Life After Full-time Work Blog

Learn about preparing for life after full-time work through posts from Don's upcoming book.

#208 A New Book …

… with help from you


I’ve drafted a book. I seek your input and your advice and your help.

My website is, as you know, focused on helping you to prepare for and enjoy life after full-time work (which I refer to as Life Two). The blog posts it contains are a random collection of insights on many aspects of this journey: happiness, longevity, investing, finance, and so on. Periodically I compile and update an index to the posts, mostly because I find it difficult to find something I may have (or may not have) written on some aspect. So it occurred to me that I could make something useful out of all of this by doing three things:

  • Assemble relevant pieces on specific themes in a logical sequence. Re-write where necessary. Keep the segments short and sweet and conversational in style.
  • That logical sequence should progress systematically through the stages of life, so I’ve arranged it all into three main parts: first, when you’re young (and just getting started); second, in the middle (when it’s time to get serious); and finally, focused on Life Two (approaching it, transition into it, and full enjoyment of it).
  • Don’t just talk about financial health in each of those three stages; also deal with physical and mental health.

In other words: how to live a good physical, mental and financial working life, and then enjoy freedom, time and happiness. That last period (it’s potentially long, much more than just a phase of life) should be like reaching your dream land. And it shouldn’t be hard work, a real grind, getting there. The journey should be filled with joy, like dancing (or whatever form of physical and mental activity you revel in).

Of course much of the text deals with the detail required because of that third bullet above. But in addition, here are some examples of my overall approach and topics I intend to cover.

  • What would you usefully tell someone who has just finished school and is starting out in life, but has no real experience of it? Or someone working who isn’t doing anything toward their dream?
  • Understand that investing is a means to an end, not an end in itself; investment risk really translates into lifestyle risk. Also, how to (attempt to) resolve risk tolerance differences between partners.
  • Understand how longevity isn’t fixed, but extends itself as you age.
  • The huge change in your financial mindset as you approach Life Two, and in your daily ritual once you’re into it.
  • As an appendix, I’ve included a chapter on how to create good new habits and break bad habits, because so often it’s the bad habits we’re in that prevent us from doing all the required good stuff and we need to create good new habits to replace them (and I give specific examples of how to create the good habits of exercising, being mindful and saving).

I even came up with a possible title: Dance to Your Dream Land.

I started doing this during the Covid-19 pandemic. And then, when the world started to open up again, I abandoned it. Three years after abandoning it, I have picked it up again, I liked what I had done, and I have completed a first draft of the book.

Now, please. There are three ways in which you, the reader, could be very helpful to me:

  • Do you have any thoughts on this endeavor?
  • Do you have any specific advice on the content, i.e. the topics you would like to see covered, and title?
  • Do you have any suggestions about methods of distribution or can you help with potential distribution?

Let me expand on that third request.

I can approach a publisher or I can self-publish. The book’s price will be lower if I self-publish, I’m sure — and at this stage of my life my purpose is not to make money, but to share the wisdom I’ve gained from experts and much research. Either way, the effort that follows goes into selling the book. And that’s where I don’t want to go into over-drive, frankly.

I hope the contents will be useful to people of all ages, in the workforce and beyond it. Do you have any ideas about how I find those people? Given my professional background in the field of pensions and investment, some forms of (potentially) mass distribution come to mind: employers/pension plan sponsors; pension record-keepers; pension conferences; that sort of organization or occasion. But I haven’t much imagination along those lines, and many years into my own Life Two I’ve lost contact with the influential people. I’m now an outsider rather than an insider. Hence, are there other groups I should be thinking about?  Are there other people I should be talking to?  And, are you able to help with potential distribution?

If you have any thoughts in response to my three bullet questions, do send them to the email address I’ll use for this purpose: and I’ll get back to you. That’ll be much more convenient than making comments on the website or LinkedIn.

With fingers crossed, I thank you for indulging me in this dream of mine and for any assistance you can provide! Thank you.


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I have written about retirement planning before and some of that material also relates to topics or issues that are being discussed here. Where relevant I draw on material from three sources: The Retirement Plan Solution (co-authored with Bob Collie and Matt Smith, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2009), my foreword to Someday Rich (by Timothy Noonan and Matt Smith, also published by Wiley, 2012), and my occasional column The Art of Investment in the FT Money supplement of The Financial Times, published in the UK. I am grateful to the other authors and to The Financial Times for permission to use the material here.

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