Oct 29, 2010

Find Your Perfect Retirement Job?

Perhaps, like many retirees and soon-to-be retired individuals, you are looking for the perfect retirement job.

Any new career book catches my eye given that I have written a career book myself (Career Success Without a Real Job).

So when I received a Google Alert saying, Ambitious advice book fails to succeed, I had to check it out.

The story was on Daily Trojan.com and was a review of a book called Find Your Perfect Job. (To me the perfect job is an unreal job and not a real job.)

The reviewer says:

    Self-help books, truthfully, cannot do much to jumpstart a burgeoning career, besides take a $20 bill out of the buyer’s pocket. The very least the text can do is inspire the reader or at least share the author’s story to set a good example or warn against the pitfalls of the universe.
    Find Your Perfect Job hardly does any of that. Smith instead reminisces about his own experiences and, in the end, narrows the perfect job to a career involving business, consulting or law. At some points, he does outline truly useful advice. It’s the kind of advice, however, that the Career Planning & Placement Center e-mails to students daily. It’s the kind of advice that can be found on an Internet forum. It’s even the kind of advice, one can say, that most semi-functional students have already heard and taken to heart.

Even if I have not read the book, I would tend to disagree with the reviewer, particularly with the statement: "Self-help books, truthfully, cannot do much to jumpstart a burgeoning career, . . " What a bunch of crap! It's like saying cookbooks won't do anything to help people cook a decent meal.

In fact, a person who read the book takes the reviewer to task with some of the things that she has said in the review.

Interestingly, Find Your Perfect Job now has 12 reviews on Amazon. They are all 5-star reviews except for one which is a 4-star review. This is darn good

It appears that the book reviewer can't recognize a valuable book.

"The best effect of any book," stated Thomas Carlyle, "is that it excites the reader to self-activity."

True enough. If a book even motivates one reader to alter his or her life, it already is a winner.

Of course, there will still be critics no matter how valuable a book is to many readers.

Most of these critics are, as Werner Erhard once said, "opposition looking for something to oppose."

These quotes about writing and writers apply:

    Writing is a profession in which you have to keep proving your talent to people who have none.
    — Jules Renard

    Nobody ever committed suicide while reading a good book, but many have while trying to write one.
    — Robert Byrne

    Writers may be disreputable, incorrigible, early to decay or late to bloom, but they dare to go it alone.
    — John Updike

    There is probably no hell for authors in the next world - they suffer so much from critics and publishers in this.
    — C. N. Bovee

Here are some more work quotes to help you find the perfect retirement job:

    The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous. — Margot Fonteyn

    More men are killed by overwork than the importance of the world justifies.
    — Rudyard Kipling

    Find a job you like and you add five days to every week.
    — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

    Life is mostly froth and bubble.
    Two things stand like stone:
    Dodging duty at the double,
    Retiring and leaving work alone.
    — Unknown Wise Retiree

Oct 28, 2010

Retirees Blaming Credit Cards for Their Debt Are Not Taking Responsibility

This is an excerpt from a recent article titled More Retirees Bankrupt, Blaming Credit Cards which reported on a study that found some retirees are having a hard time with their debt management.

    Credit card fees and interest rates are the factors most often cited by elderly bankruptcy filers, according to the study. Two-thirds of those age 65 and older blamed their credit card for leading them into bankruptcy, while only about half of those under 65 listed this as a reason. In fact, the data also showed that the elderly tend to have accumulated about twice as much credit card debt as younger bankruptcy filers.
This was my comment on the article:

