RECOMMENDED MATERIALS AND SERVICES for your Further Exploration
RW2 for YOU™ will give you an integrated overall financial plan for your retirement years, but you may also be wondering about other aspects of retirement. Retirement means big changes in your life – how you live, how you feel about yourself, how you relate with others – and as you continue to age, you will continue to have new issues to deal with.
The books and websites listed and categorized below are not the only ones available, of course. There are tens of thousands of decent resources out there. What we list here are ones that we ourselves have checked out and consider to be, if not perfect, of unusually high quality.
Most of them are not specifically focused on financial matters. RW2 for YOU™ will help you make key decisions in those areas. In addition, the RetirementWorks2 website you are now viewing offers, under the “Support” menu, a set of “Papers” that discuss a variety of financial topics in more detail. These papers will answer many of your more specific financial questions, and they will also refer you to many other resources dealing with those topics.
Your overall approach to retirement
Ready or Not - Your Retirement Planning Guide, by Elizabeth M. McFadden et al.
This is an immensely practical book, written in bite-size sections that cover just about anything you can think of that might affect the quality of your retirement: financial, legal, housing, health, work, leisure, grandparenting, and many other topics. Helpful quizzes and worksheets abound. A no-nonsense, extremely helpful overall guide.
Retirement Rx, by Frederick T. Fraunfelder and James H. Gilbaugh
Though written by physicians, this book is not just about your health. Instead, the "Retirement Docs," as they call themsevles, take a broad look at retirement and help you identify the areas where you might have the most trouble living a happy, fulfilling retirement. They also provide useful suggestions in each area. A great place to start.
The Wall Street Journal Complete Retirement Guidebook, by Glenn Ruffenach and Kelly Greene
Contrary to what you might expect, this book is not just about your money. The authors talk good sense about the many non-financial aspects of retirement, offering sound suggestions, helpful self-evaluations, and references to other resources. We disagree, in fact, only with one or two of their financial ideas, but if you are using RW2 for YOU™ for your overall financial plan, this book will make an excellent supplement.
Re-establishing purpose and meaning in your life, and reframing your attitude
My Next Phase, by Eric Sundstrom, Randy Burnham, and Michael Burnham
This book is uniquely valuable in focusing on the psychological aspects of retirement, and perhaps more importantly, of how people make decisions about their retirement. They show how your "Retirement Style" affects the quality of your retirement, and for those with a partner, how differences in personality and decision-making style affect the ability to make the most of retirement.
How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, by Ernie J. Zelinski
The subtitle, "Retirement wisdom that you won't get from your financial advisor," hits the nail on the head. This book takes a free-spirited view of retirement, and it can be infectious. Zelinski not only encourages you to adopt a fresh outlook, but helps you do so in specific, concrete ways. His apporach is informative, fun, and sometimes astonishing.
Live Long & Prosper, by Steve Vernon
Vernon has a beguilingly wise and sensible view of life and retirement. Chances are, you won't buy the entire package, but whether you do or not, you will learn a great deal that is surprising, useful and, if you take it seriously, even transformative. RW2 for YOU™ will give you a better financial analysis than this or other books can offer, but there is still a great deal of helpful financial, health, and other cogent advice here. If you prefer something more compact than this detailed, well documented book, check out Vernon's 90-minute video, 'The Quest,' which is available at his website (http://www.restoflife.com/) and which comes with some useful supporting materials.
Thriving! A Grower's Guide for Renewal and Respons-Ability after Fifty, by Nancy C. Cosgriff and Melita A. DeBellis
If you think in terms of "self-actualization," this book may be perfect for you. The authors help you work through the concepts and actions that will enable you to transform your life and move in new and more fulfilling directions. Using a modicum of explanation and a multitude of helpful exercises and thought experiments, they enable you to work through your next stage of development on both a theoretical / idealistic level, and in very practical ways. Cosgriff and DeBellis help you figure out what to do, and they help motivate you to do it. For more information, or to order this book, go to http://www.midlifeunlimited.com/product.cfm?page=50/.
Working after your "retirement"
Boom or Bust: New Career Strategies in a New America, by Carleen MacKay and Brad Taft
Like many good job search and career guides, this book helps you think about your own strengths and weaknesses, about the job market, and about specific steps to take in order to find a position right for you. But unlike most other guides, this one focuses on older workers, even those in their 70s or beyond, and deals with how they fit into a changing economic America.
Where do you want to live?
