Mar 28, 2010

Retirement Advice for Retirees - Some People Just Don't Get It

I get a lot of great fan mail from readers of my retirement books, including people asking me about the best retirement jobs for them, my retirement plan, and their retirement number.

Not all the e-mails and letters I receive are from people who are the brightest people on their block, however.

Not so long ago I received the following e-mail from a reader of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free:

----- Original Message ----- From: Bev K
To: Ernie Zelinski
Subject: a question about your book

Dear Mr. Zelinski,

I am reading your book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free and have a question.

It seems that many of the people (at least in the first 2 chapters) have left the work world at a young age.

The recurring questions in my mind are 1) how are they paying for their health insurance? 2) are they getting food stamps or other forms of public assistance? I realize that these may be questions that are not pertinent to Canada (since I am not familiar with your system I won't presume to "judge"), but as a citizen of Wisconsin (and previously Minnesota) where there are large numbers of able bodied individuals collecting public assistance in a variety of forms -- and mind you, I as a tax payer am providing these benefits to them -- I take offense to the idea that you would promote this lifestyle! I would love to be able to quit work and "follow my passion" - but in order to pay for health insurance and put food on the table and pay property taxes, etc. etc. etc. I MUST continue to work.

Or, as an alternative I could quit work -- follow my passion -- and allow other hard working individuals to provide ME with those benefits. I apologize for the tone of this message -- however, I would very much appreciate a reply as to the utilization of public assistance by the people highlighted in your book as the ones we should strive to emulate. Sincerely, Bev

This was my response:

Hello Bev:

How did you come to the conclusion that I am promoting a lifestyle of welfare?

And how did you come to the conclusion that the people cited in my book were on public asssistance?

Your thinking is greatly flawed.

And if you continue to indulge in your low level of thinking and continue to hang onto to your belief systems, you will continue to get what you are getting out of life. I would suggest that what you are getting out of life financially and the satisfaction you are getting out of your career is a direct result of your own behaviour.

See, as Jack Canfield, (one of my favorite inspirational writers) says "Results don't lie." Excuses and false beliefs lie big time, however.

I know of hundreds of people who are making a great living pursuing what they want to pursue. I also know many people who were able to retire early in life. They got there by operating out of high intention and a level of thinking that is beyond the realm of the average person.

Take me, for example.I have never collected welfare and I now make over $100,000 a year by working 4 or 5 hours a day by doing what I love to do, and having the freedom to work when I want to. I know that I have earned my position in life and that I would never have got to where I am if had the same low level of thinking as you have.

What's more, you are really plugged in about having to support people on welfare. Why are you wasting your energy on this? Our tax rate in Canada is much higher than it is in the U.S. For 2007 I will pay anywhere between $30,000 and $35,000 in income tax and I am celebrating this.

In fact, I hope that I have to soon pay over $100,000 a year in tax. I will celebrate just as much and not spend one second of my time on negative energy into thinking that anyone who works only a few hours a day is on welfare. What's more, I will not spend any time resenting people on welfare (I can assure you that Canada's welfare rate is higher than that of the U.S because Canada is a much more socialist country).

Sure, some people abuse the system, but that's their own negative energy and false beliefs that keep them in the situation where they have to abuse the system in countries such as the U.S. and Canada where there is so much tremendous opportuntity to make a great living outside the corporation with a litttle creativity, risk taking, and ACTION! I am presently reading a book called The 4-Hour Work Week by Tom Ferris (only 29 years old). Ferris used to work 12 hours a day and make $40,000 a year.

Today he works 4 hours a week and makes $40,000 a month. Ferris got to where he is by operating out of a paradigm far above the paradigm that the majority of society have. I even admit his paradigm is quite a bit higher than mine but I intend to learn from him by following his advice and principles. This will help me get to the point where I am making $350,000 a year working 2 hours a day and paying $140,000 a year in income tax - and celebrating that I have to pay so much income tax!

