Review of a book I enjoyed, plus a bit of news
There’s an important bit after the end of this review!
Review of “Victory Lap Retirement” by Mike Drak, Rob Morrison and Jonathan Chevreau (published by Milner & Associates Inc., Canada) – 2nd edition (the first one didn’t have Morrison as one of the authors)
Imagine you’re running a race. And you’re winning! You cross the finish line. Do you instantly stop running and step off the track? Of course not. You slow down, because the race is over, but you keep running at a comfortable pace – taking your victory lap, enjoying it thoroughly, waving to the crowd, because you’ve earned the joy. Eventually, when you finish the victory lap, you step aside and walk away, happy, ready to get on with the rest of your life.
That’s the analogy in this book about continuing to work while you play and play while you work. From my perspective, it describes one (very important) approach to transitioning into Life Two. And the authors have written an informative and entertaining book about not retiring, filled with stories and ideas. I thoroughly enjoyed it when I first got it, and it was every bit as good when I read it a second time, to prepare this review. In fact I got more out of it the second time, because when you read something with so much useful content, you can’t possibly retain it all, and the second reading brought back ideas I’d forgotten.
You’ll have your own lens through which you’ll view the book, just as I have mine. So my review may not reflect what stands out for you. Nevertheless, let me tell you some of the things I noticed.
First, just the idea of continuing to work part-time – not retiring fully from work – as being a victory lap. What a great image! The psychological side as well as the financial side. I know I deal with this sort of stuff too, but they have story after story, based partly on their own lives and partly from working with clients.
When to start thinking about it, find motivation, find purpose, maybe partner with others when there are some things you’re just not good at, cashing in on the loyalty of people you’ve dealt with for years, how active income becomes part of your personal pension but not subject to investment market fluctuations, dealing with kids who may have their hands out. Things that make sense – I just never thought about them in this way.
And then (you can guess that this appealed to me) thoughts on happiness, using your time, your physical and spiritual health – hey, this is Life Two territory I recognize! And (similar to an exercise that brought me to tears, some years ago) a chapter on how you would like your own final chapter to read.
At the front of the book there are numerous testimonials, from knowledgeable people. The foreword is by Ernie Zelinski, a hugely successful author whom I’ve quoted and cited many times. I’m not surprised that they’re associated with Victory Lap Retirement. Add me now to the list of admirers.
OK, now some personal book news. I’m overjoyed at the way that the London-based Financial Times is treating Life Two: a cover story in the FT Money supplement to FT Weekend on July 20 (a big layout accompanied by an article I wrote) as well as an FT Money Show podcast interview, uploaded on July 19. You’re never sure, when you write something, how people will react, particularly people you admire and who are opinion-leaders. The FT’s reaction simply thrills me.
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.