Dec 13, 2012

Writing Retirement Books Is a Business

My international bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free (over 175,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages) has been in the top 1,000 books sold on Amazon for the last week or so, which means that it is selling really well, particularly it being Christmas season.

A lot of people think that it is really easy to accomplish what I have done with this book, which could end up being my $1 million book in profits (more about this some other time). 

Note: as of August 15, 2016 How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free has now sold over 300,000 copies and has earned me over $1 million in pretax profits.

Here are some great quotations to put the business or writing retirement books (and it is a business) in proper perspective:

“What people really want . . . is to be broke. At least, that’s one likely interpretation of a new YouGov poll that shows more people [in Britain] would rather be a writer than anything else. Now, it’s possible they’ve all got their eyes on the J. K. Rowling squillions, but the financial reality is rather more depressing. Most book manuscripts end up unwanted and unread on publishers’ and agents’ slush piles, and the majority of those that do make it into print sell fewer than 1,000 copies … It’s not even as if writing is that glamorous. You sit alone for hours on end honing your deathless prose, go days without really talking to anyone and, if you’re lucky, within a year or so you will have a manuscript that almost no one will want to read. Your friends and family will come to dread requests for constructive feedback . . .”
— John Crace writing in The Guardian

“No amount of money or marketing can overcome a book that doesn’t deliver. So your first challenge is to write a book that your networks assure you is as good as you want it to be. The content of your books will determine how you sell them to publishers and promote them to book buyers. Content precedes commerce.”
— Rick Frishman

“People think that just because they’ve written something, there’s a market for it. It’s not true.”
— Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver

“Are you publishing this book to make a living? Good luck with that. Less than 3% of newly published authors make enough in royalties and advances to be happy to live on.”
— Seth Godin

And I am going add a quotation by Joe Konrath. For the record, I am not a big fan of Konrath, mainly because of his constant criticism of traditional publishers (My opinion is that Konrath hasn’t applied critical thinking skills in his analysis of traditional publishers.) Nevertheless, I do admire and acknowledge the success that Konrath has achieved. What’s more, I particularly agree with Konrath’s statement:

“Write a damn good book. This should be your main priority. It’s also one of the hardest things to do, and the hardest things to judge for yourself if you’ve done it. The problem is, most writers believe their books are good. Even at our most insecure, we believe complete strangers will enjoy our scribblings enough to pay for the privilege.”
— Joe Konrath

Note: I don't want to discourage anyone from writing books. In fact, I encourage all my friends to do so. The point is: If you want to make real money at this game and have a true bestseller (one that has sold 100,000 copies or more) you have to be a 1 percenter. A 1 percenter is a person who is willing to be more creative and more industrious than 99 percent of the population is willing to be.

Check out the blog post Creativity Trumps Following the Rules

Also, check out the number 2 listing of "Top 55 Retirement Planning Websites awards."

Nov 29, 2012

Impostor Syndrome - Leave It to "Best-Selling Authors" Who Aren't

Rachelle Gardner, a literary agent representing Christian writers, asked these questions on her blog post yesterday: 
  1. "What about you? Do you ever feel like an impostor?  
  2. What makes you feel that way?
  3. What reminds you of the truth about yourself?"

 This was my reply:

Regarding, “impostor syndrome”, I would imagine anyone who started from nothing and attained any measure of success may suffer from it.
Me too, occassionally, but then I remember these words,

“If you done it, it ain’t bragging.”
— Walt Whitman

If anyone should be suffering from “impostor syndrome”, it’s the many self-proclaimed “best-selling authors” whose books have sold only fifty, a hundred, or fewer than 1,000 copies. Even having a book sell 5,000 copies does not make it a best-seller in the U.S. As self-publishing guru Dan Poynter says, a true best-seller is one that has sold at least 40,000 copies.

I have checked out many authors calling themselves “best-selling authors” and have found that their books have only sold 100 or 200 copies or 500 copies through normal book channels. These are the true impostors. If they are suffering from severe “impostor syndome” — they likely should be!

Having said that, I wanted to give a great quote about impostors. There aren’t many — but here is one that will offers food for thought to all of us.

“While the impostor draws his identity from past achievements and the adulation of others, the true self claims identity in its belovedness. We encounter God in the ordinariness of life: not in the search for spiritual highs and extraordinary, mystical experiences but in our simple presence in life.”
— Brennan Manning, in “Abba’s Child"

Some Alarming (and Questionable) Retirement Statistics from Economic Secrets Website

"I want you to take a look at these alarming facts:
  • 96 percent of Americans never achieve financial independence! (According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, they end up dependent on charity, welfare, or family … or are forced to work past their ‘retirement age’.)  
  • 85 percent of the people reaching age 65 years don’t have even $200 in their bank accounts! (That figure comes straight from the IRS!)
  • 97 percent of all Americans, according to the US Census Bureau, will be forced to scratch out their retirement existence on a paltry $10,000 – or less! – a year.
  • Americans aged 85 and older are now the fastest-growing segment of our population! (In fact, Hallmark sells TENS of THOUSANDS of birthday cards for 100-year olds every year!)
  • Within 20 years, there will be 70 million Americans aged 65 and older (That’s more than DOUBLE the number in that age group in 2000!) "
Question: Are these retirement statistics right? If they are, many retirees and soon-to-be retirees must be experiencing impostor syndrome.

Note: Check out Cliff's Moen Family website.

Oct 10, 2012

More Money Quotes - Money Dislikes Being Equally Distributed

This is one of my favorite books ever:  Living the 80/20 Way by Richard Koch.

My review of this book is featured quite prominently on the Amazon page.

Although the book is about living a great balanced life, I also liked the chapter about money.

