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Jan presenting for AARP in Dublin, Ohio (Sept. 2013)

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Midwest Book Review

The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide To The Rest Of Your Life is a comprehensive guide to planning all aspects of one's ideal retirement. Packed with virtual tours of the best cities in which to live (both in America and abroad), ways to spend one's free time, financial planning, mortgages and investments, adult-only communities, tips for buying and selling one's home, physical and psychological wellness, second career suggestions, and once more, The New Retirement offers plain-terms solid advice in response to perplexing questions and gripping dilemmas, whether financial, emotional, or family-related. Highly recommended for anyone nearing the end of their term in their chosen career.

Chicago Tribune

The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life," by Jan Cullinane and Cathy Fitzgerald (Rodale, $19.95). If you're about 50, you may not be financially ready to retire, but you've probably given some thought to where you'd like to end up and how you'd like to spend your time.This book will help you consider all the essentials that go into a happy retirement, such as a successful transition to retirement (form a support system and hone your resiliency to adverse circumstances you'll encounter along the way). One of the biggest challenges in retirement is filling the time each week, either mindlessly or mindfully, the authors say. Among their recommendations are to set long-term goals, take traditional degree courses or adult-education programs, volunteer and travel -- which needn't be only on expensive cruise lines or at swank hotels. One of the book's best features helps you decide where to live, and the authors offer report cards on various destinations, citing an area's overall rating, climate, cost of living, health care, transportation and activities. A list of 20 key questions is worth spending time on; among them: Should you have a mortgage? Should you purchase long-term care insurance? Should you take Social Security benefits early? What are life-insurance guidelines? Now the only challenge is saving enough money to be able to retire.

Fox and Friends

This is a terrific book!  (Steve Doocy, in a “Fox and Friends” Interview)

Mary Jacobs, Library Director, David A. Howe Public Library, NY

The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life by Jan Cullinane and Cathy Fitzgerald is a comprehensive guide written in an upbeat and positive tone. The book gives realistic and practical ways to make your retirement a success. Some of the topics covered include: opportunities to travel, best places to live, websites, health, checklists and worksheets. This is one of the best books on retirement.

MyShelf.com

This is a book about what people should be reading when they are thinking about the future and how to stretch their money to be able to do the things they want to do. There are many options and ideas given about how to handle moves, health issues, taxes and personal finance for the years of the future when you really don't want to think about them at all. Retirement sort of sneaks up on the majority of people, and this book will open the eyes of even the most denial prone person to the realities and possibilities of what the future can hold. Ms. Cullinane and Ms. Fitzgerald did their homework and cited places to live, cost factors, housing options, even down to and including climate breakdowns for the discriminate mover.

The New Retirement will let the reader and soon to be retiree have ideas, hopes and the ability to plan for a future that they can enjoy. I know that some of the things that are brought up were even new to me, and I am nearing that retirement age. Overall, I would recommend this book to any of the newest boomers and others who are starting to think about how to live the rest of their lives fully and completely. Good thought and lots of research went into this reference book. My hands off to the duo for writing this book. Nice Resources and CheckList and WorkSheets sections that are very helpful to the potential retiree.

The Library Journal

Retirement consultants Cullinane and Fitzgerald neatly lay out key issues to consider when planning for this major transition. While financial issues like taxes get some ink, the text focuses on such lifestyle issues as reprogramming your time. The strength of the guide lies in its helpful ratings of the best places to retire in the United States and abroad. The ratings cover cost of living, climate, healthcare, cultural and outdoor activities, continuing education opportunities, and shopping while highlighting specific retirement communities in the area. For those seeking to escape the ordinary, the authors explore niche retirement lifestyles ranging from active-adult communities and college towns to gay and lesbian communities, pet-friendly places, and RVs. Helpful questionnaires and checklists get readers started on their own planning. With 78 million baby boomers verging on retirement age, this is essential for public library business collections.

Booklist Reviews

When can I afford to retire? Where do I want to live? Should I rent or buy? How do I want to spend my time? Baby boomers will find this chockablock with information and examples to help them answer these and other important questions on the road to the next stage of life…With easily reproducible checklists and worksheets and numerous Web sites and phone numbers to make follow-up easy, this handy resource brims with plain good sense about making some hugely important decisions.

Retirement's Instruction Manual • The Washington Post

The humorist Mason Cooley once said, "In retirement, only money and symptoms are consequential."

Well, that may have been true at some point. But not now. People who have just retired and those who are close to retirement have so much to deal with these days that it's practically a full-time job just figuring out how to retire.

If you're a new retiree or among the soon-to-be retired, here are just a few issues you may need to consider:

* Whether you need or can afford long-term care insurance.

* How to take distributions from your retirement plan so that the money will last.

* Whether to take a lump-sum distribution from your company's pension plan (if there is one) or monthly payments for life.

* How to reallocate your investment portfolio.

* Figuring out if in the long run it makes sense to take a smaller Social Security benefit at 62 or wait until you are eligible for your full benefit.

If those questions seemed daunting, then I've found a book that may make your retirement planning a littler easier.

The Color of Money Book Club selection for March is "The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life" by Jan Cullinane and Cathy Fitzgerald (Rodale, $19.95).

Cullinane and Fitzgerald, who hold retirement-planning seminars around the country, cover an impressive number of issues in this 486-page guide. Among the things they discuss:

* Great places to retire. (Here's a hint: They aren't all in Florida, although that state would be my No. 1 choice.)

* Career opportunities after retirement.

* Tips on how to use your free time.

* Estate planning.

* Taxation of Social Security benefits.

"This isn't your father's (or mother's) retirement," Cullinane and Fitzgerald write. "The conventional definition of retirement itself needs to be retired. Retirement is now recognized as a process, involving perhaps several forays into and out of alternative projects, pastimes, and jobs."

This book is really an instruction manual for retirement. The first section of the guide focuses on lifestyle issues (what makes retirement successful, travel information, how to use your time). The middle and largest part of the book addresses where you might want to live in retirement. I especially like that the authors included some unique places, such as Ivy Acres, a nonprofit, continuing-care retirement community in North Carolina that organizers say is the first African-American-sponsored community of its kind in the United States. And for you baseball fans, they list spring-training towns.

The final section gets to the money issues (taxes, insurance, health care costs, etc.) One rule of thumb you've probably heard is that you'll need about 60 percent to 80 percent of your pre-retirement income to live comfortably after you stop working. But as Cullinane and Fitzgerald point out, that rule of thumb won't work if you have parents to take care of, you don't have adequate health care insurance, or you are planning your retirement to be a 20-year-long vacation.

"The real answer to 'How much do you need?' is that you can't rely on anyone's rule of thumb -- you need to make your own judgments after considering your own retirement plans," they write.

I like the fact that Cullinane and Fitzgerald begin the book not with a long and depressing discussion of how much money you may need to retire, but with tips on how to ease the transition to retirement.

The authors point out that, according to one survey, of the 42 life events that are the most stressful (the death of a spouse being No. 1), retirement came in 10th.

The list of places to retire, in the United States and overseas, is one of the best features of the book. Each location gets a grade on climate, cost of living, access to quality health care, transportation and whether there is a reasonable number of activities for seniors. At the end of each city discussion is a summary of the location's strengths and weaknesses.

The book also includes checklists, worksheets and a lot of references and resources (even at 486 pages Cullinane and Fitzgerald couldn't cover everything).

Since you know your retirement won't be like your father's or mother's, plan to succeed by doing a little reading on what it takes to retire in peace.

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