A quick summary, plus a preview on expanding the perspective found in Life Two
It won’t surprise you to know that the quarter’s highlight, for me, was the paperback publication of Life Two in mid-June, after a birth process that was much longer and much more difficult than I imagined. (Yes, I can anticipate the ironic comments about an ignorant male saying something along those lines.) Anyway, I’m excited, and hope that the baby displays great health and growth! I’m delighted that the baby will be on show at a couple of conferences later in the year.
Incidentally, I’m very pleased that amazon.ca now carries the paperback version too.
We actually started the second quarter of 2019 at the other end of the age spectrum. Post #73 (https://donezra.com/73-when-the-time-comes-to-make-decisions/) reflected on the fact that we’re hard-wired to put off making tough decisions, via a story by Somerset Maugham that brought the issue to life. The lesson is to do it before it’s too late.
We also had a post that dealt with an investment theme (https://donezra.com/75-how-reliable-an-income-stream-can-you-get-from-equity-dividends/), and it revealed that the traditional growth-seeking assets, equities, have an additional use as a source of reasonable safety, at least as far as the dividend stream from an indexed portfolio is concerned.
And to extend the focus of our thoughts, we had a post with a longevity theme (https://donezra.com/76-healthy-life-expectancy/), in which we found that in most countries, the average person can expect to spend something up to 80% of our expected future lifespan after age 60 in reasonably good health (while admitting that health is a difficult thing to quantify).
For those of you who like to go back and see what other readers have said, there are comments on all three of those posts.
Post #74 (https://donezra.com/74-reflections-on-being-and-no-longer-being-an-actuary/) was on a personal theme. It wasn’t just to express my feelings – it was to make it known formally that, officially, I’m no longer a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries, having voluntarily given up that status. This post generated several comments, and even more personal emails and follow-up conversations that aren’t visible. The result is that I’ll have a suggestion to make to all actuarial bodies about how to resolve the difficult issue of recognizing those who qualified as Fellows but no longer need full active status.
Post #77 (https://donezra.com/77-the-life-two-book-has-been-published/) and Post #78 (https://donezra.com/78-glide-from-youth-into-life-two-walk-20/) both involved the Life Two book. The first told you about its publication and how much more I’ll be adding via the free companion volume Freedom, Time, Happiness (or FTH, as I refer to it in short) as we re-vamp the website while keeping all the blog posts. The second contained an extract from Life Two in the form of Walk #20, describing the sensible rationale that underlies the “glide path” approach to investing during the accumulation phase. My thanks to all who expressed congratulations on completing Life Two – wait till you see FTH! It’ll start to appear in sections in the third quarter of 2019.
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.