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How to Retire Happy

Welcome to the How to Retire Happy: Retirement with a Difference Website. You will find retirement planning topics such as Top-10 Reasons to Retire Early, Signs You Are Enjoying Retirement, and How NOT to Retire Happy. You will also find retirement planning resources such as The Best Places to Retire, Retirement Poems, Retirement Quotes, Retirement Humor, Retirement Wishes, and Letters/Reviews about The World's Best Retirement Book.

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Above all, the purpose of the How to Retire Happy Website is to minimize the complexity and uncertainty associated with retirement, and to allow individuals to concentrate on what matters most in retirement. In short, this website is about how to retire happy, wild, and free

World's Best Retirement Books on How to Retire Happy

For the best retirement books on how to retire happy, Google the term best retirement books and you will see that How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is in the Number 1 spot on the left. You should also see The Joy of Not Working in the Number 4 to Number 7 position. It shouldn't take long before The Joy of Being Retired: 365 Reasons Why Retirement Rocks — and Work Sucks! (published in 2019) makes it into the top 10 as well.

World's Best Retirment Books


In September 2014 the AARP posted the article 6 Retirement Books You Should Read Now on their AARP website. The AARP placed How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free (now over 425,000 copies sold) in the Number 6 Position although it has out sold all the other retirement books since it was released in 2003.

AARP - Six Retirement Books You Should Read

 The World's Best Retirement Books to Help You Retire Richer, Smarter, and Happier

Along with some of the other World's Best Retirement Books, here are over 20 more of the many places where How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is highly recommended by major media or bloggers, including USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Christian Science Monitor:

1. The Best Frugal Finance Books for People over 60 - March 15, 2021: Surprisingly, How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free did not make the No 1 spot. It was beat out by The Joy of Not Working. Kitty says, "The first two books are by Ernie J. Zelinski and I actually bought both these books over 10 years ago and still enjoy reading these for motivation. Yes, I've been thinking about retiring for a very long time." (Funny, nowdays I am really not all that frugal. I drive a 1995 Camry 2-dr. coupe that doubles in value everytime I fill it up with gas. But I also regularly fly Business Class, having flown between 75 and 100 legs in Business Class over the years. But yes, I had to be frugal when I lived under the poverty line for 10 years between the time I was 31 and 41. In those 10 years I made a total of $85,000 (an average of $8,500 a year) and yet never felt that I was poverty stricken. In fact, I always thought I was quite prosperous during those years.)

2. The 10 Best Personal Finance Books of 2020: Manage your money better with these reads" BY BEVERLY BIRD - Updated April 10, 2020. " Weirdly, it was through synchronicity that I found this article. For my new book "Money Wisdom for Smart People — Dummies Don't Bother," I was looking to add to my list of recommended financial books and the first result on Google was this webpage. Note that How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is number 9 out of number 10.

3. 7 BOOKS ON RETIREMENT YOU SHOULD READ RIGHT NOW BY REBECCA BOWSLAUGH:(Note that How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free is Number 1.) "Many retirement books focus on the financial side of retirement; specifically how much money you’ll need before the big day arrives. How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is something different. This book focuses on life (and how to live it!) after retirement. It encourages physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being and improvements and helps the reader set goals to achieve a better life. And Zelinski is Canadian, so his humourous advice is not only relevant, but also practical. His is also the author of The Joy of Not Working: 21st Century Edition – A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked an equally humorous and inspiring book for retirement and potential retirees."

4. The Best Retirement Planning Books on The 50 Plus Club: (Note that How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free is Number 1) Take an educated guess at how much money you will have to spend in retirement by estimating your retirement benefits at this U.S. Government website.If you currently have enough Social Security credits to qualify for benefits, you can use the Retirement Estimator for a retirement estimate based on current law and real time access to your earnings record. The estimator provides an estimate of your retirement benefits comparable to the estimate you receive on your Social Security Statement each year, and lets you create additional "what if" retirement scenarios.

