Monday, November 16, 2009

Lifestyle Newsletter 15 November 2009


Confirming my experience here in Australia, the American National Bureau of Economic Research has found that more than one-quarter of boomer households thought "hardly at all" about retirement.
They put it down to research that shows financial literacy among boomers was "alarmingly low." Half could not do a simple math calculation (divide $2 million by five).

My private clients agree that I have “the cookie” (as the Americans say). If you really do want to have 20-25 years of comfortable retirement, just ask me – Bernard Kelly - for an informal chat by phone. My email is


With the growing awareness that very few of us will ever have enough for 20-25 years of dignified retirement, in America there is a new wave of thinking about how to finance the last one third of our lives.

It has been elegantly put by Jasper Silvis, writing on his blog
He says that retirement is not the goal, entrepreneurialism is now the goal – especially some form of home based business once you opt out of the workforce.


If you’re into gardening, then raising seedlings for sale at a local community market could be a profitable hobby for you.

You probably already spend some hours each week tending to plants, so an extension into seedlings shouldn’t be too much of a stretch.

For the best outcome, you’ll probably need to take a permanent space at a weekly market – the type typically operated by Rotary in an open carpark on a Sunday.

Your sales on any day could range from say $50 to $150 – not much, but if you’re going to be on a low income (or the pension) when you retire, every little extra will help.

So start now.


I recently was directed to

It’s actually a book publisher who accumulates personal anecdotes and then complies them into books. However you can read on-line personal anecdotes of hundreds of people who have already contributed to a topic.

If two heads are better than one, then wouldn't hundreds of heads be even better? That's the simple premise behind Hundreds of Heads.

Books, e-mails and web sites offer useful advice and entertaining experiences collected from hundreds of people across the country who have "been there, done that".

Go there and search on whatever issue is troubling you right now.


Encore careers combine continued income, social impact and personal fulfillment.

But while it’s relatively straightforward to calculate continued income and even possible to measure social impact, it’s more difficult to know, in advance, if an encore career will provide personal fulfillment.

We humans often imagine that something will make us happy and then discover it doesn’t. To help us out, the emerging field of positive psychology uses rigorous research methods to study experiences like happiness and fulfillment.

One of the most prominent researchers is Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania. Seligman suggests that there are three distinct paths, or approaches, to happiness. Travel down those three paths to predict whether a particular encore job is likely to bring you personal fulfillment.
The first path to happiness is simple pleasure, or enjoyment.

The second path to happiness is engagement, or relaxed concentration.

The third path to happiness is meaning, or a sense of purpose.

Now that you know about all three paths, you can better evaluate different encore opportunities.

Would the job be fun? Would it be engaging? Would it be meaningful? It could even be all three — a trifecta!

Using this approach, you need not settle for “just” continued income and social impact. You can have personal fulfillment, too.

Acknowledgements: John Nelson coauthor of” What Color Is Your Parachute? For Retirement”


In the United States, 16.5 million of those over 55 are members of social networks such as My Space and FaceBook.

There are 56 million over 55 in the US, so 16.5 million represents 29% of that cohort.


Thailand and the Philippines are usually the countries that many people from developed economies think about when considering a Southeast Asian retirement destination.

However, in recent years, Malaysia has been aggressively going after retirees in an attempt to make that country one of the best places to retire in the region.

For retirees, Malaysia has a “Malaysia, My Second Home” strategy designed to attract foreigners who are planning to retire overseas.

The program grants retirees privileges to engage in part time work, ability to invest in businesses, a long term and multiple entry visa, ability to purchase a home, and ability to import an automobile duty free. Retirees must be able to demonstrate financial ability to support themselves (about US$2,500 month) or an initial deposit of about US$40,000.

Overall, although Malaysia is still a country in development it gets a thumbs up as a retirement destination due to the low cost of living and healthcare, business, and transportation infrastructure.

Government policies that attempt to make Malaysia one of the best places to retire in Southeast Asia are also likely to prove attractive to Americans who might want to retire abroad.

Economically, the country is one of the top performers in Southeast Asia and should provide a retiree with a stable and progressive retirement destination.


Until next time - I'm Bernard Kelly of 0414 778 518