Retirement, or semi-retirement, looks different for everyone. There’s a lot to think about and many plans to make. Of course, top of mind is usually the money component. Everybody wants to make sure their financials are in order so they can live the lifestyle they want. You’ll have to figure out what you want out of retirement, where you want to retire, and what exactly you want to do in retirement.
All in all, the retirement subject can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to get help from experts. Specific financial questions are best left to financial professionals, but there’s a wealth of general knowledge about retirement that you can tap into via books and podcasts. Why try to figure everything out on your own? Grab some of these books or tune into some of these podcasts below and learn from people who are experts in the field. Here are some of the resources that have helped me navigate my semi-retirement lifestyle.
If you’re thinking about retiring overseas, and even if you’re not, Claim Your Dream Life is an excellent resource. In this insightful book, author Dawn Fleming shares her & her husband’s journey to international living. Their journey started at age 50 and 60 respectively. They decided they were ready to leave California for somewhere new and set sail for Florida. After discovering Florida wasn’t exactly what they were looking for, they landed in Mexico, where they continue to live and thrive.
Dawn shares how you can find your dream life, just like she and her husband did. In the book, Dawn poses questions and quizzes that will help discover what you want and will help to make a roadmap for how to get there. If you are planning to retire internationally, this book offers practical information from Dawn, who’s been there and done that. Dawn’s down-to-earth, straightforward writing style makes this book easy and enjoyable to read.
I started listening to Dave Ramsey way back in college when his show was on public radio, and I never stopped. Dave’s radio show is quite entertaining and informative. Listeners call in to ask him every type of financial question imaginable. In only the way that Dave can, he ponders for a moment or two, asks pointed questions, and always absolutely tells it like it is. His books are no different than his radio show. As much as I enjoy listening to his radio show, in some ways, his books are even better because you can re-read whatever you like and let it sink in. Dave has experience being broke, rebuilding financially, and running his Ramsey solutions empire, so he knows what he’s talking about.
I’m a fan of all his books, but particularly like Total Money Makeover. It’s not a retirement book, per se, but if you follow his advice, your finances will be in great shape and retirement (or early retirement) can be a reality. Dave’s straightforward, practical, no-nonsense approach to finance will win you over and help you get your financial house in order. Even if you think you’ve done everything right, I highly recommend that you flip through this book. I’m betting you’ll pick up one or two things you didn’t think about. If you want to do a financial “tune-up,” his Total Money Makeover Workbook is a companion book and a great resource.
Investment advisor and host of the Money Matters podcast, Wes Moss wrote You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think based on his extensive research with retirees. Moss asked over 1,300 retirees in 46 states more than 3,000 questions on various topics like income, history, assets, debt, spending habits, vacations, cars, and more. This book covers their answers and gives us amazing insight into what makes retirees happy. We learn that money in itself doesn’t provide happiness. It may provide safety, health, and freedom, but not necessarily happiness. Once you make $75,000, money doesn’t really impact happiness, and Moss gets to the bottom of it.
The book is divided into four parts: The Happy Retiree Basics, The Five Money Secrets of Happy Retirees, Minimizing Risk In Your Portfolio, and Enjoying The Rest Of Your Life. The Money Secrets are so important that the author devotes an entire chapter to each of the 5 secrets:
- Determine what you want and need your retirement money for
- Figure out how much you need to save
- Create a plan to pay off your mortgage in as little as five years
- Develop an income stream from multiple sources
- Become an income investor
This easy-to-read, almost 300-page book offers simple strategies to make your retirement better. I particularly like his “Rich Ratio” calculation that allows you to evaluate how “rich” you are.
This rather concise book packs a punch. Written by Ernie Zelinski — an international, best-selling author who’s written multiple books on retirement — How To Retire Happy, Wild, And Free is definitely about the non-financial side of retirement (my favorite part!). Zelinski dives into the social side of retirement which can be a big challenge for a lot of people. It’s tough to figure out what you’re going to do once your life isn’t consumed by work. Zelinski agrees that It’s a huge change and something that people need to prepare for. The author recommends spending time regularly thinking about what your retirement will look like years before you retire.
A large part of the book focuses on helping the reader determine what activities they’d like to pursue in retirement. And he offers a ton of ideas for inspiration. This book helps unlock what’s most important to you. This is a fun, uplifting read that will empower you to create your perfect retirement.
Pro Tip: I love using an E-reader! There’s no better way to bring books with you wherever you go. Especially for travel, an E-reader is invaluable. My favorite is the Kindle Paperwhite. I love reading on the beach with no glare!
One of the most popular retirement podcasts out there today, The Retirement Answer Man is a mix of financial advice along with the psychology of retirement. On this award-winning podcast, you’ll hear everything from functional health discussions to inflation.
My favorite part of the podcast is the Retirement Plan Live series where Roger talks one-on-one with people who are planning to retire. In these real-life case studies, we the audience listen in as Roger helps listeners create their retirement roadmap. It’s all about rocking your retirement. This relatable series is priceless for the soon-to-be-retired.
The Rock Your Retirement podcast is built on the six pillars of retirement lifestyle: friendship, purpose, family, health, spiritual, and significant others. Beginning in mid-2020, the show’s new format focuses on following the life of a pre-retiree through her first year in retirement. This allows listeners to learn the pros and cons of her journey in retirement so we can be better prepared. This podcast feels like listening in on a girlfriend’s conversation.
Host Joe Casey, an executive coach and retirement coach, brings on fascinating guests to share their life experiences with listeners. Many of the things these guests touch on resonate with me and probably most people nearing retirement. Things like resilience, aging, and even learning how to be retired are topics discussed on the show. It’s great to learn from people that are in the same boat, and those that have already navigated through some of the tough stuff.
Interesting and inspiring guests are what makes The Retirement Wisdom podcast a winner. You’ll hear real people talk about how they dealt with transitioning in retirement, as well as interesting and inspiring tidbits of their life before retirement. NFL football special teams coach Mike Westoff discusses his journey after being diagnosed with bone cancer at age 40. Writer and reporter Anne Montgomery shares how, after a tremendously busy career and life as a foster mom to three teenage boys, she’s now reinventing herself in retirement. Most every guest has said that it’s incredibly important to plan for the non-financial side of retirement and the number one thing you need to do is figure out what you love to do. And then do a lot of it.
A podcast about the “life” part of retirement, in Beyond Retirement, Jackie Doucette focuses on helping us figure out what’s next. Her guests give us insight on retiring “to” something, not “from” something. It’s all about making the most of your post-retirement life. On Beyond Retirement, Jackie chats with interesting guests who inspire us to live and do more in retirement.
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