Not Another Retirement Planning Book! My Conversation With The Authors Of The Boomers Retire

Not Another Retirement Planning Book! My Conversation With The Authors Of The Boomers Retire

If you’re like many Canadians thinking about and planning for an eventual retirement, you already know there are a lot of books to choose from at your local bookshop or library shelf. 

But you probably also know that with more and more Canadians hitting the “traditional” retirement age of 65 every year – never mind those of us who strive to retire before 65 – and all of us planning to live longer than ever, the topic of retirement is hot and getting hotter. 

That’s why I wasn’t surprised to see another retirement planning book pop up earlier this year. Titled “The Boomers Retire: A Guide for Financial Advisors and their Clients,” it’s co-written by two Certified Financial Planner certificants (CFP®), David Field (of Papyrus Planning) and Alexandra Macqueen (of “Pensionize Your Nest Egg” fame).

Last March, Alexandra helped me out with a decision about whether to stay in or leave my employer pension plan.

I’m interested in retirement, and I know my readers are, too – so I decided to check in with David and Alexandra to chat about why they wrote this book together, what they hope readers will get out of it, and why you should consider adding The Boomers Retire to your reading pile. 

Why another retirement planning book? 

“As strange as it seems,” says Alexandra, “there’s just always something new to say about retirement.” That’s because retirement keeps changing, she adds:

“What retirement means, when it takes place, how we fund it, how long it might last, how we plan for it and the strategies we can put in place to help ensure a successful retirement … they all change over time, and by a surprising amount! So even if it feels like you know a lot about retirement, there’s always more to learn and know to make sure you’re prepared.” 

Just take the Canada Pension Plan, for example. Even though it’s been around since 1965, it’s undergone several major overhauls since then and we’re in the middle of implementing the last round of changes, which started in 2019.

For people approaching age 60, the decision about when to take the Canada Pension Plan is key – but that decision is complex and there’s a lot of nuance in figuring out what the best choice is. (Alexandra wrote about CPP claiming decisions for high-income earners in an article that I linked in a recent blog post.)

What’s different about this book?

Many retirement books are targeted to a particular audience or focus on a single strategy, whether that’s retiring early or following a specific asset mix or withdrawal strategy. Unlike those books, this book is much more “agnostic,” the co-authors say. 

“We tried to provide information that’s relevant and practical to a very wide audience,” Alexandra notes. “And because we wrote this as a guide for both advisors and retirees, there’s lots of supporting information, like checklists and references to where additional information can be found.”

The additional info ranges from contact information for provincial pension regulators to checklists for will preparation and the administration of an estate, how to make a home accessible as you age, where to find emergency medical coverage outside of Canada, and more. 

“Many retirement books are written as a story,” explained David. “The Boomers Retire is a tool to help answer questions and ensure nothing is missed. The book has clearly defined subject areas so if you do not have a defined benefit pension, there is no need to read about defined benefit pensions. It is not a novel, it is a retirement resource.”

Why do Boomers need their own retirement planning book?

Boomers are the largest group heading into retirement today, but the retirement they’re heading into is different from how we retired 10, 15 or 20 years ago.

“Retirement is defined simply as ‘withdrawing from active working life,’” says Alexandra, “but that simple definition hides the complexity and the realities of the many, many different decisions that future retirees face today in planning for their own retirements.”

Boomers are also the first generation to enter retirement with a Tax-free Savings Account. “The TFSA is one of the most powerful, underutilized, and underappreciated tools in a retiree’s arsenal,” says David.

Chapter 1 covers three trends that “make retirement different today:” it’s increasingly longer, it’s increasingly diffuse – it might take place before, at, or after the “traditional” age of 65 and might happen in stages, instead of all at once – and funding retirement is increasingly complex.

All of these factors together mean that more than ever before, Canadians are designing their own retirements: when it happens, what it looks like, and how it’s funded. And these “new realities” mean more planning is required, say the authors. 

What are the top challenges facing Boomers planning for retirement today?

Boomers are living longer and not necessarily healthier with less guaranteed income for life. “Often retirees go from managing one income from their employer to many different sources,” says David. “Everyone of those income sources can have tax and retirement benefits consequences.”

David adds that strategies must change depending on health, marital status, differences in age between spouses, and goals that retirees have for their retirement. A strategy that may work for one retiree could be disastrous for another.

The Boomers Retire works to explore the different paths and the benefits and consequences of specific retirement choices.

Where can I buy The Boomers Retire? 

