A management consultant turns his attention to “managing” retirement.
In this well-researched, intelligently written book, Wilson (Innovative Reward Systems for the Changing Workplace, 2002, etc.) suggests to retirees, “This is the only time left where you may be able to make choices about where, how, who and why you want to live your life.” The author first calls upon other credible sources to present his interpretation of “the ten stages that define a lifetime,” a perceptive if not entirely original take on the cradle-to-grave life cycle. This opening establishes a platform for the remainder of the book, which concentrates chapter by chapter on big later-in-life issues, including time, money, relationships, and health. Wilson cites studies and draws on personal interviews he conducted to address each subject with authority in a nonjudgmental way. A key point is that “living a purposeful life, one where you are engaged and feel a sense of importance for how you spend your time, leads to remarkable value for you.” In chapters that are instructive and engaging, Wilson walks readers through content that, for some, could provoke much self-examination. For example, in the chapter “Who Are You Going to Be?” 10 different lifestyle models are defined and described; whether describing a “Traveler, Explorer, Adventurer,” or a “Volunteer/Social Activist/One Who Gives Back,” these models should serve to help people nearing retirement critically evaluate their own skills, passions, and desires. One of the book’s strengths is its core message that people should develop their own “master plan” to enjoy a fruitful retirement. Having neatly woven together the previous chapters, Wilson uses the end of the book to guide the reader through a cleverly designed, step-by-step interactive process that culminates in a personalized master plan. The process requires considerable time and thought, answering questions and completing various forms, but those who make a serious effort are sure to be rewarded. Wilson is keenly aware that retirement can create anxiety and uncertainty; his writing exudes sensitivity and understanding, and he is realistic yet encouraging in his wise counsel.
A pragmatic, structured approach to carefully planning for retirement.