“A Million Is Not Enough” by Michael K. Farr *

A Million Is Not Enough: How to Retire with the Money You’ll Need
by Michael K. Farr
Format: Book (hardcover)
Page Count: 281
Who Should Read It: Ages 15-85

The title might have a greedy ring to it. But, the author leads off by explaining why a million dollars is not what it used to be and how much less it will be at retirement. The rest of the book assumes a responsible retirement goal must be at least a million dollars.

There are three sections:

  • The Million Dollar Mindset
  • The Million Dollar Groundwork
  • The Million Dollar Maneuvers

The first two sections set the stage for the third, which is the heart of the book. While Section 3 doesn’t read like a step-by-step manual, that in fact is what it is. The steps are:

  • Step #1: Evaluate — Calculate net worth and determine a budget
  • Step #2: Save — Look for ways to allocate more money toward the objective
  • Step #3: Understand — Shape portfolio according to goals and risk tolerance
  • Step #4: Build — Create a personalized portfolio consistent with Steps 1-3
  • Step #5: Manage — Techniques and mindset for the feedback loop: watch, evaluate, adjust as needed, repeat.
  • Step #6: Financial Legacy — Maintaining control at death

The author did a good job of breaking it all down into simple concepts such as: setting a retirement goal, net growth, risk tolerance, the power of compounding, the impact of time and how all of these and other concepts are related. His treatment of specific techniques is done in the context of investment philosophies that vary at different life stages and the effects this has on investment approaches.

Because Mr. Farr keeps it simple, people can get their arms around the whole thing. In this regard, the examples and anecdotes are especially helpful. They are also a source of inspiration.

I found this book fairly consistent with the guidance I get from my own financial advisors and the training I received in the Financial Services industry. There could be a better book. But, dwelling on that thought will only postpone getting started. As my late father-in-law used to say, “It’s good enough for who it’s for.” That was his way of saying after the job was finished, “Just do it!”

God bless,

— CC

© Copyright June 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
Read more “Clancy’s Quotes” at: ClancyCross.WordPress.com

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A Million Is Not Enough: How to Retire with the Money You’ll Need

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