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The Number: What Do You Need for the Rest of Your Life and What Will It Cost?
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The Number: What Do You Need for the Rest of Your Life and What Will It Cost?

3.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  365 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
Do you know your Number? What happens if you don't make it to your Number? Do you have a plan? The Number is no ordinary finance book—it offers an intriguing and entertaining tour of weath gurus, life coaches, and financial advisers, and our hopes and fears for the future. The result is a provocative field guide to your psyche and finances and an urgently useful book for a ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 26th 2006 by Free Press (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 688)
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This book's retirement advice is aimed at people who have retirement funds, or at least make enough extra to put money into them. Like most such books, the advice boils down to "You should really save as much as you can starting early and MAGIC OF COMPOUND INTEREST!" No kidding (though even this basic advice is being ignored by far too many people). That said, it's more of use to people who have pensions, 401Ks, and whose major retirement concern is whether or not they'll be able to take an annu ...more
Feb 08, 2009 Nick rated it liked it
I'm puzzled as to how to rate this book. The argument in it -- that we all need to save up for our retirements, and also think clearly about what we want to be doing in our retirements, because that affects how much we need -- is inarguable. But the author spends the first 9/10ths of the book telling us annoying stories about people who (mostly) fail to follow the advice. Way too much time on the problem. All you really need (if you buy the argument) is p. 251, a simple formula for calculating y ...more
Gian Bertozzi
Aug 27, 2008 Gian Bertozzi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being in the Financial Planning busines, I have always found it curious as to why nobody even thinks about planning for their future. Why do you work aside from paying the bills? One day you won't be working and what if you don't have any money to live on? This book examines the dicotomy of why it is so important to figure out your own number, why such a majority don't and what are the consequences. Very interesting and insightful read.
Jul 18, 2016 Jared rated it it was ok
Shelves: finance, non-fiction
The Number is a book about retirement. It's very accessible, and somewhat informative, but it's also a bit scatterbrained. The subtitle is also almost entirely misleading: while the book does discuss how many retirement calculators don't do a good job of assessing what a person actually needs to retire, it doesn't offer a better approach.

The main purpose of the book--belying its subtitle--appears to be an attempt to document some of the history of the idea and practice of retiring in the United
Jun 01, 2008 Smallerdemon rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: No one making less than $500K a year.
Shelves: abandoned
I have abandoned this book. The author is well intentioned, but he is also disconnected from the reality of day-to-day life for the majority of Americans. One of the foundations of writing is to ask the question "Who is my audience?" This was not a question that the author asked himself in any way at all. He essentially decided to write a book about retirement saving and investing based purely on his own experience and his friendships with people in the minority of earnings and positions. Nowher ...more
Sep 15, 2008 Grant rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“I received THE NUMBER book yesterday at my office, and earnestly delved into it last evening after supper. As of two a.m., I sat and grappled with both wonder and bewilderment. You have conveyed a remarkable tale to your readership, and for that I thank you. Your book is now my "number one" financial and behavioral book, and the essence of it both soothes and terrifies me. As one who has chosen planning as my profession, I plan to impart your ideas to my clients and, at the same time, re-examin ...more
Nov 10, 2007 Samuel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An interesting read on what the author terms "The Number" - the sum which one can retire on. Deals with how people set or more commonly, fail to set targets for their retirement savings, and the myriad reasons why we often underestimate the amount needed. Contains some good financial advice.
Feb 20, 2010 Hank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have some financial training and an economic mindset: Incentives Matter is one of my favorite mantras. I've labored in my mind on how best to inspire others to want to save with a plan - it seems this is an attribute one is either born with or is not.

This book is not about calculating the amount of money you will need in retirement - it is about ascertaining what achievable lifestyle you wish to target that can be maintained on your resources to and beyond your estimated but unknown date of de
Michael Tidd
May 16, 2016 Michael Tidd rated it did not like it
Shelves: audiobooks, financial
This audiobook was in the bargain bin, and I bought it for my girlfriend, with her being a bit older than me and needing some guidance in the retirement/financial planning department. There's a reason why it was in the bargain bin for under $8.

Eisenberg is a well-travelled professional, magazine editor, internet business consultant, and elite rich guy for much of the last 30 years. He has some interesting points of view, but most of them are from a very wealthy standpoint. He talks about people
Jun 02, 2012 Adrian rated it it was ok
It was written aimed at people in their forties and fifties. He spends the first 80% of the book talking about how people are not planning for retirement and why, and explaining how today's retirement planning is different from yesteryear's. Mildly interesting. In the last 20%, he spends time talking about how much money you need to retire is dependent on what you plan to do when you retire, and that most people honestly have no idea what they're going to spend their time doing. He offers you th ...more
Read Ng
Nov 10, 2013 Read Ng rated it really liked it
Shelves: financial
This book is about your (retirement) Number, but not a straight calculation to arrive at your Number, but really why my Number is different from your Number and what that number means to you. The whole point of a good book is to make you think about yourself and your place in the world. The middle, Part 2, was a bit old hat for me. I guess I have read one too many personal finance books. But the beginning and end, Parts 1 and 3 , give you reason to pause and self reflect. I'm glad that I was nev ...more
Jan 30, 2010 Christina rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, borrowed
>Jacob Needleman---Teaches philosophy at San Fran U. Wrote Money and the Meaning of Life.
Money and the Meaning of Life by Jacob Needleman