Here are quotes about money from Koch's book that I am using in The 777 Best Things Ever Said about Money. (soon to be released as an ebook)

"Money dislikes being equally distributed."
— Richard Koch

"Money clones money."
— Richard Koch

"Can money buy happiness? Yes, if you are poor."
— Richard Koch

"We sacrifice our independence and time to make money, believing that more money will make us happier. It doesn't. All we do is squander our life energy at ever-higher levels of affluence."
— Richard Koch

"More wealth also requires more management. Looking after my money irritates me. (Don't offer to relieve me of it; it irritates me less than giving it away would!)"
— Richard Koch

"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

"Money is a force, like the wind, the waves, and the weather."
— Richard Koch

"Money is for freedom, not slavery; for security, not worry. Unless money is used to give you greater freedom and happiness, accumulating money is a burden."
— Richard Koch

No doubt, "Money is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." If you end up living in poverty like
tens of millions of North Americans will in their retirement, well, good luck with your writing money off as an illusion. I will take an adequate amount of money to escape this poverty, even if the money is an illusion.

For more great quotations about money and about money tips for the retired, check out:

Importance of Money in Retirement

Sensational Quotes about Money for Smart People

How Much Money Do I Need to Retire

Sep 28, 2012

Best Retirement Job Book

I received this e-mail from a woman obviously looking for a way to work in retirement at a retirement job.

From: Marlene S
Subject: Recommendation
To: success101coach
Received: Thursday, September 27, 2012


If I may be so informal.

On Monday I am being transferred to another department in our company. I’ve spent the last year enjoying my role as Project Manager and have received numerous accolades on my success. Although it’s probably the best job I’ve ever had in all honesty I know it’s just another detour.

Overnight, the new head cheese, has decided he only needs a few project managers and suddenly I’m only qualified to write documents. It’s business and not personal and most likely a preliminary to fewer document writers. Oddly enough, my new manager encouraged us to remember that we are a family and need to work together during this change. I’m curious if he’s ever had to fire or layoff his sister or his cute, but unproductive and smelly grandmother recently.

But I digress . . .

I am grateful to have a job still as many are losing theirs. As I enter my sixth decade, however, I am more interested in expressing my gifts, exploring my creative nature and stopping on occasion to smell the roses or contemplate the lint in my navel. This would be easily done but I feel my current total lack of financial sustenance a bit prohibitive.

Your books appear to be just what I need if only for a fun pick me up and creative kick in the right side of my brain. So with the few extra dollars I have at the moment I would like to ask . . . . of all your books . . . and considering I feel like a butterfly with cement boots on . . . which of your many charming books would you recommend if I could only buy one?

No pressure.

Thank you for expressing yourself and be well

Marlene S.

This was my responese to Marlene:


If you are looking to semi-retirement and working in retirement at some sort of retirement job to earn some income, I would suggest my book Career Success Without a Real Job: The Career Book for People Too Smart to Work in Corporations

I would also suggest Making a Living Without a Job by Barbara Winter.

Many thanks and so long for now.

Ernie J. Zelinski
Best-Selling Author, Innovator, and Prosperity Life Coach
Author of the Bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
(Over 165,000 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)

P.S. Here are some retirement planning resources for getting a retirement job or working during retirement.

Retirement Jobs at
Retirement Jobs on Real Success Website
Retirement Jobs on Squidoo

Sep 16, 2012

My Retirement Plan Is My Retirement Book

First, I like this article Smoking Is My Retirement Plan. Needless to say smoking is not part of my retirement plan.

And here is a short article about about a retirement study done in Australia that won't be a big surprise to either you or me. It is about how to retire happy with money or without much money.

The last part of the article states.

"While your financial assets are a good predictor of your retirement well-being, it's worth noting that as many retirees say that they have 'just enough' to live on with an annual income of $7,800 as they do with $130,000. So it's not just how much you have, but how you want or expect to live."

Of course, I have said the same in my two retirement books, only in different words.

Incidentally I was searching on Google for a great unsolicited review of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free on Quintessential Careers that I was aware of. I typed in my other best-selling book The Joy of Not Working by mistake.
I came across this review of The Joy of Not Working that I was not aware of.

Of course, my retirement plan entails selling 500,000 copies of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free which has now sold around 165,000 copies (over 300,000 copies as of August 15, 2016).

Here are some quotations about retirement to help your retirement plan and my retirement plan:

"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

"The things that are most precious to the human soul are those that are beyond price — integrity, true friendship, health, achievement, reputation, true courage, great character, gratitude, greatness, emotional stability, common sense, self-esteem, creativity, wisdom, spiritual fulfillment, and peace of mind. These can’t be rented, bought, or sold — regardless of how much money you acquire."
— from Look Ma, Life's Easy

"Smoking is no retirement plan. Instead, it’s a death on the installment plan — with higher and higher payments. You’ll pay fiscally, mentally, socially — and physically. And most times the payments will go on for as long as you’re alive."
— Matthew J. Edlund, M.D

"If you want the best retirement outcome possible, get rich. If that fails, consider getting married, staying married — and doing your best to die before your spouse does."
— Andrea Coombes

"Re-retirement martinis tonight. Sad to be saying adios to such wonderful people, but happy to be thinking about my own stuff instead of other people's stuff. That, my friends is the definition of retirement."
— Sydney Lagier

"Today, every prosperous retired person who does not work in some retirement job has a grand scheme that does work."
— Dave Erhard

"You are the author of your own life, and you — and only you — can create the financial conditions for the ideal early retirement."
— Anon financial advisor

"If I would have known that retirement was going to be this great, I would have never have got myself a job after I graduated from school!"
— Unknown wise person

"Can I retire? The answer is obviously "no" if I am asking myself this question."
— Dave Erhard

"No one should rely on their home equity as a source of money for retirement. Home equity should be considered emergency money. I paid my home off 8 years prior to retirement and banked the mortgage payments for 8 years. Retirement plans must include worst case scenarios, a set amount you will need to retire. You should start living as though you retired a couple of years before you retire, to ensure that you can meet your monthly expenses. No one said retirement is going to be easy and no one should take for granted that it is going to be."
— "Popog", Alias for a person posting a comment on a USA TODAY article

Aug 21, 2012

Retirement Planning - Freedom 55 Is Just an Illusion

Retirement planning is a big issue nowadays, particularly with baby boomers. Of course my retirement plan has always been a little different from others and I don't even know how much do I need to retire

The following is an e-mail I received from a friend of mine and his concern that many Canadians will not have sufficient retirement income when they retire.

