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Money books that make great gifts

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"The Little Book of Common Sense Investing" by John Bogle. Written by the founder of the Vanguard Group, this book argues that the dream of outperforming the market is actually an illusion. Bogle recommends passive investing as a simple time-tested investment strategy likely to earn the best returns. For more about Bogle, read Bankrate's interview "Advice from the index-fund mastermind."

"A Random Walk Down Wall Street" by Burton Malkiel. Another classic overview of investing, it features an examination of all manner of investment opportunities, from stocks and bonds to collectibles and homeownership.

"Malkiel gives readers an understanding of why it's better to try to harness what the market does well, rather than trying to beat it," Yeske says.

"Get A Life: You Don't Need a Million to Retire Well" by Ralph Warner. This book promotes the idea of a fulfilling retirement through living well without running up expenses. Warner emphasizes the importance of being engaged in community, keeping friends and family in your life, taking good care of yourself and remembering to play.

"Solving the Retirement Puzzle" by Peter Lindquist. This book contains the personal stories of 40 retirees and how they crafted fulfilling post-work lives. Benton likes the book because it goes beyond mere finances and explores other issues surrounding retirement.

"For many, retirement is actually moving to another stage of activity and self-realization," Benton says. "Emotional and spiritual issues dominate and must be addressed."

In the book, Lindquist also argues that people who do not begin to address these questions during their latter working years are unlikely to be successful during retirement.

"The Seven Stages of Money Maturity" by George Kinder. An exploration of our inner relationship with money, Kinder's book looks at how people seek spiritual meaning in wealth and suggests tips for navigating seven states: innocence, pain, knowledge, understanding, vigor, vision, and aloha, you're on the road to financial security.

"What Color Is Your Parachute? For Retirement: Planning Now for the Life You Want" by Richard Nelson Bolles and John E. Nelson. Based on the original book that has helped millions choose the right career, this sequel is intended to help people of all ages plan better for retirement.

"At this stage of life, what really matters is (that) you have prepared yourself financially," Hughes said. "The book tends to match lifestyle wishes to habits and connect a financial cost to them."

"On Your Own: A Widow's Passage to Emotional and Financial Well-Being" by Alexandra Armstrong and Mary Donahue. Highly recommended by many of the financial professionals surveyed, this book provides an emotional and financial road map for the recently widowed.

The book argues that following the death of a spouse, emotional healing and financial recovery are so closely related that they cannot be separated. Financial planner Armstrong and psychologist Donahue join forces to provide step-by-step instructions to emerging from grief into a new life.

"The New Retirement" by Jan Cullinane and Cathy Fitzgerald. As people live longer, the rules of a traditional retirement do not always apply.

"Today, retirees are movers and shakers," says DeRose. "That's why they want to make sure that their money lasts, so they can do all these wonderful things in the next chapter of their lives."

The book features lists of attractive retirement communities and sections on travel, second homes, and financial and tax information relevant to today's retirees.'s corrections policy -- Posted: Nov. 27, 2007
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