April 25, 2012

I Need Your Help: It's Time For a New Satisfying Retirement Book

It has been about a year since Building a Satisfying Retirement became available as a Kindle book on Amazon. I have played with various pricing schemes and finally settled on $.99. The book's purpose is to promote the blog and my retirement experiences, not to make money, so that low price is working well. With a circulation approaching 1,000 (plus the 400 free copies of the first edition given away) it has achieved its goal. I also want to publicly thank Barbara Torris at Retire in Style blog who has run a display ad for the book for several months without any requests from me. Her generosity is greatly appreciated.

So here is my dilemma and how you can help. It is time to start a second book and I'm stumped for a central focus or topic. It probably should have something to do with retirement (!) but avoid the financial focus that so many books in the field dwell on. This next book could take a few directions: basically a biography of what I have experienced in almost 11 years of retirement, a guide for those who are looking forward to retirement but are still a few years away, or something for those of us already enjoying our new life but wanting more information. If so, how can I make that different from the first book?

Or, maybe there is a whole new approach I haven't even given much thought to. Maybe I should skip a book entirely and put together a series of videos or audio "lessons" along with work books on different retirement topics. Maybe it could be a photography book of the great stuff Betty has produced, both on our trips, and from her artistic efforts.

I don't know. But, I trust your judgment and input. So, I would appreciate your thinking for a little while about would might be the best approach. What would reach the most people and help solve the most problems or be the most enjoyable?

Leave your ideas, thoughts, suggestions, and creative flights of fancy below. Don't feel restricted by what I have mentioned as possibilities, though if one of those approaches seems like a winner, tell me.

Again, the goal is not to make money to retire (already did that!) but to have fun creating something new, serve a need, produce something that the market will like, and will benefit Satisfying Retirement blog. 

Help me with my next project!

30 comments:

  1. Hi Bob,
    It has taken you ten years to build a satisfying retirement. What were the missteps? I cannot be the only one who struggles this first few years.
    Do you know people who retired to the wrong place and work through it? Start with less money then they thought they should have ? Illness took away some of their dreams, so they pivoted.
    You are one of the few who I think could take those stories and not be negative. I come back to your blog often to read the variety of bloggers you list. Maybe a cool set of interviews with a variety of people in or near retirement with struggles and triumphs.
    Last, your post on what types of "non jobs" a retiree can get- volunteering, camp hosting, maybe groups who invite in retiree? Where de do older (not elderly) people find companionship. We are so different than our parents in that most of us cannot imagine playing tennis or golf every day - because our worlds have been so much more. How did the person get to that point?

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  2. I am new to your blog and have not read your previous book, but people's stories that Janette mentioned would certainly interest me, especially those of individuals who are overcoming or have successfully overcome setbacks in health, finances or relationships to have a satisfying retirement.

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  3. Well, what I find interesting and would look for in a book or article and might be some real life stories and interviews - from women in particular. There is no shortage of material on "dream" retirements. How about more on down to earth or even hard-scrabble living after 65? Retirement doesn't always translate into a dream stage of living but simply a life moving on day to day as best it can.
    How about people living alone or as an introvert...or both? Retirement for introverts vs extroverts would be interesting. A study of how different personalities thrive or falter after retirement?
    And maybe more about the years further out...much of what we read is for newly retired...how do things pan out after the novelty wears off?
    Just a few thoughts to chew on...not that you need them! You are a fountain of interesting ideas. Good luck on the next book.

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  4. I myself am a sucker for the multiple points of view approach to non fiction books.

    Put out the call for individuals across the country who have had satisfying retirements (and maybe a few with less satisfying retirements). Interview them in depth for information and inspiration, then put in your own viewpoints about what you feel they did right, what they did wrong, what you would do to improve their situation (if applicable) etc.

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    1. Just saw that I said essentially the same thing as Jane O. That's what I get for commenting before reading the comments already posted. A belated "well put and I agree" to Jane.

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  5. Bob, You are right to steer away from the financial aspect of retiring/retirement, since you already touched on it in your previous book, and the fact that the subject is beaten to death too often by others. I for one really enjoy books like The Millionaire Next Door series. Perhaps something akin to that would be interesting, whereby you interview people who have successfully navigated the retirement waters. Others may be surprised by the varied background and successes of those profiled. You might even have a built in set of people to profile based upon those who frequent your blog site.

