Dec 27, 2009

Retirement Expectations from a Retiree

I received the following e-mail the other day:

    Dear Ernie,

    I just finished How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free. Starting with high expectations given the title, which is usually a setup for disappointment, it ended up being my favorite read of 2009. You managed to fit an incredible amount of fantastic content covering so
    many considerations I hadn't thought of or just started to experience.

    After retiring, my wife and I were starting to encounter some of the issues addressed including not knowing what to do about being around each other all the time. We were doing quite well sorting them out one at a time. With the help of your book we now know what to look out for.

    I just wanted to extend my heartfelt thanks for the work that you put into writing How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free. I look forward to reading all of your books soon.

    Wishing a very happy holidays to you and yours,

Some Retirement Quotes

    The joy of retirement is one of rediscovery — new found time, new found freedom, a new routine, and renewed appreciation of what life is really about.
    — A. Major

    As far as I am concerned, people who can't find ways to amuse themselves other than going to work are to be pittied.
    — Unknown wise person

    Early retirement is the time to pursue the dream and passion you've left in the corner while you survived the kids, marriage/divorce or going through the motions of gaining material things.
    — Mona Gallagher
See these retirement resources:

Dec 16, 2009

How much money do I need to retire

Particularly if you are a baby boomer quickly approaching retirement, you may be concerned whether you are saving enough for retirement.

The good news is that many people may be overestimating how much money they need once they leave the workforce. Several research studies show that people generally spend a lot less as they age.

Even so, this is not a reason to become casual about how much you are saving. Right now, 44 per cent of working Canadians have no retirement plan or RRSP. In the private sector, only one in five workers belongs to an employer pension plan. And only one-third of Canadian households are saving enough to cover their basic expenses in retirement.

Pension funding issues, bankruptcies and the lack or loss of personal savings have, unfortunately, left more Canadians to rely solely on Old Age Security and the Canada Pension Plan in retirement. Those retirees, who receive an average of $500 per month, are living in poverty.

Here are some retirment sayings and retirement quotes:

    We only need to save $49 a month for a happy retirement. That's how much we'll need for our cable TV bill.
    - from Glasbergen cartoon

    It's an absolute fact that as people get older they spend less money.
    - Rick Ferri president of money-management firm Portfolio Solutions in Troy, Mich.

    You can be young without money but you can't be old without it.
    - Tennessee Williams

    By the time I have money to burn, my fire will have burnt out.
    - Author Unknown

    Money isn't the most important thing in life, but it's reasonably close to oxygen on the "gotta have it" scale.
    - Zig Ziglar

If you want to retire happy regardless of your income, then you should read How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free. It gives retirement wisdom that you won't get from your financial advisor.


Nov 28, 2009

Retirment Planning - Those Who Don't Respect Money Don't Have Any!

Following is my e-mail to Christina Blizzard of Sun Media who wrote this article

Retirement plans go boom

    Hello Christina:

    In your article, you make this statement:

      "Even when low income seniors are boosted to around $16,000-$18,000 with Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Security, it is still not enough to survive, Eng said."

    This comment by Susan Eng is simply not true!

    I know people who are living on even a lower income right here in Edmonton, and not only are they surviving, they are living well, and happy, I might add.

    For instance, my friend Jim took early Canadian Pension Plan of only $435 a month at 60 years old. This is his total regular income and he has no assets to speak of except for an Airstream trailer and a older car. His income is supplemented by a few hours a week work that he gets from a mutual friend who manages a medical clinic. Jim lives pretty well and is one of the happiest people I know. He does admit that he wishes that he had a bit of money saved for emergencies, however.

    Another friend George is 65+ and collects about $1,450 in Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security. This is his total income. George lives in a subsidized one-bedroom apartment in a Seniors project. Get this: George saves $450 to $500 a month from that $1450. And George saves this amount every month. George says that he knows that he will have a good deal of money in the bank when he dies.

    Refer to first two of the last three paragraphs from an article in last Friday's Wall Street Journal in which I was quoted for the reason that most people don't have enough for retirement in the first place.

    Just in case you are too lazy to read the Wall Street Journal article, this is what reporter Brent Arends wrote in those two paragraphs.

      The problem with people nowadays is that a 'necessity' is any luxury your neighbor happens to have," jokes Ernie Zelinski, a frugal living guru and author of The Joy of Not Working and How To Retire Happy Wild and Free." He adds, "We can all live on less than you think."

      You might not want to go as far as Mr. Zelinski –"I don't own a cellphone, I drive a '95 Camry, and for two years I lived without a sofa," he says–but the principles he espouses aren't crazy. "You're financially independent if you have $15,000 coming in and $14,900 going out," he says.

    There is also another reason that people don't have enough money for retirement.

    It was J. P. Getty who said,
    "Those who don't respect money don't have any."

    So long for now.
Check Out These Retirement resources:

Nov 4, 2009

Time for Retirement But Scared and Nervous about Retiring

This is my latest e-mail from a reader of one of my books:

    ----- Original Message -----
    To: Ernie Zelinski
    Sent: Tuesday, November 03, 2009 3:45 PM
    Subject: How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

    Dear Ernie,

    I bought your retirement book a few months ago after I gave my six-month notice at work. I have been too inundated at the office to contemplate the huge change that's about to occur. Buying your book and reading it in advance was the smartest thing I could have done.

