Wise Advice For A Successful Retirement

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In my quest to find the best source of advice for a successful retirement, I just found what may be the best source available to all of us.  I hadn’t planned on writing this post today, but I realized I had no choice.  This source must be shared with all of you.

I found it by accident.   

Before I reveal this wonderful new source, I’ll drop a few hints.  See if you can figure it out.

  • This source isn’t available anywhere else but here. 
  • I wish I could copyright it, but I can’t.  I wouldn’t.  It deserves to be free.
  • This source represents thousands of years of retirement.
  • This source is multi-faceted and represents a broad mix of experiences.
  • This source continues to grow.
  • This source is powerful.

Any ideas?  Read on, and I’ll reveal the source for advice for a successful retirement that may have just become my favorite…

I just found a new source for wise advice for retirement. It is, perhaps, the best source I've ever found. I'm revealing it today. Click To Tweet

Wise Advice For A Successful Retirement

Finding this new powerful new source of advice for a successful retirement started two weeks ago when I was struggling with a minor dilemma.  As soon as I reveal the dilemma, you’ll figure out this mysterious new source.

What was the dilemma?  

I was trying to figure out how to give away my new book (affiliate link).  I had a few thoughts on how best to do it and had to finalize the approach. I had whittled the options down to the following three choices:

  1. Should I ask you to share a post?  No, that seems too greedy on my part.  Though, I do encourage all of you to share me with your friends.  Please?  (Hint..hint).
  2. Should I ask you to respond to my subscriber’s e-mail?  No, I did that recently and I still haven’t gotten through all of those emails.  I wanted a better way to capture your responses, a place where all could see.  
  3. Should I ask you to answer a question in the comments?

As you know, I chose the third.  The first dilemma solved, I now faced a second.  What question should I ask you?  That one was easier to solve.  Since my book was titled Keys to a Successful Retirement (affiliate link), and none of you had been able to read it yet, the question seemed obvious:

“What do you think is the most important key to a successful retirement?”

You’re a smart bunch, and when I asked for your advice for a successful retirement, I’d do well to listen to what you had to say.  I’m glad I listened.  In the process of reading through your 351 responses to that question, I discovered the best source for advice for a successful retirement I’d ever come across.

That source is you. 

You’re over 6,000 people strong on The Retirement Manifesto e-mail subscriber list and growing quickly.  Many of you are retired, many of you are not.  Combined, you represent several thousand years of retirement experience.  What an amazing resource. What if I could find a way to share several thousand years of experience, and compile the wisest advice for a successful retirement into one post to benefit the readers who have not yet retired?

With that thought, today’s post was born.

Today I'm sharing the readers' advice for a successful retirement that most resonated with me. Click To Tweet

Before I share the wisdom from the readers, I’d like to thank all of you for your responses to that question, and for entering the book giveaway.  Congratulations to Paul, Cheryl and Daniel for winning the three copies of my new book, Keys to a Successful Retirement.  I hope you enjoy the read. 

(Also, a quick reminder for anyone who didn’t win, you can order my book here  – Amazon Affiliate link)

Sharing The Wisest Advice For A Successful Retirement

I suspect few have taken the time to read through all 350 comments on the original post, so I’ve decided to share the advice for a successful retirement that most resonated with me.  Apologies to those not included below, it seemed a bit excessive to include you all.  Feel free to click back over to that original post and read them for yourself.  I think you’d enjoy the process.  I know I did. 

BTW, one person who DID read all 350 of those posts was Shannon, a reader of this blog who also writes at Retires Great.  He not only read them all, but he did some excellent analysis which he outlined in this post, along with some interesting graphics.  Shannon’s been generous in allowing me to share one of his charts below. (I can’t believe he categorized all 350 comments to create those graphs, he’s got more patience than I do!)

With that, below is some of the wisest advice for a successful retirement, direct from the readers of this blog.  I encourage you to read each bit of advice.  Savor the knowledge.  Learn from the experience of others.  Search for ways to apply this advice for a successful retirement to your own lives. Together, let’s help each other Achieve a Great Retirement (my byline).

