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Our pre-retirement professionals are a well-read group, and want to share their favourites. These titles are taken from our 2002 Annotated Bibliography, assembled by Nancy Conroy, P.R.P. of RTC Services in Ottawa. Most of the books deal with retirement specifically, but you will find books relating to demographic trends and aging as well. Most should be available either through your public library or your local bookstore - or online.


General Guides:
Books that cover all of the important components of a good retirement plan.

Happy in Retirement:
Books that address the psychological and social issues facing people in retirement such as managing two retirements, relocation, friends and family, and many more.

Being Healthy in Retirement:
Books on how to get healthy and stay that way, many of which are written for a Canadian audience.

Being Financially Secure in Retirement:
Selections to help you address the financial issues of importance in planning your retirement.


Realizing Your Dreams

General Guides

The New Mentality Anthony, Mitch: The New Retirement Reality:
Planning Your Life and Living Your Dreams...
At Any Age YOU Want
  • Dearborn Trade, Chicago, 2001
  • Library Code: 646.79
  • Representative of a long-overdue shift in the focus of retirement planning literature.
  • Recognition that retirement is about life, not just about money.
  • Places finances within the holistic retirement planning model.
  • A practical and useful guide that describes the changing nature of retirement, including the fact that work may still play some part, and taking into account the importance of relationships and managing transition.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

Life's Best Chapter Godwin, Johnnie: Life's Best Chapter: Retirement
  • New Hope Press, Birmingham, Alabama, 2000.
  • An interesting personal picture of the retirement planning transition, painted by a retiree who is a practicing Christian.
  • Includes a frank discussion about the impact that male retirement has on a spouse, and recognizes that women don't often really retire, in that they continue to shoulder the burden of most routine household tasks.
  • Differentiated from other retirement planning guides, in that it has a chapter on the soul.
  • Insights are unusual and thought provoking.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

Retirement Guide Hunnisett, H.S.: Retirement Guide for Canadians: An Overall Plan for a Comfortable Future
  • Self Counsel Press, North Vancouver, B.C., 1993
  • Library Code: 646.79 H938
  • First published in 1973, this guide is now in its 12th edition.
  • Covers both financial and non-financial issues related to planning for retirement, including many important emotional issues such as retirement readiness, the psychological impact of retirement, and the need to be active and purposeful in retirement.
  • Addresses some problems that face married couples and families.
  • Also includes a chapter on how retirement affects singles.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

Idiot's Guide Janik, C., Rejnis, R., and McDougall, B.: The Complete Idiot's Guide to a Great Retirement for Canadians
  • Prentice Hall Canada Inc., Scarborough, 1996
  • Library Code: 646.790971
  • Balanced between financial and non-financial issues.
  • An easy-to-read combination of information, advice, tips and exercises that are organized on a time line from the earliest point at which a reader should begin thinking about retirement to the adjustment period after retirement.
  • Somewhat superficial treatment of psychological issues, which is disappointing.

The Only Guide Kerr, Robert: The Only Retirement Guide You'll Ever Need
  • Penguin Books, Toronto, 1998
  • Library Code: 646.790971 K41
  • Produced in English and French, and updated every year.
  • The user-friendliest guide we reviewed, this book includes several exercises to motivate Canadians to plan their retirement.
  • Uses a time wheel concept that helps readers deal with the issue of time both before and after retirement.
  • Best of all, the final chapter suggests how the reader might pull together all the disparate elements into an overall plan.

Survival Guide Tafler, David: 50+ Survival Guide: Winning Strategies for Wealth, Health and Lifestyle
  • ITP Nelson, Toronto, 1998
  • Library Code: 305.244 Taf
  • Tafler is the Publisher and Editor of CARP News and shares his wealth of information about retirement and aging in this book.
  • Has a holistic approach, addressing many financial and legal issues as well as those related to lifestyle.
  • Includes a list of references at the end of each chapter, including associations, website addresses and texts.
  • Targeted at those over age 50, but would benefit anyone who is planning retirement.

Simple Guide Wigdor, Blossom, Editor: Planning Your Retirement: The Complete Canadian Self-Help Guide
  • Grosvenor House Press, Inc., Toronto, 1985
  • Library Code: 646.79 P712
  • Now out of date on the financial issues of retirement, but included here for its high quality advice re: the psychological side of retirement planning.
  • Provides detailed information and advice about the impact retirement has on the individual, on relationships, and on the use of time.
  • An anthology of writings by respected authors on these topics.
  • Available in both French and English.

