Many individuals, specifically those in their 30s and 40s, fail to think ahead about retirement and plan accordingly. Human resource personnel may inform employees that they should be contributing to their 401(k)s or other retirement accounts. Those who contribute to their retirement accounts in their 30s and 40s typically have hundreds of thousands of dollars more than individuals who wait to begin contributing to retirement accounts until they are around 50.

Baby boomers, or those people born between 1946 and 1964, began retiring in 2011. About 10,000 people retire every day in the United States. The majority of these individuals do not have enough savings to fund their retirement years. The Employee Benefit Research Institute determined that a median employee in the top 10% has saved approximately $200,000, while the average middle-class employee has saved less than $25,000 for retirement. The average savings for workers with a yearly income of more than $100,000 has saved the same amount for retirement. Thus, higher-income workers have saved more, but the majority of America's retiring population has saved less than $30,000 for retirement. Less than 65% of workers retiring have saved the equivalent of one year's salary.

These statistics show that the majority of retirees or those close to retirement age are in a tough financial position. However, there are a number of books that these retirees must read. These books provide information that will help retirees make adjustments that will improve their retirement situations, financially and personally.

"Sound Retirement Planning"

Written by Jason R. Parker, "Sound Retirement Planning" was published in 2014. The book's 12 chapters are intended help retirees plan to diversify investment assets in retirement. Parker is a financial advisor who focuses on aiding retirees.

Though financial matters are not a retiree's only concern, they are important. Parker advises retirees about their financial actions and provides guidance on when retirees should wait to act in regard to financial matters.

Parker takes the position that retirees should establish a financial retirement plan that is based on a worst-case scenario. This allows the retiree to be prepared for anything that happens. In this book, Parker provides a checklist with seven financial issues that retirees must deal with. He also recommends that retirees remember to focus on things that are important to them and outsource the things that don’t appeal to them or that they are unable to complete effectively on their own. Thus, they will have the time to relax and partake in activities and hobbies that they enjoy.

This book has a biblical basis and uses numerous Bible verses to validate Parker’s recommendations. The primary portion of the book lays out investment strategies retirees should follow, regardless of their financial situation. Parker has learned about a variety of investment and cash flow vehicles that allow retirees to live off of the money they have available. Parker’s ultimate mantra for retirees is that cash flow is more significant than net worth.

"How To Retire Happy"

The fourth edition of "How To Retire Happy" was written by Stan Hinden and was published in 2013. Hinden is a veteran financial and retirement columnist who wrote for the Washington Post.

Hinden organized this book to focus on 12 critical decisions that individuals facing retirement must make. Some of these decisions include questions regarding the individual's readiness to retire; her ability to afford retirement; what she should do with the money in her company savings plan; how she should invest during retirement; where she wants to live after she retires; and how she should prepare for ailments or sicknesses that require long-term care. Hinden provides examples of how he and his wife, along with others, made their retirement choices.

"How To Retire Happy, Wild, and Free"

In this book, Ernie J. Zelinski reveals that the essential element to enjoying retirement depends on more than having adequate finances. Zelinski suggests that retirees must focus on all aspects of their lives, including free time activities and hobbies, pursuing creative outlets, being socially active, and also maintaining physical and mental health.

This book is formatted in a retiree-friendly way. It includes cartoons and charming quotes to assist Zelinski’s guidance. Zelinski offers inspirational advice about following dreams and putting retirement in the right perspective so that all retirees can enjoy and be satisfied with their lives after their work is done.

"The AARP Retirement Survival Guide"

Julie Jason works for AARP and is an investment educator. She wrote this straightforward guide to provide individuals of every income level with solid and reliable advice on retirement. Jason details a strategy for those about to retire so that they can create their own personal pensions.

In this book, Jason guides prospective retirees through the sometimes confounding process of evaluating retirement needs and anticipating future expenses, along with properly managing current costs. She also details how prospective retirees can convert assets into retirement income. Jason lays out for readers a kit of tools including self-assessments, checklists, tables and fundamental questions.