Reader Advice For A Successful Retirement

Be a Lifelong Learner. Suzette

“Don’t be afraid to spend the money you have worked so hard to save. The point of an enjoyable retirement is to have fun and “enjoy” each and every day because we are not ever promised tomorrow.”  Dale

A positive attitude.  Jay

After being home in “stay in place” order, I realize a game plan for what we will do with your time will be crucial. Stephanie

Know what title will be on your new ‘retired’ business card. Rob

While financial security is important; the most important factor is the mental adjustment. Going from being significant with your co-workers, community and other associates to becoming insignificant in their lives. Realizing your business friends etc were never really friends. Mike

Having the financial, mental, spiritual and physical health to live life to the fullest!  Jeff

I think the most important thing is lots of open communication with your spouse /partner ahead of time (if you have one). Talks about money of course, but also what you will do with your time, how household duties will be split in retirement, goals and travel plans, etc. Mary

A loving family, a worthy purpose and a deep contentment. Hari

I think a successful retirement involves thoughtful planning and having the right mindset. Understanding that being flexible is a good thing. Take time to “smell the coffee”. Keep learning new things and help others when possible. Teach your kids and grandkids to do the right thing instead of the popular thing. Monty

I believe the key to a successful retirement is attitude, Fritz. You’ve got to be able to roll with the punches. Therese

The three legs of successful retirement…


One thing that I have learned during this pandemic is that I need structure and discipline in my life and although I may be ready to retire from a financial aspect, I need a plan for what I am going to do to occupy my time and mind so that I am fulfilled.  Vivian

Realize the value of your time – you can always make more money, but you can’t make more time. SkipL

The most important key to a successful retirement is flexibility – As Mike Tyson said, “everybody has a plan until you get punched in the mouth”. Flexibility is the best way to adapt to the many punches in the mouth that live will give you over 30, 40 and 50 years of retirement.  Diego

The most important thing to prepare for retirement is “what am I going to do” in this next phase of my life. Retirement is not sitting around watching tv all day but having something meaningful to do that contributes to your family, yourself and others. Scott

I think the key to a successful retirement is to have a sense of purpose, something to wake up for each day. Linda

If you’re fortunate enough to have a spouse, the most important key to a successful retirement is to remember that you’re not in this alone. Address retirement as a team. Robert

I think the most important thing is to be grateful!  Jr.

Am I mentally ready for retirement? I am financially ready, now to get my mind set for it. RE

Without a doubt, good health. You can have unlimited assets, rewarding hobbies, a great circle of friends and family, faith in your God, etc. Without good health, how can you really enjoy any of those things? Pat

Plot your course. Review periodically for adjustments. Expect the unexpected. Enjoy! Louis

Engagement. Comes in many forms, but so important. Gary

Deciding what made us most happy and where we wanted to spend all the extra time after leaving the workforce. Tina

One key element is to build a social network outside your workplace well before retiring. David

Purpose and realization of what makes you happy. Karen

Prepare, prepare and prepare! If you are prepared financially, socially, spiritually, emotionally, etc. your retirement will work out just fine. Ralph

The most important key to a successful retirement is planning in partnership with your spouse. Roy

Leave no regrets.  Corey

Sharpen the saw, staying fit mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. Jay

A successful retirement needs to have a balance of good health, fulfilling hobby, and passive streams of income. Hahn

Keep learning…..trying new things!  Sherry

I never would have been able to make our retirement what we are experiencing now If I had not had a plan that was both long term and short term, with measurable goals along the way as well as a vision of what the final product was going to look like.  31NDUN

The most important thing in retirement is a need to care for others.  Johnny

Live within your means. Enjoy living, not buying. Stay the course. Tim

To be Positive, both in attitude and cash flow. Scott

In my opinion, a positive mindset and attitude is the bedrock to achieving success. Shannon

Knowing yourself — You can plan all you like, but if those planned items are not what make life rewarding, you are just alive, but not necessarily living.  Brad

Reading and applying daily the “Serenity Prayer” by Reinhold Niebuhr. Bob

Be happy with what you have, be happy with who you have to share your retirement with, and live each day being as happy as you can be. Life’s too short to be miserable and unhappy. Mark

Serving Others.  Rick

Curiosity. Don


Wow, Right?!

