Dec 28, 2008

Making the Best of a Recession

While economic recessions are gloomy times for most people, there are benefits to be derived from a downturn.
Apparently workers at the SPAM factory are working overtime because of the demand for the canned meat increasing dramatically because of the economic downturn. No doubt that there are many others benefiting from the recession.

Hopefully you have prepared yourself for this recession and are now looking for ways to profit from it instead of falling victim to it.

Here are two more Reasons to Love a Recession that come from my new website Love a Recession and my new E-book 101 Reasons to Love a Recession.

  • With the recession expected to be severe and prolonged, the bigger the recession the more people will learn that not only is cash king - it's good karma!

  • Gas prices have come down to levels not seen since 2003.

Dec 26, 2008

Early Retirement May Not Be a Matter of Choice

Do you think that you will be able to work in a retirement job because you have to now that your net worth has declined due to your losing money in your stock investments. Think again!

In my book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free which I released in 2004, I stated, "Reasons for why people retire at any particular age will reflect both voluntary and involuntary circumstances and can be influenced by individual, family, and corporate factors. Some people retire early by choice; others are forced into it."

"Rising income levels, changes in government pensions, early retirement packages, corporate downsizing, and a declining retirement age are all contributors to early retirement. A person’s own health or that of a partner can also play a part."

Fast forward to 2008. According to a new survey this year from McKinsey and Co. of 3,000 retirees and pre-retirees, more than half of recent retirees retired early. The majority did not do this out of choice, however. Most did so due to adverse circumstances, such as job loss, caring for an ailing spouse, or their own health problems.

On average, these people are retiring in their mid-50s. With life expectancy for a healthy 65-year-old in the U.S. around 85 for men and 88 for women, that means some will need to fund their living expenses for 30 years or more.

In short, don't count on being able to work until you are 75 or 80. You may have to take early retirement whether you like it or not.

Dec 17, 2008

Happiness in Retirement Depends on You

According to several studies it's difficult for retirees to adjust emotionally to their loss of the identity that their jobs provide. While some studies have found that psychological well-being increases after retirement, others have found that it drops.

For example, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan found that for a fair percentage of retirees, the retirement years weren't all that rosy.

Four years after retirement, 34 percent said they were less satisfied after retirement, while 25 percent thought that their lives had improved. The remaining 41 percent said that their satisfaction and happiness levels were about the same.

But if you are a well-balanced individual, retirement is an opportunity to sort out your priorities and live your life according to them. You must remember that your duty is always to yourself.

Forget what the studies say — looking out for number one is important. What will make the difference in your retirement life is the authentic you, not the you who you were in your career. So if you are of retirement age and not having fun at work anymore, now is the time to retire. Opportunities for happiness in retirement are time-sensitive, with an expiry date. It is a mistake to retire too late in life because you don't get another chance to do it right.

Retirement is the perfect time to become the person you would like to be and do the things you have always wanted to do. No doubt doing everything you have always wanted to do sounds great. It won’t happen by itself, however. This is true even if you have excellent health and a big pile of money in the bank when you retire.

Planning is important. You must take steps to ensure that when the bell rings to announce your retirement, you’re ready for what’s in front of you. The time available for marital, personal, social, creative, and family activities expands considerably when the hours previously taken up with full-time employment cease. How you manage time is just as important as when you are in the workforce.

Dec 14, 2008

Latest News about Retirement Planning

Believe all that you read and your retirement plan looks bleak at best due to a lack of retirement money.

Here are some of the latest news reports about retirement:

    1. Crisis crushes Americans’ retirement dreams - New Delhi,India
    A recent Bank of America Retirement Savings Survey showed that about 43 per cent of people in the US are planning to work for more years than they expected ...

    2. Financial planning gets tougher
    Times Herald-Record - Middletown,NY,USA
    "People may know, intellectually, that it is vital to have stock-market exposure for at least some portion of their retirement portfolio in order to keep ...
    See all stories on this topic

    3, Hopeful in hard times
    Myrtle Beach Sun News - Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    The 60-year-old, who would have been planning his retirement about now, doesn't even think about it these days. He'll have to keep at it as a rental ...

    4. How You Can Rebuild Your Wealth (for retirement)
    Wall Street Journal - USA
    It won't be an easy recovery for most of us, but financial planners say that a little flexibility about your saving, spending and retirement plans will go a ...
If you want to participate in these news stories, fine.
On the other hand, if you refuse to participate, then How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is the book for you.

Also Check out
The Money Cafe Where Money Talks with a Conscience: How to Make Money, How to Save Money, and and How to Spend Money Wisely

Dec 8, 2008

Creating a Sales Letter for How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

The above image is that of a sales letter webpage that I spent the last two days creating for my book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free .

You can see the complete webpage with the sales letter at How to Retire Happy .

I did not realize the amount of work that goes into a "one-page" sales letter. My sales letter for How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is long for a reason. Contrary to popular belief, the most effective sales letter is one that has long sales copy — where it goes on for the equivalent of 7 to 10 pages — even 20 pages. Most marketing professors at universities — regardless of many Phd.s they have after their names — don't know this. (Academics are normally not as bright as they think they are.) But internet marketing millionaires know this. That's why they earn the big bucks.

