Retirement Planning Guidebook: Navigating the Important Decisions for Retirement Success (The Retirement Researcher's Guide)

by: Wade Pfau (0)

The Retirement Planning Guidebook helps you navigate through the important decisions to prepare for your best retirement. You will have the detailed knowledge and understanding to make smart retirement decisions:

- Understand your personal retirement income style, which can then help you navigate through the conflicting opinions about retirement strategies to choose your right path.

- Learn about investment and insurance tools that may best resonate with your personal style.

- Determine if you are financially prepared for retirement by quantifying your financial goals (annual spending, legacy, and reserves for the unexpected) and comparing them to your available assets.

- Make smart decisions for when to start Social Security benefits, which could potentially support an additional $100,000 or more of lifetime income from Social Security.

- Develop a plan for making the best initial and ongoing choices from the alphabet soup of Medicare options, as well as how to find health coverage if you retire before Medicare eligibility.

- Assess where you wish to live in retirement and whether there are helpful ways to incorporate housing wealth into your retirement strategy.

- Decide how to manage your long-term care risk between self-funding, Medicaid, or private insurance, and take steps to support living at home for as long as possible.

- Understand how to manage your taxes to pay less, to avoid common pitfalls, and to have more for your lifetime and your legacy. You will be able to apply tax diversification, asset location, tax bracket management, and Roth conversions to enhance the sustainability of your retirement assets.

- Get your finances organized and understand how to get your estate and incapacity planning documents in order, including your will, account titling, beneficiary designations, financial power of attorney, and advance health care directives.

- Identify whether there is a role for trusts in your estate plan for reasons related to avoiding probate, controlling how and when assets are disbursed, obtaining creditor protections, or helping to manage estate taxes.

- Prepare for the non-financial aspects of retirement, including the need to find purpose and passion, to understand if there is a role for work in retirement, to enhance relationships and social connections, and to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

Retirement has an entire vocabulary associated with it. We’ll demystify the 4% rule, sequence-of-return risk, time segmentation and buckets, reverse mortgages, income annuities, variable annuities, fixed index annuities, long-term care insurance, living trusts, irrevocable trusts, budgeting, the funded ratio, Medicare Advantage, Medicare supplements, diversified investment portfolios, Roth conversions, the hazards of the Social Security tax torpedo and increased Medicare premiums, buffer assets, 401(k) plans and IRAs, the rollover decision, distribution options for defined-benefit company pensions, required minimum distributions, qualified charitable distributions, aging in place, cognitive decline, and so much more.

The Retirement Planning Guidebook does not let important matters fall through the cracks. This is a comprehensive look at the key retirement decisions to achieve financial and non-financial success. You will have the foundation to make the most of your retirement years, and I hope you’ll be able to do something great!

The Reviews

WHAT IS NEW IN THIS BOOKThe RISA score was invented and verified by Wade and his sidekick Alex Murguia. This is a new tool you will not see elsewhere. You need to start with this tool. It will make sorting all the options much easier. Once you understand your own RISA score, you’ll quickly sort through possibilities and confidently discard the poor fits so you can focus on the options that suit you best.WHY SHOULD SOMEONE BUY THIS BOOKI spent 2 years, full-time, studying my options for withdrawals from a retirement portfolio I’d been saving for decades. The deeper I got, the more options I found to investigate. It was certainly a rabbit hole, and once I finally was satisfied that I had examined all the options, understood the pros and cons of the options I chose, I finally felt ready to put together a withdrawal plan and tweak my investment plan.If this guidebook had been available, I could have shaved 18 months off that 2 year study. 
Options that would never fit would have been eliminated from study if I’d had this book. I wasted a lot of time studying options that others were using, because I wanted to be sure I wasn’t overlooking something. And many things I spent time worrying and fussing over, would have been confirmed if I’d had this guidebook. 
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?I have an MBA and went to law school. How the heck will less educated savers navigate this? I’ve worried about that for the last 4 years. While I was worrying, Wade Pfau was building a solution.I never would have guessed that spending my savings would be harder than building my savings. All of us seem surprised by this, as we reach the peak, take a few selfies, and then ponder how to get down the mountain safely.Before you meet with a financial advisor, a financial planner, or your cousin’s brother-in-law who is an insurance agent, read this book. You’ll be more of an informed consumer, and not a “sheep being lead to slaughter” which is how we are referred to in the industry.This is aptly named as a guidebook. Most chapters have a checklist for your use. All chapters have reference books for the over-achievers among us. (I read most of those plus a pile of less helpful books.) At the end, a checklist of tasks will keep you on track. This book is your homework, for the most important test you face, retirement!WHO SHOULD BUY THIS BOOKAnyone over age 50 is a candidate for this book. A careful reading will be amply rewarded by a more secure retirement, which is worth much more than the price of the book and the value of your study time.WHO IS THE AUTHOR?Wade Pfau is well known as a financial researcher, and specializes in retirement planning. I’ve read his other books, and many of his papers. Wade is deliberate and cautious in his approach. He is among a handful of authors and researchers I follow and pay close attention to.

