RetireSMART!: How to Plan for a Tax-Free Retirement
By: Mark Anthony Grimaldi Publisher: Page Publishing Publication Date: July 2019 ISBN: 978-1644628911 Reviewed by: Barbara Bamberger Scott Review Date: November 29, 2019
A highly regarded expert in the field of money management, Mark Anthony Grimaldi, shares his insider knowledge of markets, investments, and retirement in this practical guide.
Grimaldi begins by debunking the notion that a 401K is the ultimate retirement blessing; in fact, he asserts here, it was “designed for Uncle Sam’s ‘financial’ gain.” He asks readers to open and clear their minds and follow his advice on investing for retirement. Examining the hidden costs of standard 401K plans, he clearly demonstrates that taxation regulations embedded in the system comprise one of the largest factors preventing a secure, comfortable retirement.
Grimaldi’s book is dramatic, with all the relevant data leading to an “act three” climax in which he simply and boldly states his three-part Action Plan: 1) Stop contributing to 401K plans, and instead, utilize an after tax account, explained in his narrative; 2) Get out of debt – most of us owe for cars, houses, vacations and credit card buying, and paying these down – to zero - is one of the best “investments” we can make; 3) Save by using the formula, “your age divided by three.” The author offers an easily understandable model for this third requirement: divide your age by 3, and take that percentage as a rate of savings on your total income. For someone aged 25 earning $50,000 per year, the savings amount using this formula comes to what seems a reasonable amount, $347.00 per month. He also offers basic rules that delineate the means to take advantage of tax deduction regulations, which can play a critical role in what one’s heirs will inherit.
In this well-organized how-to, Grimaldi - chief economist for the NO-LOAD Sector Rotation Fund (NAVFX) - combines both down-to-earth examples - such as the contrast in investing strategies between a “Mrs. Smart” and a “Mr. Uninformed” – with rigidly accurate fiscal data that may require a bit of study among some of his less financially adept readers. But the basic logic is there for all to see. In laying out his guidelines, he considers the needs of three generations of Americans: Boomers, Millennials and Gen X. Each group has different perspectives and different long-term prospects for investment and each has lived through different financial eras in America.
Quill says: Grimaldi’s colorful, fact-dense manual can be a handy carry-along for financial planning encounters. Reading his wise words would benefit all forward-looking Americans, assuring them that they have a right to anticipate a smooth transition from the stress of working life to the rewards of retirement years.