The book is available directly from the publisher, Thomson Reuters.

Of course, you can always check it out from your local library, too.

And David and Alexandra have generously offered readers a chance to win a copy. Let me know in the comments why you think this book deserves a place of pride on your reading shelf, and you’ll be entered into a draw to receive a free copy. 

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  1. Aaron H on August 11, 2021 at 10:41 am

    Nice profile, Robb! Congrats on the book Alexandra and David! You couldn’t find a better duo to write a resource on retirement.

  2. Carlo V. on August 11, 2021 at 11:03 am

    I have read Alexandra Macqueen’s “Pensionize Your Nest Egg” as well as corresponded with her with regards to helping me better understand annuities for a client. She’s a true expert and has mastered the skill of vulgarizing abstract concepts in financial planning.

    Luckily, “Boomers Retire” comes at the right time that are start getting my first serious ‘boomer’ prospects. Can’t wait to pick up my copy!

  3. Tracey Hoey on August 11, 2021 at 11:11 am

    This book sounds just like what my husband and I need (and some friends and relatives we could lend it to as well!). The CPP and OAS decisions are mostly made, but I’d love to read more about all sources of income.

  4. Julie on August 11, 2021 at 11:25 am

    My husband and I are actively planning our retirement and would love to learn some more financial strategies to make our transition as successful as possible. I would love to read this book and add to my existing knowledge.

  5. Tracy Parsons on August 11, 2021 at 11:28 am

    Hi Robb:
    I’m new to your articles and am enjoying them so far. I’m 60 this year and planning for retirement at 65 so I would really love to have a copy of the book “Boomers Retire” It’s a little daunting thinking about trying to plan for another hopefully 30 years without regular employment income so if this book could help me that would be great!

  6. Ron Sigal on August 11, 2021 at 11:29 am

    Will the book be made available for purchase in an electronic format (Kindle, Kobo or Apple iBooks)?

    • Alexandra Macqueen on August 11, 2021 at 2:40 pm

      Hi Ron – I’m not sure! I can ask the publisher and get back to you. 🙂

      • Ron Sigal on August 11, 2021 at 2:43 pm

        That would be great.

  7. Alun Masterton on August 11, 2021 at 11:34 am

    The book will help me to better understand decumulation strategies.

    • John P. on August 11, 2021 at 9:11 pm

      Alan – re: decumulation, you should try this book but also be sure to read “Retirement Income for Life” by Frank Vettesse.

  8. Sharon Kalich on August 11, 2021 at 11:38 am

    Love your emails re finance. My husband and I have managed to “let go ” of our financial advisor who loves his mutual funds. We really would appreciate a book on retirement advice in our library.

  9. Gin on August 11, 2021 at 11:39 am

    Read and am a fan of “Pensionize Your Nest Egg”.
    As fairly recent early retirees we are living the move to ‘income from different sources’. It becomes a bit of a patchwork ‘quilt’ where you have to juggle the pieces to fit together, avoiding a mishmash of colours and shapes that you only see after you’ve put the quilt together 🙂
    I have enjoyed reading retirement books that read like stories. It sounds like this book is different and is more like a useful resource, providing supporting information, including checklists and references. Retiring isn’t a one time planning event. The planning and management is ongoing and a resource that can guide this process sounds like it would be a great companion.

  10. Raymond Hoger on August 11, 2021 at 11:39 am

    I am on a pension committee and I’m always looking for quality material to read and disseminate to our members. I would love a copy.
    I also enjoy your blog, keep up the great work.

  11. Christina Teskey on August 11, 2021 at 11:41 am

    This sounds like a great book! I have a question: when searching my library for this title, it came up with a book written in 2014 by a different person (Lynn Biscott). How are these books related, or are they?

    Thanks for the column, Rob! I am a dedicated subscriber. And other members of my family like your work, too!

    • Alexandra Macqueen on August 11, 2021 at 2:42 pm

      Hi Christina – I should have mentioned that to Robb! Yes, there are four previous editions of this book, authored by Lynn Biscott (now herself retired). This fifth edition was written by David and me. I’m not sure which library system you’re in, but the Toronto Public Library (where I live) has the 2021 version.

      • Christina Teskey on August 11, 2021 at 3:59 pm

        Thanks for your reply! I guess the Greater Victoria Public Library is not as up-to-date on its books. 🙂 I’ll suggest that they add it to their collection.