Will everyone read my long sales letter? Definitely not! As prospects hit a sales webpage — many are only going to skim what is there unless they are fully engaged. The intent is to have someone to be able to simply skim through the headline, subheads, boldings, yellow highlighter, embellishments, etc and be able to make a buying decision.

As an aside, I have found out why Google was penalizing my Retirement Quotes Cafe Website. With this knowledge I was able to get it back into the top-3 on Google's listings when you type in "retirement quotes" into Google.

In fact, not so long ago, when I typed "retirement quotes" into Google, 4 of my websites or blogs came in on the first page. To have 4 of the top 10 listings on Google is not too bad for an amateur, wouldn't you say. This is not something that you would learn how to do from a person with a Ph.d. in marketing. You learn how to be successful at these things by listening to internet marketing gurus such as Derek Gehl and Tom Antion, to name a few.

Dec 6, 2008

Retirement Comfort Does Not Translate into Retirement Happiness

Here are bits and pieces relating to retirement that I was going to use in How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free but never got around to.

  • It goes without saying that people who rely on boring jobs for fulfillment are probably boring individuals who will get even more bored in retirement.

  • If there was ever a time in your life to be wild in the purest sense of the word, retirement is it.

  • The universe assures you that you will have a much easier go around in life when you stop following the herd. Your chances for a full, relaxed, satisfying, and happy life will tend to increase in direct proportion to how much you are out of step with the rest of society. Indeed, the more unconventional and eccentric you are, the better.

  • The pursuit of happiness in retirement can be quite elusive. Comfort does not translate into happiness. Living in physical comfort doesn't mean personal fulfillment nor does it mean personal joy nor does it mean a feeling of success.

  • Joseph Conrad stated, "It's extraordinary how we go through life with eyes half shut, with dull ears, with dormant thoughts. Perhaps it's just as well; and it may be that it is this very dullness that makes life to the incalculable majority so supportable and so welcome."

Nov 28, 2008

A Time to Rethink Retirement?

Lately there have been a lot of articles in the media about the need to rethink retirement.
A lot of the articles contain a lot of gibberish about what the governments must do to help people financially.

Fact is, being happy in retirement is part of retirement planning and at least 80 percent of being happy in retirement is based on non-monetary factors.

As for the monetary factors, you have to take 100 percent responsibility for your finances. Even 98 or 99 percent won't suffice.

Whatever you do, don't count on the government or any economists for help. The financial crisis was created by their voodoo economics and pie-in-the-sky ideas.

The downturn has proven that the economy creates and maintains its own rules based on common sense — that apparently hardly any economist or banker understands, however.

Go back to the basics if you want to have a retirement without money worries. The key is to spend less than you earn from your investments. If this doesn't work for you, ensure that you earn more from your investments than you spend.

I semi-retired when I was 32 years old and had a net worth of minus $30,000 (due to my student loans).

Yet I have now been semi-retired for over 28 years and am well-off financially (even after having lost over $50,000 in the stock market) simply because I have taken 100 percent for my finances, expecting absolutely no help from governments or economists.

If you would like a carefree retirement, I would advise that you do the same.

Here are two retirement quotes to help you retire happy, wild, and free:
    The worst days of those who enjoy what they do, are better than the best days of those who don't.
    — E. James Rohn

    Most people fail in life because they major in minor things.
    — Anthony Robbins

Nov 20, 2008

Istanbul, Here I Come, Ready or Not!

Photo of Istanbul:

On Saturday I will be leaving for London and then on Monday to Istanbul where I am scheduled to speak on Thursday November 26th about The Joy of Not Working to 2,500 executives, scholars, and students attending the National Turkish Congress on Quality convention.

They are putting me up in an executive suite at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel (corporate rate is 700 Euro per night) for 3 nights. I won't even tell you how much they spent on the airfare because you wouldn't believe me. This all came about because of The Joy of Not Working being published in Turkish and because this organization's convention theme this year is "Quality of Life." I have calculated the organization is spending a total of anywhere from $20,000 to $25,000 to have me speak in Istanbul - but my fee for my one-hour speech is a modest $3,000.

Following are some subjects related to leisure and work that I willl include in my speech:

  • Hard work is no match for relaxed, creative action.

  • 90 percent of things worth doing aren't worth doing well.

  • Slow down and your days will be longer.
  • The journey toward success should feel better than to arrive.

  • Only fools are in a hurry to get to anywhere worth going.

  • Life's a breeze when we put half as much time into simplifying it as we do into complicating it.

  • Be happy while you are alive because you are a long time dead!

Retirement Image of The Joy of Not Working

The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked — by Ernie J. Zelinski

Nov 18, 2008

Being Happy in Retirement Can Take Time for Some Retirees

Retirement can be an exciting period, but in a less positive vein, it can also be a very difficult time in people's lives before any degree of happiness is achieved. As retirement seminar leader George Fulmore says, for some people, the adjustment to retirement takes time.

This is confirmed by the Later Life Families Study, particularly for men. The study found that males who have been retired six years or more are more likely to say that retirement is easy for them (79 percent) than those in the first five years of retirement (61 percent). Incidentally, almost 75 percent of women in this study said retirement is easy for them, regardless of how many years they had been retired.

