The Best Retirement Planning Books for 2024

There are many things you can learn by doing, but retirement shouldn’t be one of them. Rather than waiting until you quit your job to figure out how you’ll pay the bills and spend your time, start planning well in advance.

“The short of it is that, in my experience, people don’t start thinking about retirement until they’re 60,” says Joe Conroy, a certified financial planner and author of “Decades & Decisions: Financial Planning at Any Age.” But by that point, the window of opportunity to make meaningful preparations for retirement may have closed.

To ensure you are on the right track, pick up one of these titles which are commonly noted as the best retirement planning books — or could be in the years to come.

— “Your Money or Your Life”

— “The Richest Man in Babylon”

— “The Latte Factor”

— “The Automatic Millionaire”

— “Decades & Decisions”

— “From Strength to Strength”

— “Money Master the Game”

— “The Retirement Savings Time Bomb Ticks Louder”

— “Retirement Spotlight”

— “Die With Zero”

“Your Money or Your Life”

Authors:Joseph R. Dominguez and Vicki Robin

Many consider this book — first published in 1992 — as the spark for the financial independence, retire early movement. Written by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, this book lays out nine steps to walk you through the process of evaluating how much money you earn and the value it provides.

Even those who don’t want to follow the book’s nine steps, which include adding up your lifetime earnings and tracking every cent you spend, may find “Your Money or Your Life” provides inspiration to buckle down and make wise financial decisions.

[Related:How Long Will Your Retirement Savings Last]

“The Richest Man in Babylon”

Author: George S. Clason

First published in 1926 by George S. Clason, “The Richest Man in Babylon” uses a series of stories to convey lessons about getting out of debt, saving money and increasing wealth.

“It’s really considered a personal finance classic,” says Craig Kirsner, president of Kirsner Wealth Management in Coconut Creek, Florida. While the stories are set in the past, they highlight financial issues that are still relevant today.

Some may find the language in “The Richest Man in Babylon” to be archaic and the stories dry, but they have proven inspirational to countless others.

[Related:10 Ways to Save More for Retirement]

“The Latte Factor: Why You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Live Rich”

Authors: David Bach and John David Mann

If you like the narrative approach of using a story to teach financial lessons, “The Latte Factor” is another book that may appeal to you. It follows the story of Zoey, a young professional who learns the secrets to financial freedom.

“It’s a fast, easy-to-read book,” Kirsner says. “(It’s) about how anyone from millennials to baby boomers can make their financial dreams come true.”

Incidentally, once someone reaches those dreams and creates wealth, they may want to pick up Kirsner’s own book, “Help Preserve Your Retirement Assets and Leave a Legacy,” which details how to use trusts to create generational wealth.

“The Automatic Millionaire: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich”

Author: David Bach

Another Bach title gets the nod from Conroy as one of the best retirement planning books. “The Automatic Millionaire” focuses on the power of automatic payments to eliminate debt and build wealth. It’s a simple formula and highlighted with the example of a couple who has used the system successfully.

Along with “The Millionaire Next Door” — another personal finance classic — Conroy says, “These two books are great for building concepts that will do nothing but improve people’s retirement outcomes.”

“Decades & Decisions: Financial Planning at Any Age”

Author: Joseph Conroy

Conroy’s own book was written to be a valuable resource for workers regardless of their age. With the exception of the 50s, which gets two chapters, each age decade from the 20s to the 90s and beyond gets one section of the book.

“People don’t have the same attention span that they did in the past,” Conroy says. He deliberately wrote his book in a way that people could easily home in on practical takeaways for their season of life. “That way, you don’t have to read 200 pages.”

Filled with tips and strategies gleaned from Conroy’s years of financial planning experience, “Decades & Decisions” is intended to be a practical guidebook that readers can follow as they progress through their careers.

[Related:What Is the Average Retirement Savings Balance by Age?]

“From Strength to Strength: Finding Success, Happiness and Deep Purpose in the Second Half of Life”

Author: Arthur C. Brooks

Retirement is about more than money, and in this book, Arthur C. Brooks explores how to make the most of your second act of life.

“I appreciate how Brooks focuses on your purpose when you retire,” said Michael Conway, president and CEO of Conway Wealth, in an email. “By finding your purpose and aligning how you invest your money with that purpose, it will provide a much more fulfilling financial picture for your retirement.”

“From Strength to Strength” pulls together data and information from a variety of sources and studies. Brooks also shares his own personal experience in a book that covers a lot of ground about how people find purpose.

“Money Master the Game: 7 Simple Steps to Financial Freedom”

Author: Tony Robbins

Not everyone loves the enthusiastic, possibly over-the-top approach of Tony Robbins, but there is no denying that he has been an influential figure in the world of personal finance. “Money: Master the Game” is considered by many to be one of his best works.

“It starts to educate a retiree in more tactical thinking,” says Michael Foguth, founder and president of Foguth Financial Group in Brighton, Michigan.

In addition to providing actionable tips, Robbins is a cheerleader for his readers, encouraging them to dream big and believe that they, too, can achieve financial freedom.

“The Retirement Savings Time Bomb Ticks Louder”

Author: Ed Slott

This book, which was just released, is a follow-up to “The Retirement Savings Time Bomb … And How to Diffuse It.” It covers the latest developments in retirement savings accounts and how legislation such as the Secure 2.0 Act is changing the game.

“Ed Slott is a nationally recognized retirement planning counselor and bestselling author,” said Troy Owens, a San Diego-based wealth planner with AlphaCore Wealth Advisory, in an email. This book delves into the myriad rules and regulations that govern retirement savings accounts.

“While it’s not the most exciting read, I would recommend this to all of my clients that are transitioning into the retirement phase of life,” said Owens.

“Retirement Spotlight: Illuminate Your Life, Reveal Your Finances, Brighten Your Retirement”

Author: Michael Foguth

For a holistic approach to retirement planning, you can pick up Foguth’s book, “Retirement Spotlight.”

“I walk people through what a retirement would look like,” Foguth says. “This is more the psychological side of it.”

Published in 2016, the book explores retirement myths, discusses guaranteed income and helps readers envision their ideal lives. However, it isn’t a do-it-yourself guide to investing, and Foguth recommends readers use the book as a starting point for conversations with their financial advisors.

“Die With Zero: Getting All You Can From Your Money and Your Life”

Author:Bill Perkins

“Die With Zero,” published in 2020, has gotten a lot of buzz within the personal finance community. That’s because author Bill Perkins takes a different approach to retirement savings. Rather than hoarding mountains of cash to be left for heirs, he proposes that people try to spend what they save before they die.

The book is a logical choice for anyone who is childless or not planning to leave an inheritance. But even those who want to share the wealth with others will find “Die With Zero” to be a thought-provoking read.

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The Best Retirement Planning Books for 2024 originally appeared on

Update 07/10/24: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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