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“How important is it to pay attention to this book? How important is it to live without fear? How important is it to be able to help your children and grandchildren? How important is it to be able to enjoy yourself after you retire instead of living in terror? How important is it to live on the golf course instead of in a single room of a retirement hotel? Or, to put it another way, this book is important, and rarely has a book so important been so much fun to read.”
—Ben Stein, Economist, Lawyer, Writer, TV Personality and Honorary Chair of the National Retirement Planning Coalition.
“Retirement Countdown offers a wonderful perspective on retirement issues. Not only does the book create awareness, it helps solve the problems faced by so many people who don’t know how to plan. By introducing Goal Oriented Retirement Planning, David Shapiro has created a breakthrough process for matching assets with goals and achieving success. This is must-read book!”
—Tom West, Retired Chairman and CEO, American General Retirement Services
“This book offers a comprehensive approach to retirement planning delivered in an enjoyable and easy-to-read format. I’m going to recommend it to all my clients in the pre-retirement stage. Shapiro makes the journey fun!”
—Pat Hanley-Peterson, Ph.D., Vice President, Director of Professional Services, Certified Executive Coach, Lee Hecht Harrison
“David Shapiro has for years been a source of information on financial instruments and trends for industry professionals. Now he uses that expertise to make information accessible to the general public. With this accessible book, David Shapiro makes the process of retirement planning less daunting for everyone, regardless of individual levels of expertise.”
—Juanita Brown, Senior Vice President, Associated Securities
“Don’t just read this book; use it. The author builds a powerful case for accepting personal responsibility for taking action now. Time is money. Invest yours now; you will love the rate of return. With Shapiro as your guide, help replaces hope.”
—Tim Freeman, President, Efficient Marketing, LLC
Protect your retirement, one step at a time—starting today!
Concerned about retirement income? You’d better be. Don’t panic. Act! Retirement Countdown will help you every step of the way.
In this action-oriented book, you’ll discover where you stand, make a solid plan, and learn how to stick with it. You’ll assess all your options, discovering practical strategies for controlling risk as you build savings. You’ll learn how to tweak your plan to reflect changing times. And, once you’ve retired, you’ll learn the best ways to protect and stretch your savings.
Whatever your assets, whatever your investment knowledge, this book will coach you every step of the way on the road to the comfortable retirement you deserve.
How to Use This Book.
I. UNDERSTANDING THE PROBLEM AND THE SOLUTION1. Tick Tock Goes the Retirement Clock.
The Retirement Countdown Plan.
Facing the Facts.
Let's Physically Climb the Mountain.
A Lesson from a Great Corporate Leader.
What If I Don't Reach My Goal? Facing Compromise.
Meet the Glovers.
You're Not Alone.
Power Checklist.2. Saving for Retirement.
The Current State of Retirement Savings-We're Just Not Saving Enough!
Relative Versus Absolute Comparison.
Which Generation Group Do You Fall Into?
Don't Get Discouraged.
Power Checklist.3. Establishing an Income You Can't Outlive.
Setting Your Objectives.
Utilization of Assets.
Types of Income.
Creating Retirement Income.
Strategies for Managing Income.
Minimum Distributions from Qualified Plans.
Common Mistakes Made.
Life Expectancy and Your Retirement.
Risks to Consider During Your Retirement.
Power Checklist.4. No Plan Is an Island.
Defined Benefit Pension Plans.
Cash Balance Defined Benefit Plans.
Defined Contribution Plans.
Profit Sharing or Stock Bonus Plans.
Employee Stock Ownership Plans.
Simplified Employee Pension-IRAs.
Savings Incentive Match Plans for Employees.
Individual Retirement Account Plans.
Divorce and Plan Assets.
How Much Should You Put into Qualified Plans?
How Should You Invest Your Qualified Plan Money?
Power Checklist.5. Goal-Oriented Retirement Planning: Energy for Your Retirement.
Create a Culture for Success.
Know When to Give Yourself a Break: The Philosophy of Success.
Take a Current Snapshot.
Taking Small Steps Through GORP.
Establishing Your Goals.
Adding Goals and Prioritizing.
Matching Assets to Goals.
Managing the Shortfall.
Modifying and Achieving Your Goals.
Planning Your Retirement Goals.
Budgeting for Your Objectives.
Retirement as a Goal.
Life Expectancy and Your Retirement.
Do You Want to Have Leftovers?
Creating Your Income Replacement Goal.
II. UNDERSTANDING RISK AND YOUR PRODUCT CHOICES.6. Understanding and Managing Risk.
Many Ways to Manage Risk.
Types of Risk.
Systematic Investment Risk.
Understanding the Beta.
Managing Investment Risk.
The Third Dimension of Investing: Changing Lenses.
Monte Carlo Simulation.
The Role of Insurance.
Risk of Doing Nothing.
Power Checklist.7. Equity Investments: Taking Stock in Your Retirement.
The Securities and Exchange Commission.
Why Invest in the Stock Market?
Ways to Invest in the Stock Market.
How to Choose Your Equity Investments.
Considerations for Buying Individual Stocks.
Buying on Margin.
American Depository Receipt.
Individual Stocks and Goal-Oriented Financial Planning.
Power Checklist.8. Fixed Income Investments: Building a Bond.
Why People Buy Bonds.
Bonds, Bonds, My Kingdom for a Bond.
High Yield Bonds.
Zero Coupon Bonds.
Inflation Indexed Bonds.
How Bonds Are Rated.
Bonds and Loss of Principal.
Power Checklist.9. Insurance and Annuities.
Determining the Need for Insurance.
Insuring Preretirement Needs.
Health and Insured Income.
1035 Tax-Free Exchanges.
The Press and Annuities.
Other Forms of Insurance.
The Safety of the Insurance Industry.
Power Checklist.10. Real Estate and Other Investments.
Real Estate and Related Investments.
Real Estate to Avoid.
Real Estate Investment Trusts.
Federal Agency Mortgage-Backed Securities.
Collaterized Mortgage Obligations.
Gold and Other Precious Resources.
Lessons from eBay.
Liquidity and Market Value.
Power Checklist.11. Mutual Funds.
History of Mutual Funds.
Unit Investment Trusts.
Taxable Bond Funds.
Tax-Free Bond Funds.
Money Market Funds.
Socially Responsible Investment Funds.
Turmoil in the Industry.
Mutual Fund Expenses.
Mutual Funds and Goal-Oriented Financial Planning.
Power Checklist.12. Managing Your Investments.
Investing Is Not a Two-Dimensional Process.
Identifying the Right Mix of Securities in Your Portfolio.
Dollar Cost Averaging.
Passive Management Versus Active Management.
Dogs of the Dow: Top 10 Dividend-Paying Stocks.
Efficient Frontier and Portfolio Diversification.
Investing and Relationships.
Estate Planning and Retirement.
III. TAKE ACTION NOW TO GET THE LIFE YOU WANT.13. Finding the Right Path for You.
Even the Best Athletes Have Coaches.
Paths to Choose.
The Distribution of Products Today and Tomorrow.
Power Checklist.14. Summiting the Mountain and Beating the Clock.
Where Do We Go from Here?
Spending Versus Investing.
Procrastination: Your Time Is Your Money.
The Importance of Communication and Trust.
It Ain't Over Until the Fat Lady Sings.
Retirement Countdown, the Web Site.
The Next Step Is Yours.
Power Checklist.15. Developing an Action Plan.
Current Status for the Glovers.
Goal Setting and Costs.
Retirement on Your Terms.Appendices.