Firsthand advice for people who never stop working about how to retire.
Debut author McIntyre is well-positioned to counsel the hard-charging, goal-oriented, perfectionist Type A personalities his book targets. Despite earning a generous salary as a manager at a Fortune 500 company, with a great family, excellent health and an insatiable drive to succeed, he was still anxious and unhappy. Why? What follows is his account of taking a very early retirement, leaping at the age of 46 into the abyss of the post-workaday world and finding ways to fill his time with things that give broader meaning to his life. Along the way, in Type A fashion, he lays out a practical method for structuring the transition. First, cogitate on and list your passions, then decide which of them has the most meaning, choose the top finisher and go out and make it happen. In the author’s case, several practice runs helped him narrow his focus. He always wanted to draw, so he took classes, discovered that he’s surprisingly good but found it too much like work. After a few other stabs, he eventually found a better fit as a volunteer at a community hospital. There, he harnessed his Type A energies to whatever needed doing, right down to swabbing just-vacated mattresses. In McIntyre’s case, meaning is closely linked to his Christian beliefs and his self-professed wish to be God’s servant. This Christian orientation explains his somewhat sheepish disclosure about the Buddhist roots of Vipassana meditation, a method for stilling the senses that he prescribes as particularly helpful for Type A personalities with minds like squirming toads. The Buddhist-Christian nexus takes the book marginally out of the ordinary, but elsewhere, the heavy dose of take-time-to-smell-the-roses style advice is hardly new. In his weaker moments, McIntyre tends to belabor the obvious right up to the point of being inane. Do readers need to be told that it’s okay to watch a little television or go to the movies on a weekday afternoon, or that vacation travel isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be? Also, it should be noted, the problem of money after retirement is no issue for McIntyre because a company buy-out made him rich. Still, his good-natured, helpful nature wins out.
Useful if not searing insight for retirees and those planning for it, Type A or otherwise.