4 books to read before you retire

How many books do you think you've read in your lifetime? How many do you think you're still yet to read?

There are rumours that Winston Churchill read about 5,000 before the end of his innings at the age of 90, which is pretty impressive considering he ran a country for many of those years. Whether you're an avid reader or not, surely you can fit in four titles before you retire?!

Plus, if you start reading them now there's a pretty good chance you'll have them finished and paying you dividends by the time your golden years roll around.

Four books you should read before you retire:

1. The Smartest Retirement Book You'll Ever Read

Sure, it sounds cliche – but the headline gets to the point in a way that foreshadows the nature of the book's content. Author Dan Solin is widely known for his series of ‘smartest' financial titles, and this piece of work in particular has been heralded as one that may live up to its name.

It's a straight-forward, well-presented publication on the ins and outs of retirement savings, including the nitty gritty of how and why. Solin covers various retirement options, highlights pitfalls such as not planning for inflation, and offers real advice on how best to protect yourself and your finances. Read it now, hold on to it, and use it as a guide as you work up to retirement and maximise your superannuation fund. For other insights, check out Virgin Super's practical guide on Managing your Super.

2. The Wish List

You know when you get hold of a film festival brochure and you go through circling all the ones you want to see? This book by Barbara Ann Kipfer is a bit like that. Except it's for life.

Do you want to teach a child to read? Drive a Mercedes with a lead foot on a German Autobahn? Learn to box? This book has got you covered with countless ideas for building your bucket list – then you can start ticking them off. The beauty of this is one is that the sooner you read it, the sooner you can start.

3. My Stroke of Insight

Dr Jill Bolte Taylor was a Harvard graduate and brain scientist, when on December 10, 1996, she suffered a massive stroke on the left side of her brain. She lost her ability to talk, read, write, walk, or remember anything from her life prior to the stroke. It was an unimaginably tough eight years before Dr Taylor would fully recover.

With an understanding of the brain and how left side interacts with right, she writes a tale of the importance of brain balance. You can take a lot away from her story, such as her famed 90-second rule on our emotional responses, her understanding of the physical energy people bring to a room and the importance of having a good whine. Powerful insights about the way the brain processes the world and about our roles within it.

4. What's Next: Follow Your Passion and Find Your Dream Job

Kerry Hannon is an American journalist and author who went to the trouble of zipping around the country conducting interviews with people who managed to drive their careers round a hair-pin bend. If one man can go from living the police officer life to being a music agent in Nashville, who knows what you can do?

Before you spend a lifetime in a career you chose when you were young and impressionable only to retire unfulfilled, be sure to read this book. Many of the characters the book follows went on to enjoy new careers they were really interested in – and while this might not be the sign you were waiting for to make a drastic life change, it is an interesting tale of how others have done it for themselves.

What's the one book you think everyone should read before retirement?