Feb 17, 2011

Retirement - It's a Little Too Late for the Wild

Here is the latest e-mail that I received from a reader of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free who is obviously happily retired.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Mattie L.
    To: Ernie Zelinski
    Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2011 3:39 PM
    Subject: Retired.

    Hi Ernie,

    I have just retired (aged 65) and I'm reading your book, How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free.

    I'll go along with the happy and free but it's a bit late for the "wild." I find your book informative and stimulating.

    Advantage of retiring at 65; Most of the people that I owe apologies to are all dead.
    Disadvantages; I now have to read the newspapers on my own time.

    I didn't take my job, as an Inspector with a transport company, very seriously so there was no trauma on retirement.

    Keep up the good work,
    Mattie L.
Here are few prosperity quotes and quotes about retirement to keep the concept of retiring happy, wild, and free in proper perspective.

    If you would like the world to be happier and more prosperous, then help add just one person who is happier and more prosperous. That one person should, by the way, be YOU.
    — from Life's Secret Handbook: The Prosperity Guide the Universe Forgot to Give You

    And Pets are all okay in their little own ways.
    But, flat out . . . . . GREAT FRIENDS ROCK !
    — from Life's Secret Handbook for Having Great Friends by Yours Truly
    (Published in French and Spanish but not in English)

Feb 15, 2011

A Day in The Life of a Financial Advisor

I am not a big fan of retirement planners or financial advisors but this video is really quite funny. Be sure to watch it right to the end.
The woman in it reminds me of many arrogant and ignorant baby boomer women who for some unknown reason think of themselves as so special.

Kelley Keene, author of The Prosperity Factor for Women, said, "I sure could have used this when I was in the biz."

I also sent the link to this video to Kelly Graham, Senior Partner of Echelon Financial Corp.

Kelly responded with, "That was priceless. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. What is funny is I have met people exactly like that too."

Perhaps this retirement quote applies:

    He that lives upon hope will die fasting.
    — Benjamin Franklin, writing in The Way to Wealth
Here are some other quotes about money to help you get some:

    The Best Way to Become a Millionaire Is to Behave Like One
    — Eben Pagan

    Rule #1: You can't make a good buying decision when you're excited.
    Rule #2: You can't make a good selling decision when you are afraid.
    — Eben Pagan

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

    With money you're a dragon; without it you're a worm.
    — Chinese proverb

    Shun anything - shares, property, or the latest hot trend - with recent sharp appreciation. Bubbles burst. Wait until prices fall and then stabilize. Never buy in a market that is rising or falling fast. In the short term, stick to safe investments, even if you can only get 5 percent.
    — Richard Koch, author of Living the 80/20 Way.

Feb 6, 2011

Retirement: The Joy of Not Working

I received the following e-mail recently:

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: ann alice
    To: vipbooks
    Sent: Sunday, February 06, 2011 6:19 PM
    Subject: The Joy of Not Working

    Dear Ernie Zelinski,

    I am taking this opportunity to thank you for your books, The Joy of Not Working, and The Joy of Thinking BIG.

    I am Mrs. Annamma Thomas, staying in Edmonton since almost five months on a visitor visa. My daughter and her family settled here. My daughter encouraged me to read the The Joy of Not Working because I got only another four years of service. I am working in INDIA and citizen of that country.

    I loved your book and my daughter already gifted me a copy of the same. I am leaving to my country next week.

    I have a question about the creativity. most of your examples and letters are focused on North American context.

    But the developing country like ours could be difficult I think. The most liked subject from the book 'the joy of thinking big" is what a difference being different Make's [this chapter I liked].

    After reading The Joy of Not Working, I started writing my biography, also I am already getting ready about the retirement. (Kindly excuse my English.)

    Hope you will reply.

    Thank you very much,

    Annamma Thomas.
This was my response:

    Hello Annamma:

    I am glad that you liked The Joy of Not Working and The Joy of Thinking Big

    In regards to applying creativity, I think it can be applied in any country, although companies are known to suppress creative individuals, regardless of where the companies are located.

    I am glad that The Joy of Not Working has spurred you to action.

    For the record, although the two books have similarities, How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free is the better retirement book.

    Thanks for writing to me.

