What do you fear about retirement?

Nov 2, 2015

Things to Celebrate in October - Including Book Marketing

This October was the 35th anniversary of my being fired from my Engineering job for taking too much vacation. I have not had a regular job since then. These quotations apply:
"Hard work is no match for relaxed, creative action." 
— from The Lazy Person's Guide to Success 

 "Those who make the worst use of time most complain of its shortness." 
— Jean de La Bruyère 

 "Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow." 
— Douglas Pagels 

 "The work ethic is a terrible mistake — a cute term gone haywire. 
 — from "The Lazy Person’s Guide to Success" 

"If people knew what they had to do to be successful, most people wouldn't. "
— Lord Thomson of Fleet 

"If you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain." 
— Dolly Parton

"If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all." 
— Michelangelo

What's more, in late October I did a tally and realized that my books have now sold over 900,000 copies worldwide since I started self-publishing in September 1989. That’s an average of 34, 615 copies per year over 26 years. 
Still more, Book marketing guru John Kremer on Facebook said he was looking for more ideas for the new edition of his book “1,001 Ways to Market Your Books”. So I sent him a few of my marketing techniques — which I didn’t think he would use. Surprisingly (to me), he did a blog post about some of them:
Of course, sending John Kremer some of my marketing techniques is another marketing technique of mine to get me publicity in the new edition of his book. As it turns out, I got publicity on his blog post too. Some more words of wisdom:
"A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both." 
— Francoise Rene Auguste Chateaubriand

Jul 15, 2015

Did I Say That - Quotes by Ernie Zelinski

Just discovered this webpage (that I have nothing to do with).
Quotes by Ernie J. Zelinski
I didn't know that I said all of these things — or at least I forgot that I said some of them!

Here are a few more quotations by yours truly (Ernie Zelinski) to add to those on that webpage:
"Around some people it's best to keep quiet
about what we know.
Fools care little about wisdom and will
resent us for sharing it with them.
It's sort of silly to try to delight the undelightable,
wouldn't you say?"
— from Life's Secret Handbook 
"Don't tell the world your problems.
The world doesn't care about your problems.
Instead, tell the world all the great
blockbuster solutions you have
generated for all your problems."
— from Life's Secret Handbook 
"Before you climb over the side of the fence to
where the grass appears greener, try watering your
side first!"
— from The Lazy Person's Guide to Happiness 
"Where is this incredible expansive
energy called "high intention"?
There is no place that it is not if that
is where you are coming from."
— from Life's Secret Handbook (Reminders for Adventurous Souls Who Want to Make a Big Difference in This World)
 "Anything great that has been accomplished in the history of humanity has started with one small thought. We all have those thoughts; few people do anything with theirs, however. What do you intend to do with yours?"
— from Look Ma: Life’s Easy 
"There are two principles for creative success — one general and one definitive.
The general principle is that everyone has the ability to be creative and make a big difference in this world.
The definitive principle is that almost everyone has volunteered to be exempt from the general principle."
— from The Lazy Person's Guide to Success (over 110,000 copies sold)

"The best advice that anyone can give you for choosing a specific career is never to accept someone else's advice. Indeed, one of the biggest reasons for choosing the career you have chosen should be that no one told you to."
— from Career Success Without a Real Job
"Being unemployed is the true test of who you really are."
— from The Joy of Not Working
Also see Inspirational Quotes by Ernie Zelinski

Jun 15, 2013

The 777 Best Things Ever Said about Money

No doubt few things spice up an article, a book, a conversation, or a speech more than a well-chosen quotation. Given that money and prosperity are two of the most written and talked about subjects in Western society, there should be a book of inspirational and sensational quotations about prosperity and money. The 777 Best Things Ever Said about Money is the book!

Organized into over 110 categories for easy reference, this is the ultimate collection of the best things anyone ever said about prosperity and money. This classic book will resonate with professional speakers, journalists, writers, career coaches, life coaches, and connoisseurs of great quotations. It also makes great reading for just about everyone who is interested in money.

This book has it all: Wisdom. Ridicule. Irony. Sarcasm. Paradox. Nonsense. Comedy. Mockery. Social commentary. Valuable insight. All told, you will have in your possession the best things anyone ever said about money.

