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Why “The Four Hour Workweek” Should be Required Reading for Pre-Retirees

By now, you’ve probably already heard of Tim Ferriss, the author of the New York Times Best Seller “The Four Hour Workweek.” If so, you may have the impression that Tim Ferriss’ advice is mostly aimed at people in their 20s and 30s who want to quit their job and travel around the world.

The reality is somewhat different. While the majority of Ferriss’ readers probably are younger than us, his advice is applicable to people of all ages. In fact, I would go so far as to argue that The Four Hour Workweek should be required reading for all pre-retirees.

We Need a New Way of Looking at Retirement

According to several studies, financially speaking, baby boomers are nowhere near ready for retirement. JP Morgan argues that, if you are 55-years-old today, you should already have $500,000 saved for retirement. Since 60% of us have saved less than $100,000, we still have a long way to go.

To make up the difference, many baby boomers plan on working longer, but, there is no guarantee that our employers will want us to hang around. If we want to make money in retirement, the majority of us will be on our own. We will either make money as freelancers, small business owners, writers and consultants, or, we will be forced to lower our expectations about our standard of living in retirement.

This is one of the reasons that I believe that baby boomers need to ask themselves not only “Have I saved enough money for retirement?” but also “Have I saved enough skills for retirement?” We need to start developing an entrepreneurial mindset now so that we can succeed tomorrow.

This is where The Four Hour Workweek comes in. The book has plenty of practical examples, but, I believe that the greatest value that it offers is opening your mind to the possibility that another way of living is possible. You do not have to rely on someone else for a paycheck. You can start to build streams of income that are independent of your 9-5 job. The Four Hour Workweek will show you where to get started.

The Four Hour Workweek Can Help You to Save More

Another, more immediate, reason that pre-retirees should read The Four Hour Workweek is that is can help you to be more productive and, thus, save more for retirement. Ferriss challenges his readers to rethink how they look at their daily activities. From ruthlessly eliminating unnecessary tasks to applying the 80/20 rule to every aspect of your life, Ferriss will help you to be more productive.

Most people think that they don’t have time or energy to start a side business. In reality, they have a problem with time management and motivation. If anything, with our kids out of the house, we should have plenty of time to take control of our financial future.

The only criticism that I have for the book is that it sometimes exaggerates how easy it is to start a business, hire freelancers or find super-cheap vacation rentals. For the record, starting a business is hard – really hard. This is why it’s so important to start a business that you are passionate about.

The good news is that most of us have plenty of time to get it right. The sooner you start, the better your chances of building a life that you can be proud of in “retirement.”

Have you read “The Four Hour Workweek”? What did you think of Ferriss’ advice? Do you agree that we need a new way of looking at “retirement” – one that focuses on productive work, based on our passions? Why or why not? Please join the conversation.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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