Jan 31, 2011

Best Places to Retire for Low Housing Costs

One of the many questions that arises for baby boomers about to retire is where to retire.

Of course, low house prices can be a factor for retirees who plan to choose from the best places to retire happy and move to a different city.

How does a "cute 2 bedroom, 2 bath bungalow" for less than $50,000 sound?

Heck, if I could sell my half-duplex in Edmonton for the $325,000 that the City just assessed it at, with the money I could buy 5 of these cute 2 bedroom, 2 bath bungalows for 5 of my friends — and still have enough to purchase one for myself along with $25,000 of spending money.

See the e-mail below from a woman in Florida that I received last week and note what her husband and her paid for such a retirment home.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Theresa C.
    To: vip-books
    Sent: Monday, January 24, 2011 4:02 PM


    I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed your book HOW TO RETIRE HAPPY, WILD AND FREE. I just ordered your other book THE JOY OF NOT WORKING. You really have made me look at things in such a different light. I even did a flow chart with my OPTIONS FOR RETIREMENT/ACTIVITIES, ETC. I keep adding to it and hopefully will live long enough to complete it.

    While I was reading it, Chapter 6 Your wealth is where your friends are - page 151-152, we have been going to Sun City Center, Fla, since 2003 because we had friends that retired there, every year we would go down and the prices started skyrocketing. Well, 2009, there was a really cute 2bedroom 2bath that was $134k in 2006 which was way too much at the time so we passed.

    IT's a good thing we did because in 2009, the same house was down to 49k, a guy died and the daughter was just giving the house away. We offered 45, they countered at 47, and we got it for 47k.

    We choose Sun City Center for just the reasons you stated in your book, the friends, social activities, clubs, etc. And I even have another friend who came to visit and her and her husband bought a beautiful house and are living there all year long. It's such a great community.

    If you have a blog or send out e-mails, I hope that you add me to your list.

    Your a great writer!!

    Take care and Best Wishes to you and your family for 2011.

    Theresa C.
Here are some quotes about houses and homes to help you choose the best places where to retire.

    The property boom has made us all feel wealthy, but unfortunately it has lulled many of those nearing retirement into a false sense of security.
    — Noel Whittaker

    It takes a heap o' livin' in a house t' make it home.
    — Edgar A. Guest

    He who builds to every man's advice will have a crooked house.
    — Danish proverb

    We give people a box in the suburbs, it's called a house, and every night they sit in it staring at another box; in the morning they run off to another box called an office, and at the weekends they get into another box, on wheels this time, and grope their way through endless traffic jams.
    — Caroline Kelly

    Houses and money are hard to come by if you are not prepared to work for either.
    — Dave Erhard

    The stately homes of England!
    How beautiful they stand,
    Amidst their tall ancestral trees,
    O'er all the pleasant land!
    — Felicin Dorothear Hemans, The Homes of England

    A house is a machine for living in.
    — Le Corbusier

Jan 26, 2011

Don't Gamble on Your Retirement Wishing for a Lottery Win

Get real!

A recent study reported in Vancouver Sun in an article called Don't Gamble on Your Retirement found that one-third of Canadian female Baby Boomers are hoping for a lottery win to fund their retirement.

Now I could be wrong, but my guess is most of them don't even buy lottery tickets.

In the same vein, I could say that my retirement plan is to run away from it all, just like I tried to do when I was a kid, to no avail.

Both retirement plans, of course, have little chance of success.

Check out gambling quotes and Winning the Lottery - the Retirement Plan with the Most Bugs to Be Worked Out on my websites.

Here are some money quotes, retirement quotes, and gambling quotes to put the topic in proper perspective:

    [S]he that lives upon hope will die fasting.
    — Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth

    Most women would rather be out of money than out of fashion.
    — Unknown wise person

    Money can't buy happiness but it can buy marshmellows, which are kinda the same thing.
    — Unknown wise person

    People who are foolish with money are foolish in many other ways too.
    — Unknown wise person

    Getting money is like digging with a needle. Spending it is like water soaking into the sand.
    — Japanese proverb

Jan 21, 2011

How to Upset Your Readers and Make Money at the Same Time

My retirement plan has many elements to it including writing and publishing several more books that will add to my prosperity.

My prosperity up until now has been achieved in many ways including — would you believe — upsetting some of my readers and making money at it.

For instance, I recently received a handwritten letter (always a treat in this day and age when most people send e-mails) from a female reader of one of my books who calls herself a "Healer, Visionary & Artist" and lives in California.

