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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most important book to read this year
Pensionize Your Nest Egg is a must-read for anyone interested in securing a stable retirement income. Like the first reviewer, I make no pretense of objectivity. I know one of the authors from the Canadian Money Forum, and she's as gracious and insightful in print as she is online. The book is split into three sections.

The first section deals with pension...
Published on Sept. 26 2010 by Amazon Customer

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in theory, but does it translate to real life?
This book presents topics which are good for thought, but it seems too heavy on the theoretical and does not really address the actualities of applying the principles to real life. I wonder if the authors actually have any experience working with individuals to put their theory into practice? I'm thinking not. While the suggested strategies make a lot of sense, there...
Published on Aug. 23 2011 by Ready for Retirement


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most important book to read this year, Sept. 26 2010
This review is from: Pensionize Your Nest Egg: How to Use Product Allocation to Create a Guaranteed Income for Life (Paperback)
Pensionize Your Nest Egg is a must-read for anyone interested in securing a stable retirement income. Like the first reviewer, I make no pretense of objectivity. I know one of the authors from the Canadian Money Forum, and she's as gracious and insightful in print as she is online. The book is split into three sections.

The first section deals with pension basics such as defined benefit vs. defined contribution plans, the looming pension crisis, and the definition of pension. This section also deals with the major risks in securing retirement income: longevity risk, sequence of returns, and inflation. In defining pension (guaranteed, lifelong income stream), the authors ask a discomfiting, but necessary, question. If your employer/pension sponsor can renege on your pension benefits by declaring bankruptcy, do you actually have a pension? The authors' emphatic answer is no. Fortunately, the authors offer solutions for all of the above in part 2.

The second section deals with products that address the above problems. The authors do not endorse any particular company but introduce the concept of product allocation. Most are familiar with asset allocation, which determines the ratio of fixed-income to equities within a portfolio. Product allocation, on the other hand, refers to choosing types of financial products that address the risks cited in part 1. The authors describe 3 silos, or types of products, to purchase with your nest egg to deal with risks. One silo is composed of traditional investments like stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Products in this silo can grow (if the market does well!) to provide inflation protection, liquidity, and a financial legacy. However, products from silo 1 may not provide sustainable lifetime income (unless you invest very well or have a large sum) and are subject to sequence of returns risk (early negative returns can reduce an investor's sustainable income). Silo 2 comprises products guaranteeing lifetime income i.e. address longevity risk. the risk of outliving your savings. CPP is an example of an annuity-type product. Defined benefit pensions are another form of lifetime income. Indexed annuities can also deal with inflation risk but at the cost of lower initial payments. These products also deal with sequence of returns risk. However, these products have disadvantages too. The annuity contract is irreversible (i.e. illiquid), and, if markets do especially well, future growth accrues to the insurance company, not you. Another problem is counterparty risk, the risk that the other party/ company won't live up to its commitments. However, that risk exists already in defined benefit plans (just ask former Nortel employees). Also, insurance companies are closely regulated in Canada. Silo 3 consists of hybrids like guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit (GLWB) products, which are mutual/ segregated funds that guarantee a minimum withdrawal rate (usually 4-5%). As expected these products provide intermediate risk protection. They provide inflation protection and growth potential, but not as much as products from silo 1 (costs are higher for GLWB products). They offer protection from longevity risk, but not as much as an annuity.

Part 3 moves from theory to practice and gives the reader a step by step guide to pensionize retirement savings. The authors introduce the concepts of Wealth to Need ratio (WtN) and retirement sustainability quotient (RSQ). The WtN ratio is simply your needed annual retirement income divided into your total nest egg. The wealthier you are (or the lower your spending), the higher your WtN is. RSQ measures the likelihood your retirement will last your lifetime and is defined as fraction of pensionized income (e.g. annuity or DB plan) + fraction non-pensionized income X (1 - risk of portfolio ruin). Portfolio ruin is the risk that your portfolio will be exhausted. The higher your RSQ is, the more sustainable your retirement income is.

If you browse the finance category, you'll see tens of thousands of books on personal finance and thousands on investing, but I can think of only one that tells Canadians how to guarantee their retirement income - all for less than the cost of an average haircut! Do yourself a favour. Quit worrying about your future. Buy this book and plan it instead.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource for Investors Seeking Certainty, Oct. 5 2010
By 
Mike Piper (St. Louis, MO) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pensionize Your Nest Egg: How to Use Product Allocation to Create a Guaranteed Income for Life (Paperback)
This is the first book I've read that tackles the problem so directly: How are we supposed to create reliable retirement income when market returns are so unreliable? (The answer, by the way, is to use a portion of your portfolio to purchase an annuity.)

The authors walk you through how to use annuities to create your own personal pension--guaranteed income that will last the rest of your life, just like the title says. They give you a step-by-step plan to determine how much income you need and how much of your portfolio you should annuitize in order to provide that income.

The book is very readable--hardly any jargon and no complicated math. My only complaint, if any, would be that it's a bit light on the specifics of how to choose between different annuities. (For example, which riders are worth their cost?)

