Purposeful Retirement: How to Bring Happiness and Meaning to Your Retirement

Purposeful Retirement: How to Bring Happiness and Meaning to Your Retirement


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#1 Best Seller in Aging and Volunteer Work ─ Retirement and Good Living

Perfect retirement gift. Are you getting ready to simplify life and move from the world of work to a life of retirement and good living─to enter a happy retirement? Purposeful Retirement is the perfect retirement gift.

Hyrum W. Smith, the author of Purposeful Retirement, is an award-winning author, distinguished speaker, and successful businessman. He is one of the original creators of the popular Franklin Day Planner, the former Chairman and CEO of Franklin Covey Co., and the recognized “Father of Time Management”. For four decades Hyrum has been empowering people to effectively govern their personal and professional lives. In Purposeful Retirement , Hyrum combines wit and enthusiasm with a gift for communicating compelling principles that inspire lasting personal change. He encourages you to; discover your true passion, re-imagine your life, and try new possibilities. Learn how you can move from your world of work, simplify life and enter what can be the most satisfying phase of your life─a new world of purposeful retirement and good living.

Aging well and a happy retirement. You have had a successful career by almost all measures and now you are concerned about aging well and looking toward a happy retirement. You are definitely not a couch potato.

  • How are you going to create a retirement that is meaningful and inspiring for your second act?
  • Can you simplify life?
  • Is there a way to make intelligent and anxiety free retirement planning choices?
  • Can you learn from the lives and experiences of people who have found their pathway to happy retirement?
  • What are their secrets to aging well and a happy retirement?

If you are a fan of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free, you'll love Purposeful Retirement. Welcome to your new life of retirement and good living. Welcome to a purposeful retirement.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633538528
Publisher: Mango Media
Publication date: 01/15/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 200
Sales rank: 853,004
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Hyrum is the author of nationally-acclaimed books and presentations including The 10 Natural Laws of Successful Time and Life Management, What Matters Most, Pain is Inevitable Misery is Optional, You Are What You Believe, and The Three Gaps.

Hyrum and his wife Gail live on a ranch in southern Utah. For more information about or to schedule a speaking engagement, visit www.hyrumwsmith.com

Stephen M. R. Covey is a cofounder of CoveyLink and the FranklinCovey Global Speed of Trust Practice. A sought-after and compelling keynote speaker and adviser on trust, leadership, ethics, sales, and high performance, he speaks to audiences around the world. He is the New York Times and number one Wall Street Journal best-selling author of The Speed of Trust, a groundbreaking, paradigm-shifting book that challenges our age-old assumption that trust is merely a soft, social virtue and instead demonstrates that it is a hard-edged economic driver—a learnable, measurable skill that makes organizations more profitable, people more promotable, and relationships more energizing.

Stephen M. R. Covey is a cofounder of FranklinCovey's Global Speed of Trust Practice and CoveyLink. A sought-after and compelling keynote speaker and advisor on trust, leadership, ethics, and high performance, he speaks to audiences around the world. He has authored several bestselling books including The Speed of Trust and many more.

Read an Excerpt


Two Camps

Conor O'Reilly was a good Irishman. And because he was a good Irishman, with the sun setting on a Friday evening, he found himself in his car, driving down the barely paved road that led to his favorite local pub.

It had been a long week. Just the thought of sitting with his favorite drink around a crowded table with some of his favorite blokes, and suddenly the world looked as though it might right itself just fine before another week began.

At the end of his path, Conor began the search for a parking spot. Parking outside of this particular pub was always difficult. The fact that it was Friday night made it more so. Conor circled around once. Twice. A parking spot was nowhere to be found.

"Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing."

- Oliver Wendell Holmes

Unwilling to give up and drive home, Conor looked up toward heaven and offered a most fervent prayer.

"Lord, if you grant me a parking space, I'll go to Church every Sunday like a good Irish Catholic should."

Low and behold, a space miraculously opened up right in front of him! Greatly relieved, Conor looked back up toward heaven and said, "Never mind, Lord, I found one!"

We may all conclude that Conor was granted a heavenly gift. But he did not see it that way. We can, and should, laugh at Conor's story. But then we should realize that sometimes in our lives, we are all Conor. Sometimes in our lives, we are all given gifts. Some we ignore. Some we've asked for and happily receive. Others stun and confuse us.