    So long for now,

    Ernie J. Zelinski
    Best-Selling Author, Innovator, and Creativity Consultant
    Author of the Bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
    (Over 125,000 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)

Feb 2, 2011

How do you survive without a retirement job?

Apparently there is a lot of despair out there with not enough well-paid regular jobs and retirement jobs to go around.

I recently received this e-mail from a gentleman in the U.S. who obviously read one of my books.

It could have been either The Joy of Not Working or How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.

Or it might have been Career Success Without a Real Job: since the gentleman mentioned something about being entrepreneurial.

Here is the e-mail:

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Jason
    To: vipbooks
    Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2011 1:42 PM
    Subject: How do you survive when nobody will let you have a job?

    Good Afternoon Mr. Zelinski;

    I have a rather simple question for you: How do you survive when nobody will let you work?

    I had a 30yr career as a software engineer before I got downsized out of my job back in August 2009. I went from $123,000.00 a year to zip. The economy being what it is, I haven’t worked since. I’ve gone bankrupt, lost my house, have had to depend on my parents for housing, and thanks to the cost of COBRA (health insurance at $1,300 per month), I’ve now burned through my 401K. Initially I was extremely bitter, especially because some of my most recent work is now earning that company millions of dollars. Eventually I got over that and decided to go back to school and train to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). I’m doing very well with my current GPA at 4.0, but like I mentioned – I’ve burned out my 401K and I’ve got nothing left to sustain my not working. The biggest hindrance is health insurance.

    Aside from the quotable quotes, you book speaks a lot to inspiration and the entrepreneurial spirit, but very little to the practical side of the day-to-day existence. I have cut my debt to nearly zero (except for the monthly living expenses) thanks to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I have no loans, no housing payment. My wife and I live fairly simply. Health insurance (or should I say the lack of) is my wife’s greatest fear. I have mild narcolepsy, which means I can fall asleep really fast, but my medicine (at $400 per month) keeps me from doing it at the most inopportune times (like when I’m driving or when I’m at work). It makes me, as one insurance agent told me, uninsurable. My wife has fibromyalgia and a thyroid disease which makes her difficult, but not impossible to insure.

    So what do you suggest I do? I’m to the point where I’m actually looking to get back into the same field that abandoned me 1.5yrs ago…at half the salary I used to get. Why? Just to get the insurance and to build back up my savings that are nearly exhausted. Heck, I’d even work at Starbucks, but they no longer offer insurance to their part-timers. Of course I’ll have to abandon my going back to school and becoming an LPN. If you think I could try it again later, let me tell you: doing this now at 54 is pretty damn tough…in a couple more years, forget about it!

    I’m sorry I’m not one of those letter’s you’ll end up with in your next book. I was just hoping you might be able to suggest some way to get the health insurance we’d need.


This was my response:

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Ernie Zelinski
    To: Jason
    Sent: Wednesday, February 02, 2011 6:00 PM
    Subject: Re: How do you survive when nobody will let you have a job?

    Hello Jason:

    Thanks for writing to me.

    I sympathize with your situation.

    I have a friend who recently at 66 got abruptly laid off after 14 years with a company. His rent is $1450 a month and his utlities are $500 a month but the most he can get from the Canada Pension Fund and Canadian Old Age Security is around $1,500 a month. He has no vehicle since he lost his company truck so I do the best I can do to take groceries to him and take him out to dinner once a week. Of course, my friend will have a hard time finding a retirement job.

    Even so, my friend created his situation over the years by not saving money. He made decent money for many years. I know people who made only half the the income he made and still have saved enough for retirement. And that is so true with many people in the U.S, and Canada.

    No doubt there are many people in my friend's situation as well as in your situation.

    It is your own decision as to whether you want to go back to your old field and work at half the salary. I can assure you, however, that there are people working at the lower-end salaries of $60,000 a year or less and are saving at least 20 percent of their income. One of the reasons that I don't have money problems even though I worked half of my adult life is that once I started making a decent income, I saved over 50 percent of my income. If my friend had done the same, he wouldn't be in the position he is today.

    Since I am not as knowledgeable of the American system as are some American financial experts themselves, I cannot give you any great advice on how to get health insurance.

    I would suggest that you write to Larry Wingate, Dave Ramsey, or Suze Orman who are three of my favorite financial experts in the U.S.

    I wish you the best of luck.

    Ernie Zelinski