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.

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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

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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 Amazon.com 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

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Oct 4, 2009

Trying to Overcome Amazon.com's Resistance and Unwillingness to Market Books Properly

The last two or three weeks I have been Trying to Overcome Amazon.com'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: http://www.amazon.com/How-Retire-Happy-Wild-Free/dp/096941949X/

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 http://www.amazon.com/Joy-Not-Working-Unemployed-Overworked/dp/1580085520/

Yet do a search of The Joy of Not Working on Google and guess what comes up? The page for the older edition ( http://www.amazon.com/Joy-Not-Working-Ernie-Zelinski/dp/0898159148) 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 Amazon.com 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 Amazon.com 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.

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