The Best is Yet to Come Wylie, Betty Jane, and Cottier, Christopher: The Best is Yet to Come: Enjoying a Financially Secure Retirement
  • Key Porter Books, Toronto, 1996
  • Library Code: 332.02401 W983
  • The surprise: this book covers more than financial planning - it covers lifestyle issues as well.
  • Easy to follow; organized on a chronological basis.
  • Separates out issues dealt with at fifty and then at sixty.
  • Includes a good index at the back. A useful overall guide.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

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Being HAPPY in Retirement: Coping Successfully

Simple Guide Baird Krul, Carol and Olding, Enise: Transition To Retirement - The Uncharted Course
  • Pacific Edge Publishing
  • Transition to Retirement: The Uncharted Course reveals what there is to learn about that crucial transitional phase from when you leave your job to when you feel significantly engaged in the life of retirement. It's not about finances or lifestyle; it is about you - the person behind the work title, name-tag or job description and how to discover who you are or will be outside of your job.

Simple Guide Bauer-Maglin, N. & Radosh, A.: Women Confronting Retirement: A Nontraditional Guide.
  • Rutgers University Press, 2003
  • The latest retirement planning book targetting the retirement of women.
  • Several women tell their personal stories, with each woman sharing her thoughts and views about her attitudes to work, life, and retirement.
  • Stories address the shifting and complex roles that women play in modern-day society and how this can and will affect women in retirement.

Simple Guide Cort-Van Arsdale, Diana and Newman, Phyllis: Transitions: A Woman's Guide to Successful Retirement
  • HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1991
  • Library code: 646.79C831
  • One of the few retirement books written by authors with psychological training.
  • Deals with psychological issues related to women and their transition to retirement.
  • Deals head-on with feminism and its impact on how women view themselves and the role of work in their lives.
  • Addresses how both our past and our present influence the way we think about and plan for retirement.
  • A must-read for pre-retirement planners, and for women in particular, but also would provide spouses with useful insights.

Simple Guide Cusak, Sandra & Thompson, Wendy: Mental Fitness for Life: 7 Steps to Healthy Aging.
  • Key Porter Books, Toronto, 2003
  • Library Code: 613.0438 C984
  • Excellent and upbeat formula for aging successfully by being mentally fit.
  • The authors have effectively applied the concept of physical fitness to mental fitness.
  • Book provides lots of ideas about how to stay mentally fit throughout life.

Simple Guide Friedman, R. and Nussbaum, A.: Coping with Your Husband's Retirement
  • Simon & Schuster, New York, 1986
  • Library Code: 646.79F911
  • A bit dated, but one of the few books on retirement that specifically focuses on the challenges facing both career and non-career wives when their husbands retire.
  • Based on qualitative interviews with 75 women who had to adjust to their husbands' retirement.
  • Includes a good chapter on the relatively recent phenomenon of women's continuing to work after their husbands retire.
  • Ends with a "Workbook for Retirement" that provides couples with an excellent set of exercises to assist them in making a successful transition.

Langlois, Christine: Healthy Together: A Couple's Guide to Midlife Wellness
  • McGraw-Hill Limited, Toronto, 2000
  • Library Code: 613.0434 L284
  • A perfect Canadian health guide for couples in midlife.
  • Provides advice on how to develop strategies to enhance the chances of good health in retirement.
  • Emphasizes the importance for couples to work together to maximize the health of both partners.
  • Great references provided for resources available in Canada.

Simple Guide Veninga, Robert: Your Renaissance Years: Making Retirement the Best Years of Your Life
  • Little, Brown and Company, Boston, 1991
  • Library Code: 646.79V46i
  • A comprehensive review of all of the issues one must deal with in moving into and adjusting to retirement.
  • Based primarily on interviews with 135 retirees.
  • Provides some specific exercises relating to taking risks and conducting a personal inventory of skills and abilities.