----- Original Message -----
From: Todd L
To: Ernie Zelinski
Sent: Monday, August 20, 2012 7:27 PM
Subject: [Retirement] Freedom 55 is an Illusion

Hey Ernie,

Just back from a trip to San Francisco.

I saw this article on Huffington Post. I would love to hear your feelings on this just because is exemplifies the tension that is growing between those who are trying fulfill a sense of purpose of life in retirement years, and the hard reality that at least half of Canadians are really not even close to fulfilling the "entrepreneur's" (or economist's) view of a fruitful retirement.

Canadians to Work in Retirement

You are also aware, I am sure, of the newest statistics that came out citing how many Canadians (53%) had "NO" emergency savings. This is not stating simply "low" savings for retirement, but NO savings.

Retirement Savings of Canadians

I fit into this last category, and I suspect our friend Jim does too in some ways. No retirement, no savings, and no assets (basically, to speak of).

Thus the pain felt by anyone (such as myself), per se, who will see their Old Age Security rolled out to age 67. Therefore, I am not quite sure what the "incentive" is, even within a full-on capitalist dog-eat-dog philosophy, to think that Canada creates a sufficient landing space for those who work their entire life (like me) and pay their Canada Pension and Taxes (like me) for 40 years (like me) and end up basically making less than the poverty line once they "reap" their eventual Canadian Pension Plan. It says, to me, that if a certain person couldn't score a private pension and savings plan, then we (as Canadians) are prepared to let all of those folks who fall into the "middle" ground national pension plan of $18,000 per year (which is fine if you live in an airstream trailer, but not cool if you try to rent a simple apartment). Forget having anything near "home care", at some eventual stage of Alzheimers,but what about basic electricity, garbage pick-up, or water/sewer.

Having said all of that, each situation is different, and guys like Jim and I live on cosmic rules that allow us to "get beyond" the basic needs in life, so ultimately I am not concerned about "us". But what of the other 52%?

This is not a question about finding your way within a system that has opportunity, but reflects views of those who are increasingly facing dwindling pensions/incomes and aren't able to generate "dynamic entrepreneurial energy", but at age 60 or s, just need a bit of a social safety net. Where will they all go in the ext 10 years?
This seems to me to be an important question that you could answer on your blog. Perhaps food for thought?

This was my response to Todd:

I already cover some of these retirement issues in my blog and on several of my websites such as 1001 Ways to Enjoy Your Retirement.

Yes, many Canadians are going to have it tough in retirement. Americans as a whole are going to have it much tougher, however.

Refer to my recent blog post Dying Early as a Retirement Plan:

Here are some retirement quotes as well as retirement sayings to place retirement planning in proper perspective.

"My retirement plan is to find a shopping cart with good snow tires."
— Patty Doy

"My Retirement Plan: Get a job that will last until I am dead."
— Anon, in response to a retirement article

"The Republican Party is a friend of Social Security the way Colonel Sanders was a friend of chickens."
— Charles T. Manatt

"My retirement plan has always been quite a bit different from what retirement experts say is the ideal retirement plan. I semi-retired when I was thirty-five and had a net worth of minus $30,000 (due to student loan debts). Many people will say that this is unreasonable, impossible, and stupid. I did the right thing, however. That is why I have been able to work at my leisure four or five hours a day outside corporate life and make a great living."
— Ernie Z.

"I'll assume that when I retire I can find a good spot under a bridge to park my shopping cart and get some shut-eye."
— darko714 (Alias for person commenting on USA TODAY article about Social Security)

"My wife and I have our retirement figured out ... we will head to the Reno area ... nice climate. On one corner my 70-year-old wife will be a hooker and across the street I will be selling hot dogs until the day I die. I can't think of anything else to do."
— dryheavesdaily, in response to MarketWatch article Four ways 60-year-olds can save their retirement

"My retirement plan is to get great pleasure from living solely to enrage those who are paying for my Social Security and company pension."
— Unknown wise retiree

"As long as I get air conditioning in my cardboard box, I'll be OK [in my retirement]."
— Barbara Whelehan, Writer

"My Retirement Plan:
1) Work 70hr weeks for average pay.
2) Live beneath my means and save 15-20 percent of my income.
3) Diversify my holdings between cash, RRSPs and PM's
4) Watch cash get destroyed by inflation, and RRSP get destroyed by fraudulent markets and gold get destroyed by deflation when interest rates eventually stop getting manipulated by the government.
5) Retire in a cardboard box living on a diet of catfood and dumpster diving.
— Unknown Canadian in response to Globe and Mail retirement article

In addition to this blog post, I recently read an article about the biggest fear that North American women in their 50s have. It is not about their looks. Their greatest fear is that they will live in poverty in their old age.

