By Fritz Gilbert (2020 – Rockridge Press)
Book Review by Joe Casey
As a retirement coach, I read a lot of books on retirement. If your goal is to retire well and live life on your own terms, Keys to a Successful Retirement is one of the best books on planning for retirement that you can read. It’s the best retirement book in 2020 that I’ve read. It will give you a leg up on the real-life obstacles you’ll need to navigate and a smart playbook to create your own successful retirement. The advice in this book is especially valuable given the challenging period we are living through.
If you follow The Retirement Manifesto blog (as I do) you already know that Fritz Gilbert is an excellent writer. In this book, he shares his lessons learned in preparing for retirement – and his experiences living life in early retirement. Gilbert invested significant time researching various aspects of retirement while preparing for his own early retirement. Through this book, you can benefit from his prep work and his lived experience. It’s a valuable shortcut. The book will appeal to a wide range of readers. Retirees, corporate folk planning their escape, and members of the FIRE movement, will all find Gilbert’s insights relevant and helpful.
Practical Tips to Live Life Well in Retirement
While the research Gilbert did for his retirement provides a solid foundation, this book is not a lengthy, haughty academic tome. It’s the opposite. You’ll find that it’s concise, yet it packs a wealth of wisdom in 136 pages. It’s the type of book you’ll highlight passages in time and time again. (Many of the pages in my copy are now almost completely yellow). Gilbert recommends having a notebook handy while you read it, and that’s sound advice. There’s no shortage of gems you’ll want to capture to refer to later and apply. Among the most valuable parts of the book are 24 practical tips Gilbert offers to help you prepare to retire well. Many of these ideas are destined for your notebook.
A Smooth Retirement Transition Takes Balanced Planning
Unlike many retirement books, Gilbert covers both the financial and non-financial aspects of preparing for a great retirement. He gives insightful and practical advice for both sides of the equation. Gilbert shares his views on why vision, attitude, purpose, and passion are essential ingredients in the retirement you’re aspiring to achieve. But, he doesn’t shy away from the realities and roadblocks involved in making a successful transition to retirement life. Instead, he assesses the big issues that anyone contemplating retirement will face. In addition, he sizes up a number of hidden challenges that are not on the radar for many people. I can tell you from my retirement coaching work that these challenges are things you’ll want to be well aware of in advance. Gilbert alerts you so you get in front of them so they do not derail your plans.
Fritz Gilbert retired after a career in corporate America spanning more than three decades. You’ll benefit from the story of how he proactively planned for the retirement life he’s now living with his wife Jackie. Keys to a Successful Retirement will inspire you to craft the life you want in retirement. The book will also arm you with pragmatic tools and tips that can help you get there.
– Joe Casey
We were honored that Fritz Gilbert returned to our podcast to discuss his book. He was one of the very first guests on our podcast. You can listen in to that conversation here
Follow The Retirement Manifesto on Twitter: @RetireManifesto