As we were transitioning to our retirement several years ago I was fortunate to stumble across Dana Anspach's book, Control Your Retirement Destiny. It has been a great resource for us and I continue to recommend it. Wade Pfau's latest book in his series, Retirement Planning Guidebook, is its equal.Although this is the fourth book in the series, it is foundational for the other three, providing a detailed and comprehensive journey through the entire planning process. While written clearly, this is not a beach read. Each of Wade's book is worthy of a read if you are comfortable with research-driven content. That said, begin with this book.It's worth calling out several sections in Retirement Planning Guidebook that I haven't seen covered -- or covered as well -- in other books.First, the chapter on retirement income styles is unique in the literature and well worth the price of this book by itself. The methodology presented reaches far beyond the "risk assessment" tool that is ubiquitous in the financial planning industry, offering the potential for much deeper and more actionable insights into your investing mindset.Second, this book provides the most detailed discussion of the funded ratio methodology that I have found. Personally, this is a tool we've relied on in our long-term planning and, from my perspective, it should be a component of every retiree's plan. If this is a new concept for you, read Wade's book.Third, fundamental to retirement is answering the question of whether to self-manage your retirement portfolio or engage a professional advisor. This book should help you make that call for yourself. If you reach the end of this book with new clarity and insights, then perhaps you can travel the path without assistance. If not, then you should explore the value of a competent retirement advisor.Avoid the mass of "retirement planning" literature, which offers nothing more than an author's retirement gimmick, and focus on those authors who provide valuable, evidence-based guidance. Your retired self will thank you for your foresight.

Finally a comprehensive and straightforward approach to the obfuscated retirement planning landscape. Dr. Wade Pfau provides a simplified process to build a retirement customized to your unique situation. His approach works for self investors and those that hire planners. First a little background. I have utilized planning tools from Fidelity, Vanguard, and Schwab. I have reached out and discussed services with many different financial planning advisers. Each and everyone of these tools and services was helpful but lacked a complete and comprehensive understanding of what a successful retirement involves. The Retirement Planning Workbook provides a comprehensive educational approach which starts by developing an understanding of your retirement income style. It then provides actionable and understandable background on virtually all aspects of retirement including risks, quantifying goals, sustainable spending, annuities, social security, medicare & health insurance, long term care planning, housing decisions, tax planning, legacy & incapacity, and non-financial retirement issues. Dr. Pfau presents the concepts, provides back ground data to make an informed decision, and provides an outline for key decisions at specific ages. My only complaint is I wish he had written this book sooner. It is a long read at around 450 pages, but you can pick and choose which areas you want to focus on. Good Luck!

This blanket is super soft, not too small in size, and is very lightweight. Will be ordering more soon!

I bought these for my dogs. I cut them into four squares and put them in their crates. This is the softest most wonderful blanket I will definitely buy this again

Shreds a bunch.

I probably could've gotten this cheaper somewhere else but...I do really like this blanket & it keeps me cozy. Very light weight.

The book was very thorough in covering the subject. The author covered things I never even thought of. I am a few years from retirement, but I plan to use this guide in my planning.I like that the author covers different angles which allows me to choose a plan that meets my needs.

I happened to stumble across a reference to this book in my local newspaper, and I am glad I did. I found it to be a thorough review of just about all major issues one needs to consider regarding retirement. Of course, most of the information relates to finances, but there are also suggestions about lifestyle and other considerations that apply. I am already retired, and I have done quite a bit of research to guide my retirement. This book covered all I have learned and much more. I really wish I had found this book 5-10 years ago.The author provides very understandable explanations of what can be complex topics. Perhaps the most complex topic is how to draw down retirement investments in a manner than suits the person and will insure resources are available as long as one lives. This book provides the best perspectives I have seen on this very complex topic, relating different strategies to one's own comfort level. It includes making maximum and appropriate use of Social Security, annuities, and even reverse mortgages, in addition to budgeting, types of accounts, and safe draw-down rates. There is even extensive guidance on how to minimize taxes over time. I wish I had known that earlier as I could have taken better advantage of the suggestions to front-load taxes, for example. I highly recommend this book to anyone approaching or in retirement who wants to do it yourself as much as possible, who wants to know whether a professional financial advisor makes sense, or who just wants to understand the kinds of options a professional advisor is suggesting. Unless you prefer to just turn over retirement decisions entirely to someone else, you will benefit from this book.

