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A complete approach to retirement planning is unique. Taking individual goals, needs, assets, and other factors into account is crucial. That personalized approach helps to build a realistic path from now to where an individual or couple wants to be in the future.

That said, retirement planning books can be very helpful. Retirement planning is often complex, and knowledge is power. Understanding concepts, strategies, and options for retirement planning can make it easier to build those individual strategies and goals.

A retirement planning book shouldn’t be your only resource as you save and invest for retirement. It won’t replace a financial advisor who you work with personally. However, the best retirement planning books can prove to be a valuable resource.

Keep reading to find a list of what we feel are the best retirement guide books. We’ll also cover potential red flags related to retirement advice. Finally, we’ll go into more depth on why a personalized approach to retirement planning is so important.

Some of Our Top Suggestions for the Best Books on Retirement Planning

A large part of the foundation of retirement planning is investing. 

There are other factors to consider, of course. Tax planning, maximizing non-investment sources of income, and building personally relevant goals are also especially important. However, investing plays a key role in helping individuals build a more secure financial future in retirement. 

Here’s one piece of advice to keep in mind for any older retirement planning book. Look for an updated edition adjusted to include more recent tax and retirement law changes. Laws regularly change and outdated guidance won’t be particularly helpful.

The following list of the best books on retirement investing isn’t necessarily geared toward retirement specifically. What they all have in common is a focus on financial and investment education, building useful knowledge that supports more informed decisions.

An older couple meets with their retirement planner in their living room.

Our Suggestions: The Best Books on Retirement Financial Planning

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” contains many parables, using narratives to better explain key pieces of financial and investment guidance. Kiyosaki compares and contrasts lessons learned from his “rich dad” and “poor dad.” The rich dad is the father of one of his friends, while the poor dad is his actual father.

This book emphasizes financial literacy and financial security, with a focus on investments and developing assets. It can help to build a foundation of financial and investment knowledge that can, in turn, support a more secure retirement.

“The Psychology of Money: Timeless Lessons on Wealth, Greed, and Happiness” by Morgan Housel

This retirement planning book also uses a narrative-driven approach to focus on money, investing, and human behavior. It emphasizes the human side of financial and investment management. 

People don’t always make financial decisions based only on the math and predicted outcomes involved. Personal preferences, biases, happiness, and other factors outside of analytical thinking can all play a role. Housel offers practical advice that can support more informed decisions related to finances.

“The Intelligent Investor” by Benjamin Graham

This book on value investing was first published more than 70 years ago. Value investing itself emphasizes the long term, focusing on finding undervalued stocks of companies that can grow over time. 

“The Intelligent Investor” also explains a simple process for projecting value versus current stock price. It’s an informative guide that addresses common issues in investing.

“A Random Walk Down Wall Street” by Burton G. Malkiel

This investment planning book focuses on the theory that changes in stock market prices are essentially random. It lays out an argument about the drawbacks of actively managed mutual funds and the benefits of certain passive investing strategies.

Understanding the stock market is a crucial part of being an informed investor. Malkiel explains potential strategies for investing and offers valuable information and context along the way.

“Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill

Hill explains his 13 steps to growing rich in this personal and financial development book, first published in 1937. It explains basic yet valuable concepts in developing wealth. Those include building knowledge of investing and building a detailed plan of action to get you closer to your goal.

“Retirement Planning Guidebook” by Wade Pfau

This retirement guidebook recently received a positive review from the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education. It covers goals, risks, complex expenses, and many other important topics in retirement planning. The AFCPE explains that it can serve as both a reference work and a book to read cover-to-cover, offering long-term value.

Potential Red Flags in Retirement Planning Books

Not all retirement planning books offer useful advice or even accurate information. If you’re looking for books beyond the list above, keep an eye out for these potential red flags:

  • Grandiose claims. If the results of advice or suggested returns sound too good to be true, that’s probably the case.
  • Promises. It’s irresponsible to make specific promises about rates of return or earnings, especially when speaking to a broad audience.
  • Lack of qualifications. Does the writer have a financial and investment background? Are they a fiduciary, with all of the responsibilities that come with that title?
  • Fear-based writing. Does the book feel like it’s trying to make you scared? Is it pushing a specific “solution” in response, such as gold or annuities? That could be a sign of a scam.

The Importance of Individualized Retirement Planning

Even the best retirement planning books are a starting point, not a complete solution. These books offer broad, general advice and guidance that can be very useful. However, the information they share doesn’t take your personal needs and goals into account.

A fiduciary retirement planner can help you take that next step. Fiduciaries are bound by law to manage your assets for your benefit, not their own. The right fiduciary will take the time to learn about your personal financial position, along with your goals for retirement. 

With that information, they can help you build a strategy that’s in line with your specific needs.
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Sam Dechtman

As a wealth advisor at Dechtman Wealth Management, Sam is committed to always doing what is best for the client. Sam began his career working at large international asset manager in Chicago assisting clients with investment analysis, portfolio construction, and retirement income strategies. During that time, Sam would receive the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation, signaling mastery in all areas of financial planning.