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Book recommendations for retired father?
Old 06-09-2008, 07:16 AM   #1
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Book recommendations for retired father?

Hey guys. My father retired a few years ago and had a hard time adjusting. So hard, in fact, that he went back to work. He found trouble finding purpose in life. For 30 years, he had a role, and suddenly that ended, and the world didn't come to a halt without him. I think he had a hard time adjusting to that, so he found a job (shiftwork again - ugh!) doing pretty much exactly what he'd been doing for 30 years, just for a different company.

Anyway, I was wondering if there are any books that might be helpful for a new-retiree trying to adjust. I was hoping to get it for him for father's day.

Any suggestions?
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:25 AM   #2
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I'd recommend How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by Ernie Zelinski. Here is a link to Amazon reviews: Amazon.com: How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor: Ernie J. Zelinski: Books

Also he might try visiting this site .
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:19 AM   #3
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even though i'd hate to be one to proselytize--to each their own--might i suggest that instead of a book about the life you'd rather your father live that might make dad feel inadequate that he seems to you unable to come to terms with retirement, for father's day, perhaps you might consider a gift that makes dad happy with the life he lives for himself.
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:50 AM   #4
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perhaps you might consider a gift that makes dad happy with the life he lives for himself.
That'd be great too. The only problem is, after 20 or so years of buying him presents thrice a year (birthday, father's day, and Christmas), it's gotten quite difficult to come up with unique and personal gift ideas. I came up with the book idea in the hopes of helping him to learn to enjoy his retirement.
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:12 PM   #5
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Kombat, it sounds like your dad is not a retiree.
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:27 PM   #6
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Kombat, it sounds like your dad is not a retiree.
I guess it depends on your definition. Here's the short-and-sweet version. He worked at Michelin for 30 years doing shiftwork in the boiler room, then retired a few years ago. He currently draws a pension from Michelin. However, he got bored and felt like he no longer had a purpose in life anymore (having the last of his 3 kids move out at around this time probably didn't help much either). So he got a job in the boiler room at a different company.

He still receives his Michelin pension, but now he gets a biweekly paycheck from his new job, too. This money is basically gravy, and he uses it to buy woodworking tools and supplies to build shelves and things for family members and neighbors. He's much happier now that he's working again, but he's 56 and won't be working at this new job forever.

I'd like to find a book that will help him prepare for the day when he leaves the workforce again, so he can make a much smoother transition the next time.
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:44 PM   #7
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However, he got bored and felt like he no longer had a purpose in life anymore (having the last of his 3 kids move out at around this time probably didn't help much either).
He's much happier now that he's working again, but he's 56 and won't be working at this new job forever.
I'd like to find a book that will help him prepare for the day when he leaves the workforce again, so he can make a much smoother transition the next time.
Zelinski writes great books, and so does Bob Clyatt, but are you sure that you're not a solution in search of a problem?

Your father seems to have found his niche and may be perfectly happy. Who knows, he may be planning to work for the rest of his life...
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:51 PM   #8
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Your father seems to have found his niche and may be perfectly happy. Who knows, he may be planning to work for the rest of his life...
Also, 56 is not that old. By the time he is 60 or 65, he may find it easy and natural to slip into retirement. He'll have plenty of woodworking tools by that time, too.
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:47 PM   #9
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He's much happier now that he's working again...I'd like to find a book that will help him prepare for the day when he leaves the workforce again, so he can make a much smoother transition the next time.
people proselytize to convince themselves that their way of living is correct. when a person is confident in him/herself, it doesn't matter to them how others live. perhaps convincing your father merely justifies your own thinking on retirement about which you have doubts.

his life is not yours. yours is not his. if more people understood this simple truth, there would be a whole less arguing going on. while you differentiate between your life and your father's, also understand what you know and what you do not. the future is unknown. all you need to know is what you already know. act upon unknowns only if you know nothing. otherwise act upon what you know.

if you know that dad is happier working then act upon that instead of working against it. how about a paid gas card to make his commute to work more enjoyable.
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Old 06-09-2008, 04:11 PM   #10
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Kombat, if you are judging the situation correctly and your father just hasn't found the right outlets for another phase of his life, then perhaps the Zelinski book would be good for him. If he's discussed this situation with you and maybe expressed frustration or just confusion then such a gift might be appropriate. You certainly are closer to him then we are. Another way you could perhaps help him is to read the book yourself and discuss some of the ideas with him.
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:46 PM   #11
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Kombat,
...My dad is in failing health with heart disease, Parkinsons and dementia. He is getting to be more than my mom can handle and it is about time to make some serious tough decisions. I am racking my brain trying to figure out what to get him for Father's Day and it probably actually will make no difference to him at all.
...Your dad can still pick his own books out and if he wanted to retire he would. He is my age and I know EXACTLY what he wants for Father's day. Wood working tools. Get him a nice set of wood chisels or something similar and tell him how much you admire him for being such a good dad.
Jeff
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:18 AM   #12
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Clyatt was mentioned above, his book is Work Less, Live More. I also recommend the Zelinski book mentioned above (the Get-A-Life Tree exercise in the Zelinski book might be very, very helpful to your father). They are both excellent IMO.

Some people are happier working. It's a source of structure, identity and/or purpose for them - and that is what's right for some of us. Some people can occupy themselves with no plans whatsoever, some can't - neither is right or wrong, despite what you might think (or what others here might tell you - there is an 'all work is evil' contingent here).

Beyond that, your father may want to continue to build his nest egg. Don't know about your relationship with your father, but mine would never disclose his finances to me, so it would be a factor I would not know.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:24 AM   #13
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Does your Dad actually read the books you buy him? if so why not just a book on a subject he likes to read?If he doesnt actually read them buy him something like a
ScanGaugeII - Trip Computers + Digital Gauges + Scan Tool for his car,as a boiler room employee he would probably like the dozens of read outs on engine operating parameters.
these computers just plug into your OBD11 and are found on all cars newr than 1998
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:16 PM   #14
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Do novels count? "The Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follet. I retired early three months ago. This book puts a lot of life's hard work to take care of your family in perspective.
He has the time (1000 pages, 12th century England). Not much has changed in the last 900 years.
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:34 PM   #15
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"Outlive Your Enemies: Grow Old Gracefully" by Terry Sanford, former Sen and Gov of NC, and pres of Duke. I heard something about this on NPR a few years ago and it sounded real interesting. Sanford is a bit too liberal for my dad so I got it for my brother-in law who was in his mid/late 50s. Looked interesting when I browsed it.

"Younger Next Year" by Crowley and Lodge, mostly physical health but also mental outlook for handling aging, IIRC.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:38 PM   #16
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He's much happier now that he's working again, but he's 56 and won't be working at this new job forever.
I think this is your stopping place. Buy him a drink, tell him you love him and give him the respect he deserves. He knows better than anyone what is good for him.

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I'd like to find a book that will help him prepare for the day when he leaves the workforce again, so he can make a much smoother transition the next time.
Maybe when he is no longer working you might again consider getting him a book. But to me, he sounds like a very good retiree. He does woodworking, helps others, and stays out of people's hair.

Ha
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