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Purpose and Power in Retirement
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Both Autry and Koenig explore the spiritual and developmental aspects of retirement from a Christian perspective, noting that people underestimate how difficult it is to switch from the working world to "the land of no boss." A solid plan for retirement, they agree, will provide happiness and a seamless transition from one's career. Far from being the end of one's life, retirement should instead be seen cheerfully as that "last one-third of life that no longer has the restrictions of the first two-thirds." Autry, a former Fortune 500 executive, champions the notion that living healthily, volunteering, and growing spiritually in retirement "can become a liberating path toward a life of opportunity and personal and spiritual growth." An overarching focus on connecting with the people who love and need you, with nature, and with your inner self permeates his book. Koenig (psychiatry and medicine, Duke Univ. Medical Ctr.) will appeal more to eggheads. Well researched and packed with statistics and studies (and 286 endnotes!), his book observes that "baby boomers will be the healthiest, most physically active, best-educated group of retirees in history." In an academic tone, he encourages retirees to "make a meaningful difference for at least one other person" in the world. Yes, retirees have earned the right to relax, but while "recreation and a little self-indulgence are definitely part of the picture....They are not at the center of the picture." Offering more heart and authoritative how-to advice, Autry's book is recommended for public libraries. Koenig writes more as a social scientist than a guru, and thus his book is more suitable for academic libraries. For the cut-and-dried crowd, try Lynn O'Shaughnessy's The Retirement Bible. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"In this thoughtful self-help manual, Koenig explores life after retirement as an opportunity for growth. He presents a stimulating overview of the social trends ... that led to the common view of retirement years as leisure time. Koenig debunks the myths that surround this life period ... and contends that a successful retirement results not from a high income, but rather from identifying a higher purpose in life that will lead to emotional fulfillment. Altogether, it makes for an introspective look at a lengthening period in the lives of older Americans."

In this thoughtful self-help manual, Duke University associate medicine professor Koenig explores life after retirement as an opportunity for growth. He presents a stimulating overview of the social trends e.g., the shift from older Americans working far past the age of 65 (in the 1800s) to older Americans with increased economic independence (in the 1900s) that led to the common view of retirement years as leisure time. Koenig debunks the myths that surround this life period and argues that embarking on a life of relaxation is actually counter-productive to one's health. A life of self-indulgence may lead to "lower levels of well-being" brought on by weight gain and marital problems, he says. Koenig contends that a successful retirement results not from a high income, but rather from identifying a higher purpose in life that will lead to emotional fulfillment. Although everyone must design their own retirement goals, Koenig suggests choosing activities that benefit others and that are based on talents or abilities a retiree possesses and will enjoy utilizing. He recommends seeking out volunteer opportunities, and also stresses deepening one's personal spirituality in retirement. Those who share the author's strong religious orientation will benefit the most from his advice. A committed Christian, he nevertheless believes that all religions can offer the means to spiritual development and offers here resources for people of many faiths, as well as for those who are uncertain of their spiritual direction. Altogether, it makes for an introspective look at a lengthening period in the lives of older Americans. (Oct.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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