Two last quotations about retirement to add to those above:

"A happy retirement doesn't require oodles of money, nor should it mean fighting the cat for food."
— Shelley Fralic, Vancouver Sun

"Uh oh. Half of my neighbors will have to develop a taste for cat food and dandelions. Hey dandelions are great and highly nutricious (just dont eat the ones you've been spraying), as for cat food, I'd prefer to skip that dry stuff and just down the cat."
— Unknown person commenting on USA TODAY article Retirement planning: Assume you won't get Social Security)

One note about the study of Canadians nearing retirement mentioned in the Huntington Post blog. It was best covered (even better than in all the Canadian publications) in this other American publication:

Canadians Short on Retirement Savings

Fact is, I have several friends and acquaintances who are likely to live at the bare minimum of $18,000 a year. On the other hand, I have several friends and acquaintances who will be able to live very well in retirement, much better than me, given that their net worth is anywhere from $1.5 million to $3 million.

In short, there is no answer to the retirement dreams that people have been conned into. There is a serious restructuring going on to account for the excesses that North American baby boomers lived through and must now pay for in terms of a lowered standard of living.

Ernie J. Zelinski
International Best-Selling Author and Prosperity Life Coach
Author of “How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
(Over 165,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
and The Joy of Not Working
(Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

Aug 19, 2012

The Joy of Not Working in Japan

Below is the latest e-mail that I received from a reader of several of my books, including The Joy of Not Working:

----- Original Message -----
From: Shane P.
To: vip-books
Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2012 4:33 AM
Subject: A Fan from Japan

Dear Mr. Zelinski,

Hello, my name is Shane. About 18 years ago while I was a university student I was lucky enough to chat with you in a cafe just outside the Princess Threatre, where you kindly gave an autographed copy of The Joy of Not Working. I was very motivated and impressed with your work that I bought my younger brother a copy for his birthday, as well as a copy of your other book, Seeing Double or Better in Business.

Unfortunately a year later, I gave away the book along with most of my possessions as I took a teaching position in Japan, got married, and spent the next 18 there. My brother got so inspired that a few years later he followed me over the pond and has been living 15 years in Kobe, Japan, as well. I was visiting his apartment one day when I happened across your book Career Success Without a Real Job.

I was quite surprised that a writer I recommended to him ended up having such a big impact on him as well. I quickly snatched the book off of his shelf and started reading it. It was great timing in my life as I had become more and more disfastified with my Japanese corporate life and marriage. (I see on your homepage yoou have written a book about marriage as well. I plan to make it my next read.)

[Incidentally], Career Success without a Real Job was a great book.

Thanks for taking the time for reading my letter and I hope you found my comments to be useful. As for myself, I just turned 40 and I am working up the courage to try and tell my wife and child I want more out of life than the corporate existence I presently find myself in.

I better read your book on marriage [The Joy of Not Being Married] first. Thanks for all the great advice and inspiration you have given me over the years.

All the Best,
Shane P.
Hiroshima, Japan

Here are some quotations about work and quotations about marriage to place the two in proper perspective:

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

Every prosperous person who does not work has a creative scheme that does.
— John Otway

If a man has important work, and enough leisure and income to enable him to do it properly, he is in possession of as much happiness as is good for any of the children of Adam.
— Richard Henry Tawney

In careers — as in marriage — we are astonished at what others choose.
— Dave Erhard

Old people at weddings always poke me and say, "You're next." So, I started doing the same thing to them at funerals.
— Unknown wise person

Marriage is a great institution, but I'm not ready for an institution.
— Mae West

Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.
— Oscar Wilde

There are two kinds of marriages — where the husband quotes the wife, or where the wife quotes the husband.
— Clifford Odets

Jul 22, 2012

Dying Early as a Retirement Plan

In the New York Times article at the link below, it says "Dying Early Is Not the Basis of a Retirement Plan."

I say, "Why not? Dying early as a retirement plan has worked for many people!"

This article about retirement is unbelievable and bizarre, however. Bizarre, given that is written by an academic. More on that later.

This part of the article is almost unbelievable, but likely true.

"Seventy-five percent of Americans nearing retirement age in 2010 had less than $30,000 in their retirement accounts. The specter of downward mobility in retirement is a looming reality for both middle- and higher-income workers. Almost half of middle-class workers, 49 percent, will be poor or near poor in retirement, living on a food budget of about $5 a day."

Hmm, a food budget of about $5 a day doesn't seem like a great way to retire happy, wild, and free.

Here is the link to the New York Times retirement article Our Ridiculous Approach to Retirement.

My thoughts about the article: This woman says, "My plan calls for a way out that would create guaranteed retirement accounts on top of Social Security. These accounts would be required, professionally managed, come with a guaranteed rate of return and pay out annuities."

In my opinion, this woman is delusional when she says "professionally managed" and "come with a guaranteed rate of return".

What the heck does "professionally managed" mean? Managed by greedy bankers or dubious financial advisors? Sure, most Americans (me too) would have a lot of trust in these people!

Worse yet, would be to have a new retirement plan, just like the U.S. Social Security System, managed by politicians and government workers.

And "come with a guaranteed rate of return". Plain and simple, there is no such thing as a "guaranteed rate of return" when we factor in inflation and so many other uncertain factors prevalent in the world economic order. Even George W. Bush admitted that the U.S. Social Security system cannot provide a guaranteed rate of return simply because there is no trust fund set aside for Social Security. The funds for Social Security were raided by the U.S. Government many years ago to pay for general expenditures. (See these Social Security Quotes.)

Now this woman (an academic, at that) is talking about another government program that would "create guaranteed retirement accounts".