This is the fourth book I have read about preparing financially for retirement. The author is a Princeton PhD, which provides mixed results. Slogging through sections where he invents his own methods of retirement evaluations or the sections on taxes I thought they would be better presented to an academic publication or conference. This and a couple of other sections I kept wondering, who is the audience for this book? If the audience is a non academic without a finance background it would benefit from a sterner editor. He also mentions Whole Life insurance, which I have not read any independent financial advisor recommend for 40 years.The book was definitely worth the read, but I had to skip many sections where I just got lost in the endless iterations of mathematical analysis, or rarely applicable tax impacts. That said the sections on social security strategy did the best justification I have ever read of the strategy most financial planners recommend. I also learned a lot and have a different perspective now on reverse mortgages. Though it is a small part of the book, I also got a lot out of the chapter on “The Non-Financial Aspects of Retirement Success.”Pick up the book - but skip the sections that obviously have nothing to do with your own circumstances.

A somewhat technical retirement book probably best for someone with a financial background and general planning knowledge. Both of which I had going in. It is not an easy read though.

Dr. Pfau's "Retirement Planning Guidebook" is an encyclopedic summary of nearly every financially relevant topic for retirees and near-retirees. I found new insights into things I already knew, good introductions to new topics, and links / references to tools and deeper coverage. The book is up to date as of 2021 and even includes some looks to what may change in the future. All told, I find it to be tremendously helpful.That said, I think some of the coverage is not as clear as one might wish, and i found myself reading many passages multiple times to really understand the material. It's more like a textbook in that regard - I would have found it more useful if I had the opportunity to ask questions. Also, many sections cry out for better illustrations and figures - I'd highly recommend that Dr. Pfau find a data analyst or graphic design partner for the next edition, as much of what is here could be greatly clarified with some insightful graphs and artwork.All told, I recommend this book, with the reservation that the reader should be prepared to invest some time and effort. For those not already familiar, some of the topics are very dense - you may want to start with a more superficial book before delving in here.

My son decided he wanted a pinky ring. This pinky ring. Not sure why.The ring is good quality. The impression is solid and legible. Not a cheap made ring. It has some heft to it and my son loves it.

This was a good ring, i bought it as a present, but i do think it is a chunky ring. If you’re not into chunky rings, i don’t think you should buy.

This ring is gorgeous and well made but the sizing really needs to be better. I ordered a size 7 (my usual size), too small. Ordered a size 8, slipped right off my ringer. It was a shame as I really liked everything else about the ring, half sizes are definitely needed.

it's bigger then I thought it would be but perfect and just like the picture.

Good product true to size

fits a little small, but amazing quality!

No bulky, steel, really nice.

Exactly like the picture. I ordered a size 8 to wear on my thumb and it was a little loose but still no problem.

This author clearly details the essential financial planning milestones necessary to begin your next chapter into retirment. Nice non financial strategies and recommendations are also included. Detailed and well written.

A lot of great information from an expert in the field. The info can be a bit technical and the average person may have trouble grasping some of the concepts. Just remember what makes sense in the academic world may not be practical in the real world

Gives excellent coverage to a lot of complex topics in a understandable way. Thorough.

Exactly what i ordered

I like the color .Very pleased with the dice

They broke the first time we used them lol. The string game detached from the corner of one of the dice. Once I hot-glued it back together though, it was fine.

Love them not cheap made

Dice were color and texture desired.

Good product for the cost. Using these to play games with at work. Wish they were a bit heavier bc they would roll better but they are meant for hanging in a car not rolling them.


Exactly what I wanted. Thanks for an accurate description.

Important information for life planning and in great condition. Thanks!

