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Psychology of Executive Retirement from Fear to Passion: Escape the Rat-Race & Save Your Life
Doug Treen
iUniverse (2009)
ISBN 9780595492824

Having read many books on financial planning for retirement, I was very pleased to read Treen’s book on preparing psychologically for leaving the work force. Many feel that if they are prepared financially, that is all they need. However, retirees often find that they are used to a routine, delegating and deadlines. As baby boomers we think all we have to do is sit and relax, have a vacation or two and we will be fine. What we find is that is takes preparation to relax and enjoy our life without work.
I particularly liked that the author discussed that often when people retire they become sick and sometimes pass away or they think that fun and relaxation will automatically come. In Chapter 10, “The Meaning of Life,” the author relates that this is a time to find passion in what one wants to do and do something that is meaningful. Often in our fast-paced world we forget about those less fortunate, or things we wanted to try in our lifetime. Now is the time to reclaim those goals. Many times over the course of our lives we will do a self-assessment of our life: Did we accomplish what we wanted? Did we treat people the way they should be treated?
Questions that the author has asked are “What are your talents and values? Why are you unique? What are your hidden aspirations?” These are many things that when we are working we let go of so we can adapt to the corporate world.
In the back of the book, the author has provided a great exercise that readers can fill out on subjects such as: What are your needs that you are currently meeting? What are your current stressors? What are your dreams that you have never told anyone about?
This was very helpful in looking at important areas that we often neglect when planning retirement. “Psychology of Executive Retirement from Fear to Passion,” by Doug Treen, truly is a book that makes one take stock of their life and where they want to go.

Reviewed by Carol Hoyer, PhD, for Reader Views (9/09)


The executive or professional is not unlike the big-time athlete: when the cheering stops and the retirement begins, too many individuals find themselves without a focus, without a plan. This predicament is especially painful for an executive, who has thrived so long on the power, status and influence of his or her position. For the senior manager who thought and moved only according to plan, waking up one day without a plan can be a rude and even frightening experience.

Doug Treen has written the perfect book to help an executive make the transition from the C-Suite to retirement a smooth and successful one. In a clear, highly personal style he describes how to avoid the shock of retirement, and how to let go of the needs and wants that dominate daily life in the C-Suite and to achieve the decidedly un-corporate-like goal of finding oneself and learning how to live a meaningful life. A Ph.D. and MBA, and a former executive with multinational pharmaceutical and financial corporations, Doug Treen has helped numerous retiring professionals and executives overcome their anxiety about retirement and realize that, after years of dedicating themselves to the coporation, they deserve the best possible retirement.

Stephen Bernhut, Editor, Ivey Business Journal