Dec 31, 2011

The Joy of Not Working - Latest Email

Here is the latest e-mail that I received about The Joy of Not Working:

    Dear Ernie,

    I came across your book TJONW [The Joy of Not Working ] in the mid 90’s it was purchased from a discount drugstore and I want to tell you how it has affected my life.

    When I read your book it was like a duck going into water I could relate to your way of thinking and appreciated how organized you were as to sharing how to live frugally and happily…The main thing is “ I will find a way or make one “ a quote from Robert E. Peary

    And if a person stays focused on that standard and lives within their means they can find a very fulfilling and rich life…There isn’t enough hours in the day to do all I would like such as: …gardening…sewing…cooking…wood crafting… recycling…and upcycling (making things from recycled items) …walking…kayaking…visiting…internet surfing…playing with the grandchildren…bartering…massaging (that’s my profession)…thrift shopping and yard sales (which saves lots of $)…and being a DIY person… also I am lucky to have the time to hang out the laundry and shop for things that are on sale and make homemade applesauce because it tastes better and be a vegan because it’s healthier…I always wanted to write to you and when I found all your web sites I wanted to join in and let others know that a more natural approach to living life and saving money [for retirment] affords you of enjoying your day to day activities and keeps you doing those types of things instead of punching a clock for someone else.

    Keep up the good work!

    Thanks for all the ideas,

    Barbara H.
    From Northern California
Here are some funny retirement quotes to help you in your retirement plan so that you Retire Happy, Wild, and Free:

    "Anyone who thinks that they are going to be able to ease into retirement and everything is going to be just the way they figured it would be has obviously never been retired."
    — Unknown Reader in response to Globe and Mail retirement article

    "One wonders if the fallback retirement plan is what I call "Freedom Six Feet Under"."
    — Jonathan Chevreau

    "Money will be your friend — like all friends — only if you treat it with great respect. Treat it with disrespect and you will always have financial difficulties. Haven't you noticed? People who don't respect money don't have any."
    — from The Lazy Person's Guide to Success

Dec 16, 2011

Self-Publishing Ebooks as a Retirement Job

Many retirees think that one of the easy ways to riches (as a substitute for a lucrative retirement job) is by self-publishing ebooks given the dramatic rise in ebook sales for devices such as the Kindle, Ipad, and Nook.

Here are the comments that I made on a blog in response to the fact that ebook self-publishing is the rage and so many wannabe writers think that they are going to make such a great income from self-publishing ebooks.

I have been self-publishing print books for over 20 years and make a very good income at it (almost $100,000 a year).

I published one book (101 Really Important Things You Already Know, But Keep Forgetting) as an ebook on Kindle and am not impressed with the sales. I know of several authors whose ebooks have sold fewer than 25 copies on Kindle. There are obviously tens of thousands of ebook authors with the same results.

The point is that, as a book expert recently said, "Everyone today can afford to preach in the desert."

There are tens of thousands of delusional people out there who think that they are going to make a great income from self-publishing ebooks. Sure, industrious and creative people such as John Locke make a great income but the vast majority won't. John Locke is much more industrious and creative than 99 percent of the population.

Keep this quote in mind:

    "It's never crowded along the path that will take you to destinations worth arriving at."
    — from Life's Secret Handbook

In other words, if you are going to be successful at any venture, you better be doing what the vast majority is NOT doing. And one of the things that you have to do that the vast majority is not doing is "creative marketing" for your book.

By "creative marketing" I mean no copycat stuff! Creative marketing is what I did to make my self-published How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free the best-selling retirement book in the world that far outsells all the name brand retirement books such as The AARP Retirement Survival Guide, What Color Is Your Parachute for Retirement, and The Wall Street Journal Complete Retirement Guidebook.

Fact is, even the marketing plan for my How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free is still in its initial phases and developing at this point, eight years after I self-published it. I have sold only 150,000 copies worldwide and my goal is to eventually sell 500,000 copies worldwide.

In short, most authors (more than 95 percent) have never made much money from their writing and have to work at a "real job" to earn a living. The opportunity to self-publish ebooks will not change this simply because most authors are not willing to do the work that is required to market their books in truly creative ways.

Here is what Seth Godin, one of the top marketers in the world said in his book The Dip:

    "Being average is for losers. Being better than 98 percent of the competition used to be fine. In the world of Google, though, it's useless. If you are not going to get to #1, you might as well quit right now."

Seth knows what he is talking about given the results that he has attained in marketing his books.

Ernie J. Zelinski
Author of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
(Over 150,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
and The Joy of Not Working
(Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

Dec 15, 2011

What Are Your Retirement Goals?

What are your retirement goals?

You can see some of my retirement goals at my retirement plan.

At this link are the World's Top 100 Goals according to the website 43 Things:

Notice that writing a book is the second top goal after losing weight. In fact, 82 percent of Americans think that they have a book in them.

When I look at the list of the World's Top 100 Goals, I can think of at least 10 great ideas for a new book.

How about you?

If you decide to write a book, these quotations about writers apply:

    "Write without pay until somebody offers pay. If nobody offers within three years, the candidate may look upon this circumstance with the most implicit confidence as the sign that sawing wood is what he was intended for."
    — Mark Twain

    "If you want to be a writer — stop talking about it and sit down and write!"
    — Jackie Collings

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

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

    "Nobody ever committed suicide while reading a good book, but many have while trying to write one."
    — Robert Byrne
In short, it's amazing how long it takes to write a book that you are not working on.

As an aside, check out the leisure quotes on this webpage, particularly the second last one.

The Elders Speak about Leisure

Sure, I am thrilled to be quoted alongside the likes of Pablo Picasso, Bertrand Russell, and Henry David Thoreau, but nothing beats being quoted alongside Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.

For more on Bhagwan Shree Rayneesh, see Osho on Wikipedia.

Dec 4, 2011

A House Is Not Part of My Retirement Plan

I received the following e-mail today:

    From: David Down
    Subject: Hi
    To: Ernie Zelinski
    Received: Sunday, December 4, 2011, 4:00 AM

    Hi Ernie

    You said you liked hearing from people, so here I am. I have bought most of your books, so I guess I have contributed to your joy of not working.

    I guess the main lesson you give is that is possible to scrape by without a job. You have done it, although it would appear you don't own a home or have really much savings for retirement. And as you have said, you're not such a good writer.

    I am like many who buy your books; looking for an exit from the drudgery of it all. The trick is of course how to do that and still have a roof over your head and be able to do some of things you want to financially. In Australia at least homes are very expensive. The less fun jobs allow you to pay off the home quicker, even if you buy a modest one.

    I think once I own somewhere I would be happy to live for a long time, I'll be in a better position to take risks.


This was my response to David:

    Hi David:

    Thanks for reading my books.

    Yes, I am not a great writer and yet my books have sold 700,000 copies worldwide. This has helped me with my retirement planning.

    Actually, I did scrape by financially for a little while, living at or near the poverty line, but I never considered myself poverty stricken.

    I actually semi-retired when my net worth was MINUS $30,000. (due to student loans).

