Ryan Darwish writes The Redefining of Retirement: a New Paradigm to Create Sustainable Well-Being in Retirement from his years of experience as an investment advisor. The book begins with background information about what he refers to as “the coming retirement crisis” with its roots in recent political, corporate, social and cultural history. Looking at the complexity of the issues provides a broad and clear base for contemplating a redesign.
The book continues with a description of a phenomenon discussed in much current media, but not explained quite as well: the imbalance of income as the rich get ever richer and the poor – at best – stay in that poorer state, leaving the gap for retirement more noticeable in that way as well.
The chapters on risk describe how the financial market works as well as the risk that accompanies investing in it. Darwish uses anecdotes from his career to explain how people invest and lose investments as well as how they may gain more from their investments. He explains the necessary issues of navigating risk in the financial market and dealing with personal spending and saving. He references an old comparison of the preparation for retirement to a three-legged stool – savings, Social Security, and employer retirement accounts – then continues the metaphor with the description of a wobbly stool: little savings, fewer employer retirement accounts and a Social Security system that is not prepared to support all the coming retirees.
Chapter by chapter, Darwish explores what makes the system tick. He puts forward his theories regarding appropriate methods of preparing for retirement, including dealing with medical expenses, housing and the possible need for long-term care.
Overall, there is a wealth of information within the pages of this book. Darwish knows the topic well. The reader may have difficulty reading the book, however, as it is in need of further editing. Some of the sentences repeat words while others are missing words. In order to fully understand a particular passage, it might be necessary to read and re-read. The work may also benefit from a bibliography, as Darwish references multiple sources within each chapter. Even though these notations may slow down the reader, the content and advice counterbalance provided outweigh this frustration. The Redefining of Retirement is worth the reader’s time.
Reviewed by Mary-Lynne Monroe