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.