A review of books about retirement.

Ok lets start by reading about it.

Here is a list of books recommended by another blogger Pat Doyle.  You can click on the link to open the link in Amazon.com or other sites where I found the book.

Designing Your Life.by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans., 4 star.   Based on the Design Thinking approach but geared more towards finding your right career.  It can be reapplied to retirement life as it’s actually very similar to how I approached new life design in retirement, being a product designer myself!  I also liked this book as did the Retirement Wisdom reviewers.  When the book finally arrived after about a month I found I liked it the best of all the books I read.  ♥♥♥♥♥

Don’t Retire, Rewire! by Jeri Sedlar and Rick Miners.  ♥♥♥♥♥ A “how-to” on defining satisfaction drivers , separating skills and strengths (with examples), examples of others “accomplishments”, and a how-to guide for working through what in your work life was satisfied by your drivers and how to brainstorm possibilities.  Introduces interesting concept of 4 types of work: work for a wage, work for a fee, work for free, work for me.  I also liked this book.  I liked the categories of what you get out of work and how you can replicate the same “hierarchy of needs” outside of the work environment.  However I would add a Fun Factor to their list.  Right, many people don’t have fun at work so there are some value adds to retirement that you don’t get out of work.

The Happiness Project (Revised Edition): Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun   This is my personal favourite although it’s not about retirement specifically.  The website has five 21 day projects that can take you over the hump while you are figuring out what you want to do with the rest of your life.♥♥♥♥♥

The Joy of Retirement IMG_1487 (2015_11_20 04_23_36 UTC)by David C. Borchard.  5 star –  Lots of how-to for defining who you want to be in retirement and the lifestyle that will help you be that person.  Big sections on roles, talents, and values in defining your vision statement. Love the fact he does not assume where you will be on the continuum of working versus traditional leisure-based retirement. Combines easy to use tools as well as insightful examples of practical next steps.  Pat says she wishes she had read it sooner in her journey.  Borchard also offers his assessments on-line for $ 35 US.  I think the tests are included in the books so it would be cheaper to buy the book.  I tired the tests and found they were targeted at career planning more than retirement planning. According to the tests my Passion Distribution is Right Brain Creator and Left Brain Organizer which explains why I am doing a blog. I didn’t find the book or the tests as helpful as some of the books below.♥♥♥♥♥

I ran out of interest in reading about retirement after 3 books so the remaining books are as reviewed by Pat.

How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free.  by Ernie J Zelinski . 5 star – An easy-to-read conversational style.  Introduces the possibilities “get a life tree”; real people case studies (as opposed to all professional, CEO types),  focus on “leisure” (not work) so unique in that!♥♥♥♥♥

65 Things to Do When You Retire is in fact 65 interesting essays about retirement from all kinds of people, on all kinds of topics, many very inspiring. edited by Mark Evans Chimsky.  ♥♥♥♥

What Color Is Your Parachute? for Retirement, Second Edition: Planning a Prosperous, Healthy, and Happy Future Some stuff on finances, but lots on health and happiness. Great background on core values, theory and application of happiness (positive psychology), and practical how-to especially on self reflection and life portfolio.  ♥♥♥♥

Now What? Know who you are , Get what you want. By Laura Berman Fortgang.  Easy style, how-to-process!   Focus is on second career or what did you always want to do so you will be happy, but process can be reapplied to new retirement life situation (or even divorce)  Lots of exercises done as answering questions, but good, insightful questions versus generic “how do you feel about this?”♥♥♥♥

Creating Your Best Life: The Ultimate Life List Guide by Caroline Adams Miller and Dr Michael Frisch –  helpful in creating your “life list” beyond traditional bucket lists with “things to accomplish” or “ways to live” thinking.♥♥♥♥

Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement by Nancy Collamer. An in-depth look at part-time income stream possibilities with lots of resource connections (to get more information). Great for possibilities exploration.  Second half on self-reflection not as good as other books, but there.♥♥♥♥

The Couple’s Retirement Puzzle: 10 Must-Have Conversations for Creating an Amazing New Life Together by Roberta K. Taylor and Dorian Mintzer.  3 star but is unique in that it talks about transitioning as a duo in life.  Covers all the big domains.♥♥♥

Here is another highly recommended book by Ken Blanchard and Morton Shaevitz Refire! Don’t Retire: Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life reviewed by the website Retirement Wisdom.  Blanchard is a well known best selling author on many management topics. I have booked a download from the Vancouver Public Library e-books.  The Retirement Wisdom website also has a list of recommended retirement books.

Volunteer job screening

Like many other retirees, I thought volunteering was going to be an opportunity for personal development and social connections after I stopped working. I found that not to be the case.  So here is my check list to assess volunteer opportunities that may fit your wish list. The scores can be changed depending on what you are looking for.  I higher score is a more intense volunteer experience, a lower score, one that will take less time and resources.  You can download the Excel file here so you can score the form easily. volunteer screen.

 Recruitment and training  
1         How long is the volunteer candidate screening process? 1 month 2 months 3 or > 3 months score
3 2 1
2 Will a criminal record check be required? yes no
2 1
3 Will training be required yes no
2 1
4 how long is the training? 1 day or more 4-8 hours 1-4 hours
3 2 1
Logistics
5 Can you walk there from home? no yes
2 1
6 Is parking available? no yes
2 1
7 How available is parking ? never sometimes always
3 3 1
8 What does parking cost? <$5 per shift > $ 5 per shift free
3 2 1
9 Is parking reimbursed? no yes
2 1
10 How long does it take to get there from the time you leave home? < 1 hour 30-60 min < 30 min
3 2 1
11 Is it on public transit? no yes
2 1
12 Personal safety in location scary Normal secure
3 2 1
13 How long is a shift? 8 hours 4-8 hours < 4 hours
3 2 1
14 How many shifts a week are required 5 or more 2-4 1
3 2 1
15 How long is the volunteer commitment? More than one month Less than one month One time only
3 2 1
16 What about if you want to take some time off? They can’t accommodate can accommodate with notice no problem
3 2 1
17 Can you take the winter season off to be a snow bird no yes
2 1
18 Morning shift Yes no
2 1
Nature of the work/job
19 What are the demographics the volunteers? Students Job seekers Seniors
3 2 1
20 What kind of clients? Vulnerable/     fragile/non English speaking normal Low maintenance/easy
3 2 1
21 What is the boredom meter (repetitive tasks with zero mental challenge) high medium low
3 2 1
22 Intellectual challenge low Medium high
3 2 1
23 Social interaction low medium high
3 2 1
24 New skills or knowledge acquired? none some lots
3 2 1
25 Travel required yes no
2 1
26 Physical energy required A lot some none
3 2 1
27 Speed required A lot some none
3 2 1
28 Patience required A lot some none
3 2 1
29 Stamina required A lot some none
3 2 1
30 Computer skills required A lot some none
3 2 1
31 Memory required A lot some none
3 2 1
Total score 0

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