Simple Guide Wagner, T. and Day, B.. How to Enjoy Your Retirement: Activities from A to Z.
  • Vander Wyk and Burnham, 1998
  • For pre-retirees who really don't know what they are going to do when they retire.
  • Helps them plan their future with two different lists of possible activities in retirement, both organized from A to Z.
  • Lots of exercises in the Appendices including one called Who You Are to help individuals identify who they are now in order to gain insight into who they might want to be in retirement. Also appendices dealing with being a grandparent, starting a business and volunteering.
  • Good way to kick-start a retirement vision.

Simple Guide Zelinski, E. J. How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.
  • Visions International Publishing, 2003
  • The latest Canadian retirement planning guide to hit the market.
  • Addresses all of the "soft" issues around retirement planning.
  • It's optimistic, practical, humourous, and provocative AND comprehensively addresses the many issues impacting individuals as they think about their retirement.
  • His Get A Life tree is an interesting tool that helps individuals map out the different elements in their vision for retirement.

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Being Healthy in Retirement

Mayo Clinic on Healthy Aging Creagan, Edward: Mayo Clinic on Healthy Aging
  • Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, 2001
  • Library Code: 613.0438
  • Covers not only physical health issues but also many financial and psychological issues related to aging.
  • The best chapters are on health prevention and health care topics.
  • Also touches on issues related to spirituality, relationships and finances.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

Diamond, Jed, Surviving Male Menopause: A Guide for Women and Men
  • Sourcebooks, Inc, Naperville, Illinois, 2000
  • Library Code: 616.693
  • Many men suffer from the same symptoms that menopausal women experience in midlife.
  • Good advice for both men and women as they deal with the hormonal changes that occur in men during the pre-retirement zone.
  • Targets the men going through this phase but also provides strategies to help spouses understand what is happening.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

Edwards, P, Lhotsky, M. and Turner, J.: The Healthy Boomer: A No-Nonsense Midlife Health Guide for Women and Men
  • McLelland & Stewart Inc., 1999
  • Library Code: 613.0434 E26
  • Very timely Canadian guide for baby boomers in the pre-retirement.
  • Covers issues such as menopause, andropause, and heart disease as well as issues like handling stress, importance of spirituality and strong support systems to good health.
  • A good holistic health guide.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

How to Communicate With Your Doctor Hawkins, Mary: Health Talk: How to Communicate with Your Doctor
  • MacMillan Canada, Toronto, 2000
  • Library Code: 610.696 H394
  • With aging comes increased interaction with the medical system.
  • Hawkins addresses the importance of finding ways to communicate effectively with health professionals.
  • Problem areas are identified and practical advice provided to enhance our relationship with the medical system.
  • Her basic message is that we need to be proactive patients to realize the best health outcomes.

Simple Guide Langlois, Christine: Healthy Together: A Couple's Guide to Midlife Wellness
  • McGraw-Hill Limited, Toronto, 2000
  • Library Code: 613.0434 L284
  • A perfect Canadian health guide for couples in midlife.
  • Provides advice on how to develop strategies to enhance the chances of good health in retirement.
  • Emphasizes the importance for couples to work together to maximize the health of both partners.
  • Great references provided for resources available in Canada.

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Being Financially Secure in Retirement

Simple Guide Brown, S. and Burk, N., Moving in Canada: What you need to Know Before Relocating to a New Province
  • McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Toronto, 1999
  • Library Code: 349.71 B787
  • Not specifically written for retirees but very useful guide for any pre-retirees contemplating a move to another province in retirement.
  • Covers not only financial implications of a move such as taxes and transportation but also health services and social services.
  • Emphasizes the importance of researching new location BEFORE actually making the decision to move.

Ealy and Lesh, Our Money Ourselves: Redesigning Your Relationship with Money
  • AMACOM, NY, 1999
  • Library Code: 332.024042
  • Designed to help women understand their attitude and approach to money.
  • Strongly reinforces importance of financial planning.
  • Not specifically focused on retirement, but excellent advice to assist women in planning for their financial futures.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

Simple Guide Foster, Sandra, You Can't Take it With You: The Common-Sense Guide to Estate Planning for Canadians
  • John Wiley & Sons Canada Limited, Toronto, 2000
  • Library Code: 346.71052
  • Encourages you to have a will to ensure that assets at the time of death are distributed according to your wishes, not someone else's.
  • Describes in detail what is involved in putting a will in place.
  • Also emphasizes the importance of having Powers of Attorney in place for both your financial affairs as well as your personal care, should you be unable to handle these issues yourself.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

