Looking for some great retirement books? In no particular order, here are ten of our favorites reads to get you started.
Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life
By Daniel Klein – Amazon Link
What if aging is a gift, not a curse? In Travels with Epicurus, philosopher Daniel Klein heads to the Greek Isle of Hydra to explore this idea. While there he visits with longtime friends who are making the most of maturity by not pretending to be young. He intersperses these personal stories with the ideas of famous thinkers, creating an intelligent, witty meditation on how to grow old happily.
How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free
By Ernie J. Zelinski – Amazon Link
Yes, good finances are important to a happy retirement, but they’re by no means the only thing. That’s the premise of this part-practical, part-inspirational book by author and motivational speaker Ernie Zelinski. With an encouraging and engaging voice, Zelinski explores some of the less talked about contributors to happiness — most importantly the need to find a creative outlet — and helps readers unleash their own inner artist.
A Year by the Sea
By Joan Anderson – Amazon Link
After her children grew up and moved out Joan Anderson thought that her life was over. Her relationship with her husband felt stale and she was struggling to find any sort of beauty in her daily routine. So she took the radical step of moving alone to a Cape Cod cottage for a year. In this touching personal memoir she recounts her time there and describes how she slowly discovered the wonderful possibilities of the years to come.
What Color Is Your Parachute? for Retirement
By John E. Nelson and Richard N. Bolles – Amazon Link
The general What Color Is Your Parachute? book has been an invaluable resource for millions of people looking to better define their goals and life paths. This retirement-specific version is equally helpful in planning for retirement. Nelson and Bolles tackle the topic holistically, providing advice to increase not just your wealth but also your health and happiness. Particularly useful are the tools and exercises, which make the abstract principles concrete for each reader.
Gringos in Paradise: An American Couple Builds Their Retirement Dream House in a Seaside Village in Mexico
By Barry Golson – Amazon Link
Many retirees dream of selling their stuff, packing up the car and moving to an inexpensive, idyllic beach town in Mexico. Barry Golson and his wife Thaia actually did it. In this wonderfully written account he describes what it’s really like living in a 1,500-person fishing village on the Pacific. What makes the book shine is that Golson describes the challenges as well as the wonders of the move — including the frustrating and deeply rewarding of process of building a house from scratch.
How to Love Your Retirement: The Guide to the Best of Your Life
By Barbara Waxman – Amazon Link
Sure, there are plenty of “experts” who can give you retirement advice, but what do actual retirees have to say? This compilation of stories from hundreds of seniors covers everything from being a great grandparent to how to navigate spending all day, every day, in the same house as your spouse.
The AARP Retirement Survival Guide: How to Make Smart Financial Decisions in Good Times and Bad
By Julie Jason – Amazon Link
Are you financially ready to retire? Will you have enough income? What will your expenses be? Are you invested in the right things? In this well-organized guide Julie Jason helps you answer these questions and many more. It’s not the most fun read, but the book is filled with practical graphs, tools and checklists that make financial planning for retirement seem less daunting.
65 Things to Do When You Retire, 65 Notable Achievers on How to Make the Most of the Rest of Your Life
By Mark Evan Chimsky – Amazon Link
This collection contains 65 meditations on what it means to be retired from 65 notable seniors. Contributors range from Jimmy Carter to Gloria Steinem and include boldface names from business, art and science. The essays focus in large part on the challenge of creating a fulfilling, engaging life post-retirement. Best of all, royalties from sales of the book are donated to cancer research.
The Retiring Mind: How to Make the Psychological Transition to Retirement
By Robert P. Delamontagne – Amazon Link
Your bank account may be ready for retirement, but is your brain? Robert Delamontagne argues that feelings are just as important as finances in preparing for this life stage. Of course, not everyone feels in the same way. To find what will help you personally transition happily into retirement, Delamontagne offers personality questions to identify certain traits and then offers specific advice for various profiles.
Leisureville: Adventures in America’s Retirement Utopias
By Andrew D. Blechman – Amazon Link
What is it actually like to live in a 55-and-over gated retirement community? In this book reporter Andrew Blechman heads to The Villages, a massive development in central Florida, to find out. While there he investigates everything from the residents’ finances to their sex lives, and meets some wonderful characters. At times Blechman’s deep skepticism about adult communities can be biting, but it makes for an interesting read.
Photo by ginnerobot via Flickr.