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  6. I like the ideas already presented. First-person interviews of successful retirees who have been retired for awhile would be inspirational and motivating for the newly-retired. Maybe include their ideas on what to do or not to do to get ready for retirement, or in the early years of retirement. Non-successful experiences with guidelines/suggestions on how to fix or avoid the issues would be helpful too.

    I would like to see stories about singles and how they handle the various sides of retirement - the lack of a daily group of people to interact with, living alone long-term, traveling solo, etc.

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  7. There seems to be a consensus here Bob. Down to earth choices help people feel comfortable in their skin. Interviewing middle class people about their retirement experience could be a very good second choice for a book. Not everyone can buy an island! I think that is why we both have a following. We write about retirement down here at ground level. Good luck!

    Barbara

    Did you see Galen's guest post? Take a look. I would love for you to do something like it one of these days for me.
    http://www.retireinstyleblog.com/2012/04/what-is-your-excuse-this-grandmother.html

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    1. No problem, Barbara. Let's discuss at your convenience.

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  8. Learning how to live together 24/7 would be a good topic I think. As a writer and artist I need quiet alone time. That all changed when my husband retired. We don't want a larger home but I really need a room of my own. I'd like to know how others navigate this issue.

    I also like the idea of a picture book. If you have great photos of things you have done and places you've been you could weave it into a story of the journey. That might be fun for you as well as the readers.
    b

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    1. Oh yes, Barbara...I forgot that part! It is not easy to be with a spounse 24/7. Sorry guys, but when my husband leaves for a few hours I take a big sigh and wallow in the delicious solitude. I am sure he does the same. We try to give each other time and space but it's not always easy or enough, especially in the winter. Would love to hear other's experiences.
      Also...checked out your new blog, Barbara. It is new to me but looks great! I plan to start reading it right now.

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    2. Thanks Jane! I hope you enjoy the blog.
      b

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  9. I, too, enjoyed the responses and think they are good ideas. I retired early at 53 and have been retired seven years. I find it is a year to year reinvention of my time. That might be something people would be interested in. It changes as your interest or income evolves, parents age, etc. I also thing couple interviews would be interesting. Another possible topic would be how couples have either retired simultaneously or at separate times and the outcome for them--plus adjustments. Health,diet and exercise options are relevant also. Thanks! Really enjoy your blog.

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  10. Thanks, everyone! These comments so far are exactly why I posed the question. I hadn't though of the interview aspect but that would be fun to do and informative for everyone.

    Keep the ideas coming. I'll mull them all over and let you know what I've decided.

    Time together and time apart is the subject of a post coming up, suggested by RJ. It is a big problem for a lot of couples.

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  11. My Idea is "Satisfying Retirement - One Size Does Not Fit All". The "does not fit all" could go into areas like:

    * The amount of resources you have available
    *Your physical limitations - I am deaf so I don't need to for instance be near orchestra/plays/etc.
    * Your expectations - Even though I could spend more,I dreamed of living a frugal retirement; the opposite is true for many.
    * Some go into retirement by themselves; many others will face a good part but not all of it alone
    * Some like retirement community living; some like to be close to friends/relatives; some just want a "Walden Pond" type retirement.

    You get the idea I'm sure...

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    1. Excellent feedback, RJ. One size does not fit all is a very apt description of our journey. Each retirement is built from scratch. I'll work with that.

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    2. yeah, this is kind of a pet peeve of mine. It seems like every magazine and many books publish the "best places to retire". They almost always insist that it is near a college town, be a certain population size, and offer certain cultural benefits. All of these things are pretty low on my priority lists. I live about 20 miles from a major college town and have only sought out its cultural offering a handful of times in the last twelve years. It would be nice to see someone recognize that not everyone has the same desires for retirement. That is quit putting us all in the same bucket ;)

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  12. here's the only tip i have. in 1975 before my hitch was done in the navy seabees a buddy of mine who was also short gave me a book to read. it was called Working and it was by Studs Terkel. it wasn't about resumes, interviews or the best fields to go into. it was about what people did and how they felt about it? my buddies reasoning was that we where entering a period in our lives that we would be in for at leased the next 40 years. he was a wise man. my retirement is not yours, mine is not yours or anyone else. stick to their story no matter what.