The key to a happy retirement lies in the abillity to experience success and accomplishment from satisfying interests, fulfilling relationships, and interesting leisure activities. All of these are covered in The World's Best Retirement Book.

Nov 15, 2008

Chinese Women Want Same Retirement Age as Men

Cover of the Chinese Edition (traditional Characters) of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free (The World's Best Retirement Book)

The following is exerpted from an article about 5 years ago.

    A Chinese policy established decades ago in a bid to protect female workers is now being questioned by increasing numbers of Chinese women who want to keep their jobs longer.

    Men retire five years later than women under the regulation. The retiring age for female staff is 50, and 55 for men. While women cadres leave their posts at 55, it's 60 for men of the same status. The intention of the policy was to protect women's health and lawful rights, said officials with the State Ministry of Personnel.

    Statistics show that the average life expectancy for Chinese women is 71 while 69 for men. In some well-off areas like Shanghai,the figure is nearly 80 for women.

    Sociologists cite the toughness of the current job market as one reason for women retiring early. In some badly-run factories and companies, women staff are required to leave their jobs at 45 and get an even lower pension.

I would imagine that Chinese women are even more irritated by this policy given that China's ecomony is about to tank.

Nov 12, 2008

Be Happy Today If You Desire Happiness During Your Retirement Years

One research study found that those who had mixed feelings about retirement, or found this stage of life difficult, were generally dissatisfied and unhappy with their life before retirement.

Perhaps these people never learned to live in the moment and create happiness while they were in the working phase of their lives.

If they had, they would have experienced greater happiness before retirement as well as during their retirement years.

    "If you can just stay in the present, something good will happen, a little giving up of the pain."
    — Retiree Rosie Martinez, 71, of Paradise Valley, Arizona

Nov 8, 2008

Retirement Living Standards Do Not Have to Keep Improving

A recent OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) study recommends that member countries raise the average age at which people retire from the labor market so that people remain in the workforce longer.

Because the average age at which people retire from the labor market has declined markedly in the majority of OECD countries, the organization claims that the increase in the number of retirees relative to persons active in the labor force will reduce growth in material living standards and put public budgets under mounting pressure.

My question is, why do we have to have our retirement living standards continually keep improving. When will enough be enough? Isn't our standard of living pretty damn good compared to other nations and to what it was 100 or 200 years ago?

I a related vein, this ever-increasing desire for improved living standards and the greed with it has contributed to the economic crisis we have today. Common sense says that this caused by people not wanting to live according to their means.

For the record, I semi-retired when I was 39 and my net worth was actually minus $30,000. The reason that I have been successful in remaining semi-retired for over 20 years is that I don't live beyond my means.

So quite frankly, I don't have any sympathy for baby boomers who at 55 or 60 are broke today and are blaming the government or the economy. Come on, you big babies, grow up. Take responsibility for your lives.

You must force yourself to set retirement goals if you want to have an interesting retirement life. Regardless of how long you have to live, you want to make your life as interesting as possible. In other words, GET A LIFE or life will get the best of you.

Nov 5, 2008

It's Hard Work Trying to Give Away 430 Copies of the World's Best Retirement Book

Retirement Gift Books

Here are three more responses to my attempt to give away 430 copies of The World's Best Retirement Book — my international bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free. (See second last blog post).

Number 1

    Hi, Ernie:

    (Congrats on your success, by the way!)

    Thanks for thinking of me. I can’t think of a perfect idea, but I’ll
    ask a colleague or two, just in case.

    Well, maybe the folks at might be interested?

    (They’re the investment club people.) They hold conferences/conventions
    around the country - -they could possibly give away your books at
    one of those. I’m thinking that might be a good target audience for
    you – people already interested in retirement planning and investing
    in stocks.

    Otherwise, maybe some community adult-education courses, perhaps in
    large markets, where they could distribute a lot of your books quickly,
    to students?

    Best wishes,

    Selena Maranjian, The Motley Fool
    To Educate, Amuse and Enrich:
    Financial advice you can actually understand.

Number 2

    Please know that this response is coming personally from me, Kimberly
    Menken, Office Assistant, and not the Missouri Park & Recreation Association.
    My first thought was I need this book for my parents who both work
    harder than I could ever imagine and are “coming up” to retirement
    in a couple of years. My first thought is to have you contact the
    Non-Teacher School Employee Retirement Systems of Missouri. Their
    address is 3210 W. Truman Blvd, Jefferson City, Mo; phone number 573-634-5290.
    I do not know a whole lot about them, but they were the first one’s
    that came to mind. Also, Retirement Plan Advisors at 573-659-4443.

    Again, this suggestion comes from me as an individual, not the MPRA.
    I hope all goes well from here out, and have a blessed day!

Number 3

    Dear Mr. Zelinski, I'm flattered that you asked for my advice, but I'm at a loss for how to help you. Regards, Kelly Greene

    Kelly Greene
    Staff Reporter
    The Wall Street Journal
    200 Liberty St., 10th Floor
    New York, NY 10281

Incidentally, some people have assumed that How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is going out of print because I am giving these copies away. In fact, I will be doing a new print run for Ten Speed Press in January.

