Jun 29, 2008

Retirement Planning - Why Many Canadians Are Fools with Their Money

Retirement Planning Image

    1. According to a recently released Statistics Canada study, almost half of Canadian households spend more than their pretax income in a given year. That's up from 39 per cent in the early 1980s. From 1982 to 2001, the study found, per capita debt doubled, because of sharp increases in both mortgages and consumer debt.

    2. 67 percent of Canadians say money is their most frequent worry.

    3. Only 40 percent of Canadians know how many millions are in a billion.

    4. Still worse, only 25 percent of Canadians know the difference between the National debt and National deficit.

    5. According to Desjardins Financial security's latest retirement study, many Canadians are not prepared for the challenges retirement can bring. They are failing to consider a variety of factors and risks that can have an impact on the yield and longevity of their savings, such as inflation, rising life expectancies and healthcare costs. Nearly 60% of those surveyed are not concerned about having a large enough nest egg to sustain their standard of living in retirement. More than 80% have not eliminated their consumer debt in retirement and even more are not concerned about paying off their mortgages (88%). And more than half are not worried that inflation will erode their savings.

Note: See the resources below for some great quotations about retirement:

Jun 23, 2008

Rewards from Writing "101 Really Important Things You Already Know, But Keep Forgetting"

I will be the first one to admit that I am not a great writer. As I have indicated previously, by the time I realized how bad of a writer I was, I was too successful to quit.

In spite of my bad writing, it still has resulted in hundreds of positive letters, e-mails, and phone calls about my books from readers. This is one of the magical rewards that come with being a writer — knowing that people are benefiting from your books.

Here is an e-mail that I just received from Deepal Peiris in Sri Lanka.

Note: Here are some other chapter titles from 101 Really Important Things You Already Know, But Keep Forgetting,

  • One true friend is worth more than 10,000 superficial ones.

  • Good deeds are seldom remembered; bad deeds are seldom forgotten.

  • The surest way to failure is trying to please everyone.

  • Your past is always going to be the way it was - so stop trying to change it.

  • A walk or run in nature is the best medicine for many of your ailments.

  • The shortcut to being truly fit and trim is long-term rigorous action.

  • Compromising your integrity for money, power, or fame will come back to haunt you.

  • If the grass on the other side of the fence is greener, try watering your side.

  • No matter how successful you become, the size of your funeral will still depend on the weather.

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

Mothers Day Gift Image

Purchase 101 Really Important Things You Already Know, But Keep Forgetting (Vipbooks) at:

101 Really Important Things at Amazon.com


101 Really Important Things at BarnesandNoble.com

Jun 19, 2008

A Review of The World's Best Retirement Book

This is a review or The World's Best Retirement Book from The Delhi Organiser published June 19, 2008:

A Place to Retire

Sooner or later the
retirement day would have come and gone. If you are in a corporate house or a public sector undertaking, a generous company pension and investments will provide the opportunity to pursue many time-consuming (not time-killing) activities. But here the crux of the matter, after the novelty of the retirement wears off in a month or two, is that time tends to stand still and you feel you have nowhere particular to go, no regular coffee breaks, no colleagues to gossip with and exchange notes, no challenges to give your life a shape and purpose. Eventually you may be forced to ask yourself, “What next? Do I wait for death to overtake me or do I try to kill time by imposing myself on others?”

It is here that
How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by Ernie J. Zelinski provides some interesting reading material which can help to boost the retired person’s morale and make life both exciting and demanding, bringing new challenges, new experiences and new uncertainties.

Retirement normally turns out far different from what one envisions. For some it is a big disappointment; for others it is an annoyance and for still others, an opportunity to attend to activities never done before. As someone has said, "Retirement is the time when you do all the things you intended to do when you’d have the time."

This book gives
retirement wisdom that no financial advisor can give. Not just having a big balance contributes to happiness in old age for today’s retirees, but also physical well-being, mental well-being and solid social support play a bigger role than financial status for most retirees. Planning is important, says the author, well before retirement. You must take steps to ensure that when the bell rings to announce your retirement, you are ready to do what is in front of you. The time available for marital, personal, social, creative and family activities expands "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."

