7 Must-Read Retirement Books to Help You do it Right

I have always been an avid reader.  I used to read tons of financial books – investing, financial management and financial planning, but they’re all turning out to be almost identical.  It’s becoming harder to gather any useful information that hasn’t been rehashed time and again.

So now I’m into books on retirement.  There are endless accounts of how to save money for retirement but not much in the way of living a retired life.  I want to see more than the similar themes of finding a purpose, setting goals and listing activities to do.  Some books even warn that you’ll hate retirement and you should keep on working.

That being said, if you are thinking about retirement, or are already there, here’s my list of retirement books that are not mainly financially focused and are worth having a look at.

 1. Strategies for Retiring Right by Richard Atkinson

This is an excellent book for anyone preparing for retirement.   It provides a blueprint for readers to make a successful transition from work.

It’s written in two parts.  Part One describes how to develop a personal retirement plan for your future.  It gives seven strategies including defining your legacy, relationships, and researching services you may need.

The second part shows you how to implement your own unique vision in real-life terms with goal setting exercises and checklists related to the chapters in Part One.

Throughout the book are anecdotes and quotes from people the author has come across through his consulting business.

 2. The New Retirementality  by Mitch Anthony

“Stop making a living and start making a life.” This book was specifically written for boomers who are facing a different retirement reality than the previous generation.  Circumstances are redefining what it means to retire.  Instead of just focusing on a dollar figure, this book shows that if you want to succeed you need both the means and meaning toward a greater “Return on Life” and attitude is an essential part of the equation.

Filled with inspirational suggestions, it discusses what it means to retire on purpose, the expanding role of work during retirement, and how to self-direct your future.

 3. Purposeful Retirement by Hyrum W. Smith

This is a perfect retirement gift.  Hyrum Smith uses his wit and enthusiasm to encourage you to discover your true passion, re-imagine your life, and try new possibilities as you enter this most satisfying phase of your life.  He reminds you that your retirement years can and should be filled with happiness, big goals and the freedom to pursue your personal dreams. There’s good advice for someone retiring from a life-long career who can’t see themselves just being idle.  One of his best ideas is to find a retirement mentor – someone who is already retired – to help you adjust and learn from their experiences.

4. Aging of Aquarius by Helen Wilkes

This book is for all of you who cared about people and the planet and had great visions of changing the world before that sense of purpose got buried under diapers and the 9 – 5.  Helen Wilkes maintains that old you still remains alive.  Whether you’re drawn to social justice and environmental issues, political campaigning, or creativity through the arts she offers inspiration, practical steps and resources for you to effect change in the world as an “’ “empowered elder” now that your schedule is clear – for the next 30 years.

5. The Joy of Being Retired – 365 Reasons Why Retirement Rocks – and Work Sucks by Ernie J. Zelinski

I was inspired by Zelinski’s previous books, The Joy of Not Working and How to Retire Happy, Wild and Freemany years ago.  He has now followed those up with his new, equally humorous and inspiring book for retirement.  It’s full of creative suggestions accompanied by funny cartoon images to provide plenty of reasons (actually 415 not 365) to concentrate on all the things that really matter.

#14 When you take early retirement from a stressful job, you immediately look about 17 years younger.

#145 You can practise the art of finishing any or all projects you undertake and move on to something more interesting.

#247 When you retire you finally get to switch to a new boss – from the one who hired you to the one who married you.

6. Living Together After Retirement OR:  There’s a spouse in the house by Graham Harrop

A lighter look at life after retirement when couples now get to be with each other 24/7 every day of the year – more together time than you ever dreamt of.  This short book with its collection of cartoons would make a great stocking stuffer for a newly retired couple.  Also available:  Living Together After Retirement the Second Collection and the Living Together After Retirement calendar for 2020.

7. Younger Next Year by Chris Crowley & Henry S. Lodge, M.D.

Boomers always think of themselves as forever young – am I right?  Crowley and Lodge draw on the latest science of aging to explain how you can turn back your biological clock and become functionally younger every year.  You can continue to live like fifty-year-olds until well into your eighties and stave of 70% of the normal decay associated with aging (weakness, sore joints, etc.)

In alternating chapters, each author spells out “Harry’s Rules” and the science behind them.

Also available:  Younger Next Year for Women and Younger Next Year the Exercise Program

Any one of these books would make a great gift for the retirees – or soon to be – in your life.

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