Highly recommended for any soon-to-retire (or recently retired) Canadian investor.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Starts easy, ends hard!, Oct. 10 2010
By 
T. Cashin "Bookworm" (Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pensionize Your Nest Egg: How to Use Product Allocation to Create a Guaranteed Income for Life (Paperback)
This is a book that deserves to be on the bookshelf of all Canadians who have accumulated a nest egg but have little more than Government pension income when they retire. As the authors point out, most of us nurse our nest egg, spending as little as possible, to ensure that we do not run out of cash before we die. Others, in an effort to maximize their monthly income, simply convert their nest egg into joint and last annuities and enjoy the fruits of their savings. This book takes a position between these two extremes.

The early part of the book is easy reading, probably because it was written by a financial planner who understands how to explain financial matters in simple English. However, the latter part of the book is written by the Economist. He has graphs, tables, and acronyms for everything. I found it difficult to understand some of the concepts. e.g. he will write something like, "You can see this illustrated in chart 10.2" and he expects you to figure out the chart on your own.

I have another six months before I want to "pensionize" part of my nest egg, so I am sure that when I read it a second time I will get a handle on it. But, it is unfortunate that the Financial Planner didn't take charge and re-write the stuff written by the Economist.

Nevertheless, for $17 you are getting good, solid information that will help you pensionize some of your nest egg and reduce the stress that many seniors suffer as we struggle with the question of "How much can I spend?".
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4.0 out of 5 stars good book for those thinking of annuities, April 4 2013
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This review is from: Pensionize Your Nest Egg: How to Use Product Allocation to Create a Guaranteed Income for Life (Paperback)
I thought the book was well written although maybe a little too long for the topic covered. I will keep it around.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting look at the use of annuities, Sept. 5 2011
This review is from: Pensionize Your Nest Egg: How to Use Product Allocation to Create a Guaranteed Income for Life (Paperback)
Although a general retirement guide it mostly concentrates on the use of annuities for those who do not have a pension. I would recommend for those in that position, it gives lots of information to consider.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in theory, but does it translate to real life?, Aug. 23 2011
This review is from: Pensionize Your Nest Egg: How to Use Product Allocation to Create a Guaranteed Income for Life (Paperback)
This book presents topics which are good for thought, but it seems too heavy on the theoretical and does not really address the actualities of applying the principles to real life. I wonder if the authors actually have any experience working with individuals to put their theory into practice? I'm thinking not. While the suggested strategies make a lot of sense, there are a lot of issues in retirement which can't be fit into a mathematical model. The fact is, 'retirement' is a constantly changing continuum and is different for everyone. Are the suggested structures going to be flexibile enough to address those changes?
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique, stimulating, engaging, April 11 2011
This review is from: Pensionize Your Nest Egg: How to Use Product Allocation to Create a Guaranteed Income for Life (Paperback)
Moshe and Alexandra have brought us a unique, stimulating, and most engaging discussion in Pensionize Your Nest Egg. Its value will last longer than most books, and is highly useful for advisors & the public. Highest accolades to you!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Accessible Book about a Thorny Financial Subject in One`s Retirement Years, Oct. 12 2011
By 
Gerald Parker "Gerald Parker" (Rouyn-Noranda, QC., Dominion of Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Pensionize Your Nest Egg: How to Use Product Allocation to Create a Guaranteed Income for Life (Paperback)
I undertook reading this book to assess whether the sort of G.L.W.B. (guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit) plan that my financial advisor (with Investors Group of Canada) has explained and offered to start up for me from my R.R.S.P. Although I trust him, I always like to counter-check the worth and reliability (to accomplish my own ends, not alone to make his company a profit!) of financial instruments such as this with a/some relevant good and specifically Canadian book(s) on the subject, rather than just from the company's own literature. (In case the reader is curious, Investors Group offers its G.L.W.B. plan in collaboration with Great-West Life Assurance Co., one of the insurance companies mentioned in the book.

Americans and Brits, alas, do not have the comfort level that Canadians do in regard to investment/insurance products that Canadians do, since, in the unregulated (or far too insufficiently or negligently regulated) context of financial/insurance institutions (and of real estate, too, for that matter) in the U. S. of A. and in the U.K., there is a level of fraud that our Dominion of Canada simply does not tolerate or permit. (That is one of the reasons that the current, at time of writing this the year 2011, financial crisis, in the U. S. of A. and in the U.K., is occurring.) If feasible, I would urge Canadians residing in the U. S. of A. (which is on a fast track to transforming itself, through the venality and corruption of its profiteering institutions of finance and its cynical yet slothful and intentionally imprudent governance, into a mere "banana republic") or in the U.K., and even Americans themselves, really, ought to consider doing their investing through Canadian channels if that be feasible and not too arduously inconvenient for them.

The authors of "Pensioni[s]e Your Nest Egg" do make as good a case for this financial method (in Canada) for the elderly as the company literature from Investors/Great-West does, so I am persuaded! There is good advice here also for middle-aged workers as they plan ahead for retirement. It helps that the authors of the book and of investors/Great-West's promotional brochures all write very clearly, even somewhat entertainingly ("solidly by not stolidly", as it were!), and that they avoid unduly technical complexity, even in the math entailed. So, if one wants to be sure that his retirement funds last through the end of life, no matter how long that may be, rather than to aim (worriedly, if one is shrewd about it) at some particularly advanced and arbitrarily set age in the future when coverage becomes exhausted, then I advise that the reader also acquire this book and consider the advantages of a G.L.W.B. plan.
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