**UPDATE May 2016*** I've owned this pan (and it's larger sibling) for 3.5 years and for the past 2 yrs have used it on my induction range. It continues to be one of my workhorses, my go-to pan for fried eggs, crepes and grilled sandwiches. Because it's only used over low to medium heat it's never blackened completely, but remains a motley blue/brown/black mess. That's ok, because it cooks and releases like a dream with a scant teaspoon of butter or oil. Note that if you want to use high heat, you're better off with a thicker carbon steel pan, like deBuyer's Mineral B line (3mm), to prevent warping. I have a pair of those skillets and have no qualms cranking the heat to sear a steak of make a crusty smash burger. This pan (2mm thick) will warp over high heat. Just don't, ok? Anyway, with my collection of carbon steel pans, I've no need at all for cast iron. These weigh less, season easier, are every bit as nonstick and easy to clean, and will never, ever crack no matter how many times you drop it on your tile floors. If carbon steel is good enough for my wok, it's perfect for skillets and crepe pans.*Original review* Having cooked on gas ranges most of my life, I faced a steep learning curve 2 years ago when we bought a home with an electric smooth-top range. I can cook on it, but I still struggle with it's lack of responsiveness to heat setting changes. I'm constantly moving pots and pans off the burner and back on while waiting for the heat level to come down, a real pain. So we're making the switch next year to induction, requiring a complete cookware replacement. I've got 10-yr-old Calphalon Tri Ply stainless steel pots and skillets and 2 Tramontina Pro cast aluminum nonstick skillets, all of which must go. Note that Calphalon Tri Ply is now made with magnetic steel and will work with induction, but older stuff does not. I don't like modern cast iron because it's not smooth, takes a long time to build up enough seasoning to become slick and it weighs a ton. Also, it's sides aren't flared like my Tramontina and Calphalon, making it hard to get a spatula under food and harder still to slide eggs onto a plate. So I purchased this de Buyer pan as my 'try me' piece. If it didn't perform I wasn't out a lot of money. Here's my first impression.This is the Force Blue crepe pan, 2mm thick, with a riveted handle. One nice feature is that the rivets are flat, like aircraft rivets, making for very smooth walls. Another reviewer complained that the bottom had some kind of ring that prevented it from sitting flat and caused oil to run out to the edges of the pan. Mine is perfectly flat on the bottom, but like all fry pans, oil will 'run' from the hotter middle of the pan to the cooler edges. This is normal. I followed the mfg. instructions, boiling potato peels in water (I did it for 10 full minutes), then scrubbing the pan with dish soap and drying thoroughly. After that step, I heated it on medium-high heat until it was good and hot, then poured in about a tablespoon of oil. I chose canola oil. It immediately began to smoke, so I turned the heat down to medium, picked up the pan and swirled the oil around to coat the sides of the pan. I had to keep repeating this, turn down heat, pick up pan, swirl, until finally I reached a medium-low heat setting (2 on my GE range) to keep the oil just below the smoke point. Altogether, about 5 minutes. Then I wiped the pan with a paper towel (use tongs!) to remove all the excess oil. Some of the oil had dripped over the side when I was doing the swirl thing, so I wiped the outside of the pan, too. I let the pan cool completely and seasoned it a second time. de Buyer doesn't say to do it a second time, but because I'd got a very thin coat of oil, I chose to repeat the process, knowing it wouldn't hurt. After all, seasoning builds up over time anyway. My pan looked dark and shiny, with 2 slightly dull spots in the middle. Using an oil with a higher smoke point would have been less hassle, but are you going to walk away from a pan with hot oil? So it was really no big deal.This morning I fried 2 eggs in it, one at a time. I set the burner to 5 (medium) and heated the cold pan. This took much less time than with my Calphalon steel, under 2 minutes. For the nonstick I add the butter to the cold pan. This crepe pan is a bit thinner than either of those, although still quite sturdy. I added a scant teaspoon of butter, turned the heat down a notch to 4, and added my first egg. I like my eggs over medium, and hate crispy edges. This pan made a perfect egg, in less time than my stainless steel or aluminum nonstick. So far, so good.At this point, I'd have added another teaspoon of butter to my stainless pan, otherwise the second egg would stick a little, just enough to cause some minor tearing. I should mention that this pan will hold two eggs, but they'll be crowded just a little. The larger size would easily accommodate two eggs for just a few dollars more. This morning, I didn't add any more butter, treating it as I would my Tramontina nonstick. The second egg didn't stick at all, cooked just as quickly as the first (about 3 minutes total) and slid right out of the pan onto my plate.With no egg left in the pan, I wiped it clean with a paper towel, put it back on the still-hot burner and let it sit to cool and dry. And did I mention that I used a metal spatula? I don't own a plastic one, haven't for years.Conclusions -Easier to season than cast ironSits dead flat on my smooth-top range, even after boiling potato peels for 10 minutes (cast aluminum would warp on high heat)Performs like nonstick, only faster (perhaps because my nonstick skillets are heavy-duty and thicker than this one)Requires less oil than stainless steel.Cleans as easily as stainless and nonstickTurns out perfect eggsHandle didn't get hot, even during the initial cleaning (boiling potato peels). This may be because of the coating on the handle, which also means the handle won't rust. (Do NOT try to remove that coating, it's there for a reason)Can handle high heat better than heavy-duty aluminum (no warping)If you're looking to dump nonstick, this is an excellent choice, in my opinion, much better than buying new cast iron. At under $20, this is priced and performs comparably to my Tramontina Pro skillet, but I won't have to replace it every 3 years. It performs better than my Calphalon Tri Ply, based on needing less oil. It's also less expensive. All 3 pans are very good, but this one will survive the switch to induction. I'm sold!***Update**** It's 3 months later and the pan just keeps getting better. I've been using it 2-3 times a week to fry my over medium eggs. To clean, I usually just wipe it with a paper towel, add a little oil, wipe it again and put it away. From time to time I use a scrubbie with hot water, dry it on the range, again followed by oil and last wipe. Today I decided to brave crepes for the first time in my life. My pan performed like a champ! I heated it to medium, added about a 1/4 teaspoon of oil, spread it with a metal spatula, then poured in the batter and swirled. About 30 seconds later, the edges of the crepe were pulling away from the pan. I slid the spatula under an edge and turned the crepe. It looked perfect. I had placed it a bit off-center when I turned it, but it didn't stick AT ALL. I just tilted the pan and it centered nicely. 20 seconds later, it was done. I slid it out of the pan and began crepe #2. Same result. For the 3rd, I added another couple DROPS of oil and swirled the pan. No sticking at all. I completed 3 more crepes with no further oil. My finished crepes were lacy, tender and golden, just like the pros make. Although I bought this pan for eggs, it's perfect for crepes, too. Next time I'll skip the spatula and just flip them with a wrist flick. If I were making crepes for a crowd, I'd use 2 pans, because the crepes truly do not stick, making it easy to turn the half-finished crepe into the 2nd pan to finish cooking, no spatula needed.It makes amazing grilled cheese sandwiches; the crust is shatteringly crisp, the best I've ever made. Hash browns? Fabulous, but I recommend a larger pan size for those.I've also used it to reheat and crisp up some pulled pork. I expected it to leave a bit of stuck-on food because of the high sugar content of the BBQ sauce, and it did. I scraped at the stuck-on mess with my spatula to little effect. Then I thought of deglazing it by pouring some water into the hot pan. Bingo! I poured about a 1/2 cup of water into it, lightly scraped with my spatula and the stuck-on bits came right up. After that, I wiped it dry, returned it to the heat to dry completely, then wiped it with a bit of oil. Note - this is NOT the same as running cool water over the pan or dropping the hot pan into a sink full of cold water. Doing that will warp your pan! The next morning my egg was perfectly lovely, with only a very slight bit of sticking. This happens once in a while. I slid the spatula under it to release the egg, then it slid around like it was on a skating rink. When I flipped the egg, the other side had no sticking whatsoever. The more I use this pan, the more I like it. It's inexpensive, is a non-stck workhorse, easy to season, easy to maintain. Practically perfect.