Also, Allstate Financial in North Brook, IL, just purchased 3,700 copies with the corporate name on the cover to give away to its baby boomer clients. If you take the 430 copies, I can also send you a sample of the Allstate edition later if you take some or all of the 430 copies.

I am amazed how difficult it is to give away 430 pefectly readable copies of the book that comes in the number 1 spot if you type in "retirement" into I have e-mailed several hundred people.

Nov 2, 2008

Still Trying to Donate 430 Copies of The World's Best Retirment Book

Here are some of the responses to my gesture of trying to creatively donate 430 copies of The World's Best Retirement Book — my international bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free. (See previous blog post).

Number 1


    Just want you to know I put the word out about your book availability, and so far, haven't heard anything. I'll let you know if someone is interested in your offer.

    Have a great weekend,
    Anita Bruzzese

Number 2

    A couple ideas ... Have you thought about donating them to public libraries? A little complicated, but your shipping and other expenses may be tax deductible. Or, do you have a major public university nearby? Set up a table next to one of those credit card issuers and give them away to anyone who stops — if a free t-shirt is a big lure, a free book must be, too! Hook 'em early, I say.

    Good luck!

Number 3

    You might consider doing a promotion with — they have strong demographics in this category and are rapidly growing in audience.


One more note:

There are also 265 copies of my book Real Success Without Real Job in the same condition at the Ten Speed Press warehouse.

Although this is not a retirement book, it will appeal to so called "retirees" who would like to keep working but not in a corporate setting. (This book is also still in print but will be reissued in February 2009 with the new title: Career Success Without a Real Job.)

Oct 31, 2008

Giving Away 430 Copies of The World's Best Retirement Book

Can you give me your best idea for giving away 430 copies of The World's Best Retirement Book?

This is an e-mail that I am sending to over 200 media people and retirement planning consultants:

    Hello :

    I would like your advice.

    How can I creatively give away 430 copies of my international bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free ?

    This book has just reached the milestone of over 100,000 copies sold, is still selling well, and appears as the number 1 listing for retirement-related books if you type "retirement" into's search feature.

    The 430 copies that I want to donate are perfectly readable but slightly imperfect in appearance. In the words of my publisher Ten Speed Press, "These are just dinged up enough that we can’t sell them as new, or they have stickers (from stores) or some other issue. Some may be worse than others, some better."

    Do you know if anyone would like to receive these copies provided they pay for the shipping?

    The 430 copies could be given away at a retirement conference for executives or at a retirement seminar for employees.

    In case you haven't read the book, I have attached the partial E-book edition of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free (in PDF format).

    Let me know if you come up with a great idea.

    The person who provides me with the best solution wins a set of 6 of my books — in perfect condition.

    Please forward this message to anyone else who may be interested in contributing a great idea.

    Thanks and so long for now.

    Ernie Zelinski
    Author of the Bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
    (Over 100,000 copies sold and published in 7 foreign languages)
    and the International Bestseller The Joy of Not Working
    (Over 225,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

If you have a great idea either post it on this blog or send me an e-mail to

Your idea will also qualify for the gift of 6 books.


Oct 26, 2008

American Dream Homes Are Actually Nightmares

Many dream homes purchased by Americans have become nightmares.

But given that many Americans thought that they deserved a $400,000 house with nothing down while earning a wage of $10 an hour, they were just as GREEDY as the bankers offering these loans, wouldn't you say? This is my take on it, anyway. As Newsweek magazine recently stated in a cover story, "The whole country has been complicit in a great fraud."

The results are quite striking: Nationwide, for those who purchased U.S. homes since the beginning of 2003, nearly one in three now have negative equity. Nearly half of buyers who purchased houses in 2006 are "underwater", which is the new term for owing more on the mortgage on your house than the house is worth on the real estate market.

Overall, one in six American homeowners owe more on their homes than the homes are worth. No more getting cash out of the equity of a house to live a life that people can't afford.

The question I posed to my friends was: Are these one in six, in fact, "homeowners" if they owe more on their homes than the homes are worth?

This was the response by my friend Todd Lorentz:


    This is my take on it:

    Technically, if they don't own any equity then they're "house-sitters".

    The most commonly assumed home owner, then, is really the bank. However, the money that the bank lent was not real - they just made it up on paper and never actually had that amount in the first place to lend out. So the bank actually purchased the home through the people who are now the house-sitters, with money that didn't exist. If the money doesn't actually exist, then it is really not a true sale and the original home builder still technically owns it. But they didn't own it either if they also took out similar "fiat" loans to build it.

    So yes, indeed, who are the real owners?

    It appears that all of those "house-sitters" are living in in a nation that is filled with houses that nobody actually owns, or which have been acquired without using REAL currency to buy.

    Therefore, America is functioning more like a "commune" where everyone, after a little tricky paperwork, can stake out a claim on a place to sqaut.

    Yes, America is a nation of SQUATTERS and those house-sitters should be subject to the laws on squatting. If the orignal builders allowed them to "squat" there while knowingly accepting no REAL cash for it up front, then the house-sitters are actually squatters and
    after a period of time the squatters can stake an ownership claim to it as their own. Then, that would make them full owners, free and clear, without spending a dime on it.

    God Bless America!