"What am I supposed to do with this?"

How many times have we thought this as we opened a gift we did not ask for and did not really want? I'm talking about more than cat sweaters and lime green knitted pot holders. I'm also talking about retirement.

The Gift Of Retirement

Retirement can be a gift — a gift that opens up right in front of us like a perfect parking spot. It's a gift of time and a gift of opportunities. But, unlike Conor, we must first recognize it.

If we were sitting together, perhaps at Conor's pub, I would ask you about the very beginning of your own retirement. If I had to guess, I would assume you ate a cake with too much frosting in the conference room. You probably offered up several hugs, some genuine, some a little awkward. At the end of the day, you shut down your computer and packed up your bag one last time.

On the way out, did you turn out the light? And, because you could not help yourself, did you look back over your shoulder? Just one last time?

As you walked out that door, you realized you were done. You've officially joined the retired ranks!

So tell me. Out of the two retirement camps, which one do you fall in? It has been my experience that in Camp One you'll find people who have been planning and looking forward to retirement since the day they started their first real job. As they have gotten closer to THE DAY, they've inserted a countdown as a screensaver on their work computer. And on the day they retire, they nearly dance out the door.

And in Camp Two there are people who "do not go gentle into that good night." They go out the door kicking and screaming, their fingers tightly gripping the door jamb of their office because retirement looms before them like an empty abyss.

"Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."

- Mark Twain

Picking Your Camp

So, back to my question. What camp are you? Where are you pitching your tent? Are you dancing the retirement jig? Did you run toward that exit door? Or are you in the other camp? Did you fight it tooth and nail?

And how does that affect the rest of your retirement? Are you happy? Or are you looking around and wondering, "How did I get here?" In other words, did you open that gift of retirement and think: "What am I supposed to do with this?" No matter the camp, no matter how you got here, now that you are here, I have just one thing to say:

Don't just retire. Don't you dare check out and just retire.

Why? Because people who retire die. It's an absolute fact. Researchers took a look at employees of a global oil company who chose to retire early at 55 and compared them to employees who retired at the traditional age of 65. The study found those who retired early died sooner. The early retirees had a 37 percent higher risk of death and those that died at 55 were 89 percent more likely to die in the 10 years after retirement than those who retired at 65.

So don't just retire.

"Wait!" I can hear you scream. "I've already retired!"

Technically, that's true. And that's fine. In fact, it just might be great.

Just don't retire from living.

Just don't end.

Take this gift of time. Take this gift of opportunity. Take this gift and redirect your life. Take this gift and purposefully redirect your retirement.

You've left your day job and perhaps even turned off your alarm clock. But that doesn't mean it's time to grab a crocheted blanket, wear down your favorite recliner and start shouting out "What is" answers to Alex Trebek. In fact, I think all new retirees need to spend the first four days of their retirement in front of the television for 18 hours straight. They'll never make that mistake again. It'll be so miserable they'll get up and get moving.

Take this gift of time and choose to do so much more.


• Now is the time to launch a new career — the one you always wanted to do but couldn't because you needed a predictable paycheck.

• Now is the time to focus on your family.

• Now is the time to make a difference in your community.

As I mentioned earlier, now is the time because now you have time.

The Stress of Doing Nothing

I once met a heart surgeon who had had a heart attack. Professionally, that can really ruin your reputation. Instead of ignoring what he had gone through, he began studying the physical effects of stress.

"A lot of our friends complain about their retirement. We tell 'em to get a life."

- Larry Laser

Around the same time, 1987 to be exact, the stock market crashed. Many of us remember the shock of Black Monday more vividly than we remember what we ate yesterday. It was a dark and frightening time.

One company in particular experienced both financial and personal losses attributed to Black Monday. The company hired this surgeon to come in as a coach and teach their employees how to reduce stress and hopefully save their lives.

This surgeon told those employees that there are essentially two types of reactions to stress. One kind of reaction is actually healthy. He called it cool stress. Cool stress can help us function better and will help us respond in a positive manner.

Psychologists refer to cool stress as "eustress." It's the type of stress we feel when we are excited and happy. Remember riding a favorite roller coaster ride and going over that first big hill? As you climbed into the sky, your pulse quickened. This is eustress. You feel alive and excited.

