The best comprehensive retirement books that will make you successful and happy

Who am I?

I’ve lived in four states because of corporate transfers. My background is college teaching/administration, and for each relocation, I found a new job, house, and social groups. This is what retirement is about, the opportunity to learn, re-invent, re-define yourself, and pursue new opportunities and passions. My biology/psychology/relocation background prepared me to address the non-financial aspects of retirement, and I know CPAs/CFPs willing to share their financial expertise. I’ve authored five retirement books, I’m the “Healthy Living” columnist for a magazine, and I’ve been speaking/writing about retirement for the past 22 years. I have a B.S., an M.Ed., and I’m ABD for my doctorate. I can also speak backwards fluently!

I wrote...

The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life, 3rd edition

By Jan Cullinane,

Book cover of The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life, 3rd edition

What is my book about?

“Big-box” retailers like Target, Walmart, Costco, and Amazon thrive because so many people want one-stop shopping. The New Retirement: The Ultimate Guide to the Rest of Your Life, 3rd edition, provides the same type of service to you, the reader. This book is for those who want to create more than just a financial plan – it’s for those looking to create a life plan.

The chapter titles give a good indication of the content: "What Makes Retirement Successful?"; "168 Hours a Week"; "Working in Retirement: It’s not an Oxymoron"; "What and Where is Home?"; "Locations, Locations, Locations"; "Forever Young"; "Dollars and Sense"; "The Taxman Cometh"; "Money Saving Tricks and Tips"; "The Final Chapter". 

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of What the Happiest Retirees Know: 10 Habits for a Healthy, Secure, and Joyful Life

Why did I love this book?

This gem of a book translates the results of Wes Moss’s survey of more than 2,000 happy retirees into ten actionable habits that help you achieve your best “second act.” I love the author’s easy, breezy writing style. Find out how many “core pursuits” are needed to make you a happier retiree!

By Wes Moss,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What the Happiest Retirees Know as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The bestselling author of You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think and host of Money Matters reveals the 10 essential habits for a rich, rewarding, and blissful retirement.

What does it take to have a truly happy retirement? Is it money? A mortgage-free home? An active social life? A long-lasting marriage-or maybe a new one? Finance expert, author, and radio host Wes Moss asked more than 2,000 of the nation's happiest retirees to find out-and their answers may surprise you. Through a series of revealing surveys, Moss noticed a pattern of distinct, recognizable habits that the happiest retirees shared, from…

Book cover of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions

Why did I love this book?

Although not a retirement book, this book will change the way you think and make your retirement richer and more meaningful. You’ll become a much better decision-maker and learn, for example, how to fight status quo bias, deal with choice overload, avoid “anchoring,” and recognize how important “hedonic adaptation” is in retirement.   

By Dan Ariely,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Predictably Irrational as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Why do smart people make irrational decisions every day? The answers will surprise you. Predictably Irrational is an intriguing, witty and utterly original look at why we all make illogical decisions.

Why can a 50p aspirin do what a 5p aspirin can't? If an item is "free" it must be a bargain, right? Why is everything relative, even when it shouldn't be? How do our expectations influence our actual opinions and decisions?

In this astounding book, behavioural economist Dan Ariely cuts to the heart of our strange behaviour, demonstrating how irrationality often supplants rational thought and that the reason for…

Book cover of What Retirees Want: A Holistic View of Life's Third Age

Why did I love this book?

I like authors who back up statements with research. Ken Dychtwald, CEO of Age Wave, has been studying the Boomer generation for more than three decades, and uses his research to not only demonstrate how this generation has transformed retirement, but also provides important insights for those who work with, sell to, or are Boomers themselves. Virtually every page has a nugget of useful and applicable information.

By Ken Dychtwald,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What Retirees Want as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Dychtwald and Morison offer a brilliant and convincing perspective: an essential re-think of what 'aging' and 'retirement' mean today and an invitation to help mobilize the best in the tidal wave of Boomer Third Agers."
-Daniel Goleman, PhD, Author, Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ

Throughout 99 percent of human history, life expectancy at birth was less than 18 years. Few people had a chance to age. Today, thanks to extraordinary medical, demographic, and economic shifts, most of us expect to live long lives. Consequently, the world is witnessing a powerful new version of retirement, driven by…

Book cover of Your Erroneous Zones: Step-By-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life

Why did I love this book?

This book was originally published in 1976. It was the first time I internalized the concept that we may not be able to control what happens to us, but we can control how we react to things. This simple thought was – and is – transformational. It’s something that guides my actions to this day. Dyer provides readers with the tools to identify faulty thinking and to change our behavior to become happier and more successful. 

By Wayne W. Dyer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Your Erroneous Zones as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


The first book by Wayne Dyer, author of the multimillion-copy bestseller Pulling Your Own Strings and national bestsellers There’s a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem and Wisdom of the Ages, a positive and practical guide to breaking free from the trap of negative thinking and enjoying life to the fullest.

If you're plagued by guilt or worry and find yourself unwittingly falling into the same old self-destructive patterns, then you have "erroneous zones" – whole facets of your approach to life that act as barriers to your…

Jane Eyre

By Charlotte Brontë,

Book cover of Jane Eyre

Why did I love this book?

Jane Eyre epitomizes the struggles we all face – in our daily lives, our relationships, in dashed hopes, and in persevering even in difficult times.  I like the story, the mystery of Mr. Rochester, Jane’s pluckiness, and her tenacity. I love that Jane is an independent woman who is a survivor, and won’t compromise her ideals. 

I read this book in fifth grade, and Jane’s strong character made a big impact on me. It reminded me of the Nancy Drew books, with another capable female heroine and role model.  

By Charlotte Brontë,

Why should I read it?

29 authors picked Jane Eyre as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Introduction and Notes by Dr Sally Minogue, Canterbury Christ Church University College.

Jane Eyre ranks as one of the greatest and most perennially popular works of English fiction. Although the poor but plucky heroine is outwardly of plain appearance, she possesses an indomitable spirit, a sharp wit and great courage.

She is forced to battle against the exigencies of a cruel guardian, a harsh employer and a rigid social order. All of which circumscribe her life and position when she becomes governess to the daughter of the mysterious, sardonic and attractive Mr Rochester.

However, there is great kindness and warmth…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in retirement, mental disorders, and decision making?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about retirement, mental disorders, and decision making.

Retirement Explore 25 books about retirement
Mental Disorders Explore 137 books about mental disorders
Decision Making Explore 71 books about decision making

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