How to Supercharge Your Retirement by Being a Spectacularly Normal Investor
‘We’re Talking Millions! 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement’ by Paul Merriman and Richard Buck is a must read for newbies through retirees!
Inevitably, we reach a time in our lives when we must consider retirement.
Some of us become aware of the inescapable approach of old(er) age early, and some of us are surprised by the grey in our hair.
There was a time when it didn’t matter much – familial attachment, robust Social Security benefits, and excellent employer pensions assured dignity in old(er) age.
That time is gone, and bountiful and dignified retirement depends on careful planning, investment savvy, and careful planning.
Let’s not beat around the bush: investing for retirement is a minefield that can easily overwhelm a Nobel winner. It certainly could strike fear and reluctance in the hearts of younger and inexperienced investors.
People of all ages, but especially younger investors saving for retirement, need a helping hand to make these colossal money decisions. They need guidance to navigate the complexities of saving and investing for retirement and wise mentors to show them how to build drama-free wealth.
It is what Paul Merriman and Richard Buck have achieved with their book ‘We are Talking Millions! 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement’.
About the book
‘We are Talking Millions! 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement’ sets out smart choices and strategies that would allow you to build substantial wealth for retirement and inheritance.
Much is written about retirement and pensions. Without getting into detail, it suffices to say that this book is different in (at least) four ways from other retirement and pension information ‘out there.’
- First, ‘We are Talking Millions!’ is different because it doesn’t conflate and confuse retirement and pensions. From the outset, the authors make it clear that a bountiful retirement is a matter of sound, disciplined, and persistent long-term investing, not merely about pensions; and what we need in old(er) age is income and resources to sustain us.
- Secondly, this book offers an action plan that can be carried out easily by anybody who has a job or, if self-employed, regular income. The authors call this plan, designed to make a considerable difference to the wealth you accumulate for retirement, ‘Two Funds for Life’. Chris Pedersen, of the Merriman Foundation explores this strategy including various withdrawal rates for distinct circumstances.
- Third, and to the benefit of all of us overwhelmed by the complexities of long-term investing for retirement, the strategy outlined in ‘We are Talking Millions!’ demonstrates how to get all the benefits from long-term investing in target-date retirement funds, maximize the return they yield and minimize their obvious pitfalls by adding one additional fund to the portfolio. Hence, Two Funds for Life.
- And forth, this book doesn’t aim to tell you only what to do. The authors see it as their job ‘to provide simple explanations of the most important things every investor should do’ and offer ‘relatively simple instructions on how to do them.’
‘We are Talking Millions’ melts together high educational and instructional value to achieve a smooth and readable brand of investing wisdom, thus potentially saving you years lost in aimless roaming.
Merriman is so generous that he is offering the book for free, or you can purchase it on Amazon and help the Merriman educational foundation with it’s important financial literacy work.
If buying the book doesn’t work for you right now, or if you want to share this pearl of financial wisdom, here is a link to the PDF: We’re talking Millions – FREE copy.
The two funds for life was inspired by a conversation that Merrimann had with Vanguard founder, John Bogle, many years ago.
As with most elegant solutions, ‘Two Funds for Life’ is simple – you regularly invest in a portfolio containing one target-retirement fund and one fund of small company value stock. Allocate 90% of the value of your portfolio to the target-retirement fund and 10% to a small-company value fund. Keep this allocation forever and contribute regularly.
Does it sound over simple? When you read the book, you’d find that the average improvement on the target-retirement fund return this strategy produced over the last 40 years was 23%; and that an 80% – 20% allocation shows an average improvement of 45%.
Why must you read this book if the strategy is so simple?
As with many other things, the Devil is in the details.
While the ‘Two Funds for Life’ wealth-building strategy is simple, you still must comprehend the steps leading to it – trust and action without comprehension come with many problems.
These steps are set out in the core part of the book. The authors present ‘12 small steps with big payoffs.’ They include starting to save and starting young, investing in stocks, not bonds, diversification rules, index fund investing, and other investing fundamentals. These chapters are engaging. Paul and Richard don’t preach but guide you gently. They present core tenets of investing in easy to comprehend ways without dumbing them down. That is no mean feat!
Furthermore, as an investor, you must always consider the risk – while the Two Funds for Life strategy can magnify your retirement investment returns, it is not entirely free of risk. There is nothing wrong with taking a risk, but you must do it knowingly, which this book teaches you to do.
Lastly, the actions you must take to enjoy a wealthy retirement are vastly different before you retire and when you have retired. Wish to know the specifics? Read ‘We are Talking Millions!’.
Reading this book is also enjoyable. It is well written and abounds with knowledge, ideas, analytical proof, and personal examples.
Key messages of the book
In summary, here are the key messages in this book:
- Start saving for retirement and start as early as possible.
- Save even more for retirement.
- Invest your retirement savings in stocks, not bonds.
- Account for inflation so that it doesn’t mess up your retirement.
- All you need is to invest in two funds: a target-retirement fund and a small company value stock fund.
- Don’t over-complicate your retirement investing. Just invest regularly and with persistence.
Who will benefit from reading this book?
This book targets a younger audience, and it is the authors’ response to a concern that many young people are off track with their retirement. Hence, the strategies espoused in ‘We’re Talking Millions!’ work best over the long term with the help of compound interest.
Reading this book can benefit anyone who is currently questioning their retirement and wishes to boost their retirement savings.
‘We’re Talking Millions: 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement’: the verdict
‘We’re Talking Millions!’ is an excellent book and working through it will help anyone supercharge their retirement investment by being a spectacularly normal investor.
While the Two Funds for Life strategy yields the best results when applied over a long time, and therefore is most suited to younger people, using it will improve your retirement nest even if you only ten years away – we agree with the authors that it is never late to supercharge your retirement.
If you wish to that, however, the time to read this book is now. And not just read it but use it as a blueprint for painless and fruitful investing.
Free copy for all!
In chatting with Merriman, we talked about his goal. He wants to make this book available to anyone who needs it. If you can purchase the book, that’s great, as a portion of the money goes to the Merriman Financial Education Foundation. For gifts, yourself or anyone who might benefit from Merriman’s financial wisdom, here’s a We’re talking Millions – FREE copy
By, Maria Nedveda, PhD, owner of The Money Principle
Disclosure: Please note that this article may contain affiliate links which means that – at zero cost to you – I might earn a commission if you sign up or buy through the affiliate link. That said, I never recommend anything I don’t personally believe is valuable.