Life After Full-time Work Blog

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

#72 A Look Back At 1Q2019, And A Preview

A review of recent posts, and the preview mentions the forthcoming book


It’s becoming a regular feature that, at the end of each quarter, I briefly review what we’ve covered and look ahead too. This time, my preview will be a bit different, as I’m planning to publish a book and revamp the website to accommodate it. And I have one other thing to draw your attention to, before that.

OK, the details …


First, the review of 1Q2019.

Remember that through 2018 we looked at all aspects of Life Two. There was happiness and your romantic Venn diagram in 1Q2018, as well as the active versus passive issue, and four ways to decumulate. Later we examined attitudes towards risk, longevity, and an extensive look at the Personal Funded Ratio calculator. We ended the year discussing psychological aspects of retirement.

So now, in 1Q2019, all quarter long I’ve focused on retirement finance, and on aspects that (I hope) help you to think clearly about it. In particular, dealing with different forms of uncertainty.

In Post #66 ( we looked at the sequence of decision-making: first identify (possibly through a financial professional) how much investment risk is needed for you to achieve your financial goals, and then see how you feel about taking that amount of risk.

In Post #67 ( we identified explicitly the biggest fear most retirees have: outliving their assets. It’s part of three goals we tend to have: safety of income, growth of assets, and protection against the financial effects of living a long life.

After that we focused on safety and growth as goals. In Post #68 ( we clarified that they are in fact competing goals, at opposite ends of the risk spectrum, and that safety comes first, then growth, because you want to survive before you thrive. Typically you want a bit of both, not one at the expense of the other, as we discussed in Post #69 ( So, beware of finding yourself in a situation in which your financial professional only uses insurance instruments or only focuses on investments.

(Remember, by the way, that in Posts 42-44 we discussed the thought process and indeed the emotions involved in deciding where to place yourself on the safety/growth risk spectrum.)

Ideally, ( the three goals we identified ought each to have its own instrument, to give the greatest flexibility to achieve them. And another aspect of flexibility comes from creating your own pool of liquidity (


Readers had comments on Posts #66, 69, 70 and 71.


Now, that other thing to draw your attention to.

You may remember that I mentioned I had written a paper on longevity insurance for the CD Howe Institute in September last year ( Turns out that it has been noticed. A Canadian coalition involving many groups attached it to their (independently thought-through) submission to Canada’s Finance Minister Bill Morneau, asking him to change the law to make it feasible. The CD Howe Institute made longevity insurance a part of their budget proposal to Morneau. And on Tuesday, March 19, Morneau’s own budget proposal included provisions to permit longevity insurance. I wrote a follow-up piece ( saying “Thank you. It’s not perfect, but it’s a start in a good direction.”

(By the way, the CD Howe Institute is making technical changes to its website — just so you know, in case the hyperlinks don’t work.)

In addition, an academic group in the UK has asked me to speak on the subject. And so has the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning. Good heavens – who’d have guessed something as esoteric as longevity insurance would be noticed?


Now, the book behind this website.

I’ve decided to self-publish it – it felt too much like hard work to do otherwise. I’m working on finalizing the text and other technical details. And since the website will complement the book, as a sort of companion volume, I need to reorganize its content and format, particularly as I still want to keep the blogs continuing as a discussion forum.

There’s also a podcast pilot project in the works.

More details about all of that in (I hope) the next post, in two weeks. If not, then definitely the one after that.

See you then.


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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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