Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Causes of a Recession

As I work on my new E-book 101 Reasons to Love a Recession and my new website Love a Recession: How to Prosper During an Economic Downturn, I have been contemplating and adding my ideas for the Causes of a Recession .
Of course, explaining the recession in simple terms to the idiots of this world - namely most of the economists and financial analysts of this world who didn't think a recession was even possible - in basic understandable terms is not easy.
How could so many Yale- and Harvard-eduacted economists and financial analysts be so stupid when it comes to the predicting the recession? Most didn't think it was likely to happen - or even possible.
This excerpt from Report on Business magazine explains one of the causes of the economic recession gripping us today:

"In the classic 1972 book Groupthink, Yale psychology professor Irving Janis showed just how a panel of experts can come to a consensus that is wildly incorrect. Experts worry about their status in the community. They fear veering too far away from the others, because if they do, they risk becoming irrelevant. Even the most well-informed or cynical experts can find themselves censoring their viewpoints and even actively changing their deeply held beliefs in order to remain in line with what they perceive to be the beliefs of the group as a whole."

Little wonder that these same experts called people who were predicting this serious economic downturn - such as Peter Grandich - kooks. Well results don't lie! The recession has proven that the mainstream economists and financial analysts were the kooks. Now these same kooks will come up with some more interesting voodoo theories about what caused the recession - of course, ignoring the fact that many of their models were, in fact, the cause of the present recession.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Benefits of Being a Writer

One of the interesting things about being a writer is receiving e-mails and letters about my books.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: yhens zandfel
    To: vip-boosks (at) telus.net
    Sent: Wednesday, December 24, 2008 5:44 PM
    Subject: thank you
    one thing i only considred as what LIFE really meant for is to go with the flow - as happy as i could-
    call me shyne. first thing is sorry to say i dont know you exactly even if you already sold out so many books but since i read ur 101 really important things ..... book, there is a part of me that change and that is the fear of decision making especially when my future is involve.yeah ur ryt, the only person hu cn gve such a good advice to me is myself and how cn i achve success if i will not try to do the frsr step.
    last week i acquired a hong kong library card since one of my hobby is reading books. perhaps i was lucky then because the first book i borrowed was urs. i say it i was lucky since u definetely knock my head about the reality.
    i am hre in hong kong for five moths nw working as a domestic helper in short maid even if i finished an agricultural business course since i want to be a successful entreprenuer, i still need to earn in financial terms. i cme from the country philippines and i am a filipina. being a single person, my reason of staying to a foreign country-honestly because im worried for my fututre- and because i want to go canada.
    anyways, i really really want to thank you. i learrned so many from you..i dont expect a response from you as long as i tell you that ur the best.

    merry christmas....

Regardless of how well-writtenn (or lack thereof), I always appreciate hearing from my readers.
This is one of the benefits of being a writer - knowing that you are making a difference in people's lifes.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Turkish Proverbs about The Joy of Not Working

Here is an e-mail that I recently received about The World's Second Best Retirement Book from someone in California who apparently is not having any fun at work :

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Tom Scott
    To: vip-books (at) telus (dot) net
    Sent: Sunday, December 14, 2008 2:59 PM
    Subject: Re: The Joy of Not Working .

    Hello Ernie,

    I just picked up your book The Joy of Not Working this weekend. The title sort of grabbed me. I have been out of work since April and (so far) have found very little joy in it. Then I came to page 50 and fig 4.2 with the two boxes of before and after for a workaholic. It was me. My marriage had been bad for years and finally ended earlier this year. In effect I had already crossed off one item in my box a long time ago. Then my employer decided to help me cross off the other one. No wonder I felt lost, desperate, alone, and with no idea where to turn. The only two things that mattered to me were gone. From that I went through one compulsion after another. First women (the serial dater), exercise, you name it. None made me happy. Now I realize it’s not about finding a passion, it’s about finding all of them. I am going to get to work right now filling up my box.

    Thanks for steering me in the right direction. I’ll take it from here.


    Sonoma, CA

And here are three Turkish Proverbs that I used in my speech about The Joy of Not Working to the Turkish National Society for Quality in Istanbul on November 26th.
  1. All work and no play will make such a dull boy.
    — Turkish proverb
  2. If God closes one door, He opens a thousand others.
    — Turkish proverb
  3. There is no right way to do a wrong thing.
    — Turkish Proverb

Check out The Money Cafe:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

More about The Joy of Not Working in Istanbul

Photo: Ernie Zelinski and Nadide Sevinç Taştan at the Istanbul Convention Center after his speech about The Joy of Not Working to the National Turkish Congress on Quality

Last Five of The Top-Ten Highlights of My Trip to Istanbul to Speak about The Joy of Not Working to the National Turkish Congress on Quality

  1. Having a driver with a new car assigned to me for 3 whole days by the National Turkish Congress on Quality was a treat. The driver was available from early morning until midnight to drive me anywhere I wanted to go. (Not having spent one cent in Istanbul for 3 whole days due to the National Turkish Congress on Quality paying for all my meals and accommodations, I did give the driver a 100 Euro tip when he dropped me off at the Istanbul airport for my flight back to London.)

  2. The great weather that I was lucky enough to get sure added to my Istanbul adventure. On Monday the high was 11 degrees Celsius, on Tuesday it was 17 degrees, and on Wednesday it was 21 degrees. Istanbul was much kinder to me than London where it rained and the temperature reached highs of about 5 degrees Celsius for my two days there.

