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You Should Know These 20 Popular Retirement Books and Podcasts


It’s no surprise that Americans want more information about how to plan and save for retirement. Besides figuring out how much to save and invest and how long they might live, workers also need to figure out how to claim Social Security, where to retire, what kind of lifestyle they want, how to handle taxes and what to do about inflation and healthcare. Combining modern learning through podcasts with old-fashioned research via books, there are many resources out there to help you become more educated on retirement planning.

Do you have retirement planning questions specific to your situation? Speak with a financial advisor today.

10 Retirement Books You Should Read

The 5 Years Before You Retire” by Emily Guy Birken

Amazon Rating: 4.3 stars

Too many people wait to figure out retirement until they leave their jobs. The straightforward strategies in this book are designed to help make your last five years at work maximize your strategy for a comfortable retirement.

“The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated” by Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack

Amazon Rating: 4.6 stars

University of Chicago professor Harold Pollack and financial journalist Helaine Olen boiled down everything to know about managing money to 10 simple rules. As the title indicates, these fit on a 4″ x 6″ index card, an approach designed to outperform more complex financial strategies.

“The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

Amazon Rating: 4.6 stars

This longtime bestseller promotes common-sense financial discipline to show that anyone can save a million dollars as long as they focus on spending less than they make, as opposed to accumulating flash trappings of wealth.

“The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, & Broke” by Suze Orman

Amazon Rating: 4.6 stars

Aimed at women, this book by bestselling author and TV host Suze Orman emphasizes basic, sound approaches to spending, budgeting and saving. These are designed to help anyone save and invest to reach their overall financial and retirement goals.

“The Wealthy Barber” by David Chilton

Amazon Rating: 4.5 stars

This novel-like book of insights has become a classic for its readability and sound advice. This is specifically aimed at showing how to achieve financial discipline and success without piling on the typical financial jargon and confusing technical details.

“How to Make Your Money Last” by Jane Bryant Quinn

Amazon Rating: 4.6 stars

The greatest fear for most retirees is the threat of outliving your money. This veteran financial journalist looks at how to use Social Security, home equity, retirement accounts and other assets to produce higher retirement income and live comfortably.

“How Much Money Do I Need to Retire?: Uncommon Financial Planning Wisdom for a Stress-Free Retirement” by Todd Tresidder

Amazon Rating: 4.4 stars

Without a good sense of how much you’ll need to retire, it can be hard to reach your financial goals. Along the way, you may take on too much risk, invest too little or spend too little once you retire. This straightforward guide aims to take the guesswork out of retirement planning.

“Retirement Planning Guidebook: Navigating the Important Decisions for Retirement Success” by Wade Pfau

Amazon Rating: 4.6 stars

This updated book is designed to help you navigate the important decisions to prepare for retirement. It covers everything from understanding your personal retirement income style to managing your long-term care risk and even the the non-financial aspects of retirement, including finding purpose and passion.

“How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free” by Ernie J. Zelinski

Amazon Rating: 4.3 stars

This book approaches the aspects of retirement that go beyond finances and into retirement lifestyle, including personal health, well-being and creative pursuits. The book puts money in proper perspective and takes holistic approach to the fears, hopes and dreams people bring to their retirement.

“Retirement Income Planning: The Baby Boomers 2023 Guide to Maximize Your Income and Make it Last” by Mark J. Orr

Amazon Rating: 4.1 stars

This guide, written by Mark Orr, a certified financial planner (CFP), aims to help you maximize your retirement income and make it last. Updated annually, the book helps create a 30-plus-year monthly cash flow retirement plan designed to provide readers with as much certainty and predictability as possible.

Amazon ratings are accurate as of Sep. 15, 2023.

10 Retirement Podcasts You Should Listen To

“Your Money, Your Wealth” with Joe Anderson, CFP and Alan Clopine, CPA

A “Top Personal Finance Podcast” for 2023 according to US News & World Report, the hosts answer personal finance questions for pre-retirees and retirees about investing, portfolio diversification, how to reduce taxes, creating retirement income, collecting Social Security benefits and more.

“Fabulous Over 50 – Inspiring Gen X and Boomer Women” with Jen Hardy

This podcast is designed to “encourage, inspire and empower women to find their fabulousness,” according to its Apple Podcasts description, regardless of where they live or how much money they’ve saved. Beyond financial topics, the host takes on issues such as ageism, dealing with menopause and healthcare.

“Retirement Answer Man” with Roger Whitney, CFP

A top retirement podcast with millions of downloads, each episode examines topics such as investing, insurance, IRAs, pensions, healthcare expenses, building wealth, creating income and being happy in retirement with practical advice.

“Ready for Retirement” with James Conole, CFP

Designed to give listeners the knowledge and confidence to create a secure retirement, the podcast aims to create the kind of peace of mind and that comes from having a specific strategy. It also encourages listeners to spend more time thinking about what matters most to them in retirement.

“Sound Retirement Radio” with Jason Parker

The topics covered on this podcast include a broad range of retirement questions, including investing strategies, tax planning and Roth conversions. The goal is to give listeners both fundamental and advanced ideas to help you create a sound retirement plan.

“Road to Retirement” with Christopher Anselmo

This show emphasizes the small things that make a significant difference in managing your finances over time. Recent topics include the state of the economy and financial markets and the things people wish they had known or done before retirement.

“Finishing Well” with Hans Scheil, CFP

Directed to both people who have been planning retirement for years and those who just started, the show examines retirement issues that include Social Security, Medicare, IRAs, long-term care, life insurance, investments and taxes.

“Stay Wealthy Retirement Show” with Taylor Schulte, CFP

This show discusses retirement issues from how to prepare for the next stock market crash and when to take Social Security to the question of how to turn your investments into reliable retirement income. Recent topics include retirement scams, index funds and understanding credit scores.

“Retire With Purpose” with Casey Weade, CFP

This is aimed to help retirees and pre-retirees maximize their financial confidence through weekly discussions with experts in finance and retirement. It also addresses trending topics that could help or hurt your overall financial goals.

“Retirement Starts Today” with Benjamin Brandt, CFP, RICP

Another podcast hosted by a professional financial planner, this focuses on how to spend more money in retirement while paying less taxes. It also emphasizes “the benefits of retiring to something” beyond just getting away from the world of work.

Bottom Line

The more you understand about financial planning and retirement, the better your decisions are likely to be. There’s a wealth of information about the financial issues surrounding retirement by a variety of experts, giving beginners and sophisticated investors many options to consider. Check out the above books and podcasts to learn as much as you can about setting yourself up well for retirement.

Retirement Planning Tips

  • A financial advisor can help you build a retirement plan that accounts for your IRAs, 401(k)s, annuities and more Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Thinking about taxes early in your retirement planning journey can pay major dividends down the road. SmartAsset’s guide to the best states for taxes in retirement is a great place to start.

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