10 Retirement Books to Help Get You Prepared

Heading into the new year, one of my main resolutions is always to read more books. I’m being real here and admit that I’m not going to be reading hundreds of books — but I do try to read a couple of books a week. You too will be more content as you squeeze in a couple of quality minutes of reading each day.

As per the quote above — I admit, I have several big TVs too.

But — which books should I buy? I decided to purchase a variety of books ranging from biographies to business books to novels to a couple of books my wife has recommended. 

At the last minute though, I picked up some books about preparing for your retirement. I’ve read a couple in the past. But, because retirement isn’t in most of our vocabulary, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have more retirement planning books on-hand.

But, herein lies another issue. Which retirement books are worth buying and reading? Well, I’ve done the legwork for you and highly recommend the following ten selections.

Retirement Books to Help Get You Prepared

1. How Much Money Do I Need To Retire: Uncommon Financial Planning Wisdom for a Stress-Free Retirement? 

by Todd Tresidder

Originally published in 2012, the book was revised and updated for 2020. Authored by a former hedge fund manager who “retired” at 35 in order to become a financial consumer advocate and money coach, Tresidder doesn’t rehash the conventional and preferred retirement model. Instead, he shines a spotlight on three separate models, asset-based, cash flow, and lifestyle, so that you’ll have a complete retirement solution.

While extremely informative, How Much Money Do I Need To Retire is direct and straightforward to comprehend. In fact, it’s so useful that it just might help you start your retirement planning without the assistance of a financial advisor!

Sample quote: “Complicated math is usually more symptomatic of covering up ignorance than expressing wisdom.”

2. The Retirement Maze: What You Should Know Before and After You Retire by Robert Pascale

In 1982, Rob Pascale, Ph.D., founded Marketing Analysts, Inc. The market research firm became successful enough that he was able to retire at the relatively young age of 51. The problem, however, is that rather than enjoying his retirement, he became bored and unhappy.

Dusting off his research skills, Pascale decided to get to the bottom of this query. After conducting rigorously-designed interviews, he found that retirees have a difficult time adjusting to retirement. What follows is advice for pre-retirees that isn’t solely focused on finances, to make you consider when you should retire and how to enjoy your Golden Years.

Sample quote: “Most people will have to retire at some point, whether they want to or not; they’ll start to sense that day approaching as they get to their early or mid-fifties, and as they get older it becomes more and more inevitable. Nevertheless, despite the fact that retirement looms for everyone, surprisingly few are truly prepared for it.”

3. Retirement 101: From 401(k) Plans and Social Security Benefits to Asset Management and Medical Insurance, Your Complete Guide to Preparing for the Future You Want

by Michele Cagan

More than half of Americans don’t know how much they’ll need to retire. And, that’s alarming since this will directly affect your saving and retirement plans. If you fall into that camp and have little knowledge of retirement, this book is for you.

Written by Michele Cagan, a CPA, and financial mentor, Retirement 101 is loaded with information that’s easy to understand for newbies. While dry at times, it does cover key topics like how to save, scale back, investment strategies, and calculating your retirement benefits.

Sample quote: “Many new investors, eager to see quick profits, need to develop the patience and research skills necessary for successful long-term investing.”

4. Retire Before Mom and Dad: The Simple Numbers Behind A Lifetime of Financial Freedom

by Rob Berger

Do you dream of retiring early? That doesn’t have to be a pipe dream. It can be achievable if heed the advice in this book.

Authored by Rob Berger, a Contributing Editor for Forbes Advisor and host of the Financial Freedom Show, Retire Before Mom and Dad include Berger’s experiences when breaking out of the cycle of debt and spending. He also covers topics like:

  • Calculating FIRE math to help you become financially independent.
  • Simple investing so that you’re not intimidated by mutual funds or the stock market.
  • How retirement accounts, such as 401(k) and 403(b) accounts, Roth IRA and HSA (Health Spending Account), work.
  • How you can get out of debt while also saving and investing.
  • Learning how your daily habits are impacting your finances, as well as how you can improve those habits.

Overall, this is a must-read for everyone — regardless of their age.

Sample quote: “Wealth comes from investment returns, not directly from saving money. We must save to get the ball rolling, of course. But the vast majority of wealth comes from investment returns.”

5. How to Retire with Enough Money: And How to Know What Enough Is

by Teresa Ghilarducci

Teresa Ghilarducci, a retirement and savings advisor, has written this specifically for those who don’t know how much they’ll need for retirement — a Bankrate survey found that this is 61% of Americans. To prevent you from falling into that group, Ghilarducci shares sound, and direct advice to help you develop enough discipline to ensure that you have “enough.”

In the book, she advises focusing on what you believe is most important for your retirement — and not what others deem important. She also has practical ways to curb your expenses, minimize investment risks, and calculate what you’ll need. And, it’s only 116 pages long.