    This statement is highly questionable:
    "Two-thirds of those age 65 and older blamed their credit card for leading them into bankruptcy."
    Have these people ever considered blaming themselves for their debt instead of the credit cards? Credit cards can't act on their own. Plain and simple: These people are responsible for their debt and not the credit cards. These 3 inspirational quotations from The Sensational Quotes Website should put things in perspective:
      "Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses."
      — George Washington Carver
        "Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame."    — Erica Jong "If your daily life seems poor, do not blame it; blame yourself, tell yourself that you are not poet enough to call forth its riches."— Rainer Maria Rilke
      Unfortunately, many North Americans now suffer from a sense of entitlement and are not willing to take responsibility for their lives. This has in part contributed to the serious economic conditions today.
      If people learned how to save and pay cash for anything they purchased, we would have few people in serious debt, and more people who would have a better retirement plan.
      I worked less than half of my adult life and I have no debt problems simply because I learned a long time ago how to live way below my means. Incidentally, I drive a 1995 Camry even though I can purchase a brand new car for cash. (See these car quotes to get a better grasp of why cars can create debt problems for you.) What's more, I have about 10 credit cards but have never paid one cent of credit-card interest in the last 20 years. This is a result of taking responsibility and not blaming credit cards or others people.
      Ernie J. Zelinski

    Oct 25, 2010

    My Retirement Plan Is Being Hindered by Too Much Choice

    I have been wondering why I haven't been getting much done lately so that I can work toward my retirement plan.

    I just found out the reason: I have too much choice — too many great projects to work on including a new book called How NOT to Retire BROKE: Create $250,000 or More for Your Retirement in Seven Years or Less.  (Also because I have been fighting people stealing my website and blog content so that I am not penalized for exact duplicate content).

    If you haven't seen this video, it's worth watching.

    Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz's estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.

    The Paradox of Choice

    Here is an e-mail that I received from a friend of mine who retired with virtually no assets except for an Airstream trailer and a car worth about $3,000.

    George has been happily retired with his main income from the age of 60 to 65 being $450 a month from the Canadian Pension Plan. Yes, that what Jim lived on.

    But Jim just turned 65 and will receive almost $1,500 a month with the Old Age Security and the Alberta Government supplement. (similar to what Social Security pays in the U.S.)

      I just finished listening to the Barry Schwartz and I couldn't agree more with what he was saying. I feel the same kind of paralysis he talks about when I go into a restaurant that has a six page menu and an even longer wine list. Invariably, after having had a reasonably good meal, I still leave wondering if there was something else I might have enjoyed more and, as he says, that feeling consequently diminishes the dining experience. I also have to admit that my happiness is tied directly to my lack of affluence, and therefore, to my distinct lack of choices in life generally (which others would call a near state of impoverishment and subsequently to a substantially lower set of expectations). It all makes perfect sense, this lifestyle of mine, thanks to Barry Schwartz. And thanks to you, Ernie, for passing this on. George
    Here are some retirement resources for enhancing your retirement:


    And here are some of the quotes from the Sensational Quotes for Smart People Website

      Life is full of uncertainties. Future investment earnings and interest and inflation rates are not known to anybody. However, I can guarantee you one thing . . . those who put an investment program in place[as a retirement plan] will have a lot more money when they come to retire than those who never get around to it.- Australian Finance Expert and Best-Selling Author Noel Whittaker
      After you marry, every asset either of you acquires is jointly held. That's why you both need to be in sync on your long-term financial goals, from paying off the mortgage to putting away for retirement. Ideally, you should talk about all this before you wed. If you don't, you can end up deeply frustrated and financially spent. - Suze Orman

    Oct 16, 2010

    Creativity Is the Key to Great Retirement Living

    If your retirement plan is not working out the way you would like, try being more creative in attaining your retirement dreams. That is what I have done for my retirement plan.Creativity is the ability to be different.

    Those who are ultra successful in retirement are those who are willing to try new and different things.

    They don’t follow the current trend that other retirees are following . . . they create their own!

    You should do the same.

