Professor pens revised edition of retirement book

Daily Sundial

CSUN Geology Professor Warren Bland released his latest book, “Retire in Style: 60 Outstanding Places Across the U.S.A. and Canada,” a revised edition of his 2001 publication.

The updated version includes four new U.S. retirement destinations, plus 10 Canadian locations, which differ from the first book, “Retire in Style: 50 Affordable Places Across North America,” Bland said.

“I wanted to improve the quality of illustrations, because it needed to be updated,” Bland said. “The climatic numbers were outdated.”

The locations listed in the book had to meet 12 criteria, including physical attributes such as landscape, climate, quality of life, neighborhood appearance, cost of living, transportation, retail services, health care, community services, cultural and educational activities, recreational activities, work and volunteer activities, and crime rates, Bland said.

“Retire in Style: 60 Outstanding Places Across the U.S.A. and Canada,” includes Canadian locations, since “hundreds of thousands of Canadians buy a second home or move,” Bland said.

Of the 15 Canadian locations that Bland visited, only 10 made the cut and will be included in his second book, he said.

Spending three months gathering new research and five months on the editorial aspect of the book, Bland spent less time revising the new edition than he did in writing the first book, which took considerably longer to create, he said.

The inspiration to write a book came from seeing numerous retirement books that lacked organization, covered too many locations, and contained erroneous factual accounts, Bland said.

“I’d find mistakes,” Bland said. “Books were thin on contact, people would get climatic data wrong, and I found it annoying. The books were defective in accuracy.”

Ralph Vicero, a fellow colleague and former CSUN dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, suggested writing a better retirement book, Bland said.

In an effort to simplify the information, each section of the book is separated geographically place by place, criteria by criteria, Bland said.

“Writing (the first book) was one of the worst experiences of my life,” Bland said. “I am very picky and precise with my words, and when you’re writing a book, you’re very careful to get it right.”

“The first book took longer (because of) travel, and (because) the research was from scratch,” Bland said.

Prior to visiting the locations, the chambers of commerce from several locations were contacted notifying them of the project, Bland said.

“(My wife and I) must have done seven or eight trips, and by that time, we ended up with 50 places,” Bland said.

With the entire first book handwritten, it took one year to get the text down, and four years for the research to come together, Bland said.

After selling 10,000 copies of the first edition, Bland said the second book promises even more sales.

This time around, a publicist is involved, and over spring break, Bland traveled to New York City, where he was featured on news programs, on such as Fox News, Bloomberg News and MSNBC.