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The Smartest Retirement Book You’ll Ever Read

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The Smartest Retirement Book You'll Ever ReadReview by Christina Nevins, Esq., Boynton Beach, Florida

Book by Daniel R. Solin

Let me first say that I don’t usually enjoy reading financial planning books.  Don’t get me wrong. I do read them, because I know that I need the information contained in them.  I just don’t enjoy the process, finding that many are bogged down with too much information and a host of unpronounceable acronyms.  Having said that, I found Daniel Solin’s book, The Smartest Retirement Book You’ll Ever Read, to be a refreshingly easy to understand and well written book.

Solin covers a lot of territory, presented in 14 sections containing several very short chapters each.  Topics covered range from the shockingly large bite inflation can take out of your nest egg over time, to when to retire and  begin drawing Social Security, to irrevocable trusts, and even to prenuptial agreements for seniors.  Each topic is covered in concisely written, surprisingly thorough chapters.  Most of the chapters are only one-and-a-half to two pages, making for a quick read.  Solin supplements these chapters with a section in the back of the book that provides, chapter-by-chapter, references to web sites and other resources for further independent research.

The book is, for the most part, written for those individuals who are already retired or about to retire and have enough resources to be able to invest some and still have ready cash on hand for daily expenses.  For example, Solin recommends keeping 2 years’ worth of expenses in readily available money market accounts while investing the rest in a combination of stocks and bonds.  Certainly, for many  retirees, doing so is simply not a realistic option.   The majority of the book assumes that you’ve got a substantial nest egg and just need to know what to do with it.  At one point, Solin refers to a $100,000 investment as a “cheap” investment, a statement that might turn some off to his advice, thinking that they simply do not have the resources to implement his otherwise sage advice.  (Solin does, however, provide a short section entitled “Financial Lifelines for Desperate Times,” in which he discusses what to do if the worst happens and your nest egg runs out before you do.)

Solin’s credentials are excellent.  He is the author of two other very well received books, The Smartest Investment Book You’ll Ever Read and The Smartest 401(k) Book You’ll Ever Read.  (Sensing a theme here?)  He also writes a financial advice column for the Huffington Post and a contributor to AOL’s DailyFinance.  Solin’s confidence in his skills comes out clearly in the book: “you need ” this and “you don’t need” that are the kind of definitive word choices he uses when doling out his advice.  For some this certainty of opinion may be off-putting; for others, however, it may be reassuring as it gives clear direction on what to do and what not to do.

Overall, I think that this is an excellent book to keep in the finances section of your library.  It covers a lot of subjects very well and provides a springboard to further research in the ones that are particularly relevant to your individual situation.  I still may not “enjoy” reading books like this, but with this one, at least, I learned a lot of very valuable information that I will keep in the back of my mind for when the time comes for me to retire.

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Robert B. Fleming


Robert Fleming is a Fellow of both the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He has been certified as a Specialist in Estate and Trust Law by the State Bar of Arizona‘s Board of Legal Specialization, and he is also a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. Robert has a long history of involvement in local, state and national organizations. He is most proud of his instrumental involvement in the Special Needs Alliance, the premier national organization for lawyers dealing with special needs trusts and planning.

Robert has two adult children, two young grandchildren and a wife of over fifty years. He is devoted to all of them. He is also very fond of Rosalind Franklin (his office companion corgi), and his homebound cat Muninn. He just likes people, their pets and their stories.

Elizabeth N.R. Friman


Elizabeth Noble Rollings Friman is a principal and licensed fiduciary at Fleming & Curti, PLC. Elizabeth enjoys estate planning and helping families navigate trust and probate administrations. She is passionate about the fiduciary work that she performs as a trustee, personal representative, guardian, and conservator. Elizabeth works with CPAs, financial professionals, case managers, and medical providers to tailor solutions to complex family challenges. Elizabeth is often called upon to serve as a neutral party so that families can avoid protracted legal conflict. Elizabeth relies on the expertise of her team at Fleming & Curti, and as the Firm approaches its third decade, she is proud of the culture of care and consideration that the Firm embodies. Finding workable solutions to sensitive and complex family challenges is something that Elizabeth and the Fleming & Curti team do well.

Amy F. Matheson


Amy Farrell Matheson has worked as an attorney at Fleming & Curti since 2006. A member of the Southern Arizona Estate Planning Council, she is primarily responsible for estate planning and probate matters.

Amy graduated from Wellesley College with a double major in political science and English. She is an honors graduate of Suffolk University Law School and has been admitted to practice in Arizona, Massachusetts, New York, and the District of Columbia.

Prior to joining Fleming & Curti, Amy worked for American Public Television in Boston, and with the international trade group at White & Case, LLP, in Washington, D.C.

Amy’s husband, Tom, is an astronomer at NOIRLab and the Head of Time Domain Services, whose main project is ANTARES. Sadly, this does not involve actual time travel. Amy’s twin daughters are high school students; Finn, her Irish Red and White Setter, remains a puppy at heart.

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Matthew M. Mansour


Matthew is a law clerk who recently earned his law degree from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. His undergraduate degree is in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Matthew has had a passion for advocacy in the Tucson community since his time as a law student representative in the Workers’ Rights Clinic. He also has worked in both the Pima County Attorney’s Office and the Pima County Public Defender’s Office. He enjoys playing basketball, caring for his cat, and listening to audiobooks narrated by the authors.