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“What Color is your Parachute? (For Retirement)”

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What Color Is Your Parachute? for Retirement, Second Edition: Planning a Prosperous, Healthy, and Happy Future

Review by Jessica Fisher, Esq., Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Book by: John E. Nelson and Richard N. Bolles

This book begins with a history of retirement and then transitions into what the authors call the “New Retirement.” This concept of the New Retirement is very interesting because it is not only about finances it is about your overall well-being which incorporates the following six different fields: social, psychological, biological, medical, financial, and geographical. I find this concept to be very different from what my older clients today think about retirement and I think it would be very difficult to get one of them to sit down and read this book about retirement. This book would not be suitable for an older person who may be on the edge of retirement; however, this book may be able to reach the younger generations who do not really know what to think about retirement or how to reach it. There are various exercises throughout the book that enable the reader to customize his or her own retirement and determine what is truly important to that person.

The book is useful in that it points out different aspects of retirement like how marketers force feed us one view of retirement and we do not think of other options, which I thought was very true. In addition, the book allows you to activate your three most important core values or guiding principles through two different questionnaires, one for females and one for males and other exercises throughout the book.

This book was too long for someone who does not have a lot of time and is trying to figure out their retirement in their spare time while working and doing other things. The authors could have gotten to the point much faster in many of the chapters and shortened the book and made it more relevant. This book is an easy read and introduces concepts that were easy to understand, but it did seem to be going in opposite directions at some points. Also, it seemed to go on tangents about different approaches to retirement historically, which may lose some people.

There is a nice summary and exercise at the end for how to start achieving your ideal retirement now by incorporating all of your core values. I really like this concept so that overall you can have a better sense of well-being instead of only focusing on how you can afford to retire you can also focus on all of the different interests you have and incorporating them now and then. Three approaches are provided for how you can bring your vision for retirement into your present. The first approach helps you complete you vision through pictures, words and feelings, but if that is not how you normally operate then you can try the second or third approach. The second approach focuses on the big picture, creativity and intuition. The third approach focuses on logic, linear thinking and details. The reader may use all of three of these approaches at various times in order to fulfill their ultimate goals but the ultimate conclusion the book wants you to walk away with is to incorporate all of these things into your life now.

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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.

Famous people's wills

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.