Jared's Reviews > The Number: What Do You Need for the Rest of Your Life and What Will It Cost?

The Number by Lee Eisenberg
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's review
Oct 13, 2007

it was ok
bookshelves: finance, non-fiction
Read in October, 2007

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 it's subtitle--appears to be an attempt to document some of the history of the idea and practice of retiring in the United States in a very conversational way. It presents a number (hah, hah--get it?) of vignettes describing the important people who shaped the concept or retirement, and a number of people who help others achieve it.

The book does have a number of interesting statistics scattered throughout it.

While entertaining, The Number doesn't achieve its stated purpose. The takeaway message of the book can be stated in a few sentences: "Retirement isn't just about money. Make sure you know why you're retiring. And make sure that you have a plan to get there, because the historical methods of funding retirement no longer apply."

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