5. BEST PERSONAL FINANCIAL BOOKS FOR 2017: JANUARY 2, 2017 by JOSEPH HOGUE, CFA: "Some personal finance books make money complicated and too many people avoid getting on track because they don’t think they’ll understand finances. My favorite books on personal finance do just the opposite, making managing your money as simple as possible to help open up financial freedom to everyone. Ernie’s {How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free} is different from the other personal finance books in the list, focusing more on your retirement life than on the number of zeros in your bank account. By starting with a vision of your life in retirement and what you want to do, you can get a much better idea of how much you’ll need to save. Having clear goals and a vision for retirement makes it easier to stick to your budget and save. Ernie includes all kinds of interesting exercises like creating an ‘Ultimate Life Adventure List’ and using his ‘The Get-a-Life Tree’ for choosing retirement activities that resonate with your dreams."

6. 10 ENTICING BOOKS TO READ ON PERSONAL FINANCE: February 23, 2017 by Matt Sapaula: "How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free by Ernie Zelinski (Number 6 on the list) – By focusing less on quantitative factors, and more on developing and realizing a vision of your ideal retired life, Zelinski’s work distinguishes itself from run-of-the-mill retirement advice."

7. A Retired Sailor, Recommends 50 of the Best Personal Finance Books Ever Written: by Doug Nordman August 24, 2016: "This list was compiled from the recommendations of dozens of veterans and their families. I’ve personally read or used all of them and I was not paid, compensated, or otherwise bribed to recommend them." i.e. The Joy of Not Working [shown above along with David Chilton's The Wealthy Barber] and How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by Ernie Zelinski. 'Get-a-Life Tree' and other planning tools."

8. The 16 Best Retirement Planning Resources: Websites, Blogs, Books, and Podcasts on The - June 5, 2018: Pay close attention to the "4 Best Retirement Planning Books." Note that How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is Number 2.

9. The Wall Street Journal: The Financial Books That Should Be on Your Summer Reading List: July 8, 2018 by Jane Hodges: From Aesop’s Fables to How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free, here are recommendations from financial planners: Note: You may need a subscription to read this article. Email me and I will send you the PDF of the complete article. In any event, here is what Jane Hodges says about How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: "Another pick: How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free, by Ernie Zelinski. It’s recommended by Ira Fialkow of Fialkow Financial Planning in West Palm Beach, Fla., for advice on retirement financing and retirement living. “What are you going to do with your time?” Mr. Fialkow asks. “This book helps facilitate the next steps to a fulfilling retirement."

10. Top 10 Best Retirement Planning Books | WallStreetMojo(How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free” is Number 5.) It's nice to see bloggers — even financial advisors at that — mention How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free even though it was first self-published 16 years ago. DHEERAJ VAIDYA, who worked as a JPMorgan Equity Analyst, says, "This best retirement planning book offers an inspirational insight on how one should completely enjoy their lives. Many of us consider retirement as an end of life but in fact, it can mean an entirely new beginning to the life for which there was no time to explore. The author highlights that the key to enjoying an active and satisfying retirement is dependent on much more than having adequate financial resources. One should also focus on other aspects such as maintaining physical and mental health, desired leisure activities, improving social circle. The retirement wisdom in this book will prove to be much more important than the amount of money saved for retirement."

11. Retirement Book Review: How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by DEBORAH CARR - FEB 13, 2019:  Deborah is the author of of and often writes about retirement and topics of interest to Baby Boomers. She writes, "This book is so inspiring that it quickly became the most popular retirement book available on soon after it was released. Many people instinctively know that having a big IRA or 401K is not enough. They also have to have a plan to actually enjoy their retirement years."

12. Retirement Planning: Don't Make These Common Mistakes: "It [retirement planning] might also involve testing the waters of a new adventure while you are still employed. One of my all-time favorite books to prepare for the mental transition to retirement is How to Retire, Happy, Wild and Free! by Ernie Zelinski," says Tammy Flanagan in an article in Government Executive Magazine.

13. Best Books About Money : Posted by Andrew | May 27, 2020: "After reading hundreds of personal finance books, I can tell you that some should definitely be read and do a very good job of explaining certain niche topics when it comes to money. Here are our top eight recommendations for the best books about money, organized by some of the most important pillars of finance." Note that How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is number 6 out of number 8.