  3. Experiencing the traffic jams in Istanbul where rush hour starts at about 5 PM and lasts until 8:30 PM is an experience that puts the traffic problems in Canada in proper perspective. On the journey from a TV Station where I did a live interview about The Joy of Not Working, my driver told me that we had traveled 2 kilometers in an hour. It took us 2.5 hours to complete a journey from the TV station to the Vogue restaurant. Regardless of the destination, the same distance in my home town of Edmonton would take 20 to 25 minutes maximum in rush hour traffic.

  4. Given that Istanbul has vehicles of all types and varieties — many more types and varieties than you will see in any city in Canada or even in London — one of the pleasurable experiences in my 3 whole days in Istanbul was not seeing one of the disgusting redneck-driven 4-wheel drive Quad cab pickup trucks that are so prevalent in Alberta and that so many sophisticated Albertans despise.

  5. I never saw any fat people in Istanbul which just goes to show that there is no reason for so many Canadians and Americans to be grossly overweight. This also shows that their justifications for being overweight are false excuses and silly fabrications to cover up the fact that they are pigs when it comes to food and lazy when it comes to exercise. Incidentally, I thought that I may gain weight on this trip due to the many fine meals that I ate but I actually lost 2 or 3 pounds due to all the walking that I did in Istanbul and London.
Above all, the number of things to see in Istanbul is amazing. Trust me on this one: Anyone can easily spend two weeks in this city without running out of interesting things to see.

Now back to working on my new e-book 101 Reasons to Love a Recession and marketing my International Bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

A cup of coffee commits one to forty years of friendship.
— Turkish proverb

Activity breeds prosperity.
— Turkish proverb

Do what your teacher says but not what he does.
— Turkish proverb

If God closes one door, He opens a thousand others.
— Turkish proverb

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Joy of Not Working in Istanbul

Little did I know that when I got fired from my job as an Engineer over 28 years ago for taking too much time off work that the firing would lead to an all-paid trip (plus a US$3,000 fee for speaking for an hour about my book The Joy of Not Working to Istanbul last week, which is now on my top-3 list of most satisfying journeys that I have made in my life.

Incidentally, with the Air Canada Premium Executive Class return airfare between Edmonton and London being $11,500 and the leg between London and Istanbul on British Airways being about $1,500, the National Turkish Society for Quality spent between $20,000 and $25,000 to have me in Istanbul to speak about
The Joy of Not Working .

As I have said many times before, there is still great opportunity during a recession.

Five of My Top-Ten Highlights of My Trip to Istanbul

  1. The Number 1 highlight of my trip was the number of important historic buildings such as the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque as well as variety of the non historic buildings such as the waterfront houses on the Bosphorus.

  2. Meeting so many beautiful Turkish women was definitely the number 2 highlight. After making my speech about The Joy of Not Working to the National Turkish Society for Quality, a number of the women in the audience wanted to have their photos taken with me, and they were all beautiful. If anything will bring me back to Istanbul, it's the historic sights and the women — not necessarily in that order.

  3. The joie de vivre in many parts of the city including the happening restaurants, bars, and clubs around town. One of my hosts treated me to dinner at Vogue, a new trendy restaurant that was full on a Tuesday night. We arrived at about 8:30 PM. It's a good thing that we had a reservation.

  4. Taksim Square, which is a 5 minute walk from the Ritz Carlton Hotel where I stayed, gave me a true sense of the people living life in a neighborhood in Istanbul. The degree of energy in the square is definitely worth experiencing. Surrounding Taksim Square are numerous travel agencies, banks, restaurants, pubs, and even international fast food chains such as Pizza Hut, McDonald's and Burger King. There are several other grand hotels in the area including the InterContinental and The Marmara Hotel.

  5. It was interesting going from the worst hotel room in London that I have ever stayed in (on Sunday night) to the Executive Suite at the Ritz-Carlton (corporate rate of $1,280 Canadian a night) with a view of the Bosphorus the next night (Monday night) that turned out to be the best hotel accommodation that I have ever had — and I have stayed in some pretty swanky hotels on my speaking travels.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Leisure Quotes about The Joy of Not Working

Here is an e-mail that I recently received about The World's Second Best Retirement Book from someone in New Zealand:

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "Dave & Reena Tattersfield"
    Sent: Wednesday, August 16, 2006 9:23 PM
    The Joy Of Not Working


    I wanted to drop you a quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed reading The Joy of Not Working .

    Your voice is a refreshing change from the 'work harder and buy more and more stuff' voice that seems to purvade western.society.

    A simpler approach and enjoying life is far more attractive to me.


And here are three quotes about leisure that I used in my speech about The Joy of Not Working in Istanbul on November 26th.

    If the soul has food for study and learning, nothing is more delightful than an old age of leisure.
    — Cicero (Roman Statesman 106-43 B.C.)

    I would not exchange my leisure hours for all the wealth in the world.
    — Comte de Mirabeau (French Statesman 1749- 1791)

    Leisure is the time for doing something useful. This leisure the diligent person will obtain, the lazy one never.
    — Benjamin Franklin (American Statesman
    1706- 1790)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Turkey Wants to Learn More about The Joy of Not Working

Photo of Istanbul:

I am preparing my speech about The Joy of Not Working that I will make to 2,500 scholars, business executives, and studends in Istanbul on Wednesday November 26th.

The National Turkish Congress on Quality is flying me executive class to Istanbul through London at a cost of over $10,000 and putting me up at the Ritz Carlton executive suite at a cost of over $1,000 per night for 3 nights. My speaking fee is a modest $3,000.

Here are some topics to be included in my speech:

  • Your most powerful success tool is The 80-20 principle.

  • Ordinary career success is a real good job; real career success is a real good life.