    I've been trying to soak up every page, although I may need some re-soaking once I cross the finish line. Your book has been extraordinarily helpful, and I want to thank you so much for writing it.

    I'm starting to get scared and nervous, despite the book's encouragement and affirmation of my own thoughts. I've never taken a leap into the unknown before, and your words have given me a little courage for a decision that I struggled with for several years.

    I wish one of your [retirement] resources was a newly-retired support group. Perhaps your next book could be a bit more geared towards women, as my only complaint was that it was somewhat male-oriented. I just wrote a review on Amazon and gave you five stars, which you were on the brink of anyway. Good luck on your future writing which I'm looking forward to reading. You have another devoted fan.


This was my reply:

    Hello Joan:

    Thank you for your e-mail and your kind words about How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.

    I normally ask people who e-mail me with kind words like this to put a review of the book on and I try to bribe them by offering them a complimentary signed copy of one of my other books.

    Since you have already placed a great review on, all I need is your full name and your address.

    Come to think of it, if this is possible, can you also try to place the same review on Barnes and

    In any event, once you send me your address, I will send you a copy of my latest book Career Success Without a Real Job (a Free E-book with sample material is attached) given that you have indicated in your pen name on that you want to be a writer.

    Many thanks and so long for now,

    Ernie J. Zelinski
    Author, Innovator, and Unconventional Career Expert
    Author of the Bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
    (Over 110,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
    and the International Bestseller The Joy of Not Working
    (Over 225,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

Check out my Latest websites:

Oct 26, 2009

I Love the The 4-Hour Workweek

As the author of the international bestseller The Joy of Not Working (over 225,000 copies sold) and How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free (over 110,000 copies sold) I follow the principles in my books.

Indeed, I have a great lifestyle. I work only 4 to 5 hours a day and make a comfortable living. In my books I advocate that people leave corporate life as soon as possible and work less than half the hours of the average working stiff. I always considered that the paradigm that I operate with is much different than that of the average working person.

But after reading The 4-Hour Workweek, I realize that my paradigm is much closer to that of the average working person than that of Tim Ferris. I now want to operate closer to the level of Tim Ferris. I love this book.

There is a lot of valuable material in this classic that we all can use although we may never get to the point of working only 4 hours a week. We may be able to work only two hours a day, however, and still make a great living. Some of the most important principles in this book are:

  • Get unrealistic.

  • Practice the art of nonfinishing.

  • Cultivate selective ignorance.

  • Do not multi-task.

  • Outsource as much of your life as you can.

  • Being busy is a form of laziness - lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.

  • Forget about time management.

This book is written for ordinary people who want to accomplish extraordinary things with minimal time involved. Here are five of several favorite inspirational quotes from The 4-Hour Workweek:

  1. The blind quest for cash is a fool's errand.

  2. It's lonely at the top. Ninety-nine percent of people in the world are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre. The level of competition is thus fiercest for "realistic" goals, paradoxically making them the most time-consuming and energy consuming. It is easier to raise $10,000,000 than it is $1,000,000. It is easier to pick up the one perfect 10 in the bar than the five 8s.

  3. The fishing is best where the fewest go, and the collective insecurity of the world makes it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone is aiming for base hits.

  4. Tens of thousands of people, most of them less capable than you, leave their jobs every day. It's neither uncommon nor fatal.

Oct 23, 2009

How Much Retirement Income Do Retirees Need to Retire Comfortably?

Conventional wisdom in the financial industry says that people need about 80 percent of their pre-retirement income to be comfortable after retiring. Some financial advisors are now raising this to 90 percent, even 110 percent of pre-retirement income.

In my opinion, this is ridiculous. In my book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, I give eight reasons why, generally speaking, people should get by with 65 percent of pre-retirement income.

In fact, highly respected Canadian actuary Malcolm Hamilton says the true number is closer to 50 per cent.

Hamilton points out that the investment industry has a vested interest in telling people that they need a high retirement income because the retirement income and most of them seem quite satisfied with their financial circumstances after they retire," Mr. Hamilton says.

Check out some of my latest webpages and posts:

Oct 19, 2009

Headlines about Retirement That Are Not So Pleasant

Being retired affords you the time to say Hi to babies. (From my new book The Joy of Being Retired: 365 Reasons Why Retirement Rocks and Work Sucks.)
Here are some recent headlines about retirement that are not so pleasant for people who want to take early retirement or for retirees already in retirement.
Here are three retirement quotes to help place retirement in proper perspective:

    For a happy day, look for something bright and beautiful in nature. Listen for a beautiful sound, speak a kind word to some person, and do something nice for someone without their knowledge.
    — Unknown 85-year-old Wise Retired Person

    When the majority of people get my age, once they retire and get Social Security they lay on the couch and do nothing. The next thing you know, they're not with us any more.
    — 77-year-old Retiree August Gonsoulin

    Retirees have two choices: choose the couch — or choose life.
    — Jane McBride

Check out:

Oct 12, 2009

The Get-a-Life Tree: A Great Retirement Planning Tool!

