• How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

  • Retirement Wisdom That You Won't Get from Your Financial Advisor
  • By: Ernie J. Zelinski
  • Narrated by: J. Charles
  • Length: 9 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (429 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free offers inspirational advice on how to enjoy life to its fullest. The key to achieving an active and satisfying retirement involves a great deal more than having adequate financial resources; it also encompasses all other aspects of life - interesting leisure activities, creative pursuits, physical well-being, mental well-being, and solid social support.

In How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, bestselling author Ernie J. Zelinski guides you to:

  • Gain courage to take early retirement; in fact, the earlier the better.
  • Put money in proper perspective so that you don’t need a million dollars to retire.
  • Generate purpose in your retirement life with meaningful creative pursuits.
  • Follow your dreams instead of someone else’s.
  • Take charge of your mental, physical, and spiritual health.
  • Create and maintain great friends - a key ingredient for a great retirement.
  • Above all, make your retirement years the best time of your life.

With its friendly format and positive tone, How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free offers retirement wisdom that you won’t get from your financial advisor. This wisdom will prove to be much more important for creating an active, satisfying, and happy retirement than how much money you have saved.

©2009 Ernie J. Zelinski (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“To be sure, retirement books are a glutted field, but most focus on money and financial planning. They view the finish line as the last day of employment. That’s where Zelinski’s begins.” ( National Post)

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What listeners say about How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    61
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Painful but valuable

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend reading, not listening, to this book. That way you can skim through parts. I may not be the intended audience and didn't like the evangalistic approach or demonizing work. I enjoy the work I do, AND I'm looking forward to retirement.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

This book really did get me thinking about retirement in a different way and I'm glad I stuck it out. But I found it painful to get through. I did like the second half better than the first half, when he gave practical suggestions.

How could the performance have been better?

The excited tone made this book hard to tolerate for me. I nearly gave up multiple times, and I really did pull the plug on my ipod after listening to the first 20 minutes.

16 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Lots of air but possibly worth a listen

Zelinski focuses on the non-financial aspects of retirement, i.e. happiness and health. Like most self-help books it's heavily padded and redundant. I fast-forwarded through at least 30% of it.

Having said that, it is essential to have interests and social connections in place for retirement, and these take thought and planning. If Zelinski gets me or you to do this he's done good work. The book is probably worth a listen for those of us approaching the big R.

I found the reader's voice and delivery annoying. That's purely subjective, of course!

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Light and entertaining, interesting profiles

Would you consider the audio edition of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free to be better than the print version?

This review is based only on the audio edition.

Any additional comments?

Zelinsky's book is light-hearted and entertaining with a number of profiles of people who live full and satisfying lives within modest financial resources. Many of the recommended ideas are not necessarily unique, but the spirit of the book is engaging and fun. There are a wealth of titles in print which focus on the serious financial side of retirement. But I would recommend this title for a refreshing break from current (2012) economic worries and a little inspiration.

7 people found this helpful

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BEFORE YOU RETIRE...

... read this book! Your financial advisor will help you with retirement pensions, but this book will teach you how to live retirement to its fullest, and all the personal ways you should map out and plan for, and WHY, before that big day of your biggest freedom. Easy to understand and so informative... I recommend it to everyone who is preparing for or is already in their retirement.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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I don't need motivation, I need skills

Would you try another book from Ernie J. Zelinski and/or J. Charles?

probably not

What about J. Charles’s performance did you like?

animated

Was How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free worth the listening time?

no

Any additional comments?

The entire book was nothing but motivational speaking. I expected and paid for HOW to do retire happy, wild and free, not WHY I should.

10 people found this helpful

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Eye opening

If you have ever dreamed of life after winning the lottery or retiring, ypu need to read this book. It provides thought provoking discussion on what you really want from your life. I am so glad I found this now, before I get to retirement. I needed to hear this. Having it read to me on Audible was like hearing sage advice from a friend who wasn't afraid to tell it like it is and make me think about things differently.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Big insights Important & Lost by unending repetitions

Author entertains and teaches through effective story telling. He main themes fade as he be bats each concept through excessively repeating over and over. Easy to tune out and that loses the concepts.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Thought provoking

Many ideas on what to do in retirement and good advice on positive and healthy attitudes and habits to adopt. Too many quotes and some ideas repeated across chapters. Quick read./ listen.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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As Terrible As It Gets

I was hoping to gain some insights into my coming retirement from this book, but I did not. The advice is formulaic and tired. Maybe part of the problem is that the material is over ten years old. Yes - we do need a book that focused on the non-financial aspects of retirement planning. That is true. But this is not that book. There is no advice offered here that you wouldn't read in a two-page Marketwatch article. Have hobbies. Have friends. You can retire earlier than you think (the whole misguided FIRE movement came later, I think). It's awful.

Add two more insults to that injury. First, the narrator is overwraught. He emphasizes things too much, and tries to add drama to every sentence, drawing out words and adding syllables. Blecch. Audiobook narrators need to have some style, to be sure, but he makes a mess of it. And finally, enough with the damn quotations! This author cannot go more than 10 sentences without offering a vaguely related quote from some famous person, or, as I am tired of hearing, "...a wise unknown person once said..."

The book is a lazy attempt to capitalize on a subject that needs to be addressed - the non-financial planning of your retirement. A good portion of the book is the narrator reading complimentary letters written to the author. "Oh, your book is so wonderful!" "Your book confirmed everything my wife and I have learned in retirement!" blah blah blah. I had to quit half-way through. It stinks.

If you've done even modest reading on retirement topics, skip this book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • DC
  • 10-09-18

what to do after retirement

the book explores which activities you can dedicate to after retiring. good for those who ara about to retire and ara agraid of getting bored after retirement. a good book. It's not focused on the financial aspect of retirement

1 person found this helpful

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  • Derek
  • 04-07-20

awful self promoting

awful book where the author spouts his other publications, which, based on this, I would pass by

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kev Thompson
  • 07-04-21

Very good

I have just retired and am reading for second time very good advice well
narrated
Very enjoyable.

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  • janne gordon
  • 01-03-21

A book for us all to read

So much great advice in this book. I might even buy the hard copy so I can underline important points and use it as a work book now.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mike
  • 04-02-22

Great book well read also

Brilliant, enjoyable, thought provoking and rewarding. I really enjoyed this one. listened whilst I bushwalked.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • JAC
  • 01-18-22

A bit dated and sexist

Perhaps this book is better suited to an older male demographic than a pre-retirement female. Much of the book is anecdotes and ‘humerous’ stories that did not resonate with me. Some valuable tips but nothing of significance and nothing that’s not common knowledge.

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  • shazade224
  • 03-15-21

LOVED IT...

I truly had a FEAR of retiring, but after reading a few retirement books.
This was the stand out book for me... Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.
I loved this book. It's a tad slow to begin, but keep listening.
I am NOW very excited and looking forward to retiring end of 2021.
At 57 years young with now sooo many things on my list to do....