    People say that can't be done but I proved that it can be. To be able to this one has to play in a realm that is about 3 levels above the majority and one in which the majority don't want to play in.

    Regardless of the fact that I have worked ony 3 or 4 hours a day for many years, I am better prepared financially for retirement than most people my age.

    I purchased the half duplex that I rented for 28 years in 2007. I placed a $163,000 down payment and a mortgage of $162,000 on it. I promised that I would pay it off in 5 years. I actually paid it off in 4 years. Although the half duplex is worth only about $285,000 now since the drop in house prices, I am not concerned. My home was never part of my retirement plan. I have always maintained that a house is a consumer item and not an investment of any sort. People who think a house is an investment and an important part of a retirement plan is a dummy. The house crash in the U.S. proved that this is the case.

    I also have saved about $400,000 for retirement because when I started making decent money about 7 years ago, I saved 50 to 60 percent of my pretax income. Saving only 10 percent of one's income is for amateurs and sissies.

    My strategy on how to do this is covered in my book Career Success Without a Real Job: The Career Book for People Too Smart to Work in Corporations.

    Many thanks and so long for now,

    Ernie Zelinski
    Best-Selling Author, Innovator, and Prosperity Life Coach
    Author of the Bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
    (Over 150,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
    and the International Bestseller The Joy of Not Working
    (Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

Here is another reason why house prices will not recover for years: U.S. Echo Boomers Have Little Interest in Home Ownership.

Nov 23, 2011

Writing a Book in Retirement

Perhaps you will want to write a book when you retire or even while you are working to use as a means for saving for retirement.

Incidentally, 81 percent of Americans and even a larger percentage of Britons want to write a book.

If you have always wanted to write a book but haven't, what's your excuse?

Whatever your excuse, keep these excerpts from one of my new books in mind:

    "Any excuse, even a lousy one, is good enough if you don't want to do something,
    regardless of how important it is for your happiness and prosperity."
    — from Life's Secret Handbook

    "Every excuse that you make is just another way for you to choose mediocrity instead of excellence, failure instead of success, discontent instead of satisfaction, and just getting by financially instead of experiencing true prosperity."
    Life's Secret Handbook

    "When you finally do whatever has to be done to attain true prosperity, it's just like magic! You no longer find yourself repeating annoying excuses to your friends about why you are in debt and not prosperous enough to pay your bills."
    Life's Secret Handbook

Even if you are illiterate, this is still just an excuse and not a good reason for not having written a book.

To make my point, read this story at the below about how Jim Henry at 91 was illiterate. Then he learned how to read and write. Seven years later — at the age of 98 — he wrote a book!

98 Old Retiree Writes a Book

So what's your excuse again?

I hope your answer is "None!"

If your answer is none, at least you have some hope of writing a book such as my How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free that may not only give you great satisfaction from having written, but also that earns you some additional retirement income for many years to come.

Nov 19, 2011

Are You Subject Matter for This Book and Retirement?

I recently came across the Amazon listing for "Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America" because the Amazon page for The Joy of Not Working gives a list of the books that cite it.

Here is the publisher's description for the book:

    "Couch potatoes, goof-offs, freeloaders, good-for-nothings, loafers, and loungers: ever since the Industrial Revolution, when the work ethic as we know it was formed, there has been a chorus of slackers ridiculing and lampooning the pretensions of hardworking respectability. Reviled by many, heroes to others, these layabouts stretch and yawn while the rest of society worries and sweats. Whenever the world of labor changes in significant ways, the pulpits, politicians, and pedagogues ring with exhortations of the value of work, and the slackers answer with a strenuous call of their own: “To do nothing,” as Oscar Wilde said, “is the most difficult thing in the world.” From Benjamin Franklin’s “air baths” to Jack Kerouac’s “dharma bums,” Generation-X slackers, and beyond, anti-work-ethic proponents have held a central place in modern culture. Moving with verve and wit through a series of fascinating case studies that illuminate the changing place of leisure in the American republic, Doing Nothing revises the way we understand slackers and work itself."
I am curious if anyone else here would admit to being subject matter for this book as well.

If you are, you are likely a great candidate for early retirement and living a life of leisure.

Here are some retirement quotations and other inspirational quotes to put leisure and retirement in proper perspective.

    "It was such a pleasant morning that I thought it would be a pity to get up."
    — Somerset Maugham

    "How can they say my life is not a success? Have I not for more than sixty years
    gotten enough to eat and escaped being eaten?"
    — Logan Pearsall Smith

    "He that lives upon hope will die fasting."
    — Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth

    "How lovely it is to do nothing all day and then to rest afterwards."
    — Spanish Proverb

Oct 31, 2011

A Prosperous Retirement Plan Cannot Be Based on Laziness

In this photo is my client's Presentation Center that I spoke at recently. I talked to 50 business owners from across North America about The Joy of Not Working and How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free .

The presention center is located just behind my client's marvelous house. It holds 50 attendees comfortably and is much, much better than many presentation centers in luxury hotels that I have presented in. It has tall windows about 20 feet high that give the attendees an incredible view of the lake beside it. I would venture to say that the house and separate presentation center are worth at least $2.5 million.

My client is obviously very successful and prosperous and now works only about 10 to 12 hours a week. No doubt he could take early retirement if he wanted to and live very comfortably on a retirement plan that would far out do my retirement plan.

Apparently my client purchased The Joy of Not Working about 10 years ago and the book along with other books such as The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss inspired him to find a way to be more prosperous by working fewer hours a week. He now coaches other business owners from across North America how to do the same and has guest speakers such as me to add to what he has to say.

This is not about being lazy, in the truest sense of the word, however. This is about working smart and not hard so that your retirement plan is one that reflects prosperity. If you would like to attain even a modest fraction of the prosperity for your retirement that my client has attained, pay heed to these inspirational prosperity quotes:

    "If you desire something that was created by human hands (especially hands that expect to be fairly compensated for their efforts) such as a nice home or a speedy piece of technology, then laziness is largely a path to scarcity. Get used to being denied many of life’s benefits if your attitude is entrenched in laziness."
    — Steve Pavlina

    "Laziness isn’t spiritual — unless your intent is to cultivate an unrefined and
    slothful spirit. If that’s the case though, you should have incarnated as a rock."
    — Steve Pavlina

    "No one can achieve extraordinary prosperity with ordinary thinking and ordinary behavior. If you aren’t doing your best and creating something out-of-the-ordinary, how can you shamelessly expect extraordinary prosperity in return? If you are generating mediocrity, expect to receive the same in return from the Universe. That’s only fair, isn’t it?
    — from Life's Secret Handbook

    "Sooner or later, those who win and end up prosperous and free are those who decided that they must do the many necessary things that others think don't need doing."
    — from Life's Secret Handbook by E.Z.
I would like to thank my client for having paid all my expenses out to Vancouver, for having paid me for making the presentation, and for having given me the opportunity to have associated with so many highly spirited individuals including his wife and himself.

