Media hype and self-serving investment industry scare tactics to the contrary, baby boomers are actually in pretty good financial shape for retirement, according to PBS personal finance expert Jonathan D. Pond. That's part of the good news. The other part is that even if you're doing relatively well, there are ways to do better. Pond shows you how in You Can Do It! The Boomer's Guide to a Great Retirement, filled with upbeat financial and lifestyle advice for those of us born between 1946 and 1964. As the exclamation in the title makes clear, Pond is an optimist and a cheerleader who'll soon have you believing that you can get past the woulda, coulda, shoulda and overcome your previous mistakes to build a secure retirement.

Pond's book gives readers practical suggestions on building the best portfolio, getting the best deal on annuities and buying the right kind and amount of insurance. For those edging toward retirement, he includes chapters on pre- and post-retirement decisions, Social Security, estate planning and when and where to retire. You Can Do It! contains checklists and fill-in-the-blank pages to help you get a clear understanding of where you are financially. Pond also includes a special reader website that serves as a resource from which you can obtain the most up-to-date financial information, including the author's investment suggestions.

Ellen R. Marsden writes from Mason, Ohio.

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