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Retirement Fail

Book Description

There are nine key reasons people fail at retirement—and they’re not what you think.

Are you working to avoid these major retirement fails?

Every day, people just like you, people who have worked hard and saved carefully for retirement, make decisions that will eventually crack their nest egg. Just because you added to your 401(k) or IRA plan every year, invested wisely, and amassed significant savings, you are not necessarily home free. Ready or not, your decisions all along the retirement path can positively or negatively affect your financial future.

In Retirement Fail, top financial advisor Greg Sullivan shares the insights he has gained over his thirty-five-year career in wealth management to help you identify potential pitfalls and learn how to safeguard your hard-earned retirement assets. Because, contrary to what most people think, it is not poor portfolio performance that usually busts your retirement accounts. Rather, it’s the emotional decisions you make that can cause major problems. Whether it’s buying a vacation home that is beyond your reach, subsidizing your adult kids to a degree that is ill advised, or passing on the umbrella insurance your advisor recommended, the choices you make have an enormous effect on whether you’ll be able to enjoy the comfortable retirement you’ve dreamed about.

Retirement Fail:

  • Lays out the nine common hazards that trip up otherwise well-prepared retirees, encouraging you to think through your decisions and set a course aligned with your values and your ultimate goals
  • Goes beyond traditional financial advice, using personal stories to illustrate how others have become mired in—or solved—these financial dilemmas
  • Creates a valuable framework you can use to chart your path or begin conversations with your advisor, so that you can act to protect your financial independence

The numerical side of financial planning is one thing—the far more difficult task is looking at the way the decisions we make impact our own future and those around us. Whether you are working with a financial advisor or are going it alone, Retirement Fail shows you the points you need to pay attention to and helps you figure out what your priorities are—and what tradeoffs you may have to make in order to achieve them. 

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Disclosure
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. Introduction
    1. A Kernel of an Idea
    2. Are You Talking to Me?
    3. Where's the Advice?
    4. Note
  6. CHAPTER 1: A (Too) Free Flow of Cash
    1. Your Retirement Spending Picture
    2. Priorities, and Who Decides Them
    3. Setting Goals
    4. Funneling Your Wealth to Meet Your Goals
    5. Building Your Portfolio
    6. Getting Carried Away by Your Passions
    7. Habitual Overspending
    8. When Generosity Goes Awry
    9. Reining In Spending
    10. Notes
  7. CHAPTER 2: The Nest That Won't Empty
    1. Aging Fledglings
    2. Life's Roulette Wheel
    3. The Harvard or Bust Syndrome
    4. A Rocky Path
    5. Failure to Launch
    6. Getting Your Kids Off the Payroll
    7. Notes
  8. CHAPTER 3: Graying Divorce
    1. Dazed and Confused
    2. Why This? Why Now?
    3. First Things First
    4. A Climate of Trust
    5. When the End Is Inevitable
    6. The Basics of the Asset Split
    7. Proceeding After the Split
    8. One Divorce After Another
    9. The Value of a Prenuptial (or Postnuptial) Agreement
    10. Sometimes Divorce Is a New Beginning
    11. Notes
  9. CHAPTER 4: That Home Away from Home
    1. Pinning Down the Fantasy
    2. Is It Really an Investment?
    3. Is It a Lifestyle Asset?
    4. Retirement Home?
    5. Weighing the Risk
    6. Partial Ownership
    7. Is Vacation Home Ownership Right for You?
    8. Notes
  10. CHAPTER 5: The Lure of the Entrepreneur
    1. Be Careful How You Step In
    2. Have a Solid Plan
    3. Beware the High-risk, High-cost Start-up
    4. Avoid Becoming a Vicarious Entrepreneur
    5. Seek Advice
    6. It's Not All Uphill
    7. Finding Work You Love
    8. Notes
  11. CHAPTER 6: Swindler's Mark
    1. Targets of Financial Schemes
    2. Bigger Targets, Bigger Scams
    3. Real Estate Rackets
    4. Annuities and Inappropriate Financial Products
    5. Phishing, Phone Scams, and Identity Theft
    6. Financial Exploitation by Family or Friends
    7. Protecting Yourself
    8. Listen to Your Doubts
    9. Notes
  12. CHAPTER 7: Health Matters
    1. Retirement, Interrupted
    2. Refining Your Views on Health Care
    3. Health Insurance
    4. Long-term Care
    5. Putting Plans in Place
    6. Steps to Take After a Diagnosis
    7. Healthy Aging
    8. Live Long and Prosper
    9. Notes
  13. CHAPTER 8: Life's Unpredictabilities
    1. Didn't See It Coming: Layoff and Early Retirement
    2. Disability
    3. Do I Still Need Life Insurance?
    4. Get Documents in Order
    5. Make Sure to Carry an Umbrella
    6. Rocky Economic Times
    7. Another Unpredictability: Single-Stock Risk
    8. Family Needs
    9. Predicting the Future
    10. Notes
  14. CHAPTER 9: Underliving Your Wealth
    1. Your Money Personality
    2. Living with Fear
    3. When Money Personalities Collide
    4. Gifting
    5. So Enjoy…
    6. Notes
  15. Finding the Right Financial Advisor
    1. You Trust the Advisor
    2. The Advisor Listens and Cares
    3. The Advisor's Expertise Is Deep and Wide
    4. The Advisor Has Experience with Your Profession or Life Situation
    5. The Advisor Plays Well with Others
    6. The Advisor's Fees Are Clear and Transparent
    7. The Advisor Is a Forward-Looking Leader
  16. Checklist:Finding the Right Advisor
  17. About the Author
  18. Resources
  19. Index
  20. End User License Agreement