Purchase The Joy of Being Retired on

Purchase The Joy of Being Retired on

14. USA TODAY: Mention of How to Retire Happy, Willd, and Free and Ernie Zelinski in this Article: by Nanci Hellmich. Although there is nothing wrong with associating yourself with your job, your entire identity shouldn't be wrapped up in it, says Ernie Zelinski, 65, author of The Joy of Not Working and How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free. "Your true self is based on many more profound things, such as your creativity, kindness, pursuits, generosity, love, joy, spontaneity, connection with others, sense of humor and spirituality."

15. Christian Science Monitor: Ten favorite personal-finance books; Great advice for the financial stages of life. March 11, 2017 By ValuePenguin: While great literature is said to transcend audiences, the best personal finance books are arguably most impactful when they address a particular stage or challenge of your financial life with practical insight and advice. With this in mind, here are 10 ValuePenguin favorite personal-finance tomes — many of them among Amazon’s best sellers and’s most loved — for four different aspects or times of managing your money. How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is Number 10.

16. My Money Blog: Review of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: MAY 16, 2018 BY JONATHAN PING: "Why Pursue Financial Freedom: Fulfilling Retirement Activity vs. Ideal Job? How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by Ernie Zelinski continues to offer smart observations on retirement. For example, when people are working, their idea of leisure is often passive: watching TV, listening to music, shopping, or eating at restaurants. However, in retirement, they need to replace all the intangibles besides money that working provided."

17. Washington Post's "The Best Websites for Boomers and Retirees: by Rodney Brooks: Note that The Retirement Cafe which was derived from How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is in the top-three, after and the US News World Report's "On Retirement".

18. 18 Retirement Planning Books to Help You Achieve Success When You Retire:: Best Retirement Books On Developing Good – (How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is Number 10) "Sooner or later we all reach that golden age of retirement. The thought of retirement is wonderful. But it takes a lot of planning to be able to retire and not need to get some sort of second job to balance your financial books."

19. Washington Post: No longer slaves to the clock, retirees must consider anew how to use time: by Ginny McReynolds June 22, 2016: "As noted retirement writer Ernie Zelinski said in his 2010 book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, 'Losing structure and routine can create much havoc … time must be filled to pass the days, but empty time results in boredom and joyless living.' "

20. Consumer Reports: Great Books to Read on Retirement Planning: An expert's suggested readings—mainly non-financial—on making the transition May 02, 2015: "How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free: Retirement Wisdom You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor (Edmonton, AB, Canada: Visions International Publishing, 2009). Entrepreneur and life coach Ernie J. Zelinski offers an optimistic and hoilstic approach to retirement planning, with exercises and advice about ways to have a satisfying retirement without a million dollars."

21. 3 Misconceptions about Retirement in Canada: Brandie Weikle, CBC News: Posted: January 18, 2020: The reality of retirement in Canada isn't quite what people expect it to be. While nearly 30 percent think they'll be able to spend part of the year in a warmer climate, only 18 percent actually do. Only 39 percent know their retirement date at least a year in advance. The online poll revealed notable misconceptions surrounding retirement. As an aside, how's this for my still getting publicity for How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free (that I first released in 2003) along with my photo in this article?

22. Marketwatch: 12 steps to a blissful retirement: by Paul A. Merriman January 29, 2014 "There is much more that could be said about living well after retirement. You can find a lot of it in a book I like: The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed and Overworked- 21st Century Edition by Ernie J. Zelinski."

23. Goodreads 1,067 ratings and 104 reviews of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free : "Retirement does not have to mean the end of life-in fact it can mean a whole new beginning to the life you never had time to explore. In HOW TO RETIRE HAPPY, WILD, AND FREE, best-selling author Ernie J. Zelinksi shows that the key to enjoying an active and satisfying retirement is dependent on much more than just having adequate financial resources. It means paying attention to all aspects of life, including leisure activities, creative pursuits, physical and mental well-being, and solid social support. With its friendly format, lively cartoons, and captivating quotations, Zelinski'¬?s guide offers inspirational advice on how to follow your dreams instead of someone else'¬?s, how to put your retirement in proper perspective, and how to enjoy life after work. A retirement guide from best-selling author Ernie J. Zelinski. Features tips for taking early retirement; in fact, the earlier the better. Ernie J. Zelinski's best-selling THE JOY OF NOT WORKING has sold more than 315,000 copies in 17 foreign languages."