Great for crepes and pitta. Love it

This is the budget offering from De Buyer, with thinner construction and a bit less fit n finish than stuff like Mineral B / Pro (iirc it's 2mm thickness vs 3mm on those higher tier offerings?). With that said, this is perfectly fine for intended use and is just as non-stick when seasoned.This is a pretty good size for omelettes, crepes, and tortillas. I'm not sure how much I would like the smaller size, but I guess for people wanting smaller pancakes and crepes it makes sense. If unsure, I would recommend this larger size since the price difference isn't very substantial either way and this size is more versatile.Some care tips: scrub it down very good when you initially receive it, then season it. To help develop the initial seasoning (after the recommended step of heating a thinly oiled pan up to smoking point / blackening surface), you can cook 2 half pound portions of beef each to help develop a better non-stick surface. You can try the potato skins method, but with the low flared sides some methods may be messier than others.Because the pan is a bit thin, it may heat up faster than you'd expect. To avoid warping issues and food sticking, do not overheat the pan. If your stovetop has 1-8 for heat settings for example, don't even think about putting this above like a 6. The same if you have different sized burners: please use an appropriate sized burner and don't nuke it on the big burner.If warping concerns you, then as previously mentioned the thicker construction lines Mineral B / Pro and I think Carbone are 3mm instead. For a pan such as this however, you typically don't need to be cooking at that high of a heat anyways so this pan thickness should be sufficient with the proper heat levels and knowledge. The thicker lines make more sense for the full sized skillets imo.For the money, a good pan if you're not careless with it. Nothing fancy but gets the job done.

A lot of in-depth material and will be a resource I recommend to people

Retirement Planning Guidebook: Navigating the Important Decisions for Retirement Success (The Retirement Researcher's Guide)
⭐ 4.6 💛 535
kindle: $19.95
paperback: $24.52
hardcover: $37.95
Buy the Book