New book offers financial advice for when we “get stupid”

Release Date: February 3, 2014 This content is archived.


“What to Do When I Get Stupid: A Radically Safe Approach to a Difficult Financial Era” (August 2013, Point White Publishing)

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- 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, PhD, professor emeritus of finance and managerial economics in the University at Buffalo 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 advisor 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

From 1998 to 2001, Mandell served as dean of the UB School of Management and 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.

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB’s more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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Matthew Biddle
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School of Management