Simple Guide Foster, Sandra, Make the Most of What You've Got
  • John Wiley and Sons Canada Limited, Toronto, 1999
  • Library Code: 332.02401 F757
  • Comprehensive and easy to read Canadian guide that covers all of the issues of importance in developing a financial plan.
  • Great chapters on government pensions, company pension plans, and how to save and invest successfully.
  • Also provides advice about choosing a financial planner.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

Simple Guide Gignac, R. M. and Townshend, M.J. Rich is a State of Mind: Building Wealth and Happiness - A Blueprint
  • Wealth Advisory Services, 2003.
  • Begins with a dying man, Richard Jarvis, whose final wish is that his friend, Linden, carry out his estate instructions.
  • Structured like Chilton's The Wealthy Barber, the financial planning process is taught to Jarvis' niece and nephew Linden and Jarvis.
  • Financial concepts are based on investment and tax principles but also on values such as courtesy, punctuality, organization, life-long learning, thrift, awareness and a healthy curiosity.
  • Includes the process of goal-setting, the power of compound interest, saving and investing, the guarantee of inflation and taxation, the pros and cons of leveraging and of RRSPs, discerning risk comfort, and allocating assets.
  • Epilogue addresses the issue of finding and selecting a financial planner, and the Appendix highlights financial planning resources.

Simple Guide Kelman, S. and Teelucksingh, G., Choosing the Best Financial Advisor
  • ITP Nelson, Scarborough, Ontario, 1999
  • Library Code: 332.024 K29
  • Great source of information to help you select a good financial planner - Financial Planning 101.
  • Provides the kind of questions that should be asked when interviewing one and the kind of answers to look for.
  • Describes different kinds of financial planners and provides a list of those in Canada who are Certified Financial Planners (CFP).

Simple Guide Kerr, Margaret & Kurtz, Joann, Facing a Death in the Family
  • John Wiley & Sons, Toronto, 1999
  • Library Code: 306.9K41
  • An unusual book in that it addresses how to deal with issues both before and after a death in the family.
  • Lots of practical and useful advice about sourcing care services, dealing with Powers of Attorney, and estate issues.
  • Even has information on how to plan a funeral. A very useful guide.

McLean, Benjamin, The Canadian Widow's Guide to Enjoying Your Retirement Dollars & Making Them Last
  • McGraw-Hill Ryerson, Toronto, 2001
  • Library Code: 332.0240654 M163
  • Acknowledges fact that many women will spend all or part of their retirement on their own as widows.
  • Not only addresses the financial and legal issues of importance but also addresses with sensitivity many of the emotional issues confronting women when they become widowed.
  • Although somewhat paternalistic at times, well worth the valuable information covered.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

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BOOK REVIEW Brody, Steve and Cathy: Renew Your Marriage at Midlife
  • G.P. Putnam & Sons, New York, 1999
  • Authors are a married couple, trained as marriage counselors.
  • Address the main challenges facing midlife couples: aging parents, managing career changes, preparing for retirement.
  • One chapter actually deals with the impact of retirement on a marriage.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

Simple Guide Klingelhofer, Edwin L.: Coping with Your Grown Children
  • Dell Publishing, New York, 1989
  • A detailed analysis that explores the relationship between parents and their "adult" children.
  • Identifies challenges to establishing and maintaining good relationships with children.
  • Provides professional advice and an approach for defining the problem(s), identifying the source, and developing coping strategies.
  • Includes a series of exercises to help with problem solving.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

Midlifeman Krotz, Larry: Midlifeman: A Book for Guys and Women Who Want to Understand Them
  • McClelland and Steward Inc., Toronto, 2000
  • Library Code: 305.244081.k93
  • Written by a man, for men.
  • On the surface, appears to be a self-indulgent stream of consciousness BUT Krotz manages to touch on many of the issues that are relevant to men in midlife: mortality, death, aging parents etc.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

