The Savage Number: How Much Money Do You Need to Retire?

Terry Savage. The Savage Number: How Much Money Do You Need to Retire? (John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, New Jersey, 2005. 256 pages)

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Having enough money to retire is an important goal for many people, and The Savage Number attempts to help people understand how to reach that goal. As defined by the author, Terry Savage, a prominent expert on personal finance and investing, "the Savage Number" is the amount of money you need in order to retire. Her book is designed to help you determine that magic number and then reach it.

While not a self-help book on investing, The Savage Number provides information to get you started on retirement planning. The author is an advocate of "Monte Carlo modeling," a service provided by many financial institutions to give investors a detailed model of what an individual needs for retirement. She explains the concept and gives details on the organizations that provide such modeling.

Savage doesn't encourage individuals to wade into investing on their own, but she does recommend becoming informed before going to a professional for advice, so she offers information on the basics of investing and the various investment options available. In addition, she talks about possible sources of income after retirement, encourages readers to buy long-term care insurance, suggests what should be included in a long-term care policy, and presents basic information on estate planning.