>George Kinder---One of original founders of Nazrudin Project. Author of The Seven Stages of Money Maturity.
The Seven Stages of Money Maturity Understanding the Spirit and Value of Money in Your Life by George Kinder

>Dick Wagner---financial planner from Denver.
Aug 08, 2015 Angela rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I really enjoyed reading about and thinking about how retirement has changed, how we view our finances, and it helped me to reflect on myself on society as a whole.
Unoose Ayoob
Very highly recommend for everyone over 30 !
A must read for everyone...but atleast for those over 30.
(if not now..then when ??)

4% !!
Mar 26, 2016 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Way too repetitive. Yes,it takes work to retire comfortably for the rest of your life, and trust your financial advisor
Bob Rehfeld
Jan 01, 2016 Bob Rehfeld rated it liked it
Looking for a book on retirement and found one on philosophy instead.
Jul 14, 2014 Kaethe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Fine, if you're in the top 2% of American earners
Mar 01, 2015 Deborah rated it really liked it
thought provoking when thinking of retirement
May 02, 2011 Mmiller400m rated it liked it
Shelves: finance
Everything changed when the recession started. Those poor books that came out just before are extremely naive sounding. This book barely escapes that and does have a lot to teach. Covering many different retirement issues, it's main audience is the baby boomer generation. Reading it from the perspective of a mid 20 something, it just reinforces the need for a retirement plan and account. It is reassuring in the fact that we might not need what we think we will and we can get by on a lot less and ...more
Rich Williams
Nov 29, 2012 Rich Williams rated it liked it
I listened to the audio book. It was enjoyable but I didn't learn anything new from it. The main point is more philosophical about thinking about what to do with the rest of your life rather than about how to actually plan for so the title is a bit misleading. He doesn't get to that until about 3/4 of the way into the book. The first 3/4 is mostly stories about wealthy people he has interviewed who are panicked about their "Number" (how much they need to retire) and how badly they are planning f ...more
Lucy Bilik
This is a pop-psychology book and not a financial planner guide as many readers refer to it. This book exposes some of the situations that retirees will encounter. I read portions in the past and had to re-read to put some things in perspective for me. It has some interesting points and stats, so if you're looking for a financial guide book this book will do nothing for you, however if you are looking for a social and psychological outlook on retirement this book will help you.
Marcia Miller
Dec 02, 2015 Marcia Miller rated it it was ok
Needed a GOOD edit. Interesting premise, but could've been conveyed in half the pages without so many repetitive passages.
Jun 06, 2013 Kathleen rated it really liked it
I was attracted to this book for obvious reasons -- who doesn't want to know how much money they need to enjoy life? But, alas, no actual numbers are given. No numeric formula is presented to figure out what one's number is! Instead the book guides the reader to make her/his own decision on her/his own number. Not quite what I expected but still a good review of what one should think about when planning for retirement and/or creating a financial plan.
Jul 27, 2011 Jenny rated it did not like it
A philosophical discussion of "the number" - that magic amount of money you'll need when you "retire". Too outdated (2004) and too American.

Health + Wealth + Happiness + Engagement

Plan to withdraw 4% of your Number per year.

Remember to add up and include your invested assets (stocks/bonds), home equity, inheritance income, Canada Pension Plan income, work pension income, and any other income.
Jan 03, 2014 Alexis rated it it was ok
I hated to review this so low because it was quite entertaining to read. However, the packaging that suggested this was going to actually be about finances while it wasn't and the author's regularly bringing up financial concepts without ever explaining anything was too annoying.
Feb 28, 2008 Espen rated it liked it
About personal investment and retirement. Key point: Most people start saving for retirement too late, underestimate how much they will need (partly because we live longer now) and does not pay enough attention to allocation between investment instruments. Much wisdom, but despite the title, Eisenberg never comes out and says what the number ought to be.....
Christa who loves the library

A bit dry but I appreciate having the opportunity to learn the author's perspective regarding saving for retirement. Some of the information is dated as the book was published right at the beginning of 'the Great Recession' and as a nation, our viewpoint regarding spending and saving money has grown since a decade or two ago.
Mar 05, 2008 Kate rated it did not like it
I got about halfway through and couldn't take it anymore. I wasn't interested so much in theorizing as in practical strategies and information. I also found the author/narrator (don't read your own books, people, unless you have a background in acting, too!) and his anecdotes about super-rich acquaintances off-putting.
Tina Leung
Nov 27, 2007 Tina Leung is currently reading it
I started this book ages and ages ago, and I'm still not done. The reality of how much one must make in order to sustain a living in which one's already accustomed to is shocking and scary, not to mention all that other stuff once you start a family. SCARY........that's why I still haven't finished it!
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