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The Best Book on Retirement That a Reader Has Read

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

Retirement Book - World's Best

The following is a review that appeared for the first edition of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free on both and
This review is one of my favorite reviews written about the book.  


Retirement Book - Excerpts Image

My first exposure to How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free was downloading over half as a free E-book which I found on one of Ernie
Zelinski's websites. It was the top half of the book, however.
Although the E-book was inspiring to read, it was a little frustrating
with the bottom half missing. I loved the top half so much that I
purchased the whole book.
It's the best one I have read on retirement. I had been looking for
a book that dealt with aspects of retirement that weren't tied up
with all the financial gobbledygook.
As a personal coach who often gives advice to the newly retired, I
have already purchased over a hundred copies to give to my clients
and will continue to purchase more.
Moreover, How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free has given me the inspiration and incentive to make my own retirement happen earlier than I had planned for.
Ernie Zelinski has an off-the-wall sense of humor and is a master
of one-liners that catch your attention and open you up to new concepts.
You may be surprised to find out that "You don't have to watch one
minute of TV when you retire  and perhaps you shouldn't given that
the probability of having a happy and successful retirement is inversely proportional to how much television you watch."
According to Zelinski, if you manage to retire happy, wild, and free,
then your retirement will be more rewarding than your career ever
The ingredients in such a retirement are likely to include great
friends, a sense of purpose, some structure in your day, plenty of
exercise, something to stimulate your mind, and spiritual growth.
If you don't have these ingredients in your life at this time, Zelinski
has a number of suggestions for finding and incorporating them.
For those who haven't cultivated interests outside the workplace,
filling all that time may be a challenge. The Get-a-Life Tree in Chapter 3 provides the answer. Other chapters are devoted to the consideration of activities that enhance body, mind, and spirit.
Zelinski quotes from many sources, but his attitude is reflected in
a quote from the Buddha. "In the end, these things matter most. How
well did you love? How fully did you live? How deeply did you learn
to let go?"
Better still, Zelinski's own words in How to Retire Happy, Wild & Free  are worthy of being quoted as much as the Buddha. For example:
"When money is lost, little is lost. When time is lost, much more is lost. When health is lost, practically everything is lost. And when creative spirit is lost, there is nothing left."
Another example:
"Retirement life is a game in many ways. Ensure that
you laugh and have fun, even when the score is not in your favor. This way, you will always end up winning at the most important game you will ever play."
My edition of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free indicates that it
has been published in eight other languages. No wonder. Although I
can't prove it, this is likely the best retirement book in the world.



Another Person Who Thinks

  How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free Is the Best

She Has Read on Retirement

Karen A. Mason from Calgary, Alberta, wrote to me in April, 2004. 


Retirement Book - Excerpts Image

Dear Ernie:

Thank you very much for writing How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.

I loved your book.

It's the best one I've read on retirement.

I've been looking for a book that dealt with aspects of retirement that weren't tied up with all the financial gobbledygook.

As a retiring English as a Second Language teacher, I'm excited to embrace this new chapter of my life.

You've given me the incentive to make it happen sooner than the "expected norm".

A soon-to-be leisure lover,


One of the Latest E-mails from a Reader 

about the World's Best Retirement Book

Here is one of the latest e-mails that Ernie Zelinski received from a retiree about How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free. 


May 10, 2012
Mr. Ernie J. Zelinski
P.O. Box 4072
Edmonton, AB
Canada T6E 4S8
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.

Retire Happy Book

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 Workshop" (CREW) at the University of North Carolina in Asheville. By the way, they cite your work at the workshop and recommend your book.
  • 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 Cipriani

Another E-mail from a Fan 

about the World's Best Retirement Book

That Has Changed So Many Lives 

Here is another e-mail from a reader How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.


