A Guide to Developing and Managing Your Retirement Plan

RWR Beach Cover - Second EditionOver a year ago, I published my first book, RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT. The subtitle of the book, A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit, informs readers of the book’s intent. I lay out a practical, proven method for achieving fiscal fitness and preparing for a financially secure retirement.

Like a lot of people, a separation and subsequent divorce left me in a difficult position financially. At the time, the early 2000s, I was thirty-four years old, active duty in the United States Army for 17 years – half of my life – and living like many Americans, paycheck to paycheck. It was not promising as my monthly expenses slightly exceeded my monthly income. I was broke.

My situation motivated me to consume all the personal finance information I could through newspapers, magazines, blogs, financial websites, etc. As I gained knowledge and started seeing the results, I began sharing my insights with family, friends and coworkers.

That desire to share valuable information was the catalyst for the book. Writing the book served as a way to give family, friends and coworkers a means of verifying the things we may have discussed, capturing some of the finer points which I may have missed during the course of our conversations. Often I would have a detailed conversation with someone and later realize I missed something or could have articulated something better.

Additionally, the book allowed me to reflect on my own journey to become fiscally fit and achieve financial freedom; and it serves as a practical guide for those looking for a way to establish a financial foundation and prepare for retirement.

Soon after publishing the book, I started this blog as something of an augmentation to the book; a way to continue to communicate with readers and offer my take on personal finance with a focus on retirement planning.

Over the course of the last year, I have re-read the book a few times – found a few typos and grammatical errors – listened to feedback from friends and family, cleaned up the formatting and in general, considered the ways in which it could be better; hence, an updated and revised version, a Second Edition.

The updated version features a new cover, the addition of new content (e.g. adopting a more frugal lifestyle), updated information on how Americans are preparing for retirement, new images for the chapter titles, new graphics and most importantly, an updated RWR Simple Retirement Workbook – containing the Spending Planner and Retirement Planner worksheets – available for download, free of charge.

A special thanks to Brian, an original RetirementSavvy reader (and the first subscriber I believe) for writing the Foreword. I thank him for lending his considerable talents to this effort.

Like the First Edition, this book serves as a personal reflection on my journey as well as a guide for those that might find themselves in a situation similar to mine in 2001 and are looking to right their financial ship and prepare for retirement. If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, this book is for you. It provides guidelines for how to determine how much money you will need – or desire – in retirement, actions associated with retirement planning, behaviors you should adopt to become fiscally fit, provides tools to assist you, and highlights various philosophies. Additionally, it provides some guidelines for funding your chosen retirement accounts.

This book is not an attempt to sell any product or service, nor does it suggest that there is an easy path to acquiring wealth and preparing for a comfortable retirement. There is no magic bullet. While you will find recommendations for fund types, you will not find any recommendations for specific stocks or mutual funds, as you will have to perform detailed research on your own to determine which underlying investments will make up your retirement accounts. Just like achieving and maintaining physical health requires a detailed plan, committed effort, and focus, so does achieving and maintaining fiscal health.

RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit [Second Edition] is available now, in Kindle and Paperback formats, at Amazon.com


Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.


  1. Think this would be good for me and my husband to read together. Been through divorce before.. even the “clean” ones are messy. Sorry you had to experience it, but maybe it was a catalyst for this wonderful chapter of learning and sharing!

    • I hope you and your husband do read it. While I am obviously biased – just a little – I believe people will be hard pressed to find a more comprehensive guide for establishing and maintaining a retirement plan for $2.99. I’m also giving complimentary copies to those that subscribe to the blog. That might be an option for ya.

      No doubt that divorce can be a bitter, painful experience. But the truth is, with respect to finances, it was my rock bottom and it lit a fire within me. I likely would not have been where I am today financially – and most importantly found the right relationship with my new wife – if I had not gone through it. In some ways, I guess I could thank my ex for that. Or not!

      Thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation.

  2. Purchased a copy yesterday and will take some time out today to read the updated guide.

    Also, sharing with a few others who would value the information.

    • As I mentioned to Brad, the changes are relatively minor. Previous readers will find that some information has been updated and some new information – living a more frugal lifestyle and adopting a different philosophy with respect to homeownership – has been added. Many of the changes, cleaned up grammar, corrected typos and improvements to formatting may go largely unnoticed. They were many of the things that irritated me over the last year as I re-read the book. I believe I have addressed them all. For all readers, particularly those that may be new to RWR, I absolutely believe the book serves as a concise, practical guide for retirement planning. Also, I was glad to clean up the RWR Workbook and make it available for download from the blog, vice the past requirement to email me. I believe readers will find it convenient.

      Thanks again for the Foreword, my friend. It looks great.

  3. Looking forward to reading it, James.

    • I look forward to your feedback. Maybe you will be the first to review on Amazon. I happen to think it is the best $2.99 a lot of people will spend. Great to hear from you, my friend.

  4. Liked the first edition , looking forward to reading the updated version .

    • While there aren’t any significant changes, it has been cleaned up a little, some new content added and information from the 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey – from the EBRI – has been replaced with more recent 2014 RCS data. With RWR polished up, I’m now turning my attention to Cream City Hustle (CCH).

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