  • Most success costs too much. The conduct of society is a poor example for how to live a happy life.

  • The more creative your thinking, the fewer your cares and worries.

  • Your best purchases will turn out to be the ones that you never made.

  • Being successful at work is irrelevant if you are a failure at home.

  • Being busy does not mean being productive.

  • Hard work is no match for relaxed, creative action.

Retirement Image of The Joy of Not Working

The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked — by Ernie J. Zelinski

The Joy of Not Working is all about learning to live every part of your life — employment, unemployment, retirement, and leisure time alike — to the fullest. You too can join the thousands of converts and learn to thrive at both work and play. Illustrated by eye-opening exercises, thought-provoking diagrams, and lively cartoons and quotations, The Joy of Not Working will guide you to enjoy life like never before.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

TV Watching Is a Horrible Way to Spend Your Retirement

Research indicates that on the average Americans spend about 40 percent of their free time in front of the TV. For retirees, the percentage is much higher. This translates into 4 to 6 hours a day watching TV — which is about 4 to 6 hours too many.

Contrary to popular belief, one way to guarantee boredom in retirement is to watch a lot of TV. Even people who retire with substantial wealth end up watching a lot of television instead of getting involved in more satisfying leisure and recreational activities.

One problem is that television entertains but deludes people. T.V. as a whole is not very educational. When programs are educational, people don't watch them.

Some retired people say that television is a necessity in today's world. This is nonsense. In summer, I sometimes go for four months straight without turning on my TV set for even one minute. Moreover, I know a few people who don't even own a TV set. Case closed: This proves that TV is not a necessity.

Retired people watch TV without understanding what they are watching. Even if they understand, they seldom absorb anything worthwhile. In my book The Joy of Not Working, I discuss the many more detrimental effects of TV including how chronic TV watchers are more likely to be jerks and to be obese.

    Retirement Quote for this Week

    The human race is faced with a cruel choice: work or daytime television.
    — Author Unknown

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Two Best Retirement Books - What Is the Difference?

Cover of Indonesian Edition of The Joy of Not Working

I received this e-mail message the other day:

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Eliyahu Shiffman
    To: vip-books (at) telus.net
    Sent: Thursday, November 13, 2008 2:46 AM
    Subject: What's the difference?

    Hi Ernie:

    Help me out here -- I'm only going to buy one of them. Tell me what the difference is between
    How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free and The Joy of Not Working so I can decide which is right for me. Or is one just an updated version of the other?


This was my reply:

    Hello Eliyahu:

    There are some similarities between How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free and
    The Joy of Not Working.

    If you are already retired or about to be retired and looking for a retirement book, How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is the better choice.

    If you are working and will continue to work for quite some time
    The Joy of Not Working is the better book (That's why it's subtitled "A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked).

    I hope this helps you make your decision.

    In case you haven't downloaded from one of my websites, I have attached my E-book (in PDF format) The 237 Best Things Ever Said about Retirement.

    Thanks for your interest in my books.

    So long for now,

    Ernie Zelinski
    Author of the Bestseller
    How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
    (Over 100,000 copies sold and published in 7 foreign languages)
    and the International Bestseller
    The Joy of Not Working
    (Over 225,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

Here is one of the many quotes about retirement that I have amassed which can help you retire happy, wild, and free:

    The happiest people I know in retirement are those who have not only one interest outside work but many. For me, writing, photography, travel and several other interests fill my days to the point that I can't imagine how I found time to also work before I retired.
    - Author unknown

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Retirement Living Is Better than This Retiree Thought It Would Be

I received the following e-mail today from an individual in the United Kingdom who read The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked and who feels that retirement living is better than he had expected.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Mickey White
    To: vip-books (at) telus.net
    Sent: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 8:45 AM
    Subject: RETIREMENT: it's even better !!

    Hi Ernie,

    I took early voluntary retirement from the Mail Service after thirty plus years when

    I was fifty seven. My kids bought me your book, The Joy of Not Working as a gift on the day I finished. Mind you I was happy to take E.V.R. and I agree with everything you say !!

    In fact, if I'd known that retirement was going to be this good I'd have done it the day after I left school !!!

    Good Luck.....

    Mike .....

It would be great if all retirees felt this way.

Even The U.S. State Dept Likes The Joy of Not Working

Retirement Image of The Joy of Not Working

This short review of The World's Second Best Retirement Book ( The Joy of Not Working ) comes from the United States Department of State.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What It Takes to Write Retirement Books

At My Last Book Launch with Mary Who Is 52 Years Old (I Sure Wish All Women Over 50 Looked This Good and Were This Trim)

Some retirees wonder what credentials I possess to have written two retirement books. First, I have worked only half of my adult life. In other words, I have been in and out of retirement since I was in my late teens. Second, although I am not fully retired at this time, I have been semi-retired for the last 25 years.

I work only four or five hours a day; for the other 20 or 19 hours a day I have the same freedom that all full-time retirees have 24 hours a day. Even during my working hours I have a great deal of freedom since I work on what I want to, when I want to.

There is one important point about my semi-retirement, since in my retirement books I discuss the importance of money and what part it plays in having a successful retirement. When I semi-retired thirteen years ago, I was over $30,000 in debt. So much for the theory that you need a great deal of money to succeed in semi-retirement. The same applies to full retirement.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

$200 Ugly Websites Outsell Million Dollar Websites Every Day of the Year

I received this e-mail from Wendy in Peace River today:

    Hi Ernie

    I read your first book
    The Joy of Not Working right after you published it and recently recommended all your books to a friend who is unhappy in her career. She is getting it with your work.

