Book Review: I Want to Retire! Essential Considerations for the Retiree to be
by Dave Bernard
In just fourteen short chapters Dave Bernard again is the cheerleader for the reader as he or she approaches retirement. The chapter topics range from Redefining the Retired You, to Accepting Aging and What will be your Legacy. A very impressive assortment of topics addressed in his usual snappy style: quotes and relevant thoughts.
I’ve followed Bernard’s blog, Retirement – Only theBeginning, for about a year and find this book condenses a long series of blogs about retirement into essential topics. The ultimate goal of the book is to help the future retiree find his passion. He reminds us that, “Retirement is your time to do what you want to be doing.” Sounds easy on paper. I trust that I’ll be able to live up to his admonition in the years to come.
What is retirement? What is life about? One of his blog followers writes and quotes Robert Frost, “In three words I can sum up everything about life – it goes on.” So life goes on during retirement.
Rather than expand and comment on the entire book I encourage future retirees and those now retired to buy and read “I Want to Retire!” Instead of the classic review of a book I will make a few comments about Chapter 8: Staying Busy and Engaged in Retirement.
Staying engaged during retirement can be more challenging than it sounds. Many retirees now face a loss of income and in these days of uncertain financial times this is a serious issue. I myself face a less than ideal retirement. Retirees now have more empty time they ever envisioned. There is only so many honey-do projects, so many garden projects, walks in the park, golf or card games a person can participant in before he or she begins to wonder about Purpose or becomes so bored that they become a couch potato.
Decision about what time to wake can be irksome. If there is no reason to get up then the day becomes merely a chore to get through. Dave tells us to create a schedule of a mixture of activities blending purpose, health and relaxation (yes – you deserve some do nothing time). Finding the balance is the challenge. Retirees can determine the pace of the day, the week and the rest of their life.
The chapter ends with a list of possible things to do, activities with purpose and meaning. My charge is for the reader to review the list and then start your own.
You are now your own boss; you don’t need someone else’s list. Create your own. I have a dream list that I review and think about from time to time. I am on the board of directors of a senior services granting agency and the organization has been tasked to create a few programs of its own. This summer I am starting a weekly walking group for baby boomers. This project combines my regular walking habit and the desire to bring a healthy activity to my peers.
Next year I plan to take another passion of mine and transform it into a program, A Seniors Writing Group. More intensive research into writing groups and senior needs is required before this concept launches. My approach to it is to be open-minded and if it doesn’t work try a different approach or something different. Being open-minded is another one of Dave’s suggestions about finding activities that elicit passion.
What is on your list? Read Dave Bernard’s “I Want to Retire!” and use it as a guide to create passion and meaning in your retirement years.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book and no other financial considerations were received.
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