And then there's hot stress, referred to as "distress." Hot stress is damaging. Your heart beats faster, which sends more blood into your arteries. You have more blood being pushed through the body at a faster rate. But unfortunately, your body also reacts to hot stress by contracting your blood vessels. More and more blood is trying to course through a smaller and smaller hole. Your heart works overtime. Your entire cardiovascular system becomes worn down. Your blood pressure goes up, and you could experience a stroke or heart attack. In the short term, you are cranky, experience a lack of energy, and may suffer from headaches or stomach ulcers, bouts of insomnia, and weight gain.

Are there tricks to reducing hot stress? Sure. In fact, entire books have been written about how to do just that. This book is not one of those. But decades ago I wanted to know more, too. I discovered that this surgeon put people through tests to see what type of stress their bodies produced. He invited me to participate, and I spent a day and a half going through these tests.

I played Pong Games. I got on a treadmill. I had to stick my hand in ice until I could not take it any longer. By the way, that hurt like hell. Toward the end of the day, I was sitting alone in a room, hooked up to machines, waiting for more torture to come my way.

"We're going to leave you hooked up for a minute," I was told. "Just relax. We'll come back in and unhook you in about ten minutes."

I sat there for a few minutes, and sure enough, they came along and unhooked me from the machines which had been monitoring my stress levels throughout the whole experience.

The next day I was invited to come in and review my stress findings with several doctors. As I walked into the office, I saw my stress readings were recorded on several pages, all folded up.

"Hyrum, you have the coolest reactions to stress I have ever tested," said one of the doctors. He turned page after page and I saw little movement in the recording — until the end, where the needle recording went off the charts. Was that when I was playing video games? On the treadmill? Sticking my hand in ice until the pain nearly put me in the fetal position?


"This line here," the doctor said, "This is where we suggested that you relax. You rejected the suggestion. Your body totally rejected the idea of sitting there and doing nothing."

Once home, I reported the findings to my wife, and she laughed.

"Oh, that's so true!" she said. "You're awful! We go on vacation, and you clean! You always have to do something. You do not know how to relax. You do not know how to sit still!"

For some, that's the problem with retirement. There's nothing to do. And we are used to being busy to the point of addiction, a gnawing need. So we garden. We paint. We even clean the garage. But what do we do when we look around and it's all done? We have all this time and are not sure what to do with it. It feels almost unnatural.

The purpose of this book is not to help you write a 30 page plan for your retirement or even give you some financial advice on how to make the most of your retirement dollars. The purpose of this book is to get you to start thinking about options for your retirement and hopefully put together a plan — be it formal or informal — for retirement, and have that plan make a purposeful difference in your life and in the lives of those around you.

Purposeful Planning Questions:

1. What camp are you in?

2. How does your camp continue to shape your views on retirement?

3. Since retirement is a gift, who can you share that gift with today?

4. Is there a friend, grandchild, younger person who needs your time?


Turning In the Title

Stripped of your job title, who are you?

When George Bush lost to Bill Clinton in the election of 1992, George and Barbara Bush left the White House in Washington, D.C. and moved to Texas. Barbara Bush shared that tough adjustment in her book, Reflections: Life After The White House.

Our days were spent getting used to being back on our own, living in a rented house with two dogs after four years in that glorious house with ninety-three staff. We realized fairly quickly how much life had changed. George W. came for dinner a few days after our return home. He wanted pasta, as he was running the Houston Marathon the next morning. I had not cooked in twelve years, so it was not surprising that my pasta was NOT too good. In fact, it was dreadful. George W. was polite, but his dad said, "I like my pasta rare." By that time, I had cooked about five meals, and I figured I was two for five. George told me the good news was that he had lost two pounds without even trying.

One weekend we went to Galveston — just a short hour's drive from Houston on the Gulf of Mexico — and stayed in our friend Hugh Liedtke's house on the water. When George went in to get a fishing license, the woman said to him, "You look familiar. Have we met before?"

Something very similar happened to me, although a little while later. My good friend and neighbor, Mildred Kerr, and I went to Luby's Cafeteria for lunch. A perfectly strange, attractive woman came over, put her face in mine, and said, "Aren't you somebody? I know I know you." She never took a breath and continued, "Are you a teacher? Have you waited on me in a store? Did you help me at Sears?" I never had a chance to say a word, but just kept nodding. She left as quickly as she arrived, muttering as she went: "I thought she was somebody."

