It offers advice for people who are in tough situations, such as retired parents of dependent children, those who have disabilities, and eligible beneficiaries who continue to work.

It talks about the tax implications of your choices, in addition to the financial implications for your other investments.

This invaluable book is great for anyone who is approaching retirement age.

4. How to Make Your Money Last by Jane Bryant Quinn

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This How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide book aims to help readers turn their retirement savings into a predictable life-long paycheck. It covers each phase of finances in retirement. People often worry that they will outlive their money.

However, as this book shows its readers, that won’t happen if you implement some tricks for getting higher payments out of your assets, including your Social Security account, pension, home equity, savings, and retirement accounts.

Making the right moves will help stretch your money out for many more years than you are expecting. Essentially, this book teaches readers how to take their retirement and turn it into a lifelong steady paycheck.

The author also shows the reader some new ways to view savings and investments. If you stay on the safe track, your money may not last for the rest of your life.

While it is important to keep money in safe accounts, it is also vital to invest some money for growth so you will still have money to live off of in decades to come.

The author shows the readers how to do this, which is increasingly important, as people are living longer these days but retiring with less money than they expected or hoped to have.

5. How to Retire Happy by Stan Hinden

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How to Retire Happy, Fourth Edition: The 12 Most Important Decisions You Must Make Before You Retire will help the reader make the best decisions to ensure that they are able to live a happy and healthy life during their retirement. It gives plenty of expert advice in a step-by-step way that is easy for anyone to understand.

As an addition to the previous editions of this book, this copy offers new material on health insurance and prescription drugs, facts about all aspects of Medicare, the realities of Alzheimer's care, Social Security strategies, handling financial realities of the current economy, and resources that anyone can turn to if they need additional advice.

This is a very relatable book for people to read. The author is not a financial professional who has always had all of the secrets to retirement and is therefore living large.

Rather, he is an average person who was unable to put away the money that he needed for retirement because things in life kept coming up, such as children, unemployment, college tuition, a few bad decisions, and a failed business.

The reader is able to get information from someone who made some mistakes, and who has been in financially stressful situations.

The author writes to the reader like he is a friend who just got out of a tough time and is trying to offer some insights to help prevent others from going down his path.

He also focuses on the things that he did right so people can follow in his footsteps.

While it may be disheartening to hear of these types of mistakes firsthand, it is better than waiting to face financial problems later on in life.

The younger you are, the more this book will have to offer you because it lets you know that you still have plenty of time to put enough money aside.

However, it is a great book for anyone who is getting close to retirement because if you are a bit short on money, it is important to make some good decisions.

6. Ready to Pull the Retirement Trigger? by Mary Sterk

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Ready to Pull the Retirement Trigger?: Your Strategic Guide to Retire With Confidence is a great tool to help potential retirees set themselves up to be able to enjoy their later years with confidence.

Often, people are hesitant to retire due to the fear of having a financial burden come up. This book helps give people a path and strategy to create a plan.

Retirement Trigger provides great lessons for people of any age. It contains a lot of practical and real-world advice from a financial advisor and coach with over 20 years in the industry.

Offering a step-by-step guide to retirement planning, this book covers every stage of the process, from discovering your purpose after a career to creating a plan to fund your desired lifestyle.

The author poses specific tasks and questions that are designed to show you what your ideal retirement looks like and how to make it happen.

This is an engaging retirement book is written in an easygoing manner. It is full of personal stories and real-life examples, and is entertaining while also being educational.

7. What Color Is Your Parachute? for Retirement, Second Edition by John E. Nelson

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The current economy has changed people's positive expectations of their life after retirement. However, there is still some hope that life after a career can be filled with freedom and the potential for self-determination.

But how are people supposed to plan for a future that has the possibility of prosperity, happiness, and health?

This What Color Is Your Parachute? for Retirement, Second Edition: Planning a Prosperous, Healthy, and Happy Future book offers its readers a holistic perspective of the years of retirement, in addition to practical tools to help create a life that is full of security and vitality.

It offers information on Social Security, a detailed exercise on personal and financial values, and a new type of resource for organizing all of the information on finances and health during the golden years.

This book is more than a guide on how to stay physically active, where to live, and what kinds of investments to choose.

It helps people develop a detailed plan of an ideal retirement, so that whether you are planning to retire or you have already done so, you can take a complete approach to getting the most out of these important years.

8. How to Retire with Enough Money by Teresa Ghilarducci

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How to Retire with Enough Money: And How to Know What Enough Is offers an easy-to-follow program that can change the course of one's retirement. It helps cuts through misinformation, confusion, and poorly executed policies that keep people spending or saving poorly.

How to Retire with Enough Money covers how much money should be saved for retirement, and gives the basic principles that will help the money continue to grow.

