"Useful insights and exercises to help you make the best choices for this new stage in life regarding work, leisure, health, and where you'll live." --Steve Vernon, CBSmoneywatch.com
"Can help Americans sort through the retirement lifestyle they want and need, instead of the one that Madison Avenue wants to sell them." --Robert Powell, MarketWatch.com
"A useful, practical roadmap for anyone thinking about retirement, no matter how distant."
"Filled with exercises and resources on such matters as making lasting friendships, evaluating medical treatment plans, and finding the ideal place to settle down."
—Employee Benefit News
"Retirement researcher and writer John Nelson argues that there are at least five other key components of a successful retirement, in addition to the financial one."
“Parachute for Retirement isn’t just a book—it’s a step-by-step guide to planning your retirement life.”
—Wall Street Journal
“A nice compliment to the more typical IRA-intensive school of retirement planning.”
From the Inside Flap
First, you'll notice that it captures the continuing evolution of retirement as a life stage. Society is irrevocably remaking the old retirement into a new retirement--even though no one knows yet, for sure, what that will mean. This book helps you prepare for that momentous shift.
Second, you'll notice that this edition provides you with additional planning tools and techniques. Even with all the uncertainty, you'll still have more freedom in retirement, than in any other stage of life. This book helps you design, and take concrete steps toward, the life of your dreams.
The emergence of the new retirement has been hastened by economic turmoil. Rather than being an anomaly, the Great Recession is representative of a long-term shift. It wasn't simply a deviation, and then a return to normal. Instead, it reset the expectations for what normal is. (The new normal?)
How does all this affect you, and your plans for retirement well-being?
Financially, we've seen our retirement accounts and home values take the roller-coaster ride of a lifetime. Traditional pensions, which offer a guaranteed monthly benefit, have increasingly shown signs of inadequate employer funding. A similar problem on a larger scale is being faced by Social Security. The ballooning federal debt complicates long-term fixes for the Social Security and Medicare funding problems. At all levels, governments will be forced to re-think the assistance they provide to a rapidly growing number of older citizens. Uncertainty has prompted many to keep working as long as possible. Have we now come to view continued employment as an expected part of retirement?
Geographically, we've begun to think more deeply about where we really want to live. Rather than speculating on future home values, we're viewing our home and community as environments that support the life we want to live.
Medically, we know retirement is a life stage that brings increased interaction with the medical delivery system. But the system itself will be undergoing significant changes in the coming years--just when we'll personally need more care. One effect of economic stress is to drain our biological vitality, so it's even more important for each of us to build that up, directly.
Psychologically, the concept of retirement happiness as carefree decades of leisure is now out of date, and out of step. It's being replaced by our desire for a deeper sense of fulfillment, and engagement in life. From now on, we're more likely to recognize that our happiness is connected to our sense of community, than our level of consumption.
You can use this book to gain insight and make plans for all these areas of your life, because it's a unique kind of retirement book. It's not a finance book (although it is about prosperity). It's not a medical book (although it is about health). And it's not a psychology book (although it is about happiness).
Instead, you might think of this as an introductory course into all the aspects of designing your retirement life. Or if you've already studied retirement, you might think of this as your capstone course, pulling all of your studies together. Either way, you'll find this book to be both a philosophical, and a practical, resource.
Finally, here's a bit of heart-felt advice for you. The best way to read this book is to actually do the exercises, fill in the blanks, and write all over the pages. We provide you with a process for designing your retirement life. But you, Dear Reader, must provide the content. That's how you make it into your book, instead of our book. After all, it's your retirement, isn't it?