I told you it was an excellent source to find wise advice for a successful retirement. I was also interested to see that 25% of the advice focused on planning and preparation (thanks for the analysis, Shannon).  It’s almost as if you were reading my mind, as you’ll see when you read my book (affiliate link). Thanks to all of you for entering the giveaway.  While only three readers benefited from winning the free book, all of us have gained value from the insightful wisdom shared in those comments.

For that, I thank each of you.

Your Turn:  What piece of advice most resonated with you from that (long) list, and why?


  1. Wow that’s great stuff and a large readership like that full of smart and motivated people is an amazing resource.

    I like “Sharpen the saw, staying fit mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially.” and “I think the most important thing is to be grateful!”

      1. Our goals in retirement are to maintain our health, financial fitness, emotional and spiritual well being so we can do what we want when we want. Freedom to do our bucket lists!!! Gratful to have the love of my life to retire with. Nola

  2. Thank you Fritz!

    It is an honor to analyze so many great responses.

    More importantly, you have created a “sense of community” that I’m proud to be part of. By sharing our thoughts and ideas, we help each other to “Achieve a Great Retirement”. Darn good byline, by the way. After all, why would anyone settle for anything less than great?

    At the risk of sounding like a plug; I really am looking forward to your book!

    1. I am humbled that someone would take the time to do that analysis, Shannon. You definitely added value to the reader wisdom and are a valued member of the community. Glad you like the byline, I’m rather fond of it myself. And, book “plugs” are always welcome. Wink.

      Much appreciated!

  3. Still a firm believer in having an agreed upon plan to start – it should always be flexible and adjustable, as life really is – but at least then we can begin retirement knowing the very first step is in the direction we wish to go.

  4. Sharpen the saw, staying fit mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. Jay

    Thanks for the analysis.

      1. I read that but didn’t see any quotes by those three names. What advice did the winners submit?

        1. I can’t recall, they were chosen at random for the giveaway. You’d have to scroll through the comments on the original post to see their comments, but the giveaway wasn’t based on the “best” comments, just a random number.

  5. 1. Explicitly deciding your what — objective, desired outcome, end state, however you best characterize that for life situation and background. 2. And, discovering your why — the force or concept that drives you from where and when you are now to that objective what in 1.

  6. I completely forgot to answer Fritz’s question.

    While each and every every answer is important, when I think about it, the one that most resounds for me is…

    If you’re fortunate enough to have a spouse, the most important key to a successful retirement is to remember that you’re not in this alone. Address retirement as a team. Robert

  7. Another reason I follow your blog, not only to read your posts but also to see other’s responses. I can learn from many! Now I just have to find a spouse to enjoy retirement with….😊

  8. I think remembering that you’re not in this alone and that you and your spouse have to be a time and be in agreement on how you spend your time and money.
    It’s ironic that just yesterday I was asked by my boss to retire early on July 1st of this year. I had previously talked about retiring in January 1,2021, but being that I’m in the oil business and the oil business is in the tank right now, I have fallen victim to the crash in our industry. Thankfully though, as I have shared before, we are financially prepared and have our buckets in place. Even with the stock market decline at the worst possible time, I have my Bucket 1 filled and can ride out the market without selling. Also my employer has agreed to keep me and my wife on the company healthcare plan until we turn 65 (we are both 62 now). So that is a big bonus for us.
    Thanks Fritz for all your insight on this blog and I am looking forward to reading your book as soon as it arrives. Keep up the good work.

    1. “Also my employer has agreed to keep me and my wife on the company healthcare plan until we turn 65…”

      SCORE!! You get to retire 6 months earlier than planned, you’re ready, AND you get healthcare. Yesterday was a very good day for Mr. Helpingstine. Congrats on the rapidly approaching Starting Line, I’m pleased that I’ve been able to play a small role in your preparation!

      1. Thanks Fritz.
        I guess I never thought of it as a good day, but I guess you’re right. Even though it was unplanned, and I’ll be leaving 6 months earlier than I was expecting to, and I am so lucky to have the healthcare benefits and 6 months of time I didn’t have before. Now I’ve got some serious reading and thinking to do as I plan my exit over the next two months. I’m expecting your new book to show up this week but in the meantime I’ll be rereading some of your posts leading up to your final days at work. Very exciting and scary at the same time.