Oct 22, 2008

Top 25 Places to Retire in Canada or the United States in 2008

Here is the 2008 list of Top 25 best places to live in retirement in North America or Canada according to

With me being Canadian, it's interesting to see Halifax, Nova Scotia on the List.

    1. Asheville, NC
    2. Sarasota, FL
    3. Prescott, AZ
    4. Paris, TN
    5. Winston-Salem, NC
    6. Athens, GA
    7. Green Valley, AZ
    8. San Diego, CA
    9. Austin, TX
    10. Phoenix, AZ
    11. Halifax, Nova Scotia (CAN)
    12. Charlottesville, VA
    13. Fort Myers, FL
    14. Venice, FL
    15. Oxford, OH
    16. Sedona, AZ
    17. Gainesville, FL
    18. Flagstaff, AZ
    19. San Luis Obispo, CA
    20. Old Saybrook, CT
    21. San Antonio, TX
    22. Mount Airy, NC
    23. Beaufort, SC
    24. Tucson, AZ
    25. Crossville, TN

Oct 21, 2008

Americans Changing Their Retirement Plans

A severe economic downturn will make you realize that Oscar Wilde wasn't kidding when he said: "It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating." Indeed it is time to change your retirement plan.

A new AARP survey confirms that a lot of older Americans have changed their retirement plans and now have no intention to drop out of the workforce.

Apparently baby boomers are delaying retirement plans indefinitely. Indeed, a whopping 70 percent of workers plan to work during their retirement years.

Part-time retirement jobs are the top choice in the survey of 1,500 Americans ages 45to 74 who are working or looking for work.

Of course, as I have indicated in
How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free when you retire isn't always completely in your control. A large number of workers retire because of layoffs, buyouts, health problems, or to care for relatives.

What's more, recent research from the Urban Institute suggests that part-time and flexible work arrangements for retirees may be drying up for all but highly educated workers because of the credit crunch and more people needing to work full time for financial reasons.

Oct 17, 2008

7 Spiritual Laws of Money

Retirement living became a little more difficult with the financial crisis that is happening in global markets.

If you really want to get rich, the first thing you need to learn is how to spend money — or NOT spend it — as the case may be.

To help you keep your retirement planning, here are 7 Spiritual Laws of Money:

    1. If money becomes your primary focus in life, then money is all that you will get.

    2. The person with no money may be poor; however, not as poor as the person who has nothing but money.
    3. Abundance isn't a matter of acquiring how much money you desire; it's a matter of being happy with how much you presently have.

    4. It's better to be out of money than out of new creative ideas on how to make money.

    5. Money-making ideas are gifts from the Universe; you must act fast on them, however, if you want to be prosperous and wealthy.

    6. Spending a lot of money — particularly money that you have not yet earned — will get you trapped into thinking you are having a good time when all you are doing is spending a lot of money that you will have a difficult time earning.

    7. Above all, the value of money lies in the creative and spiritual uses to which it can be put and not in how many possessions it can buy.

Oct 10, 2008

Forget the Financial Crisis and Enjoy Your Retirement Instead

Forget the financial crisis out there and how much your retirement funds have gone down.
Enjoy your retirement instead. Here are some ways:
  • The failure of your imagination — total seizure, in fact — in the workplace for so many years can be replaced it with mental playfulness, natural curiosity, and an eagerness to learn how to enjoy leisure like never before.
  • You no longer have to worry about being laid off and how you are going to break the news to your spouse.
  • You can tell your younger working friends, "You know that Social Security deduction they keep taking out of your paycheck? Well, it's going to pay for my retirement and there may be nothing left for you when you retire."
  • You can be busier than ever — wondering how you every had time to go to work.
  • You can now wear a Retirement T-shirt from Cafe Press announcing: Retired: So I just have to do what the voices in my wife's head tell me to.
  • Read How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.

Oct 3, 2008

An E-Mail about The Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked

I received this e-mail the other day about The World's Second Best Retirement Book
----- Original Message -----
From: Stacey L. Scott
To: vip-books
Sent: Friday, September 19, 2008 8:11 AM
Subject: For Ernie Zelinski - THANK YOU!!!

    Dear Ernie,

    I just started reading The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked yesterday.

    I'm on page 57 (the letter from Les.)

    I took this morning off from work because I needed some "mental time" away from work and a romantic relationship has ended after a year of off-again on-again torture.

    I'm giving my notice at work when I go in today. I've been saying that for over a year and a half - and dreaming about it every day. Today is the day.

    I know in my being that the Universe will provide more holistic abundance to me then I could have ever received from staying at my job and being untrue to myself.

    I am a healer (holistic wellness coach), writer and overall catalyst for change and evolution. I can now joyously live that life fully.

    NOTE: I'm going to add "world traveler" to my bio!! J

    Thank you for your book and your courage to think outside of the box. It has truly inspired me.

Retirement Image of The Joy of Not Working

Do you love your life? Do you have work-life balance? Do you wake up every morning excited about your day? Are you doing what you want with your life? If you answered no to any of these questions, you should really consider reading The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked by Ernie J. Zelinski.

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, I still recommend that you read this book.

Sep 27, 2008

Retirees Need Only 60 Percent of Pre-Retirement Income

With about one-third of Canada's 33 million people born between 1946 and 1962, Canadians approaching retirement rresent the fastest growing demographic in the country.