  12. Denis St-Onge on August 11, 2021 at 11:53 am

    Hi Robb,
    I retired a few years ago…November 2019…yes pre-pandemic and thank heavens the markets recovered nicely. I am now 62 and I have decided to defer taking CPP due to the fact that I do not need the income. I believe that in retirement one cannot afford not to keep learning about retirement and that is the reason that I would love to be entered into your contest in order to obtain a free copy of “The Boomers Retire”. I am certain that this book will contain many useful kernels of wisdom that I can use or at least provide food for thought. I still subscribe to Boomer & Echo as I enjoy reading the articles to date and it helped me decide not to withdraw my CPP at this time.
    Kind Regards,

  13. Lana HM on August 11, 2021 at 12:02 pm

    My husband and I have just recently retired. We are on the boundary between boomers and gen X. We are working with a new financial planner and trying. To learn as much as we can about safe withdrawl, taxes and timing of govt benefits! We would love to add the book to our reading list!

  14. Mario on August 11, 2021 at 12:08 pm

    There is never enough information on retirement planning. This being the third phase of someone life and the most important one, to ensure a healthy and worry free retirement. With the amount of debts governments have accumulated during Covid19 it becomes even more a priority to plan for your finance.

  15. Soymilk on August 11, 2021 at 12:21 pm

    As a single woman with no defined benefit pension plan, the more information I have about planning my retirement, the better. I love the idea of the different chapters in the book, so you can “cut to the chase” and get the targeted information you need. The financial world is changing constantly and it’s always good to keep up with the latest.

  16. Tom deWitt on August 11, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    I think this is the book that I have been looking for. Other retirement books tell a story for usually a very general Canadian retiree, with 40 years of OAS and CPP. And also 40 years of RRSP. We are immigrants with 21 years in Canada. So we only have half the OAS and CPP, and more investments in taxable accounts than RRSP.

    So I am looking forward to a resource that can also guide us in our unique retirement path.

  17. Rick Danger on August 11, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    I’m 7 +/- years from retiring, and have read many, many articles and attended seminars, much of which overlap with regard to their strategies. I would like to get this book to see if there is any new insights or strategies to help me fine tune my “Plan”.

  18. Jim R on August 11, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    Looked at the table of contents, and as someone retiring in the next few years, I can say I’ll likely be picking this book up given the ToC and the write up here. It seems to touch on *very* many aspects of retirement, including some I hadn’t given much thought to. As such, it looks like it should be a good resource.

  19. Ray Dowbenko on August 11, 2021 at 12:43 pm

    Look forward to reading the book – one can never source enough meaningful retirement information. I am now 60 and retired at age 57, with some sideline student and start-up mentoring projects to keep myself active and engaged in my past industry…for us it is not about the little extra money (although nice)…it is more about having a plan to use the “extra time”.

    A robust retirement plan need not only consider financial planning, but also physical and mental health planning as well.

  20. Christopher Wicks on August 11, 2021 at 12:55 pm

    Sounds like “the boomers retire” is the perfect addition to the library of planning books we have on this important subject for those of us seeking to optimize our “golden” years! I too appreciate the resource book approach, given the increasing complexity of the subject matter, and the increasing reality that no two people’s pension strategy looks the same, or consists of the same products and investment vehicles. Would very much relish winning a copy were I to be so lucky!!!
    Thanks very much!!!

  21. Gary Page on August 11, 2021 at 1:02 pm

    Hi there. I think it would be great to evaluate this book against others in the genre to see what exactly the authors have included that is different and/or unique in their approach to retirement planning. Great review and information!

  22. Arlene Griffin on August 11, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    We’re boomers who thought one of us would be with one company until retirement, only to find an early package significantly changed our pension income. We feel like we’re playing catch-up and really aren’t sure where to invest in the next 4-5 years. No early retirement for us, so we’d really appreciate “The Boomers Retire” to help us negotiate the way forward.

  23. Mark McCormick on August 11, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    Hi Robb,

    I just recently retired and do have Daryl Diamond and Fred Vettese’s retirement books which are great resources. The Boomers Retire sounds like it can fill in some of the blanks of areas not covered in the other books.

  24. Krishna Peesapati on August 11, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    Congrats on the book Alexandra and David! The more i want to understand the retired way of living, the more i am confused. Hope this book is the one that i am looking / waiting for. Thanks Rob for the interview / profile!!

  25. Rosemary Nichols on August 11, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    This book sounds like a very timely resource that would greatly benefit Boomers such as myself to navigate the myriad of decisions to be taken no only before retirement but also during the many years of actually being retired and what that looks like at various ages and stages of this phase of life. I would love to be able to read a copy – my library only has the 2012 edition of the book!

  26. Norm Bell on August 11, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    You wisely included the statement from Alexandra Macqueen…”So even if it feels like you know a lot about retirement, there’s always more to learn and know to make sure you’re prepared,” which I agree with. Hitting the retirement goal line in eight months time, I have been reading myriad newsletters, blogs, and any other relevant interesting sources of info that I am applying to my strategic planning. Seems a resource such as “The Boomers Retire” may prove to be a good reference baseline to draw on and help validate some of the pre-retirement decisions I am leaning towards. Thanks for the review.

  27. Carol on August 11, 2021 at 2:19 pm

    As a single senior, I could use all the help I can get before I retire. It’s much more difficult when it’s one income and no input from a partner, financially or decision-wise.

    This book sounds like it could meet many needs especially when so many books are written for couples, but this sounds more neutral.

    Thanks for the review.

  28. Jony Pearson on August 11, 2021 at 2:38 pm

    My retirement is less than a year away – therefore a welcome resource for the tool chest in my new season ahead. Thanks for putting this on my radar!

  29. Kim C on August 11, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    I would love the chance to win a copy of this book. Retirement isn’t too far away and the more I can learn the better!

    • Gail Genest on August 11, 2021 at 9:29 pm

      I know this book will be well used and be a valuable asset to my collection of investment books. I will read it with the most attention and pay it forward to my younger friends…I hope I win!!!

  30. Jo R on August 11, 2021 at 3:05 pm

    As a Boomer Retiree, I am always looking for information about how to manage my income from multiple sources and what to do when one of us is no longer alive. . . how to manage the loss of much of our OAS and CPP income. This book sounds like one I will want to read.

  31. Bob on August 11, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    Information aids in decision making…that is enough to pique my interest in this new book!


  32. Kurt Sanderson on August 11, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    I’m 1-2 years from retirement. I would love to win this book.

  33. Sandra McMichael on August 11, 2021 at 7:35 pm

    Im about 5 years away from ‘retirement’, whatever that means, and am trying to gobble up as much information and opinion that I can. It’s a daunting task. I look forward to reading this book!

    • Patricia Teskey on August 11, 2021 at 7:53 pm

      Hi Robb

      My husband and I are into our 6th year of retirement and I am the first one to say that things CHANGE more than I ever would have realized as we make our way through this wonderfully challenging time of our lives. The learning is never-ending; our original “retirement plan” has become a never-ending roller-coaster project of dodging bullets and catching bouquets! There are more questions than I ever thought we would have and THANK heavens for people like you, Robb, and books that are more tools than stories to guide us. I would love a copy of this book to augment my seniors, “constantly being updated” library
      of knowledge!

  34. Cheryl on August 11, 2021 at 8:11 pm

    I’d like to see this book on my shelf to help me figure out when I should retire and I was eligible for CPP last year but I’m still holding off collecting it. 5 years ago my plan was to take CPP asap but I waver. Now? 2 years? 4 years? Maybe this book can help me figure out my retirement…

  35. Fran Hsieh on August 11, 2021 at 8:36 pm

    The book would be an interesting read. Would love to get hold of a copy. Thanks!!

  36. Nancy Campbell on August 11, 2021 at 9:04 pm

    I think it is so important to manage your retirement income effectively as your income comes from many different sources with different tax profiles. Many of us worry about running out of money in our later years. One cannot read enough about this as the world keeps changing so I am really looking forward to this book. The previous versions of this book have been very helpful.

  37. Janet on August 11, 2021 at 9:24 pm

    Would love a book that gives advice to someone without a pension. I feel like I am the only person in the country without a pension, and its hard to find good advice for that situation. Looking forward to reading this!

  38. Ashley on August 11, 2021 at 9:47 pm

    Why you think this book deserves a place of pride on your reading shelf? Part of why I’m looking to retire is to get off devices – enjoy a book on the cottage deck instead of working on a spreadsheet working for the man! Hopefully this book would help me get there sooner!

  39. Rita T. on August 12, 2021 at 5:59 am

    I’m the ostrich with its head in the sand when it’s time to talk retirement! I don’t need a story, I need solid information, which this book sounds like it offers.

  40. James R on August 12, 2021 at 7:01 am

    I’d like this book on my shelf to help guide me in the decision making process over the next 5-6 years. My goal is to retire at 60 with my wife. I’ve made more than my share of investment errors earlier on but now trying to put things in order.

    I totally agree that there’s always something to learn and I’m a voracious reader when it comes to this topic!

  41. Jeanette Schepp on August 12, 2021 at 7:20 am

    This article spoke to me. I am really interested in the ins and outs accessing my retirement accounts and the timing of them. I have looked at the index and it does a thorough job of capturing everything I have a question about. Looking forward to getting a copy!

  42. Dustin on August 12, 2021 at 7:23 am

    My parents will be retiring in the next 10-15 years. I would love to read this with them to help get a better understanding of how I can help them on their retirement journey.

  43. Rodney on August 12, 2021 at 1:35 pm

    It sounds like a good book so I went to the publishers website yesterday to purchase it. The price was $58.00 which I thought was too much. Today I went back to the publishers site and the price is $70.00. I quess I missed my chance. $200.00 next week.

  44. Jen on August 12, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    There are quite a few books out there on retirement planning with different approaches and I’ve read a few. It’d be great to see one that encompasses all the areas to be considered before one makes the decision to retire fully or partially or, heaven forbid, not at all.

  45. Dmitri on August 12, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    Thank you, Robb, for your great article. I found it very interesting and informative.

  46. Terry Boyd on August 12, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    I first started thinking about, and learning about “retirement” 15 years ago and well before I plan to retire. Since and during that time, there have been many significant changes in life and finance that impact on retirement, and there will no doubt be more. So, do we need or want “another” updated retirement book?

  47. Gloria on August 12, 2021 at 5:37 pm

    “Will you still need me, will you still feed me when I’m 64? Now that I’m 64 – I need to get serious about retirement income, CPP, OAS, taxes. I need all the help I can get!

  48. Jim G. on August 12, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    I’m on the fence on when to retire. I need something to give me that push. This book has gotta be it. I’m definitely interested. Count me in.

  49. John in Kitchener on August 12, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    Two years into retirement with things ticking along nicely as planned. But what about the things I don’t know that I don’t know? Count me in for an avid read. Thanks.


  50. Erin on August 13, 2021 at 1:52 pm

    Hubby turning 65 this year. Still trying to decide whether or not to take his OAS or wait for the higher amount. This books sounds like it would be a welcome addition to any bookshelf including mine. Thank you for the opportunity to win it.

  51. Jay on August 14, 2021 at 3:57 am

    I’m 61 and 1-2 years from retirement and trying to figure out the right time to do so. I would love to win a copy of this book.

  52. David on August 14, 2021 at 4:04 pm

    I went to the publisher’s site and read through the table of contents. This book looks really thorough and interesting.

  53. Lou on August 15, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    I’m 59 and if all the stars line up at 61, I can retire with an unreduced DB pension.
    So what should I be doing in the mean time until this kicks in. Would like to take my CPP at 71 if the budget allows me also.
    I’ve been contributing to my spousal RRSP for 15 years and would like to burn this up from 61-65 to reduce taxes, not sure if they talk about Spousal RRSP in the book.
    I’ll grab this book and see if it answers some of my questions.
    Two of my favorite sayings:
    Knowledge is power & Let’s get busy living or Let’s get busy dieing.

    • Kurt on August 18, 2021 at 8:56 am

      Hi Lou, CPP should be taken at 70 at the latest, no advantage of waiting until 71.

  54. Bill Bishop on August 15, 2021 at 7:12 pm

    I am 60 and according to my plan I could retire tomorrow OK but I don’t want to stop yet. This book could provide another perspective as to how I could give myself a bit more buffer to go beyond OK and also how to make sure my wife is supported if something should happen to me first.

  55. Kat on August 16, 2021 at 12:18 pm

    Hi Robb! I’m a newish reader and email subscriber, but first time commenter. I would love a copy of this retirement book to gift to my parents who are in their 60s. And let’s be honest, I would read it first so I can help them out with their decisions and also for my own future retirement 🙂 My mom and I have a defined benefit pension, and I find it difficult to find good resources on how to retire well with a DBP. Thanks!

  56. Chantal Cloutier on August 17, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    Having retired recently, I can’t read enough on the various financial aspects of retirement. It’s so much more complex than the accumulation phase of our financial lives. Looking forward to reading The Boomers Retire!

  57. Mary on August 22, 2021 at 5:35 am

    Boomers Retire would be a good prep for my husband and I. We are transitioning into retirement and adjusting to the next phase of life

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