Aren't You Somebody?

Aren't you somebody? Don't we all fear that question?

We do an odd thing as a society when we meet someone new. We stretch out our hand. We offer up a name, perhaps the approximate location of where we live, and promptly attach to that a job title.

"Hello. My name is Kaden Buchler. I live around the corner in Springdale, where I work as an attorney."

"Hi! My name is Bailey Michelsen. I live down south from here in Pineview. I'm a professor at the university."

And on we go. I believe that's what makes people nervous about retirement. It's a fear of losing a part of ourselves, a part of our identity.

Ridiculous. You are more than a fancy job title. You have value simply by being a human being. You've always had this value and you always will.

A friend of mine, Steven Baugh, worked in a prominent position in his county government and then went on to teach at a large university. He told me, "I know people who fear being forgotten after they retire. I always say you go from a 'who's who' to a 'who's he?' And it's frightening."

This fear is a natural one. We all have egos. Just when I am excessively proud of my level of humility, I realize I need to go back and perhaps check my ego again. The danger comes when we allow ourselves to be defined by our job, our title, and the size of our paycheck. The danger comes when we ask, 'When it is gone, what is left?' You are. You are left. You, with your skill, talent, and ability to make a difference. You.

From Professor To Mrs.

When she left her position as a professor in order to battle cancer, Ann Barnes went from being 'Professor Barnes' to 'Mrs. Barnes.' It was a hard adjustment.

"I love being married, but Mrs. Barnes is not how I refer to myself. It was an adjustment for me, especially as a woman, because it was an accomplishment to reach and become established at that level. It was a distinguishing characteristic because it was unusual for my generation. Today, we expect our daughters and granddaughters to establish themselves and take advantage of opportunities in education, but for my generation, it was not the norm. I think it makes it harder to let go of it," she said.

Leaving that identity behind caused a physical ache, she admitted. "It's a part of you, a prominent side of you. Walking away from that is tough. But it is not the end. Retirement gives you an opportunity to focus on things that are really important."

When she felt well enough to travel, Ann and her husband took a cruise around the world. A year later, they toured Cuba. Just a few weeks ago, they headed off to Mexico.

"Today we are doing all the things we always wanted to do. Change can be a good thing, and that is what retirement is — a really big change."

Ann is right. This season called retirement is a big change. Life is full of changes. When we are no longer students, we adjust and change. When we choose to leave a career to raise a family, we adjust and change. When our last child leaves for college and we are left with an empty nest, we adjust and change. When we retire, it's one more change. Shouldn't we be used to them by now? Shouldn't we be experts at them by now?

I briefly introduced my friend Steven Baugh a few paragraphs ago. When we were talking about retirement, Steven explained that retirement "is just one more level of adjustment. I compare it to when my wife was raising our kids. She told me that she still had a brain. She still had skills. She still had abilities. She wanted the validation for all of those things. I think the same is true of people who are retired. We still have a brain. We still have skills. We still have abilities. We still want the validation."

We still want people to know we are somebody.

I built up a company. It now employs thousands of people. But I know if I walked in the door, chances are the person sitting at the front desk would not recognize me. If I walked down the hall, there would be a lot of faces I would not recognize. Even under the roof of my own company, I could argue that I have gone from a who's who to who's he.

I don't worry about it. I choose to not let it bother me. The older some people get, the more obsessed they become with the idea of being remembered. So let me take some of the stress off of you and share this simple truth with you: the people who really matter to you will never forget you. Period.


Excerpted from "Purposeful Retirement - The Baby Boomers' Guide to a New Level of Happiness"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Hyrum W. Smith.
Excerpted by permission of Mango Media, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Get Off My Yard! (The Need For Community)

Stupid Confounding Gadgets (The Need For Continuing Education)

BINGO! (The Need For Continuous Challenges)

How Many Can Fit In Your Golf Cart? (The Need For Family)

Turn Up Your Hearing Aid (The Need For Continuous Communication)

Kids These Days! (The Need For Mentoring)

I'll Give You A Quarter (The Need To Die Broke)

Back In My Day. . . (The Need To Share A Legacy)

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