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Book - Get A Life: You Don't Need A MILLION to retire well
Old 11-25-2010, 07:58 AM   #1
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Book - Get A Life: You Don't Need A MILLION to retire well

I've strongly recommended Work Less, Live More by Bob Clyatt and How to Retire Happy, Wild & Free by Ernie Zelinski over the years.

[edit: I much prefer the books that address the non-monetary aspects of retiring. The $ aspect is simple, but not easy.]

Maybe I'm the last one to figure it out, but I'm adding Get A Life: You don't need A MILLION to retire well by Ralph Warner to my personal list. I'd always passed it up because the title sounded like another of the 'feel good, tell the reader what they want to hear' books that are out there.

My mistake. I should've known better, I don't remember a bad NOLO book.

FWIW...Happy Thanksgiving!
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Old 11-25-2010, 10:09 AM   #2
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Midpack, it is a good one. I enjoyed it as well. The only issue I found with it is that it is aging just a little. I kind of thought that the numbers might be a little outdated. Still, if you play it right, some people can retire, and retire well, with less than a million. I say some people, because I know that DW and I cannot, or rather, are not willing to do so.

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Old 11-26-2010, 02:21 PM   #3
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Read this one several years ago, but to be honest, it was at a point when I was pretty sure I was FI and I just wanted to be sure I could make it in case I had underestimated my FIRE needs a little.

Still, the "soft" stuff in it was well worth reading. The financial end of ER has always been the "easy" part for me. "Living" in retirement always scared me the most (Okay, the "what will you DO all day?" stuff). THis book describes a number of folks who seemed to get the "living" part right even though they hadn't worked too hard on the financial end of ER. Overall, a good read, but not much emphasis on the "early" part of retirement as I recall.
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Old 11-26-2010, 08:39 PM   #4
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Thanks for the recommendation. I had seen the book in the past and overlooked it because of the title.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:21 AM   #5
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"Get A Life" is my favorite retirement book and I recommend it regularly. So many retirement books are all financially oriented when there are a lot of other issues in retirement.
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:13 AM   #6
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I like it a lot, too. It is also useful for us people not living in the US, as the "soft stuff" applies to all retirees around the world.
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:52 AM   #7
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One of the books in my library - along with Clyatt's and YMOYL. They all add a different dimension worth exploring - I still remember the story about the guy who ran 5 miles a day and decided at age 70 to reduce it to 3 miles daily - I think about him when I run - which isn't as often as I should.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:48 AM   #8
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It's funny how different people are. I've read many retirement books, and the "softer" they are, the less I liked them. Zelinski's was the least useful to me, despite its popularity. I never needed the slightest help with what to do in retirement. I just needed help financing it.
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:16 AM   #9
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It's funny how different people are. I've read many retirement books, and the "softer" they are, the less I liked them. Zelinski's was the least useful to me, despite its popularity. I never needed the slightest help with what to do in retirement. I just needed help financing it.
me too.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:45 AM   #10
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It's funny how different people are. I've read many retirement books, and the "softer" they are, the less I liked them. Zelinski's was the least useful to me, despite its popularity. I never needed the slightest help with what to do in retirement. I just needed help financing it.
That's my take too, but we may not be a large majority. It seems like there are nearly as many people who are as unprepared for living in retirement as their are those who are unprepared to finance it. I hear repeated stories about the "difficult adjustment" folks encounter when leaving the workforce. But after nine months without a job, I'm wondering "what adjustment?"
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:13 PM   #11
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Ralph Warner wrote "Get a Life" which made some great points about lifestyle issues in your retirement plan.

Has anyone also read Ralph Warner's newer book "Retire Happy" ? I wonder if there's anything new in there ? or is it just kind of a rehash of his "Get a Life" book ?
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:35 PM   #12
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Midpack, thanks for the book suggestion. I picked up the "Get a Life" book at the library on Friday and I'm about half way through it. I must say that it has made me a bit concerned and even a little depressed. So far, all the author really speaks to is to make many friends - before retirement. Or to continue to work. Or to do volunteer work. He makes many statements that suggest (at least to me) that without a LOT of social interaction, you'll just curl up and die.

I do understand that you can't just retire and watch TV for the rest of your life. My mother did that after my father died and she lost her mental competence, and eventually, her will to live. However, for me, I'm retiring from a significant amount of long hours, pressure and stress - along with hundreds of emails a day. Just being alone in a quiet house most days (my DW will continue to work for a few more years) sounds like heaven on earth to me. I know I'll need to have more human interaction in due time.

I wonder if my situation is unique with others on this forum. For the last 25 years, my work has been a major part of my life - it had to be as I worked 50+ hours a week. There hasn't been time to make close friends outside of work. I know I will not stay close to current friends from work as we don't share enough common interests. We don't have children, and my family is spread all over the country.