Here is an e-mail that I received about The Get-a-Life Tree (a variation of this retirement tool is depicted in the above image) featured in The World's Best Retirement Book:

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Gene Schoch
    To: vip (dash) books ( at )telus ( dot) net
    Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2009 9:17 AM
    Subject: Question from a fan

    Hello Mr. Zelinski,

    Gene Schoch here in WA state, USA. Both my wife and I are happily retired Registered Nurses and I am also a Retired US Army LTC. I have two of your books, The Joy of Not Working and How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.

    I have read these books and recommended them to friends. Maybe it is because I was a nurse for so many years that I find the need to help people to cope with the change in their life from working and having their life controlled by someone else to being as you describe it "Happy, Wild and Free".

    One ot the things that I find particularly helpful from your books is the "GET-A-LIFE TREE". My question to you is this: Have you published a small booklet containing your Get-a Life Tree philosophy? If so I would like to purchase some and give them to friends and family members to help them to become acquainted with your books, but also to help them to understand what retirement for them is all about.

    I refer to myself on my calling cards as a LEISURE CONSULTANT, which usually gets people started laughing, then they always ask me "What is a Leisure Consultant?" It would be very helpful for me to be able to hand them a small booklet about your Get-a Life Tree to get them started thinking in the right direction. Thank you for your great service and advice, I am sure that you have had a positive affect on the lives of many people, myself included.


    Eugene Schoch US Army LTC,
    Peshastin, WA 98847
This was my reply to Gene:

    Hello Gene:

    Thank you for your e-mail about How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free on Barnes and Noble.

    First, regarding your comments about the Get-a-Life Tree, you are one of several people to have mentioned how useful it is.

    I agree that I might try to put something together as a small booklet, but there is the problem of distribution, etc. I will have to think about this given the number of people who comment about the Get-a-Life Tree.

    In the mean time I am busy creating a little gift book that I hope to get published in color by my favorite publisher Workman Publishing (since Ten Speed Press got sold to Random House). If not, I will publish it myself but in black and white.

    It is called The Joy of Being Retired with the subtitle 365 Reasons Why Retirement Rocks (and Work Doesn't).

    If you have a spare moment, it would be a great help to me if you could post a 5-star review of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free on and let other potential readers know why you liked it.

    It's not necessary to write a lengthy, formal review — a summary of the comments that you sent me would be fine, particularly mentioning the Get-a-Life Tree.

    If you place these reviews, I will send you an autographed copy of my latest book: Career Success Without a Real Job: The Career Book for People Too Smart to Work in Corporations. (See attached image and E-book with half the book.) This is not strictly a retirement book but it is a great book for retirees who want to continue working, but not in a corporation.

    Alternatively, I can send you a copy of my second latest book called 101 Really Important Things You Already Know, But Keep Forgettingby
    . (See sample pages in the attached E-book)

    Once you place the review, send me your address so that I can send you one of my other books.

    I will also send you an E-book in PDF format with about 50 samples pages from The Joy of Being Retired.

    Thanks a million and so long for now.

    Ernie Zelinski

Check out these resources:

Oct 4, 2009

Trying to Overcome's Resistance and Unwillingness to Market Books Properly

The last two or three weeks I have been Trying to Overcome's Unwillingness to Market Books the Way Books Should Be Marketed.

There has been a need to change ISBN numbers for my books since Random House purchased Ten Speed Press and then cancelled the Distribution Agreements for my books that I had with Ten Speed Press.

Since the ISBN changed, Amazon has placed a new webpage for How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free at:

But they have not placed any indication on the old webpage (where the book is no longer available) that the book is still readily available by going to the new webpage.

The way Amazon is doing things will just hinder sales because the new pages for each of the books will look exactly like the old pages and the old pages will come up in the search engines instead of the new pages. Search engines operate on the basis that when they see the two pages as duplicate content, the older page will come up first and the newer page will be ignored.

In my opinion, it is totally idiotic to direct people to the old pages where the books cannot be purchased anymore as new copies instead of the new pages where the books can be purchased new.

The best example I can give for this problem is my book The Joy of Not Working. The latest edition came out way back in 2003. The Amazon page for this latest edition is

Yet do a search of The Joy of Not Working on Google and guess what comes up? The page for the older edition ( with absolutely no sign of the new page for the new edition!

To make matters worse, there is nothing on the Amazon page for the old edition to direct buyers to the webpage for the new edition.

Do a search on Yahoo and you will see that the respective pages for the old edition and new edition show up together. But there is still a problem because the older edition appears higher than the newer edition.

There is no doubt in my mind that this has caused a loss of sales of thousands of copies for this book over the years.

Again, Amazon is creating this problem in several ways.

1. They are placing the reviews from the old edition on the new edition.
2. They are placing the reviews from the new edition on the old edition.
3. They have placed the search-inside-the-book feature from the old edition on the new edition.
4. They are making the description of the book the same.

This has made the page for the new edition extremely similar to the page for the old edition. The search engines then ignore the page for the new edition.

So I have trying to over come this same problem with How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by placing it on as many webpages as possible with links to the new page for How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.

Here are some of the associated pages:

Retirement and Work Resources

As I was checking out images asscoiated with my name on Google Images search, what a treat to find my name on this blog post in Portuguese even though my name is spelled wrong (Zelinsky) in one instance:

My name is just above the cover of the Portuguese edition of The Joy of Not Working.

