Authors hope to take the fear out of retirement
August 6, 1999
(CNN) -- When Mary Helen and Shuford Smith set out to write a retirement source book their main goal was to help people 50 and over relax about retirement.
With so much attention focused on financial planning for retirement, the Smith's felt people were filled with fear rather than joy at the prospect of retirement.
"Potential retirees ask, 'Do I have enough money to retire?' Retirees wonder, 'Will my nest egg last?'" Mary Helen says.
The Smith's book, "The Retirement Sourcebook," has an extensive chapter on financial and legal matters, but also has information on health, social and emotional changes, safety and security, work and play opportunities and other decisions facing adults who are considering retirement.
"We performed a lot of research on the Internet, scouring government sites for current regulations and statistics. We sorted through seemingly endless words and numbers to simplify and organize the data into meaningful concepts. Up-to-date mailing and Internet addresses appear in the text and in the indices for whenever there's a need for more in-depth examination of an issue," Mary Helen says.
Through email, letters, and interview with retirees, the authors gathered tips on successful retirement and used those suggestions as sidebars throughout the book.
"There's something for everybody in this book. It may be the comprehensive overview of this life passage called retirement. It may be the simplification of how medical insurance works. It may be the address for deleting one's name from junk mail lists. Or, it may be some of those wonderful tips shared by retirees," she says.
The authors say the happiest retirees they spoke with were those that had done their homework. "They've understood the challenges, faced their fears, decided how and where they want to live, kept their minds open to positive options, and continued to view life with wonder," says Mary Helen.
The Smith's themselves faced retirement issues earlier than most Americans. When Mary Helen was 39 and Shuford was 43, they sold their home and business and traveled North America for 10 years. During that time they wrote a guidebook series, "Camp The U.S. for $5.00 or Less," and volunteered for six months with the Global Art Project.
They also helped their parents face decisions about retiring and aging. In 1996, the Smiths bought a house in Tryon, North Carolina, to serve as a base for their writing and photography projects.
"The Retirement Sourcebook" is published by Roxbury Park and was released in March.
Western U.S. dominates retirement towns
LATEST BOOK STORIES:
Cornwell's 'Sharpe' digs into history
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.