20 Best New Retirement Books for Summer Reading 2020

The summer of 2020 hasn’t felt much like a summer since we’ve been working from home and not traveling since March. Whether you’re going on an all-American road trip in August, making s’mores in the backyard, or even if your vacation plans have been put on hold till 2021, these new and newly updated retirement books are a productive and enjoyable way to spend your downtime.

retirement books

Choose the type of newly published retirement book that interests you the most:

Retirement Books: Financial Planning

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

Though this book was technically published last summer, it has become an instant classic.

Rob Berger, who is currently the deputy editor at Forbes and a personal finance contributor is also the founder and primary contributor to DougRoller, a site he founded in 2007 after a career as a securities litigator. 

“Retire Before Mom and Dad” features the wisdom Berger found when he decided to break his personal cycle of debt and spending. Some of the tools you’ll learn are: 

The Money Audit. Being mindful about your expenditures is key to not wasting money, and not wasting money is the first step to saving money.

The 7 Levels of Financial Freedom. Level one is putting your finances in order so that you’ve saved one month’s worth of expenses and level seven is having 25 years of savings — basically your retirement. Berger takes you through each level, step-by-step.

Investing Made Simple. From IRAs to HSAs, ETFs and all the other letters in the alphabet soup of investing, Berger breaks it down in clear, easy to understand language.  

For younger readers, Berger tackles the Financial Independence Retire Early (FIRE) concept in his book. In a nutshell, financial freedom isn’t about how much you save but how much you spend. “Retire Before Mom and Dad” is a great read for everyone who wants to think twice about how money affects their lives.

Buy it on Amazon.

2. Start Your F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence Retire Early): A Modern Guide to Early Retirement

Writers Dylin and Allison Tom started their journey to financial independence in 2015 where they were both laid off. They did the math and realized that at 44 both of them had already laid the groundwork to leave traditional work behind, and they say they’ve never been happier. 

They tell us in the preface they turned in the manuscript for their book on February 18th, 2020, just a month before the COVID-19 pandemic turned the world upside down. But the spirit of their book, they say, is tailor-made for this moment. 

From their personal financial setbacks – the dotcom bubble bursting, 9/11 and the Great Recession – to the major calamities of the 20th century including two World Wars and a Great Depression, they learned a key lesson: “We weren’t perfect, but we were thoughtful and steady, and we improvised when necessary.”

Some of the wisdom you’ll learn from “Start Your F.I.R.E.” includes:

FIRE strategies for saving and budgeting. They even include sample spreadsheets (they call it “kindling”) to get you going!

Building passive income. Dylin and Allison take you through the many ways to diversify your income.

Life after FIRE. This is the best part of the book. The road to independence is easy to see, but what comes next is rarely discussed.

Though the FIRE movement has been popular among millennials, this book, written by a couple of Gen X’ers, is good reading for anyone aiming to retire before they turn 70.

Buy it on Amazon.

The NewRetirement Planner can help you discover your path to financial independence.

3. Income on Demand: Master Your Retirement Portfolio, Ignore the Market, and Leave the IRS Weeping

Jonathan D. Bird CFP has written a refreshing new take on retirement income strategy. Bird, who is in his early 30s, has been an avid student of investing legend Warren Buffet. Though he got his start as an investment advisor at Charles Schwab, he majored in Philosophy, which taught him to ask “why” whenever confronted with conventional wisdom.

Bird’s book isn’t as user-friendly as “Retire Before Mom and Dad,” but for people who get excited about venturing into the weeds of retirement on subjects like taxes and lifetime income – and digging them up as they make their financial plan – Bird’s book will be an inspiration.

In “Income on Demand” you’ll get:

A step-by-step guide for structuring your investment portfolio. The point is to generate income out of asset appreciation instead of relying on dividends or other sources of cash flow.

A playbook for investing in index funds. The growth of index investing makes retirement planning easier, and it saves money in taxes. 

Hedging strategies anyone can learn. One thing we’ve all learned in the last ten years is, you have to hope for the best while planning for the worst. “Income on Demand” shows you how to protect your portfolio from wild market swings.

For a different take on a well-worn subject, this is a good read.

Buy it on Amazon.