The New Retirement, by Jan Cullinane and Cathy Fitzgerald
Roughly half of this substantial book is devoted to helping you figure out whether you should relocate, and if so, where you should go. These questions are approached, very helpfully, in the broad context of all the other personal issues you face in retirement. If moving to another state or country is part of your dream, then this book is perhaps your best starting point.
Thinking ahead to old age and infirmity
Thriving Beyond Midlife, by E. Craig MacBean and Henry C. Simmons
Although this book contains wisdom regarding many aspects of retirement, the authors are particularly thorough and brilliant in preparing all of us for the eventual (and not necessaryily distant) tasks of dealing with our own sudden or gradual infirmity. Also well worth reading if you have elderly parents facing these issues. (Best way to obtain this book: contact Craig MacBean at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Don't Bite Your Tongue, by Ruth Nemzoff
The subtitle of this book is "How to Foster Rewarding Relationships with Your Adult Children," and Dr. Nemzoff delivers. Relationships with younger family members can be one of the most rewarding elements of retirement, or may induce the most disappointment and regret. This book is the perfect guide - both wise and practical - for the repair and maintenance of these relationships.
Especially for women
Project Renewment, by Bernice Bratter and Helen Dennis
The authors describe their experience with discussion groups for women adjusting to retirement (though their insights and methods could easily be adapted to male or co-ed groups). They provide two great services: (1) providing thought-provoking brief essays on 38 different topics for group discussion (or individual rumination), and (2) persenting concrete help on setting up such groups.
RECOMMENDED WEB-BASED RESOURCES
General retirement planning information and links
Retirement Dictionary - http://www.retirementdictionary.com/
Appleby Retirement Consulting offers an online dictionary of retirement terms – and much more. The Retirement Dictionary site can refer you to detailed explanations of many financial and legal terms, to legal citations, and to research, tutorials, articles, and other references. A terrific place to find a wide range of help on retirement finances.
ELDR.com - http://www.eldr.com/
This site is a great resource for the non-financial aspects of retirement - it does deal with money, too, but it's real strength is in the diversity and interest of its coverage of the many other aspects of thriving in one's retirement years. ELDR.com offers numerous blogs and forums, as well as links to articles and external resources. It's a site you may want to visit every day!
MarketWatch Retirement Weekly - http://store.marketwatch.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/PremiumNewsletters_RetirementWeekly
We subscribe to this on-line newsletter ourselves, and highly recommend it. For a modest annual subscription fee (after a free trial), you get a roughly 8-to-12 page newsletter in your email every Friday, covering a wide range of retirement issues. The emphasis is on the financial, but their original articles, news reports, and references to outside sources cover a very broad range of issues.
Evaluation of retirement readiness and approach
Next Dance - http://www.mynextdance.com/
Though rather pricey, Next Dance offers an impressively well-rounded review and evaluation of your retirement readiness. As with other software of this kind, the analysis is not always right on the money, but you are likely to learn some useful things about yourself and your situation, and what you can do about it all. For additional fees, private counseling is also available.
My Next Phase - http://www.mynextphase.com/public/index.php
Like the My Next Phase book recommended above, the My Next Phase website helps you evaluate (for a fee) how you are likely to deal with retirement and how you make decisions about retirement. It does this not in a judgmental way, but with analysis and suggestions that will help make your retirement style and decision-making style work for you. The software offers more detaied, personalized analysis than the book.
My Financial Reflection - http://www.myfinancialreflection.com/
This service offers an initial (and useful) evaluation of how you deal with money, for no charge (follow-on advisory services are optional, and require payment). This is an innovative and worthwhile way of looking at what matters to you, and whether your finances reflect that. It is not geared specifically to retirement, but can be a useful tool for retirees and people entering retirement.
Working after your "retirement"
Workforce50 - http://www.workforce50.com/
Although several job search sites aim at older workers, most of them cull job listings from general sources, and the openings they list, while suitable for older workers, are not being offered by employers specifically looking for such employees. Workforce50 includes listings only from employers who specifically post on this site. The site also offers much useful background information and job search help.
Ageless in America - http://www.agelessinamerica.com/
If you want general information about working (whether for pay, or volunteer) during your older years, this is an excellent source. It is produced by the authors of Boom or Bust: New Career Strategies in a New America (see above), and it reflects their expertise. This site offers monthly articles and a bi-monthly newsletter discussing what lines of work are increasingly in demand, and how to go about getting yourself employed. There are also links to other useful sites.
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