My client has certainly given a lot of credence to an inspirational quotation by a well-known writer and publishing executive stated:

    "The fastest way to succeed is to look as if you're playing by somebody else's rules, while quietly playing by your own."
    — Michael Korda

Oct 22, 2011

Being a Wall Street Protestor Is Not Good for Your Retirement Plan

Joining the Wall Street protestors will not be good for your retirement plan. I know for certain that it would not do anything for my retirement plan if I joined them. Here's why:

Most of the these protesters are people with too much time on their hands. They are "opposition looking for something to oppose." I certainly wouldn't want to hang out with them. I prefer to hang out with great friends.

Don't get me wrong. I am not a big fan of corporations. I know that a lot of them operate without any integrity, decency, and excellence and some of their executives should be in jail for the things that they do.

That is why I have not had a corporate job for over 30 years. My point is that there is still a lot of opportunity in North America - recession or no recession. Opportunity cannot be capitalized on by joining negative protesters who are operating out of a mentality of being "opposition looking for something to oppose."

As an individual, I am quite successful and prosperous in my life and have gained a lot of freedom, more than 95 percent of the population, even though I don't have a corporate job or government job. I even know how to make money while you sleep. I know that I would not have attained this success, prosperity, and freedom, however, if I operated out of the negative beliefs and behaviors that these protesters operate out of. Results don't lie, in other words.

These inspirational quotes about life (which also make great retirement quotes) apply:

    "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".

    "No one, even God, can mess up your life — that's your job!"
    — from Life's Secret Handbook

Also, keep in mind that all the great tributes to Steve Jobs recently. Steve Jobs was a big part of corporate America. Without corporate America investing in Apple, the Mac, Iphones and the iPad would never have been possible. No doubt a lot of these hypocritical protestors are using iphones, ipads, etc. If they had any integrity, they would not be using anything that was created by corporations. Of course the majority of these people themselves do not have the integrity that they believe corporate executives should have.

Last point: You would never find highly spiritual, and successful people such as Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hanson, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer, or Louise L. Hay at these protests because they know how detrimental these negative protestors would be to their well-being.

These inspirational quotations apply:

    "Keep company with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best."
    — Epictetus

    "Invite more mentors into your life. Hang out with accomplished individuals — the
    passionate, the innovative, the risk-takers, the well-intentioned, the doers, and the truly prosperous — who create value for the Universe and get rewarded handsomely
    for it. Allow their spirit to strike a bright light within you, to make your own difference in this world, so that your legacy inspires those adventurous souls who live here after you to do the same."
    — from Life's Secret Handbook by Ernie Zelinski

Oct 4, 2011

Tips for Retirement from Great Retirement Experts

I received the following e-mail the other day as a result of my international selling book, How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free:

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Carlos Oliva
    To: vip-books
    Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2011 10:35 AM
    Subject: From Chile, El Mercurio Newspaper

    Dear whoever,

    I'm Carlos Oliva, business reporter from El Mercurio Newspaper at Chile. I'm preparing an article about "tips to aging people from great finance experts". So, I woud like to ask some questions to Mr. Zelinski, according to his last book (How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free); May I? I will appreciate your answer asap.

    Carlos Oliva Vega
    Economía y Negocios
    El Mercurio
After I replied to Carlos, he sent me his questions, which follow in bold, along with my answers in normal type for the respective questions:

1-Why do you think that retirement life means a perpetual smile in seniors’ face?

Retirement life can bring a perpetual smile to your face. The three most important character traits that will help you do this are:

    1. Attitude
    2. Attitude
    3. Attitude
2-How important could be create a new identity? Why?

It is particularly important to create a new identity for people such as workaholics whose identity is all tied to work. When a workaholic retires, he or has no identity. So a new identity has to be created through some new purpose in life that has nothing to do with work.

3- What do you mean when you said that seniors need to crate a new structures and routines with their leisure?

Retired people should create their own structure and routine simply because most human beings like some structure and routine in their lives. The workplace provides structure and routine while people are working in their careers. When they retire they must create their own structure and routine, which will provide some sense of order in their lives. For those unable to this on their own, they may have to get a retirement job. Check out my retirement plan for how I intend to place structure in my retirement life.

4-How important is taking a joy course of personal growth?

If you don't include personal growth in your life, you stop growing as a human being. This passage from my new book applies:

    "Be a Learner first,
    a Master second,
    and a Student always."
    — from Life's Secret Handbook by Ernie Zelinski
5 -How important could be money for seniors?

No doubt money is important for retirement. Money and retirement go hand in hand. How much money a retiree needs for a happy retirement is another matter, however. Some people in North America, for instance, can be happy with a retirement income of $20,000 a year whereas some people require $100,000 or more. The important thing here is studies have shown that the most satisfying leisure activities don't cost a lot of money. So money is not as important as some people claim it is.

6- Do you think this [retirement] is an age to find happiness? How?

Retirement can be a time when you are happy. Ultimately, you are as happy as you want to be. Here is a passage from another book of mine that gives the prescription for happiness:

    Prescription for Life-Long Happiness:
    Purpose enough for satisfaction;
    Sanity enough to know when to play and rest;
    Wealth enough for basic needs;
    Affection enough to like many and love a few;
    Self-respect enough to love yourself;
    Charity enough to give to others in need;
    Courage enough to face difficulties;
    Creativity enough to solve problems;Humor enough to laugh at will;
    Hope enough to expect an interesting tomorrow;
    Gratitude enough to appreciate what you have;
    Health enough to enjoy life for all its worth.
    — from The Lazy Person's Guide to Happiness
Note: See teacher retirement quotes on The Retirement Quotes Cafe:

Carlos later sent me this email:
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Carlos Oliva
    To: Ernie Zelinski
    Sent: Wednesday, October 05, 2011 12:59 PM
    Subject: Re: From Chile, El Mercurio Newspaper

    Hi Ernie. First of all, thanks for your answers. Second, I would like if you can explain us a little more this question:

    -Retired people should create their own routine. Ok, but, How retirement can create this routine whitout job? Furthermore, May you give us a couple of tips?

    Carlos Oliva
    El Mercurio Newspaper
This was my response to Carlos
    Hi Carlos:

    Regarding creating a routine in retirement, here is my routine:

    I get up late in the morning, sometimes around noon. After I eat a bit of fruit, and shave, the first priority is doing some intensive exercise for at least one hour, preferably two hours. I either go for a bicycle ride or go running. Then after I take a shower, I go to a favorite coffee bar for two to three hours where I play (and sometimes work) on my laptop and talk to friends. Then I go home for an hour or two to eat a bit and mediate. Then I go to another coffee bar for two to three hours where again I play and work on my laptop and talk to friends. About 10 PM, I will buy some food at a grocery store, before goinig home. By the way, I very seldom watch T.V., because watching a lot of television is detrimental to a happy retirement. I can go for four months without turning the T.V. on even once. In fact, one of the topics in my book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is: "You don’t have to watch one minute of TV when you retire — and perhaps you shouldn’t"

    Anyway, I hope that helps.

    Ernie Z.