The envelope was red and really different with an image of Cat Woman on it. Even the U.S. stamps on the envelope had cats on them.
"Here we go again," I thought, "another unhinged female reader sending me whacky stuff." (It's female readers who send me flaky stuff that can make my head spin in several directions all at the same time. One or two of them even have exhibited signs of slight, barely worth mentioning, craziness — but don't tell anyone that I said so. Americans are known to sue for anything and everything.)

I was wrong, however, in this case. It was just a woman upset at me — this happens to me often enough with women — so no problem here.

The image above is the inside of the letter, the content of which I have placed below.

    I just finished reading Real Success Without a Real Job [re-issued as Career Success Without a Real Job].

    I had to borrow the book from my local library because I'm broke from taking a vacation from my very boring and unchallenging job as a massage therapist.

    Before I even finished reading your book completely, I found myself busy writing a book all of my own.

    Thank you.

    Anyways . . . that's not why I'm writing you. I'm writing you because you pissed me off. I got really mad when you said I was a cheapskate for borrowing the book from the library.

    That is very rude.

    It pissed me off so much that I called Ten Speed Press and ordered a copy of The Joy of Not Working.

    The book is on its way as I write this letter and I'm looking forward to reading it.

    Thank you.

    Cyrstal Lynn Stevens
    Healer, Visionary & Artist
Incidentally, Crystal was referring to the part in Career Success Without a Real Job on Page 174 where I wrote:
    The key is not to cheap out when buying information that can help you market your products, learn the latest trade secrets, and be a better person. If you borrowed this book from the library — particularly if you are a well-paid professional — then you are not really committed to career success without a real job. Being cheap will not help you feel prosperous and successful.

    You may protest that borrowing a book from the library is a form of economizing. True, it can be if you can’t afford the book. But economizing can create a “poor me” attitude toward money as well as all other areas of your life. You are likely feeding your subconscious mind poverty messages that will prevent you from ever becoming truly prosperous and successful.
So, the question is: Where are you cheaping out in your life that is adding to your poverty consciousness?
For example if you are an author, do you always expect everyone to buy copies of your books.
I don't. I have given away over 13,000 copies of my books (cost of around $50,000) over the years.
This along with upsetting some of my readers (both male and female) have been two keys to my success as an international best-selling author.
One more result that I have achieved is put myself in a position of prosperity and respectable wealth that enhances my retirement plan and allows me to work at projects that I truly enjoy at any pace that I desire.
Here are some retirement quotes and money quotes to inspire you to greater wealth and prosperity:

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

    "Real wealth equals ideas plus energy."
    — Buckminster Fuller

    "The best thing a man can do for his culture when he is rich is to endeavor to carry out those schemes which he entertained when he was poor."
    — Henry David Thoreau

Jan 9, 2011

Men Have Hard Time in Retirement - But Shouldn't

Apparently men in Israel have a hard time in retirement and most don't find much satisfaction from retirement living. Their retirement activities are not satisfying and their retirement is far from happy. Perhaps this is the new retirement that everyone has been talking about.

In November 2010, Sigal Naim, an Israeli researcher at the University of Haifa, found that workers in Israel who took early retirement still define themselves by their career even five years after retirement.

The retirees surveyed were men who claimed they would not have retired without workplace pressure to do so.

Five years after retirement, most retired men in Israel still had an identity based on what they did in their careers, whereas their complete family life could be stated in one or two sentences. (a little despressing, wouldn't you say?).

None of these retired men considered themselves too old to work and they all felt they still had a long and productive life ahead.

Naim's study found that the retirees viewed retirement age as an artificial "finishing line" primarily intended to satisfy workplace organizations and insurance companies' actuarial tables.

Most of the Israel retirees claimed that they retired early so that their pension rights would not be harmed. In other words, these retirees would not have retired without pressure from their workplace to do so.

The main retirement sentiment expressed by almost all of the participants was of profound disappointment in the workplace, the study found.

Researcher Naim also surmised that even retirees who claimed to have found satisfaction in retirement were doing so to cover up their disappointment and insult of being retired. "This is in fact a sort of mask for themselves," claimed Naim, "that helps them to build a new reality that they can live with".

Personally, I have a hard time believing this given that I know many people who are happy to be retired.

If these Israel men had read How to Retire Happpy, Wild, and Free and followed the Retirement Wisdom That You Won'd Get from Your Financial Advisor, they would have a happy and productive retirement.

