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Book Review: “The Successful Retirement Guide”

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: “The Successful Retirement Guide: Hundreds of Suggestions on How to Stay Intellectually, Socially and Physically Engaged for the Best Years of Your Life,” Kevin R. Price, Rainbow Books, Inc. 2009

Reviewed by Frederick C. Rieck, attorney

This book was not a happy choice. In retrospect, it is clear that the title should have warned me off-as with menus, where an exhaustive list of items probably means that they are equally poor. Books that give hundreds of suggestions do not always give so much as one of any real value.

The book consists of an alphabetical list of activities that, if embarked on, would result in one being engaged as advertized. It does tread along from Acting to Zen, but it’s hard to imagine that anyone would be intellectually unengaged enough to be willing to plod through it. It does serve to list things that one might do if confronted with the question “what should I do for a hobby?”

Each activity gets a few paragraphs starting with the author’s rating of the opportunities it provides for intellectual, social and physical engagement. For example, acting provides intellectual and social opportunities. Beekeeping provides intellectual and physical stimulation. I suppose the author recognizes that the company of bees is not likely to make the retiree more welcome in society. But is it really physically demanding? I suppose there are opportunities for running ahead of a swarm. Is acting really not physically demanding. A host of behind-the-scenes films says otherwise.

We are then treated to a description of the prospective hobby (a term by the way that Mr. Price seems to eschew, it may be that it strikes the ear as rather old-fashioned; but hobbies are clearly what we are really talking about) and a brief history. If we decide to take up bartending, we learn that Antoine Peychaud, a New Orleans druggist served his Sazerac in a French egg cup called a coquetier , which devolved into cocktail. Frankly bartending sounds like a somewhat dangerous hobby.

I suspect that there are far more opportunities for pursuing the hobby at home than there are for the professional engagements Mr. Price envisions. Still, it is a novel excuse for the more-than-social drinker who has to put up with well-meaning Samaritans staging unwelcome interventions.

Each activity also has a listing of resources for getting started. These at least are theoretically useful and my save one a couple of steps on a search engine. But it would be more useful to know if Mr. Price really explored all of the cited resources and is vouching for them.

Still, it is to the book’s credit that it is not yet another investment guide. In fact, Financial Planning/Investing gets the same treatment accorded Fencing. It is but another way to divert oneself in pursuit of the elusive engagement. Mr. Price is a retired lawyer from the financial services industry and that ain’t hay, so one assumes that Mr. Price can afford to treat planning for his future ways and means as simply another way to pass the time.

Mr. Price should also be commended for his fair and balanced approach. If one is not inclined to take up Gun Collecting, there is always the tried and true pastime of Gun Control. Evidently not a favorite hobby among congress persons and they won’t be nearly as good at it after they retire.

Altogether probably not entitled to a permanent place on the bookshelf.

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Robert B. Fleming


Robert Fleming is a Fellow of both the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He has been certified as a Specialist in Estate and Trust Law by the State Bar of Arizona‘s Board of Legal Specialization, and he is also a Certified Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. Robert has a long history of involvement in local, state and national organizations. He is most proud of his instrumental involvement in the Special Needs Alliance, the premier national organization for lawyers dealing with special needs trusts and planning.

Robert has two adult children, two young grandchildren and a wife of over fifty years. He is devoted to all of them. He is also very fond of Rosalind Franklin (his office companion corgi), and his homebound cat Muninn. He just likes people, their pets and their stories.

Elizabeth N.R. Friman


Elizabeth Noble Rollings Friman is a principal and licensed fiduciary at Fleming & Curti, PLC. Elizabeth enjoys estate planning and helping families navigate trust and probate administrations. She is passionate about the fiduciary work that she performs as a trustee, personal representative, guardian, and conservator. Elizabeth works with CPAs, financial professionals, case managers, and medical providers to tailor solutions to complex family challenges. Elizabeth is often called upon to serve as a neutral party so that families can avoid protracted legal conflict. Elizabeth relies on the expertise of her team at Fleming & Curti, and as the Firm approaches its third decade, she is proud of the culture of care and consideration that the Firm embodies. Finding workable solutions to sensitive and complex family challenges is something that Elizabeth and the Fleming & Curti team do well.

Amy F. Matheson


Amy Farrell Matheson has worked as an attorney at Fleming & Curti since 2006. A member of the Southern Arizona Estate Planning Council, she is primarily responsible for estate planning and probate matters.

Amy graduated from Wellesley College with a double major in political science and English. She is an honors graduate of Suffolk University Law School and has been admitted to practice in Arizona, Massachusetts, New York, and the District of Columbia.

Prior to joining Fleming & Curti, Amy worked for American Public Television in Boston, and with the international trade group at White & Case, LLP, in Washington, D.C.

Amy’s husband, Tom, is an astronomer at NOIRLab and the Head of Time Domain Services, whose main project is ANTARES. Sadly, this does not involve actual time travel. Amy’s twin daughters are high school students; Finn, her Irish Red and White Setter, remains a puppy at heart.

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Matthew M. Mansour


Matthew is a law clerk who recently earned his law degree from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law. His undergraduate degree is in psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Matthew has had a passion for advocacy in the Tucson community since his time as a law student representative in the Workers’ Rights Clinic. He also has worked in both the Pima County Attorney’s Office and the Pima County Public Defender’s Office. He enjoys playing basketball, caring for his cat, and listening to audiobooks narrated by the authors.