Sample quote: “Paying off a loan is always your best investment. No matter what the interest rate is, when you pay it off you get a guaranteed return, equal to the interest rate. Paying off a credit card with a 15 percent interest earns you a guarantee of, well, 15 percent.”

6. Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age; It’s a Financial Number

by Chris Hogan

Do you need a retirement wake-up call? If so, then this is the perfect book for you.

Written by Chris Hogan, a financial expert, best-selling author, and podcast host, the book is chuck-fill of practical advice. Even better? If you’re scared or overwhelmed about retirement, Hogan keeps this positive and breaks by what you should do in your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s.

Specifically, Retire Inspired, will help you develop a plan that will help you evaluate and improve your current financial situation, make smarter investing decisions, setting more realistic expectations, and how to work with experts.

Sample quote: “People will work so hard to put themselves in a fantastic financial position. They will do whatever it takes to get ahead of the game. But then, just when it looks like they’re winning, it’s like their brains take a coffee break and their impulses take over. That’s when people fall into stupid temporarily—just long enough to finance a boat, or an unreasonable new home, or a convertible, or some fancy jewelry, or even a vacation around the world.”

7. How to Make Your Money Last

by Jane Bryant Quinn

Want to have a steady and predictable income in your retirement? I would think so. After all, it would make budgeting and planning much easier — I also think it would alleviate some stress too.

To achieve this, Jane Bryant Quinn, a leading commentator on personal finance, put together this book to use as a guide for managing your retirement savings. Throughout the book, Quinn covers topics like social security, pensionretirement plans, savings, housing, and health costs and expenses. She also discusses the importance of making safer investments and what you’ll need in each phase of your retirement.

Sample quote: “Managing your spending is key. Nothing matters more to the financial success of your retirement. The stock market isn’t going to save you if you’re burning through cash. You can search for better investments later if you want. But first, pay attention to rightsizing your life.”

8. How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won’t Get from Your Financial Advisor

by Ernie J. Zelinski

As mentioned earlier with The Retirement Maze, retiring isn’t just about having enough money. It’s getting used to life after work and finding happiness and meaning.

To get you there, Ernie Zelinski, author and prosperity life coach, wrote this inspirational book with exercises like the “get-a-life tree” to help you determine what kind of retirement you want. He also shares tools to help you plan for your future, as well as how to adjust to unexpected challenges.

Sample quote: “The longer you work, the more money you’ll have for retirement. But the longer you work, the less time you’ll have to enjoy that retirement.”

9. The Smartest Retirement Book You’ll Ever Read: Achieve Your Retirement Dreams–in Any Economy

by Daniel R. Solin

While bestselling author Daniel Solin goes over the basics, like social security, pensions, care costs, he also touches on subjects like how to avoid scams and delaying retirement. He also goes over the importance of pursuing a long-term insurance plan and avoiding reverse mortgaging.

Solin is known for his wit and humor, so this should be an enjoyable read on such touchy topics. At the same time, it’s also geared for those who earn lots of money and are looking for ways to get the most out your investments in retirement.

Sample quote: “How you invest during retirement is critical as how you invest in preparing for retirement. Things are never as simple and automatic as they once may have been – you worked hard, saved, and then sat back and collected your benefits. You can’t rely on someone else coming up with the cash you’ll need once you stop working.”

10.AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money Or Breaking a Hip

by Jean Chatzky, Michael Roizen, and Ted Spiker

Here’s another book that goes beyond the financial aspects of retirement. In it, the authors, financial expert Jean Chatzky and the Cleveland Clinic’s chief wellness officer Dr. Michael Roizen encourage you to practically review how aging affects the body, mind, and bank account. 

From there, they provide actionable, practical, and research-based ways to plan for a healthy, happy, and financially sound retirement.

Sample quote: “Wealth without health? It’s not going to last; your physical problems will wreak havoc on your bank account. Health without wealth? Maybe while you’re young. But as you age, you need more resources to keep you that way.”

Sorry — I can’t help myself — if you haven’t read Tony Robbins’ book Money Master the Game — it should be read every few years. Written in 2014 — it’s still relevant.

10 Retirement Books to Help Get You Prepared was originally published on Due by John Rampton.


  • John Rampton

    I write about interesting startups.

    Hey, my name is John Rampton. I’m a serial entrepreneur. I love helping people in addition to building amazing products and services that scale. I'm currently the CEO of Calendar. John was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine as well as a blogging expert by Forbes. Time Magazine recognized John as a motivations speaker that helps people find a "Sense of Meaning" in their lives. He currently advises several companies in the bay area. John loves helping others succeed online. It's all about helping and giving back. It brings me joy in my life. You'll also find that when you give to people that it always comes back. You can connect with me @johnrampton. I blog about my success and my epic failures on Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc, TechCrunch, Mashable, Huffington Post and many more.