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    1. I read that book several years ago and remember enjoying the stories of what people did. Your mention reminds me I should re-read it as prep for the next book. Thanks, Fred.

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  13. How about dealing with the feelings of - for lack of a better term - Guilt?

    - Feelings of guilt at being able to retire when so many others are likely to have no opportunity. Whether we are able to retire due to thoughtful (or lucky?) strategies of investment and/or frugal lifestyle. Or due to the good fortune of being born into an advantaged/educated household. Still, when I see so many hardworking people - and there ARE many hardworking poor people - who have no real hopes of retiring, i have to accept that the world is indeed not fair. Still, it rankles me that working hard does not guarantee some kind of retirement opportunity (Social Security alone, though helpful, is not enough).

    When I was retiring from my teaching career, so many colleagues said that I certainly "deserved it". Some of being able to retire was due to hard work and strategic living, but much was also due to a small inheritance and the larger inheritance of good health and good education. There are lots of hardworking and less fortunate individuals who are also deserving.

    - Also feelings of Guilt from no longer being "productive" in the typical 9 to 5 style. Not necessarily new, I know, but many of us don't feel useful unless we are on that blasted "hamster wheel" of the work world.

    All sorts of these feelings of guilt can be turned into appreciation for whatever gifts we have earned or been arbitrarily given, but for me, it has taken some time and processing.

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    1. Excellent ideas, Steve. Guilt is something I hadn't really considered how it fits into retirement, but it clearly does. In addition to maybe making sense in a new book, you have certainly given me a few ideas for future blog posts.

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  14. This is a really great question! I like the idea of a guide for people looking forward to retirement but it's a few years away. It seems like many of your articles focus on the personal development side of retirement. Maybe that could be a slant? I love your idea of venturing into another form of media like a course format with audios or videos.

    Good luck! I hope you find the perfect idea for you and others.

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    1. Hi, Sandra.

      I've watched you evolve your blog over the nearly 2 years I have been reading it...it is about time for you to produce a book or video course (shot on the Big Island!) too.. I kind of like the idea of trying another medium but am not sure who the target would be. Oh well...it will sort itself out.

      Thanks and have a great weekend.

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  15. Here's what you need to do. Start a Gutsy Retirement Hangout on Google + and have a panel of close to retirement and already retired people once a week where you host the show and ask questions every week based on a specific theme. I've been doing that on Jason Matthews Hangout for Indie Authors. That way, we get to see and listen to a "show" about specific topics. This would bring you a whole new crowd and you's host your own show. Here's the one I was on, and I know they are looking for new content. Ask me and I'll put you in touch with Jason, and Larry. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O933_pBeGmI&feature=colike

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    1. OK, something entirely new. I'll take a look and see if it makes sense for me. Thanks, Sonia!

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    2. I know it might sound a little weird, but who doesn't like to listen to something specific that interests them?

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  16. Bob I love your blog. It's been helpful and informative but I found you through another blog about living frugal but richly in retirement. Your title says you have to work at retirement. That is what I look for in these two blogs. I look for suggestions on how to work at it and do better with what little I have. So I would love to read about people who have been retired for a number of years with a smaller amount of income and have had to adjust, rather than those who have had plenty in retirement.

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    1. Good ideas, Sue. I retired with much less than the "experts" said I needed, and that was before the Great Recession. So, I can fully relate to making it all work on less. I know I have a blog post on that very subject coming up in May, but as part of a new book it also makes sense.

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  17. I am working on something similar to these suggestions but from the perspective of people, especially early-retiring baby boomers, who have retired or are planning to retire to Mexico. I can tell you that it sure is interesting to learn the many ways that people are making it work. Good luck on your new book.

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    1. That will be interesting. I've always wondered what factors prompt someone to make such a major decision and if the choice is ever regretted. Keep us up-to-date on your project.

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