Life After Full-time Work Blog

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

#65 Happy Holidays, And All The Best For 2019!

Another year is coming to a close. I thank you for your support, which invigorates me and sustains me. And I wish you and your loved ones every happiness and much good fortune in 2019.

You’ll be glad to know, I’m sure, that this is my last post for 2018. I’ll be back at the start of January.

Permit me to review what we looked at in 4Q2018 and to preview 1Q2019.


4Q2018 was devoted to two themes, one of which I had planned, while the other one arose spontaneously.

The planned theme was about retirement.

In Post #55 ( I said what perhaps I should have said right at the start: that graduating from full-time work should be viewed as a very desirable change. I had some interviews and examples, in Post #56 ( and Post #64 (

And there was commentary in Post #57 ( and Post #59 (, and wisdom in the form of lessons from Dr James Nininger’s reading and interviews in Post #63 (

The unexpected stuff arose from my activities in the quarter, which gave me an insight and a perspective that excited me and seemed to evoke an emotional response.

It started in Post #58 (, in which I mentioned that I had written a paper for the C.D. Howe Institute on longevity insurance, and been interviewed by Dr Theo Kocken for a documentary he’s preparing. It was right at the end of that interview that it suddenly occurred to me that everything I’m doing can be summed up under the heading of education for retirement.

I asked you what you thought about the notion, and your responses were captured in Post #60 ( — very much in support of the idea.

I then explained the idea in my opening keynote address to the DC West Conference organized by Pensions & Investments in San Diego (, in which I formalized the expression Life Two (derived from the initials of Life After Full-Time Work) for retirement. The name stuck, and the response to my keynote was positive and there was an emotional connection with the attendees, which I reported on as fully as my memory permitted in Post #62 (

As a result of all this, I have totally reconstructed (and dramatically shortened!) the book I’ve been planning on the subject. I hope to be able to report to you about it next year.


You’ll have noticed that in 4Q2018 I stuck to general subjects, and didn’t get involved at all in aspects of investment and financial risk and how to accommodate and mitigate them. So I’m going to head in that direction in 1Q2019, with posts that I hope will clarify different uses of the word “risk” for the lay reader, and the commonsense notion that choices about risk ought to be based not on investment technicalities but on how much one’s lifestyle may be affected if investment markets don’t deliver the returns that we hope for. And what sorts of (non-technical) strategies can be used to control and mitigate one’s exposure to reductions in asset values.

I hope you’ll enjoy the explanations as well as benefit from the expositions in making your own choices. I’ll continue at the pace of one post every couple of weeks.

And if events develop in my life that affect all this stuff, I’ll report on them too, even if they interrupt the every-two-weeks sequence.


I hope you also enjoy the comments posted by readers. I get many more in personal emails, but I won’t publish those without your explicit permission, so your privacy is assured if that’s what you want.

Since I last updated you on them, there have been comments on Posts #62, 63 and 64. Thank you!


See you in the new year, gratefully.


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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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