Monday, June 11, 2012

Retirement breakthrough: The safe, secure way to guaranteed income you can't outlive---in any economy

Retirement breakthrough: The safe, secure way to guaranteed income you can't outlive---in any economy
By Dick Duff

Book review by Richard L. Weaver II

This is a terrific book.

It is true that it has a direct application to where I currently am in life, and relevancy is important when reviewing books, but Duff really speaks directly to readers with thorough explanations, explicit details, easy-to-understand examples, and material that has to impact almost everyone in life — those just graduating from college, beginning a professional career, nearing retirement, of already retired.

Now, I have to admit, I am not an economist, a CPA, a financial advisor, a banker, or anyone else in possession of information like this.  What that means is simple: Much of this information was new to me.  I’ve done little investigation on my own, and I have dumped my SEP (self-employed pension) into one account, and I let my investment advisor guide me in what to do every time money becomes available.  That is precisely why I found much of this information eye-opening and worthwhile.  I plan to make use of Duff’s suggestions at my earliest convenience (whenever that occurs!).

Before embarking on this book, let me advise readers with one insight: There are lots and lots and lots of numbers here.  There were times when I had a hard time following all of Duff’s mathematics; however, with greater concentration, and given more time, I am certain I can master his information.  It really isn’t that complex, it just requires some time to allow it all to digest.

What I especially enjoyed was Duff’s frankness and honesty.  He wasn’t afraid to tell you what not to do, which were bad moves to make, or unwise decisions and investments.

Duff’s forty-five years of professional experience as a financial and estate planner becomes clear early in the book.  I think, too, that if readers are interested in taking control of their retirement income, that is, that their retirement income comes on time all the time, then this book is a “must read.”

You will not only learn how much retirement income you are going to need — the formula is provided and sample calculations are offered — but you will learn how to withdraw money from life insurance policies, use annuities to optimize retirement income, make maximum use of assets you already have, as well as shelter your income from unwanted claimants and unnecessary taxes.  Duff’s ideas are solid, explained effectively, and what we all need.

If it isn’t obvious already, I highly recommend this book.  It is well-written.  There are moments of humor, and the author’s personality comes across in a delightful, quiet manner.  He includes additional resources as well as a state-by-state asset protection guide.  And the book is comprehensive and thorough.  Having never read any other finance book or related material, I have nothing with which to compare this book, but I think this one may become a benchmark in this field.

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