30 Best Retirement Planning Books

30 Best Retirement Planning Books

Amazon lists more than 5,000 books on planning for or living well in retirement, and there are dozens of lists of the best-selling and most-recommended books on the topic. You don’t have time to sort through all that, so AgeBrilliantly has done some of that research for you.

This article is based on three lists we especially like: 18 Retirement Planning Books to Help You Achieve Success When You Retire,” “Top 10 Best Retirement Planning Books and “The 10 Best Books to Help You Retire Richer, According to Financial Advisors.” Below we added links to three more, as well as three lists of related resources that are not in the book category.

Because people have different needs and desires based on their stage of life and retirement goals, we organized some of the most popular books according to theme. Make sure you peruse each of the lists, though, to see if others appeal to you.

1: Master Financial Basics

If you want to make sure you understand the scope of financial issues you’ll face in retirement in easy-to-understand language, start with The Truth About Retirement Plans and IRAs by Ric Edelman, a nationally recognized independent financial planner and bestselling author. If you want to learn similar material with a twist of humor, try The Smartest Retirement Book You’ll Ever Read: Achieve Your Retirement Dreams — in Any Economy by Daniel R. Solin.

Two other books are aimed at people who are afraid they might run out of money in retirement, a common concern, but they also guide you through the fundamentals of financial planning: How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide by Jane Bryant Quinn and How to Retire with Enough Money by Teresa Ghilarducci.

2: Plan by your Life Stage

The number of years you expect to work from now until retirement is one of the key considerations in planning. Fortunately, many books are designed for a specific age group. Two books that address those on the precipice of retirement are The 5 Years Before You Retire: Retirement Planning When You Need It the Most by Emily Guy Birken and Planning for Retirement: What You Need to Do 5 Years Before You Retire by Mark Bresett. For young people — who get the most bang for their buck simply because they’re saving longer — there’s The Young Couple’s Guide to Growing Rich Together by Jill Gianola.

3: Look on the Bright Side

If planning for retirement feels like drudgery, you might enjoy a book that takes a holistic view of the second half of life. Books in this category include How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won’t Get from Your Financial Advisor by Ernie J. Zelinsky, How to Retire Happy: The 12 Most Important Decisions You Must Make Before You Retire by Stan Hinden and What Color Is Your Parachute? for Retirement: Planning a Prosperous, Healthy, and Happy Future by John E. Nelson and Richard N. Bolles, the author of the original (and regularly updated) What Color Is Your Parachute? for career planning.

4: Visualize your Dream Location

How do you want to spend your retirement and where do you want to live? Do you want to live by the ocean, in a quaint college town or in a walkable city? If you plan to stay in the U.S., one book to peruse is Where to Retire: America’s Best & Most Affordable Places by John Howells. If you’ve dreamed about living in another country, check out The International Living Guide to Retiring Overseas on a Budget: How to Live Well on $25,000 a Year by Suzan Haskins.

More retirement book lists:

Other Resources:

The Takeaway

Don’t let your retirement years sneak up on you. The better you plan, the more options you will have when that time comes. The three lists we feature provide you with descriptions of 30 books; the additional lists provide almost 20 more. Start with the titles that appeal to you and you might ignite a new habit of reading retirement preparation books regularly. Remember that while we provide links to Amazon, you can buy the books anywhere or borrow them from the library.

Do you have an opinion on any or the books or lists in this story? If so, let us know. Have we missed any topics that would interest you? We’d love to hear from you.

If you have any other finance questions, you can turn to our Finance forum or connect with our partners at our Finance Directory.

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