    I recently heard a CD you did for Dave Dubeau and the Fast Track to Cashflow people.

    Who is the internet marketing company that teaches how to build an ugly but workable web site? I am at the stage of wanting to build a web site but have limited funds at present. I could not hear the name on the CD.

    Thanks for your help.

This is my reply to Wendy's e-mail:

    Hi Wendy:

    I can't ever recall doing the CD.

    Regarding ugly websites, internet marketing millionaire Tom Antion says he intentionally makes his websites just a little bit ugly and his $200 websites will out sell the million-dollar websites every day of the year.

    Check out Tom Antion' main website at Tom Antion.
    I find this website really cool because it is so plain and yet owned by one of the most successful internet marketing gurus. As I have said in my books, perfectionalism is the last refuge of the idiots of this world.

    Another example is his website
    wedding speeches which makes him about $35,000 a year.

    Tom Antion, incidentally, learned the secrets to internet marketing from his mentor Corey Rudl who started the
    Internet Marketing Center in Vancouver.

    Corey Rudl was killed in an auto racing accident about 3 years ago and IMC is now owned and run by his friend Derek Gehl.

    I took an internet marketing course from IMC two years ago in Vancouver and the presenter Jason Bax also said "ugly inexpensive websites make more money than expensive artistic ones. Problem is, most website designers who do cool and artistic websites have never made a cent marketing on the Internet.

    Have you ever noticed how many "cool and artistic" people in society are broke?

    As millionaire Harv Eker says, "I would rather be nerdy and rich than cool and broke."

    Thanks for your e-mail and so long for now.

    Ernie Zelinski
    Author of the Bestseller
    How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
    (Over 100,000 copies sold and published in 7 foreign languages)
    and the International Bestseller
    The Joy of Not Working
    (Over 225,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hard Work - Trying to Give Away 430 Copies of The World's Best Retirement Book

Retirement Book

I have been trying to creatively give away 430 copies my international bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.

See my blog post at Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor.

Incidentally, some people have assumed that How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is going out of print because I am giving these copies away.

In fact, I will be doing a new print run for Ten Speed Press in January and this book should be in print for at least 20 years given that I intend to sell over 500,000 copies.

Allstate Financial in North Brook, IL, just purchased 3,700 copies with the corporate name on the cover to give away to its baby boomer clients.

If you take the 430 copies, I can also send you a carton (about 26 copies) of the Allstate edition which you can also give away to clients.

One more note:

There are also 265 copies of my book Real Success Without Real Job in the same condition at the Ten Speed Press warehouse.

Although this is not a retirement book, it will appeal to so called "retirees" who would like to keep working but not in a corporate setting. (This book is also still in print but will be reissued in February 2009 with the new title: Career Success Without a Real Job.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Just Finished Reading The Joy of Not Working

Following is the most recent e-mail that I received about The Joy of Not Working: A Book for the Retired, Unemployed, and Overworked that was sent to me by Eric Clarke of British Columbia.

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Eric Clarke
    To: vip-books (at) telus.net
    Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2008 3:58 PM
    Subject: To ErnieZelinski - Thank you!

    Dear Ernie,

    I have just finished reading the The Joy of Not Working. What a truly
    enjoyable and thought provoking book. As a recent retiree you have
    helped me to remember what is most important in life and generously
    shared your personal experiences, thoughts and some tools to help
    me reconnect with those things.

    I am looking forward [to retirement ]with excitement and anticipation as I begin this
    journey and hope that at the end I find I have grown into a fully
    developed and happy child.

    Thank you.

    Eric Clarke
    Email - chimiera (at) shaw.ca
    Tele: 573-5982

Here are the covers of some of the other Foreign Editions of The Joy of Not Working:

    French Edition

The Joy of Not Working - French Edition

    Spanish Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Spanish Edition

    Japanese Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Japanese Edition

    Czech Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Czech Edition

    Greek Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Czech Edition

    German Edition

The Joy of Not Working - German Edition

    Turkish Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Turkish Edition

    French Edition - Canada

The Joy of Not Working - French Edition - Canada

    Dutch Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Dutch Edition

    Korean Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Korean Edition

    Italian Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Italian Edition

    Chinese Edition - Traditional Characters

The Joy of Not Working - Chinese Edition - Tradtional Characters

    Chinese Edition - Simplified Characters

The Joy of Not Working - Chinese Edition - Simplified Characters

    Portuguese Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Portuguese Edition

    Polish Edition

The Joy of Not Working - Polish Edition

    Indonesian Edition

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Socialism Ain't the Answer to Better Retirement Living

If you are a socialist, a severe recession is the ideal time to promote socialism and to run down capitalism, at the same time helping to snuff out an era of ideological illogic and unconscionable greed.

You may think that socialism is the only answer to make your retirement living a lot easier and financially more secure.

If who really think socialism will have worked better, here are four quotes to consider:

    Socialism is workable only in heaven where it isn't needed, and in hell where they've got it.
    — Cecil Palmer

    The function of socialism is to raise suffering to a higher level.
    — Norman Mailer

    Socialism in nothing but the capitalism of the lower classes.
    — Oswald Spengler

    Under capitalism man exploits man; under socialism the reverse is true.
    — Polish proveb

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Baby Boomers Are Delaying Retirement Plans

The following news item explains the dramatic drop in sales ranking on Amazon.com of my book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free along with other retirement books such as What Color Is Your Parachute for Retirement.

A new AARP survey confirms that a lot of older Americans have changed their retirement plans due to falling house prices and the stock market crash — they now have no intention to drop out of the workforce.

