Thursday, March 28, 2013

review: how to retire the cheapskate way by jeff yeager

Over the years I’ve read a number of financial advice books, so I was quite interested in a book about retirement planning from renowned cheapskate Jeff Yeager. Some of his advice in How to Retire the Cheapskate Way was surprising. For example, Yeager goes against the standard retirement advice regarding how much money one needs to live comfortably in retirement; he cites statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor about how despite increased costs for healthcare, people in their retirement years actually spend significantly less money than they did in their working years. For people who lived below their means while working, this means they’ll need far less money than the standard of one million dollars. Yeager even profiles someone who lives entirely on Social Security!

Much of what’s found here is common sense advice, but there were some new ideas (at least new to me and I feel I’m well-read on the subject). According to Yeager, the most important thing is to reduce your dependency on money which means not having any debt (including a mortgage) at retirement. Yeagar also has a great list of questions (found in chapter six) to ask yourself about the things you own. One of those questions is: What would my life be like if I woke up tomorrow morning and this [possession] was no longer something I owned? This book is great whether you’re decades away or getting close to retiring.

It may be surprising given my love of shoes, but I’m actually quite frugal. By saving money on groceries and driving a well-maintained car that’s over 10 years old, I can indulge on shoes. That’s why I preferred the examples of people who were actually enjoying their retirement years such as the couple who bought a boat and traveled the world versus the women who never spent her money and died in her 90s with over 4 million dollars in her estate.

About the audiobook: Johnny Heller narrated with a very conversational (and funny) tone that worked well for the financial advice given. How to Retire the Cheapskate Way provides a number of websites for reference which did not work well in the audio format. Not only is it nearly impossible to write down all the websites, it became quite monotonous to listen to Heller read out the long web addresses of individual articles. The audiobook was published by AudioGO in 2013 and runs 5 hours and 30 minutes.
Review copy provided by Audiobook Jukebox.

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