Parenting Your Parents Mendszenthy, B., and Gordon, Michael: Parenting your Parents: Support Strategies for Meeting the Challenge of Aging in the Family
  • Deerburn Press, Toronto
  • Gives advice using 15 concrete examples from real-life stories to suggest how mid-life adults can deal successfully with aging parents.
  • Issues range from substance abuse to dementia, to working with siblings in providing support.
  • Resources are organized both nationally and provincially.
  • Includes a 35-page Personal Parenting Planner for capturing background information relevant for developing an action plan.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

Mothers and Fathers Sapi, Louis and Zawadzki: Mothers and Fathers: Health and Financial Advice to Share with Your Parents
  • Prentice Hall Canada, Toronto, 2000
  • Library Code: 362.6S241
  • A Canadian book that addresses 2 key areas:
  • The health issues that aging parents may face; and
  • The pertinent financial and legal issues involved.
  • Stresses the role of the health care system in relation to seniors.
  • Describes how an adult child can facilitate the parents' use of the system.
  • Includes advice on how seniors should manage their finances, minimizing income tax, doing estate planning.
  • Recommends how family members can be of assistance to parents, and how to deal with these sensitive issues.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

Simple Guide Stasi, Linda and Rogers, Rosemary: Boomer Babes: A Woman's Guide to the New Middle Ages
  • St. Martin's Press, New York, 1998
  • Library Code: 305.244S796
  • If laughter is good therapy, it's worth reading this book for the laughter alone!
  • An irreverent examination of many of the issues facing Baby Boom women in midlife.
  • Offers some off-the-wall advice for women approaching 50.

For Better or Worse Yogev, Sara: For Better or For Worse, but Not for Lunch: Making Marriage Work in Retirement
  • Contemporary Books, New York, 2001
  • Excellent for couples in the pre-retirement zone.
  • Research is up-to-date.
  • Offers personal examples and exercises to help couples move from pre-retirement into retirement.
  • Explores leaving work; living a purposeful life; managing together/separately; dealing with money, family and friends; and the different perspective men and women have on retirement.
  • Especially useful for pre-retirement professionals who deal with couples.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

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Realizing Your Dreams

Greater Late Than Never Hope, Robert: Greater Late than Never: Fulfilling your Dreams After 50
  • Longstreet Press Inc., Marietta, Georgia, 1998
  • Based primarily on the author's insights and experiences as a sports promoter and public relations specialist.
  • Presents the challenges of growing old - from a masculine perspective - in a direct, precise style.
  • Encourages people over 50 to seize the time they have left to pursue their dreams and to live life to the fullest.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

BOOK REVIEW Knorr, Rosanne: The Grown-Ups Guide to Running Away from Home, Ten Speed Press
  • Berkley, California, 1998
  • Library Code: 646.69K72
  • A great book for anyone who dreams of escaping on a long-term travel adventure.
  • Full of great advice on how to plan your escape.
  • Includes what to do about your residence while you are away; how to arrange your finances; what to do about health care, and more.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

Field Guide Lee, A., and Lee, F.: A Field Guide to Retirement: 14 Lifestyle Opportunities and Options for a Successful Retirement
  • Doubleday, New York, 1991
  • Library Code: 646.790973L477
  • Easy to read.
  • Provides a very good analysis of the many lifestyle options individuals have in retirement; includes some chapters devoted to specific activity options.
  • Simulates thought by beginning with 5 key questions for the reader to consider, and then gives 75 "activity idea generators" for retirement.
  • Recommended for individuals who are not sure what they want to do in retirement - or where they want to do it.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

Simple Guide Scott, Steven: Simple Steps to Impossible Dreams: The 15 Power Secrets of the World's Most Successful People
  • Simon & Schuster, New York 1998
  • Recommended for individuals who have dreams for their retirement but have no idea how to realize them.
  • Walks through a 15-step process to encourage the pursuit of one's dreams.
  • Does require a great deal of self-analysis: requires perseverance to work through all of the steps.
  • Available at Amazon.ca

Simple Guide Scher, Barbara: Wishcraft: How to Get What you Really Want
  • Ballantine Books, New York, 1979
  • Library Code: 158.1S551
  • Not written specifically for pre-retirees or retirees.
  • BUT its formula is perfect for helping people in later life to pursue their dreams.
  • Breaks down the challenge into easily digested parts.
  • Describes in practical terms how to deal creatively with obstacles to achieving goals.
  • Emphasizes the role that a social support system plays.
  • An excellent life-planning tool.

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