  9. Thank you Fritz…:
    Your email is always looked forward to and enjoyed.
    Although all were Good, this one resonated with me the most:

    Sharpen the saw, staying fit mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. Jay

    I did switch the order to put “spiritually” first, and that for me lets the other four fall in place as the need arises. With those five items in play, Contentment and Gratitude make for a calm spirit for me…
    Again, THANKS for all the work that you share with us !!!

  10. So many responses point to health as critically important, but I’m not so sure. What does that mean for those who face the loss of physical or cognitive abilities? Our retirement years can still be satisfying, valuable, and “successful.” I like Louise Aronson’s point (in Elderhood) that old age can be “high quality” and “good” in any circumstance, as long as we are “comfortable and cared for.”

    1. Interesting debate, Tim. I think having a positive attitude, regardless of your situation, is more critical than fitness. That said, retirement is a lot more enjoyable if you do everything possible to keep yourself in the best possible health. For those who have lost physical health for reasons outside their control, I agree that attitude makes all the difference.

  11. I think preparation and flexibility go hand in hand, and where one stops, the other picks up.

    However, given I have to choose one, I’ll definitely go with flexibility. There is only so much preparation you can make. Flexibility is needed to adapt to whatever life throws at you after making the jump.

  12. I am a big believer in always, joyfully, “being in the moment”, as difficult as that sometimes is to accomplish. I don’t always practice what I preach, but the striving to do so always brings ne back to an appreciation of time and life.
    So, I like the comment, “Realize the value of your time – you can always make more money, but you can’t make more time.”

  13. Hi Fritz, New, but have always looked at your webpage the last few years and never had the time to post. Always checking out your blogs. Great info! Bought you book and waiting till delivered, but was disappointed an auto didn’t come with…lol. Looking forward to retirement later this year and you made it easier for me. Just found a few brief moments working from home to send this. Arggh…work.


  14. Well done everyone. My thoughts after a year of retirement is to let the stress tags fall. One doesn’t realize the pent up stress you accumulate over the working years and that we all wear them differently. Say goodbye to that and take full advantage of everything we have worked for. Cheers!

  15. Congratulations again on the book Fritz, I have a few updates from amazon moving up the ship date so I’m guessing it’s coming out a little early, moved up in the rankings from so many pre-orders no doubt. This was a great article. Very enjoyable to be able to share in the insights from so many different people, with different backgrounds, on their important keys to retirement. How to get there and what’s important, It’s different for all of us.

  16. For retirement as with much else “If you fail to plan you plan to fail”

  17. Wisdom of crowds.

    After making a plan, I’m still staying with flexibility. Including my premature push out the door in November, we’ve already had 5 or 6 major changes. A parent’s death, cancelled pilgramage/European summer, 1st grandkid enroute, covid lockdown, wife decided a van travel life would be good and I just turned down a 7 week assignment from my old boss. Kind of had to on that, though, because house is in escrow and there are no packers to move us! It has been a crazy 6 months. Only 30 or so more years to go!

  18. Hi Fritz,

    I love how the book touches on different aspects of life and not just about financial preparation. I’m also making a disclaimer about a product promotion but it’s something relevant to what you just posted. On top of the retirement preparation, we also need to prepare for the inevitable. I believe that our organizer would be a good partner to your book. It lets you give an epic farewell in life and it also allows you to continue expressing your love to your family beyond this life. It’s something one of a kind. I hope that you’ll check it out and let me know how you find it.

      1. Yes, the majority of the population does not “Start something” out of fear. Fundamentally, they do not have personalized metrics to give them guidelines on the “…something”.

  19. Since you used my comment for this post, “Am I mentally ready for retirement? I am financially ready, now to get my mind set for it.”, there is a small fee. Just send your book to the following address… Ha ha.

    It takes a good posts to get good comments. If I find a good post, I always read the comments since it gets the gears grinding and many people have different ideas that might help you think outside your box.

    Hats off to your success!

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