The 5 Best Retirement Planning Books

Last updated: 25 September 2020. Retiring is a complex business. So many things to think about - have you saved enough, are you invested in suitable investments for a retiree? How much of your pension should you spend? How much of your savings should you draw down?

These are just a handful of the financial questions you may have about your retirement. The best retirement books are here to match those questions up with answers.

Like all investing topics, nothing about income or returns is certain as risk is everywhere. Without the prospects of a salary to top-up your income if the stock market plunges, retirees are a more vulnerable and risk-averse group of investors, and rightly so. Proper retirement planning is as much about mitigating these risks than it is about maximising income at all cost. 

With prices ranging from £5 - £25, stocking up on a few of the best retirement planning books can deliver the same value as an expensive seminar for only a fraction of the cost. They can even be read for free with Amazon's Kindle Unlimited free trial.

Click on any title below to see the latest price from Amazon, you'll be shocked at how affordable the most popular titles are. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases which helps to support this site. This does not impact how I compile the list. Happy reading!

Retirement planning books for beginners to the subject

All-in-one retirement planning guides with a focus on personal finances

Retirement planning to achieve an early retirement

These books focus on bringing forward your retirement date by saving more and investing wisely

Early retirement extreme

Bestseller

Playing with fire

Bestseller

Retirement planning for a good quality of life

Books which focus on how much income you can safely draw down in your retirement years

Download all these retirement planning books for free with Kindle Unlimited

You DON'T even need a Kindle device to download books

Here's a useful tip that will save you £100+ on retirement planning books. Sign-up to Amazon's Kindle Unlimited free trial, which offers access to all titles for free for 30 days.

  • There's no obligation to continue with a paid subscription.
  • You don't even need a Kindle to enjoy - any device will do.

If you're cost-savvy, you'll already be calculating the savings you could unlock and the knowledge you could gain by downloading 5 books over the next 30 days.


Get free access

Retirement planning beyond the money

These books focus on bringing forward your retirement date by saving more and investing wisely

Books about managing investments

It's worth studying investing and the stock market in more detail if you're managing your own money

General planning books for finance professionals & students

Comprehensive guides from the leading UK publisher of investing titles. 


Financial Expert tip: The hardcover versions of these retirement & planning books are in high demand! They can recoup up to 80% of their cover price when sold in good used condition.

Therefore if you plan to eventually sell back a title, your net cost could be as low as 20% of the cover price.

Click on the covers below to look at the used prices of these titles on Amazon to understand what cash back you could expect. 

Managing your finances in complex circumstances

Providing guidance and frameworks for niche financial planning issues

Planning books for financial advisers

Books aimed at maximising value and succeeding as an adviser

Download all these retirement planning books for free with Kindle Unlimited

You DON'T even need a Kindle device to download books

Here's a useful tip that will save you £100+ on retirement planning books. Sign-up to Amazon's Kindle Unlimited free trial, which offers access to all titles for free for 30 days.

  • There's no obligation to continue with a paid subscription.
  • You don't even need a Kindle to enjoy - any device will do.

If you're cost-savvy, you'll already be calculating the savings you could unlock and the knowledge you could gain by downloading 5 books over the next 30 days.


Get free access

My Top 5 Retirement Planning Books for 2020

Click covers to see latest reviews and prices



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"Not sure what retirement actually includes or how to prepare for it? Whether it is a relaxing, action-packed or financially rewarding retirement you want, this is the book for you.

In retirement, personal ambitions can be realized and new experiences enjoyed, yet with so much to consider, people are often unsure how best to plan for their future. The Good Retirement Guide 2021 is an indispensable book that you will refer to again and again, offering clear and concise suggestions on a broad range of subjects for pre-retirement planning in the UK.

Updated for the new financial year, The Good Retirement Guide 2021 is packed with hundreds of useful hints, tips and insights into your retirement preparation. Including information on: finance (investments, pensions, annuities and drawdown, benefits and tax), housing, health, holidays, starting a business and looking after elderly parents, this book will help you to save more, live better and be happier."

Who this book is for:

This book tops my list because it ticks virtually every box with regards to retirement planning. 

It covers topics such as:

  • How to manage your assets
  • How much income to draw down
  • How to minimise tax

What's more, it branches out into non-financial areas to provide a more holistic guide to a happy retirement. 

I love this series, and cannot recommend it enough.

To ensure that the tax and pension sections remain relevant, the book is revised and updated every year - this is the 2021 guide which is available for pre-order and begins shipping in January 2021. 

If you want to read the latest available version, this is the 2020 which you can grab here



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"We walk through the thought process and logic of creating a pension portfolio, investigating three basic ways to fund a retirement spending goal:

  • Bonds,
  • Diversified investment portfolio,
  • Risk pooling through annuities and life insurance

When we properly consider the range of risks introduced after retirement, I conclude that a strategy which combines all three elements will support more efficient retirement outcomes.

Safety-first retirement planning helps to meet financial goals with less worry."

Who this book is for:

When investors come to retire, they must completely reassess what belongs in their portfolio. 

This books is for experienced investors who care about getting the most income out of their pension and savings, but with a level of risk which agrees with a retirees much lower risk-tolerance. 

Once in retirement, you've earned your last pay cheque. If the stock market tanks - you have no insurance policy. Or do you? 

