25 June 2006

The Number

What is "The Number" you ask? Well, it is two things. First, it's this notion of how much money you'd need when you retire, or in order to retire. Second, it's a great book:

The Number : A Completely Different Way to Think About the Rest of Your Life by Lee Eisenberg.

First, if you jump right to the Amazon link, I'd ignore the (currently first) review by Gaetan Lion. This person completely misses the point of the book. They clearly didn't read the jacket cover, or other info about the book, and expected it to have a magic formula and be specific about calculating your number. Secondly, if you know how to calculate your number so well, why'd you bother reading the book?!

Anyway, I'd recommend it. It's very well written, and quite an interesting read. From the wit, to the fun stories, to some quite interesting bits of history surrounding financial planning and retirement planning, it's great. No, there is no magic formula, and the book isn't about that. It's more of a philosophical exploration of The Number, retirement planning, and financial planning in general. I'm only 35, but I want to ensure I set my family up for retirement, amongst other things. It was also a timely read, as I'm working with our financial planner right now on some of these issues.

The book is a quick read, and I think of good general interest. It's not the typical kind of thing I read, but I liked it.