Resources For A DIY Retirement

My latest Star Tribune column is here.

Q: My husband and I would like to manage our own personal finances in retirement. We will retire in about one year. Can you recommend some books we should read in order to educate and prepare ourselves for this task? Sue and Bruce

Here are my recommendations:

Jane Bryant Quinn’s new book, How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide.

Syndicated columnist Mark Miller’s The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security: Practical Strategies for Money, Work, and Living.

I’d also look at Get a Life: You Don’t Need a Million to Retire Well, by Ralph Warner, the founder of the self-help legal organization Nolo.com.

For DIY retirement folks I recommend familiarizing yourself with online programs like ESPlanner and Analyzenow.com and see which one works for you. These programs are time-consuming to work with but the return is detailed information and recommendations, from taxes to Social Security.

Last, I would pick up a book like “The Power of Purpose,” by Richard Leider or “The Big Shift,” by Marc Freedman. Neither is a personal finance book. But Leider and Freedman push us to think seriously about what it is we want to accomplish in our next chapter. If you know the “why” — what really matters to you — you can always figure out the “how,” — the money strategy or financial tactics to support your values. Enjoy the adventure!