Monday, July 4, 2011

How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free

Book: How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free
Author: Ernie J. Zelinski
Edition: Paperback, 2004
Read: June 2011
229 pages
Rated: 2 out of 5

Talks about what you need to retire. Not just in terms of financial, but also in terms of well-being. He talks about how you should be active and what kinds of activities, considerations on where to live, as well how living healthy.

  • Breadth of interest is important. Retirement will fell empty if the interests are not varied.
  • Purpose of your life and living it is an important part of the book. He has a list of questions to help you figure out things:
  1. What is extremely important to me?
  2. What makes me happy
  3. What made me happy in childhood and my teens that I would do again?
  4. What made me happy in my career that I would like to continue doing?
  5. What would make me a much happier person? Having a lot of money or beoming famous cannot be one of them.
  6. What talents or skills am I most proud of?
  7. What field of endeavor invariably challendes me in new and exciting ways?
  8. What makes me feel creative?
  9. What special talent have I neglected while putting in long and hard hours in my career?
  10. What would I like to do that I have always wanted to do, but never got aorund to doing?
  11. What sort of legacy would I like to leave?
  • The author talks about what a fun job is. He says that it is an opportunity to work at something for personal satisfaction of doing it well. I would also say that it should have significance and meaning as well.
  • You can slow down the aging process by living a good life.
  • He suggests that you go on a two day a week fast and donate the saved money to charity which helps hungry people, if you have problems losing weight.
  • He thinks that TV watching is a waste of time.
  • He advocates learning—taking classes, being out and about as a means to keep your mind fresh and active.
  • Learning in Retirement Institute
  1. Elderhostel
  2. Elder travel
  3. Eldertreks
  7. work vacations: Earthwatch Institute in Maynard, Massachusetts
  • Travel Advice
  1. Choose destinations wisely—chose spending time with people which you enjoy more than exotic places with those whom you do not.
  2. What is your passion in life? Incorporate
  3. Enjoy the journal, you no longer are goal oriented.
  4. Free time—spontaneity.
  5. Look for points of historical interesting
  6. Plans are meant to be changed.
  7. Use a trip to scout out a change in location if you are thinking of moving
  8. Eat and stay at local places—you will find things of more interest.
  9. Use apartments, villa and cottages to save money
  10. Take a vacation to places of special interestingFantasie about a vacation
  11. Go for off the beaten track destinations
  • Happiness
  1. Am I in control of my lifestyle?
  2. Do I make the most of my money to give me the best quality life?
  3. What can I achieve which would make me proud?
  4. What can I do which is truly unique?
  5. Do I have great friends?
  6. Do I see see my close friends?
  7. Do I watch too much TV?
  8. Does my lifestyle complement my partner's?
  9. Do I travel like how I want to?
  10. Do my time commitments allow me to contribute to a better world?
  11. Do my time commitments allow me to be creative?
  12. Am I developing spiritually?
  13. Do I exercise enough?
  14. Do I complain too much?
  15. Am I grateful?
  16. Do I continually learn?
  17. Do I do something special for myself each day?
  18. What will make me feel better?
  19. Do I have everything which I need to make me happy?

 This book would have been pretty good. He has some good quotes, humorous cartoons, as well as good advice.  There are good lists of questions. The problem is that the book could have said the same thing if it had been about a third of the length. Consequently, you feel like you are having to wade through the book, rather than taking away nuggets.

Good Quotes:
  • Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.  Seneca (17)
  • The key to a happy retirement is to have enough money to live on, but not enough to worry about.  Unknown Wise Person   (31)
  • When People Are Free To Do As They Please, They Usually Imitate Each Other. Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind, pg 33
  • The best intelligence test is what we do with our leisure. Laurence J. Peter , 43
  • The happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts. Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good company, good conversation, are the happiest people in the world. And they are not only happy in themselves, they are the cause of happiness in others. William Lyon Phelps, 44
  • If the soul has food for study and learning, nothing is more delightful than an old age of leisure.  Marcus Tullius Cicero, 44
  • The great and glorius masterpiece of man is to know how to live to purpose. Michel de Montaigne, The Ecelectic magazine of foreign literature, science and art, Volume 111, 1888
  • Nothing contributes to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose. Mary Shelley, 53
  • Leisure is time for doing something useful. Benjamin Franklin, The Way to Wealth, pg 45
  • Every moment comes to you pregnant with divine purpose. Fulton J. Sheen, Preface to Religon
  • Only passions, great passions, can elevate the soul to great things. Denis Diderot, Diderot, pg 77
  • Nothing is more terrible than activity without insight. Thomas Carlyle, 96
  • I made a pact with myself a long time ago. Never watch anything stupider than you. It helped me a lot. Bette Midler, 127
  • In a disordered mind, as in a disordered body, soundness of health is impossible, Marcus Tullius Cicero, 127
  • Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer; into a selflessness which links us with all humanity. Nancy Witcher Langhorne Astor, My Two Countries, pg 75
  • Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience. This is the ideal life. Mark Twain, “More Maxims of Mark:, Mark Twain: Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches and Essays, 1890-1910, pg 943
  • The more people who truly care whether you get up in the morning, the richer you will feel. 142
  • The one who never asks you what you are working on; who never inquires as to the success of your latest project; who never uses the word career as a noun—he is your friend. Roger Rosenblatt, Rules for Aging: A Wry and Witty Guide to Life, pg 26
  • Books and friends should be few but good. Greek proverb, 147
  • A friend is someone who sees through you and still enjoys the view. Wilma Askinas, 147
  • The only way to have a friend, is to be one. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friendship, Essays and English Traits, pg 121
  • It is only after you can establish a meaningful relationship with yourself that you can build strong, healty and lasting relationships with other people. 163
  • The world is a book and those who do not travel, read only a page. Saint Augustine, 175
  • A good holiday is one spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours. JB Priestley, Delight, pg 132
  • Retirement is not a time to sleep, but a time to awaken to the beauty of the world around you and the joy that comes when you cast out all the negative elements that cause confusion and turmoil in your mind and allow serenity to prevail. Howard Salzman, 192
  • To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its bestm night and day, to make you like everybody else—means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. e.e. Cummings, a miscellany, pg 13
  • Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently. Rosa Luxemberg, The Russian Revolution, ch 6
  • There is nothing in its nature [money] to produce happiness. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one. Benjamin Franklin, 202
  • I have the greatest of riches: that of not desiring them. Eleonore Duse, 205
  • I look at what I have not and think myself unhappy; others look at what I have and think me happy. Joesph Roux, Meditations of a Parish Priest: Thoughts, xxxviiii
  • Be happy while you are alive because you are a long time dead. Scottish proverb, 209
  • A good folly is worth whatever you pay for it. George Ade, 215
  • He who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressures of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition you and age are equally a burden. Plato, The Dialogues of Plato, Book I, pg 147
  • 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? Buddha, 225
  • Consider each day you haven't laughed, played, and celebrated your life to be a wasted day. You were given three special gifts when you were born: the gift of life, love and laughter. Learn to share these gifts with the rest of the world. And the rest of the world will play happily with you. 228


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