The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security

I wrote The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security in the aftermath of the Great Recession, aiming to examine retirement issues in the post-crash economy. Nearly ten years on, I’m starting to work on a book about the retirement challenges Americans face now.

In the meantime – The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Books-A-Million.


Read reviews by Chris Farrell, Kerry Hannon, Steve Vernon and others.


Praise for The Hard Times Guide

“I can’t think of a single colleague, friend, or loved one who wouldn’t benefit enormously from reading Mark Miller’s smart and lively guide–no matter how far away they are, or think they are, from retirement. Personally, I only wish he had written it sooner.”

– Eric Effron, Executive Editor of The Week

“One of the sharpest observers on retirement, Miller offers instructive ideas to help readers address the challenges they’ll face in the years ahead.”

– Eric Schurenberg, Editor-in-Chief, CBS

“Mark Miller is an all-around expert on encores, second-acts, and retirement in its many forms, as well as a gifted and eloquent writer. His new guide is as smart and resourceful as he is. Buy it, read it, and follow its wisdom to a better life!”

— Marc Freedman, author of Encore: Finding Work That Matters in the Second Half of Life

“. . .Miller is an expert on aging and retirement, writes the syndicated weekly column, “Retire Smart,” and publishes It shows in his careful reporting on the ominous subject of retirement. He is diligent about listing detailed notes in each chapter to support facts and figures.

He paints the picture: “Real estate values and retirement portfolios are depressed, and job security has evaporated. … The need to build retirement security has never been greater.”

One of the biggest problems is that most Americans haven’t a clue about how much we need to save for retirement. And the average U.S. household has managed to save just $60,000 toward retirement, Miller writes.

But he doesn’t wring his hands. He offers ways to build long-term retirement security and boost knowledge on a broad array of topics from money issues, such as 401 (k) plans and managing health care expenses to ways to navigate the 50-plus job market.”

–Kerry Hannon, USA Today

“The Hard Times Guide to Retirement is as important for the boomers to read today as Fun With Dick and Jane in l955. It is the primer for the next phase of their life. No one understands the financial implications of the future of the boomers more than Mark Miller.”

–Mary Furlong, author of “Turning Silver Into Gold”

“This is the retirement book you need now. Rather than vague, empty promises, it gives you the stark truth. And then explains in concise, well-written prose, what to do about it. Miller is a sure-footed guide whose advice rings with authority.”

– Mary Rowland, author of “The New Commonsense Guide to Your 401(k)”

“A new book by syndicated columnist Mark Miller is spot-on when it comes to thinking through the new retirement. In “The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security: Practical Strategies for Money, Work and Living,” Miller thoughtfully guides the reader through all the key questions and issues for creating long-term financial security.”

Chris Farrell, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“For those of us trying to plan financially for the life stage formerly known as retirement, Mark Miller’s new book, The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security, is required reading. My eyes tend to glaze over when I read about concepts like 401(k)s or annuities, but Miller has a gift for sifting through the available information and distilling it into clear, easily-understandable advice.”

Marci Alboher,

“The book is dog-eared with yellow and green highlight markings on just about every other page. There are lengthy passages that I have underlined in ink, and my scribbling appears adjacent to page columns where reminder notations are marked boldly with! or ? Within the book there are post-it notes from my wife that say “Why havenft we done this?” and “We need to think about this now! About a dozen paper clips identify pages of special importance.

Although we have had the book for only a few weeks, it looks like an old and ragged pass-it-along book read by dozens of people before us. Books like you might find at a garage sale. But thatfs not the case. Only my wife and I have read the book. We have devoured every page of the book’s contents as if we were cramming for a college final exam on economics. And, thankfully, we are better off for it.

The book I refer to is The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security: Practical Strategies for Money, Work and Living, written by Mark Miller.

Martin Diano,

If your budget only allows one book on finance, start with Mark Miller’s The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security: Practical Strategies for Money, Work, and Living (Bloomberg Press, 2010). Then log on to his website, which Money Magazine called the best retirement planning site on the web!
“If your budget only allows one book on finance, start with Mark Miller’s The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security: Practical Strategies for Money, Work, and Living . . .”

-John E. Nelson, co-author, What Color is Your Parachute–for Retirement

“One good source of inspiration and information for finding retirement work comes from a great book by Mark Miller: The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security: Practical Strategies for Money, Work, and Living. . . Mark devotes a number of chapters to finding work that offer realistic and appropriate tips for boomers.“

Steve Vernon,

“. . .Miller, a journalist who covers retirement security issues, has written a much-needed manual packed with strategies for achieving a happy and fulfilling retirement despite the dismal economy. . . There’s even a chapter on becoming an entrepreneur after age 50. As Miller points out, this is something about which he has firsthand knowledge. Readers of this intelligent and valuable guide will be among the beneficiaries of Miller’s new career.”

“Whilst a lot of Mark’s advice is specific to the US there is a lot that is applicable to the UK. As Europe enters its “Austerity Era” there has never been a more important time to make a comprehensive plan for life following your last job. I guess we once called this period `retirement’ but for many of us it is the beginning of a whole new phase of life that might or might not include work.

Not only has Mark amassed a lot of facts that cover all aspects of retirement he presents them in an extremely readable way. If you don’t want to read all of the detail you can use the book as a comprehensive checklist of all of the topics that you should be considering.

Dick Stroud, 20+30 Consulting