Oct 1, 2011

Debt in Retirement

One of my bank accounts has only about $200 in it — but it alone makes me almost $15 trillion richer than the U.S. Federal Government.

See the U.S. Debt Clock which shows that minimally the US Government debt is $15 trillion:

It appears that the new retirement for a lot of today's retirees is to have a lot of debt.

Accumulating debt, in fact, is a way for people how not to retire rich.

Here are some retirement quotes and quotes about debt management that should help you put debt in proper perspective so that you don't accumulate too much yourself.

    A creditor is worse than a slave-owner; for the master owns only your person, but a creditor owns your dignity, and can command it.
    — Victor Hugo

    Clearly, true prosperity is living easily and happily whether you have lots of money or not. I have had the fortune of being on both sides of the fence. I have been broke, over $30,000 in debt, and have had to borrow money to pay the rent. At one time I even had the sobering experience of sleeping in my car for two cold winter nights when the temperature was -21º F. Extremely cold, of course, but this is still far from the bottom.
    — from How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

    You can't put your VISA bill on your American express card.
    — P. J. O'Rourke

    Who pays his debts, gets rich.
    — French proverb

    Never run into debt, not if you can find anything else to run into.
    — Josh Billings

    If you'd lose a troublesome visitor, lend him money.
    — Benjamin Franklin

    The national budget must be balanced. The public debt must be reduced; the arrogance of the authorities must be moderated and controlled. Payments to foreign governments must be reduced. If the nation doesn't want to go bankrupt, people must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.
    — Marcus Tullius Cicero, 55 BC

    He who borrows gets sorrows.
    - Turkish proverb
And here are some last words of famous people to add humor to this post:


    "Draw the curtain, the farce is over."
    — Last words of François Rabelias

    "If this is dying, then I don't think much of it."
    — Last words of Lytton Strachey

    "I have spent a lot of time searching through the Bible for loopholes."
    — Last words of W. C. Fields

    "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance."
    — Last words of John Sedgwick (immediately prior to being killed by enemy fire at the battle of Spotsylvania in the American Civil War, May 1864)

    "Dying is a very dull, dreary affair. My advice to you is to have nothing whatever to do with it."
    — Last words of W. Somerset Maugham

Sep 20, 2011

The Joy of Not Working Celebrates Retirement

On Friday evening 17 of my great friends and I celebrated the 20th anniversary of my self-publishing The Joy of Not Working, a book that celebrates retirement.

No, I did not have any 1982 Latour wine flown in from the U.S as I had joked about in a previous post. We, nevertheless, had a great time dining on great Italian food and going through about 7 liters of house wine at Rigolettos restaurant here in Edmonton.

I paid for everything. The whole affair, including a 20 percent tip, cost me a bit less than $1,000 whereas just one bottle of 1982 Latour would have cost $1,700 or more. One of the reasons that I pay for celebrations such as this is that studies show that people get a lot more satisfaction from spending money on experiences than on material things.

I brought along the various editions of The Joy of Not Working to the celebration, including the original edition in which was a dedication to around 20 people who were my volunteer editors back in 1991. Two of the volunteer editors, Jim Egler and Ross Bradford, were able to attend. Jim was not only one of my volunteer editors, he also took the photo of me that appeared on the back cover of the original edition and appears with this FB post. Jim only shot 4 frames that afternoon 20 years ago. All 4 photos were great, amazing given that Jim is not a professional photographer. I wanted to go with another of the 4 photos, but others preferred the one that appears here on this post and on the original edtion of the book.

Incidentally, the photo was taken on the patio of the original Rigoletto's restaurant in Rice Howard Way. That was a real glass of white wine and I was reading a great book about innovation called If it Ain't Broke ... Break It! by Robert J. Kriegel.

Today, I told my uncle about the celebration and how much it cost me. He immediately asked me, "So, how are you going to make the celebration pay for itself?" I told him that I was prosperous enough to pay for these things just for the experience but it, in fact, may pay for itself many times over.

As it turns out I was looking for someone to put together a spiritual book with me. I have this great book idea that should fly big time. Because I have two other important projects on the go, I would like someone to do most of the work and I will share the publishing profits with whoever does the work. The book is not all that hard to do but does require well-intentioned, sustained effort for about three months. I have several friends and acquaintance who I considered as a co-author but eventually concluded that they were not suited because they are not industrious and adventurous enough.

Three days before the celebration, however, I got a LinkedIn connection request from Sandy, a spiritual friend of mine who I had not heard from in two years or so and now lives in Calgary. So on a whim, I decided to invite Sandy to the celebration. Much to my surprise, Sandy decided to make a trip to Edmonton and join in the fun. I ran the spiritual book idea by Sandy and she loved it. Because Sandy has written 3 books and had them published, I know that she is dedicated and can complete projects. When I asked Sandy how long it would take her to complete my book idea, she replied, "Give me a deadline and I will have it done by then." This response alone convinced me that Sandy will do a great job and complete the project in excellence.

Anyway, when I told my uncle this, he responded with: "Even though you can easily pay for the celebration with the income you make, I knew you were going to have an answer about how the cost of the celebration will take care of itself many times over in the future."

Weird that my uncle would ask me the question in the first place and then give me the answer that he did. He claims he is not spiritual. Moreover, he doesn't believe in prosperity karma achieved by spending money in positive ways to create more prosperity in one's life — at least I don't think he does.

Here are some quotations about retirement and money to help you to semi-retire in style as I have done so that you don't need a full-time retirement job:
    It's never crowded along the path that will take you to destinations worth arriving at.
    Life's Secret Handbook by E.Z.

    You are only as rich as the enrichment you bring to the world around you.
    — Rajesh Setty

    Money will be your friend — like all friends — only if you treat it with great respect. Treat it with disrespect and you will always have financial difficulties. Haven't you noticed? People who don't respect money don't have any.
    — from The Lazy Person's Guide to Success

    "No organization — government or otherwise — can take great care of you. Organizations aren't capable of this — only you are!"
    — from Life's Secret Handbook

Sep 5, 2011

Celebrating The Joy of Not Working with 1982 Latour


Note: I first blogged about 1982 Latour and how it is part of my retirement plan, a way to retire happy and enjoy the finer things in life.

The middle of September will be 20 years since I self-published my international bestseller The Joy of Not Working. This retirement book still sells 5,000 copies a year (now over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages). It has earned me about $650,000 profit over the years and presently earns me about $10,000 a year.

So I am having a celebration about the success of this book with about 20 of my close friends. I am paying for a great meal along with some fine wine at a favorite restaurant.

The Question is: Should I have three or four bottles of 1982 Latour flown in from the U.S.?

I first learned about 1982 Latour from Kevin O'leary of Dragon's Den who stated that two or three hedge fund managers and he would go through three or four bottles of 1982 Latour in one meal at Grille 23 in Boston. (Legend has it that you don't get a hangover from 1982 Latour, but I don't believe that - alcohol is alcohol).

See the article by Kevin O'Leary at Madness of Hedge Fund Managers.

Anyway, I was curious about 1982 Latour. So I checked it out on the Internet. It does not come cheap, starting at about $1,599 a bottle. Some bottles sell for $25,000 or more.

