I wrote The Hard Times Guide to Retirement Security in the aftermath of the Great Recession, aiming to examine retirement issues in the post-crash economy. The Hard Times Guide is no longer in print – my new retirement guide, “Retirement Reboot,” will be available early in 2023.

Some of my favorite stories on the retirement beat are not about retirement at all. Rather, they are about people who have taken sharp turns later in life to new careers, often driven by a desire to find greater purpose and meaning in their work and in their lives.

I admire these people deeply, and have written dozens of stories about them. And over the years I noticed a pattern: many of these transformations began with a traumatic life experience. I came to think of these high-voltage bolts out of the blue as jolts — painful events that stop people in their tracks and then thrust them forward to positive change. That is the subject of Jolt: Stories of Trauma and Transformation (Post Hill Press).

If you are getting close to retirement, the odds are pretty good that you’re not prepared. 

I don’t mean getting prepared emotionally—although retirement is a significant life transition that can shake people up. I’m talking about the financial side of retirement. And the statistics tell us that two-thirds or more of Americans nearing retirement age simply are not ready. 

Retirement Reboot: Common Sense Strategies for Getting Back on Track will be published in January, 2023 by Agate Publishing.