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Posted November 2, 2006

Book: Spiritual Wisdom for Successful Retirement: Living Forward
Author: C.W. Brister
Haworth Pastoral Press, New York. 2006. Pp. 158

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Spiritual Wisdom for Successful Retirement is an inspirational guide through the journey that begins in life’s “third stage,” when employment is left behind and uncertainty lies ahead. This upbeat and uplifting book travels beyond the financial and emotional considerations of retirement planning to address the real-life issues retirees face, including the loss of identity after leaving the workplace; managing the clock, calendar, and commitments; how to deal with the blues and the “blahs,” the loss of independence; and facing the reality of death.

An Excerpt from the book:

Rather than being victimized by the open-endedness of such new freedom, or by the need to rush into volunteerism or to get a part-time job, retirees need the humility just to be. As the respected rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel noted: “Just to be is a blessing, just to live is holy.” Recognition of the Holy involves reframing hour point of view — sensing that you matter to God and to other persons — and that life will go on. Responsible retirement involves both deeply held personal core values and community (social) accountability. For retirement to be both enjoyed and embraced, you must have a responsible purpose for doing life — for pursuing new goals.

Such a spiritual stance requires what ethicist Rushworth Kidder describes as a “morality of mindfulness.” Kidder worked as a senior columnist for the Christian Science Monitor before founding The Institute for Global Ethics in Camden, Maine. In his attempt to resolve the dilemmas of ethical living in an age of distraction and disruption, Kidder advocates intentional decision making. He rightly observes that so many of life’s dilemmas involve moral decisions, not between right and wrong, but between right versus right as responsible persons try to pursue worthy goals.

Table of Contents:


1. A funny thing happened on the way to retirement

2. The road to retirement

3. Mapping the retirement landscape

4. Challenges of managing the calendar, clock and commitments

5. How to deal with the blues and blahs

6. When the unexpected happens

7. There is strength in numbers

8. Facing death and life beyond

9. Finding your way home

10. Keeping life in balance