Apparently baby boomers are delaying retirement plans indefinitely. Indeed, a whopping 70 percent of workers plan to work during their retirement years.

Part-time retirement jobs are the top choice in the survey of 1,500 Americans ages 45 to 74 who are working or looking for work.

Common motives for post-retirement work are for interest or enjoyment (29 percent) or for needed income (22 percent). The percentage of respondents working for pleasure has decreased since the survey was last conduced in 2002, while the proportion working out of financial necessity has increased. Boomers planning to work primarily for enjoyment typically have post-graduate degrees and household incomes of at least $80,000 a year.

Instead of looking for
jobs during retirement, smaller numbers of older workers plan to start their own business or work for themselves (11 percent).

Of course, as I have indicated in
The World's Best Retirement Book when you retire isn't always completely in your control. A large number of workers retire because of layoffs, buyouts, health problems, or to care for relatives.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Some Things Matter More Than Money

If your retirement funds and retirement income have taken a beating in the last two or three months, you are not alone. There are many people who feel like they are part of the group fools and their money.

I have lost around $70,000 in my stock portfolio.

Should I worry? Probably not.

Years ago I wound up totally broke with $30,000 in student loan debts to my name. My creative efforts helped me get out of the financial jam. Today, I still have $200,000 or $300,000 sitting in cash deposits which is more than many people.

Here are "10 things the credit crisis taught me about investing" that come from John Heinzl, financial writer with the Globe and Mail.

  1. All stocks are risky, even the safe ones.

  2. Buy and hold, buy and schmold.

  3. Nobody is immune.

  4. Money isn't the root of all evil, debt is.

  5. A lot of brilliant people [economists and financial analysts alike] are actually quite stupid.

  6. Just because a stock is cheap doesn't mean it won't get cheaper.

  7. Grandpa was right after all telling us to "save every nickel."

  8. We've had it too good for too long.

  9. Cash is king.

  10. Some things matter more than money.
Indeed, some things matter more than money - in fact, a lot do.

Friday, October 3, 2008

An Online Interview about The Joy of Not Working

Below is an online interview I did about The Joy of Not Working for A New Dawn Blog:

Ernie Zelinski enjoying The Joy of Not Working at La Table de Renoir Restaurant in Edmonton

1 - Tell us a little bit about yourself. (i.e. where you were born, where you grew up, etc.)

    I was born in Athabasca, Alberta, Canada and was raised on a farm around Grassland, Alberta until I was 14 and then finished high school in Lac La Biche. I didn't know what career path to choose, but I was very good at mathematics, trigonometry, and physics. So, on the advice of my teachers, I stupidly enrolled in engineering at the University of Alberta in 1966. In my second year of Engineering I missed over 85 percent of my classes and still ended up with the 7th highest grades out of 250 engineers. Even so, it took 7 years for me to complete a 4-year program because I quit twice and stayed out a year. You can read more about this in an article called The Joy of (Not) Engineering.

    After working for Edmonton Power for five and a half years, I was fired for taking two months of unauthorized vacation. My firing was, in fact, the best thing that ever happened to me because I hated being an engineer. (Just as important, I hated corporate life.) As Hal Lancaster once said, "Getting fired is nature's way to telling you that you had the wrong job in the first place." I am proud to say that I have not had a real job for 28 years.

2 - For those who have not read the book, how would you describe the central idea in the The Joy of Not Working??

Retirement Book

    The Joy of Not Working is all about learning to live every part of your life - employment, unemployment, retirement, and leisure time alike - to the fullest. If you have a job, the book is about how to thrive at work by being more leisurely. If you are unemployed, the book will help you be happier than most people who have jobs, simply because happiness is a matter of choice, whether you have a job or not. If you are retired, The Joy of Not Working will help you find just as much purpose - even more - as you had in your career life.

3 - Some people have read the book and are left with the impression that you are encouraging people to be lazy and unproductive. What do you say to that?

    On the contrary. I am encouraging people to have a better balance between work and play, which will make them more productive. Take me, for example. I work only 4 or 5 hours a day and earn an income twice that of most people who work 8 hours a day. This makes me 4 times as productive as the average person.

4 - If one was to follow your advice and start leading a life of leisure, wouldn't it be quite difficult to maintain the same standard of living?

    First, the important question that arises is "Does one really have to live at the same standard of living?" Studies show that Americans were happiest during the 1950s. Today Americans have houses two to three times as large as in the 1950s, eat a lot more (look at all the fat people in the US), and consume two to three times as much. Yet they are not as happy. The point is that standard of living does not contribute to happiness. I have a friend who is 62 and lives on $434 a month. He actually saves some money certain months. The important point is that he is happier than 95 percent of people in society.

    Second, if you become more leisurely, you may just end up making more money, and increasing your standard of living if you want to. That has happened to many people. Tim Ferris (whose book I recommend later) used to work 12 hours a day and earn $40,000 a year. Now he works 4 hours a week and earns $40,000 a month. Similarly, several people I know work hard 8 to 10 hours a day and earn $50,000 to $60,000 a year. I leisurely work only 4 hours a day and have an pretax income of about $125,000 a year. This is about working smart and not hard - but most people are too hard-headed to grasp this concept and actually follow it.

5 - What do you think is the biggest factor that stops people from changing their lifestyle?

    Most people are too programmed by society and society's values. They don't want to risk and be different. As a matter of fact, they are so plugged into mainstream thinking, they don't realize how programmed they are. This even applies to the highest of educated people such as doctors, lawyers, dentists, and university professors.

6 - Now that you are living a life of leisure, how are you spending your time?