Here are are few retirement quotes and money quotes to put retirement issues in perspective.

    Early to Bed
    Sleep in late
    Collect your pension
    Ain't life great!
    - Unknown wise retired person

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

    Retirement Life is:
    Having some important purpose to pursue;
    Someone to love;
    Something to appreciate today;
    Something to look forward to tomorrow.
    This brings much happiness.
    What more do you want?
    - from How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

Jan 1, 2011

Top-10 New Years Resolutions

Ever wonder why weight-loss/fitness products (books, ebooks, seminars, etc.) as well as money-advice products sell so well on the Internet?

The followiing New Years Resolutions list is the result of Gary Ryan Blair's (The Goals Guy) research, which consisted of over 300,000 responses worldwide.


    1. Lose Weight and Get in Better Physical Shape

    2. Stick to a Budget

    3. Debt Management and Reduction

    4. Enjoy More Quality Time with Family & Friends

    5. Find My Soul Mate

    6. Quit Smoking

    7. Find a Better Job

    8. Learn Something New

    9. Volunteer and Help Others

    10. Get Organized (along with better time management)

See the list with the descriptions at The Goals Guy - Top-10 Resolutions:

Another interesting list is the top-100 goals people have on 43things.com:

From looking at the two lists, I have come up with 15 new ideas for great books that offer a lot of opportunity to help people and make some money at the same time.

Here is an inspirational quote to help you achieve your goals and New Year's Resolutions.

    Never be discouraged because others are more privileged or talented than you.
    You can always make up with creativity and effort what you lack in talent and good fortune.
    Playing the game of life is like playing poker.
    Playing three aces badly won’t get you as far as playing a terrible hand well.
    — from Life's Secret Handbook by yours truly

New Year's Resolution for Retirees - Get a Retirement Job

This was my comment to an article regarding why baby boomers are not saving enough for retirement and why a lot of them may have to rely on Social Security or retirement jobs:

    Relying solely on Social Security for one's retirement is asinine.

    As recently stated by a financial analyst, "Fact is, the Social Security trust fund has $3 trillion of paper IOUs issued by the Treasury Department over the last 70 years, but not one dime of real money."

    Too many Americans are in denial that the Social Security system has problems.

    I recently blogged about this on my Redroom Author's page with the topic titled Social Security Is a Secure Way to Find Great Pleasure in Being Terribly Deceived.

    Fact is, sooner or later there is going to be a massive restructuring of the system and Americans are going to find out that they have no Social Security, or at least a lot less, to rely on for a retirement income than they had anticipated.

    Regarding baby boomers not having saved enough for retirement, it is each individual's fault, and no one else's.

    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, there would be few people in debt and few people who have not saved enough for retirement.

    I worked less than half of my adult life and I have saved enough for retirement so that I don't have to rely on any government program.

    Incidentally, I drive a 1995 Camry even though I can purchase 10 brand new cars for cash.

    Key to my being able to save enough money for retirement was saving 50 percent of my pretax income when I started making a decent income. As I tell my friends, "Saving only 10 percent of one's income is for wimps and amateurs." This is one of the best money saving tips that you can adopt.

    Also key is to avoid debt like the plague. Dave Ramsey covers this very well in his great book The Total Money Makeover.

    Another valuable book is Larry Wingate's You're Broke Because You Want to Be.

    As Larry Wingate says, most excuses for being in debt are essentially lies. For anyone who gives me excuses why they are in debt, I will give you an example of a person who had it much worse on a much lower income and still managed to save a bundle.

    In short, J.P. Getty said it best: "Those who don't respect money don't have any."

    Ernie J. Zelinski
    Author of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
    (Over 125,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
    and The Joy of Not Working
    (Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

For the record the magazine deleted my comment (no big deal since most people have a hard time accepting the truth and would rather continue to tell lies that reinforce their false beliefs).

As an aside, from the the Globe and Mail's Report on Business Magazine

Cover Story: New Year's Resolution: GET A JOB ( Which for retirees should say GET A RETIREMENT JOB)

You are likely to be asked this question at your next job interview for any retirement jobs.


Here's what your answers say about you:

Your Answer: "I'm a perfectionist" — The compliment-disguised-as-insult answer means you're a shameless self-promoter.

Your Answer: "I'm a brat" — Probably very true.

Your Answer: "No one hates me" — You are needy and possibly delusional.

For more information about retirement jobs, check out:

Retirement Careers on the Retirement Cafe

Unreal Retirement Jobs