Get real! Now I know why this prominent French writer and philosopher so many years ago stated:

"I prefer the company of peasants because they have not been educated sufficiently to reason incorrectly."
— Michel de Montaigne

Here are some new retirement quotes and retirement sayings to place your retirement planning in proper perspective so you don't have to adopt dying early as your retirement plan:

"Let's spend all our money to buy cool stuff. Later we can sell it all on eBay to pay for our retirement."
— from Glasbergen cartoon

"What a wonderful title: The Joy of Not Working. Ernie Zelinski's basic message, no matter your career stage, is get a well-balanced life and quit relying on your job to define who you are. It's hard to quibble with Zelinski's live-life-to-the-fullest message. Those who have drafted a resignation letter in their heads a thousand times may be motivated to finally quit an unfilling job."
— Michelle Archer, USA TODAY
“Get this book [How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free] if you look forward to a retirement with 'zing!' ”
— Nancy Paradis, St. Petersburg Times, Florida

"I'm regularly asked what my [retirement] plan is, and I deliberately don't have much of a plan. I've had lots of plans in my life and it might be nice to have a period that is less planned."
— Malcolm Hamilton, Canada's Expert on Pensions and Retirement Planning

"People may live as much retired from the world as they like, but sooner or later they find themselves debtor or creditor to some one. More money won’t bring you more happiness — It works the other way around."
— from the book Career Success WITHOUT a Real Job

"Everyone needs a reason to put their shoes on in the morning [when they retire]. If you put on the slippers, you'll end up dragging your feet all day."
— Norma Fagan, Dir. of the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program of Monroe County

"Whatever the challenge of a new age, in the end what really counts is not the years in our lives but the life in our years. It is not about longevity, but the depth of life. Long ago I learned that age does not wither the mind if people remain positive. No one is too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. It is a mind game. As Churchill suggested, "The empires of the future are the empires of the mind."
— Singapore Retiree Jennie Chau

"Yes, I am thoroughly enjoying retirement! The best part is observing my neighbors drive off to work in the morning knowing that that their day will be filled with jerks, brainless and endless meetings, jerks, vendor lunches where you hold your breath just waiting for the sales pitch until you regurgitate your pasta, more jerks and the eventual company reorganization of the section that was just reorganized last month!
— Bill Kalmar

Here is a little item in the Globe and Mail about how I invest my money: Early Retiree Prefers Peace of Mind Investing His Retirement Money. Note how mean and vicious the comments and replies to comments can become.

Jul 11, 2012

Prosperity Consciousness Is Not about Cheaping Out and Being Frugal

This is a dog story. But it is also a story about money and prosperity.

Two or so weeks ago, my good friend Nickolas was working out in west Edmonton and went to get a bite to eat at a Subway outlet. Close by the Subway, he encountered this dog. He looked at the lost poster beside it and thought, "Kinda looks like the dog in the poster."

He phoned the number and it turned out that it, indeed, was the lost dog. That's the pleasant side of the story.

Now, the not-so-cute side. Note that there is reward offered. It turns out that the people offered Nickolas a $6 reward.

Something about Nickolas. He is a Libertarian and claims to be an atheist. Yet he is a person who operates out of true spiritual values more than the vast majority of religious and spiritual people that I know. Even if the reward had been $100 or $500 or $1,000, Nickolas would have turned it down.

The point here is the people surely were not coming from gratitude and decency and excellence and integrity and high intention by offering a mere $6 reward. People who cheap out like this need to seriously work on their prosperity consciousness.

(Note that I have used Photoshop to obstruct the phone number of the people so no calls them to give them heck about cheaping out on the reward. I will let Karma or God or the Unverse take care of that.)

Now back to the pleasant side of this story.

If you look closely at the lost poster, you will notice that the dog owners wrote "Taken from this location" on it. Two of my friends think that the dog remembered from where it was taken and wandered back there thinking its owners would show up.

My theory is that the dog remembered that it was a Subway sandwich shop from which it was taken and that was a good place to hang around for a good-natured soul such as Nickolas to come by and buy it a Subway sandwich. And a foot-long one at that — no veggie stuff either.

Here are some retirement prosperity quotes and money quotes to help you attain financial freedom and prosperity in your life. You will need this if you want to retire happy and experience the joy of being retired.
    "A dream without a plan kindled by your inspired action is just a wish that the Universe has little interest in supporting. Inspired action leads to transcendent wonder and smiles of good fortune. That is to say, supreme blessings of prosperity from the Universe are the result of supreme impassioned inputs from you." — from Look Ma, Life's Easy
    "Why waste so much time, energy, and money trying to buy the biggest house that your credit rating will allow? Truth be known, a small house can hold as much happiness as a large one. Sometimes it will hold even more." — from The Lazy Person's Guide to Happiness

    "It’s a kind of spiritual snobbery that makes people think they can be [retire] happy without money." — Albert Camus

    "When it comes to making more money, most people look at the world and see the same opportunities they’ve seen before: typically, a job. Because they don’t awaken their mind and expand their vision, they don’t see other opportunities. Yet opportunities do exist. So how do you change your thinking so you can see them? One way to jolt the brain out of its preconceived category thinking is to bombard it with new experiences." — Joe Vitale

    "It's called a financial misstep when you don't follow an important principle of money that leads to true prosperity. A hundred or more of these missteps in a year or two — and you are in real trouble." — from Life's Secret Handbook

Jul 2, 2012

Retirement: Not Working Provides Untold Wealth, Health, and Happiness

Here is the latest e-mail that I received about my retirement books from a couple in the U.S who took early retirement. They certainly are not short of fun things to do in retirement.

From the thousands of letters and e-mails that I have received from readers of both retirement books, this one has to be one of my favorites. It will definitely go into a book called 1001 Ways to Enjoy Your Retirement: Advice from Readers of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free and The Joy of Not Working.

Dear Ernie:

I am writing to you because my wife said I must. You see, we both read your books (The Joy of Not Working, and How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free). In fact, we put much of your wisdom into practice. We both retired early.

While we walked the dog one morning, Karen said that with all the new things we have done since retiring that you might like to hear about some of them. Here they are, in no particular order.

