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  How NOT to Retire Happy  Easier Than Shooting Fish in a Barrel!

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 How NOT to Retire Happy

If you really believe that happiness can be bought, then why don’t you try selling some of yours?
— from Life's Secret Guide to Happiness

Strong Signs That You May Not Be Ready

for Full-Time Retirement

1. You have been unhappy all your working life and have been waiting for retirement to make you happy.

2. Planning a vacation is more fun than taking it.

3. Vacations have always taken a back-seat to work commitments.

4. You have no hobbies or other interests outside of work.

5. Your best friends are people you work with and who you don't like all that much.

6. All of the social functions you attend are work related.

7. The thought of spending a lot more time at home with your spouse makes you extremely anxious or dejected.

8. Your spouse has always wanted you to get a life outside of work, but you haven't.

9. You don't know the meaning of sabbatical, let alone having ever dreamed of or actually taken one.

10. You have no nest egg because you have been expecting a big lottery win to fund your retirement dreams.

11. On weekends your wife (or husband) constantly complains about you getting into her (his) hair.

12. You persistently think of work, even when you're not on the job.

13. You are proud to be a workaholic even though deep down you know that workaholics aren't productive workers..

14. You would resist The World's Best Retirement Book, particularly if it was given to you by friends, colleagues, or relatives.

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What if you decide NOT to follow the principles of The World's Best Retirement Book?   

  • You will NOT discover the valuable tools such as The Get-a-Life Tree that are necessary to create a retirement filled with satisfying leisure activities and happiness.

  • You may wind up spending your retirement with few or no friends. Bear in mind that a recent study shows that having a few real good friends  much more so than close relatives or a lot of money  is the most important factor in determining how long a person lives and how much happiness he or she will experience.

  • You may end up blowing your money and having to go back to work instead of being creative with your spending and making your money last.

  • In pursuit of happiness, your retirement years may be spent watching a lot of TV  and not much more. For the record, studies have shown that most people get mildly depressed after watching three or four hours of TV.

  • You may wind up being truly miserable in your retirement years  much more miserable than you were in your career. 

Hardly the stuff of a great retirement, right?

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Retirement Activities to Help You

Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

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One thing that I do know is that the leisurely retirement activities in my retirement will be much different from that of typical North Americans.

One week into retirement, you'll be so damned bored that you'll want to stick bicycle spokes into your eyes. You'll probably opt to look for another job or start another company. Kinda defeats the purpose of waiting [for retirement], doesn't it.
 Timothy Ferris in The 4-Hour Workweek

According to a recent national survey of 800 American adults age 60 to 74 conducted for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, taking care of the yard and spending time with grandchildren were statistically tied for top billing among married/partnered men while spending time with grandchildren was the clear favorite among married/partnered women.

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 Main Retirement Activities for American Male Retirees

  • Taking care of things around the house and yard (28 percent) 
  • Spending time with grandchildren or other family members (26 percent) 
  • Enjoying things like playing golf, shopping, going out with friends (18 percent) 
  • Pursuing hobbies (12 percent) 
  • Volunteering in the community (seven percent) 
  • Watching where your money goes, clipping grocery coupons, etc. (six percent) 

Retirement Activities Image for Women

Main Retirement Activities for American Female Retirees

  • Spending time with grandchildren or other family members (36 percent) 
  • Taking care of things around the house and yard (25 percent) 
  • Enjoying things like playing golf, shopping, going out with friends (16 percent) 
  • Pursuing hobbies (eight percent) 
  • Watching where your money goes, clipping grocery coupons, etc. (seven percent) 
  • Volunteering in the community (three percent) 

My retirement activities will be more in line with what I recommend in How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free . Retirement leisure pursuits should entail a lot of physical activity. The benefits of physical activity is not to be underestimated.

Some Positive Quotes about Retirement

If you want to retire happy, then believe the following quotes about retirement and happiness:

Prescription for a Happy Retirement:
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 one of Ernie Zelinski retirement gift books


Just think how happy you would be if you lost everything you have right now, and then got it back.
— Unknown Wise Person

Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you.
— Tao Te Ching

My life is even fuller now since retirement.

The big difference is that now I decide when to start my day. Truth be told, sometimes my day doesn't start until noon. Yes, I said it ... noon!
— Unknown wise person

No longer having to punch a time clock is my definition of retirement. That way I could do what I want — when I want — anytime I want.
— Brooky Brown


My favorite thing [about retirement] was being able to stay up reading a Dean Koontz thriller because I don't have to hit the floor running the next morning.
— Jackie Griffey

I look at what I have not and think myself unhappy;
Others look at what I have and think me happy.
— Joseph Roux

After I retired, I sat down and listed the positives and negatives of my life and found I had far more positives than negatives.
— Unknown wise person


If you haven't got all the things you want, be grateful for the things you don't have that you don't want.
— Unknown wise person


If you are not happy here and now, you never will be.
— Taisen Deshimaru

"Ah retirement!" Whoever said that retirement was boring doesn't have a clue.
— Barbara Claire Schaefer


When one door of happiness closes, another opens;
But often we look so long at the closed door, that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
— Helen Keller


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Copyright 2022 by Ernie Zelinski,

Author of The World's Best Retirement Book

All Rights Reserved




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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  

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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


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 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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