Book Reviews

Building Blocks: Any book on retirement planning that does not begin

with a discussion of money is off to a good start; and so it is with

Retirement: Different by Design by Dr. Rick Steiner, a self-described

“recovering workaholic.” But as Dr. Steiner notes in laying out his six

building blocks of retirement, the most important part of planning for

later life is “taking care of our aging selves,” our physical and emotional

health and well-being.

From this point, the book guides readers through the steps necessary to

create a “sustainable retirement.” (There’s also a good exercise to help

you determine if you’re actually ready to retire.)

“We can’t will a retirement to happen by thinking about it, hoping for

it, dreaming about it or expecting to win enough money to fund it,” Dr.

Steiner writes. We have to do something about it to make it happen,

and the sooner we start, the more plausible it becomes.”

The Wall Street Journal

This is a guidebook to the emotional and psychological side of moving

into and making the most of retirement. There is a chapter on finances,

but it is not the focus. The main concern is how to handle and make

the most of moving into and making the most of this “unmoored”

period when the day-to-day schedule and even the sense of self are no

longer shaped by work responsibilities. Steiner calls retirement one of

the few do-overs that we get in life, and in Retirement: Different by

Design he offers practical advice on how to make the most of it, with

physical activity, mental challenges and new adventures. He concludes,

“you see retirement isn’t about who we were, but about who we


Elizabeth Floyd Mair

The Albany Times Union

Dr. Steiner’s book, Retirement: Different by Design,” unearths the

shocking and semi-scary truth about life after work. Luckily though, he

also offers new insights, which redefine the retirement experience by

replacing those pesky old retirement myths with a fresh framework for

moving seamlessly from work to retirement and beyond.

The flame for this idea was sparked by what he experienced after his

own retirement. “Our primal obsession with gathering financial assets

to the exclusion of building our intellectual, social, emotional, health

and physical is a diversion that can derail our retirements.” Steiner

said, “Indeed, we all can live socially rich, emotionally balanced and

physically active retirements no matter the size of our bank accounts,

because retirement is not about how much money we have in the bank,

but how much richness we have in our lives.” But, most of all

retirement should be about enjoying every minute, every mile, every

sunrise and sunset every day; and, about squeezing out all the joy and

meaning life has to offer—and enjoying the ride.”

Molly Congdon

Reporter, Schenectady Gazette

  • This isn’t your usual retirement book that speaks to financial

planning alone; what is provided is a blueprint for those whose

lives revolved around work routines; folks who have thought

much about the financial side of matters, but little about what

their lives would actually be like once working is no longer part of

the picture.

  •  The book is the “go to” place for any who haven’t solidified their

picture of retirement.

  • With its specifics on psychological, financial and lifestyle changes,

there’s no better book to give the nearly newly retired than

Different by Design

  •  Different by Design explains and explores the entire retirement

process and offers many concrete keys to making the most of this

end result, and should be read by any who contemplate making

this big change and seeing their dreams come true.

Diane Donovan

Senior Reviewer, Midwest Review of Books

Retirement: Different by Design… is a GREAT book for anyone, not just

for those about to retire or who have already retired. It’s written in

everyday language and is clear cut, concise, and surprisingly

comprehensive. There’s much more to retirement than just saving

money and Dr. Steiner covers this and so much more—it really covers a

multi-faceted approach on how to retire successfully and provides

practical and handy strategies on how to reach these personal and

financial goals. A must read for anyone 30 or older.

(5 stars) Laura Clarke

Shelfari; Barnes and Noble Indie Book Reviewers

Probably one of the best over-all books on retirement I’ve read, and

I’ve read many. Dr. Rick Steiner has written an impressive in-depth look

at many elements that make for a happy retirement, including financial,

physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual well-being. He writes

about the “Building Blocks” that comprise a happy and emotionally

successful and fulfilling retirement. While money is important—there is

much more to it than that, and he does a great job of explaining his

theories and giving great examples and ideas that are practical and easy

to understand. A great addition to the retirement-planning book field

and one that stands out from the crown, in my opinion.

(5 stars) Essie Harmon

Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes and Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

I haven’t read many books on retirement, but now that it is something

that is on the horizon. The book, “Retirement: Different by Design” by

Rick Steiner is an informative and well-rounded approach to a subject

that many people are sadly undereducated on. Everyone thinks

retirement is all about having a hefty nest egg or IRA or 401k plan.

While these are nice, there is LIFE to be lived after retiring, and it’s

imperative that people face these new realities and adjust to their new

circumstances after finally making that transition to the next stage in

their life. This is a practical and easily understood manual that really

helps to explore and explain different phases and aspects of one’s life

that will change with retirement, and ways to cope and be happy and

successful. Well written and excellently edited and formatted. A great

read, one I’ll recommend to others as well.

(5 stars) Leo Gregory

Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes and Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

I’m getting ready to retire in the next year and I found this book to be

extremely helpful. Well written, insightful, kept my interest and had

very practical tips. I learned a lot by reading this book. If you plan to

retire in the next five years you should definitely read it. I read it in the

course of an evening, and I enjoyed how easy it is to read—like a

trusted friend is telling me all this interesting and valuable information

that is readily digestible and easily applicable to my life. A fresh

approach that actually has me even more excited about retiring and

realizing how many wonderful new life opportunities await me as long

as I properly plan! Great book. A definite keeper.

(4-5 stars) Jean Oliver

Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes and Noble; Indie Book Reviewers

What a great book for retirement!!! I am actually giving it a “second

read” because there is so much to glean from Steiner’s perspectives.

Finally, a book that addresses the non-financial aspects of retirement

and gives you tools to develop a life of purpose and fulfillment. While

retirement is a dream we all aspire to, the actual reality is both exciting

and terrifying all at the same time. This book was the perfect read at

the perfect time and highly recommended for anyone making the

transition to this next phase in life.

(5 stars) Eliza Gonzales

Goodreads; Shelfari; Barnes and Noble; Indie Book Reviewers