Retire Happy Book 


----- Original Message ----
From: sbgarri
To: Ernie Zelinski
Sent: Mon, July 12, 2010 3:17:24 PM
Subject: Thanks

Dear Ernie Z, 
I bought your retirement book about 5 years ago. It is now dog-eared, highlighted, and generally a mess! It was a salvation.
Every ounce of advice I got about retirement before that focused on money. Your book [ How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free   ] made me focus on the life I wanted. It was all about looking for the "essence" of what enriched me. 
Once I got over losing a bundle in the "downturn" of the economy, I simply forged on with the plan your book helped me make. and retired anyway. (You should see my [Get-a-Life] tree. I used Inspiration software to create it and keep it up still).
We ended up in an old double wide on a wild river in north Florida. Nature is here all the time. I made friends and find great joy in a no-traffic fishing village. We will never be surrounded by condos or golf courses as we are in the heart of a National Forest 20 miles from a grocery store. Shopping is greatly reduced when you have to go that far to shop!
I sing, paint, swim, bird, garden and generally fill the days successfully. We travel in our used camper and boat in a vampy old pontoon. I avoid anything that is destructive to joy.
I clearly am reaching my retirement goal to become an eccentric- you said I had to have a goal and there it is. As far as a purpose, it is to engage others joyfully and provide small kindnesses. As far as big purposes go, no way--I "gave at the office" for 43 years.
The money is taking care of itself. We just spend less that we take in each month. Might mean resetting the heat or AC for a week, taking cool showers, eating in or going to free entertainment instead of that which costs a lot. So what. I grow food and make 2 meals out of one night out. It all works. When it's gone, it's gone. Hopefully, I'll be gone, too. If not, well we do have the camper!
So, keep up the good work. I recommend your book to everyone I care about - retired or not.
Take care--
Susan G.


What the Media are Saying about   

        The World's Best Retirement Book by Ernie Zelinski  . . . 

To be sure, retirement books are a glutted field, but most focus on money and financial planning. They view the finish line as the last day of employment. That's where How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free begins.

- Jonathan Chevreau, Retirement Columnist
National Post


As this book emphasizes, "a happy, wild and free retirement is based not only on a healthy relationship with money and our financial resources, but . . . above all, a happy retirement is based on a healthy relationship with ourselves."

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is sprinkled with cartoon illustrations and pertinent quotations on work and retirement.

Get this book if you look forward to a retirement with "zing."

- Nancy Paradis
St. Petersburg Times

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  Purchase  How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free Today: Logo Purchase the ebook Edition on Amazon Logo

Your "Retire Happy Karma Points" with the print edition


Are You Ready to Leave the "Rat Race" Behind And Enjoy the Happy Retirement That You Have Always Wanted? 

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Much of having a happy and productive retirement is about following certain tried, tested, and proven principles of retiring happy cited in

   The World's Best Retirement Book 

by Ernie Zelinski

In Ernie's  How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor, you will discover the most powerful tips, techniques, and secrets that can transform a boring retirement into an exciting one, including:

  • How to enjoy retirement regardless of your financial situation

  • How to realize a deep new love for life 

  • How to free yourself from the burdens of the fear of retirement  

  • How to unleash the transformative power of your creative mind to enjoy leisure time like never before

  • How to put yourself firmly in command of your own retirement destiny

In How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free you'll meet a number of interesting people like Ben from Toronto, a former entertainer, who traveled across America in a Greyhound recently (a dog of a trip!), and wrote a book on the benefits of cayenne pepper, which he says is better than Viagra. Then there's Bill and Valerie, who live aboard a sailboat in Hawaii, and Tom, who, at 96, still walks four miles a day and chases women at night.

The book's section titles can be quite entertaining. "If You Don't Take Care of your Body, Where Do You Intend to Live?" is one about daily health maintenance. An even better is one "Early to Bed and Early to Rise Make a Person Dull, Boring and Despised."

The message here is to forget rigid schedules when you retire. Good point. Retirement is a time to loosen up, live it up and curl up with How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.

- Editor
Retirement Rocket

The Boston Herald says, "Ernie Zelinski helps people find time to live."

And, now Ernie can help you discover the secrets

to happy retirement living with:







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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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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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Purchase The Joy of Being Retired directly through these links:

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