By Ernie J. Zelinski
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(Tips for Working in Retirement and Finding a Retirement Job)

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 Facts about Retirement Jobs

For many American and Canadian baby boomers, a retirement job will be the perfect time to begin a second career and a way to retire happy.

Unfortunately, for many Americans and Canadians wanting to work until they drop dead, the retirement job picture will be quite bleak.

Nearly three out of five American workers who are fifty or older intend to look for work in retirement elsewhere after retiring from their present jobs, mostly because they cannot afford to retire, or they need their employers' health insurance coverage.

Fact is, only a small fraction of Americans in their late 60s and their 70s are still working. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 29 percent of Americans aged 65 to 69 worked at least part-time in 2010. Note this says at least part-time. The number working full time would be a lot less.

Even more telling, less than 7 percent of Americans aged 75 or older were employed in 2010.

So if you want to give yourself the retirement gift of working in retirement, you may be disappointed not to get one of the best retirement jobs possible. On the other hand, you may do very well as some retirees do and work in retirement at a job that was much better than your primary career.

 If You Want a Retirement Job, You May Want to Get Yourself an UnReal Retirment Job

The following fairly long letter was sent to me by one of the readers of my book
Career Success Without a Real Job: The Career Book for People Too Smart to Work in Corporations. The closing words "I am not made to work within a cubicle. If plants die . . . so will I." should be kept in mind if you are looking for a retirement job, particularly if you don't like working in corporations:



Hi Ernie,

I am a 23 year old Advertising graduate, who feels lucky to have come across your book Career Success Without a Real Job.

retirement career book

Not only did it open my eyes towards the great amount of opportunities that exist in the world, but it also reassured my feelings towards a corporate experience. When I first walked in an office, I began to cry that very day after I completed my 9-5 internship shift. Since then, all these questions emerged from me about the meaning of life:

  • How do people have time for themselves?
  • Why would someone work and go home only to repeat the same thing?
  • What are we serving to humanity?
  • Is it even good?
  • What's with the race?
  • Who am I?
  • This is what I finished school for?
  • How can people continue this for years on end?
  • This is it?


So, that's when my internal war began, not in my teenie bopper years, when life was a pie! I felt so trapped by society.

Imagine this..."okay I will go through kindergarden, elementary, high-school, some college in the hopes of reaching the destination line followed by freedom, yay!" When you reach that destination, It's like someone puts their foot in front, tricks you and draws the line even further. Soon, you don't even know where you're running off too! What made me feel even more hopeless was my father's wise words "Nope! You've trained yourself and now you're ready for the real battle."

Do I look like a spartan Warrior?" I felt a numbing feeling taking over me everyday and my face even looked older. I was disgusted that people were addicted to coffee as their fuel source, considered exercise as walking from their desk to the kitchen and placed an exotic escape on their desktop, as if they would have time to make that image a reality.

Just the little things as you can see bothered me and even though it only lasted 4 months, it made me more negative which I am not fond of. I was miserable and slightly depressed especially because I predicted my life 40 years from now and it looked boring.

During meetings I felt like my body was present but I was somewhere else. It was the first time I felt like an outcast. What made me more sad was looking at others and wondering if they're feeling the same or knowing they do but they've become use to it.

This creeped the heck out of me even more! (Just to let you know, my biggest fear was always men/women in suits holding black briefcases. I just take a look and feel like they need a tree to hug.)

Anyways, I was offered a job after my internship (during the recession) and I didn't accept. I just wanted out! Apparently this was a "crazy" move coming from others. I felt a weight just lift and I packed up my bags to go visit my family over seas and reflect by the ocean.

I am now exploring what I want to do and slowly trying to use all my creative abilities to make some income such as through singing, photography, blogging, cooking, etc with the help of a part-time job.

Someday soon I am considering an "un-real" job in a cruise ship as you state in your book.

What I know for sure, is that I am not made to work within a cubicle. If plants die . . . so will I.

Thanks for your support,





  A Great Retirement Job 

But With a Lack of Money

The following e-mail was sent to me by one of the readers of my book How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free. The content should be kept in mind if you expect to create a job for retirement by writing books. It is possible, by the way, to make a great living as a writer — but much more difficult than most people would ever imagine!



Bonjour Ernie!

What a pleasure to know you!
Well... to read you first. :-)
I've grown in thinking that life should be fun and that work should be named "passion ''. But I did like everybody and then, 9 years ago, I made the decision to retire from work and to keep on writing.
But some pieces were missing to my steps and yes, I have done what I wanted but . . . wow! what a lack of money!