Here are some of my favorite sensational quotes from The 4-Hour Work Week:

If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.
— Timothy Ferriss

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.
— Timothy Ferriss

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.
— Timothy Ferriss

Pure hell forces action, but anything less can be endured with enough clever rationalization.
— Timothy Ferriss

I have attached the PDF of a portion of my recent book Career Success Without a Real Job. Read the portion of chapter 3 that is included. I could go on but in the end I suspect I would be wasting my time.

Just one last note: I do know that How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free on Barnes and Noble is a great retirement book. Not because I said so, but because the response that it has gotten from the marketplace.

See a great review, for example, at: How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free Review on Quintessential Careers by Nancy Miller

Fact is, How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is recommended by many retirement seminar presenters and some of the top retirement organizations in the world such as AARP in the U.S. Although largely ignored by the media and turned down by 35 publishers, this book has already sold over 125,000 copies and has been published in 8 foreign languages since it was recently released by Ten Speed Press in Berkeley, California.

What's more, go to and conduct a search for "retirement". You will see that How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free appears in the number 1 position — out of over 150,000 listings for retirement books! Punch in "retirement book" into Google and what comes up in the number 1 position? The Amazon webpage for How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free — out of about 1,780,000 webpages!

Again, results don't lie. Excuses and false beliefs lie big time, however.

So long for now,

Ernie J. Zelinski
Author of the Bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
(Over 125,000 copies sold and published in 8 foreign languages)
and the International Bestseller The Joy of Not Working
(Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

See the links below for webpages with separate retirement letters and fan mail about The World's Best Retirement Book:

    High Expectations for Retirement Book: A Reader States, "Starting with high expectations given the title, which is usually a setup for disappointment, it ended up being my favorite read of 2009."

Mar 18, 2010

A Fun Retirement Job That Can Make You a Fortune

Perhaps you are looking for a fun retirement job or a unreal retirement business because you didn't do sufficient retirement planning while you were working.

Here is some great information about how you can increase your retirement income.

Have you ever thought about sharing your life’s story and strategies for success with the world?

Have you ever written down four or five how-to lessons about life or business and thought, “Man, people would pay for this hard-earned wisdom.”

If yes, then you’re a lot more like the “gurus” than you might have thought.

(And you might as well get paid like them, agreed?)

Legendary trainers like Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, Deepak Chopra, John Gray, and Marianne Williamson all decided at some point to teach others.

Want to be the next guru in your field?

If so, you have to learn to position, promote, and get paid like one. Learn how in this complimentary video:

This amazing in-depth training video will teach you how Brendon Burchard went from being bankrupt and unknown to earning $4.6 million in 24 months with just one assistant.

You will learn:

    * How Brendon used an innovative (and simple) strategy towrite a short how-to ebook and get it downloaded 117,000 times, making him an instant expert (and rich guy).

    *How Brendon skipped the speaking circuit advice of startingout at a few hundred bucks per speech and LEAPED to $25,000 per speech with one secret approach to getting booked as a speaker.

    *How Brendon pulls in $500,000 plus paydays (that’s net) in just one easy to create weekend seminar.

    *How Brendon gets coaching clients to pay $25,000 a year without having to work with them one-on-one every month.

This valuable retirement job information is available at:

Brendon is the go-to guy for authors, speakers, coaches, seminar leaders and online marketers. This insanely detailed and innovative training will show you why.

Tony Robbins, John Gray, David Bach, Brian Tracy, Frank Kern and Paula Abdul call on Brendon for his strategies.

I just took Brendon's Partnership/Sponsorship Seminar in San Francisco last weekend and immediately signed up for his Expert's Academy Training in October. This shows how much I learned from Brendon.

I’m thinking you can learn something from him too.

I hope you enjoy the training.

Ernie J. Zelinski

ps. Brendon made $90,000 in one month implimenting just ONE of the FIVE strategies in this video. You can watch it now at:

Mar 17, 2010

Retirement Seminars Are Not My Forte

I just received this e-mail from a gentleman in Vancouver asking me about whether I conduct retirement seminars:

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Rick
    To: success101coach [ at ]yahoo [ dot ]com
    Sent: Sat, March 13, 2010 3:18:55 PM
    Subject: Post Retirement Seminar

    Hi Mr. Zelinski

    Ernie, first of all, thank you for the wonderful thoughts on retirement/living fully that you have shared through your books. I am definitely a fan and found your The Joy of Not Working to be of tremendous help before my own retirement from a Regional Director of HR position with the Federal Public service last April.