I have no idea what is said about my book and yours truly.

But as they say,"There is only one thing worse than being talked about — and that is not being talked about."

And what great female company for my book and my name on this webpage.

Check out retirement and work resources at:

Sep 21, 2009

A Small Retirement Home Will Hold More Happiness Than a Large Retirement Home

Perhaps you have let the concept that your creativity is worth at least a cool million dollars go to your head. There is no question in your mind that you are destined for financial greatness and you won't require Social Security as a secure safety net.

And what better way is there to feel prosperous than to live in a nice home located in an exclusive superb? You have convinced yourself that a spacious, comfortable house will make you more creative and productive in your
occupational pursuits.

Another reason for buying this home is that you will be inspired by the successful people living in this area. Still another reason is the larger the house you buy, the more it will go up in value, and the wealthier you will become in the future, providing you with a nice Retirement Income when you are Joyfully Retired.

With all this in mind, you have decided to buy the largest house that can be financed with first, second, and even third mortgages. Your decision to purchase a swanky home will be supported by many financial wizards. They advocate that you should never extend yourself to buy a car; however, if there is one thing for which you can go out on a financial limb, it's a house.

This concept is supported by Harvey Mackay who advises us to, "Buy cheap cars and expensive houses." The basis behind this strategy is the opportunity for long-term gain. Chances are fairly high that the value of the house will escalate and it's almost certain that the value of the car will do the opposite. Because houses don't normally depreciate, financing the purchase of a house is a good forced-savings plan which builds wealth for the future.

Zen Rich philosophy advocates restraint when acquiring a house, however. Purchasing too expensive of a home can make you "house poor." even when prices are going up. With the high monthly mortgage payments, you won't be able to enjoy some of life's little pleasures. As you can well imagine, it's difficult to feel relaxed and prosperous (while having fun at work) if you are concerned whether you can make next month's mortgage payment every time you take the family out to dinner.

The idea that there is a big profit potential with a large house may not hold anymore. Experts are now predicting that prices don't go up nearly as fast as they did in the past. Moreover, demographics indicate that, due to the aging population, the trend will be towards smaller homes. Thus, selling prices of large homes could easily come down due to lower demand. So much for profit potential as a reason to purchase a large home! The point is, it's easy to rationalize any purchase without giving it much thought.

Unlike these crazed status-seekers, you, as a Zen-Rich individual wishing to simplify your life, should question why you would want to buy a much bigger and fancier house than you need. Houses in certain suburbs are now 3000 to 4000 square feet, when 1500 square feet will be more than enough for the typical family. Who really needs four bedrooms, three baths, a dining room, a den, a family room, and a living room?

This is not to say that all luxury should be avoided. Some luxury is a good way of rewarding oneself for being creative and productive, but it's amazing how many people don't ever use their fireplaces, family rooms, and swimming pools. In this regard, William Morris offers some wise advice: "If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."

Realistically, houses will always play some role in our self-image, personal identity, and social standing. For this reason, it's important that you get in touch with all the factors that may influence you to choose the house you want, especially if it is large and luxuriously equipped. You must ask yourself, "Beyond the physical functions, what are the psychological functions that this house serves?"

Remember that true or complete ownership isn't realized until the day that the mortgage is paid off. To the degree your ego drives you to purchase a larger house than you can afford will determine when, if ever, you attain true ownership.

Contrary to popular belief, the largest and most luxuriously equipped house in the most exclusive neighborhood doesn't guarantee personal satisfaction and fulfillment. In terms of physical features, it's important to like your house and neighborhood and have it well-suited for your needs and lifestyle. However, for a house to be truly a home, it must be filled with strong human relationships, family cohesiveness, and meaningful life experiences.

The bottom line is, bigger and fancier houses don't mean happier homes.

Here are some quotes and poems relating to houses:

Sep 8, 2009

A Reader Recommends How to Retire Happy to Her Clients

This is the latest e-mail that I received about my book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, which is the best retirement gift that you can give yourself aside from great health in retirement.

    From: Teena Dawson
    How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free
    To: success101coach (at)
    Received: Monday, September 7, 2009, 7:27 PM

    Hi Ernie,

    I just finished "How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free" and thought I'd write to say how much I enjoyed it. In fact, I blogged about it:

    I've been in the group retirement industry in education and communication for over 20 years (I'm an Education Advisor). Most books cover the financial aspects of retirement. It was nice to read your book because it didn't go there at all. Thanks for that! I'll definitely be recommending it to my clients.


