In keeping with the theme of this special section of Investment Executive, I had planned to highlight a book that might act as a reference guide on managing clients' financial affairs as they make the transition from middle age to being "elderly."
But rather than try to find one volume that covers a range of issues thoroughly, I decided to present a collection of books that I feel do a good job of addressing various key subjects that mature clients and their financial advisors should consider. These are in no particular order of preference or ranking:
- Willing Wisdom: Seven Questions Successful Families Ask
by Tom Deans
I chose this book not only for its valued content but also because the subject hits close to home personally. If you have a client with deteriorating physical health and mental capacity to manage their financial affairs - yet who refuses to discuss what should happen when they die - this book might help you get the conversation started.
More important, this book lays out a rationale and a process through which families can have those important conversations long before they become critical.
- So You Think You Are Ready to Retire?
by Barry LaValley
While having sufficient income in retirement always will be important, we have come to learn that often the emotional issues accompanying retirement are what make it either a good or not so good experience. In this book, LaValley shares his considerable personal insights into the psychology of retirement gained through 35 years of working with advisors and clients. LaValley complements his own observations with selected research from the brightest academics in the field. The result is a broad-based pool of knowledge from which both you and your clients can draw to focus your collective thinking about the "soft side" of retirement.
- Don't Just Retire. Live it, Love it!
by Richard Atkinson
This easy-to-read book is an in-depth personal guide for enhancing life after work. The book discusses essential topics, such as: the importance of a positive attitude; the best time of year to retire; how to build a balanced leisure, health and well-being strategy; how to manage time effectively; steps for enriching relationships; and how to have fun while living retirement to its fullest. This book includes insights, "real life" stories and exercises designed to help your clients make a successful transition from work to retirement.
- Your Retirement Income Blueprint
by Daryl Diamond
One of the most informative Canadian books on moving from the accumulation phase to the income-generation phase, this book is more textbookish than many others that use a more narrative style. This textbook approach, however, appeals to me as a respite from the "feel good" variety, in which the important how-to details often are treated scantily. That is not to say that this book is a challenge to read; it is straightforward and, while directed at consumers, written at a high enough level to be instructional for advisors.
- The Border Guide
by Robert Keats
I chose this book because it is the definitive and most comprehensive cross-border financial planning tool for Canadians who live, work and invest in the U.S. That would include those who intend to spend all or part of their retirement (or pre-retirement) in the U.S. In addition to covering such subjects as out-of-country medical coverage and non-resident estate planning, this book offers practical advice on more titillating matters, such as how to beat the exchange-rate blues and the art of "double dipping" into U.S. and Canadian social security.
- Every Family's Business
by Tom Deans
I have included a second book from Tom Deans because it addresses a specialized area that will be important for many clients: those who own family businesses and need to plan their transition or succession out of a business. Many other authors have written about the importance of separating the relationship between family members and the family-owned business when that business is destined to pass from the founder to someone else.
Deans takes a contrarian view: it is impossible and likely to be destructive to do so. Consequently, his "12 common-sense questions to protect your wealth" are designed to help owners of family businesses (and others in similar situations) come to grips with the realities of exchanging their life's work for their legacy.
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