This book suggests that to retire happy, wild and free, you must stay active, have goals and dreams. Retirement can be a time for life's best moments, provided you plan in advance. The author says that as a matter or course, retirement is the last opportunity for you to reinvent yourself, let go of the past and find peace and happiness within. Strange as it may sound, despite the adverse publicity that retirement sometime gets, in Western nations, one in every eight persons is aged 65 or older. More people there are retiring much earlier than 65 despite far better
health in retirement, a higher level of education, more income and many more options for maintaining an active and productive lifestyle than those who retired before them.

Some of the major suggestions made by the author are:

  • Retirement sets you free. George Eliot had said, "It’s never too late to be what you might have been."

  • To have no aptitude for leisure is to have no aptitude for life.

  • Create a new identity because the old one won’t do.

  • Finding and preparing your true calling can make retirement the best time of your life.

  • Work at something which is "a fun thing to do" and not so much a job.

  • Reclaim your creative spirit as it will impart a joyful purpose to life.

  • "Plant your 'get-a-life' tree and watch it grow." This can be done by going mountain climbing, taking up golf, cricket or tennis, teaching English or Hindi as a second language, phoning old friends, walking barefoot in streams, joining a club or a library, giving on a cruise, learning to cook, playing a musical instrument, writing a novel or painting a picture, retirement traveling to old haunts, joining a laughter or yoga club, etc.

Retirement is thus an opportune time to get to know yourself better — psychologically, materially and spiritually, be it in a part-time career, family relationships, spiritual fulfilment, passionate pursuits or the opportunity to hang out at bookshops or restaurants. You must find time for things that matter most to you.

The Book for Individuals Who Absolutely, Positively Want to Have a Happy and Meaningful Retirement by
Vipbooks Author Ernie Zelinski

Retirement Gift Image

Check out:

Jun 14, 2008

Retire to the Wild and Free Life

Another Review of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

It's always nice to discover another review of one of your books which I have; it comes from Retirement Rocket and follows:

Two of the world's most famous philosophers, Socrates and Plato, advocated a life of total leisure. So does author Ernie Zelinski, and, although he’s not as famous (or as Greek), he gives some inspirational tips on how to pull off such a feat. His The Joy of Not Working created an international stir a decade ago, and now his How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free devotes his joie de vive philosophy solely to retirement.

Zelinski is a master at how-to lists. "Activities & Places to Make New Friends" and "How to Take a Journey Close to Home" are a couple of examples. The most extensive list is the "Get a Life Tree," which contains seven pages of suggested activities for an adventurous retirement. Not one of them involves a couch or TV.

At times his suggestions seem a little too "wild" and too "free." For instance, under Retirement Travel Tips and Quotes there are llama trekking in Peru and camping in Outer Mongolia. Can you imagine a glitzy travel poster for either of these as a vacation get-away?

In How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free you'll meet a number of interesting people like Ben from Toronto, a former entertainer, who traveled across America in a Greyhound recently (a dog of a trip!), and wrote a book on the benefits of cayenne pepper, which he says is better than Viagra. Then there’s Bill and Valerie, who live aboard a sailboat in Hawaii, and Tom, who, at 96, still walks four miles a day and chases women at night.

The book's section titles can be quite entertaining. "If You Don’t Take Care of your Body, Where Do You Intend to Live?" is one about daily health maintenance. An even better is one "Early to Bed and Early to Rise Make a Person Dull, Boring and Despised." The message here is to forget rigid schedules when you retire. Good point. Retirement Living is a time to loosen up, live it up and curl up with How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.

