Want a better retirement? Add these books to your reading list.

Want to make the most of the money you’ve saved for retirement, or would you like to maximize your benefits? There are plenty of insightful books to shed light or provide alternative perspectives on all aspects of this next chapter in life. 

Flying drone with camera

Retirement Tip of the Week: In preparation for the new year, and all of the money resolutions that come along with it, pick up a book that addresses the best ways to save, invest and build a solid retirement. 

There are library shelves filled with personal finance books, and some specifically focused on retirement. There are also other aspects to consider when planning or living in retirement, such as healthcare, where in the world you’re living and finding purpose. 

While there are plenty of wonderful options out there, here are just a few books to consider if you’re looking for a little more guidance – or a fresh angle – for your retirement. 

Read: Want to age in place? You may have a robot keeping you company.

Savings and investing for retirement 

Cashing Out: Win the Wealth Game by Walking Away” by Julien and Kiersten Saunders 

The Saunders paid off $200,000 in debt in five years, and have since quit their corporate jobs and became icons in the personal finance space. In their first book, they help Americans prioritize their goals at various career stages, discuss why you may not feel ready for financial freedom (and why that’s OK) and share practical strategies to accomplishing your goals. 

“Broke Millennial” by Erin Lowry 

This book isn’t focused entirely on retirement savings, but it does encourage young workers to put money aside for the future, and offers suggestions on how to do so through contributions and investment choices. Lowry also emphasizes why it is so important for younger generations to start investing for retirement early, especially because of the power of compound interest. 

Money management in retirement 

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

Retirement income planning, which focuses on how best to utilize your assets and benefits in retirement, is just as important as the decades spent saving for the future. Pfau, who has several books on retirement planning, created this comprehensive guide for key decisions to make, both financial and nonfinancial, for retirement.

Read: You don’t need retirement savings, you need retirement income

How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide” by Jane Bryant Quinn 

Running out of money is a top concern for many Americans, and Quinn tackles that nightmare scenario in this book. The author helps readers understand the best ways to create a steady paycheck from their savings, and various decisions to make surrounding savings, investments, home equity and beyond.

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The New Retirementality: Planning Your Life and Living Your Dreams… at Any Age You Want” by Mitch Anthony 

In its fifth edition, this book looks at finding purpose in retirement and working with what you’ve got in this chapter to enjoy your life. The author also includes worksheets to get organized with money. 

Want more actionable tips for your retirement savings journey? Read MarketWatch’s “Retirement Hacks” column

Early retirement and financial independence 

The Simple Path to Wealth: Your Road Map to Financial Independence and a Rich, Free Life” by J.L. Collins 

This book digs deep into financial independence, by exploring debt, investing in the stock market, traditional versus nontraditional financial advice, understanding all the account options for retirement savings and why you need “F-you Money.” The message seems to resonate with readers – it has 4.5 out of 5 stars with more than 8,600 reviews on Amazon. 

Work Optional: Retire Early the Non-Penny Pinching Way” by Tanja Hester

Hester has become an expert and spokeswoman in the financial independence space, and she did so by first accomplishing the feat herself. In this book, the author breaks down how to create an early retirement plan, budgeting for future expenses you can’t expect, withstanding turbulent times in the economy and doing everything without cutting your expenses down to nothing. 

Quit Like a Millionaire: No Gimmicks, Luck or Trust Fund Required” by Kristy Shen and Bryce Leung

Shen retired at 31 with a million dollars and in this book, she shares how she did so using investment wits. This book, which was rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon with almost 1,800 reviews, is what the authors call a “bull****-free guide to growing your wealth, retiring early and living life on your own terms.” 

Retirement lifestyle 

Keys to a Successful Retirement: Staying Happy, Active and Productive in your Retired Years” by Fritz Gilbert

Retirement isn’t just about money – it’s also about living a life you enjoy. Gilbert is an expert on this, and in his book shares various ways to plan for and build upon your lifestyle in retirement, as well as how to transition into it. This book is best for people who are five years to or from their retirement date, he says in his description. 

How to Retire Overseas: Everything You Need to Know to Live Well (for Less) Abroad” by Kathleen Peddicord 

Many Americans dream of leaving the country to retire on a Caribbean beach or in a quaint European town, but there are plenty of crucial factors to consider before doing so – such as how to store your money wisely, the healthcare coverage you’ll need and living within your budget. Peddicord and her husband have lived overseas for decades, and in her book, she shares tips for finding housing and medical care as well as understanding taxes and banking before packing your bags. 

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Social Security 

Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security” by Laurence Kotlikoff, Philip Moeller and Paul Solman 

Claiming Social Security can feel overwhelming when you’re facing all of the options – do you claim as soon as you can at age 62 or try and wait until age 70? How will your health, life expectancy and investment portfolio affect that decision? Where does your spouse and their benefits fit in? In this book, the authors explain various strategies to get through this potentially stressful situation. 

Social Security: Simple and Smart” by Tom Margenau 

The author breaks down the myths and misconceptions of Social Security, and offers 10 fact sheets around benefits, including those on disability benefits, pension offsets, benefits for children and what widows and widowers should know. 

Health and Medicare

Get What’s Yours: Maximize Your Coverage, Minimize Your Costs” by Philip Moeller 

Just like with his Social Security book, the author breaks down the often complicated world of Medicare and explains what to consider when deciding on your health insurance plan. He also talks about some of the more detailed nuances of the system, such as the appeals process for denied claims and what to do if you’re eligible for Medicare but still working. 

10 Costly Medicare Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make” by Danielle Roberts 

Decisions around Medicare can be complicated – beneficiaries need to sift through numerous plans to ensure their preferred doctors and necessary prescriptions are covered. The wrong decision, or unknowingly missing a deadline, can be quite expensive in the long-run. In this book, the author shares pitfalls and penalties to avoid and resources to make the best decision for your health. 

Do you have questions about retirement, Social Security, where to live or how to afford it at all? Write to HelpMeRetire@marketwatch.com and we may use your question in a future story.


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