Clearly, I want my guests to experience the best at my celebrations.

So again, should I purchase three or four bottles of 1982 Latour?

I have to keep in mind, however, that various blind studies have shown that people can't actually tell the difference between expensive wines and inexpensive wines.

In fact, one of these studies, published in The Journal of Wine Economics, found that we prefer to drink cheap wine as long as we don't know that it is cheap.

By using brain wave detectors, the researchers for this study found out that people will actually feel better after drinking wine if they are told that the wine is expensive even if isn't.

So the trick is to drink cheap wine while fooling oneself that it isn't. (Easier said than done.)

Of course, for my celebration, the alternative is to purchase three or four empty 1982 Latour bottles and have them filled with inexpensive good wine.

My guests will get great pleasure in drinking this apparently expensive wine.

Of course, I myself will know it is cheap wine so I won't experienceas much pleasure. No problem. I will order one bottle of the real thing and ensure that I drink out of that bottle while the majority of my guests drink the cheap stuff.

Again, there is no off-switch on my genius machine.

One last thought: If my guests find out later about the wine they were drinking, I can always quote Oscar Wilde:

    "The secret to life is to find great pleasure in being terribly, terribly deceived."
What do you think? Any other suggestions.

Another Note: The Joy of Not Working and How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free still keep me a little busy but not enough to be a full time retirement job.

Aug 22, 2011

Things To Do When You Retire - A New Retirement Book

I have been asked to write a chapter for a retirement book about fun things to do when you retire called 65 Things To Do When You Retire. This is the e-mail that I recently received:

    Hi Mr. Zelinski,

    I'm writing to invite you to contribute to a new book we are publishing next spring entitled 65 Things To Do When You Retire, a collection of essays offering advice and reflections on how to make the retirement years fulfilling. We'd love for you to contribute an essay to share your retirement expertise. This book is the ninth in a very successful series we launched five years ago. All royalties from the sales of the books in the series are donated to various charities. The royalties from 65 Things To Do When You Retire will be donated to various local, national, and international nonprofit organizations dedicated to preventing and curing cancer.

    The concept behind the book series is straightforward: ask well-known authors, celebrities, businesspeople, physicians, and other experts/public figures to contribute essays about a specific topic on a pro-bono basis, collect their essays into a book, publish the book, and donate all of the royalties to charity.

    The series has been successful beyond our wildest dreams. More than 300 notables from all walks of life have contributed essays thus far, including Garrison Keillor, Diane von Furstenberg, Bill Gross, Erica Jong, Muhammad Yunus, Tom Hanks, Ken Burns, Harold Prince, David McCullough, Thomas Friedman, Barbara Kingsolver, and many, many others. Last year our charitable contributions from this project exceeded $100,000, and the royalties are increasing with each year.

    For 65 Things To Do When You Retire, we are seeking to collect insightful and inspiring essays about retirement that include firsthand experiences, practical advice, opinions, recommendations, and observations that will help new or soon-to-be retirees make the most of the rest of their lives. We are asking each contributor for an essay of 1,000 words (4 typewritten pages), along with a short bio (100 words) that we can use in the book.

    We would be honored to count you as one of the contributors to 65 Things To Do When You Retire. If you don't have the time to write an essay, but have written something previously that is relevant to the focus of this book, please consider allowing us to include it. We will need to receive your essay by October 15, 2011.

    Thanks very much. We look forward to hearing from you!

    All my best,

    Mark C.
    Editor-in-Chief, Books
I have been told that other contributors include Gloria Steinem, John E. Nelson, Jeri Sedlar, Rick Miners, Andrew Carle, Ron Manheimer, Mary Bleiberg, and Leigh Anne Jasheway.

Of course, I semi-retired when I was a kid and became very good at it. That's why I now get paid the big bucks for getting up late in the morning and then experiencing true freedom for the rest of the day. This along with the fact that my self-published How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is the best-selling retirement book on Amazon (and in the world) is why I got asked to contribute the chapter, which I already submitted.

Most people think that I am lucky to have gotten to where I am today, earning a better income than 95 percent of wage earners by working only 3 or 4 hours a day. Not true at all. This quote, which someone just posted on F.B., applied when I was writing my books and still apples today as I work on my creative projects that will bring me even more prosperity in the near future:

    "I will do today what others won't, so I will have tomorrow what others don't!"
    — John Addison
Keep the above quote by John Addison in mind if you want your retirement plan to turn out as good as my retirement plan. If you follow his advice you won't end up like so many American and Canadian baby boomers who have so little money saved for their retirement years.

See the following Retirement Planning Resources on The Retirement Quotes Cafe

Aug 8, 2011

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free as a Kindle Ebook?

I just received another inquiry about whether How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free will be available as a Kindle ebook.

Here it is:

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Rainer Zinn"
    To: vip-books
    Sent: Saturday, August 06, 2011 8:49 AM
    Subject: Kindle


    A friend told me about your book. I'd love to read it .... I am at that juncture (few weeks away from turning 60 and the financial planners tell me that I am financially ready to retire from active corporate life, after 40 years) where your book could be of great help.

    I am writing to ask for you to publish it on Kindle ... I have stopped carrying paper books for over a couple of years.

    Thank you!
    Rainer Zinn

This was my response:

    Hello Rainer:

    I have not as yet had How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free or any of my books published on ebooks for the Kindle because the Kindle is not all that conducive to my books. Most of my books are hard to format for the Kindle and would definitely lose a lot of impact versus the paper edition.

    One of the most important retirement planning tools in How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is The Get-a-Life Tree, which is not available in any other retirement books, and why my book outsells all other retirement books and has sold over 140,000 copies. The Get-a-Life Tree, which helps people identify fun things to do in retirement, will be very hard to format properly and present properly in the Kindle.

    I may eventually publish some of my books on the Kindle including How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free if Amazon ever comes up with a way of neatly incorporating diagrams and quotations on the sides of the pages as are presented in the paper edition.

    Thanks and so long for now,

    Ernie Zelinski
    Best-Selling Author, Innovator, and Prosperity Life Coach
    Author of the Bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
    (Over 140,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
    and the International Bestseller The Joy of Not Working
    (Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

Aug 5, 2011

The Truth about Retirement Planning That Will Set You Free Is the Truth You Don't Want to Hear

Here is a quotation that someone just posted on Facebook:

    "The truth that sets men free is for the most part the truth which men prefer not to hear."
    — Herbert Agar
Indeed, there are many truths that people don't want to hear.

For example, most Americans don't want to hear, as Newsweek stated, that the Nation as a whole has been complicit in a fraud. That is why it has such a debt problem and economy. Yet, depending who it is, most people will blame either Obama, George Bush, the Democrats, the Republicans, the banks, corporations, the unions, etc. These people will never blame themselves as a big part of the problem.