Sep 2, 2009

It Took Me 20 Years to Become an Overnight Success

This month is 20 years since I published my first book called The Art of Seeing Double or Better in Business.
I self-published this book on creativity after the book was turned down by over 30 Canadian, American, and British publishers.
Since then my books have sold over 625,000 copies and I am published in 20 languages in 27 different langauges.
As the saying goes, "It took me 20 years to become an overnight success."
Funny thing, I still have to self-publish because publishers still turn me down.
Readers like my books but many publisher don't.
Here is the latest e-mail I received from Alex Vieira Silveira in Brazil about one of my books:

    ----- Original Message ----- From: Alex Vieira Silveira To: vip books (at) telus ( dot) net

    Sent: Tuesday, September 01, 2009 9:55 PM Subject: To Ernie Zelinski Hi! My name is Alex and Im sending this email from my job. Im reading a book of yours The Lazy Person's Guide to Success  and Im almost changing my entire life. [ I am hopefully helping to find a successful retirement job even if I don't need it and enjoying the retirement quotes ] As you say in the book I used to live under the culture of "a hard work will make you a sucess man" but I never really liked it and recently I've discovered that I dont even like what I do. Im studying what I like and doing this job at home, and the ideas appeared from nowhere showing me how to pay my debt of R$5000 in 2 months, so Im thankful =) Very thanks Ernie )
Here two of my new webpages on my websites:

Funny Friendship Quote and Sayings

Paper Lossess Are Real Losses, Stupid!

Aug 15, 2009

Free E-book about Work to Be Translated Into Kurdish

It's amazing the things that happen when you post free e-books on the Internet.

I received this e-mail the other day about my free e-book
1001 Best Things Ever Said about Work (and the Workplace) :

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: abubakr abdulla
    To: ez-books (at) telus (dot) net
    Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 12:39 AM
    Subject: hi

    Mr. Ernie J. Zelinski
    iam abubakr from iraq
    i wont to published you book (1001 best things ever said about work) by KURDSIH language.
    Kurdsh People life in North of Iraq.
    are you agree...
    thank you for agreement
    i wait for your answer.
    good day

    Erbil - kurdistan - Iraq
For the record I gave this guy permission to publish the e-book given that it is a book of inspirational quotes and funny quotations.
This e-book is available at:
This free E-book in PDF format is the ultimate book of quotations about work for the professional speaker, journalist, author, career advisor, life coach, and connoisseur of great quotations. It also makes great reading for just about everyone.

Refer to the Table of Contents and you will see that this E-book is organized into over 125 subjects and categories for easy reference.
What's more, all you have to do is place your cursor on the category and you will taken to the respective page for the category.
Partial Table of Contents of Subject Areas
  • Ability
  • Accomplishing the Impossible
  • Action
  • Aggravations of Work Ambition
  • Bad Days at Work
  • Boring Work
  • Bureaucracy
  • Busyness
  • Careers
  • Career Advice
  • Change in the Workplace
  • Committees
  • Dating People at Work
  • Delegation

You can place 1001 Best Things Ever Said about Work (and the Workplace) on your website as an important retirement resource.

Jul 31, 2009

Career Success Warning - Medical World Has Overall Lack of Regard for the Employee's Well-Being

Here is the latest e-mail that I received about my book Career Success Without a Real Job

    1ST - Your style of writing is very readable.

    2ND - even though I worked in the medical field vs. corporate America, I could relate to everything you said regarding how you were treated in the corporate world. Suprisingly, the medical world is no different in the overall lack of regard for the employee's well-being and the resistance of management to implement the suggestions of employees. I could go on, but you get the point.

    3RD - What I liked most was the overall tone of the book that was genuinely supportive and encouraging. I don't get much of that in my world so that was very refreshing.

    THANK YOU AGAIN for writing that book and I wish you ALL THE BEST with your upcoming projects.


Just a note that this Career Success Without a Real Job is designed to help ambitious and creative people live an extraordinary lifestyle that is the envy of the corporate world! It is also suitable for those retirees now looking at new retirement careers.

Jul 20, 2009

Planning to Work Past Retirement Age — Get Real!

Largely due to the recent recession, many baby boomers say they plan to work longer to allow investments time to grow and to increase the amount of money in their retirement accounts. A good number plan to work well past the traditional retirement age of 60 or 65.

If you are one of these people, it's time to get real. According to a recent survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, almost half (47 percent) of current retirees didn’t retire at the age they had planned on. Indeed, the large majority left earlier than they wanted. Only 10 percent of the retirees offered positive reasons for early retirement whereas 90 percent permanently left their jobs early for negative reasons.

Interestingly, almost a quarter of current employees (23 percent) aim to work until age 65, but only 12 percent of retirees left the workforce at that age.

A whopping 21 percent of employees say that they will work until age 70 or longer, but just 5 percent of workers of retirement age managed to continue working into their 70s.

What's more, while only 3 percent of people plan to retire before age 55, 18 percent of current retirees left their jobs in their early 50s.

Fact is, involuntary early retirement is a lot more common than most people are aware of and few people find adequate Jobs for Retirement.

Here are some of the reasons that people retire early:

  • A health problem or disability was the most common reason employees leave the workforce earlier than they wanted. (42 percent).

  • Over a third (34 percent) of the retirees surveyed became unexpectedly retired due to a downsizing or business closure.

  • A sizable number of people were also forced out of their jobs to care for a spouse or another family member (18 percent).

  • Other reasons cited for early retirement were work-related reasons including outdated skills.

Here are some resources to help your retire earlier than you planned:

Jul 16, 2009

Choose the Best Retirement Book That Suits Your Personality




It's CRAZY how accurate this is!