    Here are a few creativity quotes to jump start your creativity:

    There is no great genius without a mixture of madness.
    — Aristotle

    Creativity varies inversely with the number of cooks involved in the broth.
    — Bernice Fitz-Gibbon

    The more you reason the less you create.
    — Raymond Chandler

    You can judge your age by the amount of pain you feel when you come in contact with a new idea.
    — Unknown wise person

    Use your brain. It's the little things that count.
    — Graffiti

    Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.
    — Dr. E. Land (inventor of the Polaroid Camera)

    The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them.
    — Mark Twain

    Nothing is ever accomplished by a reasonable man.
    — American Proverb

    Creative minds always have been known to survive any kind of bad, training.
    — Anna Freud

    Creativity is coming up with an idea; innovation is getting off your butt and doing something about it.
    — Unknown wise person

    In short, when your retirement life isn’t working, change it.

    Start doing something new or put a new spin on the old retirement activities.

    Whatever it is you are doing, make it different from what the majority are purusing.


    Retirement Dreams Scary for Many

    Creativity Why Germany Is Getting Ahead of the U.S.?

    Oct 11, 2010

    Work Is What You Do So You Don't Have to Work Anymore

    Contrary to popular belief, unemployment and retirement are a time to build some real character. I am now 61 years old and have been unemployed for over half my adult life. This is a good thing, by the way. Whenever friends or acquaintances announce that they have either got  fired or laid off their jobs, my response is, “Congratulations.”

    After I said this to a friend who quit his job during an economic recession not so long ago, his face lit up, before he started laughing and remarked, “You are the only one who has said this to me. Everyone else is asking me things like ‘How could you during a recession? Jobs are so hard to come by!’ or ‘How are you going to survive?’ ”

    I congratulate people who have quit or lost their jobs because I know that for creative and innovative people who want real success in their  lives, this is an opportunity for them to go on to something not only better, but something great!

    Here are some of my favorite quotes about work and retirement to put work in proper perspective.

    #1 of Top-10 Work Quotes

    The work ethic is a terrible mistake — a cute term gone haywire.
    — from Life's Secret Handbook

    #2 of Top-10 Quotes about Work

    What work I have done I have done because it has been play. If it had been work I shouldn't have done it. Who was it who said, "Blessed is the man who has found his work"? Whoever it was he had the right idea in his mind. Mark you, he says his work — not somebody else's work. The work that is really a man's own work is play and not work at all. Cursed is the man who has found some other man's work and cannot lose it. When we talk about the great workers of the world we really mean the great players of the world. The fellows who groan and sweat under the weary load of toil that they bear never can hope to do anything great. How can they when their souls are in a ferment of revolt against the employment of their hands and brains? The product of slavery, intellectual or physical, can never be great.
    — Mark Twain

    #3 of Top-10 Work Quotes

    Gainfully unemployed — very proud of it, too.
    — Charles Baxter

     #4 of Top-10 Work Quotes

    By the age of 65, most of us have accomplished whatever work-related goals we are going to reach. If you haven't done it by then, chances are you aren't going to do it. Take the retirement, take the pension, take the Social Security, and sail off into the sunset.
    — Sue Lasky

    #5 of Top-10 Quotes about Work

    Working at a real job you don't like (instead of a unreal job you like) is a lame way to spend a good portion of your life.
    — Unknown Wise Person

    #6 of Top-10 Work Quotes

    Work is what you do so that sometime you won’t have to do it anymore.
    — Alfred Polgar

    #7 of Top-10 Work Quotes

    We live in the age of the overworked, and the under-educated; the age in which people are so industrious that they become absolutely stupid.
    — Oscar Wilde

    #8 of Top-10 Work Quotes

    All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.
    — Aristotle

    #9 of Top-10 Work Quotations

    In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it: they must not do too much of it: and they must have a sense of success in it — not a doubtful sense, such as needs some testimony of others for its confirmation, but a sure sense, or rather knowledge, that so much work has been done well, and fruitfully done, whatever the world may say or think about it.
    — W. H. Auden

    #10 of Top-10 Work Quotes

    If you hate your job, of all the thirty-seven alternatives, running away is best
    — Unknown wise person

    If more individuals read The Joy of Not Working and The World's Best Retirement Book, they  would be better able to handle leisure time and wouldn't have as many fears and worries about retirement.

