Start a Retirement Book Club or Any Club: You Are Apt to Live a Longer Life!

A fairly large percentage of retirees experience a drop in well-being after retirement.  According to researchers, between 10-24% of retirees feel stressed in the years following their departure from work. Starting or joining a retirement book club — read books about retirement and share your thoughts — may be just the answer.
retirement book club
Actually, any club will work — golf, gardening, coffee, road rally, or even a retirement job would count. In fact, scientists recommend that retirees join in any activity that facilitates meeting and mingling.

Enhanced Well Being and You’ll Live Longer if You Are Part of a Club

A study by BMJ Open followed nearly 1000 people over six years, looking specifically at their quality of life.  The researchers found that people who maintained involvement in clubs or groups after they had retired were less likely to die.

More specifically, the study concluded that, “Retirees who had two group memberships prior to retirement had a 2% risk of death in the first 6 years of retirement if they maintained membership in two groups, a 5% risk if they lost one group and a 12% risk if they lost both groups. Furthermore, for every group membership that participants lost in the year following retirement, their experienced quality of life 6 years later was approximately 10% lower.”

So, hurry join or start a club!  If it’s a book club you are after, here are a few books about retirement to get you started:

Contemporary Fiction for a Retirement Book Club

You might think that a retirement book club would be all about personal finance.  But no.  There is lots of literature that explores what this phase of life is really all about, the struggles and the triumphs.  Some books are escapist, others funny and many are quite inspiring.

Here are a few contemporary favorites:

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry“: One Amazon reviewer calls this book a perfect example of “boomer lit” — stories about aging boomers struggling with this phase of life.  However, this book is so good that I know one 16 year old fan of thrillers and dystopia who includes this among his favorite all time reads.

“Olive Kitteridge”: This Pulitzer Prize winning book is really more of a collection of 13 short stories. Follow Olive Kitteridge, a retired school teacher, as she grapples with changes in her world, the people around her and comes to a better understanding of her own life.

A Man Called Ove“: I actually found this book a bit depressing.  Most everyone I know thought it was funny and inspiring.  Watch Ove triumph over sadness and find a new meaning in retirement.

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand“: A charming look at another chance at love and companionship later in life.

The Sense of an Ending“: Complex and intense, this novel explores what happens when a man who thinks he as achieved it all, including a secure retirement, is confronted with a mysterious legacy and is forced to revise his view of himself.

Gilead“: This story follows three generations from the Civil War to the 20th century.  It is a moving story of fathers and sons.

The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared“: Turns out the nursing home is not actually the last stop for 100 year old Allan Karlsson.  After a lifetime of adventures and being a real part of history, he is just not ready to give up the ghost.

Water for Elephants: A Novel“: This book is romantic and dramatic and reminds us that rich memories can be relived and inspire new adventures.

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant“: This hilarious memoir by the New Yorker cartoonist is a graphic novel chronicling how the author navigated her parent’s old age.  If you have experienced foibles with your aging parents, this laugh out loud book is for you.

Pieces of Happiness: A novel of five lifelong friends who, in their sixties, decide to live together on a cocoa farm in Fiji, where they not only start a chocolate business but strengthen their friendships and rediscover themselves. One review calls this “chick lit for the sixty something crowd.”

You Are Only Old Once! A Book for Obsolete Children“: Written to celebrate Seuss’s 82nd birthday, this book makes an amazing retirement gift.

Non Fiction Finance Options for a Retirement Book Club

There are no shortage of retirement how to books.  Here are a few of the favorites:

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich“: This book has been the guide to thousands who want to retire early, very early.

Get What’s Yours – Revised & Updated: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security“: This is considered to be the definitive book on getting the most out of Social Security.

A Random Walk down Wall Street: The Time-tested Strategy for Successful Investing“: This is considered the one book you really need to read if you want to manage your own investments.

The Automatic Millionaire, Expanded and Updated: A Powerful One-Step Plan to Live and Finish Rich“: Straight forward achievable advice for personal finance and retirement readiness.

The Bogleheads Guide to Investing“: The fundamentals of sophisticated and smart retirement investing, kept simple.

How to Make Your Money Last: The Indispensable Retirement Guide“: Author Jane Bryant Quinn shows you how to make sure you don’t run out of money in retirement.

After reading these instructional manuals, apply what you learn to your own situation using the NewRetirement retirement planning calculator.  This award winning tool makes it easy to create a detailed and personalized plan and then try out different scenarios.

What is Your Favorite Book About Retirement?

We intend to keep adding to this list of great books about retirement in many different genres — contemporary fiction, classics, personal finance non fiction and self help.

Share your favorite retirement book in the comments section below.  Let everyone know what you found inspiring.

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