The same is the case with many Americans who now don't have enough money for retirement. Again, they will blame the various subjects above. And again, they won't blame themselves. But the reason they are broke in retirement and won't be able to do fun things in retirement can be explained in and by the title of Larry Wingate's book You're Broke Because You Want to Be. Of course, this is a truth that people don't want to hear and is a great way to achieve the goal of how to not retire rich.

Here is another truth people don't want to hear:

    "Winners have simply formed the habit of doing things losers don't like to do."
    — Albert Gray
Have your ever wondered how certain people get through life, let alone plan for retirement.

To make my point, here is an e-mail that I received from a reader of one of my books:

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Vincent G
    To: vipbooks
    Sent: Thursday, August 04, 2011 4:31 PM
    Subject: information

    ernie enjoy both your retirement books i have a question i am retired now want to move to fla lease then buy i like to exericse and play the horses but because of ptsd have not left n.j. in 18 yrs tired of cold tried sites on laptop also new to that how to i start everytime i ask i got sell people in this market calling all the time sure i by a map i do not drive would to be by a good casino lease condo with running track and poool no beach thanks again love the books vinnie
The writer of the e-mail simply does not understand the concepts of decency, class, and excellence. Why would I reply to someone with such horrible writing skills? I am not big on perfection myself but people should learn to have respect for the people to whom they are sending e-mails.

Speaking of deceny, here is an e-mail that I just sent to someone who has taken a lot of the content off my retirement website and posted it on his.

    The retirement poem "Making the Most of Retirement" by Dave Erhard on your Squidoo Lens is one that you took off my webpage The Retirement Poems Cafe.

    This retirement poem is one of several retirement poems that I paid Dave Erhard for and is copyright material.

    I am asking you to remove it immediatley.

    If you do not do so, I will ask Squidoo to do it.

    Thank you.

    Ernie J. Zelinski
    Best-Selling Author, Innovator, and Creativity Consultant
    Author of the Bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
    (Over 140,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
    and the International Bestseller The Joy of Not Working
    (Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

Jul 30, 2011

Prosperity in Retirement Through The Joy of Not Working

On January 1, 1991 I started writing The Joy of Not Working and made an agreement with myself that I would have it completed in rough by July 31 of that year. It turned out that I completed it one day ahead of schedule, on July 30 — in other words, exactly 20 years ago today.

In The Joy of Not Working and How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, I talked about how I don't like working too much in the months that don't have an "r" in them, the warmest months most suited for leisure time. At the time, I thought about how great it would be to be prosperous enough to work very little — or not at all — in these four months and still earn $10,000 a month for each of these months. It turns out that in the last 3 months (ones with no "r" in them) I have worked very little and have still earned over $10,000 in gross pretax income for each month largely due to sales of How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free.

To me this is true prosperity. I just want to make a point that there is great opportunity for anyone with a bit of motivation and determination to also attain this type of freedom and prosperity.

I just don't want to make it sound easy, however. It isn't easy and it's a good thing that it isn't easy. Otherwise, everyone would be doing it.

Perhaps you have noticed that the people are looking for the easy way out are the people who are broke, and even in debt big time. These are the people who go from one seminar to another seminar about how to make money but never ever achieve anything because they are not commited to anything. Others do spirtual meditations on prosperity and recite affirmations until they are blue in the face. Years later they are still broke wondering why the universe hasn't responded. Nothing has changed in their lives.

Most of these people will also end up with very little money in retirement, living at the poverty line, relying on winning a lottery as a retirement plan. If you want to have a happy retirement living a comfortable lifestyle, I would suggest that you get your act together and create something worthwhile for humanity regardless of how much struggle you have to put into it. Your retirement plan will then look more like my retirement plan. and you will find 1001 Ways to Enjoy Your Retirement.

It may sound a bit weird that I am giving this advice on a Saturday in a month that doesn't have an "r" in it. Fact is, 20 years ago I was actively working 4 or 5 hours a day every day of the week on The Joy of Not Working. The payoff didn't happen until later, some of it much later. (The book has earned me well over $650,000 and still brings me a passive income of about $10,000 a year.)

In short, this quotation applies:

    "Much of tomorrow’s success
    and prosperity will depend
    upon what you do today.
    The question is:
    What seeds of success and
    prosperity do you intend
    to plant before the end of today?"
    — from Life's Secret Handbook
Also see Letters about The Joy of Not Working

Jul 26, 2011

More New Retirement Planning News

Recent market volatility and increases in life expectancy have forced even many wealthy Americans to adjust their retirement planning and expectations for retirement. Americans are in retirement doubt, in other words.

A survey by AXA Equitable was done on financial decision-makers with household income of at least $75,000 or investable assets between $250,000 and $999,999. Many people are asking the question, "How much do I need to retire?"

About 42 percent of the survey participants said they plan to delay retirement, and the participants who said they would push back retirement expect to do so by average of six years. The average new planned retirement age has increased to 68, from 62.

The survey found that 27 percent of the participants plan to go back to work in a retirement job after "retiring." The number who already have returned to the work force has increased to 17 percent, up from 9 percent in February 2009.

The AXA survey also found that 85 percent of the participants worry about having inadequate sources of guaranteed retirement income and 84 percent worry about inflation and losing money on investments.

Canadians are also having their issues with their retirement planning. In another recent study by RBC about the realities of the new retirement and what age Canadians retire at, results show that many Canadians do not retire on a date of their own choosing.

Some 83 percent of baby boomers still not retired over 50 believe they will retire on the date that they choose. In fact, 41 percent of Canadian retirees reported that their retirement date was unplanned due to their employer making it for them or health issues.

The study also revealed that more and more Canadians are living in retirement with debt and have to come out of retirement because they need more income to sustain themselves.

Here are some thoughts about retirement and life in general to put both in proper perspective:

    Like the truth, retirement can set you free.
    Or, like work, retirement can imprison you.
    — from How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

    Viva la retirement, grab it by the horns and go for it.
    — Cheryl Marland

    "Even the most gifted individual, whether poet or physicist,
    will not realize his full potential or make his fullest
    contribution to his times unless his imagination has been
    kindled by the aspirations and accomplishments of those
    who have gone before him. Humanist scholars have therefore
    a special responsibility in that the past is a natural domain.
    They have the privilege and obligation of interpreting the
    past to each new generation of men who necessarily must live
    in one small corner for one little stretch of time."
    — Commission of the Humanities

    There are seven sins in the world: Wealth without work,
    Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character,
    Commerce without morality, Science without humanity,
    Worship without sacrifice and politics without principle.
    — Mahatma Gandhi

Check out 1001 Best Things Ever Said about Work

Jul 10, 2011

The New Retirement - Retire in Your 80's

First, I just got interviewed by Sam Bickford, a dancing studio consultant and speaker from Vancouver, who along with his wife Valerie run 3 dance studios with 3,600 students. Neither teaches anymore. To them the new retirement is semi-retirement. They manage their studios mainly from their home office by working only 4 or 5 hours a week. Sam also teaches other dance studio owners to work only a few hours a week and enjoy semi-retirement as the new retirement for anyone prosperous enough to do so.

Sam loved an affirmation (which is part of my retirement plan) and that I created for my international best-selling book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free (over 250,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages).