    1) Pick your favorite number between 1-9
    2) Multiply by 3 then
    3) Add 3
    4) Then again Multiply by 3
    5 ) You'll get a 2 or 3 digit number.....
    6 ) Add the digits together

Now Scroll down to the RETIREMENT BOOK list below and find your number that will correspond to the best retirement book for your personality.
Reinventing Retirement: 389 Bright Ideas About Family, Friends, Health, What to Do, and Where to Live by Mirian Goodman

2. How to Love Your Retirement: Advice from Hundreds of Retirees (Hundreds of Heads Survival Guides) by Barbara Waxman (Editor), Bob Mendelson (Editor)

3. 101 Secrets for a Great Retirement: Practical, Inspirational, & Fun Ideas for the Best Years of Your Life! by Mary Helen and Shuford Smith

4. How to Enjoy Your Retirement, Third Edition: Activities from A to Z by Tricia Wagner and Barbara Day

5. What You Don't Know About Retirement: A Funny Retirement Quiz by Bill Dodds

6. The Wall Street Journal. Complete Retirement Guidebook: How to Plan It, Live It and Enjoy It by Glenn Ruffenach and Kelly Greene

7. The New Retirement: Revised and Updated: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life by Jan Cullinane and Cathy Fitzgerald

Retire Smart, Retire Happy: Finding Your True Path in Life by Nancy K. Schlossberg

9. How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor by Ernie J. Zelinski (World's #1 Corporate Escape Artist, World Class Author, and Unconventional Career Expert)

What Color Is Your Parachute? for Retirement: Planning Now for the Life You Want by Richard N. Bolles and John E. Nelson
    A man's got to take a lot of punishment to write a really funny book.
    — Ernest Hemingway

    Everywhere I go I'm asked if I think the university stifles writers. My opinion is that don't stifle enough of them. There's many a bestseller that could have been prevented by a good teacher.
    — Flannery O'conner

    Every journalist has a novel in him, which is an excellent place for it.
    — Russell Lynes

    Writing is turning one's worst moments into money.
    - J. P. Donleavy

Jul 12, 2009

Unemployment Is the Universe's Way of Telling You to Try Something New

I recently did an electronic interview with about my book Career Success Without a Real Job

There were 9 questions:

Here is Question #1:

    Let's say Mr. X just got fired from the job he's had for six years. Right now the unemployment rate is at a whopping 9.5%. What's the silver lining for Mr. X here? What do you tell him so that doesn't think life is hopeless?
And here is my answer to Question #1:

    Here are a few things Mr. X should consider:

    (a) In the Chinese language, "crisis" and "opportunity" are the same characters. So substitute "opportunity" for "problem". When I got fired from my job over 28 years ago, it was very traumatic. But it was the best thing that ever happened to me. There are many other people who got fired and say the same thing. My getting canned was an opportunity to do something else. I wouldn't have the freedom and the success I have today if I hadn't gotten fired.

    (b) Orson Scott Card said that "Unemployment is capitalism's way of getting you to plant a garden." So, in the midst of it all — don’t freak out just because you got laid off or fired. Sell the produce from your garden. Career experts say getting laid off can be nerve- racking, but it can also be a chance for reinvention. With careful planning and a clear head, you can use the period of adjustment to create a career in a new field and develop new skills.

    (c) If you find yourself unemployed, a recession is a great time to create your own job or start one of many businesses to help the economy. This is a time to finally shut up about how much you know and show the world with action that you really know something that can make a difference in this world. Isn’t this the kind of bravado that Americans are supposed to be known for?

    (d) Read my e-book 101 Reasons to love a Recession. It can be downloaded for free at these links:

End: Here are some 5 telltale signs that you need to read Career Success Without a Real Job

    You just may have to read Career Success Without a Real Job if your retirement plan is "to bide my time 'til I'm 90; then marry Sharon Stone."

    You just may have to read
    Career Success Without a Real Job if you think that you have technical skills "that will take the bosses breath away.”

    You just may have to read
    Career Success Without a Real Job if you say “I need money because I have bills to pay and I would like to have a life, go out partying, please my young wife with gifts, and have a menu entrée consisting of more than soup.”

    You just may have to read
    Career Success Without a Real Job if you think that you should be hired because your twin brother / sister has a college degree.

    You just may have to read
    Career Success Without a Real Job if your main career objective is that you “would like to work for a company that is very lax when it comes to tardiness.”

Jun 27, 2009

Retirement - What Does Joe Do All Day?

I received this e-mail today about The World's Best Retirement Book: The content proves that early retirement is achieveable and that one does not need a job in retirement to be happy.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Maryjo B.
    To: vip-books (at) telus (dot) net
    Sent: Saturday, June 27, 2009 7:39 AM
    Subject: comments on How To Retire Happy, Wild and Free

    Dear Ernie,

    I'm only a third into your book but had to write and tell you what a chord you've struck with me. My fiance and I live in Sarasota, FL - we moved here several years ago from the cold north - Wisconsin. We are in our early 50's - Joe is totally retired - he worked hard for many years both with a business he owned and buying a bunch of condo's in the 80's, paying them all off, renting them out, and ultimately selling all of them just before the real estate crash. So now he's living the "Life of Riley." His passion is kiteboarding and any day there is wind you'll find him indulging in his passion on one of the many beautiful beaches we have here. Many of our friends don't "get" how he is retired and I am constantly being asked, "What does Joe DO all day?" We laugh about that question - he is constantly on the go - he buys and sells a ton of stuff on Craigslist, probably spends 2-3 hours every morning on the computer. He works hard to stay fit - he walks (we take hour long walks together most days), bikes, and of course goes kiteboarding. He has always been a very frugal guy which allows him to live this lifestyle even though he's earning practically zip on his investments.

