Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Number: What Do You Need for the Rest of Your Life and What Will It Cost?” as Want to Read:
The Number: What Do You Need for the Rest of Your Life and What Will It Cost?
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.18  ·  Rating details ·  542 ratings  ·  90 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)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Number, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Number

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.18  · 
Rating details
 ·  542 ratings  ·  90 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Number: What Do You Need for the Rest of Your Life and What Will It Cost?
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 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 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. ...more
Do yourself a favour and don't read this book. Do you want a number? Go here ...more
Nate McCord
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you'd like to become terrified by the fact that no one in the world is saving enough money for retirement this is a great place to start.

In all seriousness, this book goes well into detail on not only how to calculate your financial number for the rest of your life, but why you should think about what you truly want to do with the rest of your life.
May 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 13, 2007 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
Michael Tidd
Jul 22, 2013 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
Sep 15, 2008 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 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. ...more
Sep 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was a re-read for me. Published in 2006, this book came to my attention about a year later when I first started getting deep into personal finance reading and starting serious financial planning. I thought it would be interesting to re-read 14 years later now that I am retired. It was a NYT bestseller, and yet I have not seen it referenced at all in the many PF blogs I have read over the years. I'm rather surprised at that as I think it's very much in keeping with other older PF classics li ...more
Mar 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Uneven, with some common sense reminders to consider the how and why of saving for the post career retirement. Uneven as the first half of the book is stories of financial writers and stories of interviewed people, not personally helpful but entertaining reading at times.

Most helpful was the recommendation to look inward to establish what retirement looks like to each person - it varies - and the emotional anxiety of money, is it ever enough?

For those wondering what does their "Number" look lik
Jerry Wall
Aug 11, 2022 rated it it was ok
Advice on the number you need for retirement comfortably.
He goes, mainly, with 4 percent withdrawal annually from a bulk figure.
Work on how much to spend each year and then multiply by 25 for corpus of
funds to draw on.
Also includes thoughts on places according to surveys and the good/bad aspects of each
recommendation for each. book published in 2006, so dated with some points.
Jennifer Myers
A book to make you think about retirement and what you want out of it. There is no magical number, but it's about evaluating what's important and how you want to spend 30+ years of your life. A few laughs from his writing, but great perspectives too. An entertaining read. ...more
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Interesting twist to the goal of retirement planning. Not so much how rather different perspectives of what could this look like. A very eye opening summary of generations and their spending habits. Makes you think and ponder the how, then take action!
Warren Green
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Pop-finance to the max. Pretty much a waste of anyone’s time.
May 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Some chapters are helpful and educational, while others are simply entertaining.
Jun 28, 2022 rated it liked it
Dated, but explained concepts clearly. Thanks, Dad!
Brent Green
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
From the public schools of the 1950's and 1960's, baby boomers learned how to read, write and solve mathematical problems. Their meticulous teachers taught them science, geography, history, art and music. But forty and fifty years ago, the public school curriculum lacked instruction in financial literacy... and it shows. With over 25 million boomers broke today, the potential cost to this generation and its successors is incalculable.

In this erudite and accessible book, author Lee Eisenberg reve
Jan 23, 2010 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
Jun 02, 2012 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
Dec 24, 2012 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
May 04, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: karmickeywords
Long story short, if you really want an answer to the question in the title of this book, look elsewhere. If, however, you want a really interesting look at how the retirement "system" came to be the way it is today, the psychology between how different people approach money, and an extensive explanation of why there is no easy, one-size-fits-all way to get "the number", then you'll enjoy this book. It brings up a lot of interesting perspectives as well as examines different strategies and appro ...more
Jan 22, 2010 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.
Mar 04, 2011 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 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. ...more
Jul 27, 2011 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.
Jun 06, 2013 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. ...more
Tina Leung
Nov 27, 2007 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! ...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works
  • The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter and Miracles
  • The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success
  • Letting Go: The Pathway To Surrender
  • How to Make Money in Stocks: A Winning System in Good Times or Bad
  • What You Must Know about Statin Drugs & Their Natural Alternatives: A Consumer's Guide to Safely Using Lipitor, Zocor, Mevacor, Crestor, Pravachol, or Natural Alternatives
  • Turning Pro
  • 365 Ways to Become a Millionaire: (Without Being Born One)
  • Treat Your Own Back
  • Miracle Moments in Notre Dame Fighting Irish Football History: Best Plays, Games, and Records
  • Understanding Wall Street
  • The Man Behind the Magic: The Story of Walt Disney
  • What Makes a Marriage Last: 40 Celebrated Couples Share with Us the Secrets to a Happy Life
  • The Ultimate Memory Book: Remember Anything - Quickly & Easily
  • Callings: Finding and Following an Authentic Life
  • Jimmy Stewart and His Poems
  • The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need: Expanded and Updated Throughout
  • How I Made $2,000,000 In The Stock Market
See similar books…
See top shelves…

News & Interviews

It’s hard to believe the year 2022 is already coming to an end. That went fast, didn’t it? Still, there’s just enough time to wedge in a...
52 likes · 15 comments