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 significance...as 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!