Choose Your Retirement

A step-by-step guide to achieve the retirement of your dreams.

These days there’s no shortage of financial advice out there in the market… It’s just a question of how much of that information is actually useful.

A few of our staff writers have a serious pet peeve against financial advice that really isn’t that helpful, including all of those “spend less, save more” retirement articles you can find on the web. It’s not exactly the most revolutionary advice and in the end it really doesn’t get you from Point A to B.

Choose Your Retirement self-help book

That’s why we were pleased to come across Emily Guy Birkin’s new book Choose Your Retirement: Find the Right Path to Your New Adventure. It blows those vague retirement guides out of the water with specific advice and information you’ll need to retire successfully, as well as a catalog of worksheets that take you from retirement planning to action.

Why this retirement book is different

The real difference is in the detail…

  • Want to know exactly how much income you’ll need to retire? Check page 65.
  • Looking for contribution limits on tax deductions for Health Savings Accounts to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses? That’s page 88.
  • Thinking of spending a year abroad during your golden years? She gives the contact info for the international assistance department of the IRS in Philadelphia on page 154.
  • Planning on working during your retirement after you started drawing Social Security benefits early? Berkin explains income limits to avoid penalties on page 201.

As you can see, there’s nothing vague about the advice in this book, and that’s what makes it so useful. It still has the high-level philosophy and strategy at the beginning of the book, but then as you move through it, you get down to the real specifics of what you need. So you can go from dreaming to planning to acting in order to reach your goals.

The worksheets are immensely helpful, too. For instance, Berkin has a worksheet that helps you plan for your dream retirement, but then repeats the exercise for your Plan B (because you need to have a Plan B). Not only are there several basic budgeting worksheets, there’s also worksheet to help you budget for replacement expenses – i.e. it helps you plan for the eventually that every appliance in your house will eventually break.

Removing the small barrier of credit card debt

In the book Berkin talks about removing small barriers that block you for making progress. Small barriers are the blocks we use as excuses to procrastinate. If you want to move forward to achieve a goal like retiring in the way you want, you have to remove these small barriers first.

One of the common small barriers to any type of savings – particularly long-term savings like retirement – that our credit counselors help people overcome is addressing overspending and the credit card debt it creates. If you’re not saving for retirement because you’re busy paying off debt, we can help. Call Consolidated Credit today at or complete an online application to schedule a free, confidential debt and budget evaluation for a certified credit counselor.

For more information on saving for retirement versus paying eliminating debt, visit Consolidated Credit’s Debt-Free Retirement Guide. We also have two retirement infographics you might want to check out: The Secrets to a Successful Retirement and Revealing Retirement’s Cryptic Checkpoints.