By following the careful and prudent approach outlined in this book, you can create a retirement planning which increases your confidence that your income can provide for you, whether in recession or boom years. 




3. Early Retirement Extreme - Jacob Lund Fisker



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"A strategic combination of smart financial choices, simple living, and increased self-reliance brought me financial independence at 30 and allowed me to retire from my profession at 33. Early Retirement Extreme shows how I did it and how anyone can formulate their own plan for financial independence.

The book provides the principles and framework for a systems theoretical strategy for attaining that independence in 5-10 years. It teaches how a shift in focus from consuming to producing can help people out of the consumer trap, and offers a path to achieving the freedom necessary to pursue interests other than working for a living. The principles in Early Retirement Extreme show how to break the financial chains that hold people back from doing what they truly want to do. "

Who this book is for:

Where better to learn the art of retirement planning than from one of its earliest and most hardcore proponents?

Jacob Fisker proves in his book Early Retirement Extreme that early retirement is only a handful of years away... if we're prepared to take big decisions and really push the boundaries of frugality and clever investment. 

Whether you plan to go 110% like Jacob, or want to take a more moderate path, it makes perfect sense to learn the basics of financial independence from a purist. This will allow you to appreciate the full potential of what is possible, and inform your decision on how to change your own life.  



Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"The Financial Times Guide to Saving and Investing for Retirement will lead you through a bewildering maze of financial tools and provide advice on crucial investment decisions. It provides everything you need to know about how to save and invest so that you can successfully plan for your retirement. It is packed with invaluable information on taxes, ISAs, pensions, investing across different assets and buying property.

The Financial Times Guide to Saving and Investing for Retirement will help you:

- Identify your financial objectives and work out how to achieve them
- Learn how to invest for a specific goal and time
- Find out about taxes and other rules that may impact your wealth
- Understand why it’s essential to be actively involved in managing your post-work income"

Who this book is for:

If you're looking to expertly manage your savings through to retirement, this guide is for you. 

Most retirement planning books cover all bases with their content, which ultimately leaves fewer pages for the issues which are more appropriate for your circumstances.

This excellent title by Yoram Lustig will help you tackle the questions you may have when saving for your retirement, such as :

  • What types of investments are most suitable for long term time horizons?
  • How much risk is sensible in a pension fund versus a normal savings pot?
  • How should a retirement portfolio evolve as the retirement date approaches?


Financial Expert Rating:


Synopsis:

"Be Your Own Financial Adviser shows you how to make sensible financial decisions without the need for expensive advice. 

Its accessible style, examples and case studies explain and evaluate financial products and put you firmly in control of your own financial well-being.

It will advise on how to adopt the best saving, spending and investment strategies, make decisions tax-efficiently, manage risk wisely and protect and enhance your wealth.

Be Your Own Financial Adviser will show you how to:

  • Stress-test your financial decisions
  • Take advantage of legal tax breaks
  • Achieve your financial goals
  • Manage and preserve your wealth"

Who this book is for:

Be Your Own Financial Adviser joins this list at #5 because it offers a simple guide to retirement planning which is both accessible and satisfying for beginners. 

Let's not understate the value of a book which is both informative and enjoyable at the same time! 

Jonquil Lowe frames each chapter of this book through the lens of making better financial decisions.

And who wants anything less than that?



The Financial Expert™ Best Retirement Planning Book Challenge


Best retirement planning books

I challenge you to read one book per month and see if it revolutionises your retirement plan!


The Financial Expert™ Best Retirement Planning Book Challenge is a well-loved feature of this website.

It's a challenge which I think will fit neatly into the lifestyle of someone who's already retired, and should be made to fit into the lifestyle of those who are approaching it. 

My challenge is to ask you to try and read one retirement planning book per month for the next year, and find your new favourite!

The lifestyle change from having a rewarding (or not-so-rewarding) career to having oodles of free time is one of the largest culture-shocks of joining the ranks of the retired. 

That's why reading and learning is such a valuable activity. It lends a certain structure to a day, and provides a leisurely activity that feels naturally constructive and progressive. 

When you put down a retirement planning book, or any book for that matter, you feel like you've achieved something. Achieve more by taking up this personal development challenge and attempting to read one retirement planning book per month. 

I recommend that regardless of your enthusiasm that you don't try to read at an unsustainable pace, such as three books a week, as you will likely tire and give up altogether before you can proudly add the 12th book to your shelf. 

It's a marathon, not a sprint, so take it easy, order just a small handful of titles for now and begin with the book that most takes your fancy. 

After all, this isn't revision, this isn't a formal course. This is open-ended learning for your own benefit. 

In theory, the more books about retirement planning that you read, the more alternative investment approaches or income approaches you'll see. 

You may not agree with all of them - you might not want to touch real estate investments, for example. However, just knowing the option exists will help you feel confident in the retirement path that you finally choose. 

Some guidance

  • I found it helpful to stock up on books for the next few months, so that when a new month rolls around, my next book was my bed-side table asking to be opened!
  • Pick a variety of styles. This will keep the challenge fresh and increase the diversity of opinion. 
  • Pick at least one book that you don't think you would enjoy, this book might be the one that surprises you the most!
  • If you're time-starved, audio books are absolutely fine!

Where to begin?

My list of the 5 best retirement planning books above is as good as any place to start, as I have consciously included a mix of different writing and investing styles to ensure that it caters to a wide audience.

Good luck!