This includes ideas to help get any current expenses under control, including suggestions for getting rid of your financial advisor and take the reins on your finances yourself, and even why it is best to pay off a loan rather than keep paying for it every month.

Providing the framework for securing your retirement, How to Retire with Enough Money looks at the risks of not saving enough money while you are working, and what other options you might have.

It provides stable, solid, conservative advice for people who are interested in learning about long-term financial security.

9. 65 Things to Do When You Retire by Mark Evan Chimsky

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This 65 Things to Do When You Retire book contains 65 essays that give the readers practical yet entertaining advice on how to build the money habits to set themselves up for a fulfilling life of retirement.

The authors who contributed to this book include recognizable names, respected retirement experts, and other people who are in their sixties and have been able to create progressive lives for themselves after retiring.

This book covers a wide range of different people who are from all different walks of life, so there is something in here for everyone. The collection is full of honesty, humor, and knowledge.

Some of the writers offer inspiring stories of their post-retirement goals, such as training for the Senior Olympics, traveling the world, moving to another country, and even developing a prison ministry.

Other essayists give the reader step-by-step strategies for putting together a plan to fit one's lifestyle, interests, and budget.

10. How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by Ernie J. Zelinsky

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How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor offers its readers inspirational advice on enjoying life after retirement. In order to have an active and satisfying retirement, there are more things to consider than just financial resources.

This book touches on the other important aspects of life such as leisure activities, creative projects, physical and mental well-being, and positive social support.

It helps readers acquire the courage that is needed to retire early by teaching people how to put money into perspective to erase the feeling that you need millions to retire.

The author also helps readers generate their life's purpose in retirement, and motivates them to continue to live a meaningful life.

By envisioning your retirement goals, you can live out your dreams instead of aiming to live the dreams of other people. Taking charge of your own life and well-being will help you make your retirement the best years of your life.

This retirement book is different from others because it takes a holistic approach to address both the fears and hopes that people have about retirement.

The author goes beyond the numbers that are typically the main focus of retirement planning, and delves into the details of a happy retirement and a meaningful life.

One of the tools that can be found in this book that is not in others is called the “Get-a-Life Tree,” which is a priceless resource.

The tips that are given in this book will help the reader understand that retirement is more than just about money. It helps readers create an active and satisfying retirement without having millions of dollars in the bank.

11. 101 Fun Things to Do in Retirement by Stella Reingold

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101 Fun Things to do in Retirement: An Irreverent, Outrageous & Funny Guide to Life After Work is a great little book to read or give as a gift to someone who is approaching retirement.

It addresses the joys of not having to commute or deal with bosses anymore, in addition to not having to handle deadlines or clocking in and out every day to do a repetitive job.

Free from being bound by convention, retirees are now able to push the envelope and do what they want to make their lives as fun as possible.

This light-hearted book is all about the freedom you have once you retire.

12. The Truth About Retirement Plans and IRAs by Ric Edelman

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From the #1 independent financial advisor in America, ranked three times by Barron’s, comes a guide to making the most of your retirement plans and assuring long-term financial security.

Retirement is complicated and confusing, and it makes your paycheck lower each month. For this reason, may Americans choose to not plan for retirement.

However, Ric Edelman, a New York Times bestselling author and financial advisor, has advised thousands of people, and has put together some of his advice in this book.

This The Truth About Retirement Plans and IRAs book is a step-by-step guide that offers enlightening prose and clear explanations on being a retirement plan participant.

He talks about contributing to retirement even if you don't think you make enough money to do so, how to make smart financial decisions, and how to make your 401(k) work for you by providing you with the income you need to have the lifestyle that you want for retirement.

This book also helps to debunk common myths and addresses common confusions.

13. Retirement Planning by Mark Bresett

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Retirement Planning: What You Need to Do 5 Years Before You Retire explains that retirement is actually an easier transition than many people believe it is. It helps decrease worry and stress for those who have not planned for their retirement properly.

It lays out what people should start doing at least five years before retirement. It talks about expenses, retirement needs, having a financial planner, budgets, expectations, tax returns, Medicare, and possible changes to health care.

After finishing this book, the reader knows the necessary steps to take to plan for their retirement, whether that means getting a part-time job for a while or living off of a bit less than they have in the past.

It reminds readers that they are in control of their own retirement, and that there is a luxury to be enjoyed during this stage of life.

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14. The International Living Guide to Retiring Overseas on a Budget By Suzan Haskins

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The International Living Guide to Retiring Overseas on a Budget: How to Live Well on $25,000 a Year might be the right book for you if you are interested in retiring abroad. While this is a little-known strategy, it is very effective.

The simple premise explains enjoying a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life after retirement that is more affordable than living in the U.S. or Canada.

It explores overseas retirement and reveals affordable areas and necessary strategies for making a successful move.

