New Rules of Retirement: What Your Financial Advisor Isn't Telling You.
Contains Bibliography, Index
Janet Arnett is the former campus manager of adult education at Ontario’s Georgian College. She is the author of Antiques and Collectibles: Starting Small, The Grange at Knock, and 673 Ways to Save Money.
In the years prior to retirement, there’s lots of psychological, emotional, lifestyle, and financial planning to do. The book divides this work into 38 “rules,” each with an overview of a retirement-related topic, a point-form list of relevant actions to take now, and a summary of that section’s key message.
Despite the book’s title, most of the “rules” are not new: be familiar with government benefits and your pension plan, if any; know your RRSP; etc. Valid points, but hardly new. However, a few of the points are genuinely fresh additions to the typical retirement-planning discussions. These include an organizational plan that lets you calculate annual expenses in minutes, a method to minimize taxes through the strategic use of bank accounts, and the simple recognition that spending patterns shift as we age.
The work is divided approximately 40/60 between general retirement issues—psychological readiness, housing, budgets—and investing. The first section advocates a realistic look at the individual’s lifestyle and projected mortality, spending patterns, assets, and “risks” such as divorce, death of a spouse, and changes to one’s health. The heavier investment section stresses that investing is all about the process, not the products, and then discusses various products such as stocks and bonds, mutual funds, and exchange traded funds. Nothing on GICs, though. Risk, fees, diversification, benchmarking, and portfolio management are covered. A strategy called “core/satellite” and notes on products targeted at retirees (reverse mortgages, annuities) are, if not exactly new, at least not as shop-worn as much of the content.
Stylistically the text is generally painless but with a tendency to descend into the use of unexplained investor jargon. Numerous charts, lists of relevant websites, a bibliography, and index round out the book, making it useful, if not as a full-blown reference work, at least as a reminder of 38 topics not to overlook as retirement approaches.