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The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to The Rest of Your Life    by Jan Cullinane & Cathy Fitzgerald order for
New Retirement
by Jan Cullinane
Order:  USA  Can
Rodale, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

While most retirement books focus on finances, The New Retirement is a comprehensive guide to the psychological aspects of retirement planning - the authors quote Lee Iacocca, 'Everybody says you've got to get ready financially. No, no, you've got to get ready psychologically', and inform us that 'We are spending more of our lives in retirement than at any time in history'. Different from other retirement books is the Who, What, Where, and How approach. Though content is oriented to United States citizens, much of the information can be generalized. Many pages are earmarked with historical notations, e.g. 'Ida May Fuller ... was the first recipient of Social Security benefits.' (Fuller died at the age of 126 years!)

Appendices provide checklists, forms, and worksheets, and a Resources section lists websites relative to each chapter. Charts and forms for personal assessment needs, and directives for health care, organ donation, and a living will are all part of the package. The Index supplies quick access to specific subject matter. Recommended books of related material provide references for the reader, e.g. Dr. Martin Seligman's Authentic Happiness, Marika and Howard Stone's Too Young to Retire, and Jimmy Carter's The Virtues of Aging. Specific questions addressed include: 'What Makes Retirement Successful?', 'How Do You Make Your Money Last as Long as You Do?', and 'Where Should You Move?'.

Suggested locations include Alabama, California, North Carolina, Virginia, Canada, Costa Rica, and Mexico. 'True Life' case studies give realistic stories of individuals and couples in or approaching retirement. Questions answered include 'Who lives in ... ?', 'What's the cost?', and 'Where are the doctors?' Strengths and weaknesses are listed, and a 'Report Card' (graded as A, A-, B, B+ ...) provided for the locale considered. Advice includes helpful hints to ease into retirement, preparing for the psychological effect of the 'no-longer structured 9-to-5 days', leaving more time to engage in leisure activities. Among many suggestions are the harvesting of a support system, and deciding whether to retire in the current environment, or relocate to another state or country. Tax issues that affect retirement are addressed.

This is a useful resource for future planning of what a single female, male, or couple will do beyond their employment years. Cullinane and Fitzgerald have done an exceptional job of organizing researched material into a leisurely-paced read. I especially enjoyed tidbits like 'The distinction of oldest employee goes to Robert 'Robbie' Eisenberg, who at 103 was still working ... in California, overseeing zipper production.'

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