In the first year or so of our freedom:

• I filed a provisional patent, taking the invention to prototype, and began marketing it.
• She started a part time job.
• I started a blog, and built a website.
• She learned belly dancing.
• We hiked, bird watched, and photographed eagles, owls, and wildlife too numerous to list, even an albino fawn with her mother.
• I fly fished Apalachicola Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
• She joined a book-reading club.
• We travelled with our dog Jedi throughout the southern USA.
• She learned to use power tools.
• I began leather working, and developed two new designs.
• She began gardening, putting in both vegetables and herbs.
• We stay up later, sleep in, and take regular naps.
• I study and play the classical guitar.
• She started word puzzles to keep her mind sharp.
• I started a small business delivering health and wellness classes to the public through hospitals, senior living, and community centers.
• We dropped fifteen pounds (each) of weight attributed to job-related stress eating.
• We spent a winter in the Florida panhandle.
• She does yoga.
• We made new friends in several states.
• I resumed fly tying because of much more time on the water.
• We attended classes and seminars, including the Creative Retirement [Exploration Weekend] Workshop (CREW) at the University of North Carolina in Asheville. By the way, they cite your work at the workshop and recommend your book (How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free) .
• I wrote one novel, and ten short stories, which I will submit for publishing after final editing.
• We attended plays.
• She hosted parties, and re-decorated the house.
I tried and let go of part time work. You see, I am simply too busy.

There are probably many more things but I cannot recall them at present.

Karen and I are thrilled at having time each day for nature walks, bicycle riding, bird watching, and cruising in our classic sports car (we are from Detroit, after all). The time together has strengthened our marriage, too.

We worried about money initially, but now find we do just fine, even spending less than we did while working. In fact, we noticed work requires a significant outlay, even part-time! I believe working consumes more money than most people understand. Not working, on the other hand, provides untold wealth, health, and happiness.

Thank you for writing the books you did. They have helped us along our path. Best wishes for health and happiness,

Jack and Karen C.

I like the mention by Jack about how working in retirement did not work for him. From the letter, you should be inspired to generate your own list of 100 things to do when you retire.

Some retirement quotes and retirement sayings to help you with your list of fun  things to do in retirement:

    "Art is one of the few careers without a mandatory retirement age." — Julia Cameron
    "My retirement plan is to join the folks with the torches and pitchforks rioting and storming the Bastille." - Jim Jim (ordaj), commenter on a Retirement Article

    "You Say You Want to Work Past ‘Retirement’? How's Your Health?" — Joseph F Coughlin

    "Like life, retirement can be full of surprises. Take when you retire, for example." — Talbot Boggs

    "The top retirement planning strategy today is not to retire." — Joseph F Coughlin

    "Result for many Americans When They Punch in Their Data into a Retirement Calculator: "According to your latest data if you retire today, you can live reasonably well until 5 p.m. tomorrow." — Dave Erhard

    "Planning to never retire is not a true retirement plan. It, in fact, is a sign of delusion — and of denial about one's inability to save enough for one's retirement." — Dave Erhard

    "Elevating your wants to your need list is another way to trick yourself into being broke in retirement." — from "Zen I Got Rich" by E.Z.

    "A happy retirement doesn't require oodles of money, nor should it mean fighting the cat for food." — Shelley Fralic, Vancouver Sun

    "The greatest stock market you can invest in is yourself. Finding this truth is better than finding a gold mine." — Byron Katie
Check out this article Dying to Retire: Early Retirement Can Be a Killer in which one of my retirement books is mentioned.

May 31, 2012

Retirement Jobs — Working Smart and Sleeping Smart Too

If you would like to make money in retirement (or semi-retirement), I would suggest that you develop some intellectual property so that you make money while you sleep. That way you won't have to get yourself a boring retirement job.

The other day I talked to my friend Dan in Vancouver late at night and then went to sleep. When I woke up in the late morning, there was an offer from a Japanese publisher for a $2,000 advance to publish The Joy of Not Working, (even though this book has been published in Japanese on two previous occassions).

This was the third time this year that I made money unexpectedly just by going to sleep. In January I went to sleep and awoke to an offer of an advance of $1,500 from a Russian publisher to publish a book of mine (The Joy of Not Being Married: The Essential Guide for Singles and Those Who Wish They Were) that I wrote and self-published in 1995 and went out of print in 1998. The Russian publisher hadn't even seen the book and I had to end up sending the manuscript in electronic form because I had no print copies left from the 10,000 copies I printed and sold.

In April, I went to sleep one night and awoke to an offer of a respectable advance from a publisher in Vietnam to publish my 101 Really Important Things You Already Know, But Keep Forgetting in Vietnamese.

When I called Dan to let him know about the latest offer, he proclaimed, "Ernie, you should sleep more." Not really, since I make a good income from my books, partly when I am sleeping, giving me an income that is higher than 95 percent of Canadians.

I just wanted to point out with these book offers the power of intellectual property for generating prosperity and freedom in one's life.

Just a note that this isn't about laziness.

It isn't about working hard either.

This is about working smart — and sleeping smart too!

If intelllectuall property doesn't work for you in retirement, you need one of many other unreal jobs for retirement. Check out these out these retirement job websites so that you can avoid working in retirement.

Retirement Jobs at the Real Success Resource Center

Retirement Jobs on Squidoo

Check out this article Dying to Retire about how Early Retirement can be a killer.


May 26, 2012

The Charge for Prosperity and Success

Just received my free copy of Brendon Burchard's The Charge today."

About three weeks ago Brendon in an email campaign offered the new hardcopy edition (Price $26 in US and $29.00 in Canada) for free to anyone who was willing to pay for the shipping.

I am honored to have received this book given that I also received an email from Brendon today saying that The Charge will premiere at #1 spot in this Sunday's "Wall Street Journal" Bestseller list and the #2 on the "New York Times Bestseller" list (both nonfiction hardcover). The Charge also hit the #1 spot on both Amazon and in the last two weeks.