    I have been loving retirement but as I approach my one year anniversary, I would like to do more to increase the awareness/implementation of your ideas (as well promote your books) amongst Federal Public service retirees in the Vancouver area.

    Although there are lots of pre-retirement seminars/courses offered for public servants before they retire, I feel that there would be some real value in more post retirement sessions that focus on what's working well for people; what problems people are having or have had and creative methods that could or have been used to solve the problems. There just doesn't seem to be anything available/offered and my sense is that there is a real need out there.

    I am aiming to lead in developing the seminars and also facilitate them (on volunteer basis for now). I am optimistic that the structured setting to exchange views, listen to speakers, and increase knowledge and awareness will be beneficial (especially to those who are struggling or not fully taking advantage of this stage of their lives).

    I am in the very early stages of planning communication, course content, etc; at this stage the target audience would be Federal Public service retirees. I plan to work with the Federal Superannuate Association (will be meeting with the regional Chairperson later this month). I have had very positive feedback about the basic concept, so now it is a matter of further developing the ideas.

    I would love to hear you in person prior to starting the above sessions (likely in Fall, but one might happen prior to summer). Are there any speaking engagements that you have planned in Vancouver in near future? How about in Calgary (I visit my family there on a regular basis) ? In Edmonton?

    It would be tremendous to have you as a guest speaker at one of the above post retirement seminars (especially if you were in Vancouver on other business). What fee would you generally charge?

    Have you seen any model post retirement courses/seminars in the public or private sector (or in colleges/universities) that I might take a look at in developing my sessions ?


    ps I would like to develop my own expertise in this area with a long term view to enhancing my ability to offer my services on a volunteer and/or paid consultative basis. Any thoughts that you have on how best to formally educate myself in this field would be greatly appreciated.

    Rick W.
This was my response to the above retirement letter:

    Hello Rick:

    Thanks for your interest in having me conduct a retirement seminar.

    In fact, I don't do that many retirement speeches or conduct many seminars these days.

    Although I am not a member of Toastmasters, I will be making a presentation on creativity at the Edmonton District Toastmasters convention in May. Creativity is my favorite topic.

    But I like to stay away from the retirement topic itself because I don't like making a speech or presentation that takes more than an hour. I would not do a good job.

    I will make an hour presentation, which I am good at, but not 2 hours or more.

    For example, I will do gigs like the recent one where the National Turkish Congress on Quality spent about $17,000 for the business-class airfare and hotel accomodations in an executive suite at the Ritz Carlton, and paid me $3,000 to speak for an hour about The Joy of Not Working in Istanbul:

    See Top-10 Highlights of my trip to Istanbul.

    I recently had a request to go to the U.S. to conduct a retirement seminar for an organization but I suggested that they contact Rein Selles from Retirement Life Challenge, who lives in the Edmonton area.

    You state that you have read The Joy of Not Working.

    Have you read How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free?

    This book has already sold over 110,000 copies and has been published in 8 foreign languages since it was released.

    Conduct a search for "retirement" or "retire" on and How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free appears in the number 1 position. Better still, search for "retirement book" in Google and the Amazon page for How to Retire Happy appears in the number 1 spot — out of over 29 million webpages!

    What sets this retirement book apart from all the others is its holistic approach to the fears, hopes, and dreams that people have about retirement. This international bestseller goes way beyond the numbers that is often the main focus of retirement planning in most retirement books.

    There are many ingredients of a happy retirement and several retirement planning tools that help retirees plan for their retirement in new and more meaningful ways. One of the most powerful tools is The Get-a-Life Tree that you won't find in any other retirement books.

