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Book recommendation for "Middle Stage"
Old 12-01-2014, 01:08 PM   #1
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Book recommendation for "Middle Stage"

Good Afternoon,

This is my first post, though I've been lurking for a while. I've searched threads for "Book recommendations" and most seem to be in two different stages.
  1. How to get started in investing, so you can retire (early/at all).
  2. How it enjoy your retirement.

I'm somewhere in the middle.

I'm 45 and have read "Live It Up Without Outliving Your Money" and "The Millionaire Next Door". I have a savings/investment plan, mostly just maxing our 401k & 403b plans that have a diversified portfolio. I'm looking for a "You're 10 years out from retirement, here's what you need to do"

To be more specific, questions I know I'll have over the next 10 years..
  • Should I convert an old SIMPLE (annuity) to an IRA or 401k? (which is going to be better to withdraw from when FIRE'd)
  • Should I be investing into a ROTH 401k
  • At some point will I need to save cash, if I plan to retire before 59.5? So that I have penalty free living expenses.
  • When to change your investments to those that don't pay dividends

I'm not looking (yet) for advice on the above list, it was just to give it as example of what type of publication I was looking for.
I've already learned a lot from this group, and hope to get to the point where I can contribute one day.

Thanks in advance for your recommendations.
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:18 PM   #2
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Hi. I can't make a book recommendation. I am in a similar stage with my wife and family. I found there to be no consistent advice on some of these issues (just look at the conflicting advice about ROTHs on the interwebs!). Because we could not find any single source that covered all of the bases, we decided to go to a fee-only financial adviser. Not everyone on this site will agree with that, but it was helpful for us. It confirmed that our plan was working and gave us some solid guidance on questions like yours to help maximize our results. It definitely cost more than a book, but gave me some peace of mind.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:26 PM   #3
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The books that helped me the most in the middle stage were those on behavioral finance. A few are listed in Jason Zweig's recent list of timeless investing books:
Best Books for Investors: A Short Shelf - Total Return - WSJ

They helped me overcome loss aversion and made me better at tax-loss harvesting and rebalancing which I think are arguably the most often used techniques of the middle stage.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil70 View Post
Hi. I can't make a book recommendation. I am in a similar stage with my wife and family. I found there to be no consistent advice on some of these issues (just look at the conflicting advice about ROTHs on the interwebs!). Because we could not find any single source that covered all of the bases, we decided to go to a fee-only financial adviser. Not everyone on this site will agree with that, but it was helpful for us. It confirmed that our plan was working and gave us some solid guidance on questions like yours to help maximize our results. It definitely cost more than a book, but gave me some peace of mind.
But if you had gone to 3 different financial advisors, you may have received 3 different solid and conflicting guidance, so not much different than getting books. Therefore, in some sense, picking an advisor is like selecting only a single book to follow.
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
tax-loss harvesting
I think that's one of the things I'd like to learn about, a new term for me...

Thank you phil70 and LOL!

I'm taking some time off at the end of this year, I'll pick up a few books and decide at that point when I'll be ready to talk to a financial adviser.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2k6_TX_Dad View Post
I have a savings/investment plan, mostly just maxing our 401k & 403b plans that have a diversified portfolio.
This might be a bit pedantic, but how can you be contributing to both a 401k and a 403b at the same time.......do you have 2 jobs?
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:08 PM   #7
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^Note the use of the word "our". I deduce both spouses work and one spouse has a 401(k) and the other a 403(b).
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
^Note the use of the word "our". I deduce both spouses work and one spouse has a 401(k) and the other a 403(b).
Ahh ok, I keyed in on the use of "I" at the beginning of the sentence.
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Old 12-01-2014, 08:28 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
^Note the use of the word "our". I deduce both spouses work and one spouse has a 401(k) and the other a 403(b).
Correct, LOL!, "our" is my spouse and I. The "I" was for my plan. At this time my DW isn't much interested in our finances.

Perhaps a future topic to discuss (or that may have already been discussed) is how other couples split (or don't) the research and planning of their financial plan.

I have been married long enough to understand that for it to be successfully executed, both will need to be in agreement on it.

Cheers!
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Old 12-02-2014, 06:11 PM   #10
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The books that helped me the most in the middle stage were those on behavioral finance.
+1

I've read many but not most of those. I especially second the choice of Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow. Not on the list was Zweig's own Your Money & Your Brain, probably because he didn't want push his own book in the article, and Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational.

These books are all about taking the emotions out of financial matters, or at least recognizing when emotion and not logic are playing a driving role.
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