December 15, 2014 — The calendar is ticking down for buying holiday gifts for that special retiree. So thanks to input from our frequent contributor Jan Cullinane, here are a few book ideas to stimulate your thought process. We’ve added some other non-book suggestions at the end.
Books (all available at your favorite independent book store, or search by title on Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.com):
1. Working: Great Jobs for Everyone 50+ by Kerry Hannon
2. Finances: Money for Life by Steve Vernon
3. Being happy in retirement: How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free: Retirement Wisdom That You Won’t Get from Your Financial Advisor by Ernie Zelinski
4. How we think about money: Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes and How to Correct Them: Lessons from the Life-Changing Science of Behavioral Economics by Gary Belsky. (Jan notes that this one is a favorite because she’s heavily into behavioral economics – this book gives concrete examples of how to make better money decisions in general. She’s given a number of talks on this general area of decision-making: “Think we know how we think? Think again!”)
5. Retiring as a couple: The Couples Retirement Puzzle by Dorian Mintzer
6. Retiring as a single: The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement by Jan Cullinane (her book includes specific places to retire and is holistic in approach)
7. Saving Money: How to Retire the Cheapskate Way: The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Guide to a Better, Earlier, Happier Retirement by Jeff Yeager.
8. Where to Retire:
– America’s Best and Most Affordable Places by John Howells with a new edition coming out in January.
– The International Living Guide to Retiring Overseas on a Budget: How to Live Well on $25,000 a Year by Suzan Haskins.
9. Hobbies: Perhaps the new retiree has a hobby they intend to pursue. Or maybe you see that as an “opportunity”. Either way, a book about a hobby might be nice entrance to retirement. See Amazon’s list of “Best Selling Hobby Books”
10. What to do in retirement:
– Second Careers – New Ways to Work After 50 by Caroline Bird
– Second Acts by Stephen Pollan and Mark Levine
This might carry an aspect of self-interest, but how about a book on a destination country. Bill Bryson writes great books of all types, but his “In a Sunburned Country” (Australia) will make you want to go there. For guide books try any of from Rick Steves or the Lonely Planet. David Lebovitz has several books on Paris like “The Sweet Life in Paris”.
Speaking of hobbies, how about a private lesson on one that you think your retiree might have an interest in. Cooking school, golf, tennis, photography, art, music, acting, dance, etc.
Movies, Plays, and TV. What about a gift certificate to your local theater, or a 3 month subscription to Netflix.
Wild and Crazy Ideas:
Skip Barber Racing School
Fantasy Baseball Camp
Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp
– How about a cooking gadget for the serious cook. Good kitchen stores have an infinite supply.
– For golfers, hikers, bikers, and runners – how about a GPS watch tailored to that sport. For example the Garmin (there are others too) GPS Golf Watch tells you how far your ball is from the front, middle, and back of the green.
– Wearables. One of the hottest areas in tech is wearable devices. Those include fitness watches that track how many steps you take and your total calorie burns. Plus other wearable devices of all types, like the Samsung Gear Circle, a necklace that lets you talk on the phone or listen to music.
– Travel Clothing
If you are going to be doing a lot of traveling in retirement you definitely need some travel clothes. The best ideas include reversibles, fast drying, non-wrinkling, folding into nothing, etc.
Please share your ideas for the perfect gift for retirees in the Comments section below.