Rich or poor, young or old, high school or college grad, this book, written by economist Laurence J. Kotlikoff and syndicated financial columnist Scott Burns, can change your life for the better! If you follow the advice in this book, it will raise your living standard (possibly by a lot), improve your lifestyle, and help you spend 'til the end. And it will completely transform your financial thinking, turning every bit of conventional financial wisdom on its head.
If this sounds like a revolution in financial planning, you got it. So do The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time, Consumer Reports, and other top publications that have been featuring the authors' economics-based "consumption smoothing" approach to financial planning.
Spend 'Til the End substitutes economic wisdom for the "rules of dumb" that currently pass for financial advice. In the process it indicts the investment and financial-planning industry for giving most people saving and insurance targets that are much too high and then convincing them to invest in risky mutual funds and expensive insurance policies. The result is that most people are scrimping and saving during the years when they could be spending and enjoying their money -- and with no sure payoff.
Easy to read, this book is packed with practical and often shocking advice on whether to work, how to pick a career, which job to take, where to live, what sort of house to buy, how much to save, when to retire, which kind of retirement account to use, whether to have kids, whether to divorce, when to take Social Security, how fast to spend down your assets in retirement, and how to invest.
Kotlikoff and Burns (coauthors of The Coming Generational Storm) turn conventional retirement planning wisdom on its head in a feisty financial guide that questions the financial benefits of college and argues delaying filing for Social Security benefits. Unfortunately, many provocative insights are buried beneath fairly recondite economic analysis. Math-phobic readers may be unable or unwilling to follow along as the authors couch their methods to maximize spending power in a number-heavy narrative with awkward case studies that fail to properly personalize the financial challenges new retirees may face. According to the authors, truly sophisticated planning is best left up to computer programs (such as the one Kotlikoff himself has developed and offers online at ESPlanner.com). Readers in search of a user-friendly primer might be put off, but there are nuggets of useful information to be mined the authors efficiently address Roth IRAs and provide an eye-opening expos of the duplicity rampant in the personal finance industry. Intrepid readers able to navigate through the numbers will be rewarded if they keep from drowning in the evidence.