    My story is that I'm still working full-time, but with a plan to retire at least to part-time in 3 years when I'll be 55. A divorce 10 years ago and the recent stock market crash slowed my down but I've managed to pay off my mortgage, I have no debt, own my car, and have a really good job so I'm salting away a good chunk of change every month. I've always been kind of a "middle of the road" spender - not a spendthrift, but not always wise about how I spent money either. Joe has taught me alot of his frugal ways. I also recently read "Your Money or Your Life" and am now tracking every penny I spend and make to see where it all goes. Hopefully the real estate market will go back up one of these years, then Joe and I plan to sell the houses we each own individually and buy a small place together to save on expenses. He is originally from Canada and our hope is to get a small place there as well to spend part of the summers - perhaps a mobile home.

    Anyway, I just wanted to tell you I wholeheartedly agree with your life philosophy. I talk to so many people who say, "Oh, I could never retire, what would I do all day?" I feel sorry for those people because they have, as you say, defined themselves by their job. I never bought into the "workaholic" mentality and have always maintained a healthy work/life balance - but I look around at the corporate offices I've worked in and know I am in the minority. Oh well - that's ok by me! I've got my "what I will do in retirement" list all made out and can't wait to get started!

    Keep up the inspirational writing - the world needs you!

    Maryjo B.
    Sarasota, FL
Here are some resources to help you retire happy, wild, and free.

Jun 24, 2009

Latest Retirement News Not All That Rosy

Here is the latest retirement news, some of which may not be all that rosy to retirees:
  • A Retirement Plan That's Guaranteed to Fail Motley Fool. If you're among the third of Americans expecting Social Security to deliver a big part of your retirement income, you're planning for a lifestyle somewhere
  • Can You Afford to Retire ... Ever? Mark Iwry, a leading retirement-plan expert who recently co-authored the automatic IRA plan in the Obama administration's 2010 budget proposal
  • Is your pension plan safe? BloggingStocks - USA We should note that there are two kinds of popular pension plans. First we have the "defined benefit" (DB) plan where the benefit on retirement is ...

NO MONEY TO PURSUE YOUR GOALS? "Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that." — Norman Vincent Peale

Here are some resources to help you retire happy, wild, and free.

Jun 17, 2009

Don't let weeds grow around your dreams and aspirations.

  • Honolulu at Sunset:

Below are the contents of an e-mail I sent to my friends today:

My recent 5-day trip to New York was a real blast — and profitable at the same time.

At Book Expo 2009, I hooked up with several distributors and pretty well decided on which distributor I want to rock with. I intend to go back to New York next year for Book Expo again.

At the
Author 101 University one-day seminar, held before Expo, there were two speakers that really impressed me.

The best speaker was a guy by the name of Brendon Burchard
who is a master of creating sponsorships for his projects.

Brendon Burchard has already raised $510,000 in sponsorships for his next book.

Brendon inspired me to start working toward my getting an annual winter holiday in Hawaii sponsored by some organization.

So, it's Hawaii, here I come. The question is: Who Will Have the Privilege of Sponsoring My Trip?

Some of you will think this is unreasonable. Keep in mind that I had the following two sponsorships in the last year that came to me without any marketing on my part:

  • The National Turkish Society on Quality (KalDer) last November flew me to Istanbul first class, put me up in the Ritz-Carlton in an executive suite for 3 nights, and had me speak for one hour about The Joy of Not Working . This was the trip of my life given that the total cost of this trip to The National Turkish Society on Quality was over $20,000 and I even got paid $3,000 to speak for the hour.

  • Allstate Financial in Northbrook, Illinois last year purchased 3,750 copies of my book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free with the Allstate name on it to give to its clients. Nice tidy profit of about $10,000.

So, I am inviting you to dream big as well.

Remember that a guy was able to trade a paper clip for a house on eBay.

One last note: Don't let weeds — particularly negative people — grow around your dreams and aspirations.

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)

Jun 16, 2009

Early Retirement a Fantasy for Most Americans Except for Mr. Weirdo

Here are some interesting facts about American retirees and their mortgages which reflect why early retirement is a fantasy for most Americans:

  • A report by AARP found that 25.5 million American seniors ages 50 and older have a mortgage.

  • Thirty-six percent of American workers ages 55 and older say the total value of their household's savings and investments — excluding the value of their primary home and any defined benefit plans — is less than $25,000, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

  • More than 600,000 American home-owning seniors are delinquent or in foreclosure, according to AARP.
Here is the link to a story about a guy who calls himself Mr. Weirdo in which my retirement book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free was mentioned:

Did you know that the term " Teacher Retirement Poems " is searched more in search engines such as google than " retirement planning "or "retirement" itself?

Jun 12, 2009

Many Retired Men Not Happy in Retirement

There is a strong emphasis in Western society to plan and save money for retirement but the bigger questions of what the money savings tips are really for and what a person really wants to do when they retire are not considered.

