What do you fear about retirement?

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.

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