Monday, December 26, 2016

"Preparing for Retirement with the Help of the Library" | @ the Library Article

Not a day passes that we don't read or hear something about the need to plan for retirement  This has been a subject at the top of mind for me for the past year, as I prepared for my retirement at the end of this year.  A recent news story indicated that baby boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day in the U.S. and that unless something is done with social security, the trust fund will be depleted by 2034.  Understandably then for most of us, our biggest concern is, will we outlive our financial resources?

Your Abilene Public Library has a wealth of informational resources on how to plan for and live comfortably in retirement.  Many of these cover the financial aspects, and without exception drive home the point that no matter how far away retirement is, saving even a little is vitally important.  The time value of money invested over a long period of time works wonders.  We have many books that explain how to prepare for and what to expect in retirement.  Many address issues faced by those already in retirement.

For those aged 40 to 65 one I might suggest is Retire Happy: What You Can Do NOW to Guarantee a Great Retirement by Stim and Warner.  It covers how to grow and protect financial assets using IRAs and 401(k)s but goes far beyond financial topics.  The authors declare four things vital to a happy retirement: money, reasonably good health, a network of family and friends, and stimulating and enjoyable activities.

For those under age 60 who want to focus specifically on finances a good one is Yes, You Can Still Retire Comfortably!: The Baby-Boom Retirement Crisis and How to Beat It, by Stein and DeMuth.  They admonish pre-retirees among other things to fund as fully as possible retirement plan available to them, consider tax implications of everything you do, and make a plan with a reliable financial advisor and stick with it.

Another good one on how to build a retirement nest egg is by James O'Shaughnessy: How to Retire Rich: Time-Tested Strategies to Beat the Market and Retire in Style.  "Don't buy stocks based on hunches, hot tops or trendy advice [but rather] look at the stock market's history and apply the proven formulas that won't leave you vulnerable."  He shows how to develop a portfolio tailored to one's age, financial situation and long-term needs.

Many of our offerings address both planning and living in retirement but a particularly good one for those in or about to retire is Living Well in Retirement by Cynthia Yates.  Aside from the financial side, she talks about the importance of social interaction, keeping physically, mentally, and psychologically fit, and how the golden years can bring unparalleled opportunities for exploring the world and leaving a lasting legacy.

Nolo Publishing puts out some valuable information in such publications as Essential Retirement Tax Guide, IRAs 401(k)s & Other Retirement Plans, and Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions.

Some couples consider relocated to retirement communities, or to be near family, or where cost of living is less.  Some choose to live out of a recreational vehicle.  If relocation is being considered, take a look at America's 100 Best Places to Retire or Retire in Style: 60 Outstanding Places Across the USA and Canada.  We even have How to Retire Overseas: Everything You Need to Know to Live Well (for Less) Abroad.

One is written specifically for women: Smart Women Don't Retire - They Break Free.  A really quick and easy read at only 65 pages is Skinning the Cat: A Baby Boomer's Guide to the New Retiree Lifestyles by Joan Scott.  All of the aforementioned can be found at our Main Library at 202 Cedar, but there are so many more available.  I urge you to take advantage of good retirement preparation advice as my wife and I have in preparing for this next stage in our lives.

Article Contributed by Dennis Miller, Information Services Librarian at the Main Branch of the Abilene Public Library

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