Superior Book Productions

May 10, 2008

Prime Time Makeover:
How to Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life
Dr. Cynthia Barnett
Aviva Publishing (2008)
ISBN: 9781890427771

Dr. Cynthia Barnett has written a must-read guide for anyone retired or close to retirement. The title “Prime Time Makeover” makes vividly clear that retirement is the prime time of a person’s life, and Barnett wants to help you make sure it is absolutely the best time. Dr. Barnett dissembles any fears or concerns about retirement by providing guidance, information, and a great deal of enthusiasm to encourage you in making your retirement years enjoyable and fulfilling.

“Prime Time Makeover” is more than just another book about how to plan financially for retirement. The book offers several resources from a financial perspective, but just as importantly, it discusses how to plan your time during retirement so once you retire you are not bored or left feeling you were only valuable when you were working. Barnett dispels the fear of boredom that suddenly having thirty years of future free time might bring by showing how retirement can be a meaningful experience. She stresses the importance of beginning to plan before you retire so you know how you want to spend your retirement years. No reason exists for boredom during retirement. The prime time years are ones for positive change, growth, and self-fulfillment.

Dr. Barnett realizes every retired person will not fit into the same category of retirement. She discusses the variety of choices for retired people, from deciding to remain in the workforce part-time, moving to a new area—whether it’s a retirement community or closer to family members, taking up a new hobby, or pursuing a dream that had previously been shelved because of work or family commitments. “Prime Time Makeover” is full of unique and helpful suggestions for how retired people can get the most out of their retirement years. The chapter on work alone is filled with resources, websites to visit for further information, and names of companies that look for older employees. Retirees can find new careers, start their own businesses, or volunteer with a meaningful organization. The possibilities are endless. In addition to the section on work, there are sections on finance, health and exercise, spending leisure time, and spending time with family and friends. Throughout, Barnett motivates the reader to have the best possible experience in each of these areas.

One of the most valuable resources in “Prime Time Makeover” is the collection of special worksheets to help readers think about their retirement possibilities. Barnett provides a “What If Imagination Page” for readers to write down activities they have always wanted to do and then to envision what the results could be if they pursued those dreams. The reader is asked to stop thinking about himself as a retired person or a former lawyer, secretary, or electrician, and instead to think of himself in a new way—as a painter, a writer, a golf enthusiast. The imagination sheets aid you in visualizing and expanding in your mind on all the possibilities that exist for retired people. As Barnett repeatedly states, your retirement does not have to be that of your grandparents’ generation of growing old in a rocking chair. These special worksheets are actually useful to anyone at any age, so they can serve as a life-coaching tool as well as a retirement planner.

Most importantly, Barnett gets the reader excited about retirement. I doubt anyone could think about retirement the same way after reading “Prime Time Makeover.” No one will to want to envision retirement as just knitting or reading a book, unless those are the activities they sincerely want to do. Barnett also warns the reader not simply to become a babysitting service for grandchildren, but to balance being parents and grandparents with exploring themselves and their new identities. Today’s senior citizens are living longer, healthier, and more active lives than past generations, and “Prime Time Makeover” proves this with a wonderful collection of photographs where healthy, smiling retired people are actively living their lives and enjoying every minute.

While I am many years from retirement, this book made me put my reasons for working in a new perspective and to consider how I spend my present time and how it will affect my retirement. Because the book is full of great advice about working, health, and simply how to enjoy life, it can be read and enjoyed by adults of any age.

Every person about to retire should read this book. Children should buy it for their parents, and companies should include it as a parting gift to their retirees. Even if you are young and just starting out in your career, reading this book will be of immense value to you as you consider the greater purpose of your job, not just to pay today’s bills but to provide financial security for your future so your prime time years will be fulfilling. “Prime Time Makeover” will truly help you make the rest of your life, the best of your life!

- Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D. and author of “The Marquette Trilogy”

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