From Savvy Saver to Smart Spender

How to Pick a Tax-Wise Retirement Withdrawal Strategy

Non-Fiction - Business/Finance
142 Pages
Reviewed on 04/27/2022
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Author Biography

Daniel McDonald is a semi-retired intellectual property lawyer, author of From Savvy Saver to Smart Spender, and creator of the website. While planning for his own retirement, he found few resources to assist in developing a retirement withdrawal strategy. After running some numbers, he realized that an alternative to “Conventional Wisdom” about retirement withdrawals could save him thousands of dollars in income taxes over the course of retirement. He wrote the book so that others could benefit from his discovery and save taxes, too.
Dan has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a law degree, both from the University of Minnesota. Dan has been an attorney for over 36 years. He is also a registered patent agent authorized to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He has been recognized for many years as a SuperLawyer® and U.S. News and World Report Best Lawyer®, as well as Minnesota Lawyer's 2015 Attorney of the Year. Dan has successfully presented and defended against dozens of multi-million-dollar patent, trademark and copyright claims. He is also a certified financial coach and speaker.
Dan has volunteered in many roles at the University of Minnesota, including Chair of the Alumni Association, and received the University’s Alumni Service Award. Dan currently enjoys bicycling, kick boxing, time with his five adult children and their significant others and animals, and traveling with his wife Kim. He can be reached at

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

From Savvy Saver to Smart Spender by Daniel W. McDonald is a non-fiction self-help finance book to guide readers on “How to Pick a Tax-Wise Retirement Withdrawal Strategy.” In layman's terms, it is the exact opposite of every retirement finance book you've ever read. It teaches you how to actually spend retirement money while everyone else seems to forget that there is life after savings, and that life requires withdrawals from the funds readers who are in or approaching their retirement years have worked hard to amass. McDonald covers all things retirement finance-related once retirement has begun, including why a withdrawal strategy is crucial, and the variety of ways where following a good strategy can save a reader from hefty and unnecessary tax liabilities.

I have to admit that I hadn't ever really considered that when my husband and I retire, there might be a need for the comprehensive advice Daniel W. McDonald gives in From Savvy Saver to Smart Spender. I cannot be alone in thinking that one would just take what they need and that would be that. The reality is that the nest egg will not be as comfortable if it isn't managed strategically even in retirement. McDonald does well in addressing where a reader is in their age bracket and, depending on their situation, what they need to start doing right this moment. The writing itself is straightforward and clean, with McDonald taking a mostly conversational tone. Most readers will appreciate this because even though we are being given homework, it is dressed up as a friend advising us over a cup of coffee. It flows organically and comes across with a voice that encourages an override of what we think we know. The only downside to this book is that we soon learn that we know very little. Thankfully, McDonald is here to save us and our savings from the best position possible. Very highly recommended.