24. Business Telegraph: Life Two: What we used to call ‘retirement’ and The Get-a-Life Tree: "And that leads to spending your time. You need leisure activities as well as activities related to your purpose or mission. And if you have a partner, then this is not just about you. I found something called The Get-a-Life Tree to be a great way of making a plan (again, not my idea, it’s from Ernie Zelinski.)"

25. Amazon Bestselllers: Retirement Best-Sellers on Amazon Best Sellers in Retirement - based on actual sales. Updated hourly.

26. A Tale of Two Retirements: FIRE and Traditional: January 13, 2020 By Chris Mamula : Chris Mamula used principles of traditional retirement planning, combined with creative lifestyle design, to retire from a career as a physical therapist at age 41. After poor experiences with the financial industry early in his professional life, he educated himself on investing and tax planning. Now he draws on his experience to write about wealth building, DIY investing, financial planning, early retirement, and lifestyle design at Can I Retire Yet? In this blog post Kevin Knox in the comments says, "Ernie Zelinski’s books (How to Retire Happy Wild and Free and others) are exactly the kind of thing everyone should read BEFORE pulling the trigger and leaving the working world."

27.  10 Books to Read Before You Retire: By Jeff Somers January 2018: More Best Retirement Books of All Time: Some people dream of retiring and living a jobless life. Others want to work until they fall over. No matter which camp you fall into, retirement planning is essential. If you’re like most people, you haven’t done too much thinking about your retirement years, because life is busy enough as it is. If you’re five or ten years away from retiring, it might seem like the distant future, but it’s going to come faster than you think. And unless your last name is Pennybags, you probably need all the help you can get. As usual, books are there for you. If you’re approaching retirement, these 10 books are essential reading, and will help you manage the mental and financial changes coming your way.

28. Author Interview with Travel Writer Nancy O’Hare and Mention of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: QUESTION: What motivated you to start writing? ANSWER: "I had recently left my job in Nigeria and returned to Canada to consider what and where next. The thought of returning to an office job was uninspiring. Instead, an unexpected turn at a family reunion led me to flick through Ernie Zelinski’s book, How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free." Following his advice, I drafted a long list of things I wanted to accomplish, and none of them related to financial reports or raising corporate capital. If one thing energized me, it was travel. I loved the memories from travelling to over sixty countries, of stepping across remote lands or glimpsing lives so different from my own."

29. Booktopia Retirement Books: Buy Retirement Books online from Australia's leading online bookstore. Note that How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free makes the top 10 in this list of 1,140 retirement books.

30. MARKETWATCH: One Chart Sums Up How the Timing of Your Stock-Market Returns Changes Your Retirement Nest Egg: (How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is mentioned.) "Consider working part time to supplement your income. In the book How To Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, Ernie Zelinski discusses many of the non-financial aspects of retirement including working on something new that could also produce income. I highly recommend the book and believe that work and accomplishment are important for everyone, including retirees."

31. Early Retirement Books by Todd the Financial Mentor: (Invest Smart. Build Wealth. Retire Early. Live Free.) Most people dream about early retirement, but few make concrete plans and take the required actions to achieve the goal. Readers on this site are different. I’ve have made it my mission to teach the methods I used to retire early at age 35. I’ve taught these same principles to 100’s of coaching clients with great success. The truth is anyone can retire earlier than old if you’re willing to commit to the goal, create a plan based on proven principles, and take persistent, consistent action. Surprisingly, it’s really not that hard when you know what to do. Here are several books that give you different perspectives on early retirement including How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.

