Posted by Tim Stobbs on June 11, 2008
Well I finally got around to reading a copy of The New Retirement by Sherry Cooper. I had been sort of interested in the book after reading a couple of articles on the internet about it. I have to say you can tell Sherry is an economist by training. The books tends to read like a text book for long stretches.
The good news is some of data she presents is rather interesting. Also she presents a nice back and forth comparison to the US system which provided some little education tidbits for me to chew on. Like just how underfunded the Social Security program is. The general theme of the book is as follows: baby boomers are going to be demand in the workplace and most don’t have enough saved for retirement so they should consider working part time for a few years during the start of their retirement (where money in = money out) and then phase into a traditional retirement afterwards.
Generally I agree with her basic idea. It can work out for people that haven’t saved enough, at the same time her examples are amusing for me. She likes to use $50,000/year as an income requirement during the retirement years and at one point she comments that $28,000 to $32,000/year won’t be enough in retirement. I smiled at those and then laughed out loud when she brought out that completely useless rule of thumb that says you need 60 to 70% of your pre-retirement income to live comfortably (I’ve previously stated I think the rule is garbage).
The book was written by someone from inside the wealth machine, as such, Sherry’s opinions are coloured by that experience. So overall I won’t suggest people send the time to read this as a retirement planning book, yet if you are interested in economic treads and what the boomers will do to things it does present a few interested bits of data to chew over. She also provides a bit of information on happiness in retirement which is useful to read. Be warned that the book is textbook like, so it isn’t a nice easy read for most of the book.