A new retirement "Playbook" -- based on the premise that retirement is a learned skill -- has been compiled by the Y's Men of Westport/Weston, a group of retired men with more than 400 members and a 40-year history.

The short "how-to" manual was prepared by club members and charts a course for retirement based on members' experiences.

"As a lifelong scientist, I've plumbed the depths of space, studied what endangers life and marveled that, in spite of all, we survive," Marty Yellin, the Y's Men president, said in announcement publicizing the booklet. "I've also read countless how-to books, some scholarly, some not-so-much, trying to understand how one lives a `good' life.

"Who would have thought we'd need to learn how to retire in a way that increases our physical, mental and, most importantly, our emotional health?" Yellin added.

Dick Seclow, club member and the project's co-chairman, agreed. "We start our little tutorial with a tongue-in-cheek quiz to get readers to self-assess their quality of life in retirement," he said. "It's called, `It takes more than money,' and asks questions like how often you replace the batteries in your remote control."

Seclow said a person's retirement should be more than just the absence of work.

"The success of the Y's Men has shown us that staying actively engaged is vital to living a longer, more fulfilling life," he said. "Quite simply, our playbook is a blueprint for forming a club that takes the retired out of retirement."

According to the playbook, weekly meetings are the foundation of the club's success. The group hosts speakers on a wide range of topics, but humor among members is a routine part of the gatherings, say club members.

The Y's Men of Westport/Weston is the largest group of its kind in Connecticut, according to the statement. Members have diverse professional and non-professional backgrounds, all with the goal of staying engaged with life and each other. In addition to its weekly meetings, the group offers an array of activities, including sports, travel, discussion groups on a range of subjects and community service projects.

The playbook is available online at http://bit.ly/1zO81xf.

For questions or more information, contact the authors at retiredplaybook@gmail.com.