I recently wrote and published a book. My intention was to make things easier for those not financially prepared. Once I researched the information for my personal needs, I knew that many others would benefit from this information too and I wanted to share it with you.
Like many people, I always wanted to write a book, but I never knew what to write about. I never in a million years thought I’d be writing about retirement.
Early last year, I came to the realization that I didn’t know anything about retirement. I had no idea how much Social Security paid, when I could retire, how much Medicare cost or how much it covered. The media had very frightening things to say about baby boomers. They said 48% did not have enough for retirement. 25% had less than $10,000 saved. These were some scary figures.
Since I was about to turn 58, I decided it was time to get some facts. Better late than never, right? I read everything I could—articles, websites, pamphlets by government agencies, financial advisors and just about anybody who had something to say on the subject.
What I found was distressing. It was a mishmash of conflicting information, written in awful language that was very difficult to understand. But I plowed through. There was a ton of information on the internet, but much of it was out of date. Many showed no references and it seemed anyone could write whatever they wanted without responsibility, even if it wasn’t true. It was a nightmare trying to figure out what was what.
At about the same time I met a woman who casually mentioned to me that she had just finished a book in three weeks. It seemed like a stretch. I always thought books took years, and I didn’t know if I had the discipline or wherewithal to stick with something that long. But three weeks? I could handle that. At home, I looked at the mountains of paper in front of me. I had all the research, why not write a book about retirement. And if she could do it in three weeks, so could I.
So I got to work. I wrote at lunch, I wrote at night after work and all day on the weekends. After three weeks I had pages and pages of writing, but it wasn’t exactly a book, and it wasn’t exactly good. Turns out, retirement was not a fun topic to write about. It was tedious, and so was my writing. So, I started over. The information itself really wasn’t that hard, but knowing where to look and what it meant was. I set out to translate the mumbo jumbo into a positive book with all the necessary information in one place.
I knew from my research that now I felt better about retirement. Knowing the facts put me at ease and gave me confidence. It didn’t change my financial situation, but I could now make educated decisions that would. Retirement wasn’t a mystery anymore, and that’s what I wanted for my readers. I wanted to share that information and have it all in one place in simple, easy-to-understand language.
Many retirement and financial planning books are intimidating and geared to those who have money. They offer advice like if you don’t have enough saved start putting the max into your 401(k) every year. The 401(k) max this year is $24,000. How is somebody like me making $50,000-60,000 going to be able to do that? The other big recommendation is to wait until you are 70 to begin collecting Social Security. But, if you don’t have enough income to pay your bills now, how can you wait until 70. Let’s get real. What can the 36 million baby boomers who haven’t saved enough for retirement do right now? They can learn the process. Knowing what the options are, enable you to make good decisions. That’s what this book is for. It contains the basics of what you need to know so that you understand the options available and the consequences of your decisions. Mistakes here can be very costly and affect your income for the rest of your life. Consider carefully.
It took me a long time to come up with a title for the book. When I settled on this one, my older sister Pam said, “This book is for everybody not just the ‘broke’why are you limiting your audience?” I said because I want the ‘broke’ to know this book is for them. I want people without a lot of money to feel totally comfortable picking up this book and not be intimidated by it. It is short and sweet, yet full of crucial information. It’s light, it’s encouraging and I’m told it’s funny. With it, I hope to help as many people as possible understand the big mystery that is Social Security, Medicare, retirement plans, and more.
It’s hard to get where you want to go if you don’t know where you are. This book makes it easy to figure out exactly where you are and points you in the right direction to a better future.