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Former Purdue vice president releases retirement planning guide

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Six million baby boomers will flunk retirement if they don't plan for it better.

That's the conclusion Richard E. Grace, the recently retired vice president for student services at Purdue University, has made after conducting four years of research with more than 700 retirees. The research, coupled with Grace's personal experience with retirement, has recently been put into print with a guidebook for retirement planning called, "When Every Day is Saturday: The Retirement Guide for Boomers" (Writer's Showcase, an imprint of iUniverse Press).

Grace, who also served as a professor of engineering and the founding director of Purdue's Undergraduate Studies Program, examines six themes in the book. Rank-ordered by importance to retirees, they include:

• Freedom and leisure,

• Financial independence,

• Separation from work,

• Family and friends,

• Health and

• Helping others.

Readers are encouraged to evaluate their attitude toward each theme. They then can calculate their potential happiness in retirement and complete a personal planning inventory.

Anecdotes from retirees are sprinkled throughout the book.

"These life stories add hope, inspiration and a dash of realism to what lies ahead for every working adult," Grace says.

Grace says 10 percent of retirees he surveyed reported conflicts with three or more themes and that he, too, had issues to resolve before he could retire.

"I woke up one morning six months away from retirement and said, 'I am not prepared in any way whatsoever," he says. "It would be akin to a student about to take a final examination and saying, 'I have not done any homework whatsoever.' So I invested five additional years and went into the creation of the Undergraduate Studies Program. At the same time, I really got down to business about planning my life."

Grace says he developed a survey instrument to assess what was important to retirees. He found that financial planning, while one key to a successful retirement, was not the most pressing issue.

"The main frustration, which has been pretty well solved for me, is what do you do with a 50-hour work week when you have 50 free hours?" Grace says. "For women, adjusting to the physical presence of their spouse really turned out to be a surprise. I became very aware when I said to my wife, 'I can help you at home,' and she told me what I could 'do' to help."

Grace says retirees need to find new things to do and learn in order to stay physically fit, mentally alert and optimistic about the future.

"It just can't be cut the grass and trim the trees," Grace says. "Whether it's taking up bowling or going on a trip together, there should be separate activities as well as joint activities for husbands and wives. Volunteering and helping others at community related functions also is a wonderful experience."

The book concludes with six questions, that when answered, assure readers they can retire in confidence.

"When Every Day is Saturday," a 174-page paperback, retails at $14.95 in most major bookstores. It also can be ordered by calling iUniverse Press at (877) 823-9235.

CONTACT: Richard Grace, (765) 463-5271,

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: A publication-quality photo of the "When Every Day is Saturday" book cover is available at

Related Web site:
Retire Happy Web site

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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