Book Review: “How To Make Your Money Last”

The routine you followed for 20, 30, even 40 years probably won’t be the same after retirement, and you may need some direction.

“How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide” by Jane Bryant Quinn
c.2016, Simon & Schuster
$28.00 / $37.00 Canada
366 pages
Your No-Plan plan stretches for miles.
You’ve no plans for alarm clocks, suit-and-tie combos, rush-hour commutes, cubicles, or boring meetings. You’re ready to retire and leave them all behind – but can you afford to avoid those things forever?  With “How to Make Your Money Last” by Jane Bryant Quinn, you’ve got a working chance of it.
What will you do when you can finally do what you want?
That’s an important question, says Quinn. The routine you followed for 20, 30, even 40 years probably won’t be the same after retirement, and you may need some direction. You might be happy about not looking at a calendar all the time, but you won’t “want to look at a… calendar that’s blank.”
The key to making the most of your retirement is to make the most of your money. You’ll particularly want to know how to “prudently parcel your money out” so you don’t take too much or too little of the funds available to you for the duration. There are also things to consider: tax issues, investment tools, tricks for bringing more to your bank account, and ways to protect your spouse.
On that latter point, says Quinn, “talk, talk, talk.” Before you retire, discuss expectations and concerns with your spouse, and bring all money matters to the table. It’s not easy, she admits, but it is necessary.
“It’s time for a financial scan” next, she says. Know how to “rightsize,” consider housing needs, look at savings, and figure out how you’ll budget to trim expenses and still enjoy retirement. Know “Seven Special Situations” that “can’t be shoehorned neatly into the… process” and learn when it’s perfectly acceptable to tell your children “no.”
Educate yourself on the ins and outs of Social Security, and how waiting to file may make a huge difference, long-term. See why Quinn says Social Security won’t “go bankrupt.” Learn to choose the best pension benefits and why buying a pension may be advantageous. Know how to get the right health insurance coverage. Learn about home equity loans and how to leverage your home’s value. And remember: “There’s no clean way of knowing whom to trust.”
Oh, so much to remember! So much to learn, too, but author Jane Bryant Quinn makes it easier in “How to Make Your Money Last.”
From the first pages filled with ideas for filling your time, to the choosing of a Power of Attorney, Quinn covers almost every kind of money matter a retiring Boomer might need to know – all presented with terms and formulas that are simplified, even for the most mathematically-challenged. I appreciated that Quinn starts most points with need-to-know information, offers other places to turn for help, and includes things of which readers should beware.
All that, and an informal tone make this book a pleasant, helpful read for current retirees, those about to retire, and younger readers who may want to retire someday. And since that’s you, no doubt, “How to Make Your Money Last” is a book you should plan to read.