The Good Retirement Guide 2018, Allan Esler Smith, ed. London: Kogan Page, 2018.
Summary: A wide-ranging guide exploring everything from financial planning to housing to health to business and personal pursuits for residents of the UK approaching retirement.
Reading and reviewing this guide is the result of a well-intentioned mistake. Retirement is an approaching reality in my own life, and when I saw this available for review on Netgalley, I requested it, failing to read the second paragraph of the book description noting that it “offers clear and concise suggestions on a broad range of subjects for UK retirees.”
Now there may be some of you who follow this blog for whom this is just what you need. You live in the UK, and much of this will already make sense. You will find the first four chapters on financial planning, pensions and investment instruments, taxes, and a number of the websites and resources in all of the chapter quite useful. Mainly for me, it made me aware that there are parallel issues of planning, retirement savings, investment advisors, and dealing with tax issues. It was also apparent that scammers are not limited to this side of the Atlantic, and that they use many of the same ploys. The most helpful advice is that if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is, and that if it doesn’t “smell” right, it probably isn’t. Oh, and don’t be careless about taxes because it sounds like enforcement is more rigorous and there are steep fines and penalties!
Chapters 5-11 covered issues that had broader general applicability, although resources and public and private agencies recommended are UK-based, as one would expect. There were helpful tips on determining whether to age in place or downsize and the various options, The chapter on healthcare included practical discussions of caring for eyes, feet, hearing, teeth, and health issues like insomnia and depression as well as country specific information about health insurance and the National Health Service. There were a number of encouraging ideas about starting businesses, working for other and volunteering, as well as leisure activities.
Having already passed this threshold personally, it had not occurred to me that for many retirees, there are elderly parents and relatives still to be cared for, as well as children or even grandchildren. Finally, the book has important advice about wills, powers of attorney, and estate and funeral planning that none of us like to think about but are vital. The big takeaway here is, have a will and make sure it is up to date.
Each chapter and subsection has “top tips” and generous lists of websites and agencies that offer advice, much of it free. Where provisions are different in Wales and Scotland, this is also noted. All told, this appears to be an accessible and up to date guide for anyone living in the UK. For the rest of us, or at least for me, it suggests the kind of guide I want to look for tailored to the American scene.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.