A recent Australian study found that men are better than women at saving money for their retirement - but often have no idea how to spend it. The reason is that they have not developed a passion for leisure.

A person's level of leisure involvement during their working years tends to predict their involvement during retirement.

Indeed, people are less likely to start new leisure activities after retirement.

Getting involved in many active leisure activities and social activities while still working is the way to prepare for retirement.

Here are some retirement quotes relating to the difficulty men have in retirement:

    A retired husband is often a wife's full-time job.
    — Ella Harris

    When men reach their sixties and retire, they go to pieces. Women go right on cooking.
    — Gail Sheehy

    Retired: Too Old to Work — Too Young to Die.
    — Written on a T-shirt

    In this country . . . men seem to live for action as long as they can and sink into apathy when they retire.
    — Charles Francis Adams, Sr.

Jun 3, 2009

The World's Best Retirement Book — Who Am I to Tamper with a Masterpiece?

    "Freedom comes from seeing the ignorance of your critics and discovering the emptiness of their virtue."
    — Ayn Rand

    This is my response to an e-mail (see below my response) that I received from a woman criticizing my book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

    Hello Trish:

    I have read your comments and disagree.

    Here are the reasons I will not be making the changes that you suggest:

      1. How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free has proven to be the "World's Best Retirement Book", as a reader called it, by word-of-mouth advertising alone. Word-of-mouth is the most powerful advertising for any product because it is based on people getting a lot of value out of it and telling others about it.

      2. How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free has now sold over 100,000 copies. Did you know that over 95% of the books published — even by major publishers — sell less than 5,000 copies in their life time? For the record, all 12 of my books published in English have sold over 5,000 copies. So I know I am very good at what I do. I was just at Book Expo in New York and major US publishers and distributors were complimenting me on my success.

      3. How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is now published in 7 foreign languages, with the 8th (Bulgarian) being done this year. Did you know that only one out of 10 books gets even one foreign publishers, let alone 8?

      4. Companies such as Allstate Financial, which purchased 3,750 copies of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free with its name on it (see above image), are purchasing this book by the thousands to give to employess and clients. Companies don't just purchase a book without checking it out to see whether it has great content.

      5. Check out the two e-mails out of hundreds that I have recently received from people about the book at Letters from the Happily Retired. As a matter of fact, for every one negative e-mail or letter such as yours that I receive, I receive 50 or 100 positive ones like the ones below. I wouldn't be too bright listening to a negative one like yours, would I, when there are thousands of positive ones stating that the book is just fine the way it is?

    Again, regardless of what you say or think, How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is the "World's Best Retirement Book." It has sold 110,000 copies and it will end up selling 500,000 copies.

    As one of my mentors, Jack Canfield, says, "Results don't lie."

    And as Oscar Wild said, when asked to make changes to one of his famous and successful plays, "Who am I to tamper with a masterpiece?"

    If you don't like
    How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, just send it back to me at the address at the back of the book along with the receipt and I will refund what you paid for it plus shipping. (I can afford to this because the book has already made me over $400,000 in pretax profits).

    And I challenge you to write a better book. I bet that you can't! Thinking that you can doesn't count. As the Buddhists say, "To know and not to do is not yet to know!"

    In the mean time I have attached two of my e-books, 101 Reasons to Love a Recession and The 237 Best Things Ever Said about Retirement. If you don't enjoy these e-books, then send them to people whom you don't like.

    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)

    Featured at

Here is the e-mail from the reader:

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Patsy Carpenter
    To: vip-books (at) telus (dot) net
    Sent: Wednesday, June 03, 2009 11:13 AM

    Hello Ernie,

    My husband and I have been retired for several years, and we are having a reading session every day with How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free. This appears to be for people thinking about retiring, not so much for those already retired. I am just at page 50, so I may be wrong there.

    We have lived all over the world for many years working for the U.S. Department of Defense. My husband worked with Colin Powell in Stuttgart, Germany in the 1st gulf war. My husband was the senior DoD logistician at the European Command Headquarters, and Mr. Powell was a general then. That doesn't mean he knows how to "retire," as you point out. It also doesn't necessarily mean he is/we are...morons.

    I read on page 50 of your book that, "Putting purpose into retirement is only unattainable to uncreative and unmotivated people who are unable to think and act on their own. Not only was this very depressing, we were insulted and wondered why we would buy a book on the subject seeking ideas and "help," which we obviously would not need if we were intelligent, creative, and motivated! Some people might just toss your book at that point...really. They buy your book seeking help. So far, we have heard the same thing repeated over and over in slightly different ways...why one possibly should, and could retire early. Of course, you are trying to convince folks they can do this, but we're wondering how many more times we'll hear the same thing.

    I also noticed it's assumed that the career one had obviously had no real far as connecting with who you really are. For some, their career is who they really are...artists, missionaries, humanitarian workers, etc. There are more than "suits" with careers. My husband was a suit. I was not. I was very involved in "spiritual" work. It was a passion, and one I will continue eventually.

    I'll let you know what I think of your book once I've read it all. If you revise it some day, I'd advise you to leave out the sentence making people sound like idiots for buying your book...for a little help!!! We are enjoying the little cartoons. Well, back to your book!