Recommended financial planner reading

By Elliot Raphaelson

City & Shore PRIME

Social Security and Medicare

Because of the changes in regulations covering Social Security and the complexities of Medicare benefits, it is important that you are up-to-date and informed. I recommend these books:

Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security by Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Philip Moeller and Paul Solman (Simon and Schuster, rev. ed., 2016).

Social Security: The Inside Story by Andy Landis (CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2016); more material is available at the author’s website,

Get What’s Yours for Medicare: Maximize Your Coverage, Minimize Your Costs by Philip Moeller (Simon and Schuster, 2016).


Stan Haithcock is an outstanding expert in this field and has written many useful and accessible booklets that are available free at his website,

One of his offerings, The Annuity Stanifesto, includes a summary of all types of annuities, and explains the pros and cons of each.

Reverse mortgages

For many years, I considered reverse mortgages to be appropriate only as a last resort. However, because of favorable regulatory changes and lower costs, and the value in growing credit lines, I believe they can benefit some families in retirement despite their generally high initial costs.

These books are good resources:

What’s the Deal with Reverse Mortgages by Shelley Giordano (People Tested Media, 2015).

Reverse Mortgages: How to Use Reverse Mortgages to Secure Your Retirement by Wade Pfau (Retirement Research Media, 2016).

Individual securities

For investors who would prefer to select their own individual securities rather than use mutual funds or exchange-traded funds, I recommend:

Stocks for the Long Run: The Definitive Guide to Financial Market Returns and Long-Term Investment Strategies fifth edition by Jeremy Siegel (McGraw Hill, 2014).

Basic investment advice

There are many good books providing sound general investment advice, including retirement planning.

How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide by Jane Bryant Quinn (Simon and Schuster, 2016).

Jonathan Clements Money Guide 2016 by Jonathan Clements (CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2016).

Financial Fitness Forever: 5 Steps to More Money, Less Risk, and More Peace of Mind by Paul Merriman (McGraw Hill, 2012).

Winning The Loser’s, Game Timeless Strategies for Successful Investing by Charles Ellis (McGraw Hill, 2013)

Keynes’s Way to Wealth: Timeless Investment Lessons from the Great Economist by John Wasik (McGraw Hill, 2014)

The 7 Most Important Equations for your Retirement by Moshe Milevsky (Wiley, 2012).

Retirement planning

Many people have significant assets in retirement accounts but make serious mistakes regarding the naming of beneficiaries. Many financial advisers and even some attorneys don’t have the required expertise to provide proper advice.

I recommend the books of Ed Slott, an expert in this field, to make sure you use the best retirement vehicles to protect your assets, minimize taxes, stretch your savings for you and your beneficiaries, and identify trained financial advisers who have the expertise you require. Some reliable sources:

Ed Slott’s 2016 Retirement Decisions Guide by Ed Slott (IRAHelp, 2016).

The Retirement Savings Time Bomb and How to Defuse It by Ed Slott (Penguin Books, 2012).


Elliot Raphaelson writes The Savings Game column for the Chicago Tribune

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