Better still,

Here are some of the quotations about money that you will encounter in the book:

“Where is your focus? On money or spirit?
Truth is, money is just a symbol. If you focus on the
energy it respresents, you will attract it.”
- Joe Vitale

"A bum came up to me and said,
“Can you lend lend me $20 until payday?”
I said “Sure, but when is payday?”
“He replied, "How the hell should I know?
You are the guy with the job!”
— Henny Youngman

“Keep your credit card
maxed out — so if you lose it,

no one can use it.”
— David Patterson, Host of CBC Radio's "The Debators"

“Whether we are from the meanest streets
in Detroit or the finest in Beverly Hills,
time and money will show us to be
fools or geniuses.”
— Jon Hanson

“I'm going to retire and live off my savings.
What I'll do the second day, I have no idea.”
— Unknown wise person

“If a man empties his purse into his head,
no man can take it away from him. An investment
in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
— Benjamin Franklin

“Aside from temporary setbacks and extraordinary
fortunes of inheritance or luck, if you want to
know how someone feels about himself or herself
— look at their bank account.”
— Darren Hardy

“Lethargy bordering on sloth remains
the cornerstone of our investment style.”
— Warren Buffet

“I love money. I love everything about it.
I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a
$300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric
dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck
sweater. And, of course, I bought
some dumb stuff, too.”
— Steve Martin

“Money may not buy happiness, but I'd rather
cry in a Jaguar than on a bus.”
— Françoise Sagan

“Looking in The Wall Street
Journal every day for a
"good investment" while
loaded with debt is like
lusting for salt while
dying of thirst.”
— Jon Hanson

Also see these resources for more quotes about money:

Money Quotes on Squidoo

Money Quotes on The Money Cafe

How Much Money Do I Need to Retire

Jan 4, 2013

Retirement Quotes for Retirement Planning

I received the following email from my friend Todd about retirement plannig and used some new retirement quotes to respond to his concerns:

    "Two years ago, 24 per cent of respondents aged 45-64 named retirement planning as their top financial priority, which fell to just 12 per cent among that age group in this year's survey."
    This is interesting because people have always had debt. So I wonder if this apparent attitudinal shift to saving and managing day-to-day bills, instead of planning for retirement, indicates that people are getting concerned about the economy and don't see their current debts as sustainable as they did previously, or if retirement planning "was selected by only seven per cent of respondents overall, down from 11 per cent last year and 13 per cent in 2011" because this generation doesn't really plan to retire in the same way that previous generations could.
    In fact, I wonder if the idea of retirement was only a short term social myth that was really only relevant to the middle and upper class of the last 60 years or so, and that the "experiment" of retirement has proven a falsehood for most of the masses. For my grandfather, and generations before him, there was never really a concept of "retirement". He simply worked until he couldn't physically work any more, or died.
    Keeping in mind that the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) was only started in 1966 (the plan is younger than me and is only 47 years old), it still seems to be in its "experimental phase". A very interesting fact is that I am one of the first Canadians to pay into the plan my entire life but will also be the first recipient who will see some of these benefits start to be clawed back (I will not receive Old Age Security until 67, causing an even heavier reliance on CPP for several years).

    Anyway, I would venture to guess that this drop in retirement contributions most likely reflects a straightforward shortage of household income. As a person's household income and purchasing power erodes, I have always assumed that the first thing one would naturally cut back on is the retirement investments because they are such a long term futuristic concept and having food on the table or gas in your car is an immediate functional need. I am always surprised that these great "thinkers" in the CIBC analyst pool (or any other financial think tank) release these numbers without juxtaposing them with mean and median income figures to show correlation income down, retirement savings down; income up, retirement savings up. They make it sound as though Canadians have somehow started to belief that saving for retirement is no longer an important value to them.


This was my reply:

    I believe that there are a number of factors at work here.
    One of the factors that caused the shift in saving for retirement is the low interest rates for years that encouraged people to purchase cars, houses, and all sorts of other crap they don't need with easy credit. Now there is a restructuring happening to pay for this bad behavior, including raising the level for CPP and Old Age Security. There will be a lot more restructuring — such as many government worker pension plans and corporate pension plans will see the level of benefits paid out to retirees lowered dramatically.
    It's a case of the whole nation being invovled in a fraud against itself and then being penalized for it — with everyone being in denial that they contributed to the problem.

