By the way.
The money part gets all the attention, but planning a successful retirement takes more than financial preparation.
I’ve learned a lot by reading these books, and recommend you spend at least as much time thinking about the non-financial issues of retirement as you do the financial ones.
Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing as We Age, by Mary Pipher.
If you raised a daughter in the last 30 years, you probably know Pipher’s Reviving Ophelia – a primer on adolescent girls. Her new book on aging is comforting, moving, and practical. I’ve been recommending this book right and left, to women and men.
Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending, by Elizabeth Dunn & Michael Norton.
Turns out there’s a large body of research on what kind of spending actually makes us happy. I can’t recommend this book highly enough: it’s short, funny, and, if you’re paying attention, will permanently change how you spend.
A Long Bright Future: Happiness, Health, and Financial Security in an Age of Increased Longevity, by Laura L. Carstensen.
This is both a practical guide on making our later years really good ones, and a call to shift how we personally (and as a society) think about work, community, leisure and learning across our lifespan. The author is the director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, so knows of what she speaks. Optimistic and thought-provoking.
The New Retirementality: Planning Your Life and Living Your Dreams… at Any Age You Want, by Mitch Anthony.
If you haven’t given much thought to what you’re actually going to do with your time when you’re not working, start here. The author makes the case for retirement as the best period for meaningful pursuit you’ll ever have in life, and gives you lots of exercises to help you figure out what that looks like for you.
How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide, by Jane Bryant Quinn.
Okay, this one is a financial guide, but it’s so good that I have to include it here. Consider it your first step when you’re ready to make plans for retirement. Direct, succinct, and rock-solid. Five out of five stars!