Ask Money

Books on retirement

Chris Farrell Nov 12, 2009

Question: There seems to be lots of books and articles about how to save your money for retirement, but not too much about creating a strategy for using your “nest egg” during retirement…. how to balance the needs for withdrawing cash, and investing to keep up with inflation, and managing longevity “risk” (out-living your “nest egg”). Any recommended reading……..? Thanks, Steve, Tulsa, OK

Answer: Ah, a book question. I love them. A good place to begin is Henry Hebeler’s Getting Started In A Financially Secure Retirement. The financial advice is conservative and thoughtful. Now, he covers a wide range of issues, from saving money as you age to deciding when to take Social Security. You can supplement what he writes about by visiting his website,

Jake Warner is the founder of, the self-help legal organization based in the Bay Area. He wrote a delightful book that touches on some of the issues you’ve raised, called Get a Life: You Don’t Need a Million to Retire Well. He offers up a good foundation. You can then hone in on some of the specifics about managing a nest egg, figuring out how much to take out, and similar questions by reading his blog at

This next suggestion isn’t a fun read. You won’t curl up in front of a fireplace with a glass of wine and look at it. But the rules about putting money into a 401(k), IRA, and similar retirement savings plans are complicated. The regulations about getting the money out are equally (if not more so) Byzantine. It can cost you a lot of money to make a mistake. A primary resource is Twila Slesnick and John Suttle’s IRAs, 401(k)s and Other Retirement Plans: Taking Your Money Out. The authors really explain the twists and turns for smartly cashing in on your retirement savings.

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