“Buy this book before you buy a rocking chair!”

Whenever you write a book, it’s thrilling and gratifying to receive great reviews from other authors and experts. And I have been very fortunate indeed to receive strong endorsements for Retirement by Design from several of the top thought leaders in the field. I hope you find the book as useful and enjoyable as they do. Here are three of the reviews:


“Retirement by Design presents a revolutionary and entirely professional take on planning for retirement – one that approaches the task like the exciting opportunity it is; and where endless options and tough decisions can be solved through creativity, experimentation and innovation.”

          Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times #1 bestselling author, and Thinkers 50 #1 ranked executive coach for ten years and two-time winner for #1 Leadership Thinker in the World


“Retirement by Design turns the daunting task of getting ready for retirement into the remarkably exciting, creative experience it always should be. Abbott proves this isn’t just the end of working life, but a whole new beginning. By calling on her decades of experience and affection for design thinking principles, she’s built a revolutionary and healthy way to look at and plan for life’s next great adventure.”

          Chip Conley, New York Times bestselling author and Founder of the Modern Elder Academy


“If the best way to predict the future is to create it, Ida Abbott’s Retirement by Design offers essential tools to help you figure out…

Retirement: A time to create your own future

What pops up in your mind when you hear the word “retirement”? We asked the audience at last week’s book launch for Retirement by Design, which was graciously hosted in San Francisco by the fantastic global design firm IDEO. The words that came up ranged from “excitement” and “eagerness” to “dying.” This last word is no surprise. The idea of retirement is loaded with negative imagery that suggest withdrawal, obsolescence and yes, mortality. In fact, the Cambridge English Dictionary defines retirement as “the act of leaving your job and stopping working, usually because you are old.” But what if we turn that thinking around? What if we concentrate on our ability to live longer, healthier lives, and to remain active and vital but in a different way? What if we re-define retirement as a time to create and live a desirable future of our own design?

That’s the philosophy behind my new book, Retirement by Design. It’s a workbook that will help you create the best possible post-career life by deciding what you want that life to look like and then turning that vision into reality. Rather than offering advice on what you should do when you retire, it applies design principles that ask you to determine what would be best for you; after all, what will make you happy in retirement is personal to you. Some people want to relax and enjoy themselves without any outside…

A Great Start to 2020

What a great start to 2020!

I could not be happier. Earlier this month, I held my first grandchild, a perfect little boy who is a source of enormous joy to his parents and grandparents. And while not quite as thrilling or monumental, my new book, Retirement by Design, will be published next week. As you might imagine, these events have me thinking about the future and what it means for me now that I’m a grandmother. It’s an additional factor I’ll have to consider when making my retirement plans. Fortunately, my book covers the impact of retirement on people’s relationships with their children and grandchildren. Its questions and exercises will help me plan for and fulfill my new role, now and in the future.

Retirement by Design recognizes that retirement affects all of your relationships with family and friends. Retirement changes your life in many significant ways, including your personal, professional and social ties. People often underestimate the impact it has, not just on themselves, but also on others, especially their husband or wife. To enjoy retirement fully, it’s important to consider, discuss and prepare for those changes so that your relationship with your spouse remains harmonious, your time with children and grandchildren is satisfying and well-spent, your responsibilities toward parents and other family members are taken care of, and your friendships and social connections continue to flourish and grow. The advice, questions and exercises in this guided…