Life After Full-time Work Blog

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

#90 Explore Investment (and a little but important note at the end)

Introducing the stages in Route 2 of Freedom, Time, Happiness


You’ll be used to this by now. Today we’ve uploaded all of Route 2, a route through the territory of Life Two that explores investment.

There are 12 stages in this Route, and as always I’ve organized them in sections.

We start with fundamental investment concepts, with a reassuring reminder that they’re simple, like common sense. And then we explore the important issues of what you’re paying for when you engage an investment manager.

As in Route 1, you’ll find that some stages aren’t presented in FTH, because they’ve been extracted and placed in Life Two. Not to worry – all those stages have already been published for you as blog posts, so you won’t have to go to Life Two for them. Specifically, they are Stage I 01 (, Stage I 31 ( and Stage I 32 (

If you’re half of a couple, it might be beneficial if both of you take a look at I 31 (Your fundamental investment choices: eat well or sleep well), I 32 (Your risk tolerance depends on psychological and financial factors) and I 33 (Sometimes partners have different attitudes towards risk). Those are aspects where it could be helpful if you each have some idea of how your partner feels.

And that’s it! I hope you feel much more confident about understanding investments, now – as I say at the start, so much of it is simply based on common sense, if we can just steer clear of all the technical details that investment professionals love so much. That’s OK – let them enjoy the details – all you need is to know is how it all applies to your situation.

Next up: Route 3 (exploring longevity).


One more thing. It deserves much more than this little note, so I’ll give it its due when the website is ready. But just to let you know: with my friends at Common Wealth, we held an event on November 13 to launch our Life Two podcasts. We are thrilled with the way they’ve turned out. I hope the website will soon be able to deliver them to you. But in the meantime, if you’re eager, the first set of episodes is already available at , as well as on Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher: and and

The order of the first three episodes is:

Episode 1: The best time of life

Episode 2: The retirement life cycle

Episode 3: Stage 1 — Get started

Look for two features regularly. The first is the index, which shows you the issues addressed and the time in each episode when that part of the interview starts. This is also helpful if there’s a specific issue you want to return to. The other is my Personal Touch, roughly ten minutes at the end of each episode, identifying the interview’s implications for your actions and mindset.

We’ve already received emails thanking us for the content!



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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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