Keys to a Successful Retirement: Staying Happy, Active, and Productive in Your Retired Years
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What Are The Keys To A Successful Retirement? Fritz Gilbert

The right retirement tips are like gold. The retirement ideas you envision and the pre-retirement planning you do now can make it happen. Imagine the feeling when you do achieve the freedom to retire. And what does it take? More than ever, it takes sound planning, a balanced approach, and discovering a new purpose in retirement. We’re honored to have Fritz Gilbert, of the Retirement Manifesto, return to our podcast to share his retirement advice, and talk about his book The Keys to a Successful Retirement. And you’ll find this book to be a go-to resource to retire smarter. Professionals planning for retirement, devotees of the FIRE movement (and Fat Fire), and retirees will all find it to be a trusted source of retirement tips, practical retirement planning advice, and inspiration.

We discuss:

  • How he and his wife are doing in the pandemic
  • His perspective on the economic impact of COVID-19, as an early retiree
  • How he thinks this will affect the FIRE movement
  • What day-to-day life as an early retire is like – and what’s surprised him
  • Which factors mattered most in his pre-retirement planning
  • What inspired him to write his book Keys to a Successful Retirement
  • Why test driving retirement life helped him
  • What differentiates people who do it right in retirement from those who don’t
  • Why Attitude & Passion should be part of your retirement planning
  • The role the Freedom for Fido project has played in their retirement life – and what hints it gives you for yours
  • Why finding a new purpose is vital
  • What he learned for his ONE Retirement Question project
  • His advice for pre-retirees



Fritz Gilbert retired after more than three decades in corporate America, where he progressed through the various levels of a multinational corporation serving the global aluminum industry.  His award-winning blog “The Retirement Manifesto” is focused on people achieving a great retirement. Fritz and his wife, Jackie, live in a cabin in Blue Ridge, Georgia, an Appalachian Mountain town where they’re active in their local church and various local charities, including Jackie’s charity Freedom for Fido ( When he’s not writing, Fritz enjoys spending his time outdoors and is an avid fly fisherman, mountain biker, hiker, camper, photographer, and fitness fanatic. He also cherishes his daily walks in the woods with their four dogs, who run the household. Fritz and Jackie also travel cross country in their RV to visit their daughter and her family in the Pacific Northwest.


Wise Quotes


On Envisioning Your Life in Retirement

“Think about what you want your life to be. And there’s a direct correlation between those that take more time to think about it and how successful their retirement is. The people that are Type A and hard-charging right up til the end, especially if they lose their job unexpectedly, Boom, they’re retired. They tend to be the ones that struggle the most. And it really does go back to this getting onto the off-ramp and mentally preparing yourself to start changing gears. You’re getting off the Interstate and you’re going back on a country road. You’ve got to be prepared for how that drive is going to differ. And, taking the time to do that before you hit the country road. No doubt in my mind that’s the most important thing people can do.”


On Taking Retirement for a Test Drive

“I took an extra week off. We, so I made it, 10 days or so, and my wife and I both said, Hey, let’s just kind of pretend we’re retired.
We’ll try to really make this like a retirement lifestyle and let’s just think about what do we want our days to be.  What do we want our retirement dreams to be? And anything like that that you can do to just put your mindset into the post-retirement lifestyle helps. And do that while you’re still working. I’ve done a lot of research for the book and one of the biggest differentiators is the people that kind of take some time to do that, tend to have the easiest transition into retirement.”


On Why Attitude Matters in Retirement

“Wherever you’re going in your journey, it’s almost a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you go into something with a bad attitude, chances are it’s going to turn out to be not that enjoyable. And the thing about retirement is the attitude that we take towards it is pretty much entirely within our control. You there’s so many things you can’t control; the stock market; inflation; health insurance, etc.  But the things that you can control, be intentional and choose to be positive. Look for the positives in all the situations you’re facing. And I just think that goes a long way to smooth out the bumps and makes it a lot better journey.”


On Purpose in Retirement

“You’ve got to have something to get up for in the morning. It’s an overused phrase, but it’s true. You really have to find something that you’re passionate about, and you have to replace that fulfillment that you got through work. Work, you can say a lot of negatives about it, but there’s no doubt that it gave you a sense of purpose. You knew what you had to do. You had your objectives, you had your annual reviews, you had your metrics. Whatever there was, there was. I think we’re designed as people to perform certain things, right? And when you’re performing the thing that you’re meant to be doing, there’s fulfillment that you get from that. Retirement can be the best years of your life. The trick is to find the thing that you’re meant to be doing. And that’s the challenge.  is how do you find that thing? And I get into that in my book.”



For More on Fritz Gilbert, the Retirement Manifesto & Keys to a Successful Retirement:

Order: Keys to a Successful Retirement: Staying Happy, Active, and Productive in Your Retired Years 

Follow on Twitter @RetireManifesto

Follow on Facebook and Instagram

Freedom For Fido


Retirement Podcast Episodes You May Like

The Retirement Wisdom Podcast is a free podcast on the non-financial aspects of retirement planning.

Fritz Gilbert’s First Visit with Us:

The Soft Side of Retirement – Fritz Gilbert, The Retirement Manifesto


Listen in on these conversations you may be interested in:

With the Freedom to Retire, Where Will You Plant Your New Tree? – Don Ezra

Your Retirement Won’t Come with a Road Map – Carol Hymowitz

Do Your Retirement Strategies Account for 6 Stages & Community? – Ted Carr



Related RW Blog Posts 

Power Up Your Purpose: Now’s The Time

Your Greatest Retirement Asset Could Be Your Attitude

Our Review of Keys to a Successful Retirement



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