Climbing the Retirement Mountain – A SavvyReview

Climbing the Retirement Mountain: And Getting Down the Other Side

Paperback: 138 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2017)

Andrew Rafal is Founder and President of Bayntree wealth Advisors. His co-author, Calvin Goetz, is Co-founder and Partner at Strategy Financial Group. In the book’s preface they note the book’s objective is to share with readers the ideas and concepts that have allowed others to reach their financial goals. Of course that is to be expected from a book focused on retirement planning.

More so than the book’s stated purpose, I was interested in the early discussion about Camelback Mountain, a prominent  landmark in Phoenix, Arizona.

Though I live three hours south of Phoenix, I have spent time in the area and am familiar with the mountain and its prominence in the area. Most interesting was the role Camelback Mountain, or any mountain really, plays as a metaphor for retirement. To wit, there are challenges to climbing the mountain – building the retirement nest egg – and descending the retirement mountain – not running out of money and enjoying life in retirement. A thought that came to mind as I finished the preface: why not use a picture of Camelback Mountain as the mountain on the book’s cover?

Camelback Mountain | George Lenz [Pinterest]

Perhaps appropriately so, considering their sheer size, financial and cultural impact, the authors kick off the book with The Graying of the Baby Boom Generation. The discussion ranges from that generation’s role in bringing about credit cards, impacts on Medicare and Social Security, and their preparation (or lack thereof) for retirement.

While a significant portion of the book covers familiar retirement ground (e.g. emergency funds, defined benefit vs. defined contribution plans, annuities, long-term care, withdrawal planning, etc.) and other ideas and concepts covered ad nauseam in financial blogs, magazines, and other books, chapters three and four, Protecting Your Nest Egg From Predators and Beware of Phantom Income respectively, present something new for most readers.

Protecting Your Nest Egg From Predators discusses frauds and schemes (e.g. Ponzi and Promissory Note schemes), and the importance of being ever vigilant as you grow older and Beware of Phantom Income informs the reader of reportable vs. non-reportable income and the impacts of taxes in retirement.

Final Thoughts

Climbing the Retirement Mountain: And Getting Down the Other Side is available at Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats. While the authors provide some food for thought – chapters three and four – that some may have not considered or overlooked, there really isn’t anything new in the author’s coverage of the ideas and concepts covered extensively by others on multiple platforms.

For those looking for a book that does an adequate job of covering key ideas and concepts of retirement planning – and have a Kindle or device which supports the Kindle app – $3.49 is reasonable for the Kindle format. At 138 pages, readers will be able to consume the book over a weekend or a long flight.


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.

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