4. Don’t Go Broke in Retirement: A Simple Plan to Build Lifetime Retirement Income

Steve Vernon, a Consulting Research Scholar at the Stanford Center on Longevity, published a book this year that has one simple focus: how to create a paycheck for yourself that will last the rest of your life.

Vernon worked for more than 35 years as a consulting actuary, helping Fortune 1000 companies design and manage their retirement programs. One thing he learned from that time was the usefulness of pensions, even as pensions were disappearing from the American market.

Vernon’s book is clear and concise with actionable insights. You can finish it in one day, and use the NewRetirement Planner to see how his advice will impact your personal retirement.

Buy it on Amazon.

5. The Psychology of Money: Timeless lessons on wealth, greed, and happiness

In The Psychology of Money, award-winning author Morgan Housel shares 19 short stories exploring the strange ways people think about money and teaches you how to make better sense of one of life’s most important topics.

Doing well with money isn’t necessarily about what you know. It’s about how you behave. And behavior is hard to teach, even to really smart people.

Preorder on Amazon.

Retirement Books: Lifestyle, Purpose and Well Being

6. What Retirees Want: A Holistic View of Life’s Third Age

Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D. is a psychologist and educator, whose book What Retirees Want: A Holistic View of Life’s Third Age is a top-level look at what it means to be in life’s “third age.” (The other two ages are childhood, from birth to roughly 25 and adulthood from 25 to 65.)

Some of the interesting topics he covers include, how likely is it that most people will outlive their retirement savings, the new technologies that could radically expand our lifespans, and how will business and government create opportunities for third-agers that capitalize on the upsides of aging.

Buy it on Amazon.

7. Dream Big: Know What You Want, Why You Want It, and What You’re Going to Do About It

Bob Goff aims to take you on a life-proven journey to rediscover your dreams and turn them into reality. 

Based on his enormously popular Dream Big workshop, in Dream Big Goff shows how to

  • Learn to define clearly your dreams for yourself,
  • Identify the obstacles holding you back,
  • Come up with a specific plan for reaching goals, and
  • Develop the tools that will help you act on the plan.

Buy it on Amazon.

8. Life in the Transitions: Mastering Change at Any Age

Retirement is one of the biggest transitions you will ever face.  And, even after retirement, life will evolve in ways you can’t imagine.

Bruce Feiler introduces a powerful new tool kit for navigating transitions.  He lays out specific strategies each of us can use to re-imagine and rebuild our lives.

Explore 8 of Feiler’s best tips for life transitions and how they relate to your retirement and beyond…

Buy it on Amazon.

9. Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives

Daniel J. Levitin’s book argues that aging isn’t a process of decay but a third stage of development (much like Dychtwald’s “third age.”) He backs up his arguments with neuroscience, and says changes in mental states after 60 aren’t all negative. Though older people may not learn in the same intuitive, absorptive way children do, their brains are not incapable of learning, as many people still believe.

 More intriguing, Levitan also argues that personalities are maleable and that you can learn to be a better person no matter how old you are. Other interesting insights include:

  • Debunking the myth that memory always declines with age
  • Confirming that “healthspan”—not “lifespan”—is what matters
  • Recommending that people look forward to joy, as reminiscing doesn’t promote health

Buy it on Amazon.

10. Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age

To be published next January, neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent, Sanjay Gupta, has written a guide that aims to keep your brain young, healthy and sharp.

The publisher’s page says, “Keep Sharp debunks common myths about aging and cognitive decline, explores whether there’s a “best” diet or exercise regimen for the brain, and explains whether it’s healthier to play video games that test memory and processing speed, or to engage in more social interaction. Discover what we can learn from “super-brained” people who are in their eighties and nineties with no signs of slowing down—and whether there are truly any benefits to drugs, supplements, and vitamins.”

Pre-order it on Amazon.

11. Say Yes to What’s Next: How to Age with Elegance and Class While Never Losing Your Beauty and Sass!

In Say Yes to What’s Next, Lori Allen, star of “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta” shares her insights for aging well. She addresses crucial issues, such as how to:

  • Pivot, embrace the unexpected, and live out your passion
  • Practice essential self-care that enriches your mind, body, and spirit
  • Make space for yourself and your priorities while still being a caring partner, parent, and friend
  • Maintain a close circle of girlfriends at every age and stage of life
  • Take charge of your money and attain financial freedom and security

Buy it on Amazon.