In fact, I had forgotten about this affirmation for the new retirement.

Here it is just for you:

    Affirmation for the Connoisseur of Life

    "I am now a Connoisseur of Life. I am too prosperous to
    work long and hard hours. I have earned my prosperity
    and deserve the right to enjoy a creative and satisfying
    lifestyle. I am too spiritually evolved to have an identity
    based on my work, possessions, and net worth.
    Instead, my identity is based on more profound things,
    including my creativity, my generosity, my spontaneity,
    my sense of humor, my peace of mind, my passion for
    new experiences, my happiness, and my spirituality."
    — from How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor

Second, a new study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute shows that MOST AMERICANS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO AFFORD RETIREMENT UNTIL THEIR 70’s or 80's.

Ths study by EBRI called The Impact of Deferring Retirement Age on Retirement Income Adequacy indicates that many American’s hopes of a retirement have been dashed and they will need to keep working into 70’s and sometimes even 80’s.

The report is even worse for low-income American workers. Unfortunately, it suggests that those who earned on average over the course of their careers less than $11,700 per year, would need to defer their retirement plans till age 84 before 90 percent of those households would have a 50 percent chance of having enough in their retirement accounts to afford retirement.

Americans who earned between $31,200 and $72,500 during their careers will need to work to age 72 to have a 50 percent chance at retirement whereas those who earned more than $72,500 in their careers can stop working at 65 – in order to have a 50/50 chance of having enough money to fund their retirement.

In short, the EBRI study indicates that the new retirement for Americans is that not working is no longer an option for most and working past age 65 is becoming a fact of life. In other words they will have to wait for some time to experience 1001 Ways to Enjoy Your Retirement.

    5 Important Principles about Money (Quotations) That Will Help You Retire Rich and Enjoy the New Retirement at the Age of 55

    "People who don't respect money don't have any."
    — J. Paul Getty

    No organization — government or otherwise — can take great care of you.
    Organizations aren't capable of this — only you are!"
    — from Life's Secret Handbook

    "People who are fools with money are foolish in many other ways too."
    — Dave Erhard

    "If you want to be truly prosperous, forget about keeping up with the Joneses.
    Their prosperity is a facade.
    They are broke — and in debt big time!"
    — from the book Zen I Got Rich by Yours Truly

    "Beware of little expenses: a small leak will sink a great ship."
    — Benjamin Franklin

    "Money is easy to handle;
    There are two secrets:
    The first is spend less than you make.
    If this doesn't work for you, then the second one is definitely for you:
    Make more than you spend.
    That's all there is to handling money."
    — from Life's Secret Handbook

Jun 9, 2011

A Retirement Job That Can Give You a Great Retirement Income

The complainers of this world keep talking how hard it is to make it financially in this world and the lack of opportunity today to create a great retirement income.

These are the same people, including at least 25 percent of baby boomers in the U.S. and Canada, who are going to be broke in their retirement, living at the poverty line from Government handouts.

That is a total of 22 million baby boomers by the way. Generation X and Generation Y won't fare any better.

Yet there is incredible opportunity in this world regardless of the economy.

If you are looking for a retirement job that can pay off big time, I invite you to read this blog post about a guy who can't move any of his body from the neck down who is making a great living.

A Great Retirement Job: How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise and Get Paid to Change the World

Fact is, I think that most people have a lot of control of when and where they retire.

All they have to do is take 100 percent responsibility for their lives — 98 percent or 99 percent is far too little!

Taking 100 responsibility means not counting on the government or anyone else for your retirement income.

The key is to save 30 to 50 percent of your income when you make a good income instead of spending it on crap like most people do.

I didn't start saving for my retirement until I was in my early forties and I will be okay in retirement. The reason is that I saved 40 to 50 percent of my pretax income.

Here are the two major reasons a lot of British, Canadian, and American retirees don't have enough money for retirement:

  1. Instant gratification takes too long.

  2. A necessity is any luxury the neighbor happens to have.

Here are some money quotes to help you with your retirement plans:

    Like the truth, retirement can set you free. Or, like work, retirement can imprison you.
    — from How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

    Planning not to retire is simply not a viable retirement strategy.
    — Catherine Collinson, president of the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies

    If we wait until retirement to enjoy ourselves, there may not be enough of ourselves to enjoy it.
    — Mike Hammar

    Money is easy to handle;
    There are two secrets:
    The first is spend less than you make.
    If this doesn't work for you, then the second one is definitely for you:
    Make more than you spend.
    That's all there is to handling money.
    — from Life's Secret Handbook

    I retired early for health reasons — my company was sick of me and I was sick of them.
    — Unknown wise person

    Being 54, I seriously doubt I'll ever be able to fully retire. It would probably kill me anyway sitting around the house watching the grass grow. Am not saying that I plan on working 40 hours per week until I drop, however, I would rather work 25 hours per week starting at 60 and working til 65, then 20 hours until 70 and 15 per week after that. That way I can enjoy retirement earlier and longer. Besides, the government will figure out a way to wipe out my retirement accounts long before
    they put me in the ground .... either that or some quack doctor.
    — "Catbluize" (pen name for a person commenting on an article about "Don’t let fear ruin your retirement Retirees’ financial worries hinder them from taking action"

    I’m retired. You on the other hand have to go to work.
    — Unknown wise person

    The money’s no better in retirement but the hours are!
    — Unknown wise person
As an aside, here is an e-mail that I received from Vera, a reader of The Joy of Not Working. Vera, by the way, is a professor at a University in the USA.

    Dear Ernie,

    Just a note to tell you that you are a real inspiration.

    Instead of teaching summer school, from 9am to 3 pm lab every day, plus evening grading, but extra pay, I have opted for a rest. I must personally thank you for it.

    I have rested, I go to the swimming pool, I enjoy the food I cook, I sleep in late, I watch TV shows I like. I decided not to spend any money whatsoever on stupid things, and so far I am OK.

    Thanks again for all the wisdom you impart on us.


Jun 2, 2011

Let Gary McPherson Inspire Your Retirement Planning

Gary McPherson

A recent survey by the AARP Public Policy Institute indicates that over half of American workers (55 percent) in their 60s have less than $100,000 in their retirement accounts. One in four Americans age 50 or older said they had exhausted all of their retirement savings during the recession, while 67% at least reduced their retirement savings account balances during the previous three years.

Are you one of these American or Canadian retirees who don't have enough money to retire on? Do you think that Social Security Is a Secure Way of Getting Great Pleasure from Being Terribly Deceived? Then get off your butt and do something about it. Create a retirement plan that works for you even if it just takes creating one of many possible retirement jobs. Whether it's like my retirement plan or one that is completely different, you have to take 100 percent responsibility.

If you feel that you don't have the ability or the resources to create more retirement income, let me tell you about Gary McPherson (see photo above), who passed away a little over a year ago. I had the pleasure of meeting Gary through my friend Mark Anielski, who asked me to make a presentation at a University of Alberta "Social Responsibility in Business" class that Mark and Gary designed and taught.

