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Book Review: Retirement For The Record by Daryl Diamond

Book Review: Retirement For The Record by Daryl Diamond

By Mike Drak

Truth be told, I don’t enjoy reading retirement planning/finance books as I find most of them dry, complicated, and I usually end up with a headache while reading them. But having said that I’m forced to read them because I’m not overly confident with the quality of advice that I get from the bank these days. Sometimes I feel like I know more about retirement planning than the people advising me do, and knowing that bothers me because it shouldn’t be that way.

The skillset for decumulation (drawing down your retirement assets) is quite different than wealth accumulation.

You may discover to your dismay that your financial advisor who helped you grow your investment portfolio may not be as well equipped for the decumulation phase, and getting bad advice could end up costing you some serious money in terms of taxes paid. That is why you need to have a good understanding of this so you can ask the right questions to ensure your advisor creates and executes on a retirement income strategy that works for you.

It’s important that your financial adviser is equipped with specialized knowledge and different skills to guide you through the financial issues you’ll face in this phase of your life. Your adviser needs to be more concerned with you preserving capital and minimizing the impact of taxation. It takes an adviser with special skills to optimize after-tax cash flow from multiple sources of income – when to commence the flow of benefits from corporate pensions, CPP/OAS; when to convert tax-sheltered plans like RRSP’s and how to best utilize tax-free vehicles like TFSA’s which are all part of this increasingly complex subject.

The single biggest expense people will face in retirement is likely to be taxes, and it’s not just how much you take out that affects the size of the bill, it’s also the order in which you tap your different income sources, and the mix at any given time.

This Is Not Your Normal Book On Retirement Planning

For the record (pun intended) I’ve been a big fan of Daryl’s first book “Your Retirement Income Blueprint” now in it’s third edition and I always reference it to people at my retirement seminars. When I heard he was writing a new book I looked forward to reading it but I must warn you this is not your normal book on retirement income planning, far from it. It’s a multi-media experience for the reader a book, that will take you back to your boomer roots back to the origins of rock and roll, a time when music was meaningful and really good. (ok I’m a little biased having lived through it).

Daryl creatively uses musical memories and references to reinforce the retirement income planning concepts throughout the book successfully making a dry subject come alive.

I loved the pictures of the young Rolling Stones and many others, and the quotes provided such as “I spent half my money on alcohol, drugs and wild women. The other half I wasted.” or this one given by a young Keith Richards “I don’t have a drug problem – I have a police problem.

The pictures of the bands and their stories kept triggering flashbacks for me. I remembered the first time I saw the Beatles and Rolling Stones on the Ed Sullivan show, when I first heard the music of Cream, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and watching Woodstock and Live Aid on TV. The book ended up taking me longer to read than usual because I kept reliving those wonderful memories from the past.

Some of the key things you will learn by reading this book

  • How leaving your registered retirement assets to grow as long as possible is a “tax trap” and could result in higher taxes payable and the loss of some government benefits.
  • What happens when there is a loss of a spouse. You need to be aware that there will be a reduction or cessation of the deceased’s CPP and OAS income streams and a bump in taxation when the RRIF’s are combined.
  • Should you defer taking your CPP?
  • Inflation risk. You need to ensure that you are earning an adequate return and not just let everything sit in cash, or other low risk investments.
  • The ‘target distribution strategy” – how to build a portfolio of investments that generate income you can use in retirement and allows you to remain invested to preserve your capital.

I always enjoy a book that contains a lot of “real life” stories, stories that I can relate to. Ones that really resonated with me were found near the end of the book, chapters dealing with life and regret that I plan on reading again, they were that powerful and full of meaning for me.

Bottom line: If you are a fan of rock and roll and need to read a good retirement planning book, this book is for you. An easy and enjoyable read, well worth the money.

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Mike Drak

Author, Retirement Coach and Public Speaker at Victory Lap Retirement
Mike Drak is a thirty-eight year veteran of the financial services and lives with his wife Melina in Toronto, Canada. Mike is the Author of the best-selling book Victory Lap Retirement and also an award winning blogger, retirement coach and public speaker. Mike has also appeared on BNN, CBC Radio and iHeart radio.