What do you fear 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)

1 comment:

Sydney said...

Isn't that the funniest thing? I can't imagine my life being ANY better if I could get rid of a few cords to my TV etc. That certainly is a sad commentary on what's important in life, huh?