“What Color is your Parachute? (For Retirement)”

What Color Is Your Parachute? for Retirement, Second Edition: Planning a Prosperous, Healthy, and Happy Future

Review by Jessica Fisher, Esq., Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Book by: John E. Nelson and Richard N. Bolles

This book begins with a history of retirement and then transitions into what the authors call the “New Retirement.” This concept of the New Retirement is very interesting because it is not only about finances it is about your overall well-being which incorporates the following six different fields: social, psychological, biological, medical, financial, and geographical. I find this concept to be very different from what my older clients today think about retirement and I think it would be very difficult to get one of them to sit down and read this book about retirement. This book would not be suitable for an older person who may be on the edge of retirement; however, this book may be able to reach the younger generations who do not really know what to think about retirement or how to reach it. There are various exercises throughout the book that enable the reader to customize his or her own retirement and determine what is truly important to that person.

The book is useful in that it points out different aspects of retirement like how marketers force feed us one view of retirement and we do not think of other options, which I thought was very true. In addition, the book allows you to activate your three most important core values or guiding principles through two different questionnaires, one for females and one for males and other exercises throughout the book.

This book was too long for someone who does not have a lot of time and is trying to figure out their retirement in their spare time while working and doing other things. The authors could have gotten to the point much faster in many of the chapters and shortened the book and made it more relevant. This book is an easy read and introduces concepts that were easy to understand, but it did seem to be going in opposite directions at some points. Also, it seemed to go on tangents about different approaches to retirement historically, which may lose some people.

There is a nice summary and exercise at the end for how to start achieving your ideal retirement now by incorporating all of your core values. I really like this concept so that overall you can have a better sense of well-being instead of only focusing on how you can afford to retire you can also focus on all of the different interests you have and incorporating them now and then. Three approaches are provided for how you can bring your vision for retirement into your present. The first approach helps you complete you vision through pictures, words and feelings, but if that is not how you normally operate then you can try the second or third approach. The second approach focuses on the big picture, creativity and intuition. The third approach focuses on logic, linear thinking and details. The reader may use all of three of these approaches at various times in order to fulfill their ultimate goals but the ultimate conclusion the book wants you to walk away with is to incorporate all of these things into your life now.

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