    There was a time when savers were rewarded with interest rates of 10 percent or higher on GIC's. In 1990, if you had $500,000 in the bank in GIC's, you could retire comfortably off the interest of $50,000 a year. There was a real incentive to save at that time. But for years now, savers have been penalized and the debtors were rewarded. This is really stupid and most people in society are in denial that this is stupid.
    Now stupid governments (in response to the stupid people that elected them) are trying to solve the problem with what created the problem — low interest rates to stimulate the economy and get people into even more debt. How insane is this? Sooner or later the pain of paying off the debts has to be felt. The longer it is put off, the greater the pain will be.
    Having said this, there will still be people who retire early — those not willing to buy into the silly consumerism and the insanity that characterizes most people in society.

    Here is a blog that I just listed for the ebook edition of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free:

    Retire by 40: Forget about Freedom 55. That’s for amateurs. It’s really possible to retire by 40. Joe Udo explores why it is possible to leave your day job much earlier than 65. This can be accomplished by aggressively saving and investing as soon as you start working. Many financial advisers will tell you to save 10 percent of your income for retirement. This is an OK model for some, but not for people who don’t love their jobs. For this reason you should be like Joe and his wife who have been saving and investing over 50 percent of their take-home income for many years now.

    Here again are two reasons that I cite for most people having the debt levels that they have:

    1. Instant gratification takes too long.

    2. A necessity is any luxury that the neighbor happens to have.

    In other words, elevating all your present "wants" to your "need list" is another way to trick yourself into being broke in retirement. This is what many people are doing. Spending $50 or $75 a month on a cell phone plan is not a need. It is an expensive luxury. Forrest B. has a land line and a cell phone. He needs a cell phone in addition to a land line almost as much as a giraffe needs strep throat. Forrest has made a lot of money over the years, and unless he wins a lottery or inherits some money, he will be broke in retirement. Who is to blame? Larry Wingett covers a lot of this in his book, You're Broke Because You Want to Be. As Larry Wingett says, "For anyone who gives me a bunch of excuses for why they weren't able to save, I will give you examples of people who had it a lot worse in a lower income, more living expenses, and other circumstances, and still managed to save a bundle."

    I just heard this the other day: This applies to a lot of people I know, and the probems they have, including debt problems:

    "I'm in love with the system that keeps me down."
    — Words of a Song Heard on CKUA Radio

    Regarding putting off retirement by working later, I always chuckle at studies showing that a large number of people have decided that they will work forever, instead of retiring at 60 or 65. Frankly, the majority of these people are delusional. As retirement expert Joseph F Coughlin stated, "Planning to keep working is NOT a retirement plan." This is the reality for a lot of people:

    "I'm already worn out now — how do they expect us to work several years longer? My body hurts so much and I start working every day at five in the morning."
    — Norbert Schmittbauer, a 50-year-old construction worker in Berlin, in response to Germany's proposal to have workers retire at 70 instead of 65

    Plain and simple: Studies show that most people who had wanted or planned to work in their retirement years (60 and higher) aren't able to do so. There are about 5 important reasons why they aren't able to do so but I won't get into that.

    I could go on and on about this but it would end up being a whole book.
    Here are a few more great retirement quotes that I came across in articles and comments to articles, which place retirement planning in perspective.

    "The top retirement planning strategy today is not to retire."
    — Joseph F Coughlin

    "You say you want to work past retirement? How's your health?"
    — Joseph F Coughlin

    Result for many Americans When They Punch in Their Data into a Retirement Calculator:
    "According to your latest data if you retire today, you can live reasonably well until 5 p.m. tomorrow."
    — Dave Erhard

    "If you own your house and have SS, you will have a comfortable retirement. You don't "need" much else. That 401k and IRA are pure discretionary money."
    — locke

    "Save 15% of your money starting at age 30 and you'll be fine !! Live below your means.........or don't blow all your money !!! No fancy cars, big houses. Save your Rubles. That's what I did and just retired at 57."
    — Carumba

    "Babyboomers spent themselves into oblivion and now they are trying to take healthcare and food from the poor. Christianity sure failed, big time."
    — kellamd. Alias for a person posting a comment on a USA TODAY article

    "Those who didn't save for retirement should not be able to steal from those who did."
    — Happily Retired Guy

    "Homes are NOT investment vehicles, you morons."
    — "Marine20" , Alias for a person posting a comment on a USA TODAY article about

    "Treat your house as a home and not as an ATM — then you'll be fine."
    — DeanG72, Alias for a person posting a comment on a USA TODAY article

    "If you want the best retirement outcome possible, get rich. If that fails, consider getting married, staying married — and doing your best to die before your spouse does."
    — Andrea Coombes, (This is serious — see article Half of Americans Will Die With No Money)

    "While your financial assets are a good predictor of your retirement well-being, it’s worth noting that as many retirees say that they have “just enough” to live on with an annual income of $7,800 as they do with $130,000. So it’s not just how much you have, but how you want or expect to live."
    — Dr. Joanne Earl, UNSW psychologist and careers expert

    "A happy retirement doesn't require oodles of money, nor should it mean fighting the cat for food."
    — Shelley Fralic, Vancouver Sun

    “I didn’t want to die at work. I decided to start spending the money I’ve saved and enjoy it, because who knows how long I’ll live.”
    — Lynda Thompson, 65, retired from being an artist for the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority who was diagnosed with cancer

    To sum up, as Talbot Boggs stated, "Like life, retirement can be full of surprises. Take when you retire, for example."

    One more: I can't forget the wisdom of Richard Parker:

    “Retiring is easy. Staying retired — now that’s the trick!”

    Actually, I wish I would have said that.

    Ernie J. Zelinski
    International Best-Selling Author
    Helping Adventurous Souls Live Prosperous and Free
    Author of the Bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
    (Over 175,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
    and the International Bestseller The Joy of Not Working
    (Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

Dec 13, 2012

Writing Retirement Books Is a Business

My international bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free (over 175,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages) has been in the top 1,000 books sold on Amazon for the last week or so, which means that it is selling really well, particularly it being Christmas season.

A lot of people think that it is really easy to accomplish what I have done with this book, which could end up being my $1 million book in profits (more about this some other time). 

Note: as of August 15, 2016 How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free has now sold over 300,000 copies and has earned me over $1 million in pretax profits.

Here are some great quotations to put the business or writing retirement books (and it is a business) in proper perspective:

“What people really want . . . is to be broke. At least, that’s one likely interpretation of a new YouGov poll that shows more people [in Britain] would rather be a writer than anything else. Now, it’s possible they’ve all got their eyes on the J. K. Rowling squillions, but the financial reality is rather more depressing. Most book manuscripts end up unwanted and unread on publishers’ and agents’ slush piles, and the majority of those that do make it into print sell fewer than 1,000 copies … It’s not even as if writing is that glamorous. You sit alone for hours on end honing your deathless prose, go days without really talking to anyone and, if you’re lucky, within a year or so you will have a manuscript that almost no one will want to read. Your friends and family will come to dread requests for constructive feedback . . .”
— John Crace writing in The Guardian

“No amount of money or marketing can overcome a book that doesn’t deliver. So your first challenge is to write a book that your networks assure you is as good as you want it to be. The content of your books will determine how you sell them to publishers and promote them to book buyers. Content precedes commerce.”
— Rick Frishman

“People think that just because they’ve written something, there’s a market for it. It’s not true.”
— Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver

“Are you publishing this book to make a living? Good luck with that. Less than 3% of newly published authors make enough in royalties and advances to be happy to live on.”
— Seth Godin

And I am going add a quotation by Joe Konrath. For the record, I am not a big fan of Konrath, mainly because of his constant criticism of traditional publishers (My opinion is that Konrath hasn’t applied critical thinking skills in his analysis of traditional publishers.) Nevertheless, I do admire and acknowledge the success that Konrath has achieved. What’s more, I particularly agree with Konrath’s statement:

“Write a damn good book. This should be your main priority. It’s also one of the hardest things to do, and the hardest things to judge for yourself if you’ve done it. The problem is, most writers believe their books are good. Even at our most insecure, we believe complete strangers will enjoy our scribblings enough to pay for the privilege.”
— Joe Konrath

Note: I don't want to discourage anyone from writing books. In fact, I encourage all my friends to do so. The point is: If you want to make real money at this game and have a true bestseller (one that has sold 100,000 copies or more) you have to be a 1 percenter. A 1 percenter is a person who is willing to be more creative and more industrious than 99 percent of the population is willing to be.

Check out the blog post Creativity Trumps Following the Rules

Also, check out the number 2 listing of "Top 55 Retirement Planning Websites awards."