Gary spent over half of his life in the hospital breathing with the aid of a respirator before he learned to frog breathe (something the doctors had said was impossible). In spite of being severely handicapped, (a quadriplegic since he was nine), Gary accomplished 10 to 100 times as much in his life as most people would be able to do in five lifetimes without the limitations that Gary had.

As my friend Graham Hicks wrote about Gary in the Edmonton Sun shortly after Gary passed away:

"A quadriplegic since he was nine — one of the last full-blown cases of polio paralysis in Canada — Gary did more in his 63 years on this Earth than most of us would do in several lifetimes."

"Who and what was this Gary McPherson, that on his death he is so lauded?

"The Order of Canada, the Alberta Order of Excellence, Honorary Doctor of Law, social activist, political strategist, political candidate, superb organizer, administrator, health nut, sports addict, a great dad and a loving husband."

This I can tell you: Gary McPherson never considered using an excuse such as
not having the ability or not having the time when he wanted to write his book "With Every Breath I Take." Gary just wrote the book — in spite of being a quadriplegic — and left the excuses to people with 10 times the abilities and resources that Gary had. (See my Redroom Blog Post Write a Best-Selling Book — Just Cut Out All Your Excuses!

Here are a few more things about Gary:

  • Gary didn't allow his well-being to be contingent on anything external to himself — not the weather, not the economy, and definitely not the government.

  • Gary would never indulge in silly conspiracy theories or in thinking about devious ways to get governments or other entities to take care of him.

  • Gary was a truly a free man and was not imprisoned by the absurd idea that someone had taken away his freedom. (Don't get me going on the lunatics in this world such as the Freemen who lament about their not having the freedom they deserve. If anyone has taken their freedom away, it is they who have imprisoned themselves with their preposterous thinking.)

  • Gary didn't dwell on illness or disease. He lived his life as if he was in perfect health.

  • Gary didn't have time for self-sabotaging stuff like complaining and criticizing the successful people of the world. Instead Gary chose to become successful himself.

  • Gary came from excellence, integrity and honor — not from a sense of entitlement. He would never have thought of Winning the Lottery as a Retirement Plan.

Interestingly, the online articles in the Edmonton Journal and the Edmonton Sun that paid great tribute to Gary are no longer available. Gary may be gone and the articles may be gone but Gary's Spirit lives on with many people — including me. His Spirit will continue to inspire me to create great retirement books such as How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free and The Joy of Not Working and to operate out of high intention instead of mediocrity that is the norm in North American society today.

Here are the links to two articles about Gary McPherson that are still available online.

Gary McPherson: A stubborn hero who saw ability, not disability

Remembering Gary McPherson

May 31, 2011

Best Places Where to Retire for Your Retirement Plan

I received this e-mail the other day in regards to my international best-selling retirement book:

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Abe Colture
    To: success101coach [ at ]
    Sent: Tue, May 31, 2011 12:57:17 PM
    Subject: Retirement Book How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free


    I have just read your retirement book How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free and thoroughly enjoyed it. So many good though provoking points. Many I've discovered or learned over the years but forgot. I have just retired a bit on the younger side for corporate America, 57. There are many opportunities out there and I needed a way to sort through them. I'm looking forward to completely the "Get a Life Tree" exercise. I've also asked my wife to develop her own tree so we can look for common activities. As I read the book, I was thinking this would be a great read for my kids in their mid-20's. I received your book The Joy of not Working. I hope there are some new stuff in there!

    We have one major dilemma. We really want to relocate domestically. I have yet to find a good source of material to help with the effort. I saw where your book referenced two other books; Choose a College Town for Retirement and Retirement Places Rated. I plan to look at these. Do you have any other good recommendations besides the annual ratings by various magazines?

    I certainly appreciate your material and would appreciate any further advise you may have.


    Abe Colture

This was my resonse to Abe:

    Hi Abe:

    First, thank you for your kind remarks about How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.

    Regarding books on the best places where to retire, here are three more retirement books that I have listed on one of my websites:

    1. Where to Retire, 7th: America's Best Places to Retire and Cheapest Places to Retire by John Howells
    2 America's 100 Best Places to Retire Fourth Edition: The Only Guide You Need to Today's Top Retirement Towns by Elizabeth Armstrong
    3. Retire in Style: 60 Outstanding Places to Retire Across the USA and Canada by Warren R. Bland

    Can you do me a favor and I will send you one of my other books as a thank-you gift?

    If you have a spare moment, it would be a great help to me if you could post a 5-star review of it on 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.

    Here's a direct link to the Amazon page for How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.

    Also, if possible, can you place the review on the Webpage for How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.

    If you place this review, 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. 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.

    Career Success Without a Real Job may also be a book that your kids would like to read.

    Once you place the review, send me your address so that I can send you one of my other books.

    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 140,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
    and the International Bestseller The Joy of Not Working
    (Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

Check out Half of Retirees Have Nothing in Retirement Plan to Pass On:

Here are two new retirement quotations:

    Planning not to retire is simply not a viable retirement strategy.
    — Catherine Collinson, president of the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies

    If we wait until retirement to enjoy ourselves, there may not be enough of ourselves to enjoy it.
    — Mike Hammar

May 9, 2011

Success Story about The Joy of Not Working

Here is a recent e-mail that I received from one of the readers of two of my books. The books were likely The Joy of Not Working and Career Success Without a Real Job.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Nadine Myers
    To: vipbooks
    Subject: Success Story

    Hi Ernie,

    You likely will not remember me. I am from Australia, and whilst in Vancouver in 2009 sent you an email shortly after reading a couple of your books, so excited and inspired.

    Wow, has my life changed since then! My husband and I decided to give up corporate life a couple of months after reading the books, and to see how long we could live without working in a "job". We lasted two years! During that time we travelled all the way across Canada, and down through Central America, then to South Africa. We are now living in South Africa, as it is a beautiful country and reasonably cheap to live.

    I have to say, I have been living the life of my dreams the past two years and continue to do so. I created an online business that allows me to work anywhere in the world, and choose the hours that I work. I have no-one to report to, and have complete freedom and control over my life. I am in awe of the life I have created every day, and can't believe how lucky I am.

    I thank you for your inspiring books and for setting such an incredible example for others to follow.

    All the best to a happy life of leisure, Ernie!

    Kind regards,


    Nadine Myers
    Managing Director &
    Emigration Job Search Strategist

    Nab That Job in Australia!

    Sponsorship Australia

Here are a few career success quotes to help you find a retirement job or an inspirational career so that you can have fun at work:

    What counts is not the number of hours you put in, but how much you put in the hours.
    — Unknown wise person

    After my spectacular failures, I could not be satisfied with an ordinary success.
    — Mason Cooley

    People seldom see the halting and painful steps by which the most insignificant success is achieved.
    — Anne Sullivan

    Don't flaunt your success, but don't apologize for it either.
    — H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

    The greatest discovery of my generation is that man can alter his life simply by altering his attitude of mind.
    — William James

    If your belief system has not molded the life you desire, how you think will need to change. — Asha Tyson