Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Book Review - RetirementQuest: Make Better Decisions by John Hauserman

Oh, the excitement of that first job. I worked in a Mexican restaurant. I was thrilled to enter through the "Employees Only" door. My mother made a copy of my first paycheck and framed it. What I didn't realize was that I also needed to begin planning for my retirement.

People who wait until middle age or later to plan for the future may not be able to retire. They face the unappealing prospect of dying at their desks rather than doing what they wish in that beach house. Why do we put it off?

I believe the first reason is fear. We fear thinking about our "golden years". We worry our future will be stolen by greedy corporate executives, thanks to those at Enron. Worst of all, we have no clue where to start.

John Hauserman, the chief executive officer of Retirement Journey, LLC, has written a book to guide you through this daunting process. I was interested to read this book because I don’t have a lot of experience with financial planning and am considering my retirement options.

Retirement has changed in recent years. I remember my grandfather retiring at age 65, getting his pension, and spending his time travelling, working in his garden, and building furniture. He had no financial worries. My mother took a lump sum payment when she retired, and how scrimps and lives very simply. I participate in the Texas Teacher Retirement System. Because my pension is in the hands of politicians, I'm assuming it will be bankrupt before I retire.

Few people can now spend their adult life working for a single company and counting on a consistent pension. Many have no clue where to begin retirement planning, and their inattention to this important life event may mean that they have to work for the rest of their lives.

Hauserman teaches you how to set goals, and compute how much money you will need to save. He also details what information you need to gather before beginning to plan. Readers will discover how much investment risk they can tolerate and how to select a professional they can trust.

This book is written in layman’s terms and is easy to read and understand. If you were as confused as I was about financial planning, I can highly recommend this guide. I was especially interested in the sections on risk assessment and was very unsure about how to choose a professional to help with my retirement planning.

Take some time to plan for your future so that beach vacation you're planning doesn't change into a job as a greeter in Walmart.
Need more information to plan your retirement? Visit John Hauserman's website here.

Get your own copy of Retirement Quest here and start working on your financial future!