This book is great for retirees and near-retirees living in the United States and Canada, but also applies to younger people and those who have families who want to improve their quality of life and lower their cost of living. It also looks at some solutions for continuing to work and earn money abroad.

The authors of this book have over 30 years of experience living internationally, and are considered to be experts on the topic.

They have been writing about creating a life overseas for over 12 years, and have created popular blogs on the topic for popular outlets such as The Huffington Post and AARP.

They include information and strategies for everyone, regardless of one's political or economic stances. This is a great book for anyone who wants to live a happy, healthy, and affordable life.

15. The Year Before You Retire by Sofia Martinez

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The years leading up to retirement can feel unsettling—so much so that many people don't think about preparing for their future when they are working.

They don’t plan investments or savings to keep up the lifestyle that they are used to once they retire. However, with this book, you can follow your dreams and have the lifestyle that you want.

The Year Before You Retire: Learn the 5 Easy Steps to Accelerate Your Journey to Retirement & Finally Live a Life of Freedom (Retirement, Retire, Retirement Planning) offers important concepts about wealth management to help ensure a successful life. It helps you steer clear of some common pitfalls by sharing secrets to success.

This book teaches the importance of having an estate plan to prevent the state from administering one for you. You and your heirs will want to have control over how your assets will be distributed.

Readers will also learn about some possible sources of income for retirees. With this knowledge, one can decide where to get money after retirement, in addition to any retirement plans that have been set into place.

Furthermore, the reader will learn about budgeting during retirement, as well as buying insurance coverage, Medicare, and financial investments.

Readers will learn that they can make gradual withdrawals from their retirement funds so the rest of the money can continue to grow.

This book also offers advice on how to make these withdrawals while keeping the rest invested.

16. Where to Retire by John Howells

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Where to Retire: America's Best & Most Affordable Places (Choose Retirement Series) offers great advice on options for relocation during retirement, as well as reasons why people should uproot their lives and move just as things are beginning to settle down.

Retirement guru John Howells gives well-researched and updated information on how readers can find their ideal homes during their retirement years.

The author offers things to consider when you are looking for the ideal community, including safety, housing availability, climate, cultural opportunities, and options for recreation and socializing.

He also talks about affordability, health care, transportation, and volunteer opportunities.

With a clear overview of how life could be in hundreds of affordable and comfortable places to retire in the United States, this guide helps people determine what might work best for them.

17. The Number by Lee Eisenberg

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The Number: A Completely Different Way to Think About the Rest of Your Life book includes commentary from wealth gurus, financial experts, and life coaches to explore people's hopes for the future. This financial guide is great for everyone over the age of 30.

The discussion about financial planning is often avoided due to its ability to induce stressful feelings in people.

However, this book talks about the amount of money and resources that most people will need to be able to enjoy the life they desire after finishing their career.

It uses imaginative reporting and intelligent insights to urge people to gain control and responsibility for their lives, and move forward towards their long-term aspirations.

This book revolves around the “number,” which means different things to different people.

It is a fluctuating idea in people’s minds, and symbolizes a variety of things for different people such as freedom, career success, luxurious indulgences, and even spiritual explorations.

People tend to be private when it comes to talking about their bank accounts for fear of revealing too much or showing others that they are inept.

In this book, the author describes this anxiety as a conundrum that is caught up in confusing financial lingo.

The author sorts through the confusing jargon and translates finances into commonsense advice that is able to be absorbed by ordinary people who are just starting to realize that retirement is in their future.

The author aims to help readers understand and efficiently manage their lives, money, and quest for happiness.

18. Second-Act Careers by Sandy Collamer

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This Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement book is all about rethinking your plan for retirement. While people used to associate retirement with grandchildren and golf, people are now taking the opportunity to take new adventures and explore new things.

Some people even decide to take on another job to make money, but do it in an area that they have a lot of interest in.

If you’re planning for retirement but want to keep working, this may be the right book for you. It is written by veteran career coach Nancy Collamer, who shows the reader how to find their interests and strengths and re-purpose them to generate income.

Some options that are talked about include part-time employment, consulting, and internet-based options such as online teaching and writing a blog.

Having a second career that is flexible and fulfilling can help the reader plan for their next move. Second-Act Careers illustrates how people can create a profitable and meaningful second career on their own terms.

Final Thoughts on Retirement Planning Books

Do you plan to retire soon? Have your started planning for retirement? Are you already retired? Have you read any of these retirement books?

Please share your thoughts on retirement, retirement planning, these retirement books and anything else you fancy talking about in the comment block below.

Sharing your knowledge on retirement books and retirement planning might help others to make better decisions.

While you are here, I would also as you to take a moment and share the retirement books, artwork or this page on your favorite social media. Any shares you make will help others find this post and be appreciated.

And if you're looking for more resources on books to read, be sure to check out these blog posts:

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