32. "What I Learned about Leisure Time from "The Joy of Not Working" by Ernie Zelinski : on Wang Yip’s Blog: What is Wang wondering about weekly? Feb 5, 2020: I am terribly surprised that I am just reading this book now. I guess that’s the feeling that people that read a lot get when they encounter a book that surprises and delights them with insights and changes their way of thinking. The Joy of Not Working was originally published in 1991! But even as I read it in 2020, the insights and takeaways from the book apply to life now.

33. The Greatest Investment Quotes of All Time: Posted on Dollars and Data March 26, 2020 by Nick Maggiulli Wang: Nick Maggiulli Of Dollars and Data normally focuses on personal finance using data analysis. I got quoted from my book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free on this webpage. It's quite flattering to me given that I am quoted with the likes of John Maynard Keynes, Adam Smith, Sir John Templeton, Isaac Newton, Richard Branson, and Warren Buffett.

34. Book Review: How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free - Reviewer: Nova D. Muhlenberg Bonnett, Esq. "Ernie Zelinski’s title is so very promising, particularly coming on the heels of his previous book, The Joy of Not Working, and his third work, Career Success Without a Real Job. What a reader quickly discovers, however, is that Mr. Zelinski is one part Wayne Dyer (Erroneous Zones), one part AARP travel suggestions, one part philosophical wisdom, and – well, that’s pretty much the sum of the parts. Is this a bad thing? Not at all. But it is a very limited thing: this book will best (and perhaps only) serve an audience who have 1) already determined how they are going to fund their retirement (or who have decided that they will work well into advanced age), and who have also 2) never taken the time to plan the ways in which they intend to make those years a ‘golden’ time."


The World's Best Retirement Book

Retirement Plan Book Image can change your life forever.

If you have ever longed to have more, to experience more, to BE MORE in retirement - than you have ever been any other time in your life - then this book gives you the best chance you will ever have.

If you are searching for the best retirement planning books, this is not just one of the best books on retirement, it is the best book on retirement planning - period!

International best-selling Ernie Zelinski gives you the keys to a bigger, better, and brighter life in his inspirational and empowering book . . . How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.

Page after delightful page, this is what you will find in The World's Best Retirement Book: 

 How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free . . . gives you:

  • Important advice on how to choose satisfying leisure activities so that you don't require a million dollars to retire happily

  • Special practical exercises to help awaken you to what leisure activities will turn you on in your retirement  

  • The encouragement you need to retire early and live life the way it was meant to be lived 

  • Valuable tools such as The Get-a-Life Tree to create a retirement plan filled with satisfying leisure activities  

  • Life changing insights and real-life examples of how people are enjoying retirement

  • Proof that you are created to succeed at retirement life beyond anything you can imagine

Your true nature is to retire happy, wild, and free. Never lose touch with it. You will, however, if you are not careful. The way to ensure that you have a happy retirement is to have a copy of The World's Best Retirement Book by Ernie Zelinski available at your fingertips.


Top-10 Retirement Resources

to Check Out on This Website:


Copyright 2022 by Ernie Zelinski,

Author of The World's Best How to Retire Happy Book

All Rights Reserved



OVER 425,000      COPIES SOLD 

A gold watch is the most appropriate gift for retirement, as its recipients have given up so many of their golden hours in a lifetime of service.
— Harry Mahtar

The requirements for successful retirements
are, of course, simple to map out: Begin saving earlier in life, set aside larger
percentages of your pay, invest wisely in low-cost funds, avoid debt, pay off
your mortgage, defer Social Security to boost payouts, and work past traditional
retirement age to make sure you don't run out of money. Stay healthy, too, so your medical expenses don't eat you alive.
We might as well complete this fairy tale by advising you to make sure you find a job with a traditional pension, and
to only work for employers with AAA credit
ratings and great health insurance.
— from US NEWS

Sometimes it's important to work for that
pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply
consists of choosing which color to slide
down on the rainbow.
— Douglas Pagels  

OVER 425,000      COPIES SOLD  

How to Retire Happy on


How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free on


  How to Retire Happy, Wild, & Free on B&

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


 The World's Second Best Retirement Book at

OVER 315,000      COPIES SOLD


 The Joy of Not Working on 

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



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