Author: John H. Graves

Publisher: Safe Harbor International Publishing

ISBN -978-0-9835731-2-8

Financial expert John H. Graves has written a comprehensive book called The 7% Solution: You Can Afford a Comfortable Retirement about how to afford a comfortable retirement. The book mainly explains where and how to set yourself up for those "golden" years when you are no longer employed and making your own money while depending on investments, real estate income or annuities.

This two hundred and sixty-nine page book is targeted to the Baby Boomer generation who have entered or going to be entering a retirement life style (although near the end it recommends to any thirty-something year old to start putting money away now). It starts with more of a pep-talk, trying to convince Boomers to enter into the world of investment opportunities themselves, learn how to do it methodically and not rely strictly on a financial manager. The majority of the book contains over a hundred pages dedicated to explaining stocks, bonds, mutual funds, annuities, and a plethora of investment products.

John Graves bases his theory on getting the investor to maintain a seven percent profit across the board, evenly splitting investments between stocks and bonds. He considers a six percent profit in bonds and an eight percent in equity to reach the average seven percent goal. He prompts the retiree to take charge and dive into the investment market cautiously and carefully by logical explanations, mathematical formulas and suggested websites to achieve a predetermined goal to live comfortably during retirement years.

The first quarter of the book seems a little repetitive with a few campy analogies spread throughout the book such using names like Mr. Market to interest the reader. The chapters on bonds and annuities were very well written and understandable for a lay person to comprehend. The author does not address the housing crash and how it may affect retirement income when down-sizing, some retirees having to move in with family or long term disability insurance in relationship to retirement or assisted living complexes. The book lightly covers purchasing gold and precious metals as investment.

Citations should be listed in parts of the book, such as sixty percent of Baby Boomers owning their homes outright today. In the current economy and high rate of underwater homes, its veracity may be questioned. Well written books generally spell out numbers in paragraph format and avoid contractions but this one does not.

The author tends to steer away from any investment fees and using investment managers as they take income from the "bottom line" yet in the same vein, he recommends professionals such as CPAs to make sure your taxes are handled properly. Having passed "tax" class and even licensed, I still rely on an experienced tax professional to do my complicated taxes involving a business as she knows so much more than I ... so why would I not use an experienced financial manager to handle my retirement assets too? He will know more than the novice I would attempt to be.

I personally chose this book to understand the market and its many facets better. I did learn about many products and their nuances and how the market has been set up. Although I use a qualified financial adviser, I would not personally attempt to "play" the market like he suggests due to the time and effort involved, the fear of failure or second guessing any purchase that would possibly alter my life savings.

Yes, the reader will learn something new about investing during retirement and be better prepared by reading this book. I have considered showing it to my financial manager so he knows I now know what the letters EFT, CEF, MLP, BDC and REIT (or any other specific conglomeration of alphabet letters) mean in the investment industry.


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