Monday, April 04, 2005

Book Excerpt: "FREE GULLIVER: Six Swift Lessons in Life Planning"

Another excerpt from FREE GULLIVER: Six Swift Lessons in Life Planning. On April 18th, the author of the book, Tripp Friedler will be a guest on this web site. He will post an introductory comment, and then check in periodically during the next few days to respond to comments posted in response to his. It should be a great opportunity to share some knowledge and get some good information and advice.

Staying in a job you hate is crazy.

The first question I ask clients who want to talk about retirement is simple: Why? I try to get them to rethink the concept of retirement by defining the word. Most definitions I get are a variation of a simple idea: "Doing what you want, when you want." Under this definition, most people who love their jobs are already retired.

Look at Michael Jordan. Here is a man who so loved what he did that he refused to retire -- in fact, he added two more championships to his name. Many celebrities, athletes, actors and television journalists continue to work well beyond the "pinnacle" of their careers. While they might not have had the success of their youth, they were still productive. Their love of their profession was so strong that they refused to quit. Why should you quit?

Next I ask my clients what part of their work they most enjoy. What would they like to continue doing into retirement? Most of us have in our jobs a few tasks we love, and the luckiest of us have a whole day filled with enjoyable activities. I ask my clients to identify these pleasurable activities, and then try to make those tasks compose a majority of their time at work. I once heard a great line that sums up this philosophy:

Frank Sinatra did not move pianos.

The point is clear: focus on your passions and talents, and try not to get bogged down in the chores you hate. Be a Gulliver -- live large -- and don't let the little things tie you down. If you concentrate on what you love in your work and pursue it fully, your "Golden Years" can begin today.


1. List the things you love most about what you do for work.

2. Do you love these things enough to continue doing them during your retirement?

3. What percentage of your work time do you spend on these activities?

4. What can you do right now to increase the percentage of time spent working on these activities?

5. What do you think you could get paid to do only those activities you enjoy so much you'd continue to do them after you retire?

6. Do you think you can live on that income, considering the other resources you have (current savings, social security payments, etc.)?

7. What steps can you take to increase the income you earn from doing these activities?

8. List people you think have retired successfully.

9. Explain what you admire about their retirements.

10. How can you emulate what you like about these retirements?

1 comment:

T said...

The entire concept of "retirement" is misleading in our society.

First of all, 65 is not old in today's society. It is in fact middle age today. As I witness my 90 year old parents and their friends who are still active and involved, this has become more apparent.

Secondly, a second career is perhaps the correct definition of doing something you love to do.

As for myself, I never intend to "retire" ...I love how I have defined my life.