Jun 7, 2008

The Work Ethic Is a Terrible Mistake

Photo of Istanbul

This started with an e-mail I received in April:
    Good morning,
    My client KalDer has asked about availability and fee for Ernie Zelinski to participate at their 17th Annual Congress in Istanbul, 24th - 26th November 2008.
    KalDer is the Turkish National Quality Organization.
    Their annual congress brings together approximately 2,500 persons from the Turkish business community, academics, students and journalists.
    I would be pleased to provide you with additional information and look forward to hearing from you.
    Speakers Bureau International

As I pondered whether I wanted to consider going to Istanbul and what I should charge (initially I was thinking of $1,500 plus all expenses including busines class travel) I got a call from the Speakers Bureau.

Asked what I would charge, I said $2,500 for a one-hour speech, business class travel from Edmonton to Istanbul, and all associated expenses including meals. I was told that I would be paid $3,000 plus all expenses.

I still didn't know if I wanted to go but when my friend Michael Attwood and his wife Willy who live in Vancouver said they would likely fly to Istanbul and be there the 3 days that I would be there, I decided to give this a little more consideration.

After it was confirmed that I could be put up at the Ritz-Carlton in Istanbul for three nights in a suite, I decided to take this gig seriously even posting as an important speaking event on Morgan James Publishing. and an important event at Ernie Zelinski's Book Tour.

No doubt the interest in having me make this one-hour speech came about because of my book The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked which has been published in 17 languages including Turkish.

The cover of the Turkish edition is shown below:

The Joy of Not Working - Turkish Edition

I thought about a number of topics that I could address:

I sent an e-mail to the woman of the speakers bureau and she replied with this:

"Here is their translation into English of the text for the event brochure:"

    The Joy of (not) Working
    Questioning our point of view about work life as an individual and organization, Zelinski says that when working meets with love, it pleases and he reveals that expectations like materiality and career contributes lowly to individual and organization.
    When listening to Ten Speed Press Author Ernie Zelinski, you will find the opportunity to revaluate your outlook for work life and consider your organization's human resources policies and approaches differently. Working tires, what about not working?
    Zelinski introduces the features of the every activity of pleasure and improving the life quality made for working or not working. He tells to workaholics whose lives consist of only their jobs an neglects their family, friends and above all themselves that work but turn your job into pleasure and joy and by working efficiently become happy and he tells about how to make their life cheerfully despite everything to his retired readers.
    Where should we put work life in our lives?
    For this, first by completing our own adventures we should bring our life purposes to code which is open for change. For positioning money which is ranked one in our lives, everyone should ask this question to themselves: If we think that happiness can be bought by working too much or earning too much money, why don't we try to sell some part of our own happiness?
    This is one of the most critical questions and an NLP anchor that shows us by balancing working or not working how can it be the key for pleasant and calm life. If you are thinking about how to work efficiently and pleasantly, what can be done for making physical and mental health better, how to live for physical health and inner calmness pay attention to Zelinski.

Wow! This is confusing. These people want me to talk about something I don't know anything about.

So what am I going to talk about?

Jun 1, 2008

100 Places Where to Retire

These Are the Criteria Used for Choosing The 15 Best Places to Reinvent Your Life by AARP Magazine

  • Availability of jobs, since many in this group will work beyond age 65.
  • Affordable housing-many cities have costs on par with or below the national median price of $161,600.
  • Culture and entertainment (from museums and opera to shopping and sports events).
  • Access to outdoor recreation, from skiing and biking to walking and hiking.
  • Safety-personal and property safety, and a generally secure feeling.
  • Colleges or universities (for continuing education and a multigenerational vibe).
  • Sense of community (often places with a vital and walkable downtown).
  • Proximity to comprehensive, well-regarded health care facilities.
  • Good public high schools, since many boomers still have teens at home.
  • Ease of getting around (public transportation, traffic, access to an airport).

Sources for lists of the 100 best retirement towns

You can also consult one of the many widely available "Top 100 places" or "Best 10 places to retire" lists on the Internet.

NOTE: All "Best Places to Retire Books" are available at either your local bookstore or Amazon.

Retirement Quotes - Where to Retire

Note: See The Best Places to Retire in the World on Squidoo for information on where to retire in California, cheap places to retire in Callifornia, and the best places to retire in Mexico.