    I usually sleep in until 11 AM or noon. My first priority is going for a rigorous run or bike ride. (This normally takes about one and a half hours of my time. After I get out of my house, and arrive at one of my favorite coffee bars, I spend about 4 hours a day working. Another 2 hours is spent talking to people in coffee bars. The evening is left open and I can do a variety of things including visiting people, reading, or meeting someone for a drink in a bar. I normally get to sleep around 3 AM after reading the newspaper and having a snack.

7 - Name a book that you think everyone should read, and why.

    The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris. This book is written for ordinary people who want to accomplish extraordinary things with minimal time involved. Some of the most important principles in this book are:

      1. Get unrealistic.
      2. Practice the art of nonfinishing.
      3. Cultivate selective ignorance.
      4. Do NOT multi-task.
      5. Outsource as much of your life as you can.
      6. Being busy is a form of laziness - lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.
      7. Forget about time management.

    Here are four of several favorite quotes from The 4-Hour Workweek

      1. If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.
      2. The blind quest for cash is a fool's errand.
      3. Ninety-nine percent of people in the world are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for the mediocre. The level of competition is thus fiercest for "realistic" goals, paradoxically making them the most time-consuming and energy consuming.
      4. The fishing is best where the fewest go, and the collective insecurity of the world makes it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone is aiming for base hits.

    8 - Do you have any plans for a follow up to the Joy of Not Working?

    NOTE: I have also written these books:

9 - What advice do you have for someone who will be cutting back on work and investing the money they have now?

    Contrary to popular belief, you can actually cut back on work and earn more money. Again, work smart and not hard.

    When it comes to the secret of handling money, there are two principles: The first one is: Spend less than you earn. If this won't work for you, then the second principle is definitely for you: Earn more than you spend.

    A lot more North Americans could retire early and have a comfortable retirement if they followed my principles. As I tell my friends who claim they have money problems, "You don't have a money problem. You have a serious thinking problem." Unfortunately, most people in North America end up believing that they "need" all the things that they buy. Fact is, most of the things people buy are "wants'. Regardless of who you are, your needs have always been provided. Plain and simple, if they weren't, you would be dead! So stop fooling yourself that you need all those material goods to be happy and you will have no problem saving.

    I semi-retired when I was 35 and had a net worth of minus $30,000. Even though I have worked less than half of my adult life and have never made a penny in house appreciation (simply because I rented for all these years), I can retire comfortably.

    I recommend this well-titled book for which I have adapted a short review from two other reviews:

    You're Broke Because You Want to Be: How to Stop Getting By and Start Getting Ahead, by Larry Winget.

    The author is a no nonsense guy and a master of tough love. This book will tear down every excuse you can think of and show you that it's your choices that are making you broke. Warning: The author is harsh. So if you get upset about that, maybe you should pass on this one, continue to blame your problems on someone else, and end up broke in retirement.

    To be sure, there's no sweet talk in Winget's advice, who summarizes money management to these points: Get off your duff and start doing the hard work necessary to make financial success happen. His advice includes: Give up cable TV. Get a cheaper car. Move to a more-affordable home. Live on what you earn.

    10 - Can you tell us who you will be voting for in November, and why?

      I will not be voting in November because I am Canadian. If I could vote in the American election, I would vote for the Democrats even though I am more of a conservative than a socialist. To me, the Republicans have absolutely no integrity. They talk about fiscal responsibility but are running unheard of deficits after taking power from the Democrats who under Bill Clinton were running surpluses.

      The situation is no different in Canada. Again, to me, the Conservatives have no integrity in regards to fiscal responsibility. The Liberals were much more fiscally responsible when they were in power than the Conservatives are now. So on October 14th, if I vote, instead of voting Liberal, I will actually vote for the New Democrats (a socialist party!) simply because the New Democrat candidate in my riding has a chance of beating out the Conservative candidate.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The New Retirement - Retire at 70, 80, or 90

The turmoil in the financial industry and markets in recent days has caused serious anxiety among retirees or near-retirees, as they have seen their savings plummet in recent days, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Either they are now planning to stay in the workforce longer, or they are-in many cases, reluctantly-looking to get back to work.

As many financial planners put it, it's a brand new reality for an entire generation of Baby Boomers.

And it's no wonder, a startling 59 percent of workers age 55 or older have less than $100,000 in savings and investments, excluding the value of their home, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Another 18 percent have between $100,000 and $249,999, and only 23 percent have $250,000 or more.

Many people who were looking to retire in the near future are now expecting to work until they are 70, 80, or 90.

RetirementJobs.com reported the inquiries into its online resume writing service doubled in the past week, with visitors saying they need to return to the workforce due to the economy.

Note: These Retirement Quotes Come from The 237 Best Things Ever Said about Retirement

Friday, September 19, 2008

The New Retirement for Baby Boomers - Going Bust and Not Being Able to Retire

It never ceases to amaze me how most people are fools with their money. A recent report confirms my suspicions that baby boomers are just as irresponsible with their money and act on their short-term interests. Very short, term interest. Just like most young people today, instant gratification takes too long.
Homeowners' behavior during the recent housing boom in the U.S. left American soon-to-be retirees in worse shape approaching retirement, because a house accounts for half of the property and financial wealth of the typical household approaching retirement age, according to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Alicia Munnell, the center's director, looked into how the housing bubble affected retirement security in a recent report with Mauricio Soto, a research economist at the center.

Here are some key findings of the report, released this month:
    • Many households reacted to the gain in housing prices by taking money out and increasing their debt. The center estimates that households extracted about $1.2 trillion of their home equity during the boom from 2001-06.

