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FNArena Book Review: Retire Wealthy

Book Reviews | Oct 08 2014

By Rudi Filapek-Vandyck

Certified financial planner Eric D Brotman has published his second book. At least, that's what his publisher says. I can confirm there's a hard copy volume called "Retire Wealthy". As a matter of fact, I am holding it in my right hand right now. I read it. I just don't think "book" is the correct description.

A better description, in my view, is to think of Brotman's effort as a To Do list for future retirees. Consider the subtitle states: The Tools You Need to Help Build Lasting Wealth – On Your Own or With Your Financial Advisor. Brotman is a certified financial planner himself and through his self-founded Brotman Financial Group he employs a small army of wealth advisors and financial planners. Consider his To Do List as a guide about how to communicate better with your own financial advisor, including getting a bit smarter about a few key things that do matter and having the ability to simply ask smarter questions.

Assuming you do want to "retire wealthy", your personal journey starts by asking the right questions today.

There's nothing spectacular or new about what Brotman has to say, but it all makes sense once you put your busy life on pause and sit down to reflect upon what your life might look like post retirement. It's like having the opportunity to camp out in the wild Australian outback. You know it can be a fun adventure and hopefully it'll be a wonderful experience, but you don't want to end up in the middle of nowhere and thinking damn, I forgot my flash light, and my glasses, and my Swiss army knife. In other words: preparation is necessary and Retire Wealthy functions like the List you want to go through and double check before heading out for the big adventure.

In eight chapters, written in easy to understand language, Brotman takes future retirees through practical questions and processes to start preparing for life without a full time job. Most of it is straightforward, logical and non-complicated, but someone has to put together that List so that others can start using it. Practical topics include avoiding adverse debt, building a risk management and emergency plan and how to diversify investments.

Given Brotman's firm is US-based, the List has a firm American undertone, but that shouldn't necessarily deter Australian readers from using it. Preparing for retirement is a universal exercise. Does it really make such a big difference if you're preparing for a camping adventure in the Australian outback instead of near the Grand Canyon? (Of course, you need to take a flash light with you).

Chapters such as "The six steps to creating a financial plan" and "Six decisions you need to make before you start investing" augment the practical value on offer. Financial questionnaires are included at the back of the book, erm, I mean To Do list. All in all, this is a down to earth practical guide for future retirees who want to come prepared when engaging in detailed conversations and strategies with their financial advisor of choice. This is exactly what Brotman advises people pre-retirement should do.

Retire Wealthy. The Tools You Need to Help Build Lasting Wealth – On Your Own or With Your Financial Advisor was self-published through Authorhouse ( ISBN 978-1-4969-1124-7. 186 pages (large font). Brotman Financial can be visited through

The title is merely an aspiration rather than a guarantee.

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