What do you fear about retirement?

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 www.Amazon.com 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."

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