    • Total debt rose to 120 percent of disposable personal income in 2007 from about 80 percent in the early 1990s, according to government data.

    • With most of their family responsibilities out of the way, households headed by homeowners older than 50 were more likely to take out home equity. All told, homeowners 50 to 62 years old took out about $380 billion from their primary residences and posted expenses of $149 billion, based on government data from the Federal Reserve System and the Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

    • Homeowners with children were more likely to tap into their home equity, possibly to pay education and other expenses.

    • Homeowners said they spent 10.5 percent of what they took out from their primary homes on expenses, including personal spending and repayment of credit-card debt; 23.5 percent to pay off past debts; 32.2 percent for home improvement; and 33.8 percent for investment in the stock market, real estate or business.

    • For a typical homeowner nearing retirement (ages 50 to 62 in 2004), the gains in housing equity were nearly offset by additional spending. Their household net worth fell by an estimated $6,900, or 14 percent.
The report found that people increased mortgage debt by $1.2 trillion during the housing boom and increased consumption by $410 billion.

As I have said before, so much for houses as investments for retirement. Again, houses are consumer products and not investments. If you are buying a house on the hope that it will go up, you are speculating. If you are speculating, you should be prepared for the price to go down instead of up. Don't blame anyone else when your house price goes down. You caused this situation to happen by believing what the shady real estate agents and mortgage lenders have told you.

If you want to be financially well-prepared for retirement, invest in yourself by spending as much money as you can on books, seminars, and motivational tapes on how to run your own business or how to make money on the Internet. Fact is, your most valuable asset is actually your ability to earn an income.

Your enhanced earning power that comes from your superior skills and knowledge should be part of overall retirement plan. Although the banks and other financial institutions don't count intangibles such as creativity, innovative character, risk-taking ability, and specialized knowledge in tallying your net worth, you should. These items are much more important to a retirement portfolio than a house.


Retirement is a double-edged sword. You either make it work for you - or it will cut your happiness in half. The more you know about the secrets to a successful retirement, the happier you will be once you retire.

That's why you need The World's Best Retirement Book by Vipbooks Author Ernie J. Zelinski.

Retirement Gift Ideas

Over 100,000 Copies Sold
Published in 7 Foreign Languages

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor is a provocative, entertaining, down-to-earth, and tremendously inspiring book that will help you get more joy and satisfaction out of all your retirement activities.

Although turned down by over 35 publishers, How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free has already sold over 100,000 copies and has been published in 7 foreign languages since it was released by Ten Speed Press in Berkeley, California.

What's more, go to www.Amazon.com and type "retirement" into the search feature. You will see that How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free appears in the number 1 position - out of over 175,000 listings for retirement books!

Purchase How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free on Amazon.com with this direct link:

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Best Places to Retire for Retirees Looking for a Retirement Home

In the midst of a recession, America’s baby boomers may be looking for some of the best places to retire in the US.

A list of most affordable places for retirees has just been released by the US the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, with Columbus, Ohio topping the list of where to retire if housing and living costs are a consideration. This college town has reasonably priced housing relative to income and a 4.5 percent inflation rate.

Dallas and Houston in Texas have been ranked second and fourth respectively, offering warm climate and growing economies. Minneapolis, Minnesota ranked third.

See Retirement Quotes about The Best Places to Retire to keep things in proper perspective:

Friday, September 5, 2008

Retirees May Resist Moving to a Smaller Retirement Home

More than 78 million baby boomers are approaching retirement, and, while most will likely decide to stay in their present houses or homre, some will be relocating.

"For many people 55 and older," reports Associated Press reporter Adrian Sainz in an article in
Forbes, "making the decision to move from a house into a smaller apartment, condo, assisted-living facility or nursing home can be a source of stress, apprehension and fear."

"It's overwhelming for both sides, both physically and mentally," added Nan Hayes, president of
MoveSeniors.com, one of many Web sites which helps seniors find relocation resources.

"Apparently age makes it difficult to maintain a single-family home. Other times, financial circumstances, the desire to be closer to family, health issues, a spouse's death or other crises force a move, requiring emotional decisions by seniors and their adult children," wrote

There are a few quotes at
Retirement Quotes about Where to Retire to things in proper perspective:

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Best Retirement Book on The Best Places to Retire

Beth Wateham, a Vice President at Simon and Schuster, just sent me a galley copy of Retirement Without Borders: How to Retire Abroad in Mexico, France, Italy, Spain, Costa Rica, Panama, and Other Sunny Foreign Places (And the Secret to Making It Happen Without Stress) by Barry Golson. This book with the Scribner imprint is for those retirees who want to consider retiring abroad. The book will be released in December 2008.

Retirement Without Borders is the best book that I have read about the best places to retire abroad and I will be giving a testimonial for the back cover requested by Beth Wateham (she claims she is a big fan of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free on Amazon.com.

Here is the testimonial which will also appear on Amazon.com:

    Retirement Without Borders

    Do you have the urge to leave the American "rat race" behind - and live the retirement life that you have always dreamed about in another country? Then you definitely need Retirement Without Borders.

    This book not only shows you the best places
    where to retire in the world, but also gives ten great reasons for retiring somewhere else and six main reasons why perhaps you should not even consider moving to another country in the first place. This is a highly inspirational and informative guide for retirees and soon-to-be retirees who are considering retiring abroad but have no place to begin.

    Author Barry Golson along with Thia Golson and other expert expats help you consider the dream, explore the dream, show you the dream in several countries, and tell you honestly what the pitfalls are. There is much, much more. Anyone who has thought about living overseas should read this book. Retirement Without Borders is absolutely, positively the best book that I have read on why, where, and how to retire abroad.