So to anyone that wishes to comment - is having a close, large social network of friends the most important thing in a happy retirement and long life?
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:18 AM   #13
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So to anyone that wishes to comment - is having a close, large social network of friends the most important thing in a happy retirement and long life?
Personally, no and the answer to the question depends a lot on one's personality and lifestyle. I am happy with some close friends. I don't need a crowd. Everyone should have some close friends. Friends are not the most important thing in a happy retirement and long life but they do help to make the journey an interesting one.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:15 AM   #14
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I think having a social network of some kind is important to most people, though there are surely outliers who prefer a more hermit-like existence. That network can be friends, family, or some other construct like church, internet "friends", or even pets.

I have worked hard to retain good friendships over the years, but when we retire, we will probably find that our current friendships will suffer a bit. I expect to find other like-minded people through hobbies or travel that will fill in the gaps.

Your desire to decompress seems normal to me; and it is a lot different to socialize with true friends than those you work with now.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:35 AM   #15
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So to anyone that wishes to comment - is having a close, large social network of friends the most important thing in a happy retirement and long life?
I wouldn't say it is necessarily the most important thing, but having at least some social network seems to be more important than I expected. I think when I was working full-time that I had a sort of "built-in" network that came with the job - I was very close to the group I worked with. Since I am somewhat of an introvert and like a lot of alone time, I didn't really think I was going to need to worry about socializing after I left the job. I've found, though, that making friends and spending time with them is both much easier and much more important now that I have the time.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:46 AM   #16
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So to anyone that wishes to comment - is having a close, large social network of friends the most important thing in a happy retirement and long life?
No - I think this very much depends on the individual. Some folks need more social interaction than others. I think this has been pretty clearly established by personality tests. I think it's hard for some individuals (authors) to imagine being otherwise than they are themselves.

We have little purely social interaction which is as much as we want. We are part of a large community, however - people who have the same interests and show up at the same places. We naturally make friends and see them based on the activities we regularly participate in anyway - so it's nothing more than running into someone you know and chatting for a while to catch up. Simple. And that's really enough for us. I guess that is a "built-in" social network similar to how it is at a company, but much better in that the folks brought together have much more in common than just work.

We have a few special people we keep in somewhat regular contact with. We very rarely go to purely "social" events which we don't generally enjoy.

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Old 05-09-2011, 11:29 AM   #17
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So to anyone that wishes to comment - is having a close, large social network of friends the most important thing in a happy retirement and long life?
If you're a strong "E" on the Myers-Briggs scale, probably so. If you're a strong "I", probably not so much.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:50 AM   #18
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No - I think this very much depends on the individual. Some folks need more social interaction than others. I think this has been pretty clearly established by personality tests. I think it's hard for some individuals (authors) to imagine being otherwise than they are themselves.

We have little purely social interaction which is as much as we want. We are part of a large community, however - people who have the same interests and show up at the same places. We naturally make friends and see them based on the activities we regularly participate in anyway - so it's nothing more than running into someone you know and chatting for a while to catch up. Simple. And that's really enough for us. I guess that is a "built-in" social network similar to how it is at a company, but much better in that the folks brought together have much more in common than just work.

We have a few special people we keep in somewhat regular contact with. We very rarely go to purely "social" events which we don't generally enjoy.

Audrey
+1 Although F. and I spend time together every day, we have found that fending off social events and wannabe friends is more typical of our retirement than is loneliness (which really has not been an issue). We are perfectly happy introverts, I suppose.

Think of how you spend your vacations and weekends. Our retirement has been very similar to our pre-retirement vacations and weekends (just longer). If you are the type of person who needs to hang out with a group of friends during your time off, then you may need the same when you are retired. If not, then I wouldn't worry about it much.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:40 PM   #19
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Although F. and I spend time together every day, we have found that fending off social events and wannabe friends is more typical of our retirement than is loneliness (which really has not been an issue). We are perfectly happy introverts, I suppose.
That describes my SO and I perfectly! It's a common misconception that introverts are just flat out unsociable. I was never comfortable with the simpler explanation that introverts don't like being sociable, because I like people and find them quite fascinating. Then I came across an explanation somewhere that the main difference between extroverts and introverts is that extroverts draw energy from being around people, and introverts find that even if they enjoy being around people, it tends to drain them. I don't know where this explanation came from, or if it is generally accepted, but it really helped to explain my introversion to me.

I couldn't live in a cabin in the woods for an extended period, as I'd feel the need for the company of others - in measured and small doses though
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:24 PM   #20
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I couldn't live in a cabin in the woods for an extended period, as I'd feel the need for the company of others - in measured and small doses though
Yeah, and as much as possible, on MY terms.
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