Brendon stated that in his email this was an early father's day gift for his father, who passed away a few years ago and to whom he had this dedication in the book.

" . . to Dad—we lost you too soon, Pops, but we carry your charge forever."

I am surprised at the thousands of people (including people I know) who were given the opportunity to receive The Charge for free but were too lazy to act on the offer or unwilling to pay for the shipping charges of $6.97.

These inspirational quotations apply:
"People that pay for
things never complain.
It's the guy you give
something to that
you can't please.
— Will Rogers

"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

"In the realm of prosperity,
luck only favors those adventurous
souls who don't expect
or rely on luck."
— from Life's Secret Handbook

I am looking forward to reading Brendon's new book. No doubt it will help me attain more success and prosperity in my life.
Check this retirement article in which How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is mentioned:

Dying to Retire Early

May 7, 2012

Write That Book Badly — But at Least Do It!

For those looking for retirement quotes, go to The Retirement Quotes Cafe and Funny Retirement Quotes on The Joy of Being Retired website.

In my internationally best-selling How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free I advocate that retirees write a book (not necessarily a retirement book). There is no better way for anyone to leave a legacy than to write a book and have it published as a print book (not an ebook).

And this comes from my latest book:

"Writing a book is an incredible, satisfying experience.
It is a way to connect with the world.
It tells the world who you are.
It makes you an authority on what you write about.
It’s a swell way to eventually make money from your own creative efforts and feel much better for it.
A good book excites readers to self-discovery and making a difference in this world while you yourself make a difference.
You should write at least one."
— from Life's Secret Handbook (Reminders for Adventurous Souls Who Want to Make a Big Difference in This World)

Do you have to hire a professional editor and make it perfect? Near as I can tell, no.

If you have a great book with great content, it won't matter all that much, if at all.

One of my mottos is: “Write That Book Badly — But at Least Do It!”

In my pursuit of success in the publishing industry, I have always remembered this great advice by a self-published author Robert Ringer who has sold millions of his books including Restoring the American Dream, Winning Through Intimidation, and Looking Out for Number 1:

“It’s better to do a sub-par job working on the right project than a great job working on the wrong project.
— Robert J. Ringer

One of my “right projects” was my second self-published book The Joy of Not Working which was released in 1991. Instead of getting it perfect — or even remotely close to perfect — I kept to my schedule and followed my motto “Do It Badly — But at Least Do It!”

At the time that I first published The Joy of Not Working, I used a desktop publishing program that had no spell check. I did not hire any professional editor and just used some of my friends to help me edit the book. Three years later. I purchased an update of the desktop publishing program that had a spell check. When I ran the spell check on the book, I found out it had 150 spelling errors. Did it affect sales? I don’t think so. It had sold 30,000 copies in its first three years — and that was in Canada with one-tenth of the population of the U.S. Incidentally, I received only one complaint about the book. It was from some school teacher. She complained about the spelling errors and how good she was at spotting these spelling errors. But she only spotted about ten of the 150.

Here is the key to having a bestselling self-published book: Create a book that has great content, something that really stands out and is so far ahead of your competition that it owns the category (something like How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free). If you can accomplish this, readers willl overlook spelling errors (like the one I just made). The best promotion for a book is still word-of-mouth advertising from readers who love your book and tell others about it.

Recently, I purchased a copy of Brendon Burchard’s The Millionaire Messenger. Burchard had the book published within 10 weeks after he started writing it (not that's committment). The Millionaire Messenger was released in March 2011 and has now sold over 50,000 copies. I spotted a number of spelling and formatting errors in the book. Did I mind? Not at all — simply because it has great content.
Here are a few quotations about perfection to put perfection in proper perspective:

“And in fact, I think the more we start to worship perfection the more soul leaks out of art.”
— Kathy Mattea

“Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything.”
— Gustave Flaubert

“Have no fear of perfection — you’ll never reach it.’
— Salvador Dali

“Perfection is a trifle dull. It is not the least of life’s ironies that this, which we all aim at, is better not quite achieved.’
— W. Somerset Maugham

“Striving to better, oft we mar what’s well."
— William Shakespeare

Incidentally, if there are any typos here, enjoy them.

Here are some retirement quotes since this is a retirement sayings and retirement quotes blog.

"WEIRD AND DELUSIONAL: A quarter of middle-class Americans are now so pessimistic about their savings that they are planning to delay retirement until they are at least 80 years old. This is delusional because this is two years longer than the average American is even
expected to live."
— Dave Erhard

"I'm not just retiring from the company, I'm also retiring from my stress, my commute, my alarm clock, and my iron."
— Hartman Jule

"I never stopped doing anything [when I retired], I stopped getting paid for it."
— Bill Chavanne

"Retirement is the beginning of life, not the end."
— from How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

"The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary."
— Fred Wilson

May 5, 2012

Being Alone in Retirement Is Better Than Being in Bad Company

If you are looking for the very best retirement quotes, then go to the Retirement Quotes Cafe:

I received the following e-mail today about The Joy of Not Working:
    Mr. Zelinski:
    One chapter [in The Joy of Not Working] that really resonated with me was Chapter 10, It Is Better To Be Alone Than in Bad Company.

    All my adult life I've not minded in the least being alone. Don't get me wrong, I love my friends. But at the end of the day, I love coming home where it's just me & the cat & my eleven bajillion books a comfy place to read them.

    I've always been sorry for people who confuse being alone with being lonely. A couple of years ago I had a temp job where I worked the front desk for an office. My location was slightly separated from the rest of the work force. Consequently, I was often all by myself. About once a month, someone would stroll by & comment on how 'lonely' I must be. I would smile & assure them that I was NOT lonely, in fact I found my situation to be enjoyable. They would first look confused and then they would walk away making some comment that indicated they didn't believe a word I'd said. I don't think they ever knew how sorry I felt for them & their misperceptions.