    Ernie J. Zelinski
    Author of the international best-seller
    How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor

Monday, August 11, 2008

A Free Retirement Gift - E-book with 237 retirement quotes and retirement sayings

The 237 Best Things Ever Said about Retirement - A Free Retirement Gift

Free Retirement Gifts

Here are some of the topics covered in The 237 Best Things Ever Said about Retirement

  • Achieving Financial Abundance for Your Retirement
  • Advice on How to Retire Happy
  • Advice on Whether to Take Early Retirement
  • Definition of Retirement
  • Difficulties of Retirement
  • Early Retirement
  • Freedom from Cubicle Life Gained in Retirement
  • Having a Retirement Plan
  • Health Tips for the Retired and Semi-Retired
  • How Rich You Should Be When You Die
  • How to Have a Good Day — Everyday When You Retire
  • How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
  • Importance of Friends in Retirement
  • Importance of Money for Retirement
  • Investing Your Retirement Funds Wisely
  • Keeping Active in Retirement
  • Longevity
  • Making the Adjustment to Retirement
  • Men and Women in Retirement
  • Misers Holding on to Their Retirement Money
  • Paradox of Retirement
  • People Contemplating Retirement

Download the Free E-book (in PDF format) with 237 retirement quotes and retirement sayings placed in over 40 categories at the link below:

Retirement Gifts

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

1001 Best Quotes and Sayings about Work and the Workplace

My Gift to the Writers of the World

Work image

This free E-book in PDF format called 1001 Best Things Ever Said about Work and the Workplace is the ultimate book of quotations about work for the professional speaker, journalist, author, career advisor, life coach, and connoisseur of great quotations. It also makes great reading for just about everyone.

Refer to the Table of Contents and you will see that this E-book is organized into over 125 subjects and categories for easy reference. What's more, all you have to do is place your cursor on the category and you will taken to the respective page for the category.

Partial Table of Contents of Subject Areas

  • Ability
  • Accomplishing the Impossible
  • Action
  • Aggravations of Work
  • Ambition
  • Artists at Work
  • Bad Days at Work
  • Boring Work
  • Breaking New Ground
  • Bureaucracy
  • Busyness
  • Careers
  • Career Advice
  • Change in the Workplace
  • Committees
  • Communication in the Workplace
  • Competence
  • Competition
  • Computers
  • Creativity in the Workplace
  • Crisis Management
  • Dating People at Work
  • Delegation

You can place 1001 Best Things Ever Said about Work (and the Workplace) on your website as an important retirement resource for your readers and clients.

Alternatively, you can place links to my two websites where people can download this E-book for free:

Creative Free E-books at the Real Success Resource Center

If you would like a JPG of cover of the E-book for your website, let me know.

Ernie Zelinski
Author of the Bestseller
How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
(Over 95,000 copies sold and published in 7 foreign languages)
and the International Bestseller
The Joy of Not Working
(Over 225,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

Retirement Is One of the Best Retirement Gifts

Best Places to Retire

The Best Retirement Gift in the World by Ernie Zelinski

Retirement Gift Book

Over 95,000 Copies Sold
Published in 7 Foreign Languages

Purchase How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free on Amazon.com before you submit your retirement letter with this direct link:

Also see How to Retire Early and Happy on Squidoo

General Quotations About Gifts to Help You Select a Retirment Gift

He was one of those men who possess almost every gift, except the gift of the power to use them.
— Charles Kingsley

All great men are gifted with intuition. They know without reasoning or analysis, what they need to know.
— Alexis Carrel

A sense of humor is a gift from God, but like any gift, it can be abused.
— Cal Samra

God's gifts put man's best dreams to shame.
-- Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The world is put back by the death of every one who has to sacrifice the development of his or her peculiar gifts to conventionality.
-- Florence Nightengale

She had an unequaled gift. . . of squeezing big mistakes into small opportunities.
-- Henry James, Jr.

We start with gifts. Merit comes from what we make of them.
-- Jean Toomer

If you can look back on your life with contentment, you have one of man's most precious gifts -- a selective memory.
-- Jim Fiebig

As a rule, indeed, grown-up people are fairly correct on matters of fact; it is in the higher gift of imagination that they are so sadly to seek.
-- Kenneth Grahame

A thick skin is a gift from God.
-- Konrad Adenauer

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Retirement Looking Bleak for Many Americans

"Australia provides the model for retirement planning," says Jane White of Retirement Solutions. "With a forced contribution rate of 9% of salary from all employers, along with much higher limits for employee contributions than Americans, Australians, on average, will retire with assets of more than $500,000. The Aussies are putting our retirement system to shame."

Indeed retirement is looking bleak for many Americans. Elderhostel, a nonprofit that runs educational travel programs for retirees, expects enrollment to drop 7 percent this year, said President Jim Moses. This is just a one sign of many that Americans are facing financial problems in retirement.

Another sign that Americans may have a bleak retirement is that the baby-boomer generation about to retire is in no rush to pay off their mortgages according to the third annual Affluent Boomers at 60 survey from Bell Investment Advisors.

The prior generation of retirees had a major goal prior to retirement: "Burn the mortgage!"

Not so with the baby-boomer generation. More than 55 percent of boomers surveyed who currently hold mortgages do not plan to pay their mortgages off until at least their 70s, and likely never.

Of the 500 boomers surveyed approximately two-thirds currently have mortgages on their residences. The remaining third either rent or do not have a mortgage.

Download the Free E-book The 237 Best Things Ever Said about Retirement by Ernie Zelinski at:

Creative Free E-books at the Real Success Resource Center