This is a review of the newly released book titled “Baby Boomer Investing in the Perilous Decade of the 2020s: How to Live a Dignified Retirement” by Ronald Surz

A mutual friend suggested I read this book pertaining to Baby Boomer investing.

I just finished the book and am excited about exploring in detail more of the ideas the book presents about how to protect my retirement savings in these uncertain times. The book really is about optimal investing in retirement, something I certainly am interested in being an age 73 retiree. By the way, the book ends each chapter with a link to a helpful video on the topic.

The book has a plan for younger investors in their working years to develop a glidepath towards retirement, pointing out that savings and accumulation is key at that stage as well as investing in growth to expand retirement savings.

Next, the author reveals the risk zone, the 10 years before and after retirement, when you are transitioning into retirement. In a critical details, he points out this is the worst time to have too much exposed to risky investments. The stock and bond bubbles coupled with higher inflation are a threat to your retirement savings. Ron reveals some safe investments that will help to protect you from losing what you have accumulated.

For those in the risk zone, you will really benefit from the advice in this book.

Then on to those like me that are more than 10 years into retirement and are looking just to keep what we have saved to keep enjoying our retirement.  Protection from losing what we have is key and that hasn’t been an easy job in the current environment.  

Ron was a financial consultant for pension funds and has developed a Target Date Portfolio that I had great interest in reading about.  It’s not your usual 60/40 stock bond portfolio but one with a smart asset allocation mix to protect from inflation while limiting risk in case of a market crash.

In the book is a periodic chart that demonstrates the importance of asset allocation which I found fascinating.  Getting the asset allocation “right” is the most important, even more so than stock selection.  The book suggests an asset allocation for the current times and I have already been sizing up my portfolio. Being a real estate person, I like the allocation to both domestic and international real estate.

The book does quite a good job covering the fundamentals of investing and has an interesting history of portfolio theory. It gives a perspective on controlling your risks levels. Some of the older portfolio management practices are no longer the best to use and may put you at higher risks than you may want to take in retirement. I know I don’t want to take any more risks than I have to if I can get a decent return.

The author explores some of the latest portfolio management ideas used by pension funds and target date funds and shows you how to personalize them to your situation. Financial engineering designed to not lose money and to provide the highest returns for the risk that is taken is introduced to the reader along with some investment products that use that method. I found the section on financial engineering to be my favorite part of the book and most useful in my situation.

Risk and age based personalized portfolios are possible and will serve you better in retirement. The book covers the most recent innovation about investing for retirees and introduces Dr Wade Pfau who has done extensive research on the subject. It is pointed out that financial advisors may or may not be using the best methods to protect you.

I was impressed with Baby Boomer Investing in the Perilous Decade of the 2020s: How to Live a Dignified Retirement by Ronald Surz. I personally enjoyed reading it. This is not a paid endorsement. I will be using some of the ideas presented in the book in my own personal portfolio.

Robert Fowler, President
Retirement Media Inc.
(Retired and Loving It!)

About the author. Ronald Surz is a highly regarded financial consultant who has advised $trillions in pension assets during his 50-year career. He is a baby boomer, a prolific writer and frequent speaker. Ron earned an MS in Applied Mathematics from the University of Illinois and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago.
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