Life After Full-time Work Blog

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

#92 Explore Retirement Finance

Introducing the stages in Route 4 of Freedom, Time, Happiness


I’m delighted to upload all of Route 4, a route through the territory of Life Two that explores retirement finance.

This is where it all comes together, so it’s not surprising that it’s the longest route, with 32 stages. As always, I’ve organized them in sections, for convenient grouping of topics. We start with general thoughts on saving and investing. Then we deal specifically with the accumulation stage of life. After that we move to estimating how far you’ve come. And then some clear thinking about generating lifetime income (your ongoing paycheck in Life Two) from your assets. This is followed by a reality check, a reminder not to put off making decisions, because things can go wrong, both psychologically and with your health. And then finally, thoughts on investing in the decumulation stage of life.

Six of the stages are extracted for inclusion in Life Two. Nevertheless, two of those stages, F23 (explaining your Personal Funded Ratio) and F 25 (how to use the Personal Funded Ratio calculator) are reproduced in full in FTH. And of the other four, three have already been published for you as blog posts, so you’re not missing much. Those three are Stage F 11 (, Stage F 31 ( and Stage F 61 (

If you’re half of a couple, it might be beneficial if both of you take a look at F 22 (A budget doesn’t have to be detailed to be useful) and F 53 (When the time comes to make decisions). Those are aspects where it could be helpful if you each have some idea of how your partner feels.

And that’s it! My goodness, you are now totally in command of your future happiness and finances! Congratulations!

Next up is the final instalment, for those of you who are so eager that even this isn’t enough: the Trail for Enthusiasts.


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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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