Last year, Statistics Canada reported that the number of Canadians aged 55 to 64 -- those most likely to be thinking about retirement -- jumped by 28 per cent over the past five years to 3.7 million.

The good news is that 70 per cent of these so-called baby boomers are socking away money in retirement savings plans. The bad news, according to StatsCan, is that half of households with workers aged 55 to 65 have a financial net worth of less than $120,000. What this means is they can't retire at the same standard of living as they have had in their working years.
But Retirees need only 60 percent of working income, according to a Russell Financial Investment Canada survey. The Harris/Decima poll of 2,200 Canadian commissioned by Russell Investments Canada Ltd. found that currently retired people say they need only 60 percent of the income generated when they were working -- a stark contrast to a similar survey a year ago from Fidelity Investments Canada which found 80 percent or even higher "replacement ratios" might be necessary.

See retirement quotes about the Importance of Money in Retirement:

Sep 21, 2008

Another Retirement Book Reaches Sales of Over 100,000 Copies Giving Credence to the Claim That It Is The World's Best Retirement Book

With sales of 250 copies to Ford Motor Company, 250 copies (a total of 1,100 copies to date), to Syncrude and 2,000 copies (for total of 3,700 copies to date) to Allstate Financial in the last month, my retirement book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free has now reached sales of over 100,000 copies (counting foreign sales).

This means that I have two retirement books which have surpassed the 100,000 mark given that my other retirement book The Joy of Not Working has now sold over 225,000 copies.

Sep 15, 2008

The Joy of Not Working Has Kept Me Going for Years

It is now 17 years since I wrote The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked.

I consider this book The World's Second Best Retirement Book (after my How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free) although retirement coach and seminar presenter George Fulmore in California considers it the best.

For the record The Joy of Not Working has now sold over 225,000 copies; it has been published in 17 languages. This book has kept me going in more ways than one, including financially and psychologically.

I have received several letters from people in Japan who have read the Japanese edition of The Joy of Not Working - the cover of the Japanese edition is below.

Here is one of them from Ayumi Nakabayashi in Osaka, Japan written in the first half of 2008:

    Dear Ernie:

    I have just read you
    The Joy of Not Working and I'm writing to thank you.

    I'm a single working mother with twin daughters. What this means is I'm a poor miserable woman in Japanese society, so I am always worried about money for the future more than necessary and never enjoying my present life.

    This book gave me a different view of my life, which I should pay attention to. I don't earn much money but enough to live, and have free time to enjoy. I feel excited about thinking how to spend my free time now. I'm making an "Idea Tree" [Get-a-Life Tree] after writing this letter. To read The Joy of Not Working in English is on the top of the list! I have forgotten that I have a lot of things I want to do.

    This book gave me a chance to think over the relationship with boring people, too.

    I'm sorry I don't have enough words to explain how I feel now in English, but I really appreciate you.


    Ayumi Nakabayashi

Here are the covers of some of the Foreign Editions of The Joy of Not Working:

    French Edition

The Joy of Not Working - French Edition

    Spanish Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Spanish Edition

    Japanese Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Japanese Edition

    Czech Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Czech Edition

    Greek Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Czech Edition

    German Edition

The Joy of Not Working - German Edition

    Turkish Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Turkish Edition

    French Edition - Canada

The Joy of Not Working - French Edition - Canada

    Dutch Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Dutch Edition

    Korean Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Korean Edition

    Italian Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Italian Edition

    Chinese Edition - Traditional Characters

The Joy of Not Working - Chinese Edition - Tradtional Characters

    Chinese Edition - Simplified Characters

The Joy of Not Working - Chinese Edition - Simplified Characters

    Portuguese Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Portuguese Edition

    Polish Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Polish Edition

Sep 13, 2008

The Spoilers - Countries Against Early Retirement

Many of the news reports indicate that retirees will be retiring later than they had expected.

Some governments in certain countries are helping this trend by increasing their retirement age and hindering early retirement:

The Spoilers - Countries Against Early Retirement

    1. Britain plans to gradually raise its age of retirement at which full
    state pensions will kick in. By the year 2044, the U.K,'s retirement
    age will be 68.

    2. The U.S. and Germany also plan to raise their retirement age to 67.
    3. Italy and Belgium have already raised their age of retirement to 60

    T-shirt about Retirement
    I'm retired: Leave the relaxing to me.

    Coming Soon: The Joy of Being Retired: Why Retirement Rocks (and Work Sucks)

Sep 9, 2008

Retirement Income Should Be Adequate for Most Canadian Retirees

"A life spent making mistakes," stated George Bernard Shaw, "is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."
On that note, perhaps you are doing nothing at your job aside from putting in time.
Then it's time to retire.
But you are afraid to make a mistake because you may not have enough retirement income.
This information comes from Statistics Canada:

    About two-thirds of "near-retirees" anticipate that their retirement income will be adequate or more than adequate to maintain their standard of living once they have left the workforce.

    Individuals who receive advice are more likely than others to express confidence in the adequacy of their retirement savings to maintain their standard of living in retirement.

    While most Canadians approaching retirement receive financial advice, including advice about retirement planning and programs, almost 3 in 10 do not.