    In Chapter 1, I give eight good reasons why the large majority of retirees, whether they live in Canada, the U.S., or other Western nations, can live on far less than 80 percent of their pre-retirement income. Indeed, government statistics indicate that retirees live comfortably on 45 percent to 62 percent of their pre-retirement income.

    I have attached the E-book (in PDF format) with over half of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free that is available as a free download on the Creative Free E-Books Webpage at the Real Success Resource Center ( ).

    I have also attached the PowerPoint Slide that indicates the benefits that any organization can attain by giving away copies of The World's Best Retirement Book.

    Please feel free to forward both the E-book and Slide to any of your colleagues and friends who may be interested in using this book as a gift for retiring employees or clients.

    Many thanks and so long for now,

    Ernie Zelinski
    Best-Selling 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)


    Note: This is a one-time notification about How to Retire Happy, Wild & Free. Please do not consider it as SPAM.

    If you have any objections, please respond and we will not send you further e-mails about our other retirement giveaway e-books that we intend to release.

    Our retirement books are designed for corporations so that they can create GOODNESS, COOLNESS, and AWARENESS with clients and customers.

    Even more important, our funky retirement books such as The Joy of Being Retired: 365 Reasons Why Retirement Rocks! help retirees and the soon-to-be retired to earn their retirement karma points so that they love retirement.


Mar 10, 2010

How to Retire Wild Happy & Free - Chinese Version

I just received this e-mail regarding the Chinese edition of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: michael schopp
    To: vip [ dash ] books [ at ] telus [ dot ] net
    Sent: Wednesday, March 10, 2010 1:10 AM
    Subject: How to Retire Wild Happy & Free - Chinese Version


    I am unable to find a place to purchase this in either Simplified or Traditional characters.

    Can you help?

    I'd be happy to buy in Hong Kong or Beijing ( or elsewhere if not in China ).

    Michael Schopp

This was my response:
    Hello Michael:

    If you visit this webpage of mine you will see the names of the publishers of both the traditional characters and the simplified characters of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.

    Published in Chinese (simplified characters) by CITIC Publishing House, Beijing, China.
    Published in Chinese (traditional characters) by Yuan-Liou Publishing , Taipei, Taiwan.

    I have attached the images of the front cover for the respective editions.

    You may have to contact the publishers directly to see where the books are available.

    Note that CITIC Publishing House in Beijing is just in the middle of renegotiating the Agreements (which ran out) with me through the Big AppleTuttle Mori agency for 4 of my books including this one. The agent has notified me that the advances will not be paid until April 15th so I assume that they will not be selling the book until then.

    Ernie J. Zelinski
    Author of the Bestseller How to Retire Happy
    (Over 120,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
    and the International Bestseller The Joy of Not Working
    (Over 240,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

    The Retirement Cafe
    The Fun at Work Cafe
    The Joy of Being Retired

Mar 7, 2010

Here is some of the latest news regarding retirement:

    FOUR out of 10 British people approaching retirement are considering moving abroad, a survey showed this week.

    Around 42 per cent of people aged over 55 said they were thinking of relocating overseas, with 38 per cent considering doing so within the next five years, according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

    10 American States Which Are the Best Places to Retire Happy Because They Don't Tax Retirement Income (Federal Pensions):
    New York
    See U.S. News Online Tool to Find the Best Places to Retire

    Low Balances In Retirement Funds

    No doubt many people today are counting on The Retirement Plan for Stupid People so that they can enjoy retirement happiness after midlife.

    Only about half the U.S. workforce is covered by some type of employer-sponsored retirement plan. And most of those are 401(k) plans, which usually require employees to contribute and make investment decisions. Of course, without a pension, people's retirement income will be compromised.

    Even before the financial crisis, the average balance in 401(k)s for workers nearing retirement was just $78,000. After the market plunged, that average was reduced to about $56,000. That's just not enough for a comfortable retirement, says Roger W. Ferguson Jr., president and chief executive officer of TIAA-CREF, the financial services company that offers retirement plans for employees in the academic, medical and nonprofit fields.

    "Many families, at this stage, are short $250,000 from what they're going to need," Ferguson says.

Check out these latest retirement resources: