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This hard-nosed, pull-no-punches money guide lays out what to do on the way to retirement in seven crucial financial transitions of a lifetime. The author explains, in understandable language, vital aspects, wrinkles and angles that many people will have never heard of. Citing harrowing situations that many have unexpectedly encountered upon early retirement‘loss of a spouse, long-term illness, investment collapse or a poorly prepared estate plan‘California-based certified financial planner Orman analyzes dismayingly complicated IRS tax rulings, decisions about trusts vs. wills, long-term health-care insurance policies, powers-of-attorney and the effects of unexpected death involving former spouses and their children. Particularly informative is a section on withholding costly life-support procedures in cases of hopeless injury or terminal illness. In closing, Orman tenders cheerful advice on making money‘by saving it. (Feb.)

Many popular guides to retirement (e.g., Kiplinger's 12 Steps to a Worry-Free Retirement, 1993) focus on building and investing retirement income, as if that is a retiree's only concern. Orman, a certified financial planner, emphasizes the legal, medical, and estate planning aspects of retirement. Her manual promotes preserving rather than increasing wealth. Each of the eight chapters begins with a story of a retiree's mistake. Orman then discusses the mistake and provides guidelines for avoiding it. The topics she covers include long-term care insurance, trusts and wills, durable power of attorney for healthcare, and unscrupulous "guardian angel" investment advisers. Some of Orman's assertions may surprise (e.g., most people, not only the wealthy, benefit from having a trust), and readers should consult with their attorneys and families before acting on her advice. In a brief space Orman presents planning considerations many retirement guides overlook. Recommended for public libraries.-Robert Kruthoffer, Lane P.L., Hamilton, Ohio

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