Most people think of preparing for retirement as an exercise in mathematics, a process of reviewing what’s being saved and how much future income can be expected. Zachariah Dauke Suleiman Mnim has written a guide to preparing for retirement that focuses less on calculations and more on mindset in Preparing for a Happy and Comfortable Life in Retirement.
Suleiman begins with some broad but valuable observations about planning for retirement, emphasizing living below one’s means and pursuing a passion in retirement to help fill empty hours. Where many retirement guides ignore the psychological aspects of retirement, Suleiman places them front and center, acknowledging that “the challenges of transiting from working life to retirement can be traumatic and shocking.”
The book’s sections discussing investments are less successful, as Suleiman offers advice that might be useful in his native Nigeria, but isn’t as universal elsewhere. For example, writing about investing in capital markets, he emphasizes the importance of getting in and out of the market at the right time, whereas most Western financial planners advise clients to invest for long periods of time, instead of focusing on short-term movements. Suleiman also cautions about investing in real estate and stocks without thorough information, but offers few specific questions to ask or suggested sources of such information.
The author is at his best when he looks at the bigger picture and the fundamental human behaviors critical to successfully preparing for retirement, such as the ability to defer gratification. He adds individual flavor with phrases such as the “oxygen of investment,” to refer to money, and with relevant inspirational quotes at the beginning of each chapter. At times Suleiman borrows phrases and concepts from other financial authors, most notably Robert Kiyosaki, which can make the text feel derivative.
Preparing for a Happy and Comfortable Life in Retirement doesn’t quite stand alone as a complete retirement guide, but it does offer some worthy insights that are absent in other titles.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.