12. The TB12 Method: How to Do What You Love, Better and for Longer

Tom Brady, yes that Tom Brady, the one still playing football in his 40s, has a #1 New York Times bestseller, The TB12 Method: How to Do What You Love, Better and for Longer, explains his wellness system.  He claims that you can maintain peak performance and avoid injury with his method.

Buy it on Amazon.

Retirement Books: Fiction with Themes or Characters Encountering Retirement and Aging

13. Florence Adler Swims Forever

USA Today calls Rachel Beanland’s Florence Adler Swims Forever, “The perfect summer read.”  The story begins with a shocking tragedy that results in three generations of the Adler family grappling with heartbreak, romance and the weight of family secrets across the course of one summer.

Buy it on Amazon.

14. Inheritors

Asako Serizawa’s interconnected collection of stories Inheritors is about 150 years of family history descending from two founders: Masayuki and Taeko. The story starts with this original pair in 1868 and Serizawa traces the lives of their descendants through the history of imperial Japan, its conquests and ultimate defeat in World War II, the post-war reconstruction and migration to the West and the near future with its global challenges.

A must-read for people with generations on their minds.

Buy it on Amazon.

15. The Vanishing Half

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing.

Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

Buy it on Amazon.

16. Squeeze Me

Wealthy Palm Beach retirees star in Carl Hiaasen’s irreverent, ingenious and highly entertaining story.  This is a novel of social and political intrigue, set against the glittering backdrop of Florida’s gold coast.

Pre-order it on Amazon.

Retirement Books: Travel

And, because we are all dreaming of travel and travel is the number one goal of retirement, here are some great armchair resources for planning a more nomadic future!

17. Rainbow Atlas: A Guide to the Worlds 500 Most Colorful Places

Want inspiration for where to go?  Colorful joy?  Thumb through brilliantly hued natural phenomena, architectural wonders, art installations and more.  Explore pink lakes, blue caves and loads of colorful cities, festivals and villages around the world.

Buy it on Amazon.

18. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die (Deluxe Edition): The World as You’ve Never Seen It Before

1,000 Places was named as one of the best gift and travel books by the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Associated Press and others.

The book is a thing of beauty, an oversize feast of more than 1,000 all-new photographs and 544 pages, every spread and page designed to showcase these mesmerizing photographs and hold just enough of Patricia Schultz’s lively text that we know why it is we’re looking at them. It is a perfect gift for every traveler, every fan of the original, every dreamer whose Instagram feed is filled with pictures of places near and far.

Buy it on Amazon.

19. Hidden Places: An Inspired Traveller’s Guide

Wander off the beaten track with travel journalist Sarah Baxter to uncover the world’s most secret destinations through insightful text and beautiful hand-drawn illustrations: discover an ancient gateway to the Mayan underworld, a mysterious underwater monument sunken off the Ryukyu Islands in Japan or a prehistoric village covered for centuries by a huge sand dune in the Orkney Islands.

Buy it on Amazon.

20. For the Love of Europe: My Favorite Places, People, and Stories

Everyone’s favorite European traveler Rick Steeves has gathered 100 of his all-time favorite memories together into one inspiring collection.

Join Steeves as he’s swept away by a fado singer in Lisbon, learns the dangers of falling in love with a gondolier in Venice, and savors a cheese course in the Loire Valley. Contemplate the mysteries of centuries-old stone circles in England, dangle from a cliff in the Swiss Alps, and hear a French farmer’s defense of foie gras.

Buy it on Amazon.

Though these books are new for 2020, they were written in 2019 and don’t cover the changes in the retirement landscape produced by the COVID pandemic.

Read and Plan Your Future

Whether these books have helped you discover a new financial strategy, somewhere you want to travel or have inspired you to live a very very long time, use the NewRetirement Planner to insure your future is secure.

For a complete list of the best retirement books in print, check out our list: Books About Retirement and Aging.

NewRetirement Planner

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NewRetirement Planner

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