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 Reviews of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

 by St. Petersburg Times and Quintessential Careers


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The following excerpt about How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free comes from the St. Petersburg Times.


February 17, 2008|By Nancy Paradis, St. Petersburg Times

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How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement wisdom that you won't get from your financial advisor by Ernie J. Zelinski.

Zelinski does not believe the most fulfilling times of a person's life are passed in jobs that are dull, repetitive and far from stimulating. He praises the alternative: What these workers could create for themselves if only they weren't chained to a traditional job. (He bases this attitude on his personal experience: semi-retiring at age 30 with a net worth of less than $30,000.)

While acknowledging the impact finances can play, this author of the best-seller The Joy of Not Working tackles retirement with the glee of someone in the desert who finds a bottle of chilled water. There are several keys to a happy retirement, he says, including:

  • Retire sooner rather than later.
  • Develop a "correct" relationship with money so it doesn't take a million dollars to let you enjoy retirement.
  • Engage in creative and meaningful pursuits to generate a sense of purpose.
  • Create and maintain great friendships.
  • Follow your own dreams, not someone else's version.

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."

The book is sprinkled with cartoon illustrations and pertinent quotations on work and retirement. Get this book if you look forward to a retirement with "zing."


The following excerpt about How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free comes from Quintessential Careers

By Nancy Miller, Quintessential Careers


How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, by Ernie J. Zelinski, $16.95. Paperback. 240 pages, 2004, VIP Books;

ISBN: 096941949X

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Planning for retirement should start at the beginning of your career rather than at the end. It's never too early to plan for retirement, writes Ernie J. Zelinski.

In his book, How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, Zelinski says that the key to a happy retirement is preparation.

As Zelinski shows in his stories and anecdotes, you can enjoy a happy retirement if you begin preparing early.

I would not hesitate to share this book with friends, colleagues, or clients. Investigating the many options for retirement is even more important now than when the book was first written. With so many people having to change or rethink their retirement plans, this book is a breath of fresh air. At a time when people need inspiration and hope for their futures, learning How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free may be just what they need.

Five things I re-learned from this book are:

1. Plant a Get-a-Life Tree. Among the lists, activities, stories, and ideas that Zelinski offers for brainstorming retirement options, he illustrates how to plant a Get-a-Life Tree. The tree is a form of mind map to help people think about retirement options.

 2. Stay active before and after retirement. Zelinski emphasizes the importance of a healthy active lifestyle. Being active and healthy doesn't begin at retirement. The author tells us to find our interests and purpose long before we retire.

3. You don't have to be rich to enjoy retirement. In fact, Zelinski emphasizes the fact that having a nest egg doesn't guarantee a happy retirement. The book is rich with stories about the many ways people have found happiness in retirement.

4. Build healthy relationships before you retire. Having healthy relationships outside of work before you retire will be the foundation for retirement bliss.

5. Retirement can be the best part of your life. Reading Zelinski's book was fun and inspiring. The author reminds us to focus on the things that are really important in life. Retirement, after all, is just the beginning.



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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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