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Book offers financial advice for when we ‘get stupid’


Published February 13, 2014

“A fully paid, age-in-place home may be the single best investment we can make.”
Lewis Mandell, professor emeritus
School of Management

Baby boomers can learn how to protect their hard-earned assets and guarantee a steady income for the rest of their lives through a new book by Lewis Mandell, professor emeritus of finance and managerial economics in the School of Management.

According to “What to Do When I Get Stupid: A Radically Safe Approach to a Difficult Financial Era” (August 2013, Point White Publishing), financial reasoning usually peaks around age 53 and then declines sharply, especially after age 70. More troubling, Mandell finds financial confidence increases at this stage, leaving many seniors susceptible to risky sales pitches and bad investments.

Mandell, author of 22 books on consumer finance, says aging workers and retirees must act today to safeguard their finances against volatile markets and their own poor decisions.

“A fully paid, age-in-place home may be the single best investment we can make,” Mandell says. “By staying at home, we can keep ourselves or our loved ones out of expensive nursing homes, which can quickly deplete our assets.”

Mandell also stresses the importance of securing a lifelong income, well before financial reasoning declines, through a single-premium immediate fixed annuity.

In addition, the book re-evaluates common practices, such as retaining a financial adviser or moving to a continuing care retirement community, and doubts the effectiveness of long-term care insurance.

“What to Do When I Get Stupid” is available in paperback and on Kindle at

Mandell, who served as dean of the School of Management from 1998 to 2001, currently teaches in the school’s Singapore Executive MBA program. He has published numerous articles in top business and economic journals, and his research has been cited nationally by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today and other media.