The book had been sitting on my desk in my home office for months, staring at me in plain sight as a reminder that I needed to read it. Someday. I had received How Much Money Do I Need To Retire from the author, Todd Tresidder, at the Financial Blogger Conference back in October, but I just couldn’t seem to find the time or the motivation to read it.
Looking back, my mind just wasn’t in the right place.
At the time, getting back on track with our retirement planning was just a twinkle in my eye. We only had a few payments left to our debt management program, but until our credit card debt was gone, we were not in a financial position to concentrate on our retirement strategy.
So the book sat on my desk.
Last week my family and I were on vacation in Florida. With our DMP completed, retirement planning is now on the short list of things to do. I knew I would have some extra down time, so I packed the book. Sitting on beach in the Florida sun seemed like a very appropriate place to read about retirement, so I cracked the book open thinking I’d plow through a couple of chapters. But once I started, I couldn’t put the book down.
I read it cover to cover in just a couple of hours.
From the start, the perspective was different. To me, retirement planning has always been about how much to contribute to various retirement accounts to amass as much wealth as possible for retirement. This book begins at the day you retire, and makes you think about how you will spend money in your golden years, how fast your investments may decline due to your spending, and the possibility of outliving your savings.
Retirement planning isn’t just saving money during your working years, it’s planning how you plan to live AFTER to turn in your final two week notice.
Retirement planning scares people. Believe me, I know, it scared me, too. There are an infinite number of factors that can affect what happens to your nest egg once you reach retirement. The thing I liked best about the book is that it illustrated that while changing any of those factors will alter your retirement outlook, there are only a couple that really have a make or break effect. Todd encourages readers to concentrate only on those big knobs. He shows readers how to calculate not a single magic number of how much you need when you retire, but rather a range to shoot for (he calls it a range of confidence) using our own numbers, and by adjusting those big knobs.
There’s two HUGE things that I took from reading the book:
- Once I returned from the beach, I ran through the exercise in the book again to calculate my own range of confidence. For the first time in my life, I have numbers to shoot for to have squirreled away by the time I retire. I also have confidence in those numbers because they come from someone who knows what they’re talking about. Did I mention Todd retired at the age of 35?
- I need to devise a plan to have some sort of passive income by the time I retire. A rental house, a stake in a business, dividend income, or even all three. Having an income in retirement removes a huge strain from my retirement nest egg. It also increases confidence that I will not outlive the funds I saved for retirement.
To be honest, reading the book has given me a new retirement goal all together. It’s the same financial state that Todd reached when he retired at the age of 35. What exactly that is you’ll have to find out by reading the book. 🙂
The good news is that you can win a copy of the book right here! Just follow the instructions below to enter and I’ll announce the winner in this Friday’s (4/11) I Love You Like a Blogger Roundup post. If you win, I’ll ship it at no cost to you!
Did I mention the copy of the book I’m giving away is signed by Todd?
Read more about what Todd has to say about personal finances on his website, Financial Mentor.