I'll make my story short. 4 years ago, I had a thought that I put aside but some times ago, this thought came back strongly:  I would give seminars (I don't know how to say '' ateliers '' in english...) to help people to discover their talents and passions, to explore them and express them in their daily life.
Because I've always deeply believed that if you are not happy with who you are and what you do, if you don't listen to your  heart and soul and that you say ''shut up'' to your inner voice, you are already dead.
So what's the point to be apparently alive but dead inside and to be burried when you get older? So . . . I just wanted you to know that I have found a friend in you because I've felt very alone all my life with this "weird idea'' that everybody is on earth to be happy and have fun!
If you come in Quebec, please let me know. I would like to meet you. Have a beautiful sunny day filled with fun and magic!
Marie-Phé :-).


 Quotations about Retirement, Work, and Retirement Jobs

Here are some quotations about work, retirement, and retirement jobs that you should give some serious thought to before you decide whether you want to work in retirement.

If working [in a retirement job] is the new retirement, then try telling that to the French, who last autumn took to the streets to angrily protest plans to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. And in the U.S., efforts to raise the Social Security age and keep people working longer is seen as a very tough — though perhaps, inevitable — sell.
— Jeff Schlegel, writing in about The Coming Retirement Wave

You think your job is tough — try trading with Ernie Zelinski. His job is not working, and he's been doing it successfully for the last 14 years.
— Keiko Ohnuma, Business Writer, Oakland Tribune writing about the book The Joy of Not Working and it's author

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A life spent in constant labor is a life wasted, save a man be such a fool as to regard a fulsome obituary notice as ample reward.
— George Jean Nathan

All paid jobs absorb and degrade the mind.
— Aristotle

Anyone can achieve something important. Contrary to popular belief, the key is not hard work, but finding the right thing to achieve.

— from The Lazy Person's Guide to Success

Don't be a salary slave! If you are going to do anything in this world, you must start before you are forty, before your period of initiative has ended. Do it now!
— Advertising Executive Robert Cochrane to Carl Laemmle, wh quit his job as a clothing store manager and became a movie mogul

Like the truth, retirement can set you free.
Or, like work, retirement can imprison you.
— from How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

Retirement Cafe Book

If you hate your life while earning $30,000 a year, you will despise it at $110,000 a year.
— Jon Hanson

Try to have fun at work even if it kills you.
— Unknown workaholic

The longer you work, the more money you'll have for retirement. But the longer you work, the less time you'll have to enjoy that retirement.
Wall Street Journal

Working through one’s 60s and 70s isn’t appealing or feasible for everyone,
and in many ways it’s easier to do for individuals in the creative and
knowledge-based industries. But for the most part, human beings
need to be engaged with something to stimulate them or keep them out of trouble. A retirement built around sitting on one’s keister is neither physically nor financially healthy.
— Jeff Schlegel, writing in

What's the use of being a genius if you can't use it as an excuse for being unemployed?
— Gerald Barzan


NOTE: Also see  Funny Retirement Quotes on The Retirement Quotes Cafe 

 Retirement Job Resources

There are a variety of retirement job resources available today that target older workers: Here are just a few of them.

  • Retirement Jobs: This is the largest job site for individuals over age 50 who are looking for retirement jobs for retirement. The job search engine lists more than 30,000 jobs across the United States from various organizations that would like older workers.
  • Seniors for Hire: a nationwide online Career Center catering to older workers and businesses that value a diverse workforce. Businesses can actively recruit individuals in the U.S. 50 and older including retirees and senior citizens looking careers in retirement and/or other ways to earn money. Provides free membership for job seekers 50 and older.
  • AARP Retiree Working Options: Resource by AARP that includes Best Employers for Workers Over 50, Employer Resource Center, and Information on Retirement Made Simpler. A place to search for careers in retirement and ideas for retiree businesses.

You Don't Have to Be Afraid of

 Not Retiring Happy

A Life-Changing Retirement Book for the Retired and

Soon-to-Be Retired Who Fear Boredom in Retirement

and Are Thinking of Working in Retirement   


Various Editions of This Book Have Sold Over 425,000 Copies's #1 Retirement Book. . .

How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free is so rich with retirement wisdom, including a chapter about where to retire, and has such immense power to change lives, that it now appears in's number 1 position  out of over 14,000 listings for retirement-related books  when you type "retirement" or "retire" into's search feature.

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by Ernie J. Zelinski — All Rights Reserved
Author of The World's Best Retirement Book



 I will do today
what others won't,
so I will have
tomorrow what
others don't.
— John Addison
No organization — government or
otherwise — can take great care of you in retirement.     Organizations aren't capable of this — only  you are!
— from Life's Secret Handbook

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How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free on

Surveys of seniors overwhelmingly      suggest that higher incomes don't drive satisfaction in   retirement. That said, there is a minimum
of income required to enjoy retirement.
— Dan Richards
I'm regularly asked     what my [retirement]  plan is, and I    deliberately don't have much of a plan. I've had lots of plans in my life and it might be nice to have a period      that is less planned.
— Malcolm Hamilton, Expert on Pensions 
& Retirement Planning

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