    I may be passing your book along to a recently retired friend. She seems to be at loose ends now that she doesn't have a boss telling her how to use her time. On the other hand, I may direct her to her closest book store to get your book on retirement  [How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free]. It couldn't hurt.

    Vanessa W, Rio Rancho, NM
Here are a few quotations about loneliness and being alone to place solitude and loneliness in proper perspective:
    When from our better selves we have too long Been parted by the hurrying world, and droop, Sick of its business, of its pleasures tired, How gracious, how benign, is Solitude.
    — from The Prelude by William Wordsworth
    A man who finds no satisfaction in himself, seeks for it in vain elsewhere.
     — Francois, Duc de La Rochefoucauld

    City Life: Millions of people being lonesome together.
     — Henry David Thoreau

    When all is said and done, monotony may after all be the best condition for creation.
     — Margaret Sackville

    Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius.
    — Edward Gibbon

    Knowing others is wisdom. Knowing yourself is Enlightenment.
    — Lao Tzu

Apr 15, 2012

Corruption of Inspiration Quotations - Albert Einstein Did Not Say This:

If you are looking for great retirement quotations, then go to The Retirement Quotes Cafe website.

This blog is about a non-retirement quote that appears on many websites:
    "The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been."
    — Albert Einstein
Problem is, Albert Einstein never did say this. This is a variation (and a not-so-clever mangled corruption) of a great quotation that unfortunately appears on many quotation websites.

Fact is, someone (no doubt a devious woman) has taken the first two sentences of a great quotation, placed "woman" in these sentences and attributed it to Albert Einstein.

This is where the passage comes from:
    "If you follow the crowd, you will likely get no further than the crowd. If you walk alone, you're likely to end up in places no one has ever been before. Being an achiever is not without its difficulties, for peculiarity breeds contempt. The unfortunate thing about being ahead of your time is that when people finally realize you were right, they'll simply say it was obvious to everyone all along. You have two choices in life. You can dissolve into the main stream, or you can choose to become an achiever and be distinct. To be distinct, you must be different. To be different, you must strive to be what no else but you can be.
    — Alan Ashley-Pitt
and which at times was changed to:
    “The man who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd. The man who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been.”
    ― Alan Ashley-Pitt
You can read this article in Guardian about how quotes "get misattributed or mangled all the time, especially inspirational quotations:"

Inspirational Quotes Misattributed or Mangled All the Time

Another quotation that apparently is not attributed properly is this one:
    "Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it.
    Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!"
It has been attributed to Goethe all over the internet (including embarrassingly on one of my websites) and in books such as Joe Vitale's The Attractor Factor.

According to researchers, Goethe never did say this. Check out this article about Goethe's quote:

Goethe Did Not Say This

If you would like to read the many viewpoints about quotations, visit the home page of Sensational Quotes for Smart People.

    Mar 13, 2012

    Perhaps You Don't Need Any Money for Your Retirement

    If you have purchased How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free and are now looking for great retirement quotes, go to The Retirement Quotes Cafe.

    Now that you are retired, perhaps you don't need any money for retirement and can avoid debt management altogther.

    Let me tell introduce you to a guy who has proven to himself that "money is an illusion."

    He is a true 1 percenter who I really admire, a guy who is committed to what he believes in (unlike 99 percent of people who say they believe in something but their actions say otherwise).

    Meet Daniel Suelo, a 21st-century hobo-philosopher. Meet The Man Who Quit Money and says:
      “I know it is possible to live with zero money — Abundantly.”
      — Daniel Suelo
    If you don't want to purchase the book at the above link, first, read this article that was in a recent issue of the Globe and Mail.
    Then go and check out his website.
    Daniel Suelo's philosophy is really interesting. For example, he says that if he ever comes across any money on the street, he just walks on by without picking it up.

    In short, a guy who walks the talk. But enlarge the photo of him on the Globe and Mail webpage and it says:
      "Living in caves outside Moab, Utah, Daniel Suelo lives off of foraged plants, road kill and dumpster contents. He refuses to accept or spend currency."
    Not a way I want to live but I admire the guy for his dedication to what he believes in.

    Here are a few quotes about money to keep it in proper perspective so that it enhances your retirement and so that you don't need a retirement job:
      "Money is good for bribing yourself through the inconveniences of life."
      — Gottfried Reinhard

      "Talented people get rich, and blockheads get rich. Intellectually brilliant people get rich, and very stupid people get rich. Physically strong people get rich, and and weak and sickly people get rich. Some degree of ability to think and understand is, of course, essential. But, in so far as natural ability is concerned, any man or woman who has sense enough to read and understand these words can certainly get rich."
      — Wallace D. Wattles, in The Science of Getting Rich

      "Money will appear when you are doing the right thing in your life."
      — Michael Phillips

      "Charity begins at home, but should not end there."
      — Thomas Fuller

      "Money is not the root of all evil. Even the love of money is not the root of all evil. The root of all evil is man's intense drive to survive, be right, make others wrong, dominate and manipulate. Money just happens to be worked conveniently into the process."
      — Ron Smotherman in Winning through Enlightenment

      "Money is good for bribing yourself through the inconveniences of life."
      — Gottfried Reinhard

      "The ownership of money and property comes as a result of doing things in a certain way. Those who do things in a certain way, whether on purpose or accidentally, get rich. Those who do not do things in this certain way, no matter how hard they work or how able they are, remain poor."
      — Wallace D. Wattles, in The Science of Getting Rich

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

      "One of the great astonishments of my life has been the discovery that actually you don’t need money to travel. You need enough credentials to get paid to travel.
      — Gregg Levoy"

      "People who don't have money, but dream about the day they'll hit it big, all too often are expecting something from financial excess that it can't bring them."
      — Robert J. Ringer