    Oct 7, 2010

    Retirement Living Is Great If Your Wants Don't Become Your Needs

    I  just received a Google Alert that my name was mentioned in an article about retirement living in the Vancouver Sun.

    The article was titled Are Boomers Saving Too Much for Retirement - Not This One.

    I noticed that the reason my name was mentioned in the Google Alert was because Daryl Nelson, a commentor to the article, had mentioned my book  How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free in his words "as the only
    book on retirement I have found at all useful."

    Anyway, the article was written by Craig McInnes, who claims that he will need a lot of
    money in retirement. Here is one of his statements; "When I have time, I tend to spend more money, not less. On travel, on renovation projects, on shopping for things that I didn't realize I needed until I had time to look around and see what's available. Do you know you can buy wireless speakers now? Imagine how much better life would be if I could get rid of that rat's nest in the TV room."

    To me, an attitude like this is why the world has such big problems and why the American economy is in the tank with a lot of baby boomers not having saved enough for retirement. It also shows a lack of creativity.
    The following paragraphs were posted by me in response to the article:
    I have received hundreds of letters, phone calls, and e-mails from retirees confirming that they live on much less money once they have retired as compared to when they were working. These people live on a modest amount of money because they have their wants in check. "Also, Statistics Canada has confirmed that the average retiree lives on around 50 percent of pre-retirement income. These results don't lie. People can — and do — live on a lot less money in retirement.
    "Fact is, the key to living well in retirement is to be very clear about "needs" vs "wants."
    "There are two major problems with North Americans, particularly baby boomers:
    1. A need is any luxury that the neighbor happens to have

    2. Instant gratification takes too long.

    Plain and simple: Your needs have always been provided for — otherwise you would be dead! (Case closed!)
    "I have a retired friend named George who takes in only $1,500 a month (CPP, Old Age Security, and supplement) and still saves $400 to $500 a month.

    "Even a better example, another friend Ron has been getting only $450 a month from early CPP since he turned 60. He had no assets except for an inexpensive car and a older Airstream trailer in which he lives. He doesn't have to pay any rent because he has it parked on a friends land. Ron is one of the happiest people I have met. He just turned 65 on September 21 so with Old Age Security (the governmment should change the name to "New Age Security") and the supplement, he will now be making what George makes, around $1,500. Ron says that he will be able to live like a king on this. Incidentally, if you think that Ron is some sort of derilict, he isn't. On the contrary, Ron used to be a university professor and gave it up in 1990 because he didn't believe in teaching university students to be bigger consumers. When Ron appears in public, he comes across as more polished, distinguished, and intelligent than 95 percent of people in society.

    "These eight 
    quotations are some of my favorites to put needs and wants in proper perspective relative to happiness.

    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
    — Henry David Thoreau
    Be what you is, not what you ain't, 'cause if you ain't what you is, you is what you ain't. — Luther D. Price

    Abundance isn't a matter of acquiring how much money you desire; it's a matter of being happy with how much you presently have.
    — Unknown wise person

    If you want to know how rich you really are, find out what would be left of you tomorrow if you should lose every dollar you own tonight.
    — William J. H. Boetcker

    My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants.
    — J. Brotherton

    That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.
    — Henry David Thoreau

    If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can't buy.
    — Unknown Wise Person

    If I keep my good character, I shall be rich enough.
    — Platonicus

    For the record, I drive a 1995 Camry even though I can purchase 10 brand new expensive cars for cash. This alone proves that a new car is not a need but a want — just as most things that people say are needs. Even a used car is not a need because I could get by without a car if I really had to.

    The thing that most unhappy and dissatisfied people don't ever get is: "To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.
    Ernie J. Zelinski
    Best-Selling Author, Innovator, and International Life Coach
    Author of
    How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
    (Over 125,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
    The Joy of Not Working
    (Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)