    Individuals who do not receive financial advice are less likely to expect their retirement income to be adequate than those who do receive advice. This relationship remains even when other characteristics such as income, pension coverage and registered retirement savings plan assets are taken into account.

    Of the 7.2 million Canadians aged 45 to 59 in 2007, about 80% or 5.7 million were actively or recently employed and had not previously retired.

    Of these 5.7 million near-retirees, 71% received financial advice from at least one source, and 50% received advice from at least one source in the financial industry. Almost 3 in 10 (29%) did not receive financial advice from any source.

    While most individuals approaching retirement said they understood Canada's public retirement income programs, such as the Canada Pension Plan, Quebec Pension Plan and Old Age Security, one-quarter said they did not understand these programs at all.

    A number of factors are associated with the likelihood of receiving financial advice and understanding public programs related to retirement preparations. These factors include an individual's proximity to retirement, financial resources, and demographic characteristics.

Sep 1, 2008

Where to Hang Your Retirement Hat (Best Places to Retire) in 2008

“Go and live somewhere else,” advises John Osborne,,a resident of Victoria, B.C.“ Try doing what you think you’ve always wanted to do.” Osborne, a retired psychology professor from the University of Alberta, moved to Victoria after he found retirement living left a lot to be desired in his old hometown of Edmonton, Alberta.

Perhaps, like many retirees, you too yearn for a change of scenery, new experiences, and a changed set of circumstances. Moving to a new location within your own country is one way to satisfy these yearnings.

Going abroad is another option. Indeed, as many as two million American retirees currently live abroad, according to David Warner, professor of public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

If you need guidance on where to retire abroad, one of the best sources is International Living magazine. The editors of this magazine evaluate the best places to retire in the world using the following criteria with the respective weighting.

    • Cost of Living — 20 percent
    • Health Care — 20 percent
    • Special Benefits — 20 percent
    • Real Estate — 15 percent
    • Entertainment, Recreation, and Culture — 10 percent
    • Climate — 5 percent
    • Safety and Stability — 5 percent
    • Infrastructure — 5 percent
Surprisingly, Panama which had been at the top of the list for six straight years has fallen to fourth position this year as the best place to retire. Here are the top three best places where to retire according to International Living magazine.
    1. Mexico
    2. Ecuador
    3. Italy
In short, Italy in the number 3 spot has great weather, beautiful cities, and many historical sites. Ecuador in the number 2 spot offers an extremely low cost of living, great weather, beautiful landscapes, a vibrant economy tied to the US dollar, and a stable political environment.

Insofar as Mexico, it wins the top spot due to its Senior Citizens Benefits program, the quality of life that expat Canadian and American retirees can enjoy, investment opportunities, and the fact that it is relatively convenient for Americans and Canadians.

See Where to Retire Quotes and Best Places to Retire Information

Aug 26, 2008

How Much Money Do You Need to Retire Comfortably?

Falling home prices and declining stock portfolios are forcing many U.S. workers to postpone retirement or return to work, a survey finds.
A survey by AARP recently determined 20 percent of workers age 55 to 64 plan to delay retirement because of current economic conditions. In the same vein, some retirees are now coming out of retirement and searching for jobs during retirement.
Like in the United States, in Canada we receive advice about needing at least 80 percent for pre-retirement income to retire comfortably. This is rubbish!
Americans and Canadians, particularly baby boomers, are a bunch of spoiled individuals who could live on much, much, less and still have a decent standard of retirement living.
Contrary to the advice of those financial advisers who recommended you need 70-80 per cent of your pre-retirement income to retire comfortably, most retired people get by on a lot less. This is true whether one lives in Canada or the United States.
Certainly, if I had a income of $250,000 a year for several years, I should be able to retire comfortably on $50,000 which according to my calculations would be only 20 percent of my pre-retirement income.
Interestingly, research by Statistics Canada found that people whose pre-retirement income was $70,000 or greater tended to retire on about 45 per cent of that – or around $31,500.
Those who earned around the average national wage – between $40,000 and $50,000 – retired on 59 per cent of their pre-retirement income.
Most interestingly, only one in six people with a pre-retirement income of $40,000 or more had a replacement ratio of 75 per cent or more.
Check U.S. statistics and you will see that they are not much different. Few American retirees have retirement incomes of 80 percent or more of their pre-retirement incomes.
The million dollar question is: If so few retirees presently have retirement incomes of 80 percent or more of their pre-retirement incomes, why do these dubious financial advisors keep telling everyone that they need 80 percent or more of their preretirement incomes?
Here is something written by Benjamin Franklin that relates to money management. If more people followed this strategy they would not have a problem with their finances in their retirement.
"When I was a child of seven years old, my friends, on a holiday, filled my pocket with coppers. I went directly to a shop where they sold toys for children; and, being charmed with the sound of a whistle, that I met by the way in the hands of another boy, I voluntarily offered and gave all my money for one. I then came home, and went whistling all over the house, much pleased with my whistle, but disturbing all the family. My brothers, and sisters, and cousins, understanding the bargain I had made, told me I had given four times as much for it as it was worth; put me in mind what good things I might have bought with the rest of the money; and laughed at me so much for my folly, that I cried with vexation; and the reflection gave me more chagrin than the whistle gave me pleasure. This however was afterwards of use to me, the impression continuing on my mind; so that often, when I was tempted to buy some unnecessary thing, I said to myself, Don't give too much for the whistle; and I saved my money."BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, letter to Madame Brillon, November10, 1779.
- The Works of Benjamin Franklin, ed. Jared Sparks, vol. 2, p. 181 (1836)

Aug 19, 2008

Stinginess May Help You Retire Early

"When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life," joked Oscar Wilde. "Now that I am old I know that it is." Although money can’t buy happiness in your retirement, sooner or later you will likely want a measure of financial freedom that adds to your feeling of overall freedom and the feeling of prosperity that comes with it.

To some people, mastery of money and stinginess go hand in hand. Indeed, stinginess may help you acquire much more money and help you retire early,

NOTE: My book of quotations called The 777 Best Things Ever Said about Money will be released as a Free E-book on my websites in a month or two if I don't sell the rights to an American publisher who is seriously looking at it at this time.

Money Quotes

For the record, I sold this E-book of quotations for a $8,000 advance to a Japanese publisher within 3 hours of my accidentally sending it to Japanese literary agent to whom I had no intention of sending it. Perhaps this good fortune was a result of my prosperity consciousness. What do you think?

I am presently helping my Friend Forrest Bard set up his Inspirational Quotes Webpage on Squidoo.

Aug 14, 2008

Retirement Jobs and Retirement Businesses Are All Around You Waiting to Be Claimed

Almost three out of five new middle-class retirees will outlive their financial assets if they attempt to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living, according to a new study conducted by Ernst & Young LLP on behalf of Americans for Secure Retirement.

If you are a baby boomer quickly approaching retirement, you may be concerned whether you are saving enough for retirement. If you feel that you will be financially embarrassed in retirement, then starting a fun retirement business is the way to go.

To be successful at at retirement business, you must spot and capitalize on the many opportunities that the world has to offer. Paying attention to the world around you — looking at commonplace things and seeing the miraculous — will lead you to opportunities that others don’t see.

Of course, the critics and negative people — which constitute the majority in Canadian and American society — will not spot the opportunities around them. Even if they do, they will not do anything with them.

I received this e-mail from Nicola in Australia (she did not want me to post her last name or e-mail);
    Thanks Ernie for your great book Real Success Without a Real Job.

    After a pretty disastrous few months of rotten health at the beginning of this year, I read your book while recuperating. I loved the story of the bloke who sold splinters of the Brooklyn Bridge. It was an opportunity there for anyone with eyes to see, but only he was prepared.

    After reading and seriously thinking about your book, my eyes were "sharpened up" looking around for opportunities. I didn't strike an instant goldmine, but have found something that really suits me. In a room of about 20 mums at playgroup, only two of us paid attention to a newcomer telling us about her amazing new kitchen appliance.
    And only I grabbed the opportunity, seeing the huge scope of possibilities for this appliance in our state. That was almost three months ago.

    My little business is up and running, and taking off like a rocket. It means I can continue home educating our 4 children, and do the business work in evenings and weekends.I'm not a natural sales woman, but I have a high quality, unique appliance that can help people eat healthier and cheaper. I feel good that I have an "ethical" product.

    How come the other 19 people in the room didn't also see this opportunity?

    Keep up the good work. I hope many others will be emboldened to take the steps they need to make their lives more satisfying.


So why didn't the other 19 people spot the opportunity that Nicola saw? Simply, because they have a thinking problem. Fact is, opportunites for retirement businesses and retirement jobs are all around you.

Also just because there is presently an economic downturn happening does not mean that there is no opportunity. What do Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, and Disney have in common? They all started during economic downturns, as did more than half of the 30 companies that comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average. An recession is a great time to create your own retirement job or start one of many retirement businesses to help the economy.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to go halfway around the world and spend a ton of money to spot opportunities for retirement jobs and retirement businesses and take advantage of them. Opportunities for creating new sources of income are all around us, including our backyards. Robert G. Allen and Mark Victor Hansen, co-authors of The One Minute Millionaire (Harmony, 2002), claim that they will be able to spot at least fifteen money-making opportunities in your living room alone.
Indeed, opportunities for creating your own great retirement jobs and retirement businesses are all around you. I discuss this at length in Real Success Without a Real Job.

Real Success Without a Real Job on Barnes and Noble

See this:
Review of Real Success Without Real Job from the Spirit of Change Website:

and Retirement Quotes and Sayings on Squidoo

Aug 11, 2008

The Best "Where to Retire" Books

Besides the retirement books about where to retire listed below, there is another retirement book that you may want to consider reading and recommending.

Beth Wateham, a Vice President at Simon and Schuster, just sent me a galley copy of Retirement Without Borders: How to Retire Abroad in Mexico, France, Italy, Spain, Costa Rica, Panama, and Other Sunny Foreign Places (And the Secret to Making It Happen Without Stress) by Barry Golson. This book with the Scribner imprint is for those retirees who want to consider retiring abroad. The book will be released in December 2008.

Retirement Without Borders is the best book that I have read about retiring abroad and I will be giving a testimonial for the back cover which Beth Wateham (she claims she is a big fan of
How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free on wants from me.