How To Retire with Enough Money: And How To Know What Enough Is

Workman. Dec. 2015. 112p. ISBN 9780761186137. $12.95; ebk. ISBN 9780761187110. BUS
Ghilarducci (economics, the New Sch.; When I'm Sixty-Four: The Plot Against Pensions and the Plan To Save Them) is an expert on retirement and pensions who was twice appointed by President Bill Clinton to the advisory committee of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. The author describes herself as "no fan of the 401(k)-and-IRA or DIY-model of retirement planning" and expresses deep remorse for a system that has transitioned away from the security of defined-benefit plans that offered greater stability through old age. In confronting that reality, she advocates an essentially conservative and un-flashy model, recognizing that in the absence of a pension (or great wealth), most Americans will need to rely on a new "three-legged stool" of Social Security (hopefully delayed as long as possible), an employer-sponsored 401(k), and other savings in order to achieve a semblance of the comfort found in earlier eras and to avoid less pleasant options, such as working well into their senior years. After about 100 pages of financial advice, the author closes her guide with a hopeful call to readers to take action politically, noting that "our young selves need to take care of our older selves."
VERDICT Despite some redundancy at times and a tendency to defer explanations to later pages, Ghilarducci uses humor, easy-to-understand calculations, and personas to showcase how readers from varying walks of life can make sustainable retirement savings choices.
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